Outside, an ear-splitting chorus of metal scraping across metal, the giant mechanisms of Asperatus strained, and twisted in their restraints, punctuated by the gunshot timpany of snapping cables sent writhing lethally through the storm as their tension was released. Inside, silence, not a soul daring to breath.
Without warning the howling winds ceased, the metallic screams diminished to rumbling moans as things settled back in to their new places. Outside the view transformed, a solid blanket of grey white cloud rolled placidly beneath them. The crew on the bridge stood mouths agape, outside people were emerging gingerly from their homes. gathering on the platforms and starting slowly, a ripple of elation swept through the population.
“Bring us to a halt, Pilot.” Commanded the captain, a note of relief evident in his voice.
“No need sir, we ain’t moving. Her engines are turning but it’s like she’s being held, sir.”
“Then bring them to idle, but leave them turning.” With this he turned his large frame to the brass speaking tubes and looking out to the crowds beyond the window with a smile, he addressed his people.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, the legends tell us of the confluence, a coming together of disparate times and places, a conjoining, a uniting of wit and wisdom, against the scourge that plagues all our realms. None of us knew with any certainty whether this were a voyage of discovery or folly; the meticulous records of our learned ancestors told us where to come to, and when, but nobody knew whether we could make it through. As we stand here today, the journals will record us as we enter into history. Ladies and Gentlemen of Asperatus, I give you the Fairelands!” Outside, the crowds were growing as every man, woman and child emerged from the safety of their dwelling, blinking in the day light to see the new landscape. “Everyone of us now is a pioneer, there is no blueprint or plan for what comes next. But first things first, it seems we have happened upon a fine crop of cloud. Deploy the farm, let’s get harvesting!”
Within minutes the colony of Asperatus expanded, spinning out on mighty mechanical arms as teams of riggers linked walkways amongst the factories. Out on the very edges, giant “cloud eaters”, the many bladed harveters were already chewing their way into the mountains of cloudmass. Atop the warehouses, giant envelopes unfurled and began to expand filling with the cloud clippings. The precious harvest of raw cloud sucked up into the giant cloud storage balloons ready to be used. Before long the familiar piston sounds struck up as the giant cloud rendering factories pulled the raw cloud from the stores and through a process not dissimilar to distillation produced Asperatus gold, the essential element that keeps clouds afloat; luftgas to some, light air to others, whatever you wish to call it, it matters little, but for the population of Asperatus, it was all that kept them alive.
Day 2 has arrived and the Fairelands are in full swing, there are reports of disturbances across the realms and the Tiny keepers of the peace, the Faireland Marshalls have been patrolling visibly. No doubt some poor Faire-goer will contravene a law and find themselves at the mercy of Faireland justice, (an oxymoron of the first order). It seems that the reverberations of the unweaver’s attempts to disrupt the faire are still tangible but keep a tight hold to your hat and plunge into the Fairelands to see what short-lived wonders are there to behold.