A wicked black thing, blowing grey smoke, screams through fluffy white clouds. Blobs of muscle move along the deck. The glint of sun on sharp metal and the chant of a war song announce intent.
It’s the Rever. An orc run skyship known for dealing out death.
The reason for never taking shortcuts.
The old dwarf at the wheel of the Merrey Merry Alle curses. He is captain. The vessel has been in his family for thousands of years.
It comes manned with dozens of gnomes. Tinkerers. The constantly overly busy.
It’s kind of funny this thing that works so perfect filled with beings who scramble to keep up with themselves.
Fifty little people with large tufts of hair in many shades of lime and pink and sky-blue. They all wear goggles. Dark-glassed goggles. Maybe too dark. They trip and fall about on the deck. The miraculous thing is they never fall overboard. Maybe it’s magic. Maybe there is a thing at play that keeps the men and women who call the ship home all on board. Maybe it’s the same system that erases their attempts to fix or modify the ancient engineering.
One male with fuchsia hair and a mustache that dangles to his thickly padded knees unties a knot because he knows a better way. When he walks away the knot reties itself back the way it was.
A chubby female has engineered a new exhaust system through the decking. she tightens the last blot and tugs on a tie down, turns and the whole contraption falls down replaced with a never destroyed deck.
This type of endeavor never stops.
Constant meaningless tinkering.
The old dwarf has gotten used to it. maybe if he hadn’t watched his father and grandfather deal with the gnomes in a passive way he would be more inclined to get upset.
And now he needs them to man their stations and prepare for battle.
He whistles through his teeth three times and all play stops.
The gnomes drop their tools back into the pooches and get busy doing real work.
He has seen the little inventors in combat before. Nothing is more impressive than watching offensive engineering happening in real time.
Soon hot missiles scream into the enemy ship. It rocks in response as the tiny explosions hit its bow. Rockets strapped to the back of flailing gnomes propel a sizable boarding party onto the deck of the Rever. Gooey deck slicks follow that only interfere with the Orcs and keep the enemy more concerned with their footing than the two feet of squishy gnomes coming at them near fifty knots an hour.
Many of the orcs quickly lose arms and legs to the hand cannons that the gnomes fire in huge blasts that echo in the clouds.
The battle is one-sided and victorious the gnomes jet back home as the Rever cascades from the sky.
The Old Dwarf smiles as he watches it crash into the cold grey sea below.
He decides to take more shortcuts in the future.
Art: Medieval Mother Ship
By: Juhyung Kang