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Author Topic: Excerpt from the diary of enlisted technical specialist Anna Margaret Dearling  (Read 1329 times)
Stella Gaslight
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« on: December 23, 2013, 07:01:15 pm »

So I have been fleshing out my evil industrialist persona to work in the steamworks and shadows universe by looking in to what pushed her over the edge from bending the rules to just not caring. She has a large ego, is distrustful of others and will bend the rules however she sees fit.

Things are worrying here. I think this may be a bigger fight than I thought. This depo looks rather full for something the news papers are touting as nothing more than hollow tantrum by a weak queen. I do hate going in to an investment without all the facts but I have cast my lot with theirs so for now we make war. I refuse to let that old bat over run me and take my guns without paying properly. When we give them a good and proper thumping I will have what's mine back and perhaps more as the spoils are tallied. After all we do come from a fine tradition of that.

Spirits are high as the tanks roll in. The hoots and hollars do rather amuse me. Much like them I cannot wait to see what they can do on a massive scale and I will see that I get to the for front at least once regardless of how dear Hues will fuss. You simply cannot miss the opportunity to view the panorama of battle in something you have spent years creating when the opportunity presents itself. Only seven tho. I wish I had convened the government to lease more. Hues was barely able to finalize that number too. I am grateful for his home town boy connections but if only I was able to speak to the general directly and had him listen we could have doubled that number. Little Lady bah! Oh well when my tanks make England run red they will thinking twice about addressing me that way.

They call me the darling mascot. I forgot how much I hate that word. It is a fine bit of bluster from a bunch of untested little boys that have spent most of our rough crossing looking greenly over the side of the ship. Thank the lord this batch wasn't sent to the navy or we would all be in a good bit more trouble. Tho that Summers boy could repel a ship or two if only out of the fear he is contagious. I hope that they are sterner stuff on the battlefield. I cannot pilot seven tanks at once after all.

This place is a mad house. You would think a military that prides itself on order would not spend it's time running about like headless poultry. Nothing is on time yet I have to fill out forms in triplicate to get anything done. What a pack of nonscence. They also Want me to turn over control of my tanks to the quarter master(a singularly unpleasant little man) Like hell I will! This little fleet is a substantial investment and I am here to ensure the return on this is acceptable. He was not happy when I told him he could take control when they paid me in full for all seven units and my salary. Oh the amusing colors he turned as he blustered and I tallied things up. Sorry you will have to pay me a hell of a lot more than what I am getting for me to bow to your silly little wishes.

Things have changed since we left for the front lines. Much to my surprise the boys are shaping up and filling their uniforms much better than they did before. They still call me Darling but somehow it wears on me less. They insist on chaperoning me and that is bothersome but they are learning that I am not some sort of odd flower they have to tend. I think the fact that I sleep with my pulse rifle and know how to use it helps things considerably. They can be taught.

Showed them all today. No 6 lost part of a tread from a bomb and while were pulled over for repairs a band of Brits tried to ambush us. Didn't last long tho. I personalty killed seven in defence of my tanks. I was the first to fire and the last to stop. All the while I repaired the tank and got us moving before reinforcements could come. The boys call me lady and somehow that makes all the difference in the world. No 6 is now officially under my personal command. The looks of respect and sometimes fear they give me now send pleasant tingles down my spine in a way none of my boardroom conquests have. Perhaps war suits me.

We are winning but getting no closer to my holdings. The enemy line is collapsing around us in a satisfactory way however. The boys are optimistic that we will make it there before the week is up. I must admit they are growing on me. In just under a month they have become wonderfully adept at piloting the tanks and they fully respect me. If any people in the world have earned the right to call me darling it is these boys who have saved my life more times than I can count. I had always thought the idea of bonds formed in battle was mainly a poor literary device but I have a rather different perspective on it now. I must contact Hues the moment I get the chance. We should be far better outfitted for this than we are. Most of the lads are still useing clunky and slow rifles. My pulse rifle has pulled us from the fire quite a few times and there is no reason for all of us not to have one. I can do better by them and I will.

