Clara and The Grand Air War Pt. 05

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Warning: Depictions of war and violence.

The sun was setting over the plains of the rural Hallenlands, east of Brinnsmore. As it dipped behind the horizon, the vast landscape slowly rescinded into a blanket of night. It was a cool evening. Callum called his children in for supper. As he waited for them to run up to their cottage he felt like he could see looming shapes in the sky. There was a flash of light, followed by a distant smash. He squinted toward the heavens.

He could now make out massive vessels floating overhead. Smoke and fire wreathed around one of them as the sounds of violence erupted again. “Get inside NOW!” His children ran inside to the faint echo of explosions and screams in the skies over him.

The silence was pierced as Clara heard the sound of thunder again and the earsplitting CRACK as a 12-pounder tore into the bow of The Eridanus. Fractured planks and flinders of wood flew onto the deck. Chief Gunner Dixon dashed to the front with a scope and peered through the wreckage.

“Chief!” First Mate Ellis clamored up behind him. “Can you see their colors in this light?”

“Aye.” Dixon lowered the scope and turned to his superior. “Sir, I recognize one of them. Wish I hadn’t.”

“Out with it!”

“Sir, the bloody Hemelberg.” The looming shape before them bristled with deadly weapons. The ship to the left began to peel away to flank them. “Sir, I think that’s Minnares!”

“The third?”

Dixon focused his glass. “May be the Orkaanjager, Sir! Based on the studding sails, she’s got odd ones.”

“Damn!” Ellis leaped from the forecastle and called for the captain. “Three airships of Jevannus, Sir! One is the Hemelberg and she’s front mounted with 12-pounders we reckon!”

“Blast. The others?”

“The Orkaanjager and Minnares flank Hemelberg, Sir. We’ve got a Gannet-class moving to our port.”

“They’ll tear us to shreds. Signal the Duchess.” The captain followed Ellis starboard and waited until his First Mate was poised with the storm lamp. “Evergreen.”

Ellis fiddled with the metal shade of the lamp in a series of patterns. A lamp on The Duchess’ Arms responded in kind. “Acknowledged captain!”

“Very good, bring us up on my signal,” said the captain. They saluted quickly and Ellis made his rounds to the agents on deck. “Evergreen formation, we’re the top o’the tree,” he said to Agent 23.

Clara was confused. “What’s Evergreen formation, Ma’am?”

“A fancy word for triangle. We’re going to fly over them and hopefully confuse any attempts to flank. Have you thought on my words from earlier, cadet?”

“You are the sword, and I am the shield.”

Agent 23 smiled and got ready to turn on Clara’s gyroscope.

“My lucky crew!” It was the captain, his voice cutting through the chaos of battle preparations. “We have been selected to face one of the deadliest weapons ever crafted by mortals. Before us lay the Hemelberg! In our tongue her name is the Skymountain! How does one conquer a mountain?!” He looked around, half-expectantly. The crew shrugged.

“Erosion,” came a small voice. It was Winni, her face half-obscured by her vertical breasts. “Rain will turn a mountain to sand.”

“Rain, says our ballooner! She’s correct! We SHALL make it rain. With water?” He looked around again.

Dixon perked up. “Quicklime salvos!”

The captain nodded. “I have called you my lucky crew for a reason. Tonight! Fire and iron will RAIN on this mountain! Eridanus and Carrow!!” The crew erupted in a savage echo. “FULL SAIL! Keep them trim!” He walked under the riggers’ stretched arms and regarded the fullness of breast before him. “23, 81! Let’s get some lift, shall we?”

“Aye Captain!” They saluted in tandem and Agent 23 looked around Clara’s breasts to make eye contact with the young woman. “We’re going to push you tonight. Be ready.” She activated the gyroscope.

“Y-Yes, ma’am!” Clara gritted her teeth as the rod shook inside her once more. Her limbless torso hunched and arched in pleasure as she felt the now-familiar swelling in her breasts. To her left, she could hear Winni cry out as well. To her right, Holly sat with her gaze fixed on Melody, her rigger.

“We need altitude, you blasted Lift Crew! Now!”

“Aye sir,” said Agent 23. “Clara we’re taking this one step further.” She placed her hand on Clara’s vulva and felt around, finding the spot. She felt the limbless torso shudder in instant pleasure and began to gently rub back and forth. Her nude body was completely exposed in front of everyone, and it elevated her erotic state.

Clara screamed. Sammy watched her friend’s body undulate and writhe with new stimulation. The tension against her arms increased and she felt them stretch further as Clara’s breasts grew even larger. It was beginning to strain her elastic fingers. “15, Sir! Lashings!!”

Agent 15 nodded and ran past Agent 23 and Clara’s gyrating body. “Lash down the Rigger!! Do it now!!”

