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Author Topic: The Log of the HMAS Marigold: The 'Between' Stories  (Read 2711 times)
MWBailey
Rogue Ætherlord
*
United States United States


"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« on: January 22, 2012, 09:08:35 pm »

The Log of the HMAS Marigold
-The-
'Between' Stories

---~~(__/[.'v'.]\__)~~---

Here's the place for stories of events happening between each and any of the short RPs.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2012, 09:17:38 pm by MWBailey » Logged

Walk softly and carry a big banjo...

""quid statis aspicientes in infernum"
Cpt Wallace
Snr. Officer
****
United Kingdom United Kingdom


Stand and Deliver


« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2012, 10:09:46 am »

The train arrived late night had already fallen and the gas lamps had been lit along the streets of Paris, he’d come in on the train dressed in a great coat of dark material he pulled on a wide brimmed hat and exited the Gare Du Nord into the quieting streets, a figure was waiting for him dressed in a similar coat, he gestured to a waiting steam carriage and the two of them climbed in, he stored the few items he had with him in the vacant seat next to him and once seated the carriage rocked forward.

“What brings you to Paris Mr Talbot?”

He slid the hat from his head resting it on his belongings beside him.

“I have business with the Marquis.”

“You’ll be wanting silver to trade with then?”

He nodded as he looked out of the window as they rolled passed Notre Dam.

“You have authorisation from Whitehall I take it.”

He slid a note from his inside pocket.

“From Rourke, he signed it before I left London yesterday.”

The stranger read the note looking over the text

"Well this seems to be in order."

He looked up as a fist smashed into his face forcing his head back into the hard surface of the carriage, with a bloody nose and broken teeth he slumped forward dragged down into the seat Talbot had been occupying he forced him down into the seat his hand clamped around the mans throat.

“If you’ been half a prepared as you should have been you’d have known that I’ve come direct from Africa, and that Rourke is not offically part of the intelligence corp.”

He pressed down watching as the man’s eyes rolled back in his head when he went limp he released him letting him crumple onto the floor, collecting up his things he waited till the carriage slowed to turn a corner and leapt from the vehicle, landing heavily he dropped into a roll and let the carriage roll on, standing he got his bearings lowered his cane to support his weight he grimaced as he set off as the stitches he’d gained from Egypt complained to him for jumping from a moving vehicle. He headed towards the Eiffel Tower via a twisting route, the people who’d picked him up would realise soon enough that he’d escaped their clutches he wondered who they could have been, The Old Guard Intelligence Division or another military intelligence organisation of Franch perhaps or maybe they were Treadstone but surely they’d have known he’d been in Africa hunting Handthrope. They could have been The Marquis’ people but he couldn’t know he was here to see him, not yet anyway though the Marquis always did have a knack for knowing things he ought not too. He paused at a bar ordering a straight spiced rum in a double measure he drained it and then took another before carrying on his way.
Logged
Evelyn Adler
Zeppelin Admiral
******
United Kingdom United Kingdom


Lady of Dorkness


« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2012, 11:21:45 pm »


“You’re mine now, little bird!” His eyes were burning like the fires of hell. The eyes of a madman. “Quit your struggling! Be a good girl, will ya?” His voice was hoarse, close to her ear. She tried to inch away from him, to no avail; she was paralyzed. In helpless horror she watched him bite his wrist; his blood was such a deep red, it appeared almost black. With almost perverse tenderness, he lifted her head and pressed his wrist against her struggling mouth.

“Give in, little bird, you don’t need to make this harder than it has to be!”
But she fought. She wouldn’t give in.
He chuckled. “Oh you’re so much fun, I wish we had more time! I will give you a present, ya know? I’ll let you watch, how I kill your little Lordling.” She was choking now. Tears stung in her eyes. “Or I have a better idea – I’ll make you kill him yourself!” He grinned, a predatory grin.
Her body did no longer respond to her will. She coughed – and felt the blood run down her throat like molten fire.
The world went black…




“Issa?” someone shook her awake. The room swam into focus – and Alex’s worried face.
“I was dreaming again.”, she stated. It was not a question. He nodded, his long, slender fingers softly stroking her cheek. In his concerned eyes she saw the question, he forbid himself to ask.

What did Handthorpe do to you?

She couldn’t tell him. Not yet. There was no consolation she could offer. It would not do, to share her fear, that she might become an abomination. She would cross that bridge later, if it came to it.

First, she needed to know what was wrong with her. There had to be someone who could help her; hopefully Rourke could get her in touch…



~~ * ~~



The restaurant in the Strand was known to attract the more colourful clientele of London’s society. Issa was shown upstairs by one of the waiters, to a private dining room.
A woman with auburn hair and an emerald green silk dress stood at the window, looking out onto nightly London. She turned around, when the waiter closed the door and smiled at Issa.

Like a cat might smile at a mouse! Issa thought. “Thank you for seeing me, your… I regret, I don’t know how to address you properly?” she said aloud and sank into a curtsey.

“No need to be so formal, my dear!” Mina Harker, regent of London’s underworld, responded lightly. “Mrs. Harker will do for the moment, I think. And you don’t need to thank me – I was curious myself, what might have had my dear Mircer so distracted, that it was his undoing.”

Issa could not prevent flinching when she heard the name. “He is dead then?” she asked.
Mina Harker pointed towards the table and obediently Issa sat down. “He was dead to begin with – but yes, he is no longer a threat to anyone. I do not suffer insubordination from my subjects.” She settled into her own chair comfortably. “You should try the wine; I’m told it is excellent. And then, you must tell me exactly what happened in that temple!” Mina Harker leaned slightly forward, looking into her eyes and Issa could feel a slight chill creep down her spine. 

Slowly she poured herself a glass of Château Margaux and took a tiny sip.
Then she told her story.



~~ * ~~



The carriage slowly made its way through dark, cobblestone streets. Issa felt like jumping out and running the rest of the way. There would be no more nightmares, she knew it. And she felt very much alive, almost giddy.

Although this was, of course, a delusion.

Everything comes at a price.
That was what Mina Harker had said, when Issa asked for her help.
Then, she made her offer.

“I beg your pardon, but …I cannot!” Issa shook her head, trying hard to hide her shock. “No offense, but that is impossible. I cannot leave… I have…. “. Too late she realized her mistake.

Mina Harker laughed. “It is that young Lord Hawthorne, right? Oh, I can understand you my dear, he is quite formidable!” She registered Issa’s blush with an amused expression. Then her face grew serious. “It will not last, you know that!” she said, matter-of-factly. “Sooner or later, one of you will die. And when you are dead, what will become of him?” She leaned forward and said in an almost conspiratorial tone of voice “Think about it – you could make sure, nothing bad ever happens to your love. I can give you the power to protect him. And you can prevent that he attracts any… unwanted attention.” Mina Harker smiled that cat-like smile of hers and Issa felt the chill again.

She took a deep breath. There was a long pause; the din from the restaurant seemed quiet in comparison to Issa’s furious heartbeat. Then, slowly she nodded.

“None of your subjects is ever to harm Lord Alexander Hawthorne. I will be free to look after him and protect him for as long as I wish. And no one is to interfere with our lives, as long as we have them. These are my terms. If they are fulfilled, I will be yours after my death.”

The Queen of the Underworld smiled. “Agreed!” She pierced her wrist with a sharp fingernail and let a few drops of her blood fall into the glass, mingling with the deep red wine.

“We should drink to that!”





Logged

Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary. (Cecil Beaton)
Cpt Wallace
Snr. Officer
****
United Kingdom United Kingdom


Stand and Deliver


« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2012, 12:21:15 am »

Finding himself down a residential street he stopped outside and old house with a black door, the number had been removed from the property and the windows were shuttered tight looking at the door though he struggled to make out any features on it save the shape and colour, with a smile he turned towards it walking up the few steps he rapped his cane on the forbidding wooden surface. He stood for a few minutes then made to rap again when a very distinctly English voice aged from life called from the other side.

“Hold your horses, no need to be banging again young man.”

He lowered the cane to and looked at the door as a panel snapped open at face height an old man stared out at him.

 “It is a sorry wet day in Paris.”

“Yet it is a fine one in London.”

The old man’s eyes narrowed as he looked at him.

“What do you want?”

Talbot bowed his head.

“I need into the basement.”

There was a grumbling sound as the door was unlocked when he stepped into the building the old man was shuffling off down the corridor.

“What’s the meaning of calling at this late hour?”

He pushed the door close behind him and followed the old man.

“Sorry I only arrived in Paris a short while ago and I’m in need of certain items.”

“Just say weapons damn it all you Intelligence men are all the same.”

They went down into the basement of the house as they entered the ark space the old man lit gas lamps bringing a dull light to the room, it was filled with weapons, rifles and shot guns lined the walls while pistols and blades occupied tables in the centre of the room, he moved to a table containing pistol picking a few up he tested their weight in his hand putting them back down he scooped up a Schofield revolver he felt the weight of it and smile a little.

“I can see why he liked them.”

“What were that sir?”

“Nothing I was just commenting on the weight of the Schofield, it’s very reassuring.”

“Aye a fine weapon sir, reliable too.”

He put it down and moved to a table with blades looking over them.

“I’ll take the Beaumont-Adams 38 and the S&W Volcanic, can you load the volcanic with silver rounds?”

“Aye, you planning on killin Lycanthropes boy?”

“I hope not, you remember Dartmoor.”

The old man grumbled in agreement as his fingers brushed across the blades and he picked up three tucking them under the coat and turned to the old man.

“Tell me Bailey do you have anything that would stop a vampire?”

“Vampire....hmm now why would you be asking me about vampires.”

“Stow it Bailey you and I both know who we work for.”

The old man sighed and shuffled to a locked cabinet.

“Well Silver works well and good on vampires, it’ll slow em down but you need something with more punch than any of these pop guns.”

He opened the cabinet and slid a box out placing it on the table.

“This here is a modified colt, fires 38 bore rounds like the Beaumont-Adams, the rounds are made from the silver cross of Lancaster Cathedral, the tips are filled with blessed quicksilver and are thrice etched with words of power. If these don’t hurt those undead creatures nothing will, the very fabric of these rounds are anathema to them.” 

“I’ll take that instead of the volcanic.”

Bailey chuckled as he went to work, Talbot moved through the basement looking at other weapons he slid a few other items into his coat, grenades, a garrot and then he paused at a strange device it looked like an armoured fist.

“What is this?”

Bailey looked up and laughed.

“Oh I see the aether fist has caught your attention, it’s a aether weapon you wear it like a gauntlet, it’s got a set of claws fitted into the fingers for other uses but the main use if the aether coil, it can deliver quite a punch, though the power coils are limited to a few minutes you shouldn't need more than that though.”

“Can I still use a pistol while wearing it?”

“It shouldn't hinder you just don’t use the aether coil with anything in your hands.”

He nodded slid his coat off as he fitted the contraption to his right arm feeding the power coil over his shoulder and to the small of his back, he turned as Bailey handed him a shoulder harness for the colt and slid that on too before pulling his coat back on.

“You want the silver rounds for the other one?”

“Might as well.”

He moved through the rest of the basement and came back carrying a sword.

“You’ve chosen a fair amount of ordinance there Talbot you planning on fighting a war?”

“Only if I have too.”

“What brought you to Paris anyway I heard you was on the Marigold chasing that Treadstone thug.”

 “I need to speak to the Marquis.”

“Then you’ve not got enough weapons, the Marquis has become somewhat militant of late.”

He slid the sword onto his belt an took the Beaumont and hooked that onto his belt as well.

“I make do.”

Bailey nodded as he handed him spare ammunition which he stored about his person.

“Don’t go wastin the colt on those you don’t av to, those bullets are not cheap.”