We will be taking the factory with a bare bones force. They say it is too dangerous to send the normal compliment of ground troops until the outer defences are down. The request I sent home is taking it's sweet time to get there so we are under gunned and going against the most well protected building I could dream up. If it was being lead by any one other than me I would say they were suicidal but unlike many in my situation I made damned sure I could brake in to my own holdings with the smallest amount of damage. Thank you papa for drilling that in to me even if at the time I thought it was rather silly.

Uggg they renamed the place to the royal gun works. Well that is coming down as soon as I get the chance. We will wait for the night shift to come on and get a few men inside and then all hell will brake loose. We have hidden the tanks in the supply depot for a quick escape tho I don't think we will need them. The entire place looks understaffed for working non stop. They don't realize it yet but a fox is in their hen house and now the screaming starts.

We have half the factory now and the only hold outs are in the west wing. Most of the workers fled and all that is left is half a regiment of heavily armed men dug in deep near the warehouse and that is hardly a bother once we pull in the tanks. We will have them routed as soon as I figure out what Anton is going on about. Why on earth did they give me a Frenchman anyway? Yes it is a lovely dawn... at four in the morning. That cant be real. Oh god the sky is on fire!
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CPT_J_Percell
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« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2013, 07:49:25 pm »

Thanks for sharing.

My back story for going off the rails is simple.

I died but was brought back was not the man that had previously existed.
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I suffer from a random misfiring synapse and a bad case of wolfen the turns me into a seven-foot-tall werewolf or a seven-foot great wolf!
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Stella Gaslight
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« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2013, 06:10:28 am »

Thanks Here is the next bit fresh off the spell checker
 travel by moonlight avoiding people when I can. The world can be a hard place for a woman on her own and tho I am lost and unarmed I am no one's easy pray. Someone is looking for me and anyone else that survived. I know very little and almost paid dearly for what I do have. I was hungry, cold, half asleep and almost fell for a trap. It was on the edge of a wood I had been slogging through for days in the cold english rain. There was a fire warm and welcoming with food cooking and not a soul in site. I almost mindlessly walked in to it's light when I heard the sound of people trying very hard not to make noise. I froze and did my best to blend in to the shadows. For a while all I could hear was my own heartbeat and the crackle of the fire. I waited them out and won mostly because it looked like the rabbit they were cooking was about to burn. I got as close as I dared and listened. They were special militarily men looking for deserters and the like. They said we blew up the factory using a new kind of bomb. A bomb they wanted very badly to get their hands on. They knew I survived and I had a bounty on my head for war crimes against the empire. I did not sleep much that night and kept watch during the dark ours with the bad eye. All I could think of is if the British did not blast us to kingdom come who did?

I followed them for a while but broke off when they got closer to a large camp. I have learned nothing more about the blast but I think I know the location of the troops and it is not far. If I can make it back to our camp and warn them of the pending attack then perhaps I can be welcomed back in to the fold. Or at least acknowledged enough to be sent home. If I am to keep fighting I will do so on my own terms and with my own arsenal. I want to come back and destroy those who attacked me and mine but first I must recover. The burns especially on my right arm are getting frightful from the lack of proper bandages and the constant movement of fabric against them. Now that some of the fear is subsiding the pain is creeping up.

Damn it I am always in their wake but never close enough! I made it to the camp only to see they were gone and the places the fires had been were still warm. I know I am going the right way from the garbage they leave behind. At this point I am done creeping along like a mouse. If they shoot at me than so be it. I am fairly sure I have an infection below the shoulder. There is a painful heat there I can't see to access. I have had little food in two weeks and have mainly subsided on rainwater, the few edible plants I know of and spite. I want a warm roof over my head, a hot meal and to know if I am the only one to make it out alive. I don't want to believe that is true but I wonder why there was no one there even if it would only be to collect