Two men leapt at the giant iron ring and coiled rope around Sammy’s stretched out fingers. They worked together to continue casino oyna the coil around her wrists for more support and tied off the rope. “Rigger’s lashed, Sir!”

The Eridanus lifted and corrected course so that she was now above the mighty Duchess’ Arms. They continued starboard until they were above and between her and the Skyhound.

The Eridanus was the smaller of the three airships, and the most vulnerable to a straight volley of cannon. She was, however the most nimble. Blinking lights continued to flash between the three ships.

“Crew!” Captain Savage called out from the aft castle this time. “The Duchess and Skyhound are to make strafe attacks on Hemelberg as we descend on it. After which The Skyhound and we will focus on the ship on our starboard! We believe her to be Minnares! The Duchess’ Arms will take on Orkaanjager!”

Ellis called out, “Orders are out, Captain! Stations READY!”

The Orkaanjager had not prepared for the smaller ship to change tack so quickly, but kept its wide berth. As the six ships neared each other, the two below The Eridanus swerved, one port and one starboard. They fired volleys at Hemelberg with little effect. It’s hull was thick enough that their 18-pounders bounced off.

They were now over the massive airship. “DIXON! Make it rain, lad!” Captain Severe ran to the banister next to Sammy to watch the salvo drop.

Dozens of small containers were unloaded though the gun ports. Sammy watched them fall and was surprised by the heat against her face when they detonated on Hemelberg’s deck. It erupted in flame. The sounds of death and agony rang out from below.

“Disengage gyroscopes! Hard starboard tack!” Clara sighed. She was so close to a mindblowing orgasm. However the ship descended as it changed course. The Eridanus was now behind the imposing Hemelberg. They were at level with her balloons, as musket fire shot up at them.

“Volley,” said the captain.

Ellis took over. “FIRE, LADS! NOW!!”

Port cannons blasted and through the gunsmoke everyone could see the Hemelberg’s balloons implode from the force and flap around loosely in the wind. The massive ship began to lose its lift and listed in the wind. She tipped as she descended, filling the night with horrific screams. Clara barely registered any of it, she was in a wash of post orgasmic mania.

Sammy, on the other hand had a harrowing view of the carnage. The decks of the Hemelberg were a complete inferno from the incendiaries. Its sails were now aflame as well. She watched in horror as the casualties mounted, and yet couldn’t bring herself to turn away from it.

The crew around her shouted in victory. Their captain exchanged words with Ellis who shouted, “Full sail! Dixon, ready cannons!” He continued past the lift crew and had words with the agents and stormed off to scream at someone not tightening a studding sail fast enough.

“Well Cadet, that’s TWO ships you’ve survived now.” Agent 23 sidled up to her with a cloth and wiped the sweat from her nude back. “Next up is the Minnares.”

“What will happen to the Hemelberg, Ma’am?”

“It will fall. They will likely all perish.” Agent 23 could see the conflict in Clara’s face and put a hand on her shoulder. “Them or us. The nature of our times, I’m afraid.”

“Gyroscopes!”

The Eridanus, lit from behind by the falling ruins of the Hemelberg, made for the Minnares, which was in a pitched fight with the Skyhound. Both were firing volleys at each other and the top of Skyhound’s fore mast was teetering, held aloft only by rope. The sounds of splintering wood and shouts of pain and anger could now be heard.

They caught up and had the Minnares in a pincer, with the Skyhound on the opposite side. “Careful lads,” called Ellis. “Don’t want to get our own with this one.” He waited with his arm up. “FIRE!”

The call was repeated further aft and then midships. Flame and smoke erupted starboard as their cannons let loose a volley. Sammy screamed as it pierced her ears, unable to put her hands over them. A few cracks and yells could be heard from the enemy ship. A familiar sound of thunder was the answer. Iron raced across the deck, and for the first time, the Lift Crew saw the carnage of war around them and up close.

A marine next to Julie flew off his feet in a cloud of blood and bounced off the other side of the shop. She shrieked in panic and turned to see a round fly directly over Sammy’s head. Julie barely had the breath to cry out to her.

It was a chain shot, two cannon balls welded together with iron links. They hit Sammy’s left arm which bowed from the impact, the chain spun around and slid until the weight of it pulled her arm low enough that it stopped moving. The heat was almost unbearable. Her right arm was still in place, but her left was almost touching the deck before stretching all the way to the top of the masts. She groaned in pain and clenched her teeth.

Elsewhere on the ship another chain shot ripped through the sails and rigging of the aft mast. The sail billowed loosely in the high winds.

“ELLIS,” canlı casino shouted Severe. “Get that bloody sail under control!”