He laughed gently as he headed back for the stairs, Bailey watched him go, John Talbot exited the Corp’s office the same way he’d come in, he walked down the steps onto the street and turned toward the tower as if he’d not taken the detour, an hour later he was standing at one of the all night bars surrounding the tower sipping another rum when a man caught his eye, it was the man he’d been expecting to see a man he knew from a long time ago. When the man saw him he finished his drink and strode off for the base of the tower, John finished his own drink and followed.
Logged
MWBailey
Rogue Ætherlord
*
United States United States


"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2012, 09:15:50 pm »

Wearing a broad-brimmed fedora and a plain grey wool coat and trousers with a weskit of the same material over a cheap white shirt and blue tie, a nearly-unreconizable Rourke strolled along the avenue in the West End, where he knew that there was an entrance to The Deeps, the part of the  underworld where the Undead and the Recondine dwelt. A place that should not have been able to exist, let alone thrive, due to groundwater and other concerns, it nonetheless did so, and was accessible through sundry and many passageways. Those passageways were controlled by the Vampires of the Nadir Court; Allies of the Crowned head of England. An Ally,  but a court apart, a sovereign state of its own, the Nadir Court was ruled well and summarily by one monarch: Madame Mina, Empress of the night. And Rourke and she had once been, and in a sense still were, comrades-in-arms arms for the sake of both kingdoms. As he walked, he thought back over present and old times.

The Nadir Court, and the vampires who swore and kept fealty to it, called Rourke a 'Paladin,' a knight of her Dark Majesty. 'Paladin of the Nadir Court'. Rourke used the title rarely, though it was his right, and in fact his duty when dealing with other peers of either kingdom --but he was derelict in that duty, especially around Alex Hawthorne, one of the few upper-echelon types he actually liked or respected. Rourke didn't actually hate officers, whom he referred to as the 'Brass Hats,' exactly, he just tended to not expect very much from them other than impossible orders and incomprehensible affectations. Hawthorne and Piggot-Steng, Rourke's immediate Intelligence Service superior and handler, however, he could understand and tolerate -- and hated bumping himself up to some weird otherworldly position. It felt like he was putting on airs. He could do more than tolerate in Hawthorne's case; that fellow and he, much like Mina and he, had saved one anothers' lives so many times it was often a matter of difficulty to remember all of them.

In Mina's case, she had knighted him so that he wouldn't have to keep passing through the rigmarole of searches and delays in order to see her when she sent an invitation. And then there had come that whole Pakistani fiasco, when Mircer had first gone missing and turned rogue. Rourke had been literally blasted in the gut by an enemy-manned one-pounder Maxim at pointblank range. The shell had passed completely though him, blowing out most of his intestine, lumbar ribs, and several vertebrae, essentially severing the spine, and the shell had continued on to wreck a small line shack. Rourke was dying, and she was at fault; she had dodged the round, and he had been struck by it -- only seconds after Rourke had gunned down a Tribesman with a hand Gatling loaded with silver; essentially, to her mind, he had saved her and had gotten blasted for it.

She hadn't thought, just acted. She had grabbed his saber, slashed her arm, gathered a gout of her own blood, and slammed Rourke against a boulder, plugging the hole in his back. Then, she stuffed his guts and her blood into his cavity, and let our her power. It had healed him, in record time, even -- but he was still weak, and needed more. So she gave it to him. Filling her mouth with her own blood, she rammed her lips against his and forced him to swallow. It worked, but for good or ill, he was forever after her creature, linked to her mind, body and soul, though Rourke knew that she thought that she knew (he chuckled at the convoluted wording of the thought, drawing a sharp glance from a young lady of the evening) that he didn't believe that yet.

He was beginning to believe it, since that fight in the pyramid. Some part of the old link had been shaken loose, and then reattached itself, more strongly than before, bringing with it some small aberrations, common to fledglings -- but though he was her creature, he knew for a fact that he was no fledgling -- yet. He could see in the dark, a feat he had achieved before with an artist's eye for shapes, shades, shadows, and muted colors; but now, it was as if it were broad daylight, and the sun, instead of the crescent moon, shone down on the cobbles in front of him. and he no longer needed one of Mina's little familiar bats, or a fledgling in mist form appearing on his back doorstep. This evening he had heard her voice in his head as clear as a bell.

"Come, Hannibal Dear, We have business to discuss."

He had argued , of course, who wouldn't? It's just not normal to be frying a slab of ham on the potbelly in the barracks, with the other sergeants and corps around, and hear a vampire queen's voice in your head and be invited to a court full of other kinds of 'corps.' Even more embarrassing was having to explain to Piggot-Steng exactly why he needed to leave the barracks after dark in street clothes. Sorry, sir, I 'ad to climb the wall. Nossir, I don't need no guard, I'll be among friends, yeah I know, they're all vampires an' I'm basically food, but Madam Wilhelmina knows me, yeah, she's the Nadir Queen; 'member back in Pakistan up the Khyber... and so on.

He came to the semi-abandoned Convent and Chapel, and let himself in through the rusty, creaking iron gate, and joined the pale-complected lot ascending and descending the stairs down intro the basement from the rectory, or the remains of that suite of rooms. A figure met and stopped him on the basement landing. A smiling, younger fellow, hiding his fangs in the curve of his lips, though age-like looks were deceiving among the Vampires. "I know you," Rourke said, "Mar... Marmite?"

The smile flattened out. "Marmont, sir Hannibal. Why do you persist in..." the fellow sighed, rolled his eyes, and let it go. "Her Imperial Majesty awaits."

"Queen Victoria's 'ere?!" Rourke said, feigning incredulity, then poked Marmont in the ribs. "Just 'Rourke,' Marmont, you've known me too long ta call me 'sir,' An' I'm a Colour Sergeant anyway."

"For now, you are, Rourke. In any case, Madam Mina awaits. We have something of a mutual problem to discuss..."

(Another installment soon, I promise)
« Last Edit: January 29, 2012, 04:33:06 am by MWBailey » Logged
Evelyn Adler
Zeppelin Admiral
******
United Kingdom United Kingdom


Lady of Dorkness


« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2012, 09:11:55 pm »

It was a beautiful spring day in May 1884 Unter den Linden; Berlin’s most prestigious boulevard. Flowers were in bloom, couples were promenading, enjoying the sun and the mild spring breeze, governesses were pushing prams, a worker was repairing the University wall, a young woman was selling flowers from a basket to passersby and from nearby Bebelplatz, the sounds of a street organ drifted across.

Christian von Rabenstein, a gangly young man in his early twenties, books firmly tucked under one arm, the cap in the colours of his fraternity on his blonde locks and his head, as usual, full of thoughts, strode out of the front gate of Friedrich-Wilhelms-University. Squinting into the sun, he almost collided with the flower girl.

“Nich’ so stürmisch, junger Herr!” The young woman, whose poor clothes and hideous accent marked her as a member of Berlins less fortunate classes, giggled. “Woll’n se nich’n paar Blumen koofen? So’n scheena junga Kerl wie Sie hat doch bestimmt ‘ne Liebste?” She pushed one of her meagre bouquets in his face.

What the flower girl had said - since not even all Germans would have been able to properly understand that particular patois - was, if the boisterous young Gentleman would like to buy some flowers for his sweetheart. From now on, we shall provide a translation of the conversation.

“No, most certainly not!” Christian von Rabenstein replied curtly and tried to push past the flower girl, when suddenly his eyes grew wide. “Issa! Are you completely mad?”

“I’m also very glad to see you, little brother!” Iska von Rabenstein, known to her family and friends as Issa, winked. “Also I would appreciate if you would play along and don’t make such a fuss.” Loud she said. “That’ll be jus’ two pennies for the lily ‘o th’ valley!”

She pushed a flower bouquet in his hand, along with a piece of paper. “See you tomorrow! And bring your sweetheart!” she winked, made a tiny curtsey and disappeared among the passersby on the boulevard.

Christian von Rabenstein stared at the flowers in his hand, dumbfounded. He didn’t notice the worker, who laid down his tools and followed his sister down the boulevard.


~~*~~

Later that night…

The former porcelain manufacture in Leipziger Strasse 4, now an office building and temporary seat of the German Reichstag, lay deserted at this hour. Only a few windows were still alight.

In his office on the third floor, German chancellor Otto von Bismarck, the powerful man who sat in the middle of Europe like a spider in his web, was still working. He wrote a few notes to his secretary, placed the file he had been reading on a pile of similar ones, then he opened the next folder. Intelligence reports. A bit of light reading. He flipped through the pages, when a name caught his attention.

So his great-grandniece had been sighted in Berlin this afternoon. And of course, they had lost her again!

He knew, this was against all sense of duty – but a small part of him, the one that had once won him the nickname “the wild one” in his youth – was nothing less than relieved. He always liked the girl. Of all his younger relatives, Iska had been the most promising. Pity…

The door opened and a maid carrying a tray entered. “Tea, your Excellency?”

“Yes please!” He looked up. The page he had been about to turn froze in mid-air.
“Iska! I might have known! Have you taken leave of your senses, girl?”

“I would have preferred to make an appointment with your secretary, but somehow I had the feeling, that would not have been well received!” Issa said flippantly, setting the tray down on the small table.

“You know, I will have to call the guards and have you arrested?” Von Bismarck slammed the file down on the table. “Iska, what were you thinking? You disobey your orders, sabotage and destroy a Zeppelin, killing one third of it’s crew in the process, abandon your post, join a rival force – and what is that funny business with the Earl of Halifax I keep hearing about? He’s been a fly in our ointment more than once, as you should very well know!” He did not raise his voice. He didn’t have to.

Issa nodded meekly. “I know how this looks. I’m not… I didn’t mean…” She drew a deep breath. “All I ask is, that you hear my side of it. If after that you’re still convinced, that I must be arrested, then so be it. I give you my word!”

“The word of a traitor and deserter!” von Bismarck grumbled. “Alright then. Tea, two sugar, no milk and your story better be good!”


~~*~~



…and that was when I realized I had to come and see you in person.” Issa concluded. “Because you would order to have me arrested – but I was sure, you would never send any assassins after me! So I knew, there are probably things going on, that you’re not properly informed about!”

The tea was cold and forgotten. Von Bismarck sat, his chin in his hand, looking at his grand-niece under furrowed brows.

“You make a very good case!” he finally said. “It seems I was so busy looking after the neighbours, that I neglected my own house. You know what they’re saying – if the cat is away…” He took a piece of paper and started writing. “I shall look into this. There will be an inquiry. It seems, certain members of administration became a bit over-ambitious.”

“So – shall I call the guards now?” Issa looked at her grand-great-uncle, head cocked.

“Don’t you dare!” he answered, his voice a deep rumble that had the potential to become a laugh. “Come here and give your old uncle a hug, you little rebel!”  

Issa hurried to comply, tears of relief in her eyes.
“Maybe you should drop me a line, now and then!” von Bismarck said. “If you learn any interesting details.” Issa nodded.

 “And try to keep the scandal out of the papers!” he went on. “You know your poor mother will have a fit! Seriously, girl, what were you thinking? Did it really have to be an Englishman? And this one in particular?”

“He is a good man!” Issa said quietly.

“Well, he has to be, if he managed to tame you!” her uncle chuckled. “He must be either very brave or very foolish! Probably both. I should like to meet him someday.”

“Thank you!” Issa gave her great-uncle another hug.

“Now you should go!” von Bismarck said. “Try not to get caught on the way out!”

There was still light in the office on the third floor that night, long after she had gone.



~~*~~



The Café Kranzler on the busy corner of Unter den Linden and Friedrichstrasse was one of the places to see and to be seen. Ever popular with everyone who was anyone in Berlin and quite a few, who were hoping to be. But the elegant Lady in a black and white silk dress and huge hat with ostrich feathers after latest Paris fashion, turned heads even here, as the waiter led her to a table on the sun terrace.

