Airships & Alchemy 12.9: Never Alone

6 April, 2014 by katelaity

The Big Splash by Kit Marlowe - 200“So what are we going to call it?” Israel looked complacently at his brother. Apparently he had no concerns about the name and took the dismissal of his suggestion with serene equanimity.

 

—which was just as well because there was no possibility that Edgar would have considered his brother’s suggestions anyway, even if the only one so far had not been idiotic.

 

Someone had to be the brains of every institution. Edgar had known it was he since the two of them were in short pants. His brother never seemed to mind.

 

The other ship was calling out to them again, but Edgar left his brother to the more social aspects of the travel, as usual. At least he was good for something. He rolled the name around in his head a little more to make sure that it was right. And he knew now:

 

Block letters with gold finishing at the edges: Forward Momentum.

 

Edgar’s smile grew broad and a little sinister once more. Then he shook his head. “What?”

 

“They want to know if we want to land somewhere and enjoy a luncheon together.” Israel smiled blandly at him, certain that he would agree. Who would not?

 

“I suppose we must be sociable,” Edgar said with evident reluctance, though he stopped short of sneering.

 

His brother chose to take this as a positive step. “Shall we return where we began or go back to the fields where they took off?”

 

“Does it matter?”

 

“Well, as a matter of convenience so we all end up in the same place—”

 

“Beyond that, is it relevant?” Edgar sighed. “I am indifferent.”

 

Israel raised the horn once more to his lips. “Wherever you like!” he cried and Edgar felt a grimace of revulsion pass across his face as he hated the idea of conceding anything to another. He strode across the gondola and took the horn from his brother.

 

“We shall follow you so we do not get too far ahead.” He smiled grimly, satisfied with his quick thinking. “Loaded down as you are.”

 

He could hear no response, but saw Helen Rochester and her father confer, then wave them on, setting their calling horn down. Apparently they had nothing to add to that, either. Check, my dear Miss Rochester.

 

“I don’t suppose we have anything to add to a luncheon,” Israel mused aloud.

 

“Add to a luncheon?” Edgar frowned. “What are you on about?”

 

“It would be good if we have some of mother’s hot cross buns.” Israel had a far away look in his eyes, as if he were recalling the taste of this lost childhood treat.

 

Madness, Edgar shook his head. “It’s not even the season for hot cross buns and unlike Miss Rochester I don’t think it necessary to drag members of the family along on our triumphant journey.”

 

“Except each other,” Israel pointed out.

 

“Well, obviously that, but only because I can’t run the ship on my own.”

 

Israel’s face fell. “You’d go without me?”

 

Edgar exhaled with blind impatience. “Would you not go alone if you could?”

 

“No, never. It would not be at all fun on my own.” Israel seemed wounded by the suggestion.

 

“I see.”

 

“You wouldn’t want to go without me, not really—would you, Edgar?”

 

“I suppose not.”

 

Israel was cheered at once. “We need to maintain our forward momentum! And as we go on—”

 

“That’s it, by the way.”

 

“That’s what?”

 

“The name!”

 

“As we go on?”

 

“Forward Momentum!”

 

“Oh,” Israel said thoughtfully. “That’s rather good.”

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