the dead. I want answers and once I am healed I will get them no matter what I have to do. They are looking at me like I am a ghost. Only three of us made it out alive out of thirty five. The boys have mainly been shipped back home suffering from the same burns I am. All accept for Christopher who greeted me like a long lost sister. He was in the farthest out and saw the aftermath of the blast. He tried to find me for almost three days before the doc just about knocked him out and drug him back to camp. I do not know how to respond to these emotions. He says I saved his life many times before so he felt bound to do the same for me. All I was doing was protecting my interests. I am almost awed at this loyalty. This is a singularly peculiar thing. I told him we he gets home there will always be a job for him at Dearling Industries and that seams to have made him happy. Every one is treating me with an odd care and I find it unnerving. I will sleep with a weapon tonight I think. In case any one gets any funny ideas. The upper brass want me to debrief them but I told them they could wait until I am dammed good and ready to talk to them. For now I am fed and tired even a camp bed in a drafty tent will be like a palace to me.

Sleep helped my mind is more clear. I feel as if I can approach this from the proper place. I will make sure the debrief answers as many of my questions as it does theirs. I think I am owed that, well that and my pay. I should triple check my contract as well. After all it is easy for things to get lost in the shuffle and I will make sure my interests are not one of them. It is not that I think they will purposefully try and harm me but ignorance and well meaning actions can do amazingly horrible things pure hatred and spite could not pull off. i think the best angle is unfortunately playing to the idea that I am just a poor fragile woman. That is distasteful but as mother always said there is no shame in a gambit that wins. Well perhaps only a little bit.

Well that was disappointing. All they know is the bomb came from above from something that seams to be attacking at night and is highly classified. They know both sides have these airships now and either might have been the one to drop the bomb. They forgot to tell the higher up where we were. So either the enemy blasted us and scored one hell of a hit or 32 men died for a clerical error. neither makes me very happy but i would much rather their deaths had meaning even if i have to ascribe it my self. I will make sure they have headstones, finer things than the white crosses. I feel odd about this I am almost more attached them now that they are dead and I am fairly sure it should be the other way around. They are sending me back to the states. The burns are a new type that the medic can't treat well here. So it looks like I will be spending some time in the central veterans hospital. At least Hues will be able to visit. I miss his soft southern speech and the way he always knows the perfect way to say just the right thing. I think that may be a very welcomed thing about now.
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Stella Gaslight
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« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2013, 06:00:38 pm »

The last few days are a blur of disinfectant and white. I know something is wrong but they wont tell me what and the burn treatment keeps me separated from other people and tired. There was something new in the explosion that causes very nasty infections. I could have lost my arm as one of the others did. I am very lucky. They can't do much about my eye other than telling me to keep it resting.  All I want to do is go home but they tell me exposure to other people would cause complications.  Until this run of medicine is over all I will see are these four walls and medical personal.  I told the doctor to at least bring me in the business journals so I can catch up on how the company has been doing and he brought me the ladies home journal instead.  If he had not also brought me a letter from home we may have had heated words.  The letter had apparently followed me halfway across the world and only caught up when I came home.  That is somehow rather fitting.  Oh goodness how this sets my mind at ease he has thoughtfully included the sales numbers for the last few weeks and they are very nice.  I lost the European factory but perhaps we can make it back in the domestic market.

Thank the lord I only have two more days here before they release me. I was considering setting fire to the curtains if only for the change of scenery.  They are keeping something from me I know they must be.  The doctors filter things as to not upset me at this delicate time of healing. like I am some stupid fragile waif in a penny dreadful.  I rode in to a war zone on a tank only two weeks ago and narrowly avoided death I think I can handle whatever bad news they have.  In fact I am guessing that the bad news a drop is the tank line was an utter failure after I nearly got blown to bits.  Not the best thing since the production was rather expensive but nothing I can't rise above.