“Aye Cap’n! Dixon! Continue fire!” A few men followed Ellis to the damaged yard. Another thunderous volley fired from the Eridanus. Sammy was in hell, straining to steady her left arm in spite of the eruptions around her.

Agent 15 called out, “The Skyhound is boarding!” He turned to untangle the chained cannon balls from Sammy’s arm. “Alright, Rowan?” Sammy could only nod.

Captain Severe ran to them. “Boarding party! Bring us close! Prepare yourselves, agents.”

Four of them, including Agent 23, strapped on their battle harnesses, which were loaded with knives, flintlock pistols and ammunition. “Clara,” said Agent 23 in a quiet voice. “I may not return. Be brave for me.” She put on a pair of goggles.

Clara was in the throes of an orgasm and could barely say, “But-But…”

Each of them grabbed crossbows with grappling hooks attached to them. Agent 23 shouted, “Ready? Loose!” The hooks shot across span of sky between the sips and latched on. They tied their ends off on belaying pins in the banister and crawled across, hanging from their hands and knees.

Sammy, now free of the chain shot, could finally think again. “Sir! Are they crazy?”

Agent 15 crouched next to her. “A bit.” He smiled. “The crew of the Minnares would be even crazier to take them on hand-to-hand.”

The firing had stopped on the part of The Eridanus as the crew waited for the agents to safely cross. The Minnares did not cease, however and the crew braced themselves from the onslaught. An agent fell as his line was cut. Agent 15 watched them with a sad expression. Agents 81, 23 and 66 pulled themselves over and opened fire. He couldn’t make out the rest in the dim light of battle.

Sammy’s heart was pounding. She wasn’t able to turn her head enough to see. Instead she gazed at the naked, writhing torso of her limbless friend. “What’s happening, Sir?”

“23, 66 and 81 are aboard. 79 fell.”

Melody, the rigger to the left of Sammy began to weep. Agent 15 remained silent as he watched his colleagues perform their grim duties.

“Cover my right,” said Agent 23.

Agent 66 nodded. She was an imposing woman with fiery hair and scars along her neck and face.

“Fire.” Their flintlocks blasted a couple of Jevians. They dropped the pistols and pulled out two daggers each. They plunged into the melee. 23 ducked as a sabre slashed over her head and struck up, catching her assailant in the neck. 66 ran past her, slammed an elbow into a crewman’s jaw, then threw her dagger into the man behind him. 81 yanked a belaying pin from the banister, loosing the ratlines above him. Jevian crew men were left dangling in the slack netting.

23 saw the dark uniforms of the Skyhound agents, locked in hand-to-hand combat. One of them was about to be attacked from both sides. She strode up behind one of the Jevians and stabbed him from behind, then kneed him off of her dagger. “12, a pleasure.”

Agent 12 caught the wrist of his other attacker with his hand, grabbed the sash along his chest and heaved him around and off the side of the ship. “Ah, Agent 23! About time you showed up!” He grinned from behind his dark, bushy beard.

“Where’s the captain?”

“Below deck. Let’s get four down there. 66! 42! With us! 81, 30! No one comes down!”

Agent 66 bashed the aft hatch open with a powerful kick. 42 lit a wicked ball on an errant fire and tossed it down. It popped and smoke billowed from the open passage. The four of them lowered their goggles and silently entered. 23, the smallest of them went first in a crouched position. There was a moving shape ahead in the smoke. When it coughed, she quickly slashed up where its throat would be. It sputtered and fell. She snapped her fingers and continued forward. They were on the gun deck now and the smoke was clearing. 23 looked back, raised a fist and opened it, then covered her eyes.

42 nodded and clicked a flint and steel device over the wick of another smoke bomb. He bowled it across the floor and it popped. They fanned out, two port, two starboard and continued down the hall. There was a shout in Jevian and a musket fired into the room, straight on. The agents were safely far to each side. 42 loaded a pistol as they crept forward and handed it to 12.

Agent 23 snapped her fingers and slipped into the room. Keeping as low as possible she looked for any sign of the Jevian crew. She crept forward, knowing that her agents were close behind. She spotted a shape and headed that way. It was definitely a person. 23 closed in and dug both knives in his back. His pierced lungs could only summon a gurgle.

She laid him to the floor and yanked her daggers out, then snapped her fingers and kept moving. There was a sudden roar as a beast of a man charged through the thinning smoke. Agent 23 realized she was now visually exposed. His shirtless, hairy body was massive and he wield a large boarding axe. There were men behind him with kaçak casino muskets pointed their way.

Agent 23 dodged to the right, trying to shelter behind a barrel. “Take cov-” The axe sank into her shin. She looked up in horror at the large Jevian’s crazed expression. He lifted it again as a bullet passed through his left temple and out the back of his skull. The smoke cleared further, and both parties were now in clear view of each other.

