The superstructure of the airship shook. Samella Clyde was thrown into a wall then onto her knees but got up and ran on, chasing the Terrencian saboteur. The others were in the hold trying to get more crates out of the vessel before they exploded. Only she was able follow him.
She wouldn’t be more than a nuisance to a man three-quarters of a decade her senior but that might delay him enough to be caught. Fortunately she was dressed in boyish fashion so she could run, perhaps fast enough to catch him.
She had almost succeeded when Count Schtulvayer hopped over the railing, pausing on the outer edge of the deck to look down.
“No!” She grabbed him with her right hand and held the railing with her left, “You can’t! We’re over five thousand feet up!”
He gave her a funny smile, “You’re very young, aren’t you Miss Clyde? I appreciate the thought, but I have a ride and I am so very sorry.” He pivoted and a knife went through her left hand into the railing. She let go in shock and he went, silently, down.
Two years later in Mayrah’s Southern Periphery Gardens, Count Schtulvayer stood in her way and raised his hat. “I trust you are well, Miss Clyde.”
She curtsied slightly, “Yes, thank you, Your Illustriousness.”
“Your left hand, please.” He held out his own hand with the clear expectation of obedience.
A hesitation and she proffered it. He efficiently stripped off the glove and examined the scarring. “Healed well without disability?” This smile lit up his face. “You did save my life, after all. My ride was late and I’d have fallen to my death without you. Permanent incapacity would have been an ill payment.” He kissed the scar, back then palm.