I was very very wrong about that.  I am not sure I can handle this truth with anything other than a whole lot of fire. They bundled me up and had an escort to take me home. Well if you can count this gutted wreck a home. I don't know what happened while I was gone but this place is stripped bare of anything of value including my hidden safe which they pried from the wall. I am deathly afraid one of the people I stepped on my way up killed Hues as soon as I was gone.  The last any one saw of him he was going to work and he never came home. then a few days later the carts and workmen showed up and didn't stop until all I am left with is broken plaster and ruined floors.  The escort asked me if I had anywhere without chunks of the roof missing and a sign proclaiming it to be a health hazard on the door to stay.  I don't think he realizes that him and his buggy are going to help me get to the bottom of this.  First thing is first I am going to my factory and going to find out what the hell happened.

I think I have been crying. Not something I indulge in regularly but understandable I think.  All that is left of my empire the thing I have been building all my life is a husk stripped to the foundations.  I have nothing in this world other than the clothes on my back and the few tools I took to war.  I have been stripped of all that was.  I am so glad I have funds invested and hid outside the company. Only Hues knew about those so I will be able to get back on my feet soon.  Oh Hues, I wonder what have they done with him?  He was working as my hands while I was gone to be sure but he was pure as far as dodgy dealings went.  I made sure to handle those personally. I will find who did this to me and they will die slowly and to my satisfaction.  I may have bent the rules a bit and sabotaged where it felt necessary but never like this. Somewhere out there some one has made an enemy worse than all the hounds in hell. 

I slept horribly waking every hour to the sounds I could hear through the walls of this cheep rented room and thinking I was back on the tank.  I dislike having to stay at this flea trap but it will only be for a little while as get my world back.  On the agenda today is gathering funds to hunt those that have wronged me down like the dogs they are then starting the rebuilding process. With what I have saved I can at least get a small space to make pulse rifles up and going within the next few months. From there I can rebuild my lab and house. I do not like going to the bank in my worn uniform but it is all I have for the moment.

It has been a week since my last entry.  There are parts of that week which are mainly black and full of drink. I have been had by the biggest most painful con I have ever seen and considering who my parents are that says something.  The last thing that happened that was truly clear and not either full of rage and sorrow was finding the note he left me in the safe deposit box dated the day we met.  God damn Rochester Hues and anyone that has ever had a good thing to say about him!   He had planed all this years in advance.  Gain my confidence, become my right hand man and help me create something worth plundering then send me off some far away place and rob me blind.  I will find him.  Somewhere out there Rochester Hues is sleeping. Thinking he has escaped my shadow. there is no such place on this world.  Some quiet evening he wake from a sound sleep heart pounding like the hounds of hell are after him. He will look around and feel alone and safe in his little bed and then he will notice me in the shadows and everything will end for him. I will take all the time I need but then it will be over and then I can make the necessary changes to make sure that never happens again.  There has never been a fury like mine.
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CPT_J_Percell
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« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2013, 10:55:20 am »

Ouch, My self would have woken up depressed in a cell after having been arrested for trying to smash up the bank, after that bit of news. I would have sat there in a depression until the men in white would have been called to remove me.

GrayWolf will offer his services F.O.C if you need help, my dear.
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Elliot Locke
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« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2013, 06:58:58 pm »

Hey,

I found some good and some bad in your story. I'll get the bad out of the way:

A fair few spelling mistakes, chiefly with words that sound similar, e.g. accept/except, sight/site, complement/compliment. There are other spelling mistakes as well -- make sure you read over it again yourself rather than relying on spell-check, as a few can slip through the cracks -- especially with words that sound the same but are spelled differently.

Your grammar could use some tidying up -- a fair number of run-on sentences and misplaced commas/hyphens/etc.

The good:

Liked the protagonist. A strong, driven woman is something of a rarity in most genres, especially as protagonist. I liked her fire and desire to win.

Your plot really took off at the end with the revelation that her friend(?) betrayed and robbed her. A great twist, and I'd be interested to see where this goes.

Thanks for taking the time to share. Look forward to seeing more.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2013, 07:09:47 pm by Elliot Locke » Logged

http://themire.co.uk/ -- being a veracious and accurate account of goings-on in the deepest heart of the savage Mire and the wondrous steam-powered Portstown
Stella Gaslight
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Looking for a few good lobsters.