He blinked and slumped backwards. The Jevian muskets fired on them immediately. They had to reload now. Agent 12 rushed forward. “Attack!!”

Agent 23 dragged herself up against the barrel and hurled a dagger. It sunk into one of the crewmen. The other three agents did the same, and raced forward, slicing into the remaining two.

She looked down at her ruined leg. “Agent 66, assistance please.” She put the grip of her dagger between her teeth. When 66 arrived she pointed to her injury and simply nodded.

With her dagger, 66 sliced the remaining strands of flesh connecting her leg with her shin. She screamed through her clenched teeth. 66 cut the pant leg from the severed limb and fashioned a tourniquet.

23 removed the dagger from her mouth. “Thank you… 66… Let’s keep moving. Agent 42 handed her a Jevian “langeneus,” a long barreled musket. It seemed to make do as a crutch, and she hobbled behind them.

They were in a storeroom now; the shelves here were stocked with sundry goods and supplies. No one was present. 42 jabbed Agent 12 with his elbow and pointed. There was a rug towards the end of the room. The one, single rug they had seen midships. 12 grinned at him. “Blasted captain turned tail and abandoned ship,” he said sarcastically, as he quietly approached. “What a bleedin’ wag!” He pulled back the edge of the rug and saw a seam in the wood; a thumbs up. “Well, guess we better get back to the Skyhound!”

He yanked the rug, quickly pulled on the metal ring and leaned back. Rightly so, a flintlock fired at him and missed. 42 ran up and tossed another smoke bomb into the hatch. It detonated before it hit the ground and acrid clouds issued from the floor. Three more shots fired up at him. He turned and smiled, and jumped in the hole.

There were shouts and bloody screams. All was silent.

66 leaned over the hatch and helped drag the unconscious captain to the floor, then aided 12 back up.

He coughed a couple of times. “Fuckin’ coward. You alright, 23?”

“Fine,” she nodded, leaning on her musket.

“Let’s haul him back then.” Agent 12 helped hoist the captain over 66’s shoulder.

Agent 66 sneered. “KEEL haul ‘im.” Those seemed to be the first words 66 had uttered that day.

They made their way topsides with Agent 23 keeping pace as best she could. She needed to get back on The Eridanus so Surgeon Hariotte could do his work. Agent 81 closed the severed leg up in a bag and tied it to 23’s harness.

Agent 12 shook her hand. “A pleasure as always, 23. Don’t make a habit of that though,” and pointed to her stump and grinned. “Who ELSE is going to be competition for me? Ooof!” Agent 66 dropped the enemy captain on his shoulder and pointed at the Skyhound. “Alright, Alright.”

Agent 23 saluted. “The sea’s blessings.”

“And bless our bleedin’ Carrow.” 12 nodded and the Skyhound’s agents turned to their boarding lines. Port side of The Minnares, 23 gingerly straddled her rope, grabbed it with both hands and spun underneath with her left leg. She kept her right knee pressed against her other thigh to keep them close and tight. Every now and then her wound would graze the rope and she’d stop to concentrate and let the pain subside.

66 made it back before her. “Injured. Boom and hoist,” was all she said. The huge woman turned to give Melody a hug. The fallen Agent 79 had been the young rigger’s minder this whole time. The deck crew fetched a contraption and anchored it against the banister. It was a small crane that could be extended out, with a hand wench. They attached a carabiner to the end and lowered it to Agent 23’s rope. She gladly took it and slapped it on a belt ring. They retracted the wench and slowly hauled her aboard.

“Agents, report,” said Captain Severe.

They saluted. Agent 23 said, “Sir. Objective successfully completed. Crew is dead. Captain in custody of the Skyhound. The Minnares is ours.”

“Excellent work. Tend to your wounds. Change course! West, let’s finish this off!”

Agent 23 was handed a crutch and she limped over to Clara. “I’m back Cadet.” She put her hand on the girl’s shoulder and rubbed it gently.

Clara had tears in her eyes. “I’m glad, Ma’am.” She saw the bloody bag hanging from Agent 23’s harness. “What in the chimney is that? Are you hurt?!”

Agent 23 smirked. “A trophy. I’ll be fine.” Another call came for gyroscopes. “Here we are again, my dear.” She flicked it on, turned and headed below deck.

The Skyhound stayed behind to assign personnel to The Minnares in order to sail their prize home. Meanwhile, The Eridanus made haste to the remaining part of the conflict; The Duchess’ Arms was locked in a firefight with The Orkaanjager. The Duchess was an Albatross-class, making it a large and powerful ship, but the smaller Orkaanjager was able to out-maneuver her.

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