“I’m waiting for someone!” Issa smiled at the waiter, when he presented her with the menu.

A few minutes later, a Gentleman in an impeccable, if a little drab, suit and top hat approached the table. “Fräulein von Rabenstein?” he said. “I would like you to come with me, quietly and without a fuss, please!”

Issa smiled at him. “Maybe you should check with the headquarter first?” she said in a friendly tone. “I believe, orders have been changed. I assure you, I won’t be going anywhere in the meantime, as your colleagues over at the door, in the carriage to our right and on the two tables to our left may be able to confirm, after your return!”

The Gentleman responded with a little surprised “Ho-hum!”, but tipped his hat and went, under the surprised looks of the other agents, Issa had noticed earlier.

Christian arrived a few minutes later. He seemed a little nervous, which was completely understandable under these circumstances.

“It’s so good to see you!” Issa said, as they embraced. “I’ve missed you!”

“As did I!” he replied, settling down in his chair. “Seriously, what was that charade yesterday? Why are you even here? You know that mother is furious? And don’t even ask about father! There have been all sorts of rumours about you! We thought you must have lost your mind!” Christian had never been one to mince his words. It ran in the family.

Issa drew a deep breath. “Believe me – I never meant to hurt anyone. It just happened – you see, I couldn’t do what was expected of me. To go with our parents’ wishes, to marry someone I don’t want – I would have had to neglect everything I am. And after that… well, one thing came to another…” She sighed. “That probably doesn’t make much sense, does it?”

Her brother regarded her with a serious expression in his slate-grey eyes. “Oh, that makes a lot more sense to me, than you might expect.” he said and suddenly he smiled. “At least you don’t look like something the cat dragged in anymore! Where did you even find those rags you wore yesterday?” He winked. “Great hat by the way!”

“Literally!” Issa smiled, relieved.  

The two Gentlemen at the table to their left stood up and went, not without tipping their hats to her. Several others were leaving too. The Gentleman, who had come to the table earlier, stood across the street; when she looked at him, he tipped his hat too. Issa nodded at him with a polite smile.

“Now, what was that about?” Christian said puzzeled.

“That, my beloved little brother, means, we have a reason to celebrate!” Issa beamed.

But Christian seemed suddenly a bit distracted, looking towards a young Gentleman with dark hair and moustache, wearing an expensive tailored suit, who was approaching their table.

“Issa,” he said, and she noticed a slight tremble in his voice, “I would like to introduce my friend, Klaus von Alvensleben. Since… you were asking, yesterday…” he added, with a slight blush.

It took a second to realize, what he meant. “Oh!” Issa said.
Then, hardly missing a beat, she smiled. “Iska von Rabenstein, pleased to make your acquaintance!” The young man greeted her with an elegant bow. She couldn’t help noticing the relieved look he exchanged with her brother.

“So!” she smiled at the both of them. “I believe, this occasion calls for Champagne, don’t you think?”


« Last Edit: January 29, 2012, 08:19:37 pm by Evelyn Adler » Logged
MWBailey
Rogue Ætherlord
*
United States United States


"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2012, 04:45:43 am »

{Uv^vU('--|<-X->|--')Uv^vU}

He'd done this a hundred, two, more times in the past. There wouldn't be any surprises beyond the Mission he was being Called din for. And then a human, but none like he'd ever met before, turned away from the wine table in the thronehall when his name was called.

"Sir Hannibal," Queen Mina said, a note of humor in her voice, no doubt because she'd used Rourke's title,  "I'd like for you to meet Captain John Pulsifer. He'll be joining you on your hunt, in return for our help in getting back to his own homeworld. His ship, with its unique abilities, should prove to be useful.

The man turned around, and Rourke was struck by the familiar features. He was a dead ringer for Hawthorne! A much older one, sure, with white hair and enormous white handlebar moustaches, but still, the resemblance was uncanny.

The captain spoke, his voice a thick-as-molasses southern American one, the thickest Rourke had ever heard. "Jus' call me Jack, boy, or Mad Jack, damn near everybody else does. My ship's your magic carpet for this one mission. Less git ourselfs aboard an' git started, Han boy, time's a-wastin'...

Now, wait just a moment, 'cap'n,' Rourke said, and turned to Mina. "What's the mission, Your Majesty?" Tit f'r tat, he thought, call me tha' title and I'll call you by yours, my lovely queen.

Ha.Distressingly, Her voice answered the thought. So this is what your mind is like on the inside. Hannibal, you naughty little boy! Her musical laughter filled his head. Don't look so surprised, she chided reassuringly, the captain will thing you've taken up flycatching! Poor Han, I'm going to have to ask you to do something horrible...

"The mission, Hannibal dear, Mina continued in her normal voice, is to hunt down and kill a coven of foreign interloping vampires. They are not of this court; in fact I doubt they are of any court or other coven. They have already attacked several Humans, for which Nadir subjects have been accused of hunting out of season and territory. This cannot stand!" Her eyes blazed forth red as fiery embers then, and the assembled Court around them repeated the statement, their own eyes blazing as well.

Well, well, My old friend, your eyes are burning as well. It suits you."



"Cannot stand, Cannot stand, Cannot stand..."

---(VwV)---

So. Here they were, above the city, in what had to be the world's ugliest airship; a huge blimp gasbag, from which hung no less than the hull of a sailing scow, with a two-lunger diesel engine clattering away and stinking as such engines do. It seemed a more advanced engine than any available in Rourke's London, however, for it did a number of things that no petrol engine Rourke had yet seen was able to do. One, it had enough extra power to be able to run an electrical generator , plus a mechanical poweraxle to the huge mahogany-sided box in the combination wheelhouse/cabin. Pulsifer assured Rourke that within that box lay a device that enabled the Beau Rosin (odd name for a ship, but there it was) to carry passengers both from one time to another, and even an entire multiverse to another. "Which is what I'm doin' here," Mad Jack explained. "I wuz tethered to a rockface in the Alps, sleepin' off a certain celebratory event, you might say, an' a storm blew up. Lightnin' struck teh cabin, and started the device, and afore I could figger out what was happenin', i wound up here, tangled in the tree outside your Mistresses' Chapel thang. Han boy, that's one hell of a woman. you oughta be proud..."

"She's my queen and comrade, not my mistress. And stop calling me 'Han Boy." 


{Uv^vU('--|<-X->|--')Uv^vU}
« Last Edit: January 30, 2012, 12:04:10 am by MWBailey » Logged
Cpt Wallace
Snr. Officer
****
United Kingdom United Kingdom


Stand and Deliver


« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2012, 10:26:30 pm »

when he arrived in at the towers base it was strangely quiet the man he’dd followed stood right at the centre of the square under the tower his hands fidgeting with a cigarette, as John approached him he spoke in English though he voice was tainted with a heavy French accent.

“You’re not welcome in Paris Monsieur Talbot.”

He stopped a short distance from the man resting on his cane.

“On who’s order is that?”

“I think you know who, he gave strict orders to kill you if you ever entered Paris again.”

He opened his arms.

“And yet I am still alive. I have a message for him if you’re interested.”

The man looked up from the cigarette a harsh smirk on his face.

“You think he’ll listen?”

“He ought too Arsène, it’s from me after all.”

Arsène drew a slow drag from the cigarette and let the smoke drift out of his mouth slowly.

“You fancy a drink John?”

“I did wonder when you’d offer.”

The pair of them closed and embraced each other in warm hugs, when they broke from their embrace John held out his hand.

“I’ll have that back please.”

Arsène looked hurt but upon John’s forceful thrust of his hand he deposited the Beaumont into his hand.

“You are carrying a lot of weapons my friend, are you planning on starting a war.”

He laughed as he slid the weapon back into it’s holster.

“Not with you old friend, this is for something else I’ve involved in.”

They walked to a small cafe sitting opposite one another they ordered drinks, John ordered a rum while Arsène ordered absinth, they chatted and laughed while they drank and after their fourth drink Arsène changed the subject to all business.

“What is the message for the Marquis?”

“Tell him I need his help.”

“Oh he’ll love that, last time you saw him you shot him.”

“Only because he shot at me first.”

“I’ll tell him, but he’ll want to know more.”

“Tell him I’ll offer him a trade I know how he likes trades.”

Arsène nodded pushing himself from the table he dropped some money onto it and made to leave.

“One does not make a dead man pay for drinks, you’ll find him at the Moulin Rouge, he is one of their patrons, and he’ll have the message long before you arrive.”

Arsène touched his shoulder and strode from the cafe, John waited and ordered another rum before leaving he took in the night sucking in a breath of cold air before heading off into the city. He was enjoying the walk it was relaxing to be out free of his duties and the dangers of the last weeks though he missed the team his mind wandered to thinking about Starling Scott the woman so full of life so adventurous in another life he may have found her attractive she was an intelligent free spirit with an infectious zeal for life. It was not what she was that he dwelt on but what she had become, she was infused with power, incredible power beyond measure the power that had previously belonged to the undead immortal mummy Tantari. She now possessed all of his power and locked somewhere within him all of his knowledge, it was intoxicating to consider what she might know the collected knowledge of thousands of years was hers to unlock. His mind drifted to meditative practices he’d need to go through with her when he had the chance too, things to unlock any gifts she might possess.

He turned into Boulevard de Clichy and entered the Moulin Rouge entering the main arena he watched a lively can-can ordering a drink from a passing serving girl, when she came back she brought a written note taking it he thanked her tipping her far too much he headed to the private booth indicated on the note, stepping in the booth was empty so he slid into a comfortable chair and watched the next dance routine.
When the Marquis entered he did so silently moving like a cat he slid into the chair beside him, he was dressing in a fine pin striped suit of dark material his hair was shoulder length and drawn back over his head and had flecks of grey matched in his neatly trimmed beard, he carried a cane the match of his own which he rested on the edge of the booth, he had with him a glass of deep red wine the smell of which reached his nose. The Marquis sipped the drink and rested it on the small table to his side.

“So you need my help John?”

“I do, on a matter only you can advise me on.”

“And you offer a trade.”

“I do.”

The Marquis laughed full throated and hearty he chuckled as he turned to regard him his eyes narrow.

“What would you offer me John Talbot? Gold Silver? I have plenty of that, Guns I can get them from the military, so what can you offer me Tal...”

“A favour.”

The Marquis stopped and looked at him his eyes opening a smile forming on his lips.

“A favour indeed, what would the nature of this favour be I must ask.”

“Anything you want Marquis, as long as it’s nothing against crown and country.”

“Now you have my interest John do tell me what it is you need.”

It was John’s turn to twist in his seat and look the Marquis in the eye.

“How old are you Marquis?”

“I’m not sure what you mean John.”

“Over a hundred? Two perhaps.”

The Marquis sat back in his chair sipping his wine.

“I know you have your life’s locked away somewhere, the last time we met I shot you in the chest, shot you dead I know this because I searched you body before I left.”

“You’re a bastard Mr Talbot.”

“That’s why my employers pay me to do what I do. Now I find myself in need of that secret.”

Again he took a sip of his wine, it turned into a gulp as he drained the glass.

“What could you possibly need it for? You have escaped death numerous times.”

“And now I find myself with death hanging over my shoulder, she is hunting me old friend.”

He summoned another glass, waiting in silence as it to arrive he drained it and requested a bottle.

“It is not an easy process John it leaves you cold and empty inside. Splitting your life is not something to be undertaken lightly. What could you be possibly going against that would require that?”

“Vampires.”

The Marquis sighed rubbing his brow.

“There are other ways to fight vampires John.”

He drew the colt and passed it the Marquis. He looked over the weapon sliding one of the rounds from the drum he looked over the weapon with the eyes of a antiquities expert.

“This is an impressive weapon, the rounds alone must cost your annual pay.”

“I imagine so.”

“So you want to make sure you’re able to get up after you’ve used this?”

