Nine hours ago, Amos DeVile was laughing heartily with a pretty young strumpet giggling and wiggling on his lap. Amos was a tall man, well muscled and square jawed with golden skin and hair from several years of hard work at sea. His blue eyes danced with a rebellious and arrogant flame, and his girl considered him a resonable customer for the evening. In an attempt to be both charming and impressive to the harlot, he had made the case that any sea pirate worth his salt could man a sky vessel with ease. This was an offense taken by a nearby and equally drunken sky captain who meant to kill Amos for the transgression- or at very least make a display of his prowess for his also employed female companion. This lead to the two men fighting, Amos being half his age and half as intoxicated, won with surprisingly little effort.
After an hour with his lady, and a considerable amount more rum, Amos concluded his victory celebrations by commandeering the sky captain’s vessel.
Women and booze, he thought, gonna be the death of me.
It was a calm, clear night when he had heisted the small airship and it had seemed a good bit of fun. That was before the storm. Now, ice and rain drove into his skin like shards of glass. He was used to the cold cruelty of his Lady the Sea but had not anticipated such vengeance from the sky. The wind pulled the stolen airship in every direction but the one he intended and he had thrown the compass and altimeter over the side ages ago. He was too drunk to read them anyway. He busied himself with standing upright and not falling over the edge of the damned ship -and keeping his pants on (having left his belt with his pretty companion in his race to settle the score).
It was also, of course, terribly important that he not spill the rum.
The wind continued to thrash the airship mercilessly and Amos sang songs and dared the sky to claim him. He was helpless to do anything but wait out the storm as the vessel thrashed and spun in the wind and rain. At times the stress of the storm caused the hull to moan and crack and Amos feared she would breach in the sky. He was beginning to accept this as his last voyage and he would be damned if he would go out any way but smiling.
After finishing the rum -and finding no more aboard his stolen rig- the despair and humiliation at being lost to the sky took hold and he threw the bottle hard with the wind and screamed his rage into the night.
However, after a moment he was shocked to hear what sounded like glass shattering. He had assumed himself miles over land and surrounded by empty sky. But if the bottle had hit something… his mind sobered enough to understand that he was being given a chance and he wasted no time.
He had no idea how to land an airship, or how to call for the aid of another ship if it were close at hand- but he did have an apparatus that looked like a harpoon at the hilt and an anchor at the muzzle… and enough rope to give him hope. He raced to secure the thing into what he assumed to be the trunnion. Now if he could just hold the massive weapon stable enough to hit whatever was hidden by the storm. Blindly he steadied the gigantic barrel, aimed it into the sky, exhaled deeply and said a silent prayer: If this works, I will be a changed man.
With shaking hands he pulled off the trigger and with his breath caught in his throat, he waited. Moments later he felt the ship lurch abruptly and the entire vessel moaned and creaked as it jolted to a halt. With no idea what he had tethered himself to, Amos DeVile felt a wash of relief . The airship was finally stable. He tested the security of the rope, hoped it would hold and felt his drunken body sway: wet, frozen and relieved. Amos took a step toward the railing hoping to glimpse whatever it was that he had managed to spear his fate to- but his pants had fallen down around his ankles and unaware, Amos fell face first onto the deck.
A single flash of green lightning lit the laughing sky.