REMEMBER ME! I write stories too. Although it has been several months. Hope you all are still reading and perhaps I'll get some new readers as well!
She normally wouldn't be the one to keep a diary. But Dr. Busk had insisted that notes should be kept in order to better improve her memory. The brief statements were only a few sentences and usually followed the same template.
Yesterday I remembered...
Therefore today I plan to...
It was normally tedious work that Deryn didn't bother to take seriously however today was different. She sat in her room with the notebook Dr. Busk had given her. The fountain pen was light as air in her hand as she scribbled down her thoughts on the blank page.
Yesterday I remembered that Alek is a prince. His parents are dead and their death caused the start of the Great War. I also recalled that I may have the wee start of feelings for Alek.
Therefore today I plan to ignore my feelings because there is no way I could ever be with a prince.
She sat back and admired her words. As little as it was it was still three times as long as anything else she had wrote. Besides, writing it down made the idea tangible. It was more likely for her to follow her own rules if she wrote them down. Still, the whole thing made her heart plummet a bit and her tummy felt wretched.
Annoyed, Deryn slammed the notebook shut and shoved it beneath her bed. The breakfast bell hadn't rung yet so she figured she had a bit of time before having to report to the mess hall. Perhaps she should go out for a stroll on the deck. Some fresh air would be nice after all.
With a yawn Deryn rose out of her bed and dressed for the day. Her clothes from last night were still soaking wet and she couldn't wear the nightgown Alek had lent her, so she settled on simple trousers and a cotton shirt she had borrowed from Jaspert during their stay in London.
I wonder if I'll see him again soon. She thought to herself. Jaspert may be a terrible clown and a rotten trickster, but she still missed him something fierce. She had barely gotten more than a note about his journeys and that may have been near on a month ago. Like everything else, it was hard to remember exactly. She sighed and brushed her hair out of her face before heading out of her room.
The deck of the Leviathan was pleasantly empty as she made her way starboard to watch the sunrise. The rain had finally ceased and clouds from the storm were fading in the distance. They looked odd next to the pinkish sunrise that was beginning to start up in the east.
Deryn found a railing to perch her elbow upon while she breathed in the cold morning air. They were flying over land now in what was probably northern Italy. Below she could make out snow covered mountains and a few vultures gliding in the morning breeze.
She could have stayed and watched the view for hours but something behind her caused her to start. She turned and realized another person had crept up behind her.
"Blisters!" She swore before nearly jumping out of her boots at the sudden closeness of the stranger. "Sorry, I didn't see you there! You surprised me."
The mad only shrugged at her comment. He was a short fellow, nearly a head shorter than Deryn with a huge moustache and fluffy eyebrows to match. With his bizarre bright blue uniform, red pants and a dented helmet, the man set a strange image aboard the Leviathan where most of the men wore brown or black. She stared at him for much too long but try as she might, she couldn't remember seeing this man before.
"Ummm, I don't mean to be rude, but I don't think I know you." She spoke to him.
Again the man did little more than shrug.
"Are you one of the engineers? I'm afraid my memory's a squick foggy, but if you give me a minute I may remember you. What's your name?"
He twitched his moustache and sniffed. She asked him a few more questions but the fellow still wouldn't say a word. Getting a bit miffed, Deryn stood a tad taller and crossed her arms.
"Well, if you're just goin' to stand they like a ninny, I'm gonna have to report you to my commanding officer."
She pushed him away from her because he was standing awfully close and started walking briskly toward the bridge. If she didn't know better this man was an intruder of some kind. It was strange that he would appear on the airship while they were in the midst of flight but stranger things had happened. Last night for instance was definitely barking strange. She wondered if this stranger had something to do with Alek's short disappearance. The idea made her uneasy and she quickly turned around to get a better look at the man.
"BARKING SPIDERS!" She yelped, for the odd fellow was still right next to her. Even though she had walked nearly thirty feet he had been able to follow her silently without her noticing. Again, he didn't say a word and only twitched his moustache with a bit of a sniff.
