Steampunk Family

Fighting the Yeti

January 22, 2010
This entry is part of a series, Voyage to Antafrica»
The Man and the Beast by iAes

The Man and the Beast by iAes

While Adolphus steered them towards the cave, Claire confronted Annabelle in hissing whispers, pointing, horrified, at Mirabelle, who had her hands deep in the fur of the yeti’s neck.

“It’s going to EAT her!”

“It’ll be sorry if it does.” Annabelle would not take her eyes off the Yeti, even to argue. Her mouth was set in a grim line.

“We’ve got to stop her!”

“Don’t make any sudden moves! You’ll get her eaten for sure.”

“What is she doing?”

“If you’ve made a weapon there, get ready to use it,” was Annabelle’s reply.

Adolphus spun the wheel, yanking the little ship into a sharp turn, heading for the yawning blackness ahead.

“Light!” shouted the Count. “Where is there light?”

“I don’t know, it’s not my ship.” Adolphus said. “Look for yourself, why don’t you!”

The kidnapper swatted at him, but he ducked out of reach. He scanned the controls, looking for a light switch. He didn’t like the look of the cave. The mouth of it was huge, more than big enough for the launch, but from their approach he could see no floor to it.

The sun was setting behind the western peaks, leaving the valley floor, where poor Ulrik and the boiler crew were marooned, already in darkness. High above them the fading sunlight shone pale on the wild, snowy cliffs without brightening the cave at all. It yawned black and menacing before them.

“What is this one?” The Count reached out and pushed a lever forward. Adolphus shouted “No!” and threw himself at the lever, but it was too late. The engines surged; the ship leapt forward, and darted into the cave. With a terrible grinding sound the net of gas balloons strained against the top of the cave mouth. With a tremendous POP POP POP, three of the balloons exploded, and the launch dropped.

Adolphus and the Count were thrown to the floor. Claire and Annabelle were thrown to the floor. Bettina was thrown to the floor, but not at all hurt, because she was so close to it already. Gerhardt and Mirabelle were thrown to the floor, which hurt Mirabelle because she was so far from it, and Gerhardt because his sister fell on top of him. Most of all, it hurt the yeti, because the handful of moss she clutched was ripped off his head as she fell.

As Mirabelle fell, she tore away a patch of moss larger than Father’s hand. The creature’s neck glistened with fresh blood. It roared louder than the engines and dropped to a fighting crouch. Its eyes darted around the ship. It grabbed Gerhardt in one paw and Mirabelle in the other. It peered into their faces and dropped them again. It lunged towards Annabelle and Claire, then discarded them as well.

The yeti spun round, spied Montesanto and sprung. In a leap it landed by the fallen kidnapper and picked him up in one mighty paw.

Adolphus pulled himself up, and pushed the lever back. The engines cut off, and the murderous yeti now roared alone. The ship stopped with a crunch, as it found the cave floor.

Montesanto screamed in terror. The beast threw him onto the control console. Sparks flared from the instruments. The ship shuddered, and tilted starboard. The yeti yanked the Count up to its face and shook him. Montesanto’s screaming had stopped, and he hung limp from the creature’s paws.

Though fixed in horror by the violence before him, Adolphus had been raised on an airship, where uncontained fire was a constant danger. Without thinking, he pulled off his parka and beat the console with it.

“Engines!” shouted Claire. “I don’t hear engines!” She scrambled and slid across the tilting deck, trying to reach the controls.

“We’re sliding!” Annabelle said.

The cave floor was steep, and the launch slid further into the cave with a hideous scraping sound. It stopped abruptly, caught on a stalagmite.

Adolphus tumbled into the yeti. It staggered, and flung the Count to the floor. Then it trained its dark eyes on Adolphus, reached down with a shaggy arm, and grabbed the boy around the neck.

Before it could even lift him, the yeti was pelted with machine parts and broken furniture. The twins were throwing as fast and hard as they could.

Trebuchet!” Claire pointed from the floor, and Gerhardt manned the miniature siege weapon.

The yeti dropped Adolphus and started toward the twins and Bettina, who was scrambling about behind them finding them ammunition.

“Fire! the twins shouted.

“Only one shot.” Gerhardt lined up the shot, studying the device, trying to determine the proper trajectory.

