Dana stood at the edge of the dirigible, peering down into the clouds. Her long wet skirts whipped about in the wind, stinging her legs. She crouched low, grabbing the rail that skirted the prow, and attempted to peer over her shoulder without falling off the edge. The darkness and rain impaired her vision, but she thought she could see movement further back. She stayed down, trying to keep the mass of her body obstructed by the curvature of the ship while keeping her eyes just high enough to see.

Someone was definitely moving towards her. It was nearly impossible to tell in these conditions whether it was friend or foe. She fumed silently at Ivan for pushing her out the door, even though she knew he’d done it to try and save her. Idiot. They could have as easily ducked out together and secured the door behind them. Though, he had been in a defensible position, so maybe he would come out unscathed. She watched with trepidation as the figure moved toward her. It was fairly tall and broad, and she could make out the line of a man’s top hat. But, that meant little. It could still be anyone. Ivan, yes, maybe… she let herself hope. But also perhaps one of the thugs sent by Tricia.

Carefully she turned back around, assessing her options. Looking straight ahead into the mist, she thought she saw the blinking red and green lights of an approaching ship. This was a major trade route after all, and perhaps the fates would favor her this day. She knew the westbound ship she was on would have altitude priority, and therefore pass over another ship if one was headed this way.

She watched the lights in the darkness for a few moments. Yes, it was definitely moving this way, and would be here in a matter of minutes. She turned back, still crouched. The figure was halfway down the prow now, picking his way carefully in the wind. It looked like there were more people behind him, just coming out of the hatch. She bit her lip, frustrated at her immobility, and waited. The wind shifted, and she could hear the unmistakable whir of Ivan’s goggles. Naturally the first thing he’d done when he finished making them from the kit them was modify them, and they whined higher than any others Dana had ever come across. She let out a breath she didn’t realize she’d been holding, then hissed into the storm.

“Ivan,” she stage whispered. The shadowy figure turned his head towards her position, then away. The wind was playing tricks with the acoustics, no doubt. She tried again, slightly louder. “Ivan!”

That time he heard her, she was sure of it. He was making his way towards her position with a purpose now, moving a bit faster and with surer feet. Finally he was close enough for her to see his face, his dear face, a sheet of rain dripping down from the brim of his hat, those ridiculous goggles obscuring his sky blue eyes, but nonetheless a face she would know anywhere. He threw his arms around her. She allowed it, then pulled back and punched him in the shoulder.

“You’re late, and don’t you ever pull such a stunt again,” she scolded him. He merely grinned.

“Well, luv, you seem to have led me to a dead end. Those goons are sure to see which way I went, and my gun is empty.”

“No, not a dead end,” she said with a mischievous grin. She pulled back completely out of his embrace, checked the location of the red and green lights—they were just disappearing beneath her, as she expected—and tightly grabbed his hand. He cocked an eyebrow at her.

“Come on then,” she said with a smile. “Jump.”