March 2018 -- 75 Word Story Challenge -- VICTORY TO THEDUSTYZEBRA!

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mosaix

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#21
From Red to Blue

Steam rams hiss under the strain of making last minute adjustments to the targeting coordinates of the giant gun.

“Everything under control?”

“Yes, Commander.”

“No hitches?”

“No, Commander.”

“Not forgotten anything this time then?”

“Err... no, Commander.”

“Give me your checklist. Ah yes, here it is – ‘Inoculations’. Now, last time…”

The gun emits a deafening roar and a giant cloud of black smoke as it hurls a cylinder spaceward and beyond to the blue planet.
 

CTRandall

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#22
Pride comes before

Success! The new gas has sent the Ykerion twice as high as any other dirigible in history. Surely, the Communes will remember our achievement for decades to come.

We have also made an unexpected discovery. It seems that, at high altitude, the new gas expands greatly in volume. Future prototypes will need a stronger skin, as the increased gas pressure has resulted in numerous tears.

P.S. Please tell my father I love him.
 

Jo Zebedee

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#23
FLYING TOO CLOSE

Got my wings
Dressed my wings
Broke my wings back to Earth

Cos we got
Fire on Rot
Sea-slam through each wall

We got Gas
To power mass
Gotta fly, gotta wing, gotta surf

Dying lands
Don't need bands
That fail or fear to fall

Ic, I'm born
Wings I've worn
That face fire, meet death -- find Rebirth.
 

Bob Senior

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#24
Alternative Fuels


Professor Himelik Mannoover rocket scientist / dairy farmer guarded his compost bins, manure piles and storage tanks closely.

One night an explosion ripped the roof off the barn. Rescuers couldn't find any trace of Professor Mannoover.

Out of the night sky a parachute with Professor Mannoover slowly descended. He was smiling, he shouted, "It Verks, It Verks, yust
a little tveeking mit da sauerkraut und beans in da Cow Chow, und ve goot to go!"


 

LittleStar

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#25
Gravity

The tank's final puff of steam cleared from view; Earth still grew smaller.

Mardebrand's shoulders slumped. How were his calculations so wrong? He pressed fingers together, to ease their shaking.

At least he wouldn't have to hear the laughter, or admit a second defeat to the Collegiate.

He hovered with the tears, kaleidoscopic blue and green; pale shadows of Earth, until they sped to whispering cracks in the hull.

Oh, but how beautiful it was.
 

Stable

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#26
On The Cogship Regina
“What do you suppose we’ll find there?” asked Tim, tightening the last bolt. Ed turned the valve to return steam and set Engine 3 spinning, pushing against the ether to bring the huge cogship home.

“After 200 years, who knows? We’ve had no messages since 1840, but Queen Victoria doubtless took the immortality serum. A British Empire without sunset across two star systems…” Ed sniffed back a tear. “I can’t wait to see our parade.”
 

nixie

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#27
History Repeats
Mooney stumbled, not again he thought crashing down to earth.

John heard a bang, stopping work on the mechanical cat, he looked out , surprised to see a man laying flat in the garden.


"You ok Mister?"

"A little light headed, can you tell me the way to Nor...forget it."

"Look come, sit down, have something to eat. There is some plum porridge, although it's cold."

"No thanks, last time it burnt my mouth"
 
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Perpetual Man

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#28
Off Track

The train came off the tracks at 5.30pm, Friday 13th April 1894.

The Musk designed hyper-coils and cogs, overwound, burst their housing firing like steam propelled bullets. The engine itself came off the tracks, punching through the wall of the Fleet Street Analytical Engine and Printing Corporation.

The death toll was believed to be in the hundreds.

The biggest vehicular accident since the Titanic, brought everything back to Earth with a (literal) bang.
 

M. Robert Gibson

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#29
Sky Fall

"What're your impressions on the inaugural flight of my Sky Platform?"

"It's certainly been a smooth ascent." Professor Murgatroyd peered over the brass rail at the rapidly receding ground. "How do we return to Earth?"

"As demonstrated at the Academy, as the steam gradually cools, we slowly descend."

"But that was under laboratory conditions with a small model. Surely at this altitude, steam condenses much more rapidly? How do you maintain steam pressure?"

"Uh-oh!"
 
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#30
The Birthday Present



“Еleanor. It's almost time!”

“Not again,” she wailed.

“Remember! Your crinoline dress is our parachute.”

“I can't let go!”

“You must, my love.”



Too late. Vril rapidly expanded into the Rankine chamber on impact. An eruption of steam obscured the dodging guests as once more the couple hurtled into the atmosphere, still clinging to the malfunctioning pogo stick.



“No!” Eleanor screeched, as her fiancee tried to prise her fingers from the toy.
 

