In the Age of Iron and Ashes

The girl did not answer for a while; for so long, in fact, that Yudhyana had started to move back towards the camp. When she spoke, her voice stopped him, as surely as a knife drawn across his throat. “Everything lives and dies,” she whispered. “Everything changes, and all changes end in death.”

When she spoke, her voice stopped him, as surely as a knife drawn across his throat.
On the Transmontane Run with the Aerial Mail Express

Not that generous, Willow thought. Giff and Susie, her two chimpanzees, drew no pay though they worked as hard as the cadets. Giff wasn’t any too happy about leaving Susie behind, but the governors reckoned themselves taking a mighty chance letting even one ape on their precious airships. Willow had finger-signed the order—GIFF COME SUSIE STAY—to both chimps for days until she got sulky agreements. “Giff’s with the aft ground-crew, sir. He’ll run up the rope soon’s the blimp’s released. We’ve practiced.”

Why in perdition were the pirates after the blimp on the return trip, after the payroll'd been delivered?
Audio Fiction Podcast:
The Woman and the Mountain

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The mountain was listening very closely, watching the wind blow faint tendrils of her hair, catching the warmth of her breath.