(From the Diary Notes and Research of
Patrick Aedan Frost, The Viscount of Cáirmeath)
September 2, 1839
The SS Elliot departs today. Our only stops will be in Brazil, Cape Town, and Perth before heading through the Indonesian Seas to Japan's final destination. We travel in search of a meteor rumored to strike somewhere in the mountains there. My dear friend, Laurence, spent some time as a missionary in one of the local towns. Upon his return, a fortnight ago, he told the tale of this large explosion in which nothing was ever found. I intend to set out on an adventure of my own to discover it.
September 24, 1839
Today, we arrived in Akita, heading for Mount Akita-Tomagatake, to meet with Mr. Akihito Togashi, a young man claiming to be an inventor. He is the man who discussed the matter with my friend, who has gladly decided to join me on this dangerous and expensive mission. Laurence has offered a great deal to fund the expedition, not that I needed such a thing. But I am glad for his company and his friendship.
September 25, 1839
We have stopped to set up camp for the evening near Lake Tazawa. It will be nice to be able to rest after the run-in with Japanese boundary guards yesterday. They made it quite difficult to get our gear off the Elliott. We set anchor near the mouth of Omono-gawa and rowed our way upriver to a nearby village. Only ten of our crew could join us in the two small boats, and we even had to barter with nearly one hundred ounces of gold for necessary supplies and for the guards to turn a blind eye. I do not approve of unnecessary confrontations, so I was quite pleased when all went well.
September 26, 1839
We’ll continue up the mountain early today. It is still rather warm and humid this time of year, so starting early for an upward climb will suit us better than waiting till midday. Our run-in yesterday caused us much delay. The countryside is lovely here. There are many new and unusual types of flowers along the river and near the lake. My lovely Neala would adore them. I miss her and my children dearly.
September 27, 1839
We made it to the site today. We set camp and unpacked the research equipment. The first half of the team will begin the excavation this afternoon. During my land survey, I was thankful to discover an abandoned beehive and some Camellia Sinensis plants nearby. They will be useful to make fresh tea again. It is surely something I have missed since we ran out of rations a few days ago.
October 12, 1839
My colleagues and I have finally found what we were searching for! According to Mr. Togashi, we have discovered the material that would revolutionize air travel. Much testing has been done over the past couple of weeks, and as the Excavation Director of this expedition, I have decided to call it Aeromilium in light of the recent test results. The meteorite contains a metal that can become lighter than air when slightly charged by electricity. A recent lightning storm helped us discover this when some pieces began to float a short distance from our camp. We were overjoyed to have found a much larger deposit of this material in the local area. We have also decided that it will have to be painted with a special non-conductive coating that will be manufactured when we return. This should make it safe to the touch, but it may also prove to be light enough to build an entire dirigible. Even the exterior of standard wooden ships may be lined with enough Aeromilium to make them float. Hopefully, we will learn more with rigorous lab testing back home. We may even need an addition of a large rigid structured balloon filled with a lifting gas like helium to make them fly.
October 13, 1839
I have welcomed Mr. Togashi to my crew today. He has arranged for safe passage with our discovery, and he will return to London with us as our new Senior Gadgeteer—my first Japanese crew member. I shall propose a plan to Parliament for a new military branch called the United Dirigible Air Force to welcome women and international candidates. Among my most trusted colleagues, Laurence, Lord Lockwood, Wallace Worthington, and other wealthy privateers, the founding of such a powerful organization will come with many firsts, including the findings of this dig and hopefully many others hereafter. My only hope is that we are granted Her Majesty’s Armed Forces' aid to make it stronger.