“I want to make sure I live.”

The Marquis laughed.

“Life if a terrible thing John, sooner or later you grow tired of it.”

“You seem to doing fine for yourself Marquis.”

“I have lived for one hundred and fifty seven years John, I’ve seen wars, revolutions and plague. I’ve lived it all, but I am young in the terms of
the immortals I still have a lust for life and a lust for women.”

“Is that the secret to long life a desire to screw you way through the ages?”

The Marquis’ laugh echoed round the arena drawing attention to them he bellowed out regardless his mirth up he couldn’t stop himself, when he finally managed to catch his breath and slow his laughter down he spoke through chuckles.

“You always did know how to make me laugh John, the ritual will take a few days to arrange, you can do your favour for me while you wait.”

“What is it you want?”

The Marquis’ mood darkened as he poured from the bottle of wine.

“I’m having trouble with a rival 'businessman', he's drafted in the strength of the lycanthropes in the city somehow, they are organising behind this man and one of their Alpha’s you understand the risk to the city as a whole if a pack of them were to be set loose, I know what you did at Dartmoor.”

John tightened in his seat at the mention of Dartmoor.

“You killed the alpha there didn’t you?”

“I did, but it wasn’t easy.”

“Use that colt of yours or the Beaumont-Adams 38 in the small of your back, beside the aether cell, you can thank me for that by the way Old Bailey had me owe him favour.”

He sighed rubbing his brow he slid the colt back into the holster.

"You want me to kill the alpha don't you?"

"John that would be capital, but no, I want you to lead a party of my people and hunt them down."

He smiled.

"You want another Dartmoor, but in Paris, you know that they went berserk in Dartmoor killed a dozen heavily armed soldiers and almost wiped a town out."

The Marquis twisted from his seat tapping John on the shoulder.

"I have every faith in you old boy, there will be a carriage waiting for you outside, enjoy some more of the show the drinks have been put on my tab."

He left John to stew over the situation he'd gotten himself into.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2012, 12:24:42 am by Cpt Wallace » Logged
Stella Gaslight
Governor
Time Traveler
****
United States United States


Looking for a few good lobsters.


WWW
« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2012, 11:59:55 pm »

In between sleepless nights and strange days part one

Starling had been having trouble sleeping ever since she made it home. At first she was able to simply push sleep aside because there was so much work to do with the new drug and the medical tests she mainly ran at night.  Starling wasn't ready to deal with the questions of her colleagues she was barely able to cope with her own. Sleeplessness plagued her even when she took an evening off to rest. Finally at 1:30 in the morning after tossing and turning for hours she was restless and her nerves were flayed.  Starling went to the roof and donned her wings. It had taken a complete rebuild and quite a bit of money but she felt more whole with them on her back. The night was warm and quiet and she could just take a cab but she didn't want to talk.  Riding the thermals she made it to Morgan's building in record time.  A hatch on the roof was open and it had been since she started to visit via sky.  She was in front of his door in a moment and knocked. "Um this is going to sound silly but could you just hold me for a little while and talk? I can't sleep." She didn't mention the one time on the ship she slept and dreamed of a life that was not hers.  They were dark things that haunted her during catnaps, startling her awake.

Starling's landing had wakened Redburn from a fitful sleep, and from dreams he was glad to forget. He was moving to the door as she knocked, and he opened it for her immediately. "Of course my love; come here." He drew her into his arms and held her. "I have a feeling that we're both being tormented by something. My demons are fading with my sleep but yours would appear to be more intrusive. What's been eating at you?"

"Do you remember on the ship when I about scared every one out of their wits with shouting in my sleep?  Well I didn't tell the whole truth then.  It wasn't the mummies I saw doing horrible things it was me.  I think I am seeing their memories, standing in for them.  When ever I try to sleep they are there and they are not nice people.  I was going to try drugging myself to sleep but I am not sure what that may do."  In truth she was scared to pieces that she might act in her sleep and do something.  "I have been running tests on myself too.  I am in the best shape of my life and I have a lot of stamina but I am still human."  It had been such a relief when the results came back. She kept them on her desk as a reminder and it felt rather strange that she needed one.  

“Well the human part is good; to be honest I’m not sure how you handle no longer being human. What we need to figure out is if these are just dreams or if they are something more. Do you know of anything like this happening before?” Redburn certainly hadn’t, but he wasn’t really much of a scholar. “I mean, if its just nightmares then I could recommend a substance or two, but if it’s something more than that then we definitely wouldn’t want you sleepwalking and killing people. I wonder if an exorcist or a spiritualist might be able to help?”

"There are tales of people remembering their past lives but I dismissed them as fame seekers at the time and didn't keep up on the story.  I have herd of spiritualist colonies that commune with the dead.  I wonder if they would be able to tell me if what I am seeing are echoes or if I am housing a malevolent force." The shook with that last statement, it was her worst fear. "Talbot said the ankh world keep me safe but I feel like I am falling apart."  There were tears in her eyes but she was trying to remain strong.  Starling had always had to stand on her own before but the last week had battered her badly.

Redburn took her arm and led her to a chair. He sat and pulled her into his lap, holding her close. "We'll get to the bottom of this, don't worry. I'll write a letter to a friend of mine and she if she knows anything about this. If you are being possessed by something evil, we'll get it out. You need rest though; we must figure out something to do about that. We need answers though; many religions and cultures have stories of the undead. I wonder how whatever is inside you would react to a crucifix or a pentagram?"

Starling let herself relax in to his arms. It was the first time she felt safe since she had stepped out of the tomb.  "I wish I had more than a passing knowlage of myths.  There has to be some way to keep evil out or perhaps keep me form getting out and doing harm. Something protective."  She pulled the ankh from under her shirt and held it out to sparkle in the light.  "They must have had prayers for the dead.  Ways to appease them, remind them their time on earth is over but they are remembered, offerings perhaps.  Do you know that in Japan they believe tapirs eat bad dreams,  I suppose I could go you the zoo." Starling laughed a little but then sighed. "Sorry I have been running on coffee for a week and I am rambling."

"If its myths you want, we could go to the library; I'm sure they have something there. As for the rambling; my dear, have we met? Once you start rambling as much as I do then perhaps we can be worried." He smiled and kissed her lightly. "As far as the coffee goes, though, its not doing you any favors in the stress department. I'll make you some tea in a moment, something to help you relax and focus. I think you're on to something with the prayers to the dead, we just need to find someone who could give us more direction."

"We could try the university but I am not sure I want any of my colleagues to know about this.  They already think i am an an odd duck I don't know how they would respond to this.  I don't think I would be fired but I don't want to find out."   Starling paused tapping a finger on her chin.  "Well there is professor Williams most people already think he is loon but he is a font of information if we can just sort through his far fetched theories." Suddenly Starling's face lit up. "I remember something from when i had to chase a wayward undergrad all across campus.  I ended up having to wait outside a lecture hall for him and they spoke briefly of a scroll most high born mummies were buried with, a book of the dead.  I bet that would help but where are we going to find an antique scroll at this time of night?"

"Do you want an option that's legal or illegal my dear? On the legal side of things would be a rather eccentric friend of mine named Blaine Edwards, a collector of rare and odd books. If any private collector would have such a thing he would know, or even have it himself. On the other side of things would be to break into the British museum; I can't think of too many other places in London that would have such a document."

She smiled and hugged him.  There was hope in her eyes now.  "Oh Morgan what would I do without you.  Let's start with the legal but if it doesn't work I am willing to do just about any thing to figure this out."

"Well in that case I'll need to stand up, my dear." Redburn smiled and stood. "Let me grab my hat and we'll be off!" He reached for his hat, realized that he was otherwise only wearing a worn union suit, glanced at a chagrined Starling, and took the time to dress. Finally attired in a rather startling outfit composed of stripes and paisley brocade, he again donned his top hat and took Starling's hand. "To the roof then?"

"Yes please!" They made quite the pair him in his stripes and paisley and Starling in sari fabric and well worn leather pants. Up on the roof there was what must have one time been a pigeon coop that Starling had taken over as wing pack storage.  She donned her wings being very careful with the stitches on her left side.  They were healing far faster than a cut of that depth should but still she didn't want it opening up as it almost had in the fight with the mummy.  "I topped off your tank last time I was over. So we both should have enough to keep us in the air for quite a bit. Which way are we heading?"

"Best to swing south for a bit and then head east. His house is right on the river, so if follow that east I should be able to spot it. I'm used to coming at it from the road." Redburn donned his wings and they took off. He led Starling due south for about five minutes and then swung east just as the river was below them. They eventually reached the outskirts of London, in a particularly dilapidated neighborhood, where Redburn signaled that they would be landing. The house he was heading for appeared abandoned, the top half of it was caving in, and a tree was growing through a first floor window. Nevertheless he landed and walked up to the door. "Edwards doesn't usually like guests, but I have a feeling he's going to enjoy our visit." Rather than knock, Redburn opened the door and stepped inside, walking over to the tree. This he knocked on, rapping out a complicated pattern. Moments later a scraping noise could be heard in the center of the room as a rug was invisibly pulled back and a trap door opened. A head peeked above the floor. "Oh its you Morgan? Well come on down then, come on down. Can't be too careful these days. Oh, and a lady friend? Well bring her as well then."

Redburn led Starling to the trapdoor and helped her down before shutting the door and following. Once they were all underground, their host turned to Redburn. "What's this all about then? You should have written first, you know how I do things. What's the emergency?" Redburn looked at Starling."This is Ms. Scott, a researcher and medical professional you might have heard of. She had a rather specific question for you relating to your collection of literature." Edwards looked quizzically towards Starling.

"Have you heard of the book of the dead? I was in Egypt recently on business trying to fight a plague and ended up getting in a fight I couldn't win with a mummy.  I think something might have fallowed me home from that and I want to put it at rest so I may rest myself."  She felt a bit silly saying this to someone that had not been there fighting with them but this had to be done.  She had to get some rest before it drove her mad.

Edwards took off his glasses and began to polish them. He was a slender man, on the short side, and dressed in a simple black suit. "Ah, the Book of the Dead, yes. There are actually several texts known by that name, most of them coming from Egypt and Arabia, but by far the most famous is a funeral text that was buried with many ancient Pharaohs and other important figures. These contained many spells to deal with restless spirits, as you may know already. They problem is, these scrolls all varied in length and content. Egyptian priests often had a good idea which spirits would need the most spells, but sometimes they got it wrong. If there weren't enough spells left on a mummy, they occasionally awaken and cause...issues. Let me ask, did the mummy speak? And was it in physical form or incorporeal?"

"He spoke not any thing I could understand but he did speak as he was trying to squeeze the life out of me.  I ended up with him latched to my back like a monkey.  He was tough, by the time got him off my back he had cast some sort of spell on me. He was able to pull my life out of my body but his lady friend took offense and burned them both up but I am afraid they might still be hanging about."  Well that sounded more mad than she thought it would.

Edwards suddenly became very serious. "Ah, so he cast something did he? Hmm. I'm not sure I'll be able to help you, I'm afraid. I have several copies of the Book of the Dead here, but none of them contain the information you'll need. What I may be able to do though is give you some information about what you're dealing with. Would you come with me?"

He led them down a hallway and into a small study. One wall was covered in book, while the opposite it the wall was filled with crevices, all of which contained scrolls. Edwards stopped at the far end of the wall and searched for a moment. "Ah, here we are. This should be of some help at least. Please, sit down."

He motioned to several chairs in the center of the room. Carefully removing the scroll from its crevice, he walked to a podium at the back of the study and began to unroll the scroll. He began to speak, but it sounded like unintelligible syllables. After several moments he began to repeat one phrase over and over; he lifted his head and stared at Starling as he spoke, waiting to see if there would be any reaction.

