The airship yawed with the weight of the Clockist in its bow, and Captain Malachi ordered the crew to stow their booty near the stern to offset it.
"You're glad, are you, Clockist?" Malachi asked, gripping a belaying pin to keep steady.
"My master's will is fulfilled," the Clockist answered. The grease had been stripped from its metal jowls and they creaked and scraped with each letter enunciated. The Clockist's glass eyeballs rolled away from the horizon and bored into Malachi. "Are you afraid of me, Captain?"
"Afraid?" The Captain's fingers squeezed tighter on the belaying pin. "Why should I be afraid of you?"
The Clockist's head tipped to the side like a dog's. "You are gripping very hard."
Malachi looked at his fist wrapped around the pin. The knuckles were white. He chuckled, feeling stupid, and loosened them. "Always nervous, sailing over the Brink with such a heavy load. That's all."