Steampunk Family

Ulrik Prepares

October 11, 2010
This entry is part of a series, Voyage to Antafrica»

Schöneluft Log, 1900.07.01

Ulrik Manfred Adler, acting Captain

I have made all the preparations I can think of, and checked them over and over again. I told Chef his galley was off limits until we are safely out of China. As it is suspended beneath the dirigible it is more vulnerable to attack. If it is taken or set alight I must not hesitate to jettison it. He was already angry with me for making my own sandwiches, now he is furious. He sulks in the billiard room, preening his mustache and drinking brandy.

I allowed the boiler crew to take shifts flying the Schöneluft, so they are somewhat mollified. I wonder if they have seen combat before. They have been with the von Hedwigs longer than I. Certainly they prepare. They look serious, and have stopped sneering and waving their spanners at me, for now.

I tried to talk to the grandmothers, but they waved me away from their encampment. I stood on the ladder that passes their tents and announced how long before we reach Pekin, and asked them to secure their things in case of turbulence. Mrs. Wei gave me a sharp look, so I bowed and retreated. They are quiet; they mutter. I hope they will stay put. I hope they will not intervene if I must fight their countrymen.

I have assembled what weapons I can find and placed them where I hope they will be useful. For myself, I have no side arm. I have many notes and ideas. I have been tinkering with electricity, of all the ridiculous, far-fetched notions. I realize now I have been playing, building toys! Why must I be so damned clever that I don’t own a pistol?

I have a rifle for hunting and a shotgun for fowling, and I have cleaned and armed them. I have taken a sword that was mounted on the wall of the billiard room. I believe it belonged to Madame von Hedwig’s father. She never speaks of him. I sharpened the blade; it has seen combat. I wonder if he died in the war he carried it in.

This is ridiculous. I have never done anything to harm the Chinese. I am only here for a girl! I wish there were someone on board to speak to. Just to talk out what might happen, and what cannot possibly happen. No one here speaks my language. Despite the hum of preparation, I feel quite alone.

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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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