Ship: Airship Isabella
Title: Sky Captain Sir Cedric Whittaker
Age: 30 Something
Date of Birth: April 24, 1888
He takes whatever jobs he can get, turning a blind eye if he can to the legality of the job, but never doing the wrong thing in terms of morality. He is a man of compassion (refusing jobs that would involve him in slavery, for instance), with a strong sense of nobility. He is, however an anti-hero (or perhaps more specifically, a partial moral relativist) and will kill those who threaten him with a philosophy that, "If someone tries to kill you, you try and kill them back." He is not above joking with his crew or picking bar fights, but he retains his honor in the face of adversity. What separates him from typical heroes is that Whittaker is the type of person who is willing to shoot first and skip the question; oftentimes not even bothering with a "fair fight". He is not above petty theft but often rationalizes such behavior to make it appear more noble or valiant (such as stealing from Slavers). He is very protective of his crew and fiercely loyal. He retains the idea that you never leave someone behind and, once you are a part of his crew, you are assured his protection. He treats an attack on a member of his crew as being tantamount to a direct assault on him and will not stand for it. He is also a natural leader, inspiring loyalty that is reciprocated as is shown in both his war experiences and in his relationship to his crew.
I was Born in 1888 in Galveston Texas, The son of a very successful importer, My family owned a fleet of ships used to import goods from around the world. I was destined to fallow in my father’s footsteps and live a proper upper class life, receiving an education from an early age only money could buy, Educated to be a proper southern gentleman. I received an education in Latin as well as chines, I spent many years studying masters of sword as well as very forms of gun Katmai. I am a student of history learning from those that have gone before. That was until September 8th 1900 when dark storm clouds changed all that future. I had spent most of my growing years playing the spoiled rich kid and learning on the ships and from the men who sailed and piloted fathers fleet both surface and airships.
On that September day I was aboard the pride of my father’s fleet our new airship the Providence. When the storm began, winds blowing onshore so fierce we had no choice but to allow the Providence to be sent deep inland. We found shelter at a small Aerodrome just outside Austin, were we stayed for two days letting the storm run out of energy. As the raging winds started to die down, the whole crew was inching to return home to check on loved ones me included as we had not been in contact since launching. What we thought would be a warm home coming was not to be as what we had left just forty eight hours before no longer existed as we had known it. From the air we were hard pressed to find even the most substantial landmark. I had lost everything my home, my family and my world.
Spending the next few years trying to scratch out a living we lost many crew as well as our captain, killed during a bandit raid on our ship. While dying 0n the deck of our ship, mortally wounded from a cutlass wound in his chest. He promoted me to Captain and charged me with her safety as well as the crews. I was now commanding the last of the Whittaker fleet.
My first act as captain was to change her name to the Isabella, for reasons only myself and few dead men know. Being low on food, coal for the steam engines, and legitimate jobs few and far between. I was forced to sell our ship and our souls as mercenaries. I spent the last of my father’s vast fortune giving the Isabella teeth. She was no longer a merchant ship, now sporting twelve sixteen inch guns.
Spending time in the service of less than upstanding people. I decided to uphold my oath to the ship and her crew; it was time to control my destiny with my actions.
After the great storm and a few months of odd jobs, we were down to a skeleton crew. We were just barely keeping the Isabella in the air. Running low on everything from food to coal to fire the boilers as well as the parts to fix what was broke. But during those endless days a budding love affair with my once cook, newly promoted to navigator was doing a lot to make things livable aboard the ship for me that is. For I had not really noticed our cook before. I guess I really never made it below decks to eat much. Her name was Amelia Keeler and not only has she turned out to be one hell of a fine navigator, only getting lost once or twice and usually only when we did not listen to her. She is a very talented cartographer. I heard rumors, more like overheard and whispered conversations of two men of a crack engineer and the other slightly mad if not totally crazy scientist/chemist. That according to my sources had discovered not only a new power source but, as I hear it, a way to travel about in different times and dimensions. I’m not sure I believe the second part, but I guess we will see. They were rumored to be headed towards New Orleans, and so were we!