"What the hell's the matter with you?" She snapped. But even if the silent stranger was about to talk to her he would have been interrupted by the ringing of the breakfast bell. There was a small stir in the sounds amongst the ship as men began to rise from their rooms and head for the mess hall. Out of habit, Deryn started for the same place. Just like before, the strange man followed her like a ghost. Only this time Deryn watched him do so.
"Now stop there a squick." She said, turning to face him and raising her palm to his face. "Just what is the meaning of this?"
Finally the fellow gave her the tiniest amount of emotion by awarding her with a small grin. A second later he snatched her by her outstretched arm and spun her in a large circle. It was like a quick sickening square dance and Deryn was about to shout at him when she realized he had tripped her over his own leg and sent her sprawling onto ground. She shouted something foul and was about to clobber the little man with her fists when she noticed he was gone.
Stunned, Deryn rubbed her chin for she had smacked it fiercely during her fall. She scanned the area around her but there was no sight of the stranger. Instead, other soldiers were passing her with odd looks on their way to breakfast. A few seemed puzzled by her position on the ground but no one stopped to help her up. Meal times were always a rush and the hungry men weren't going to take up time helping her when there was hot breakfast waiting. Deryn let them all pass her before struggling to get up. It was much more difficult than usual, even without the annoying skirt and when she tried to lift a foot to walk she couldn't.
Her ankles were tied together with what appeared to be wire. Yet it wasn't wire since the string was transparent yet it still retained the strength of a wire or fabricated fiber.
She should have screamed for help but the strange string was wrapped around her arms now and she was being pulled upward. Within the time it took her to swallow down a curse, Deryn was lifted off of the deck and into the air. Almost in seconds she flew above the Leviathan and within such breakneck speed she almost vomited.
Into the clouds she rose, her confined legs dangling in the sky below her, until she finally got the idea to look upward.
There within a mass of clouds, completely hidden to unknown eyes, was a tiny aircraft nearly an eight of the size of the Leviathan. From what Deryn could tell it looked like a Clanker contraption although not like any other she had seen. It was dingy and worn and before she could look at more of the details, or let alone yell for help, she had been yanked into a hatch on the ventral side of the ship. Instantly she was inside a dank chamber with low lighting. The hatch was immediately shut behind her and she was confronted with more strings and ties as well as a gag in the mouth.
She did scream then. That is, she screamed as much as she could through the cloth between her teeth. Her eyes eventually adjusted to the tinny light and she made out a few people around her. There were six of them in all and they all varied drastically in size and appearance. The first person she recognized as the little man with the moustache from before. He was also attached to the strong clear string and must have been pulled into the hatch before her. Currently he was untying himself from the constraints and not giving anyone else a second glance.
Another man with bright golden eyes was beaming at Deryn grotesquely. She could smell him clearly and his ratty clothing seemed to be fouled with black tar and grease. In fact, they all had greasy clothing as she looked around.
The rest were women. A slender dark skinned woman was manning a pulley that Deryn was attached to by the strings. It must have been what they used to pull her up here. There were two blondes that looked almost identical sitting and smiling at Deryn with pretty coy winks and giggles, but the most prominent of the group was a gigantic beast of a lady who was standing almost on top of Deryn. Her neck was thicker than a muscle man's and her hands were the size of turkey legs. Deryn gulped loudly through her gag as the touring woman kneeled down to eyelevel with her.
"Willkommen!" The woman said gruffly. "Die ist der Goblin!"
Deryn recognized the German but that didn't make her any happier. She grunted through her gag but no one seemed to notice her discomfort. Instead they just stared at her.
"Do you think he knows why he's here?" Someone asked. To this there was no response. Deryn was trying to wiggle her way out of her constraints but to no avail. She could feel the thrum of engines beneath her knees as the small ship started to speed away. Whoever these people were they were taking her away from the Leviathan and away from everything she remembered and knew.