Henry Vickers stood at the railing of the airship’s massive gondola and let his eyes roam across the expanse of London. Above him, the great bulk of the airship Unicorn held steady in the winds. Nearly a quarter mile long, it was shaped like a broad, thick arrowhead. Above his head, the faint violet glow from Gravitum plates revealed the modern technology which operated in tandem with helium to provide buoyancy. Gravitum plates also provided propulsion with no waste products. Gone were the giant fossil fuel-burning airliners of yesteryear. In an age of enlightened energy, Unicorn reigned as the cleanest air transport in the history of Man.
The times had changed from when Vickers was a boy. It was a very clean time for modern humans. The government said so. But some things never changed.
Some people still didn’t trust the government.
Vickers rounded the bend of the gondola where passengers roamed to sight-see. He found his friend, P. W. Fullerton, standing at the railing with a fishing pole. The reel was quiet large since it was easily 500 feet down to the waters of the Thames. Fullerton, in his usual uniform of grubby outdoorsy clothing, pulled hard as he reeled something in.
“Good to see you doing something normal,” grinned Vickers. “No need to dig through the marshes in search of government malfeasance?”
“Oh I’ll find it,” grunted Fullerton. “Right there in the Thames.”
“What? The Thames has been crystal-clean for twenty years! Parliament declared it.”
“Parliament?” Fullerton rolled his eyes. “Oh that sets everything to rights doesn’t it? You know here’ve been two water-borne terrorist attempts to destroy London with nuclear devices between 2022 and 2028. Two! And both bombs were in the Thames.”
“But they recovered one,” countered Vickers. “And MI-5’s counter-terrorism unit doubted the other bomb ever made it to the water.”
“They both leaked and irradiated the water.”
“Parliament never said that. What proof is there?”
Fullerton finally reeled the fish in. He pointed at squirming, oddly-shaped creature on the line. “There’s your proof!”
Vickers winced at the fish. “Well I’ll grant you, a fish with four eyes is unusual. But is that really proof?”
Fullerton’s eyes bugged. “What else do you need?”
The four eyes of the fish suddenly rolled towards them. “Begging your pardon,” said the fish. “Could you blokes spare a Kipper for the hungry?”
It’s good to be back to writing. I’m feeling well-rested.
Written for Sunday Photo Fiction. Look here for the original prompt and a blue link to other stories based on the prompt: https://sundayphotofictioner.wordpress.com/2016/01/24/sunday-photo-fiction-january-24th-2016/