It seems that after we dock and resupply this afternoon, we shall immediately be launching back into the air to go to Reliance, Madison! As of yesterday, the plan was that I was to be put on a train in the town where we are docking, which I believe is called Greenburg or Some-other-colour-burg, and sent to Reliance that way. So why would Captain Winters and his crew need to accompany me there personally? He was polite when he informed me of the previous plan, certainly, but I could tell everyone was rather eager to get rid of me. I suppose I cannot blame them, as I must be rather a nuisance. I know I am, and have tried to be good, but it is just so terribly exciting, being on the Grand Tourbillion and amongst the people who helped win the war! None of them are very eager to talk about it, but I have got snippets here and there.
Of course, half of the crew is different than that which bombed Brittania’s parliament and attacked the secret base of the main generals leading their side, since that was all nearly two decades ago. However, whether by association, or their own heroic acts, or a combination of both, the “new” crew members (some of whom have been aboard nearly as long as the originals) have the same place in the hearts of the public as those who won the war.
Oh, we have started our descent. I am afraid it has made me a little air-sick, so I shall conclude for now and continue later.
We have once again gained the proper altitude and are humming along nicely toward Reliance. I was not allowed off the ship in Orangeburg (what a funny name for a town!) but I was rather glad of it, as the experience of my last solo jaunt into a city was all too fresh in my mind. I did, however, go up on deck to watch the business going on below on the ground.
The airship field was at the edge of town, and not terribly busy in the middle of the afternoon on a weekday. The passenger ships had one area, the cargo ships another, and everything else (including us) was allotted a third portion. Since we are a government ship, we were actually allowed priority for things like refueling, emptying and refilling the water tanks, and having some men from the airship field look us over inside and out, as a sort of check-up. Part of the crew went into town for specific items, and others supervised the loading of things that were in warehouses just next to the airship field: food, water, beer, coffee, toiletry items, and so on. Great cranes were swinging about, lifting big crates onto ships and taking them off. A number of dogs were running around and getting in the way, though I do not know if they were strays or if they belonged to the men who ran the field.
We were only there about an hour and a half, then I was sent to Captain Winters’ cabin so the crew could prepare the ship for departure. I felt a little airsick as we climbed up into the sky, but I am better now.
Oh yes! I was going to describe the ship. It is laid out very like the Royal Erebos, in that the cabins and galley are at the stern of the ship with the wheels at the bow, a level below the deck for the crew, and a level below that for storage. The Tourbillion is painted all white, with three blue stars clustered in the upper left corner on each side, just like the Amerigonian flag. The balloon from which the ship is suspended is, of course, silver in colour. How strange to be spending several days aboard a ship I have seen all over on posters and in books!
Evening now. I just spent a long time looking out the window at the passing clouds, and feeling sorry for myself. I am lonely here. It is terribly exciting, being on such a historically-important ship with such historically-important people, but it is not quite as I thought it would be. I seem to be in the way all the time, and so I am shut up in this cabin more often than not. Out of habit, I suppose, I have begun strolling the ship morning and evening, as I used to do on the Erebos. (I must not let myself think of Zebediah. And I will not cry.)
There, it is too late. Several tears have already blurred the ink on this page. It is ridiculous to miss a murdering pirate, though I can tell myself that all I want and it still does not change my feelings. What is the matter with me? Miss P___ called moods such as this “pity parties,” and after she sat and consoled me, or whichever of the girls was feeling down, for a time, she would send us off to do something useful, claiming that the best cure for a “poor me” attitude was to prove to ourselves that we were valuable young women. (Usually by cleaning the water closet or mopping the dormitory floor or washing all the windows. I don’t know about the other girls, but it didn’t make me feel terribly valuable. Although it did get my mind off things for a while.) Perhaps I should follow her advice and straighten up the cabin a bit. I have been too afraid (and awed) to touch anything here, but I could certainly take a dust rag to the surfaces, shake the rugs, and neaten the books. Yes, I think I shall. And it will be a nice surprise for Captain Winters when next he enters his cabin.