Steampunk Family

Over the Gobi

September 12, 2010
This entry is part of a series, Voyage to Antafrica»

Schöneluft Log, 1900.06.27
Ulrik Manfred Adler, acting Captain
39.663, 108.09, traveling west northwest at 45 knots

Over the Gobi today. The desolation suits my mood, miles of bleak red sand slashed by the thin gleam of the Trans-Siberian rail. The boiler crew played a melancholy concert last night, to repay my recent efforts. I think it was Kabuki, or perhaps Noh. I do not have much experience with the music of the Japanese theatre. It was interesting, if somewhat painful, and sufficed to distract me from less immediate troubles for a time. So different from the music I love and study. Their harmonies sound dissonant to me; what must my Mozart sound like to them? Bland, soporific, dissonant? And still music communicates across language, across culture, across species, not only speaking to how different we are, but that each culture, and each man must make sense of the world in which he travels.

I saw an airship far in the northern distance this evening. Though it was many miles away I detected flashes of light and a cloud of movement surrounding it. I could not see the shape or markings to determine which Khan’s ship it was, but the cloud of movement must have been War Wings. It is the first time I have seen the Mongol.

Mongol air pirates were the villains in half the books I read as a boy. I daydreamed of fighting them, of brave and reckless battles. Now I am responsible for my master’s ship. I am alone in the sky with a handful of monkeys and a French Chef. I did not spare our engines, for I have no desire to meet these raiders without the Prussian Airborne Infantry behind me, or at least Herr von Hedwig.

We shall run dark tonight in case there are other raiders about. If I must sleep I will set volunteers from the boiler crew to watch. They think their eyesight is better than it is, so I will set out the telescope and other far-seeing devices, even my own monocular. Although none of them will admit to poor eyesight, neither can they resist gadgetry.

Photo by Junming

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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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