108. NaNoWriMo Day 13

7

‘It’s a big ship,’ Rayna said, her voice calm. ‘There’s got to be a tank of fuel that they keep somewhere just for emergencies, or something. That’d make sense, right? An emergency fuel tank?’

The Swordsman, who did not know a lot about airships nor emergency fuel tanks, kept quiet. Rayna kept pacing the pilot’s cockpit, rattling off.

‘So all we’ve really gotta do is figure out where would they keep such a thing,’ she said. ‘And before that, we’ve gotta figure our way ’round this ship. They’ll have one of those interior maps lying around somewhere, the blueprints or something.’

‘This emergency fuel tank that you speak of,’ the Swordsman spoke up, looking at the pacing girl, ‘How much fuel does it contain, and how far will that take this airship?’

“Hell if I know!’ Rayna said. ‘We’ve gotta find it first, then worry about these – these auxiliary details later!’

‘You are certain that there is such a thing that is on this ship?’ the Swordsman inquired, and she shot him a dirty stare.

‘Of course there’s such a thing!’ she snapped. ‘They have one on every ship, that they do! Hell, would you head off into the middle of nowhere without some kinda backup plan-B, huh? No, you won’t! So we need to understand that the people who designed this ship are sane, rational human beings who knew the value of a good contingency plan–’

‘What if they have already used the emergency fuel before we came?’ the Swordsman asked, and this time Rayna just stopped in her tracks. Trembling hands were raised to her head, and she gripped two fistful of hair tight. Instead of exploding like he thought she would, she suddenly became very still; and then she turned – very slowly – to look at him.

‘Say, Stubs,’ she said, her voice low. ‘Do you think humans can be used as fuel?’

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