Airborn - Chapter 11: The One That Fell and Chapter 12: Shipwrecked Summary & Analysis

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This section contains 1,190 words
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Chapter 11: The One That Fell and Chapter 12: Shipwrecked Summary

Kate uses Matt for perspective, documenting as many angles of the creature as possible before they number and pack up the skeleton, recording it all in her grandfather's journal. The claws firmly hold the branch, proving the creature was alive when it landed. Kate starts with the skull and uses a wax pencil to number each bone before giving it to Matt who then wraps it and places it in Kate's carpet bag. They talk, Matt revealing his desire to pilot an airship one day, and Kate her plans for revealing the creature to the world. They are just done when a shriek quiets the forest. Something lands in the tree next to them and a parrot's wing flutter to the ground below. With cloud colored fur, it jumps between the trees, landing in theirs next. They hardly dare to breathe as they look at the creature who is part panther, part bird of prey, part bat. Since one of its wings deformed, they believe it is the creature her grandfather saw fall. Excited at first, Kate is soon dejected, knowing they will likely leave the next day, and may never see it again, longing to get close enough to take photos. Suddenly Matt feels the weather change and knows the ship will be in trouble. The storm is upon before they reach the ship.

The wind and rain is so intense that continuing on is unsafe. They stumble into a small cave and huddle there side by side. The smell of mangoes is strong, reminding Matt he is hungry and thirsty. He finds himself telling her about his need to continue flying and by the time he has talked himself out, the storm has subsided enough to resume their trek back to the ship. A hiss from the back of the cave hurries them on their way. Matt is stunned when he sees the Aurora. She is again on the beach half deflated, with a gash in one side. They get her level and the captain tells the crew the Aurora will not fly, although there is enough hydrium to keep her structure intact and allow passengers on. The captain finds him in the group and asks if he has seen any signs of inhabitants, but Matt admits they haven't, although the island stretches for miles west. He instructs Matt to join the exploratory team. Lunardi shares an idea he learned at the Academy, suggesting they cannibalize the ship to create a small hot air balloon with what hydrium remains so that someone can go for help. The junior wireless officer has another suggestion. His idea involves a balloon idea as well, but only to take an antenna high enough to transmit a distress signal. Vlad announces that food is bountiful and survival in the meantime will be no problem. Matt is on water duty and sees the sailmakers rigging themselves to cut into Aurora, and he suddenly has the solution. He stops the sailmakers and tells the captain about the cave that smells of mangoes and hisses like a snake. With the crates of rubber hosing he and Baz had packed out to lighten the ship, they could rig a line and use the ship's pumps. The captain claps Matt on the shoulder and work is halted until he can see the cave for himself.

Chapter 11: The One That Fell and Chapter 12: Shipwrecked Analysis

Matt and Kate return to the skeleton, and after documenting every angle and measurement she can think of, they begin to take the skeleton apart, numbering and labeling the bones as they go along. She tells Matt she will give him credit when she reveals the creature to the world but the only thing that Matt really wants to do in the future is pilot an airship. They talk about Lunardi's untimely arrival and how it affected his promotion - Kate becoming properly agitated by the news which on its own makes Matt feel better. She insists he could get a scholarship and go to the Academy himself, but he doesn't reveal the reasons that would be impossible, beginning with the fact that his employment income was crucial to his mother and sisters survival. He knows she means well, but with her wealth would never understand. They talk about family and Kate reveals that wealth is not synonymous with happiness, telling Matt that her parents will act the part of the bereaved parents when news of the crash reaches them, but it will all be for show. She tells Matt that somehow she has always managed to embarrass or disappoint her parents. As they complete their task, they are surprised by the arrival of another one. Kate tries to get a photo of it and the flash scares it off while Kate follows behind. It travels through treetops, hardly opening its wings, then drops out of sight to where Kate believes it is nesting. When Matt suddenly becomes aware of an approaching storm, he and Kate immediately head for the ship.

Within moments, the sky opens and the wind picks up, throwing branches and making even walking a challenge. To protect themselves, they take shelter in a small, deep cave. Matt pulls out his compass and Kate questions him as to the direction that the creature went, and the direction of the ship. He begins to feel claustrophobic, and puts his head in his hands, fearing the worst for the Aurora. Terrified that the storm will permanently disable the ship, or spill the remaining hydrium making flight impossible, Matt can hardly breathe. Kate asks him what he fears and in that moment he tells her what he has shared with no one so far. He tells her that if he stops, unhappiness will catch up to him. As soon as the weather allows, they head for the, Matt sick with anticipation. He expectations are correct. The ship has lost more hydrium, and is deflating, listing to one side. She looks beaten and Matt is stunned. He gives Kate the carpet bag and joins Baz and the others as they right the ship. Baz warns Matt that Marjorie is on the warpath again. Plans are made for an exploratory team the next day that the captain asks Matt to join and ideas are broached, both involving the use of cannibalized parts of the ship and the remaining hydrium to increase their chances of survival. Vlad assures them food is plentiful. Matt is put on water detail, and hauling back to the ship, he notices the sailmakers getting ready to cut the Aurora open. He imagines the gas escaping when they cut, hearing the hiss in his mind and smelling the heady mango scent when it suddenly dawns on him and he races to stop the crew from damaging his ship. Hydrium is plentiful, escaping in the cave he and Kate waited out the typhoon in. He tells the captain, who halts the work exclaiming that he feels lucky indeed to know such a remarkable cabin boy.

This section contains 1,190 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
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