Makings of a SteamPunk

“This isn’t the last you’ve heard from me, Flint,” Mr. Covalence says as he raises his hands above his head.  “It’s not over.”

“It never is,” says Osiris Flint with a sigh.  A pair of copper manacles dangle from Flint’s right hand.  In his left is a snub-nosed revolver.  He casually steps over the unconscious form of one of Mr. Covalence’s hired muscle, and advances towards Covalence himself.

Mr. Covalence’s hands lower slightly, “I should, however, warn you that this dirigible has a… for lack of a better term… a dead man’s trigger.  And once I have flipped the switch, there is only a matter of seconds before the hydrogen keeping us aloft ignites.”

Flint pauses.  He has heard threats like this before.  Not only from Covalence, but from other foes, like Steam Boy or The Robber Baron.  What makes him pause is the knowledge that the threats are not always idle.  “What switch, Covalence?  I don’t see any form of toggle on the console.  There’s the altimeter and the pressure gauge, the compass and that’s the thrust.  Nowhere do I see a toggle.”  Flint continues towards his quarry.

Mr. Covalence straightens his bowtie, sets his bowler squarely atop his head, and adjusts the lapels of his suit coat.  He then pounds the gold-capped base of his cane onto the wooden floor of the control room.  There is a gaseous hiss as the cane’s base sinks through the floorboards.  “Oh, you’ll have to pardon me.  It was a button, and not a switch.”

Flint lunges at Covalence, but he is one step too slow.  Covalence’s cane slices through the air and catches Flint across the arms, causing him to lose his grip on both the gun and the manacles.  As Flint stumbles and tries to recover his firearm, Covalence flees in a swirl of cape.  He stands at the control room’s door, strapping himself into what looks like a metal cylinder with a rod on each side that loops around to Covalence’s chest.  He looks back to Flint: “I do wish you luck Osiris.  It would be a shame if you were to go up with the airship, and, as such, I have left you a parachute.” He points to the corner of the room farthest from the door.  In the corner is a small canvas pack.  Covalence opens the door and leaps out into the starry night sky.  As he falls towards the city and the open water of the bay below him, he grabs hold of the rods and twists his fists.  A great flare erupts from the bottom of the metal cylinder and Covalence rockets out of sight, his trail being lost among the stars in the sky.

Inside the dirigible’s control room, Osiris Flint scrambles to his feet and hurriedly grabs the parachute in the corner of the room.  Without pausing to pull the straps over his shoulder, Flint leaps through the control room’s door.  Pulling his arms tight to his chest, Flint plummets towards the black water of the bay.  Above him, and reflected on the water below him, the night sky fills with an enormous bloom of fire as the dirigible’s hydrogen ignites.  The boom assails his ears moments later.  Then the heat and concussive force of the blast pound against Flint’s back, causing him to tumble and roll through the air.  He fears opening the ‘chute, if there is even a parachute to open, too close to the exploding and descending dirigible.  But if he waits too long, he knows he’ll either snap his neck from trying to stop the speed of his fall, or he’ll crash into the surface of the water

“Damned if I do, damned if I don’t,” Flint mutters and pulls the parachute’s ripcord.

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