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« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2014, 05:24:27 am »

Sorry it has taken me a while to post this I have been working and crafting so my time for writing has been non existent,

That bastard had one last nasty trap waiting for me. According to the courts this is a very sad mistake. We were apparently married before I left and then he had me declared dead and as is right as my husband took everything I had. god dammed dirty guttersnipe even told my parents this and they fell for it. Now both momma and papa are talking about coming up to check up on me. Damn all of this! The last thing I need is them complicating things before I can get back on my feet. There is nothing as visibly humbling as your family having to fix your mistakes I can handle this I know I will but this is my fight. I will get rid of this stupid sham of a marriage and I will reclaim what is mine.

Why won't a single dammed person listen to me? I was never married, I did not run off to war with another man and I sure as hell am not dead. They keep suggesting I should consider taking some time to recover and let my lawyer handle this. Really the judge has more chance of turning in to a large pink bunny than me doing that. Right now the only person I trust in the world is myself and I think it will stay that way for a while. I so far have the house or what is left of it and not nearly enough to make repairs on it. I think this process would be much improved if I could find that bastard, drag him here, make him confess and then shoot him but no one knows where he is.

I will not kill the judge, I will not kill the judge, I will not kill the judge even if I realy want to and then laugh all the way through his funeral. Tho it gets more and more tempting each time he treats me like a child. And then there is the fact my lawyer says I should not wear my uniform to court any more as the site of a lady in pants is disruptive. I have a right to wear this the same has any other returning veteran and I am sure as hell going to remind them who I was fighting for when everything fell apart They keep talking about a settlement that would set me up as a lady of my standing should be. Like they are just going to send me off to some soft idyllic farm somewhere and I will be happy with that. No what I am doing is hunting down the bastard and then rebuilding my empire on his bones. What is that noise? Oh dear this is not good. Mother is here and wearing the battle hat with the extra long feathers and father is trailing behind and I can almost smell the lavender oil from here. What fresh hell is this?

They are so soft and concerned for their daughter that the judge doesn't even notice he is being bullied in his own court room. I must say I have never seem mother at the top of her game like this and father well he is laying on the charm thicker than honey while I wish the earth would swallow the lot of them so I would not have to suffer this embarrassment. I was handling this just fine. The judge is now agreeing the marriage was a evil villain preying on a poor hard-working girl. My god she reads too many melodramas. I will admit he was a complete bastard in the end but I did once or twice run a game or two in his name when my own wouldn't fly. Tho now I wish they had been something far more brutal than the soft temporary money shifts. Oh no don't bring out the brag book mama. The judge does not need to see little seven year old me building my first ray gun. Why can I not light things on fire with my mind?
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CPT_J_Percell
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« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2014, 07:39:07 am »

Thanks for sharing but a few points.
Your missing a lot of full stops and comma's and tho should be though
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Stella Gaslight
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« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2014, 03:57:59 pm »

Is it realy over? I have very little to show from this three ring circus. Of course I was cleared of all wrong doing including quite a few things I did do but am more than happy to pin on that bastard.  After all I am the victim here and I would be rather remiss not to use my current misfortune to my advantage. When I am done he will be strung up as soon as he rears his head in civilised ports and dragged through the streets like the monster he is.  I would rather have a more personal hashing out  but dogging his steps around the globe and giving him a few more annoyances to deal with a small treat.  That is the only real boon I got. I won to be sure but there are no spoils to be had and there lies the rub.  I am free and clear to rebuild my empire but I have no capital to do so. I am being offered a pitiful  pension out of a sentiment that quite frankly sickens me.  I do not want to take it but no bank has yet replied to my request for a lone.  I think he burned a lot of bridges in my name.  It looks like I will have to put aside my pride to move on I can do it but it still stings.

