|Dr Pete Telestar's search for NORAD
Author: TractionEra PM
In the closing days of Airship travel, Dr. Telestar sets off with his assistant to the Dead Continent in search of NORAD. This journal follows this journey into the unknown.Rated: Fiction T - English - Sci-Fi/Mystery - Chapters: 2 - Words: 1,812 - Reviews: 2 - Follows: 1 - Updated: 04-11-11 - Published: 03-26-11 - id: 6849344
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The Airship was being made ready for her final voyage. Airships are a dying breed, and these new Mag-Lev machines are replacing them. A few old pilots hung on to their ships, but fewer and fewer places had the ability to accommodate them anymore. Even Airhaven is falling to these infernal contraptions. The once proud city has been converted to harbor these new ships, but even as she holds onto the old airship docks, the city itself is being converted to fly by these devices. Now my own ship is on her last legs. After I leave port these shipyards will be converted to work purely on newer ships, and I will have to retire the old Crumbling Dawn. I am setting off o my final expedition to the Dead Continent. I hear Anchorage is nice this time of year, perhaps I'll settle down and turn the old girl into a bar or something of that sort. It seems old dogs gotta die some time. Weird though, I'm only 21 and I'm already an old dog. Times are moving far too fast for even a young person to follow anymore. My supplies seem to have arrived, so I guess I'll put down the pen and load them up.
Oak Island Airship yards- 1 P.T.E. 10:35
Everything is loaded and I have the okay to leave, but I think it can wait until I've had my lunch. I am in no rush, and I think they aren't too excited about converting the Airship yards either. The supplies I've brought mostly consist of digging tools and food. My assistant doesn't like where we're heading, but we haven't found anything too interesting in the ruins of the great eastern cities. I'm hoping we find something in the west. Valentine found that confounded Mrs. Shaw found MEDUSA out west, but that led to her death so I'll keep to the mountains of the mid-western wastes. Shaw once showed me a map that highlighted military targets on the continent. I believe that this map led her to MEDUSA so I'm hoping it will lead me to something far more… useful. I heard of a device called NORAD from a man who'd snuck a glance at the Tin Book of Anchorage so I'm hoping to find it on this expedition. I believe the site I'm heading to will house the device. I'm very curious as to what NORAD means. Those blokes really loved acronyms. Northerly Orbital Recon Attack Drone seems likely, but what is a 'Drone' I wonder. Alicia thinks that it's some sort of Stalker but I'm not sure. Perhaps I'll find documents on site to explain the matter.
Oak Island Airship yards- 1 P.T.E. 1:08
We've departed at last. I said farewell to my friend son the island and paid my respects to Mrs. Shaw before we did so. Alicia was all too ready to leave. It seems she has no love for the island, but then again she was raised on a Traction City. She's a year younger than me and wasn't very happy when her city settled down after the war ended. I always thought of Traction Cities as good fun, but they were nothing more than novelties. The Ant-Tractionists weren't on the right track though they were completely against moving cities and even destroyed them. In the end a third-party ended everything with some old-tech weapon they accessed using the Tin Book of Anchorage. After much thought I decided that NORAD is more likely a machine that controls other weapons, but I'm having a hard time coming up with a name for it. National ORbital Attack Designator seems to fit the bill. Perhaps it is a sort of Stalker after all. AT the very least it must have a Stalker Brain wired into it to decide what targets to attack. Perhaps this was the third-party responsible for the orbital attacks. It would certainly have all the information from the Tin Book on hand if it were to coordinate these attacks. If so it may see our attempt to find it as an attack on itself and kill us. Best keep these thoughts to myself for the time being.
En Route- 1 P.T.E. 3:46
Alicia is at the helm and we are out of radio range of anything now. I pondered stargazing to pass the time, but that's fairly difficult when you're moving at moderate speeds. I thought about the machines that will be replacing Airships. They have some difficulty while over water so expeditions to the Dead Continent require heading north over the Ice Wastes. The journey is much longer if you plan to head to the southerly parts of the continent. I rode on one once when they were nothing more than a novelty. I thought it was a horrid device; nothing that would ever catch on. It seems I was severely mistaken. They hum and that's about it. Not the same feel as you get from an Airship or Traction City. They showed us the engines that allowed it to fly and tried to explain it, but it seemed like they didn't even know how it worked. I could have explained to them every detail about my Airship and how my addition to the engine allowed it to run almost infinitely despite not having built the main engine, but they couldn't explain something they'd built by themselves over years. I'd best get some sleep so I'm alert during my turn at the helm tonight.
En Route- 1 P.T.E. 8:47
The dead Continent is beginning to come into view over the horizon and the ghost voices are beginning to come over the radio. Transmissions caught in an infinite loop asking for help in some dead language of beeps used long ago. I turn off the radio so I don't have to listen to them while I fly. They emanate from the areas of cities where men catch mysterious diseases and die of unknown causes. Maps recovered from the Dead Continent are utterly useless now. The continent is so malformed from the 60 Minute War that entire portions of the continent have disappeared beneath the sea. It is very tricky navigating this continent since some areas have caused engines to fail without reason. I once heard a story of a gasbag igniting without cause and taking down the airship. The charts I have on the area have these cursed areas highlighted as to avoid them. Unfortunately much of the center of the continent is excluded from my charts so it'll be trial and error all the way to my destination.
The Dead Continent- P.T.E. 2:56