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Mistpunk Airship -- FWG Flash Fiction for 2/26/2022

This one is a bit of a genre mashup. I think I even invented a new word for it, "Mistpunk." I admit Steampunk is not a favorite genre of mine, so what I've done in this story may be a common practice. Still, I like the term Mistpunk. I hope you like the inaugural story, which was inspired by:

Mistpunk Airship

I followed the Flight Engineer through the maze of corridors, pumping him with questions that got more and more specific: “Why are there seven inputs to this manifold and only three outputs?” and, “You’re reducing pressure at this fitting. Why?”

While his answers got more and more vague: “It’s necessary,” and finally just, “It’s complicated.”

His lack of definitive answers to my basic questions led me to believe either this “Flight Engineer” was a fraud who knew little to nothing about how the massive heavier-than-air ship could possibly get off the ground, or, as I suspected, all of the hardware he had shown me was just a façade.

My frustration must have been obvious in my voice because he paused at the base of a ladder and said, “Clearly, you are not impressed with the tour, or the technology on display.”

I nodded and voiced my suspicions. He bristled at the word “fraud,” but then seemed to make a decision. Without a word, he slipped behind the ladder, and hiding what he was doing from me with his body, manipulated the valves on the wall just so. There was a loud click and part of the wall swung inward. Looking over his shoulder, he crooked a finger at me to follow.

Inside was a large circular room in which twelve people, dressed in formal attire, sat silently in a circle. Just then, an annunciator clanged for attention as the bridge signaled for Liftoff. As one, the circle rose to their feet and sang a chord that took my breath away. I felt the floor rise and the motion of the airship grow faster and faster as the volume of those perfectly harmonious voices rose, and their song grew in rhythm and complexity.

It was truly both magical and uplifting.

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