The Inconvenience (the dirigible which appears and is a frequent part of Against the Day) is constantly having her engineering updated. As a result of advances in relativity theory, light is incorporated as a source of motive power — though not exactly fuel — and as a carrying medium — though not exactly a vehicle — occupying, rather, a relation to the skyship much like that of the ocean to a surfer on a surfboard — a design principle borrowed from the æther units that carry the girls to and fro on missions whose details they do not always share fully with “High Command.”
As the sails of her destiny can be reefed against too much light, so they may also be spread to catch a favorable darkness. Her ascents are effortless now. It is no longer a matter of gravity — it is an acceptance of sky.
… Never sleeping, clamorous as a nonstop feast day, Inconvenience, once a vehicle of sky-pilgrimage, has transformed into its own destination, where any wish that can be made is at least addressed, if not always granted. For every wish to come true would mean that in the known Creation, good unsought and un-compensated would have evolved somehow, to become at least more accessible to us.
No one aboard Inconvenience has yet observed any sign of this. They know — (some are certain) — it is there, like an approaching rainstorm, but invisible. Soon they will see the pressure-gauge begin to fall. They will feel the turn in the wind. They will put on smoked goggles for the glory of what is coming to part the sky.
They fly toward grace.