Starling winced the words washing over her were building pressure in her head.  At first it was like a headache and then it became a vice and when she though she could take no more something gave and she cried out in a guttural voice.  "Stop you son of a fornicating jackal."  Starling clamped a hand over her mouth.  She had no idea what she had said but speaking in tongues could not be a good sign.

Edwards stopped; even if Starling didn't know what she'd said he did. "Well, I'd say that was fairly conclusive. I most certainly cannot help you. Fortunately, I know of something that can. Unfortunately, it is not something a person just requests the use of. Unless you happen to be on very personal terms with the head curator of the British museum (and I can tell you I am not) then things may get, um, sticky from here on out." He paused for a moment. "You see madam, there is something in you, and judging from its tone it is something powerful. Now, I cannot speak as to its intentions, but were I to guess I would not assume they were friendly. Wait there a moment and I'll get you some tea. You look like you could use some.

He walked across the hall and began bustling about in what sounded to be a kitchen. Redburn turned to Starling and took her hand. "We'll stop this thing, don't you worry yourself. He said there's a way, and we'll get to the bottom of this."

Edwards returned shortly with a tray and three cups of tea. "Here we are. Now, there's the cream and sugar, just help yourself. I'm afraid that the only scroll I know of that might be able to help you is in the British museum, and is not on display there. It is rumored to be kept inside a sarcophagus they keep in storage, but where that is and what the results would be of removing it I really could not say. When a mummy is buried with the Book of the Dead, it is assumed that they had a particularly powerful spirit in life and the priests were very concerned about their actions after death." He paused to sip his tea.

"Hmm. I'll need some time to consider this and do some quick studying. I'll leave you two alone for a bit; I imagine you have some things to say to each other. Rest assured I'm just down the hall, and even though the behavior of your mummy spirit is beyond my control, I do have plenty of ways to make sure your body doesn't hurt anything. That, at least, is a small comfort right now."

With that he rose and walked somberly out of the room, shutting the door. His voice could be heard chanting outside; first a Latin prayer of safety, then something that sounded vaguely Chinese, then more unintelligible sounds, then something vaguely French. At the sound of the Creole spell Redburn started to reach for his own amulet, before pausing and taking Starling's hands in his own. "Alright my love, what just happened? Are you alright?"

Starling held on to him like a lifeline.  She was pale as paper and scared.  "It felt like a vice squeezing until something popped.  That wasn't me speaking.  My fears where right." Starling took a small bit of clock work from her pocket. "If I become some sort of monster don't hesitate to use that on me.  I don't want to become what that thing was.  Most of all I don't want to hurt you."  She pulled him in to her arms and held him tight wondering if this was her last chance to show him how much she cared.  "Being morbid isn't helpful I know.  So how are we going to get in?  I bet the museum isn't ready for visitors from above so we have a bit of a leg up there but I can't just blast the mummy and we don't have that fancy dagger anymore."

Redburn held her close as he considered the problem at hand. "Well, getting in is a problem. Luckily, I have a bit of experience gettin' into places that don't want me in them. As to the reciting of the scroll, I wonder if we'd have to actually remove the scroll in order to use it? I mean, obviously the coffin-thing would have to be opened, but a scroll could just be unrolled right there, couldn't it? Probably wouldn't have too dire of a repercussion. That's a theory at least."

Starling brightened up, she hadn't considered that.  "We could copy it. That way if we ever need it we will have it." She had a feeling this would not be the last time they would need help against un-resting spirits.  "Have you ever been to the museum? I have only a passing idea what the layout inside is."

Redburn considered for a moment. "Well, I've been in there once, but I was hardly casing the place. Honestly I'd been drinking some Bohemian absinthe and I was starting to see things. I'm surprised I even remember going there. So, no, I'm not too sure where things are. Maybe Edwards will know."

Just then their host reappeared. "Well I think I've figured out where they'd be keeping this sarcophagus, but I have no idea how you're going to get in there. Its bound to be in the old storage rooms down in the basement. There's one room in particular they often use for especially rare items they don't want stolen. It'll have a lock on the door; actually it will most likely be vault itself. The one saving grace is it looks like there is a service entrance not far from the stairs to the basement. You'll still have a fair distance to go underground, but once you're down there you shouldn't find anyone."

Redburn interrupted. "We're thinking of copying the scroll and bringing it back here for you to study. Would that work? I figure it wouldn't disturb the mummy as much that way." Edwards sat back a moment, stunned. "Why, I don't see why that wouldn't work. Mind you, it would be tricky. There's no real way of telling what would happen no matter what you do. But certainly it sounds safer than performing a ritual there."

Redburn grinned. "Well then perhaps we could start by copying what you've got here? That way we'll only have to copy the rest of it when we're there in the museum." Edwards jumped up. "Of course you can; be my guest. Here it is." He grabbed the scroll and brought it to them. "Just so you know, this is thirty feet long. The longest Book of the Dead that is officially known to exist is forty feet. So the one downstairs in the museum will be at least sixty feet I'd say, and maybe more. What I'm saying is that I need to get you a lot of paper." He rose to his feet again and left the room, returning a few moments later with a huge roll of paper, several bottles of ink, and several pens.

"Here you are, this should be everything we need. I'll help you with this bit; I know what I'm doing after all." He looked around a moment and then laughed. "Why, it'll be tricky to work in a room with no table. Come on, follow me. I have just the place." He led them out and down the hall again, ending up in a dining room. In the center was a long table, devoid of any dishes or decoration. "Ah, yes, I don't entertain very often. No matter, lets get this rolled out."

After rolling out both scrolls, he placed bottles of ink and pens on the table and began to write. "Watch me for a bit if you want, or just dive right in. We've got a ways to go."
Logged

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Stella Gaslight
Governor
Time Traveler
****
United States United States


Looking for a few good lobsters.


WWW
« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2012, 12:03:31 am »

In between sleepless nights and strange days part two
The hieroglyphs meant nothing at first other than a pretty pattern that seemed vaguely broken in to lines but as they went along she could almost pick out a word here or there.  It was like remembering something from childhood once she has words she could work through lines and then it became almost like reading it in English.  It wasn't just writing either she could hear she sound each word made in her head.  It was all laid out before her and made her slightly nervous.  "Mr Edwards I know these words are.  I could probibly recite it with a few more readings but before today they were just pretty pictures."  Starling was happy that she could understand the words being said now but where the knowlage came from gave her pause.  What other things would she just know without actually knowing?

Edwards paused for a moment. "Hmm. That's peculiar. Hmm. Well, if you feel the same presence that came upon you when I recited earlier, let me know at once. Other than that I don't see any problem. In fact it may work to your advantage. Let's keep going. But I must reiterate, if there is any problems that you start feeling, you must let us know."

The work proceeded, faster now that Starling was able to read more and more of the hieroglyphics. The hours passed quickly, and suddenly they were finishing. Edwards left to fix some breakfast, and Redburn turned to Starling. "You've been quiet; how are you feeling?"

"Rather confused and tired actually.  There were some passages that gave me sharp emotional responses and some times remembered smells and sounds but none of those memories are my own. I think whatever is inside of me is leaking memories now and it is making me nervous,  It isn't active but I can feel it there in the background waiting."
She shivered it wasn't a good feeling.  "I may have to go for a little stronger stimulants. I don't want to sleep till i am sure this is taken care of."

"Well I have a unique concoction I used to make to keep myself awake; plenty of coffee, a bit of espresso, some tea and herbs, and even a little chocolate. Actually, I'll see what Edwards has around; I might be able to whip sometime together for you. I'll just be a minute."

Redburn swept out of the room in search of their host. In truth it was several minutes before he returned, but he brought a tall steaming mug with him. The smell of dark coffee, strong green tea, ginseng, and chocolate filled the room as Redburn set the cup on the table by Starling. "Here, my love. This should help things. Edwards is almost done fixing breakfast as well, so we'll get some food in you soon."

Starling took only a small sip at first.  Sometimes Morgan's concoctions had a lot of kick but this was smooth with a coffee chocolate front note and the herbs and the tea coming in later.  She decided she rather liked it.  "Thank you so much for every thing Morgan.  You know since it is Saturday morning or rather I think it is my internal clock has been hit by a hammer. We could sneak in to the museum during daylight hours. At the beginning of the semester both the history and art 101 teachers assign rather large projects to incoming students that require them to draw things in the museum or research them.  Students being students wait until the last minute to get it done so the museum will be swamped with them.  They cause so much chaos that I bet the museum staff wouldn't notice us sneaking off. "

"That sounds like an excellent idea! I'll tell Edwards to serve up breakfast fast and we'll be off. I'd say we should leave now, but you look like you could use a good meal." Redburn grinned. "Since that's out of the question I guess Edwards' toast and eggs will have to suffice!"

He jumped up once more and tore out of the room, shouting for his friend as he went. Within a minute he returned with a plate of buttered toast, poached eggs, and sausages. "This is what he had done. Let's eat and be off. I told him we'd be leaving as soon as we finished."

While not amazing after their nights labor the food tasted better than it had any right to.  Starling devoured her plateful, splashed some water on her face, turned her wrap in to a skirt and tamed her hair.  Blinking they both stepped out of the half ruined house.   It was a sunny morning and warmer than it had been all week.  All over the city people would be out in droves enjoying the sun.  It would provide an excellent distraction.  "Let's fly to one of the little cafes near the museum, stash our wings there and then stroll in like we own the place.  I have found if you walk like you belong there very few people ask questions."

"That sounds like a wonderful plan. I know just the place."

They took flight; the morning air whipping past them brought an exhilarating excitement with it. Before long they were two blocks away from the museum; they angled downward and landed in a back alley. Redburn led Starling to the rear entrance of a small restaurant and stepped inside. The cook was too busy to speak but smiled and waved at Redburn. Opening a broom closet, Redburn stowed their wing packs and led Starling out the front of the cafe. "Care to lead on, my dear? The museum should be just over there."

She was right people were swarming everywhere and other then noticing glances at their bright colors every now and then.  Starling relaxed and smiled back at them like she was just another person out enjoying the weather and not out on a rather important mission.  Starling made a mental note to do this again sometime when things seemed less dire.  They promenaded together right up to the museum and a harried porter barely gave them a glance as they entered.  He was far too busy makeing sure a rather large pack of children that has slipped away from their governess stopped trying to touch things with their sticky fingers.  

Normally inside the museum was a calm place for thinking but today it buzzed with a thousand conversations and shoes clicking along.  It was easy for them to sweep along until they found the proper door that led to the exhibit storage when a voice called from behind.  "Miss Scott?"  Starling frowned out of all the times to meet up with one of her lab monkeys.  

"Yes Mr Weller what is it?"  She used the same tone of voice that often reprimanded them when they did something stupid in the lab and the boy shrunk back a bit.

 "It was nothing. Enjoy your weekend."  He slumped off and as soon as he had his back turned they slipped in the door.

Starling relaxed.  "That was far too close. Now where do we go from here?"

"I'd assume down to the basement. I have no idea what we'll find down there during the day though." Redburn was doing his best to look like he belonged there, but in reality he was completely out of his depth. "Do you have any cover story in mind? What will we say if we get caught?"

"Now normally I would never do this because it brakes trust and makes me look like an ass but I do have a signed document that allows me to investigate and call quarantine where I see fit.  I am only one of seven with this and getting through to Thea agents that issued it takes forever so we could tie them up in red tape for quite a while."  She took a clipboard from the wall and handed one to Redburn.  "Follow may lead and we should be just fine."  Starling strode forward at a fast pace glancing at her paperwork every so often like she was checking to make sure it ha dent wandered off.

They made it to a stairwell unnoticed and were two flights down when they heard someone coming up.  "Do you want to duck in to this unmarked door or should we keep going?"

