As with the first VSS, this was originally written for one of the monthly challenges at SFFChronicles. The theme was “return to earth” and the style, steampunk. Enjoy!
Pride Goes Before
On a weathered scrap of paper found caught in a hedgerow:
Success! The new gas has sent the Ykerios twice as high as any other dirigible in history. Surely, the Communes will remember our achievement for decades to come.
We have also made an unexpected discovery. It seems that, at high altitude, the new gas expands greatly in volume. Future prototypes will need a stronger skin, as the increased gas pressure has resulted in numerous rips and tears.
P.S. To whoever finds this, please tell my father I love him.