“Fire now!” the twins screamed as the howling creature advanced.

Gerhardt pulled the release pin. The chair arm lever swung around. The ammunition launched into the air. For the longest second of their lives, the children watched it soar. It hit the yeti right between the eyes.

“Huzzah!” the children shouted.

The yeti staggered back, shook its head, and took another step towards them.

“Aaaaaaahhhhhh!!” the children screamed.



This story began with On Grandmothers. The previous episode is Fighting the Count and the next is Falling.
Entries in this series:
  1. On Grandmothers
  2. With A Bang!
  3. In Search of Ancient Angiosperms
  4. Assault on the Galley
  5. The Sorrows of Chef
  6. Faeries, Helpful Siblings, and other Mythological Creatures
  7. Meanwhile, Back in the Lab
  8. A Day of Discovery
  9. The Children’s Hypothesis
  10. A Research Date
  11. Aboard the Schmetterling
  12. The Cave
  13. The Cage
  14. Knee of the Yeti
  15. Kidnapped!
  16. A Clue
  17. The Yeti and the Comb
  18. Fighting the Count
  19. Fighting the Yeti
  20. Falling
  21. Breadcrumbs
  22. The Search is On
  23. Flight to Saigon
  24. On the Streets of Saigon
  25. The Sad Man
  26. At the Grandiere Club Aeronautique
  27. If you Give a Count a Cookie
  28. Out of Cookies
  29. Stuck!
  30. Airships Float?
  31. Where is Claire?
  32. Drowning
  33. Into the Drink!
  34. Boat!
  35. Mushroom Trip
  36. Ambush
  37. The Variegated Strangler
  38. In a Strange Land
  39. Hand over Hand
  40. The Last of the Gouda
  41. An Unusual Breakfast
  42. Downstream
  43. What's for Dinner?
  44. Axe and Fire
  45. Meanwhile, Back at the Airship
  46. Over the Gobi
  47. Return of the Grandmothers
  48. Warning from Huang
  49. Anxious Hours
  50. Ulrik Prepares
  51. Destruction by Dawn
  52. Finding Philomena
  53. No Luck in Pekin
  54. The Children Rescue...Something
  55. Corndog Liberation
  56. The Fate of Corndogs
  57. Have you Tea?
  58. Antafrican Hosptitality
  59. Onion Porridge
  60. Homesick
  61. On the Hunt
  62. Farm Living
  63. Singing for Supper
  64. You Say Potato...
  65. Curiosity is the Foundation of Discovery
  66. An Awkward Position
  67. Trouble Comes Riding
  68. Capsicum Capture
  69. To the Palace
  70. The Death of the Lincoln
  71. War Wings
  72. A Long Way Down
  73. Enter the Lightning
  74. Before the Queen
  75. You are a Tomato!
  76. A Sunken Ship
  77. Eglantine Aubergine
  78. Children of the Soil
  79. At Night in the Nightshade Court
  80. At Night in the Nightshade Court
  81. At Night in the Nightshade Court
  82. The Price of Popcorn
  83. Ulrik and Chef
  84. Fire!
  85. Claire's Bluff
  86. Tomato Queen and Aubergine
  87. It's Going to Blow!
  88. Rhodri in the Gardens
  89. The Servant's Fountain
  90. History Revealed
  91. Fight at the Fountain
  92. Repercussions
  93. Father Discovers the Yeti
  94. Aboard the Lucy Stone
  95. Summoned
  96. The Queen's Accusation
  97. The Queen's Rage
  98. The Khan
  99. The Last War Wing
  100. Eglantine Departs
  101. Thumping Rhodri
  102. Bad News from the Boys
  103. Where's the Count?
  104. In Search of the Count
  105. Spying on the Queen
  106. Confronting the Count
  107. Orphaned?
  108. Orphaned?
  109. Montesanto's Experiments
  110. Montesanto's Experiments
  111. The Queen's Tantrum
  112. Bettina's Tantrum
  113. The Flaming Queen
  114. Uprising!
  115. Uprising!
  116. Escape
  117. On the Run
  118. The Mysterious Coach
  119. Red Racer!
  120. Revolution Reset
  121. By the Acid Sea
  122. Farewell Antafrica
  123. Home Again!
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