Redburn tried the door handle and found it to be open. Peeking inside, he grasped Starlings arm and pulled her into the room, shutting the door behind her. The room was a small storage area, stacked floor to ceiling with rows of crates. "Here, lets say we're inspecting these crates for a few minutes."

The footsteps got closer, and Redburn found himself holding his breath, waiting to see if they would pass or stop at the door.

The person stopped on their floor and walked over to their door. Starling's heart jumped in her chest as the footsteps moved closer.  Just as she was rehearsing what to say in her head the figure started to sneeze and back away muttering about lazy interns, allergies and taxidermy.  A key turned in the lock and the person moved away.  They were safe but locked in.  As soon as the person was far away enough Starling turned up the lights.  The crates were covered in bold black lettering and everything was thick with dust.  Starling wandered around noting the different places each crate was from.  "I think these are animals.  Oh and there is a hatch in the floor. I almost tripped over it.!"

"Well let's see where the hatch leads. Maybe we'll get to where we're going. We might want to plan on coming back this way; that door won't be much of a problem, trust me." Redburn opened the hatch. "Ah, a ladder. Let me go first and see what its like." Redburn began to descent down.

The room below was vast and quiet there were huge stacks of crates piled all over.  It was a labyrinth at floor level with meandering paths in between the wooden boxes.  It was a huge store house of artifacts that were for whatever reason not displayed above. The filing system was complex but there were cheat sheets every so often. On the far end of the room there were a few smaller rooms probibly for cataloging and cleaning specimens.  Tho the lights were on and a phonograph playing the rooms were empty. Most likely because whom ever had been down here they passed on the stairs.

Seeing that Redburn was not on the run from guards or was not currently lunch for a monster she climbed down.  "Wow this must be under the whole block!"  She looked at the crates with their strange short hand and wondered how they would ever find what they needed when a little voice in the back of her head reminded her of some of the words Edward had said.  "I think I can find our mummy.  Part of the spells we copied were to call and bind the dead.  If I can just alter it a bit so we don't get the dead rising to the occasion so to speak then we will have the mummy itself telling us where it is."

Redburn started to reach for his pipe, then thought better of it. "Well if you're sure. We don't want the whole place waking up. There are mummies upstairs you know; that could be a bit awkward to explain, even with our respective connections."

"True we don't need that on our plates. I think I can do this but if not I do have another spell to cancel it out.  If it looks like it is getting out of hand knock me out and that should stop things right away but I need to feel out my boundaries so to speak.  After all with both Tantari and Nuri bodiless this is my power and they need to see I can use it and that I am not afraid of them."  She sat on a crate and looked over her notes.  "Well here I go."  Starling said and closed her eyes.  

She could see the words before her waiting to be said and she formed them with her intentions.  Breathing in slowly she began to speak in a voice that was strongly other but not the same as the male voice from before. "Oh those who dwell in the land of the dead hear my call and return it with one of your own makeing." It was quiet at first and then she heard a sound like the wind blowing over a bottle not too loud but unmistakeable.  It had worked.  
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Stella Gaslight
Governor
Time Traveler
****
United States United States


Looking for a few good lobsters.


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« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2012, 12:04:19 am »

In between sleepless nights and strange days part three

Starling felt over the moon she could fell the invigorating power flowing through her and it was almost intoxicating. Then things went slightly sideways for a moment and she could feel something try and latch on to that power and make her say things but she refused to let it win and pushed back.  The hold over her snapped and she could feel a little bit of power be flung out in to the warehouse and something topple over but after that all was quiet and Starling could feel the other presence's anger at her for defining it.   The sound of the bottle was still there piping up every so often.  "I did it Morgan!  I beat him back."  She tried to jump up and hug him but wobbled. "Ok so it did take a bit out of me but I still beat him."

Redburn caught Starling in his arms and held her close, breathing a sigh of relief. "You are amazing. Truly incredible! So what now? Do you know where the mummy is?"

"Now we follow that hollow moan and hope it doesn't stop any time soon.  I know the mummy is near a corner of the room but the way I saw it in my head didn't give me any idea as to surrounding area other than it is near one of those wall mounted lamps.  I say we try for the closest one which is over to the left."  They walked along arm in arm just like the promenading couples above.  As they got closer to the corner fragments of excelsior packing started appearing on the floor.  "I hope I didn't brake any thing too important."  She soon saw what had happened and it looked like a pile of rags had exploded.  Starling couldn't find anything in the pile and moved on to the large crate that was moaning.  "There he is! Lets get this open."

Above her a small confused animal was getting used to living again.  It had been brought back to cause chaos and mess the lady up at just the right time so Tantari could take over her body but the hold over it's little cat mind was incomplete.  The link had been broken before he could take full control but the cat was still a useful tool so he would wait until she was distracted and then he would be back in the flesh.

Oblivious to the feline drama unfolding above, Redburn found a crowbar and started to pry the crate open. "I am still thoroughly confused. Have you woken this thing up?" With a pop the lid came loose, and Redburn lifted it off, anxious to see what was inside.

"Hopefully not. I just made it talk in it's sleep a little."  To tell the truth she wasn't entirely sure if he would stay sleeping but if not they would find some way to take him out.  Starling peered in the crate the mummy had gone silent and she took that for a good sign.  She was also quite happy that only the wooden inner coffin was inside.  The stone one would be far too heavy for her to lift on her own.

Inside a face was staring back at her.  A golden death mask that was so very familiar to her.  She puzzled over this as she checked the body for the scroll.  It would be over the heart where they thought all thoughts came from.  Yes there that golden tube half hidden under one of the hands.  As she grabbed it the hand sprung up grabbing her throat. That is when she realized who that face was.  He had been a judge that hated thieves and this was most likely one of this curses against tomb robbers.  Starling panicked and shouted out the word on the tip of her tongue.  A severing spell that loped the offending arm off and flung both it and her to the floor.

Starling was getting far too close to blacking out.  Tantari seeing his opportunity tried to take over and get her to say the words to bring him back.  Starling held her tongue she would rather risk death than give in. So he used the last tool he had and forced the cat to drop on her head and claw at her eyes.  He knew that she couldn't keep up a three pronged defense.  It would have worked if at the last moment Redburn hadn't stepped forward making the cat doge him mid fall and land claws out on the arm.  The arm did not like this at all and loosened to try and wiggle the cat off.

Redburn wasn't quite sure what to do as the cat began to tussle with a reanimated arm, but he knew it must be distracting Starling from her work. He reached for the cat and tried in vain to get a hold on it. All he got for his trouble was a scratch on the arm, so he reached for his gloves. This time the cat's claws could not quite penetrate the leather gauntlets and he grabbed it by the scruff of the neck. Then, grabbing a hold of the bony forearm, he stepped on the palm and pulled the arm in two, before grinding the fingers under his boot.

"Do try to hurry; I have a feeling that this might only be the beginning."

Starling took a very deep breath now that she could again and squeezed Tantari as far back in her mind as she could.  There was work to do.  "Thanks."  Her hands were flying as she adapted the shorthand she learned in the secretarial classes they had made her take before hiring her.  For the first time she was rather glad for that rather backwards thinking policy.  There were a lot of the same spells so she cut them out only leaving notes if their was some difference between the two but there were also quite a few new spells for banishing evil that made her quite hopeful.  The cat calmed down now that Tantari was no longer shouting in it's mind and relaxed in to Redburn's hold.  It was rather enjoying being alive again now that it had the proper chance to adjust to having cloth and not fur. 


She hadn't noticed how quiet it had gotten once the song ended on the phonograph until she heard foot steps and someone turning a key in a lock.  The worker from before was back!  "Blast, Blast, Blast I am almost done.  If I can just get this last four foot section down we will be fine." One curse broken activated another and the mummy started to twitch.  It would get its belongings back before it would be at rest and imposable take some others to rest with it.

"I'll handle our guest." Redburn stepped quickly to the door just as it swung open. As the worker noticed someone in front of him Redburn tossed the recently awakened cat at his face, and followed quickly with punches to the man's throat and chest. Dazed, winded, and with a mummified cat clawing at his face, the man was helpless. Redburn dropped an elbow to the top of the man's head and he slumped to the floor. Grabbing a coil of rope Redburn proceeded to hogtie the worker, leaving just enough slack so that he could get free eventually. He'd be out for a while though, and no bother to them. Redburn took the man's keys as well, and made sure to notice the name on his shirt.

"Hurry up; someone else might come looking for him."

"Ok, got it!" She said triumphantly clutching her notes. 

As if on cue the mummy sat up and rumbled one word that Starling could understand.  "Mine!"

"Yes right, well here have it back then." She said stuffing the scroll back in it's tube and throwing it at the mummy.   Starling had very much learned her lesson about taking on mummies hand to hand.  It hit the mummy in the chest and there was a sound like a disappointed sigh that rose from the body. Curses spent the judge was once again still.  Starling tossed the broken hand back in the coffin and dusted herself off. "Well that was a bit too much excitement."  The cat apparently agreed and came over to rub against her legs and mew.  It was rather tired of being tossed about and just wanted a warm spot to sleep in and some one to fix its wrappings.  "I suppose we better take the little thing with us.  Who knows what kind of trouble it could get in to here and I don't think the museum is quite ready for this type of display."

Redburn began to quickly reattach the lid to the mummy's resting place. "I think you're right; lets just try to find a back entrance so we don't raise too much alarm. There, good as new. Now lets get out of here."

Redburn took Starling's hand and led her to the door.

Starling lifted the cat up and put it in one of her belt pouches that normally held medical texts. It was a tight fit but it didn't seem to mind and fell asleep.  The walk back up the stairs was one of the most nerve wracking journeys of her life but no one stopped them or even seemed to notice they were there.  Things were starting to calm down as they walked out the door and as soon as she saw a clock she knew why.  "Goodness it is already one in the afternoon no wonder I am so hungry. Perhaps was should bring Edwards lunch. after all he did feed us."

"That sounds like a wonderful idea. In fact, that cafe where we stowed the wings makes a wonderful chicken risotto; I'll pick some up to take back."

They made it back to the cafe without incident, and the chef was more than happy to provide them with a steaming dish of risotto. While Redburn secured it for air travel the man also brought out a bottle of wine and handed to Starling. They found their wings just where they had left them and were soon in the air and heading back to Edwards' home.

The afternoon air was warmer than it had been on their morning flight, and the smell of the risotto was making Redburn's stomach growl. Hunger made the trip seem longer than it was, and by the time the house was in sight Redburn was feeling famished. They landed safely and made their way inside, finding Edwards hunched over a piece of stone covered in strange looking runes. "Made it back safely have you? Well that's something. I figured I might need a bit of powerful magic if you failed so I was just brushing up on my Elder Futhark." Their host spotted Starling's new friend and paused, shocked. "What is that?"

"A cat I brought back to life.  At least I think I did.  You see I was trying to find the mummy using one of the spells I copied when Tantari tried to take the power from me.  We had a little struggle and this happened.  I couldn't leave it there. I imagine Tantari even in a cat body would not be pleasant but it doesn't seem to want to claw our eyes out any more."  It was more interested in rubbing on things and getting generally in the way like most living cats.

"Ah. Well keep an eye on it; you never know what a recently resurrected animal might do. But anyway, I'm assuming from the fact that you're both still in one piece and the fact that I smell risotto that you were successful? Splendid! Let's eat and then we can start studying the scroll."

The meal passed quickly, and in relative silence. Everyone was quite hungry, and the business of eating took priority. They ate in the kitchen, and then went into the dining room to study the scroll. Edwards began to study Starling's shorthand, and other than requesting the occasional clarification he had no trouble reading it. Finally he looked up from his study. "I think I have it. As you may have noticed, ma'am, the spells here will lay the spirits within you to rest."

He began to speak; although the words were sheer nonsense to Redburn, it was obvious that Starling understood exactly what Edwards was saying.

