To the Nexus - Part I

5th October - The Roost - Morning

He was woken up by the shouting of his first-mate. Phineas slept at his humble bed within the captain's room of his airship, something that he used to do before every flight.
But now his back was in pain. His apartment in the Rose District is extremely simple, but much more comfortable.
Thaddeus was outside throwing orders and Ophelia was alive.
Phineas could hear the running steps of the crew and the humming sound of the engines being heated.
Taking his clothes and grabbing a piece of bread and a bottle of dark ale, he left the room.
He was chewing that old bread and drinking that warm ale, promising to himself that he would grab a proper meal when they came back.

Cleaning his mouth with his sleeve, he started - "Are we ready, Thad?".
The answer was a thunderous - "Ay ay, captain!"

He than went to the airship's wheel, drinking the last of the ale and throwing the bottle overboard.

"Start engine one!" - He screamed. The young staff was down bellow, throwing coal to the furnaces. Another group was monitoring the amount of water within the boiler. They pushed some levers and a loud noise stormed within the airship.
From everywhere small bursts of steam were released, and the ship became coated with a thousand tiny stars : the first engine was responsible for maintain the electric charge of the gas-discharged lamps all over the airship.
This was one of the improvements that Dr. Crank did, replacing the old gaslight system. Thousand bright blue spots all over, from lamps filled with mercury vapor triggered by the electricity.

"Start engines two and three!" - The captain screamed once again, and once again levers were pulled. The balloon expanded 20%, more steam was released though mobile lids in some specific joints of the structure.
The sound now was so loud that all the Roost stopped their doings to take a look upon that fabulous departure.
The two huge propellers, one on top and other below the hull, started to spin slowly.

"Release valves one to twelve! Start final engine!" - Levers being pulled, a few being pushed. The coal staff throwing the fuel in the furnace the fastest as they could. Another group turning the release valves as ordered, and the sound of the propeller gaining momentum was deafening.

Phineas pulled the controls and started to turn the wheel. From the exhauters bellow the ship massive columns of white steam were released, freezing part of Ophelia's docking station. On the other side of the ship, the deep black smoke of the chimneys started to rise.
As soon as the airship picked up enough speed, the exhauters were closed.

Ophelia was flying once again.

Dr. Crank appeared, sweating and taking notes. His duty was to overview all the launch process and ensure that everything was going as planned.

"So, doc... it seems that she is just fine, right? A lot of work, but my girl is looking great." - Phineas noded with a large smile.

"Yes, yes, yes, captain... she is handling all the requirements as expected, and even better. The heat containers are working fully as well, the temperature inside the flagesium cargo is acceptable, no heating from our engines and steam pipes".

The smile of the captain disappeared. He didn't even cogitate the idea of this new engines overheating the cargo. This damn doctor.

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