Night Abduction ©2011 `girltripped
Jade Ruby’s lips were turning blue. She had been flying high, staying out of the sensors reaches. Too much longer at this altitude and she’d freeze all over. Jade dipped her Acacia wood wings and dropped hundreds of feet. Too fast. Her breath caught in her throat where her heart was also trying to escape from. She leveled out, still above the sensors (she prayed), and hit the SteamBird 4.0 L V7 8 stroke control, sending her spiraling forward. Soon, Jade was over the rebel camp base.
Her NiteGoggles 10X fit tightly and worked better than expected. The heat signatures of Kad’s captors came into view as Jade cut the engine, and power-glided down to the copse of trees behind their base. The wings folded up and around her back, a thick wooden armor to protect her from rear attacks. It was heavy, and not the easiest thing to move in, but that and her Brighid leather jacket and britches, had saved her life a few times. Jade would rather live with the struggle then not live.
Jade drew her Cogswell Pepperbox 12 shot percussion revolvers out from under her jacket. Checking once again that they were fully loaded, Jade made sure that each foot she placed did not break a twig, kick a stone, or get caught in an upraised root, sending her sprawling. Her advance was slow but sure. It took her close to three quarters of an hour to make it to the tent that had only glowing aura. Kad’s. Jade was sure of it, checking the responsor meter that it matched.
Her best friend since childhood, Kad always got herself in trouble by doing what she always wanted to do. Kad wanted to be friends with Jade, the Captain’s daughter, and she made it happen. Kad led Jade into more scrapes, more scoldings and more fun then Jade felt she would ever had experienced, if Kad had not come into her life. There was no way she was going to let Kad get hurt if she could help it.
Jade thumped out, on the base of the taut tent fabric, the pattern that was a secret message between the two of them: two hard beats, followed by three staccato beats. “It’s me…I am here.” Jade waited for the answer back, but instead her Kad laugh.
“Took ya long enough. Get me outta here!” Loud enough for Jade to hear. She hoped she was the only one who heard it.
Putting away one Pepperbox, Jade drew out her Bowie Outrider and sawed through the thick material. She caught a glimpse of Kad looking at her.
The slit in the tent wall opened enough for Jade to slide through. Using the knife, she cut away at the rope bonds holding Kad prisoner against the inner tent pole. Kad stood up and stretched, stifling a “oh God it’s good to stand!” groan, and smiled. She was half a head taller then Jade. Looking slightly down, she bent over and gave her a long hard hug, and an equally long hard kiss.
Jade pushed her away, just slightly. “I missed that, but we have to get the hell out of here before the Rebs stumble in here.” She looked Kad over, mussed up and black and blue over her left eye, her lip swollen, and parts of her attire torn. “You OK?”
A slight nod, never taking her eyes off of Jade’s, and then Kad went over to the trunk that was to the right side of the tent. “Give me your Outrider, Jade.” Jade did, and Kad had the knife point into the trunk lock and picked it open in no time flat. Handing the knife to Jade, over her shoulder with the hilt towards her, Kad opened the trunk lid.
Inside was her equipment. Her Steambird, her pistols, her Acadia wood wings, her leather jacket. Putting them on, Kad turned just as the Reb Captain, whose tent they were in, walked through the front flap.
Before he could draw a weapon or call out more then a “Wh..” Jade hit him twice with the butt of her gun, surrounded by the leather glove on her hand. The Captain went down. Jade asked “Did this bastard do anything more to you then the eye and lip?”
Kad walked over and kicked the Reb in the face. She just looked at Jade. Finishing putting on her gear, Kad told Jade to take some of the rope that held her and to bind “that bastard” on the ground.
“We’re taking him with us, Jade. He’s one of their Caps, knows more than he should. That’s good for our side, bad for him. You ready?”
Jade starred at the heap on the ground and sorely wanted to blast a hole through his head. Without looking at Kad, she asked “You think he’ll be that much use?” Kad walked over, put her hand over Jade’s hand that was holding the pistol, and with the other she lifted Jade’s chin. She nodded.
Putting away her Cogswell, Jade helped Kad get the Rebel out of the back slit, along the way she came, and through the copse. Springing forth their wings, locking them in place, Jade and Kad held onto the Cap between then, using harness rigging they normally use to carry parcels. It would be uncomfortable for him, and neither of them could care less.
Hoping they were far enough away from the camp, they powered up. Just as they were ready to go, they heard a commotion behind them.
“Guess we better get outta her now,” Kad said, syncing up with Jade for their launch.
Jade looked over. “Love you!”
They hit the control at the same time, and soared into the sky with their “prize.”
Author’s Note: I came across the photo that graces the top of this story at deviantART.com. It is by a duo named girltripped, and I want to thank them for allowing me to use it. I was inspired to write SOMETHING when I first saw it. I love Steampunk, and the books of Cherie Priest. This visual just felt like something she might write about, so…it’s my “fan fiction” homage to her writing and to the picture. Hope you like it. It’s my first foray into the world of Steampunk.