Starling braced herself for the same painful pressure from before and as she did she realized it was not the words causing it, it was the two spirits pressing close to her to try and escape the spell.  Well now that she was on to them she repeated each word Edwards said letting it ring in her mind to help force them out.  And they clawed at her soul and mind anything to stop the spell, anything to live on. It hurt badly and in ways she would have never imagined.  Starling wanted to scream and curl up in a little ball but instead she forced herself to repeat the words.  The blood vessels in her eyes burst giving her whites a reddish hue and she bit her cheek to keep from crying out. She would not give Tantari the pleasure.  He was whispering in her ear. Damming her and saying that the would rip her apart so she would die with them, saying all the little hurtful secrets she had hidden away in her mind.  But still she repeated the words and pushed the invaders out.

And the words kept going for what felt like forever, she shook under the weight of them.  And when Starling thought she could bare no more she looked at Morgan who was looking back at her with concern.  Nuri knew that look.  She had worn it for her lover when he first called on the power of life in death.  Love and it's madding passions had always ruled her.  Nuri moved Starling's body closer to steal a kiss then she released her hold and let herself be cast in to the other world.  Without her power to anchor him Tantari had no chance and found himself ripped out and cast aside.  Starling fell alone at last in her own head and horribly tired.
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MWBailey
Rogue Ætherlord
*
United States United States


"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2012, 12:33:53 am »

{Uv^vU('--|<-X->|--')Uv^vU}


A shot in the dark. The deathscream of a lowborn bloodsucker. The sound of a diesel two-lunger clattering overhead as the underslung scow of the most Godawful-looking airship in existence hove into view over the dome of St. Paul’s Cathedral, spewing diesel smoke, and spinning a huge three-bladed prop, and the war-whoop of its’ Texian captain, One Mad Jack Pulsifer, rang out, “We got ‘em awn th’ run, Han Boy!” The mechanically remotely-operated Gatling on the foredeck blasted away, dislodging cobbles in the street below, silver rounds sinking into the mud beneath and the wood and bricks of the surrounding buildings as Colour Sergeant Hannibal Rourke rode beside Pulsifer in the cabin/steering room of the blimp-suspended scow RTAF Beau Rosin and madly spun the crank that fired the Gatling, while simultaneously manipulating the levers that controlled it's aiming.

“Don’t…Bloody…call me ‘Han Boy,’ Cap’n, if’n ye don’ moind, sah.”

Figures darted in and out of the doorways below, firing upward at the madmen in the airship, which swoopedlow and disgorged Rourke and five Nadir Court agents form a cunningly-concealed hatch in the forward flat bottom of the ungainly-looking craft. Rourke landed heavily, but kept his feet, while the five Nadir vampires simply walked or ran ahead as if they had merely jumped down from a low fence.No time to wonder or grouse about that now; Rourke drew the two huge colts he had purloined from the Treadstone warehouse in Cairo, and followed the Nadir Party followed him into he old Pub that the rogues had dashed into. Inside it was pitch-black for mortal eyes,. but the Nadir agents and Rourke, it was bright as day, an their targets sharply defined.

Still, the shotgun blast from one side and the volley gun from the other nearly caught Rourke by surprise. He had sensed the ambush at the last second, however, and  stopped, holstered one colt, and drew out the nunchaku. The smoke hung thick in the air as he pulled a very dirty trick. he simply made the handles on their longish chain whoosh through the air in font of him, disturbing the smoke, and them lashed around the corner on one side and then on the other, bashing in the skulls of both would-be bushwhackers.The rogues opened fie, then ,a Rourke dove through the doorway followed by the Nadir gunmen. the resulting firefight was hot, sharp, and brief. In the end, twelve rogues, or rather their ashes, lay on the floor of the disused public house, and only the main bolthole nest remained for the Sortie to 2wipe out. They could hear the keening hunger of the Mistress and her vassals below, and they changed their cylinders and reloaded their peppermills, and Rourke and Marmont, the leader of the Nadir agents, drew their swords, also readying their secondary weapons, Marmont with his dagger and Rourke with the silver spike that Mina had given him. It was a measure of justhow keyed up he was that the spike felt uncomfortably warm in his hand; anger and excitement tended to make the Taint stronger while they lasted.

It was over in a trice; the queen held out the longest, as was fitting for the mistress of a coven. It finally took both Marmont's dagger and Rourke's spike to lay her low and start her turning to ash. Later, as they boarded the Beau Rosin once more, Marmont said, "Such a shame. If they had only sworn fealty and asked permission, and hunted according to the Strictures, we could have let them live. As it was, they lost not only their domicile, but their entire coven as well..."

Rourke answered, "Well, What d' ye expect from a bunch o' ingrates? We're all of us, above and below, well rid of 'em, say I."
« Last Edit: January 30, 2012, 12:47:29 am by MWBailey » Logged
Cpt Wallace
Snr. Officer
****
United Kingdom United Kingdom


Stand and Deliver


« Reply #12 on: February 24, 2012, 10:18:27 am »

~Set after the events in For Queen and Country (Part Three) ~

A candle flickered in the darkened room the light from it just enough to light the sheet of paper under it, a pen worked the paper marking the surface in a delicate scroll, the face that lingered over the paper was confused he couldn't make out the words despite his insistence to the writer that he spoke a dozen languages, the markings were gibberish utterly random and without form.

He watched the man writing with interest and fear he radiated an refined feralness with hungry hunters eyes though his face was hidden behind a thick scarf and a heavy winter coat hung over his shoulders hiding any definition underneath, he was sure the man was armed but he was also sure that he most certainly did not need those weapons to kill, he'd sought him out because he was know to be a purveyor of information a freelance spy some would say, he cared little for accusations of others he was skilled in what he did and he did it well.

The figure stopped writing and his eyes flashed up causing him to avert his own gaze, when the figure pulled a fresh sheet into the candles light he looked down and allowed himself a smile as the figure wrote in English, he read as the letter formed before him.

~
My Dearest Friend Ewart.

I find my time in Russian to be most rewarding, I thank you for sending me here to observe their culture and way of life, it has been enlightening, please find enclosed a letter for my close associate Doctor Starling Scott, we have been engaging in puzzles over the past months and I find my time here without challenging her most perplexing please could you pass the note onto her for her perusal.

I've found time to explore the surroundings and find the terrain most pleasing the trees to the south are thick and with under growth that tests the mettle of the most stubborn of men like myself, I've enjoyed my days wandering it and found an inciting clearing the other day which provides the most secluded and wondrous views of the landscape.

I wish that your duties to country did not prevent you from joining me, perhaps when you are freed of them you could travel here yourself.

Your Old friend John.
~

The man folded the note suddenly sealing it with wax writing a name on the front and he almost gasped when the full name was written.

~
Mr William Ewart Gladstone
Westminster Hall
London
~

The man looked up

"I trust you can deliver this in private?"

He looked into the eyes

"You seem to be under the impression that I am a courier Mr..."

"Danilov, I need this delivered quickly you understand?"

"How quickly are we talking?"

Danilov laid out a bankers note on the table beside the candle he scooped it up and looked at it his eyes widening.

"So you want it delivered..."

"Yesterday."

The eyes showed a smile the scarf obscured.

"I trust that is enough to ensure your discretion while making delivery and beyond that."

"Oh I'm sure this will be more than enough."

Danilov folded the first note too sealing that with wax as well he tided the two together.

"How will you travel?"

"I'll take the express then cross the channel it should take me less than a week if all goes well."

"Good I trust Mr Gladstone will also reward you for your speedy delivery."

The letters were passed over and he tucked them into a secret pocket within his coat, he pulled on a thick hat and gloves and departed leaving Danilov alone in the room.

He waited for a few minutes before snuffing out the candle plunging the room into darkness standing he left the room paid the inn keeper for his time and left he stood for a second looking into the sky before he turned and headed off into the night, it took him only a matter of minutes to catch up with the man, he used him in the past and the fact he was in Russian was a fluke but he was reliable to an extent the money he'd paid him would ensure his reliability unless he was offered more which with the sum he'd paid was unlikely but still possible, Polish by birth he'd made his business in dealing in information he supplied the Polish rebels with Russian Military positions and radio codes while keeping the Russians up to speed on their own activities, in Germany he sold out the Sorensen family causing that noble family to defect to England, in American he manipulated north and south rivalries against one another, in China he kept the Emperor informed of Mongol movements, the man was in the business of knowing what was going on round the world and he was good at his business. He was also one of the best men for getting information to the people that needed to know it, He'd once suspected that there was something supernatural about Pachenko but observations had proven him to be an exception master of espionage.

He followed him to the train station and watched him board the overnighter to St Petersburg there to catch the Express, he watched as the train rolled from the station then strolled through the town overlooking the military base that he'd been stationed at as Major Aleksei Danilov, he'd fitted in well and through subtle manipulation he was only a day or so's hike from the work camp Rooney had been sent too,  he regretted that Ronney had been sent to the camp but the powers that be in the Russian army had spoken and Rooney had been sent to work with a dozen other men from the factory for their various failures in duty, he'd only managed to escape the same fate by stint of his adopted rank. His mind went back to the transport taking them to the prison where Rooney was questioned he remembered the man waking up the look of surprise on his face to see him looking down at him in a Russian uniform the look changing from surprise to anger as he conversed with the men in fluent Russian he could only imagine the thoughts running through his head at his apparent defection, he wouldn't be surprised if Rooney hated him, but he didn't know that it was him that had kept him alive and despite his current location in a work camp it had been his suggestion to the colonel that a few months hard labour might loosen his tongue better than torture.

He finally turned and headed back towards the base, faking a drunken stagger he entered the base offering the guards a sloppy salute he headed for his bunk. Sitting on his bed he thought of the letter he'd sent Starling it was written in the same text as her spell book, it would take some deciphering but he had ever confidence in her ability to make out the message, it contained the location of the work camp, and Rooney's state, at least Rooney's state when he'd last seen him, it also told them of the clearing he'd found in the forests around them the secluded nature of it, it said he'd be there every night for the next month waiting for them and he'd have a red signal flare to indicate it was safe to land. He let out a long breath as he laid down and closed his eyes tomorrow they were testing a new weapon something that had been brought in from Moscow, his eyes drifted to the colt on the table beside him he was thankful he' managed to recover it, he didn't want Bailey after his head when he got back.

He closed his eyes again and allowed himself to sleep. 
Logged
The Corsair
Defective Inspector
Moderator
Zeppelin Admiral
*
New Zealand New Zealand


PixieOnTheMic
« Reply #13 on: February 27, 2012, 05:54:03 am »

Between the Egyptian affair and the Russian sabotage

Robert Julian Keats was a difficult man to track down. He hadn't tried to keep himself hidden or anything, it just seemed that everywhere he went nobody knew him. Every lead went cold and those that didn't were tied together with a thread so narrow it was almost impossible to follow without snapping.

He was standing outside a nondescript house in Roughton, Lincolnshire, knowing that he could well have come all this way only to be denied answers. He gave himself time, here, lots of time. He emptied his mind, then filled it with the understanding that he may find out nothing. He prepared himself to walk away without that which he desired until he was at peace with the idea, at least to the point where he could deceive himself. Julia Keats, his wife, had died mysteriously and he was finding out how.

*   *   *

Robert Keats, like his daughter, was dead. There had been a body though, one that was in very secure storage. He had the address of the place it was stored after a brief break-in and checking of the coroner's report. He would be examining the body tonight seeing as the coroner's report had said nothing more than 'odd infection'. There was a lot of backstreet medical science and Julia had once or twice mentioned her father had known a few such scientists so already Joe suspected he had sold himself to a medical experiment that went foul. How it would help answer questions about his dead wife he wasn't sure but frankly it was the only lead he had.



