"Dammit Corrin! Watch out for the cloud daemons!" Walter screamed as the airship careened to the right. The aging wood and metal of the Morning Glory creaked and groaned under the pressure of the sudden turn. The cloud daemon that they had avoided slowly glanced at the ship and grunted before floating back into the cloud.
"That's the third daemon you've nearly hit today. I'm surprised this old ship is holding up under such reckless driving."
"Stop your belly-aching, old man. You know as well as anyone that flying this low to the clouds we're bound to run into a sky critter or two." Corrin corrected the flight of the ship while avoiding the surly gaze of her companion.
"If you would just let me fly a bit higher..." she started, but Walter cut her off.
"No. No... we must be close to the clouds. That's where it's reported to be. If we have any hope of finding it, we have to keep low." He was staring intently out the window at the vast desert of fluffy clouds. The last rays of the sun had turned them all shades of pink and orange. Nothing but an endless sea of vapor stretched out before them.
Despite the occasional near mid-air collision, Corrin was quite enjoying the foolish quest into the unknown that her old pilot instructor had convinced her to undertake. Just her, the clouds, and the steady hum of the boiler engine.
"There!" The old man shattered Corrin's brief peace. "It's there! Starboard!" Walter was attempting to hop in excitement, but his arthritic legs were hampering the effort.
"Where? I don't see anything?"
"It's small, barely visible. Wait, the light is about to hit it." He pointed to a dark speck through one of the dome windows.
Corrin scanned the featureless expanse below. Suddenly a brilliant flash of light flickered right under their starboard hull. She turned the ship, this time more gently, coercing the ship to slowly dive towards its prey.
At one point she thought they had lost the object. Walter cried out in despair as it briefly disappeared in the ethereal wisps of a passing cloud bank. When it reemerged, they discovered that they were nearly on top of it. Corrin slowed the ship and adeptly compensated for wind drift.
Despite the constant breeze, the object was motionless. Corrin could see it well now. It looked like small metal cube. The box was fairly ordinary in appearance if you ignored the fact that it was impossibly hovering about 10,000 feet above the ground.
"How does it float like that?" Corrin asked, mostly to herself.
"Ah, but the real treasure is inside!" Walter rubbed his hands together with excitement. "Pull it in with the grappling arm. I'll go up on deck to get it," he said as he scrambled up the stairs.
Corrin directed the grappling arm to the box and closed its claws around the treasure.
She was a bit surprised that the box didn't provide any resistance as she moved it up to the deck.
A few moments later Walter hobbled down the stairs, back into the control room where Corrin was waiting.
"Well?" Her eyes were instantly drawn to Walter's feet. "What the hell are you wearing?"
The old man grinned. "You like them? They're very soft and comfy." He motioned to his feet which were covered in fuzzy pink socks with what looked like kittens embroidered on them.
"They're horrible! Where's the box?"
"Oh, I threw it over the edge." Walter said, scowling at Corrin's remark.
"What do you mean, you threw it over the edge? Why the hell would you do that? I thought that was what we were looking for? What was inside?"
Walter looked down at his new socks.
"You're joking right?" Corrin felt like she was going to cry.
"It is very hard to find good socks these days, I'll have you know. You youngins don't appreciate good quality clothing." He paused and raised his finger. "However, I bet you don't have any socks that can do this."
Walter clicked his heels together. A few seconds later he began to float up to the ceiling with a big toothless smile on his face.