My Defiance

Jim Stitzel

I dabble a little in a lot of things — writing, webcomics, gaming, photography, web design, music, and more. I’m a full-time code-wrangler with far, far too much to do.


It soared out of midnight, all gas envelope and aerosolized Nightmare, propelled by only God knows what. It carried a tiny bomber bay, loaded with a lethality that would have made any nation quake to its roots, if any knew it existed.

The airship was black as night and quiet as death. It harbored no pilot, guided only by an intricate clockwork array designed to get the ship from Point A to Point B. No living navigator could have survived such close proximity to the payload for the duration of the voyage.

And so the vessel sailed on, unheeded and unnoticed.

Until...

A klaxon sang out somewhere far below. Spotlights lit the night, sweeping the sky for a target. One swept past the airship -- then back. Others joined it, until the whole thing was lit from the ground.

The beam of one light narrowed, focusing on the bay, searching for... something.

There! A name.

My Defiance.

A question as much as an answer, neither of which would ever be known. The torpedo doors opened, and death fell from the sky.


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Comments (9 so far!)

Average reader rating 5.00/5

ElshaHawk LoA

ElshaHawk LoA

Deadly dirigibles...war in a steampunk world.

Plenty of questions here regarding the name of the ship and the world in which it floats. The tone of this piece is even and cool, though, not panicked, and not a lot of steampunk details. It could almost be a drone of the modern day. Steampunk drones is a neat idea..since they had radio, why not?

  • Posted 3 months ago
HSAR

HSAR

Ah! A continuation of a series I thought missing.

  • Posted 3 months ago
Jim Stitzel

Jim Stitzel

You have my son to thank for this one, HSAR. He threw a bit of defiance at me last night when I was trying to get the kids to settle down into bed, and the title phrase just popped into my head. From there it was a short trip back to that world of airships and Nightmare.

  • Posted 3 months ago
Jae

Jae

It's comforting as I dig through this site to find storylines that have crossed over from Ficly. Mind linking the others so I can have the context for this one?

  • Posted 3 months ago
Jim Stitzel

Jim Stitzel

For me, this piece certainly ties in with the arc that begins here: http://ficly.com/stories/19651. Whether it's a prequel, sequel, or a parallel story, I haven't quite decided just yet.

The Nightmare plot point was something I borrowed from the extensive Airships series, and I can't rightly tell you where that series begins. You'll have to dig some digging in Ficly's archives on your own to locate that one.

  • Posted 3 months ago
HSAR

HSAR

The Steampunk Worldbuilding project has spawned a number of series over a long period of time, so I don't blame Jim for having lost track of it a little.

In-universe by timeline, it starts with the Gunfire series on Ficlatte.

https://ficlatte.com/stories/40067/

It proceeds to a much larger and longer series, and the only complete one to date, Airships:

http://ficly.com/stories/31023

Running roughly in parallel to Airships is a companion series, Messenger:

http://ficly.com/stories/32197

Some years and a war later, we find a much-aged captain trying to navigate his way between new frontlines.

http://ficly.com/stories/25690

Miscellaneous notes and other such things are here:

https://ficlysteampunk.wordpress.com/

  • Posted 3 months ago
Jae

Jae

Ah, I remember the Airships series. Never read it exhaustively, but I would dip in on occasion. Thanks for the links!

  • Posted 3 months ago
ethelthefrog

ethelthefrog

Absolutely love this.

  • Posted 3 months ago
  • 5 out of 5
TheCheshireChris

TheCheshireChris

You had me at "airship" and "guided only by an intricate clockwork array" :-D

  • Posted 2 months ago

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  • Published 3 months ago and featured 3 months ago.
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