Heijan Xavier

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#31
Apology Accepted

Frontier justice was never implemented. Until today, it existed only as a deterrent. Xaviera stood shoulder deep in manure with two nooses around her neck tied to locomotives, and eleven year old Nakhara passing her sentence.

“You stole me nine years ago. Your life is forfeit.”

Steam hissed. Metal screeched.

The crowd winced and turned away, but Nakhara stood stock still, eyes fixed on Xaviera.

“Return to the Earth Mother. You are forgiven”
 

Shyrka

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#32
A Captain's Duty

The Spirit of Innovation fell. Through the shattered windows of the abandoned command gondola, the ground hove drunkenly into view, growing larger at a deceptive rate.

The duchy was safe, the enemy scattered. At great cost, Spirit had excelled herself.

Captain DeMontfort patted the command lectern as the manufactorum that birthed the great dirigible all those years ago loomed large below. It seemed oddly fitting.

“Well done, old girl,” she whispered. “Time to go home.”
 

Mr Orange

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#33
Untitled

Oh Danny Boy, the ship, its pipes were calling
Black clouds of smoke and steam up in the sky
Our summer gone, and all the world was falling
I cried and watched you go, but I knew why


Please come ye back with news of new green meadows
For ours are dead, grey ash on snow
I’ll be here waiting in Empire’s shadow
Please save us, oh Danny Boy, we need you so
 

TheDustyZebra

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#34
Per Aspera


We watched, bewildered, as the ship grew ever closer.

We’d just seen them off, our best and brightest going out to meet the visitors from the stars. And now they’d turned back.

ESS Jules Verne landed, whooshing steam, whirring, clanking.

Ambassador Hansen disembarked, crossed the field to the spaceport, then emerged and strode back to the ship.

At the foot of the gangplank, he turned, doffed his fedora, waved to the crowd.

“Forgot my hat.”


 
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#35
Transmission Slip

Noah, they named me, after the guy in my grandparents’ book. I dreamt of visiting their home world.

My calculations said the conditions were right and except for transmission slip the old crate was a fine beast. I secured the propeller shaft to the gearbox with four bolts and wiped my hands on my overalls.

“Fixed. Chaps, stoke the boiler. We’re leaving!” I addressed my dogs, for effect, and went to do it myself.
 

The Judge

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#36
All at sea


Sir Turtleton wiped sweat from his brow – it was deuced airless inside the Professor’s steam submersible.

A vision of feminine pulchritude bent over the cogwheels. “Descent stopped. Rising landwards.”

“You’re lovely,” said Sir Turtleton. “Marry me.”

“No,” said the vision. “You’re hallucinating. The oxygen mix at fault. Wait a moment…”

The vision became the Professor – tall, portly, extravagantly bearded.

Land remained hundreds of fathoms above, but Sir Turtleton came down to earth with a bump.
 

Teresa Edgerton

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#37
Homecoming


”Earth!,” the conductor bawled.

Albert stepped down from the steam-powered transdimensional trolley. Blue skies shimmered into place, the living green of grass and trees.

“But it’s all so different!” Airships hummed overhead. Clockwork men and horses roamed the streets.

“Did you expect no changes in twenty years?” someone said behind him.

“I … didn’t think. I just wanted to escape the life I led.”

“Congratulations, you succeeded. Your coronation is in two days, Your Majesty.”
 

paranoid marvin

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#38
Dead Ahead



Hurtling through the galaxy
A thousand knots an hour
Stokers piling on the coal
Ensuring us of power

Look lively lads! The bosun cries
His mouth awash with foam
All hands on deck! Full steam ahead!
Make haste, we're almost home!

Nearing now our journey's end
The Earth begins to loom
Too fast we go, too late to slow
Our port will be our tomb
 

Ursa major

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#39


Interstellar Travel?



“It certainly looks both rugged and stylish. All that brasswork…. But where’s the viewing pane?”

“The top lifts up for viewing.”

“Yet remains airtight?”

“Airtight? Your father’s handwriting is difficult to decipher, but he clearly mentions worms and holes—” Mr Featherstonhaugh pointed at the tatty, smudged blueprint “—and speeding up his return to the earth.”

Miss Cholmondeley suddenly realised how much the device looked like a casket. “It says wormholes, not holes for worms.”


 
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ASleepyGiraffe

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#40
THE BRONZE LEGION


Take the bronze and the gold will follow. That was the legion’s motto.

It was also their promise.

Survive long enough, kill enough, and eventually you’d end up rich.

Delphine wasn’t rich though. Well… only if mud and earth were currency in the afterlife.

She’d stepped on a steam bomb. Its gilded gears shredding her hopes and dreams without a care. Without apology.

Just a hiss.

And a scream.

And then nothing

Nothing but gold.
 
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