That was the only word Georgette could think of to describe the mountain of a man standing before her. The blacksmith-turned-airship-captain was a disfigured hulk, made all the more repulsive by the stub that was all that remained of his left arm.

But she had to admit that the man had talent commanding a crew. Especially when they were trying to outrun one of the fastest trains in the Northern Territory.

“What’re you gawping at, lass?” he barked. “Back to it. No time for woolgathering!”

Georgette turned her attention back to feeding the furnace, reaching up periodically to wipe the smoky haze from her goggles.

They were running way hotter than normal, and she just hoped that the airship’s envelope wasn’t glowing too much as a result of the overtaxed engines.

We’re dead if anyone on that train spots us, she thought. We’re most likely dead, anyway, even if we get there before they do. She was surprised the volatile gas above them hadn’t already ignited.

Maybe we’ll get lucky.


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