I am in disarray, for the past two years my life has been dedicated to getting the money to get myself out of this place. The plan was simple, get the money, get a working commission with a down payment. I was, it seems stupidly naive, woefully myopic. The air barons laugh at me in patronising tones, the short haul baggage jockeys are little different though coarser in their language. They have no time for a woman with no references, I have no place in the skies, except as some cabin-dolly "entertaining" their passengers. Should I be surprised? Why should they trust a ship and a contract to anyone such as I? And a woman no less? I am no longer Fanny Quimby, that person is nothing but a far away memory now.
I cannot safely tell them of my background, let them know that I can, and probably have, run rings around their own airships; explain how I know of the unofficial customs procedures of the Steam lands and their trading partners nor relate to them my adventures. I was good in my time, damned good, but memories are short and I have been gone a good few years. Yet there is one thing of which I can be sure, the nature of this kind, my kind, has not changed in that period.
No, nto a man jack of them from the lowest gobs, to the dandies that term themselves fly-bustiers, and their self appointed baronic lords; air-pirates, smugglers are never to be trusted. We will betray another of our kind as soon as look at them, there is little honour amongst these thieves, and so to let myself become known would be as to sign my own death warrant. Even now I see whispers and nudges, faces in shadowy alcoves pointing and conferring, I am becoming paranoid, and jumpy, I carry my gun at all times, even back in my room.
And then there is him. The monkey. He has been there each night, watching, I don't trust him nor any of his ilk, after all it was one of them that put me here, bloody tinies are worse than thieves, scheming and conniving, there is one out there who has something coming to him but I fear that this one means me ill too. He was there tonight, watching, just watching, his beady eyes following me, a cold stare with no shame. He does not flinch nor hide when I make eye contact, he just sits there, watching, that stupid smile on his furry face. No, he, I do not trust at all.
But I have cast the runes, I have to follow this through or admit to failure, I have left the squalor of the rookeries I will not be returning. I have to make a change or crawl back into the undergrowth and that is not my way. Tomorrow, I see, Guido Anself, the last of the air barons here in Babbage, perhaps the last real hope I have. This room, a small, basic but clean room above one of the many taverns, is chipping slowly away at my savings, I have to succeed, tomorrow, yes, tomorrow will be the day.