I am staying at the closest thing this town has to offer to a grand hotel in the care of my mother.  I did try and tell her my lodgings were perfectly serviceable but she insisted and I was warn down enough by the court to only give a token protest.  I am still having the tank dreams only it is joined by the factory explosion and the screams of the child down the hall at the lodging house were not helping. At least here I am safe from the reporters that flock around like flies around a dung heap.  They cant get enough of the plucky young solder girl caught up in a situation straight out of a penny dreadful.  They lapped each day of the civil court case up like a cat with a bowl of cream.  I have either been painted as a mad woman it more than likely killed her husband then ran off to war in a fit of something like blood lust or as a poor girl taken by a fast talking svengali and sent off to war to die like the delicate hopeless flower they think me to be. Neither side can be bothered to spell my last name correctly and their shouts of darling from outside my window makes me wish I had a pot of boiling oil ready just like old times. I am rather fond of the title of  deadly darling that one of the papers slapped me with when they looked in to my service record over in Europe.  Perhaps I will use it for a line of ladies pistols. No sense letting a good name go to waste.

I was dogging reporters in the lobby on the way to tea when I noticed I was being followed by a ragged looking woman in black that seated herself at my table.  Normally I would have made sure to inform her of her grave mistake and have her seen to the door but she wore the same emblem on an armband that is the same as the one on my own breast.  I had to know why and I was rather shocked at what she said.  I was speaking to Anton's widow.  She was in a tricky situation and a long way from home.  In order to clam the death benefit had to prove they were married in the eyes of the law and her house in Canada had burned to the ground this past spring in the riots.  They were trying to deport her but she was born in up state new york and the only lawyer that would touch her case was behaving in a beastly manor.   I may not have liked Anton but he was one of my Darlings and he died for me. I may not be any ones robin hood but this is a matter of honour that I would be remiss to ignore.  I promised to look in to things for her.

I have been thinking in to the long hours of the night about what to do with myself now.  For most of my life I have followed the rules(mostly) only pushing when I knew I could win and come away clean. I never feared jail as much as I did damaging my reputation. I was respectable, patriotic  and an upstanding citizen I paid my taxes and nearly gave my life for them. Yet here I have been faced with a justice that cares more about what I am wearing and whom I have been with than listing to what i have to say.  They deny me equal standing with a pat on the head and a smile laced with venom.  I gave them a chance but I will no longer play by their rules. Starting tonight I stray from the path in to the dark deep woods and the wolves will soon have something new to fear.
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Stella Gaslight
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« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2014, 03:52:00 am »

Mama is practically over the moon that I am giving up on the notion of being a tax paying law abiding civilian(She calls it my rebellious faze).  She insisted I take the heirloom poisoners ring that has been passed through the generations.  Then she tried to give me the stud book with listings of the most malleable bachelors and what they are worth dead. I did not have the heart to tell her the idea of purposefully engaging a man in amorous advances fills me with rage. I told her I was starting with simple blackmail and getting a feel for things. I did take the ring however you never know when a pinch of orderless, colourless and nearly untraceable death could come in handy.

Dear lord I am truely amazed no one has yet dashed the Honourable Richard Hardcort’s brains in! I grew up around some of the best and brightest of the criminal world but I have never met such a slimy bit of gutter trash. I had an appointment with his poor overworked secretary today. She works for free because Hardcort got her drunk took liberties very much above and beyond anything I have heard of then threatened to send pictures to her husband who is still recovering from wound he brought home from the war.  I would be lying if I said her story didn’t make my blood boil. Taking advantage of the weak for financial purposes is one thing but this classless floundering about like a villain in a penny dreadful is quite another.  No better subject to cut my teeth on.  If some part goes wrong and I am found out well I have a very good excuse for my actions.  Humm perhaps that in my angle of approach.

