The Soaring Land

Sometimes there was a lot of sky between flying islands. Captain Razo Corbeau and his crew wore a lot of hats; sometimes they were pathfinders, sometimes they were scouts, sometimes they were treasure hunters, and sometimes they were privateers. Unless they were caught–in which case, they were pirates. Officially.

Their current mission required them to seek a sky-level island that was growing in distance from where it was last spotted. Most islands rotated with the Earth, whether in the sea or in the sky, except for one: the Soaring Land. The Terran Republic thought it might hold a special form of blue matter, or that the island caused the bloom to react aberrantly. Either way, it was worth studying, but the island had since flown well out of Allied territory.

The Revenant was a fast skyship, and her neutral flag kept her from being targeted by enemies of the Allies, but once she got past the fringe islands, there was little to find but open sea and sky.

Supplies ran short. The crew conserved water, but much of the food spoiled. Since they couldn’t afford to lower to sea level and take the time to fish, they shot many manner of bird and sky life out of the air. Their hunting birds fetched the felled prey, bringing them to the Revenant before being lost in the sea. But there wasn’t enough variety in sky life to stave off an imbalanced nutrition. Scurvy would soon follow. And the water supplies were running low.

They flew for days without sight of a single island. They collected rainwater from storms, but ate nothing but meat.Birds became scarce, since there was no land. Only wildlife that could both swim and fly could be found, and then only when such creatures surfaced for air.

At last the Soaring Land came into view. The crew rejoiced. But even though they could see it, that didn’t mean they were close. The island was still moving away from them. It would be some time before they could catch up to it. They feared they would die within sight of their salvation.

 


 

 

Day 357’s three random writing prompt categories were, “Sky pirates,” “For the sake of it,” and, “Death.”

Eight more days.

– H.

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