Wednesday, 26 October 2016

The Cloud Runner

Back in the mists of time I put together a book of short stories called Alyeskan Tales, a sort of fiction companion for Frozen Skies if you will. One of the stories was called 'The Alyeskan Job' and concerned the crew of a cargo plane called the Grey Bonxie and was intended to be the beginnings of a series that would be called 'Tales of the Grey Bonxie'. Well time moves on and ideas change, prompting a retcon of the original Grey Bonxie idea.

So this week we're meeting the crew of the...

Cloud Runner

First off, tis an airship.

Its an old Rover-class scout airship that saw service during the Great Darmonican War, sold off after the armistice as the Commonwealth's military started winding down after the conflict. Despite being old, its a solid military design that features individually wired gas cells of Lift Gas for built-in redundancy and damage control. It also sports hooks to mount a pair of fighter-reconnaissance aircraft to extend its patrol radius and for self-defence. Propulsion is provided by four engines mounted in nacelles on the sides of the airship, the nacelles also feature 50-cal machine guns to provide extra defence capabilities.

Some point after the War's end the airship was acquired by a certain Artemis Stormwell, who named it the Cloud Runner, was used in a semi-successful career flying cargo all over Alyeska. With small profit margins the Cloud Runner these days features a far smaller crew than she did when she was in military service, likewise she only has a single escort aircraft that doubles up as a small transport plane.

The Crew

Artemis Stormwell - Effectively the Cloud Runner's captain, joined the Commonwealth Air Force during the War and had only just completed flight training when the conflicted ended. He was reduced to a Short Service enlistment as post-war cutbacks began and assigned to the Commonwealth colony of Orduesh where he transport planes over the sands of the Southern Wastes for three years before being demobbed. In an attempt to keep flying he went to Alyeska and signed on with the Aerial Corps, acquiring the Cloud Runner a short time afterwards.

James Midnightte - Served with the Royal Aero-Marines for a fair number of years and saw action during the War, though he is a quiet and reserved man who doesn't speak much of his time with the Rams (though he has stated that he was a sergeant). He has best been described as "an honourable man who's found himself stuck in a hive of thieves and cut-throats", though he remains loyal to Stormwell after rescuing him from a bar brawl (though is unaware said bar brawl was started by the latter cheating at a game of cards). Onboard the Cloud Runner he serves as a de facto First Mate and as an air gunner.

Gervase - The Cloud Runner's other air gunner and another former military man, believed to have served in the army as either a quartermaster or driver but little else is known beyond that. Has proven to be a good getaway driver, but is less than trustworthy and has bit of a drinking problem.

Kaya - The sole female member of the crew and the airship's mechanic, a very highly skilled mechanic capable of fixing almost anything with a few choice words and a whack or two with a spanner. She hasn't revealed her surname, though its believed that she had bit of a sheltered upbringing and is a bit naive about the ways of the world. Both Stormwell and Midnightte keep a close eye on her whenever she comes out drinking with the crew, especially after Gervase has a few drinks inside of him.

Nate Rawlons - Nate Rawlons is the best fighter ace in all of Darmonica, least that what he tells everyone he meets. Stormwell considers him a 'deranged, hot shot kid' whom the Aerial Corps forced upon him and wants shot of the young pilot. One thing for certain is that he is full of energy, but his state of mind is questionable at best as he seems slightly of phase with everyone else. Nate is suppose to fly the Cloud Runner's escort, a Drake heavy fighter converted to be a small armed transport, though Stormwell usually flies this aircraft and makes Nate man the rear turret.

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