I am quite glad I took lessons at Papa’s side when I was younger. Mama is formidable but lacks the discretion I need. After all I am still a more or less upstanding member of the community and I am finding that realy has some advantages.  It should be simple Harcort has more skeletons in his closet than than your average mile of the Paris catacombs all I have to do is carefully tease them out in to the daylight.  It is a new set of skills however.  I have mainly worked with money, gadgets or bankers( I have found them to be more like automatons than people).  Predicting how people will react is a bit more tricky than manipulating markets but I bet I can get the hang of it quickly.  It is in my blood after all.
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CPT_J_Percell
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« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2014, 06:25:29 pm »

Hmm, please remember that a person is somewhat predictable but a crowd will act like a herd of wild animals startled by a wolf!
*Shifty eyes*
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Stella Gaslight
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« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2015, 10:37:14 am »

That is why I am starting with one then moving up.
Oh goodness I am going to have the hangover from hades tomorrow but it is worth it.  I worked and planed and worried but in the end it was like leading a lamb.  why did I not do this sooner? He fell for my poor widow disguise without even needing the carefully construed history I made up I bet the skill I honed in crafting it will come in useful later i am sure. He did not expect so delicate a lady to drink him under the table(neither did my darlings the first time.)  I didn’t even need the white powder hidden away in my ring.  The rest was simple. I helped him in to a cab and then we went off to a discreet photo studio that has been in my pocket since before the war.  A male model with very few qualms about posing in the Greek way as long as his face was hidden( and it will remain hidden unless he crosses me) and some rather shocking shots and dear Hardcort was deposited safely home to sleep it off.  And then I went out on the town with the secretary until the wee hours.  I was in a festive mood and if there are enquires she can vouch for me. I have the the plates have not left my side all evening except for when I developed them in a makeshift dark room down in the basement.  I had not understood how useful a tool photography was when I was learning it from uncle Sirius. I should get to bed I do have an empire to build but perhaps a bit more basking in my own cleverness first.

I let him wiggle on the line for almost two months while I drained his accounts dry.  I was twitching to move on but papa was right waiting helped make the final twist so much sweeter.  I realy would have thought nearly four thousand dollars would be hard for him to come up with at this point but he surprised me.  I had a debate weather to tack on some extra cash or let him think he won and having seen the look of utter relief on his face when the man my proxies hired gave him the photos I think this little game was worth it.  Hardcort did not know as he burned them smiling in to the night what today would hold but I did and it was a treat to be savoured.  If it could have been arranged I would have loved to have a closer view of his face as he opened his paper this morning but it is better to hear his anguished screams from afar than get my hands visibly dirty.  I may have to arrange it for next time   Though the newspaper men may have saved me the trouble with they way they swarmed like flies around his home.  Oh the powers of the press are mighty indeed

I think I understand that smug look that cats get when they knock things off the shelf right in front of you.  Hardcort’s life has broken at my feet like a cheep porcelain ornament and I am pleased as punch.  i had not realized he had a half sister who was the bell of Washington and a brother in law who looked to be a good candidate for president before the scandal.  I must remember next time to be more through in my research.  Compilations could be bothersome.  The turmoil that has followed from the very first newspaper story to his disbarring from law and running off to the republic of Texas to avoid the charges against him have been illuminating.  I thought I knew how the press worked from my own troubled times but I was wrong..  Those reporters are far worse than any bloodhounds and with in days we knew every little infraction that Richard Hardcort made and several that I am sure that were made from whole cloth.  i will have to be far more careful if I decide to call that power in again.  Things could become quite uncomfortable if I was pinned under that lens.

Rebuilding the house is taking a bit longer than I had planned but updating it for electricity, modernizing the layout and arranging to tap in to the cave system that stretches for miles below the town are worthwhile reasons. I must have somewhere to work in private, there is so much to be done.  The experiments I have been running with the positive  power of the press are progressing smoothly.  I am learning what words to feed in what ears to make public opinion swing my way. The swindling of war widows and orphans by the government is a near prefect test case   Four of the five widows and eight of the orphans have already been exposed to the public eye in a controlled fashion.  I will make sure each and every family member of my departed darlings gets the restitution promised and then some.  The government cannot just sweep us under the rug and hope we get lost in history.  The penalty is getting at least half of them fired or having their good reputation sundered,  they realy should have learned the first time I was not the sort of person to let that pass.
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