The facility was no challenge, not for him at least, and within moments he had found the room Robert was meant to be contained in. Drawing nearer to the door, though, he noticed something. His mind immediately went into denial overdrive. His eyes had to be deceiving him. Re-read, be sure. Don't believe the words, it's a hallucination caused by the chemicals in the air.
Greenmouth: Secondary Infection
The words were still there, unchanging. Robert Julian Keats had been a Greenmouth victim. Obviously put down by a doctor or something of the like. Secondary Infection. He had caught it from someone else.

He ran back to the records room. He had checked only the male records...

There it was, Julia Keat's file...


*   *   *


Joe found the journey home odd. He felt both at peace and in turmoil. Peace because of the answers, turmoil because of their content. His wife had been the victim of a Greenmouth experiment conducted by a nobody scientist. That scientist's work on reanimation had been the groundwork for the eventual forced mutation of Greenmouth into a reanimating infection. His wife had been the groundwork for his greatest enemy.
Logged

I think I should also mention I had a dream about this game, only Bailey was a woman...

I assure you, that incident in Singapore was all a misunderstanding.
MWBailey
Rogue Ætherlord
*
United States United States


"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #14 on: February 27, 2012, 07:23:52 am »

(.../''')*=+=*('''\...)
London,The Night after the Arrival of the Two Russians

A storm over London; not a special occurrence in and of itself, perhaps, but this was no ordinary storm; white, roaring flames, not simply lightning, roared amongst the clouds, and fell with the rain -- but where it fell upon the earth or the cobbloes or the rooftops, not fire, nor destruction flowed, but rather creation and repair. Broken machinery, parked or left to rot in forgotten lots or back alleys, suddenly became whole and hale, and for the duration of the storm, ran as if they had never been damaged. Plant life and flowers of all sorts ran riot and gardens blighted by the coal smog these thirty years suddenly sprouted and grew verdant under the white flaming torrents. mkasonry and roofing suddenly stood in perfect state, where before there had been rack and ruin; xcourses and tiles that had already been in good repair became perfect, little mistakes made in their placement correcting themselves instantaneously.

An explosion of lightning and white fire in the east; it was as though the sky had suddenly been split from ground to cloudtops, as a white-golden radiance, followed by actinic bolts of every color of the rainbow and others besides shot through, followed by a silvery dirigible envelope. The place of it's control car and keel compartmets were taken by what appeared to be a moderately-sized iron-clad gunboat. A gunboat that had once been sidewheel-driven -- but whose wheels had been turned into huge centrifugal ducted fans, driven no longer by steam, but by the very aether itself. Their roar could clearly be heard against the roar of the storm as it thundered into view. Seventeen repeating guns, six to a side and two at the stern, and two deck guns atop the envelope on the obs deck. The guns on the boat resided in half-turrets. The deck between the fore and after-castles clearly showed the stormy night from the other side of the airship as it hove past and barely missed Big Ben, the steering cabin clearly shown by the huge bay window built into the bow of the gunboat, the lightning and white flame reflecting from its wide panes as she dashed past the giant clock tower. Those few out on the streets (there were almost none due to the severity of the storm) could clearly read the legend 'RTAF St. Elmo' emblazoned on both the envelope and the stern of the gunboat -- and teh Texian battle flag flying from the mast atop her obs deck.

The Ship's Commander watched the telltales on the steering console, and the glowing green bubble of energy beside it, wacthing for any indication of a way back to their origin, or of the ship that they were supposed to be escorting. His uniform coat, oddly, was fitted with what looked like two sleves on the back of the garment.

"RTAF St. Elmo to AFP Boheme, ST Elmo to Boheme, do you read, over?" He drawled in a thick-as-molasses Texian accent. Static and buzzing unintelligibility coalesced into a voice that briefly answered in the affirmative. "Miss Emma, This is Dreyfuss, we're over London, but it ain't our London, over..."

More static and buzzing that apparently only the man who had identified himself as "Dreyfuss" could decipher issued from the aetheradio set. "Understood and Roger. Returning now... I hope..."

The ship turned about in midair, her giant ducted fanwheels blowing opposing streams of thrust to facilitate the maneuver; rooftiles blew from nearby roofs, chimneypots were bowled over, but that was only to be expected. Soon the St. Elmo faced the way she had come, the thrusting baffles had been readjusted,  and Dreyfuss breathed a heartfelt "Here goes what I hope ain't nothin'," and snapped the D-Hopper Drive circuit closed. The ship leapt forward, seeming to streettcchh as she did so, the sky split once again and exploded, and with a wrench like that of a passing fallen angel, the St. Elmo disappeared through the silvery-rainbow gap once more -- and the sky sealed itself with an apocalyptic detonation. Not long after, the storm dissipated, and the machines subsided, and the gardens shrank back to only a little greater verdance than they had possessed the day before.

A single white marigold-like flower, barely tinged with orange at the tips of the petals, floated down from a rooftop to land on the dock beside the Berth of the HMAS Marigold. An arc of bright white energy flickered between flower and ship, and then the blossom lay still...
(.../''')*=+=*('''\...)
Logged
MWBailey
Rogue Ætherlord
*
United States United States


"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #15 on: August 22, 2012, 04:44:34 pm »

London Rising

Rourke rode the train  as it stormed, puffing like a mad, mechanical, sulphrous hurricane across the countryside. It roared, finally, into Charing Cross, and out jumped Lieutenant Rourke --  to be grabbed by the upper arm by none other than Marmont, Head of The Nadir Court's Corps of Paladins.

"My Apologies, Sir Hannibal, but just this once we're traveling by miasmic phantasm," he announced, none too apologetically. "I suggest you hold your breath for a moment."

As the black-and-grey mist, specially camouflaged to look like everyday steam and smoke, sprang up from the very pavers of the station platform around them (but seeming to any casual observer to also emanate from the leaky steam-pressure brake lines under the carriage), Rourke barely had time to blurt out "What, it's that urgent?" before they were deposited into Her Nadir Majesty's very Thronehall.

"Yes, Hannibal dear, I assure you that it truly is that urgent," 'Mina pronounced in her dulcet, sultry tones from the carved ebony-and-obsidian throne on its dais not far away across the polished basalt floor; they had been deposited close to the throne.

Despite the sweetness of her voice, however, it was apparent in her tone and posture, as well as the general feeling of the vampiric throng in the room in general that something very wrong had occurred. "You do remember dear Mircer, don't you?" Mina said with a dry wryness. "He, or rather his Last Essence, has escaped my clutches, and it seems to me that your friend and co-worker Doctor Scott is implicated to at least some degree..."
« Last Edit: August 23, 2012, 02:15:18 am by MWBailey » Logged
MWBailey
Rogue Ætherlord
*
United States United States


"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #16 on: December 07, 2012, 06:23:11 pm »

-----=+<Wings of Fate>+=-----
[/b]
Three metallic feathers, one of blued steel and two of burnished silver, floated down to the deck at the feet of the figure seated at the desk in the Captain's cabin. A hand holding a reservoir fountain pen moved across the page, the scritching of the nib blending with the breathing of the figure in its blue greatcoat with gold piping. The tips of smallish steel-and-silver-feathered wings protruded from sleeve-like parts on the back of the greatcoat and twitched as the figure continued to write in the Logbook on the desk in front of it. In the corner of the cabin beside the desk stood a rapier-like saber in a nickled scabbard, beside a porthole that showed a green sky with pastel-hued clouds racing by as the thrum of the airship's aetheric engines sang through the background, telling of high-speed passage through a strange world.

Quote
Aetherwise University RTAF St. Elmo, Captain's Log, November 26, 1893
Commodore Jaisen S. Dreyfuss, commanding

Seventh Interdimensional Jump Mission via D-Hopper Drive.
All signs and readings indicate normal operational function. No hostiles yet reported. training and normal exploratory missions report odd chemical composition of atmosphere, but formulation is not a threat to human adaptation.

Dreyfuss licked his teeth disdainfully. Such terse, dry wording always made him feel like his mouth was drying out.  

Another alternate London, he mused. Not much here, though. But Nadia, where did you go this time?.

He had sensed Nadia's peculiar mental resonance when they had first come through the artificial singularity produced by the D-Hopper drive, but that hint of presence had vanished tantalizingly, maddeningly swiftly. It was as if she knew that they had come and she had simply walked off into the aether again, leaving this alternate London behind.

The squawkbox on the cabin wall blared out a note that was supposed to sound like a bugle call. Dreyfuss thought it sounded more like a braying mule with a toothache, but answered it anyway. "Dreyfuss here."

"Commodore, sir? there's a settlement coming up, right about where the Parliament building would be back home."

"Have the Contact team suit up and stand by in the First Hold," Dreyfuss said. "I'll be joining this one." He stood and buckled on the sword under his greatcoat, checked the Paterson at his other hip, and then strode out of his cabin and down the corridor to the door to the Main Deck. Cadets scattered or stepped aside as he swept past, his boots making a staccato ringing on the steel deckwork. No need now for the old Dek Tattoo; there were so many crew, students, and soldiery aboard that it owud have been a styupendously-annoying cacophony. Only the Graveyard Watch now required such a protocol, and then only on these other-worldly expeditions. The now-commonplace corridor and deck sentries, some full-fledged Air Rangers, some Cadets in training, saluted with their rifles as he strode out on deck. Four years on, and the Elmo finally has a full crew and even a cadet population, he thought as he entered the Stack Housing that connected the decks below with the ones in the envelope section above. Bless you, Patrick. Now, Time to see if this London holds any clues, He thought to himself and he strode onward. Then we try to find that other one that we broke through to in that freak storm last month. That one promises to be a hoot...

« Last Edit: December 12, 2012, 08:15:02 am by MWBailey » Logged
MWBailey
Rogue Ætherlord
*
United States United States


"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #17 on: December 12, 2012, 08:10:38 am »

-----=+<Wings of Fate>+=-----

Dreyfuss made finally to the First Ship's Hold, that great cavernous space between the former gasbag groupings of the St. Elmo's envelope section, where the soaring funnels from the boiler and the Aether Reciprocators shot up from the main deck below, up through the decked bottom of the envelope, and up through the top of the envelope, catwalks running from fore to aft between, and the great spiral staircase wound upward, the Munitions elevator running in the middle of it all, like a huge hotel elevator in it's stairwell shaft.

The gasbags had been replaced with a pair of peculiar, mechanical lofting devices, thus greatly increasing the ship's lift capacity, and freeing up vast amounts of space within the envelope for billets, stores, and added weaponry -- and armor. Her mission was intended peacefully, but the Aether league had remembered the lessons of the past, and realized that the St.Elmo's armament was of a necessity for exploration in worlds that might otherwise prove to be overwhelmingly hostile. That and the devices invented by the Airwise University's student geniuses needed testbeds in which to be proved, just as the Boheme had served as such for the guns that had destroyed the Cold Ones' battlewagons and aerial armies.

Dreyfuss led the sortie, bedecked with their wingpacks and weaponry (just in case, one could never tell what one might find) to the aft hold door. "Wings open!" he ordered as the doors spit open and swung downward on either side of the opening. He flexed his own, expanding and unfurling them as Angel had taught him four years ago, out through the sleeves, sweeping them down sharply when they were fully extended, to fluff them out. The steel-and-silver pinions caught the light, scattering it like a thousand mirrors, and both slicing through the air like  a million small swords, and catching the wind and lifting him momentarily from the deck. Gods, what a glorious feeling! he thought, not for the first time, Uncle Caractacus would be shocked to see me now.

Then he shouted, FLY! and dove over the edge, the score of air rangers following suit, the whole force like a band of buzzing, swooping angels as the aethermotors spat their bursts of thrust and the Contact Team spiralled majestically toward a spot just outside of the village. "Here we go again, people," he called out as they landed en masse...
« Last Edit: December 12, 2012, 08:16:30 am by MWBailey » Logged
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