So with a few names and some possible locations, we set a course for the smelting pot of greed, blood and all things dark and underworld: New Orleans. Now don’t get me wrong. I have found a new affinity for things dark and underworld and seeing as our home port had been pretty much eradicated by the Gulf of Mexico, the French Quarter was as good as any to call home for the Isabella and what was left of her crew. I also had a very personal reason for heading into this old town of New Orleans. I was going to ask Amelia to marry me, and if she said yes, I could think of no other place that suited the crew, this ship and her Captain better than the French Quarter of New Orleans…
As fate would have it, it was not to be a peaceful trip. Midway to our destination, we were jumped by bandits who apparently felt we were in better shape in way of supplies than they currently were. But seeing as the Isabella does not fly with our cannons showing and having a skeleton crew showing deck, they mistakenly took us for easy prey. So imagine the surprise when this harmless looking merchant airship was able to produce a substantial amount of fire power at a moments notice. So as they came alongside to board us, they instead received a full on broadside from may cannons, destroying one of their engine mounts and rudder on the first shot. As we drew closer, the shock and amazement was evident as we were met with their wide-eyes and open mouths. Very unbecoming, I may add!
Being as we were traveling and that my most lovely navigator was present on deck, I was finding occasion more and more to be dressed as a proper gentleman should for the times. Well, as much as I can, being in combat and having a sword on one hip and a firearm on the other. And always in the company of ladies, I was wearing my father’s Grey top hat, which, of course, I adorned to fit the style of an airship Captain having added the joker card of a man I had left hanging upside down by his ankles, naked as a jaybird, in the town square of Bangkok after trying to cheat me at a game of cards. Two red feathers given to me by a princess in Persia that I helped out of a ill’ problem, but that is a story for another time.
So, where I’m going with telling you what I was wearing on this particular day pertains to later in re quoting this story. But let’s have it to say, the outfit, in all it’s finery, was still very, very Grey. So back to the good stuff. Let’s see, I was….oh yeah, mouths hanging open etc…etc…. So, as is the custom aboard the Isabella when boarding another air vessel, we always attempt to strike from above, so as to have the higher ground, so to speak. To press the advantage of surprise we enjoyed, my crew and I grabbed our rat lines and, screaming like demons from hell, we swung across high and dropped down on the deck and crew of this bandit vessel.
There was not much of a fight, so to speak, as I believe we were the best dressed, as well as the best armed boarding party these vagabonds had ever seen or had the pleasure of getting their behinds kicked by. And even though we had taken their vessel by force and were in the process of removing what we needed, as etiquette dictated, my crew and I were polite and cordial as we bound their crew and placed them sitting on their deck unguarded. One of the bandit crew asked, “Who the hell ARE you people?!” Our crew told them, “We are the crew of the Isabella, sir, and you are our prisoners.” The bandits said “that we had looked like a flight of very hungry hawks as you came down from above on them and the one in the lead looked the most evil, like a Grey hawk with red feathers all flying in the air.” And thus, my crew’s reputation, as well as mine, was born.
Oh yeah! The fact that the bandit vessel’s Captain, a rather plump and unpleasant gentlemen ( and I use that term very loosely) decided in that that pea sized excuse for a brain, that since we were the ones jumped, but having all the guns and fire power, and him not being tied up that his only recourse was to curse and spit at us. Sooooooo, as we left to return to our ship and to complete our journey, we left the rest of his (very polite) crew sitting bound on the deck of their vessel. He was stripped of his clothing ( a rather unpleasant undertaking) by my crew, or so I’m told, and was hung by his ankles from his own yardarm, still cursing, but not spitting nearly as much. We aimed their vessel fro the largest city a few hours flight away. After returning to our ship, we checked that all was in order and continued our journey to New Orleans to find my targets, the engineer and the scientist. I planned on having a long talk with them both.
After receiving the information I was looking for and splicing the Isabella with a new and completely untested technology and science once only dreamed and written of by Jules Vern has come to be. We now use that science to complete our missions and to stay one step ahead, and to survive what the verse throws at us. Along the way we have filled our ranks with a litany of characters that are even unbelievable even in fiction.
We have gained a sister ship The Neo Dulcimer commanded by Captain Del ecru and made a blood PAC with him after he and his crew came to our aid. We have met and made alliances with new ships and crews and the story has just begun...
© Airship Isabella 2012