The Crossroads of the Aether
Louisiana...not the most forgiving land. During times of old, those of lower class and not of the proper skin were not allowed privileged lives. Slaves were abound all over plantations in the south. One particular plantation was notorious for selling & trading slaves at the drop of a hat. Being sold and traded from this plantation was a relief to those who lived there. For death was sure to come quickly, but one would not be dead in a very swift manner.
For those who were lucky, they served inside the master's mansion. They were butlers, maids, cooks, and other positions as servants. A young girl played the role of quite a few positions. This was due to being taught the skills needed by other family members, now of which were lost. She was in the position to serve her master and do everything he said. A very short tempered (and very short) man who rarely allowed slaves near him. The girl remembered to keep her distance, and never question his orders.
While things around the mansion were usually routine with little to no fuss from the master. In recent months, the girl was proven wrong with she thought his temper could not get any shorter. There was talk of his produce being stolen in the middle of a trade. This would happen multiple times. The master had business with the East India Trading Company. What was produced on the plantation was the key to his wealth.
The more talk spread throughout the mansion, the more the girl's fellow workers began to disappear. This has happened before, but they were usually replaced. One day, the girl was pulled aside by a maid, she had a look of terror in her eyes.
"Child, I know you live by the rules, listen to orders, and make sure you are doing things the right way, but I tell you now that you don't have to do that anymore!" The girl looked upon the maid in confusion. "There are ships, that travel high in the sky, higher than you have EVER seen! They are called "airships". The people on those ships live by no rules, no orders, and could care less about if something is done right! We could escape, find an airship, and join a crew! We can finally be free!" The girl slowly started to back away, knowing that those who try to escape are instantly sentenced to death. The girl has not even seen nor heard of such a thing as an airship. " I KNOW it sounds like the words of the mad, but I tell you the truth!" The girl stared.
The maid stepped forward and grabbed the hands of the young girl. "I know I have never heard you speak a single word, but please, PLEASE just tell me you will go with me!" In a single motion, the girl pulled her hands away, turned around, and returned to her duties. That was the last time the girl saw that maid.
Sleep was a time to have a few short hours to rest and to think. Sleep was not allowed on one particular night. With a mighty force grabbing her brown hair, the girl was flown into the wall. Grabbing the back of her hair whimpering, the girl looked up into the fiery eyes of her master.
"That wrench told her about airships...yes?" The girl nodded, forcing herself to stop shaking and holding back tears of terror. Her master leaned forward, forcibly grabbed her face, and squeezed it with great strength.
"If you EVER even THINK about leaving, I won't slaughter you, I will make you suffer, bleed, and leave you for my guard dogs!" Under the intense force of his grip, the girl nodded, and her master let go of her.
Before her master walked out of her room, he spoke, "For someone who I always see, who is always doing their job, you never speak. I like that, the fact I have one slave who doesn't have their tongue cut out." The girl remained on the floor, until the sun rose in the sky, and she was called to her duties.
Easter morning, the day everyone went to church. Everyone except the slaves and servants of this particular master. While other masters allowed their slaves to attend church, the girl's master did not believe it was worth taking the time out of work.
While the girl tended to the courtyard of the mansion, she heard a loud noise hailing from the sky. She looked up and watched in terror as a giant ship with dragon wings came falling from the sky. The girl ran under the shelter of the east corridor as this enormous craft crashed into the courtyard. Smoke was rising from the ship as she picked herself up from the ground and started to slowly walk towards it.
She watched in fear and intrigue as what looked to be a woman stepping outside. It was and interesting sight. Her hair was made up of long dark dreadlocks with her clothes tight around her thin body with intricate designs. Her backside was a huge bustle. It was sticking out from her body and bounced with every step she took. Others stepped off with similar fashion with filthy clothes and a stale smell. The girl could not identify it. Despite the panic of the crew, the powerful looking woman showed little concern. The girl stepped back and the grass beneath her foot flattened with her steps. All of the mysterious people halted and looked towards her direction. She froze with fear.
"She's a witness!" One said. Another spoke, "What should we do with her?" And another, "She looks like a slave, she won't be missed." The woman put her head down and looked back up again with no emotion. She finally spoke, "She will be the housekeeper." The woman jerked her head toward the girl's direction, and the young girl ran back to the mansion as the crew began to chase after her.
As the girl burst through the front doors, her master was standing in her way. He grabbed her neck, spun her around and pointed a pistol at the crew in pursuit. The girl looked behind her master, as there were guards with rifles ready to fire. Before the word as given, shots rang out as the crew opened fired and took out the guards with terrorfiying ease.
Still gripping onto the girl, the now terrified master backed himself into a corner as the woman walked towards him. She shot the pistol out of his hand and pointed it to his head. The girl began to shake.
The master spoke, "Airship Evangeline...You finally found me. Y'know, time jumping is great, when you know what was valuable during a certain time period. This girl..." The master flung her forward towards the woman. "I can honestly say, never gave me any trouble throughout her life. Heh, I guess there's always that one good slave." The master closed his eyes, as the woman pulled the trigger, ending his life. The girl began to cry, as the last words of her cold hearted master were actually words of a compliment towards her. A crew member slowly walked up behind her, slipped a cloth over her mouth, and the girl feel into sleep.
"We're lucky we were able to fly just enough initially to get out of the central city. In a few minutes, we will be up in the air again and back on course."
"Repairs are going smoothly. There was no significant damage from the crash. Thankfully, we didn't hit any of the surrounding structures."
"Why weren't there as many people around?"
"It was Easter Sunday. Everyone was at or heading for the church service. The girl's master does not allow his slaves to attend their church."
"Hey! Our little witness is awake!"
As all of them looked towards the girl in wonder, the woman was still emotionless. The woman kneeled before the girl, "I am Captain Amsterdam. You will address me as such. This is my crew. You are a housemaid. You will cook, clean, and mend any materials."
The girl looked out the window and saw nothing but the clouds. Her life was now in the sky, and not on a plantation. One night, the girl found herself crying in her room. Unaware that she had left the door open, the Captain silently stepped in. While her face was in her knees, she placed a hand on the girl's shoulders in silence. She stopped crying, looked up at the Captain, and with an emotionless face said, "The heater is broken. Make scarves and hats for the crew until it can be repaired." As the Captain walked out, she turned her head and asked, "By the way, what is your name?"
The girl wiped her face and spoke two words: