I have, what is known in military circles, as a banging headache this morning.
There were shenanigans last night. Many shenanigans.
I was with Virrginia when the balloon went up. We were moving barrels of mercury into the ETC (for use in her fluid links), and before I knew it I grabbed a camera and found myself in the back seat of an Ornithopter, clutching a map, flying low level over Primveness looking for enemy troops. They were coming in from the East. We did a couple of fly-bys, Virriginia using the trees for cover, and there were plenty of them down there with heavy artillery in tow. There was little we could do, they had the benefit of cover, so we headed for the Guvnahs Manson in Victoria City and V set her down on the roof from where we took up small arms positions. Her with her derringer (and at one particularly hairy point the Vickers out of the cockpit) and myself with my 'N & G' Kinematograph.
Caledon forces were prepared, however, and a running gun battle ensued through the streets below for an hour or more. Brave souls all. The heavy shelling certainly took it's toll on the buildings and I managed to grab a few cans of footage between the smoke as Neaualtenburg troops took the Guvnahs Mansion beneath us. Interestingly, from our vantage point, I could also see Mr Zealot silhouetted by the sun, watching proceedings from the roof of Lady Ambers Boutique.
It was during this time we heard reports of the airship, SMS Brynhilde, moving in and the air cavalry suddenly had something tangible to act upon. With some already damaged, only half the squadron mustered against the vast air dreadnought, but with a determination rarely seen. She is a great armoured beast and no mistake. The open top Ornies, however, are far more manouverable than her large scale gunnery and she was reliant on rifle fire from the decks to bring us down.
Many won't simply know of the battle that ensued, one that probably saved Victoria City from total annihilation. I think it is the likes of the Caledon air forces that are the unsung heroes of this tragic day. If the Brynhilde had been allowed to bring her full payload to bear on the capital the tragedy would have been immeasurable and a future political solution unobtainable. True heroes all.
It was here the Orni took a hit. I remember Virrginia shouting jump, trying to protect the camera, the jerk of the chute canopy opening, but that's all.
Virriginia is well, I spoke to her this morning. I suppose she's used to this kind of thing. I have a hell of a headache and a vivid black bruise covering most of my right side of my neck and face. Victoria city is still burning. I need to sleep this off if at all possible. I will stay in the ETC today. Keep myself to myself.
I look forward to developing some of this footage when time and headache finally allows, and hope it can show how the real people of Caledon made a difference last night. Such a tragedy it has come this.