43 Engineering and Vengeance
As Zoey and Nito approached the wreck, Zoey did not notice that Nito froze when he stopped mumbling about the crater and looked at the crashed Kreppelin properly for the first time. It was brief, but if she had been watching him, she would have seen shock and anger on his face before he went back to normal. Zoey missed it because she was completely absorbed with looking over the wreckage.
As Zoey reached the wreckage, she made her way around the area so she could take in some of the details, The paint on the hull of the ship had long faded away, so she was unable to determine the original color but there was a figurehead on the bowsprit that seemed to indicate what noble house the ship had once belonged to.
The figurehead was shaped from wood, and a little worse for wear, but she could still tell it was the form of a bear, sculpted to look like it was leaping forwards with its mouth open. Around the neck of the bear were some faded words engraved in the wood that Zoey could barely make out.
The letters said "Ever Onwards, Unto Dusk".
"Nito! Do you recognize this emblem?" Zoey shouted back to where Nito was still looking a little dazed.
He came up to where she was by the bow and looked at the figurehead somberly for a few moments. Then he clasped her hands, and bowed deeply to the figurehead of the wrecked ship. Zoey was surprised, but let him have the moment of silence.
"This is the figurehead of the noble house known once as the House of Ursag." Nito shook his head sadly. "Among all the filth that infects the nobles, this house was different than the rest. They had honor, they were good, and they truly tried to make the world a better place. Not because of power, or desire for wealth and glory, but because they believed that it was their duty to better the lives of those less fortunate than them. But they are no longer. Fueled by greed and desire, House Rellen attacked the House of Ursag unprovoked, and destroyed them. And just like that, possibly the only good noble family was erased."
As Nito looked at the figurehead, Zoey could see a deep sadness in his eyes, and was herself reminded of her home Gaia, and all she had lost so long ago. For a moment, she felt the overwhelming sadness of loss that she always knew was there in her heart, but had avoided until now. Nito looked at her and smiled sadly.
"Seems like we both have some sadness we must carry with us. We must stay strong." He placed a comforting hand on her shoulder and nodded to reassure her.
"Thanks." She cleared her mind and smiled at Nito. She was lucky to have him here.
After the somber moment had passed, they returned their attention back to the rest of the crashed ship. Zoey climbed into the lower deck of the ship through one of the huge holes in the hull and Nito followed. She was mostly interested in the construction of the Kreppelin and the method used to make it float. As an engineer, she hoped to understand the principle of how they made boats float in the air.
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Inside the hull, the lower deck was in terrible shape. Zoey could not find a single plank that was not damaged in some way. She had to be very careful how she moved around incase she stepped on a plank that was broken she could fall through the deck. The deck she was on was likely used at some point for storage and supplies. Looking forward she saw where the crew would sleep and in the other direction there was a cabin that was probably the captain's at some point.
Along the inside of the hull there were strange contraptions bolted to the hull at certain intervals. Although the ship was terribly damaged, she could still see that these contraptions had something to do with the operation of the ship. She took a closer look at one near her as Nito made his way to the captain's cabin.
The contraption was a circular metal plate that had some kind of compartment built into the center. The plate was engraved with an almost primitive array that was meant to simply take energy from a power source and project it outwards through the hull to provide levitation the ship. There were also some parts of the array that networked the other plates on the hull together and kept the output consistent, and a part that seemed to link to a controller of some kind.
The whole thing was very rudimentary in design and had no fail safes built in that she could see. For something that was supposed to fly, that was dangerous. But at least now she had an idea about how it worked.
She continued to explore around the deck, inspecting things like how the structure was put together and how it had held up under the damage it had taken. She came to the conclusion that the hull itself would have still been able to withstand flight despite the damage had the levitation system not been crippled. Several key plates had been ripped out when the hull had been breached, likely causing it to lose altitude and eventually hit the ground.
Once she was done checking out the bottom deck she made her way to the cabin to check on Nito. He had managed to find a small box from somewhere and retrieved a small necklace from inside. Zoey saw that it was a beautiful silver flower that was in full bloom hanging on a silver chain. It was obviously important to Nito. He was very gentle as he placed it back into the box. and closed the lid.
"My master, Wex, once gifted this to an amazing young girl from the House of Ursag. It's a shame he never got to see her wear it... I will keep it safe for now." Nito placed the box into his pocket and looked up at Zoey. He clenched his hands and smiled grimly. "Thanks to you, I have the opportunity the become stronger. If I ever get my hands on the Rellen family... They will know the meaning of vengeance."