Helium and Hope: The Rise of the Airship in post-Moon North America

The maiden flight of Seraph-5 outside of St. Louis in 1874. Part of Church & State engineer Henry duValle's famous Seraph line, the S-5 flew eight miles around the City-State and landed safely. Archangel Project would launch in 1877, based on duValle's designs, and provide the logistical infrastructure that enabled C&S North American operations in the 1880s.
The maiden flight of Seraph-5 outside of St. Louis in 1874. The most famous of Henry Valiant’s Seraph line, the S-5 flew eight miles around the City-State and landed safely. The Archangel Initiative would launch in 1877, based on Valiant’s designs, and provide the logistical infrastructure that enabled Church & State operations in the 1880s.
This photograph, credit unknown, was taken during the ill-fated Tabernacle Expedition. Interestingly, there is anecdotal evidence that it was taken after the ambush on May 8th. That implies that the replaced travelers continued to pose for photographs.
This photograph, credit unknown, was taken during the ill-fated Tabernacle Expedition. Interestingly, there is anecdotal evidence that it was taken after the ambush on May 8th. That implies that the worm-worshipers continued to pose for photographs and go about their day-to-day business, despite widespread infestation.

For all intents and purposes, rural America died three months after the Black Moon rose in 1867.  The last refugee column–Father Walter’s miraculous arrival, later immortalized by Haddon Sundblom’s A Christmas Promise–reached Chicago in 1868. Other camps are recorded after 1868 but were turned away at the city gates, revealed to be madmen or witch-packs in disguise, or made to settle among wilderness peoples and/or local Didikko tribes.

In the two years that followed, the City-States maintained tenuous connections via relatively stable, albeit dangerous, caravan routes. Traveling under heavy guard and moving swiftly by horse and mule along old rail beds and roadways, these convoys provided limited ability to move critical personnel (mostly military or scientific) or supplies (some luxury goods, but mostly the products of companies like Colt and Winchester).

However, on May 8th, 1870, a 200-man convoy was ambushed approximately 10 miles outside of Philadelphia. The convoy escaped and arrived at the city with minimum casualties on May 9th.…