Monday, October 7, 2013

Day Five-Forty-Six: Welcome home... again

Huh. I… did not expect that. Maybe I haven't been paying enough attention to the map…?

After the drama of last week's surprise reveal that my son is as brown as an appropriately-coloured donut, the Dauphine has settled down. We're still running into a lot of technical troubles from the stupid gear flies, and even with Libby back on the maintenance team our transport's been operating at half steam. I'd expected us to reach the border by now, but, noooooot yet.

We have run into something else, though. Something unexpected. Something… less-than-optimal. It's not as bad as last time, since I've kind of buried the hatchet with its most infamous of residents, but… still. Less-than-optimal, says I.

I was fidgeting with a gear box, Libby barking over my shoulder, when we got the call from above, echoing through the Dauphine on a loudspeaker. "SETTLEMENT HO!" Both of us jumped to our feet and ran for Command -

- and when we got there, we were staring at a large, wooden wall, rising out of the plains in the distance. I recognized it at once.

"Villeinville?" I yelled, running for the nearest map I could find. "Villeinville?! The hell? We shouldn't be anywhere near here! I thought we were going straight for the border!"

Plato, standing by a window with his own map, looked at me and shrugged. So much for our fantastic navigator.

The Dauphine pulled to a stop near the front gates of the town, which, after our stop in Vacia two weeks ago, I was glad to still see manned. Derby the Lookout, just as old as last time, was dancing about atop the walls, caught in a crazed conniption. He brandished a spear in our direction, screaming unheard words towards the tower where Lord Cannonbottom lives. I imagine he got through, too, because moments later a cannonball whizzed by Command, narrowly missing the ring of windows.

"WHOA!" I grabbed a nearby comm tube, hoping it led to Dana, and screamed into it. "REVERSE! REVERSE! GET US OUT OF HERE!"

The first cannonball was not the last. Soon the full might of Cannonbottom's tower (twenty cannons, no small amount) was unleashed on us, a slew of iron balls ripping through the Dauphine's hull and tearing the hell out of the lower decks. I had to fight the urge not to fire back as the Dauphine slowly lurched across the plains, away from Villeinville and off to a safe distance where the cannonfire could no longer reach us.

We've been checking the damage for the last three hours. The Dauphine wouldn't be so badly off, but a cannonball managed to take a HUGE chunk out of one of the portside wheels (I think it's portside - port is right, right?) and it needs extensive repairs. A full replacement wheel would be better, says Libby, but she hasn't had the time to make any. Nuts.

The Dauphine is dead in the water for now. The maintenance crew is going to spend a few days fixing the wheel, patching up the holes, and repairing the parts of Engineering that got gutted by projectiles. In the meantime… well, in the meantime, I have to find a way to approach Villeinville without getting blasted.

Stupid Cannonbottom.


Dragomir the Wanderer

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