Climbing down the ladder from the lower deck, [name] neared the lowest rungs. Given the option, she would have chosen not to look down, but there was no other way to target her landing.
[not really liking this, but we can continue]
above, the rounded canopy of the zeppelin’s hull stretched away like a miniature horizon, the the hull clinging delicately [word escaped me] to the underside. Even more delicately, [name]’s ladder hung from that. Ahead, the docking spire rose threateningly like a stilletto blade from the top floor of the Empire State Building.
Under normal circumstances, there would have been a crew about the walkways and gangplanks surrounding the airship dock – but this was no ordinary circumstances. Middle of the night, unannounced, and as stealthy as one could actually be in a million cubic foot balloon.
The plan had seemed so simple three weeks ago on the ground – [name] would infiltrate the docking entrance late friday night, which they had determined via telescope reconnaissance from several angles on the ground was unguarded after hours, sneak down the emergency stairs, and disable as many security systems as possible, confiscate a security guard outfit, then serrupticiously allow the rest of her crew in from the front entrance. They’d loot the businesses within, camp out in the building over the weekend, and quietly disperse monday morning as the foot traffic in and out of the building disgused their presence in the crowd [wow, worst robbery plotline ever?]
But here, swinging 1200 feet above the New York City streets… the plan… seemed like a terrible idea. ^W^W^W^W subject to every buffeting gust of wind, dangling with no harness and no net from the bottom rung of a rope ladder; the docking hook gracefully approaching from ahead (though from where she was hanging, it certainly felt like it was rushing at her like a tidal wave), it was too late for second thoughts. If she missed the opportunity to grab the hook, they’d either have to abort, or take a second arcing turn across the skyline. While an airship floating by wouldn’t arouse suspicion of its own, one making several maneouvers and loitering near the ESB’s roof would almost certainly attract attention. If the aborted on her lack of nerves, she’d have hell to pay when they landed – weeks of planning, hundreds of hours collecting building plans and devising a timeline – would be wasted.
She reached out – one hand and one foot still on the rope ladder – and hooked the leather strap attached to (move this description earlier… she’d proably be looking at it, considering it). a gauntlet laced tightly to her forearm. a two foot leather hoop came off the wrist side, such that she could hold the strap near where it met the bracelet. Further toward her elbow, a metal handle was affixed, bound tightly to the gauntlet’s leather with reinforced bindings. They’d been fairly confident the gauntlet would be able to sustain the forces involved without tearing apart. [Name] hoped her arm would too be able to also. With a flick, she lassoed the knob end of the docking spire, and let go of the ladder with her other hand. As she quickly gripped the gauntlet’s handle so both hands were keeping her from being flung into space, her body spiraled around the spire as her forward momentum dispersed. The leather held, and she did fully 3 turns of the spire before the friction brought her to a halt, dangling not more than 2 meters above the gangway below. She could see the stern of the zeppelin cruising off, already shockingly far afield of where she’d just leapt off of it.
Bracing both feet against the metal pole, she stepped the strap down the distance, like a tree belt descending technique. Boots touched down on iron grating, and she quickly worked to unlace the tight gauntlet. gingerly touching the skin where it was rubbed slightly raw from the descent. She looked around to get her bearings. The main entrance was an overdone thing at one end — a marbled archway welcoming visitors to new york. She continued looking until she found the more modest service entrance, which she could almost certainly jimmy open. “Now,” she thought “the excitemnet can start”