„Full Steam“ S. 1/Ep.2 „High Stakes“
Eagerly awaiting the Queen to arrive at Maersk Pier was Herman van de Maersk, flanked by his wife, two daughters and son in law.
Having advertised – but not yet proven! – the „Skytanic“ as „the fastest vessel on earth“, the ship yard owner finally wanted to showcase the enormous power of the gigantic Studdington engines and the breathtaking luxury of this heavily gold-ornamented technical marvel. The production costs exceeded even moderate estimates by 300 percent, but the notoriously stingy Queen and her chief financial advisor, Baron Alisair Nixworth, emphasized in no uncertain terms that they were willing to pay no more than the agreed upon amount – which already included a heavy „royal discount“. To fend growing competition off his shipyard, but most of all to recoup the costs of Maersk Pier, he desperately needed to cash in on his latest build. To have the Queen on his list of customers brought great prestige in itself, yes, but Van de Maersk’s eyes were set on something else: The Azure Ribbon!
This highest honor in the business of airship building was awarded to the world's fastest airship by the Bureau of Airbound Travel and Transportation (AT&T), represented on board by Baron Stanton Wingsworth. Traveling across the Atlantic to Belleville in two days should secure him prime position among his competitors and secure his company's well-being for years to come.
Chief naval architect and son in law, Hiram Lever, who had been rushed by Van de Maersk into finishing the ship to meet the Queen's deadline, was on board to monitor the engines and make spontaneous adjustments if need be. With his recommendation of a postponement having fallen on deaf ears, he reluctantly boarded the ship. After all, his career was on the line here, too. Also, with the Skytanic's engineering having taken up so much of his attention and time, he needed to redeem his promise of a belated honeymoon cruise to his beloved wife, Panelope, who, interestingly enough, had never set foot on an airship before, let alone to Belleville.
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