The elevators creaked downward and tank by tank the ballast hit the pavement and the airship rose up above the Lionsgate streets. My father had said that it was the place of his first take of and I swore I would make it mine too. And now here I was, on the giant luxury ship Aurora. My grandfather's airship, my father's airship and now mine. I was thrilled.
"Up Ship!" chorused the ground crew as we ascended above Lionsgate city, in route for Sydney, where we would go the short way back to Canada.
"All right ma'am?" I asked a woman who had obviously been expecting something much worse. The Aurora had never had a rough flight. My dad said I didn't even fly rough when the pirates took her over, nineteen years ago. After his expedition into space, aboard the wonderful Starclimber, my father decided to return to Paris and graduate the academy. Now here he was, captain of his very own airship. My father wanted to get me a job as sail maker, but I said I wanted to work my may up, like everybody else in my family. Now here I was, serving fresh croissants. The rich can never get enough of those. I hoped to make lots of friends amongst the other cabin crew. I had already made friends with my dad's friends son, Aaron. His dad Baz was a good friend of my dad and was my dad's roommate aboard the Aurora. He was married to a beautiful woman named Teresa. My dad was the best man.
" Morning Mr. Cruse. How do you like the ship?" asked the chief steward, Mr. Lisbon. He had stuck with the ship since my dad was my age.
"Great sir! She's everything I hoped for." I replied enthusiastically, and he chuckled.
"You are you're father through and through, Tom. He had the same enthusiasm." he told me and now it was my turn to grin. I loved being compared to my dad. I wished I would have the adventures he had.
The smell of baking bread and roasting bacon brought me back to my senses, and so I began to stroll between the tables, taking orders and serving pancakes, pouring orange juice and cleaning spilt milk. I was finally at home.
My mother Kate stayed home with my younger brother and sisters Abigail and Ethan. They had a large house in Lionsgate only a street away from my grandmother's house. Aunt Isabel also lived in Lionsgate where she taught music at a public school on King's Park Boulevard, while Aunt Sylvia worked in a downtown clothing store that sold dresses and suits aplenty.
Finally, at least three hours after the beginning of breakfast, the passengers headed off to the cinema, or the lounge or staterooms. I was left wiping off tables. I couldn't of felt better.
Two Years Later
If I had thought that serving breakfast was the best part of the Aurora, I was wrong. I hadn't been in the crows nest yet. The stars were spread around me, showing me a fantastic view of the skies above. I had never seen this many stars in Lionsgate City, or the moon so bright. But something was wrong. A smell of something burning was crawling up the ladder, and I knew it wasn't baking pastries. Worried voices were echoing through the speaking tube, and running footsteps rang on the corridor below. Throwing the spyglass into the holder, I descended the rungs of the ladder with as much speed as I dared. At the bottom, I stopped a sail maker and asked him what was the matter.
"Prop in the aft starboard engine car went wild, cut through a cable, which began to spark and is going to ignite the Aruba fuel, which could spread across the entire ship." he sounded extremely worried. Then he ran off in the direction of the car. I followed.
Crew were gathered around the engine car, but none could go in, it was to dangerous. My dad was there too and I knew that he was thinking of some fantastic plan to get us through this.
"Dad!" I called. " What are we going to do?" He looked troubled when he answered.
"Somebody is going to have to enter the engine car and kill the master switch. Problem is, it's way to dangerous to sent someone in their. Plus, I doubt anybody could move around in their quickly, it's too small. Everybody except…" And he looked right at me.
" I'll do it Dad!" I told him, but he just smiled.
" It's to risky." he replied.
" You swung on the davit arm and into that balloon gondola! I can step into the engine car and flick a switch!' I replied. " You can trust me!"
" All right. But you be careful and don't stop for anything in that car." he said sternly.
Moments later I was climbing down the ladder and into the engine car. The prop was gone and a pool of Aruba fuel had filled up to my knees. I waded my way over, looking for the master switch. With a start, I realised it was submerged in fuel. How would I get to it?
A loud snapping sound made me look up and see a severed cable, dangling feet from the surface of the fuel. I had to act quick before the hinge broke and it plunged into the engine car. Aruba Fuel was extremely flammable. Now how to get to that switch?
Another crack, and then a splash. I looked up and saw that a screw had came of the hinge, leaving it hanging their by only one loose screw. I looked franticly around for something to hit that switch.
"Crack!" I had to act fast. Then I saw it. A long pipe, hanging loosely from the roof of the car. It must have connected the prop to the car. I pulled franticly at it, praying for it to give way.
" Come On!" I shouted, as the cable cracked yet again. Finally the pipe came loose. Brandishing it like a sword, I swung at the switch. The pipe made impact literally a split second before the cable made one final crack and came off the hinge, splashing in the water. It took about a minute for my voice to return.
" I'm ok!" I shouted up to the crew, and I heard them let out a loud cheer.
Minutes later, I was dripping Aruba fuel onto the catwalk as I told the crew exactly what had happened. When I was done, I went back up to my bunk and changed out of my fuel soaked clothes.
" What happened?" Aaron asked but I just replied. " A lot man. I'll tell you in the morning."