The Fury broke through the bank of smog which surrounded New Babbage, wispy trails of vapour trailing from the engines. The ship was an imposing sight, a decommissioned battle cruiser with stout armour, an enormous swivelling front cannon and a full compliment of smaller side guns. Domino had “acquired” the ship about six months before, having snuck into the records office of a naval base and changed the scrapyard address the old bird was to be delivered to her nieces Babbage docks. The ship was a classic, they didn’t make em like that any-more.
Juliana, Domino’s new engineer, poked her slightly plump cheeks, followed by her dirty pink overalls, up from below decks with an excited grin. “I got those new cavorite plates to link up with the rudder captain, the dummies had all the tensions worked out wrong. Should be able to turn twice the speed now and it’ll give you a boost to overall speed too.” she said, bouncing a little, clearly pleased with herself. It’d been her job to make the experimental new drive the old ship had been fitted with actually work. Domino tested the wheel and found it much more responsive.
“nice” she said with a smirk “bout time. bunch of idiots, scrappin a ship like this.”
Juliana smiled and nodded enthusiastically, “Yep!” She patted the hatch “Good old girl has years left in her!”
“mhm” Domino replied.
“Gonna go watch the stress levels.” Juliana said, vanishing back into the bowels of the ship.
Domino smiled to herself. So far Juliana had been a great find. She’d got the ship up and running after half the engine had been scrapped from nothing but the ancient pre-modification plans. Her habit of leaving tools all over the engine room to trip on was annoying the gunner though.
He was a weird sort, Gary the gunner. A wiry, pale man with blond hair and a habit of looking past you as he talked. He was pretty new to crewing ships and didn’t come with any recommendations. Domino wouldn’t have picked him if he hadn’t been the only gunner to answer her ad. She hoped his stick figure body didn’t snap in the breeze.
She narrowed her eyes as she watched Gary move around the ship. He was rearranging the ammunition stores again, stacking and re-stacking, obsessively rearranging as if the exact placement of every bullet and shell was of the utmost importance.
A test, that’s what they needed. Turning away, Domino scanned the horizon with her telescope. She smirked, spotting a small cargo airship to the east, flying diagonally across their path. Her smirk broadened as she focused on the flag, crossed swords and a bird.
“Gary!” she called. “put a warning shot across that ships bow, we’re raidin em!”
Gary swivelled the main gun as Domino flew the ship closer. “now!” Domino called, and a shot cracked through the air, skimming the smaller ship and scuffing the paintwork of the railings.
Domino pulled on a rope, raising a signal flag for “stop your vessel”, then watched as their prey started her engine at full and began to turn, trying to flee.
“fire again Gary, disable em!” called Domino. She watched the ship turn and waited.
The cargo-ship continued turning. “what you playin at Gary!?”
“A moment.” He replied.
Domino turned to look at him, preparing an angry stream of cursing and to take the shot herself, but paused as she saw him making tiny adjustments to his shot. “Gary…”
Gary didn’t answer, or even seem to hear, completely focused on his aim. Suddenly, the deafening crack of the canon shook the Fury beneath them. Domino raised her telescope, just in time to see the shot strike true, catching the ship side on and severing the stern balloon fastenings. The rear of the little cargo vessel hung limply downward, dead in the sky.
Domino turned back to her new gunner with new respect. “not bad. keep em covered while I grab the loot.”
Gary nodded and raised his rifle.
After a very short negotiation, the captain of the cargo ship agreed to hand over his cargo. In exchange, Domino would haul his stern back up so his crew could reattach the balloon and limp into port. She smirked, watching her new crew stow the haul “get it all nice, tidy and secure Gary, got a niece to meet.”