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Author Topic: Steamtown USA  (Read 8049 times)
MWBailey
Rogue Ætherlord
*
United States United States


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

rtafStElmo
« Reply #100 on: December 02, 2015, 11:02:47 pm »

Starbridge was up and about after a long bout of chthuloid flu. Having coughed up tentacles and suffered visions/hallucinations of godlike invincibility and the wholesale destruction of human civilizations for the past several months, he finally awoke one morning feeling unusually well, considering his recent illness.

No need, or rather, no use, to go and see a doctor in town; the human doctors wouldn't understand what a thaumic retroviral pathogen from Dimension 12 even was, much less how to deal with it. Mr. Whiskers might have an idea or two, but the fellow gave Starbridge the willies, especially now that he had distinct memories of being squidlike*. So, Starbridge let the housekeeper, WIlhelmina, pronounce him cured, and ate the medicinal dish that his new Inuit hired hand (what is this fine fellow's name? he wondered) prepared for him. Starbridge vaguely remembered the fellow appearing, looking a bit bleary-eyed, confused and somewhat outraged, shortly after Israel turned on his Blizzard machine for the Snow festival back... when was it? Three months? Six? He shook his head in momentary bewilderment, which he suddenly realized was a very bad idea indeed.

After a time, however  the medicinal dish had it's intended effect, and Starbridge was up and around, feeling as ebullient and spry as ever. "Moxon! Moxon?" he bellowed. "I have an idea, let's get on with it, shall we? We need a new invention and I've got just the thing! MOXON!"

He stumped around the farm, looking for the fellow and calling his name. He finally encountered Adelbert, who was carrying a many-legged ratlike animal in a net toward the barn, presumably to send it back to it's universe of origin.

"Moxon's gone, meinherr starbridge, He took up with zhat Soelle girl of zhe Inverness's, vhat He met at zha' festifful a vhile back." Adelbert said.

"WHAT?!" Starbridge exclaimed, "Who gave that boy permission t' do that!"

"Zhe vay I herdt itt, he vass elopping vhis ze girl, sir.

"Lopping?"

"Nein, meinherr, Ee-loh-peeng," Adelbert answered, pronouncing the word carefully. The preceding being more words than Adelbert usually spoke in a month, he excused himself and went to take care of his latest quarry, leaving Starbridge to fume and stalk off to his workshop alone.

---
*he really hadn't been, but the hallucinations associated with Chthuloid Flu are notoriously vivid and convincing, and the conviction remains long after the disease is past; thus Starbridge came out of it fearing cats - cats stereotypically eat fish and sea creatures, so...
« Last Edit: December 02, 2015, 11:05:36 pm by MWBailey » Logged

Walk softly and carry a big banjo...

""quid statis aspicientes in infernum"
Rose Inverness
Snr. Officer
****
United States United States


Communing with the Over-soul via you.


WWW
« Reply #101 on: December 03, 2015, 03:24:38 pm »

Soelle wrote her first letter home, with a photograph of her and Moxon aboard a tall ship. She wore layered skirts and a fitted vest and his less-fitted vest and trousers could be seen from around the ship's wheel where he stood with a brass spyglass. She consulted a compass, the face of which was not visible in the photograph, so no one had a clue of where they headed. She also wore an excellent hat... obviously leather and distinctly tricorn.

She thought it friendly though perhaps not wise that they also send a copy of the photograph to Moxon's former employer as well as a letter wishing him a speedy recovery from the flu (which both the young people were glad to have escaped). They sent the letter anyway, wisdom to the wind.

Her siblings reread her letter home in their first-sub-attic after the family had read it around the storytelling fireplace. The young ones then composed their own letter, with Orion and Victoria dictating most of it and Rose adjuring them to slow down so her nicely scripted letters could keep up.

Soelle,

How are yu, yu trickster? Mis the old games (this is Ri). No one els wants to make robot appocalipsis with me. (Rose doz but she dozent make good bots Yet.) If you cud pleas send us a hug in your next letter, Vic wil be hapy abowt that. Also pleas bring gems back. Also the act want be the same withowt you.

Love,
Sibbies 2, 3, 4 (Orion, Rose, Victoria)



Orion tried to convince Rose of various correct spellings and she tried to listen, but Soelle would assuredly understand this heartfelt letter anyway. They attached a glass vial with their letter to the leg of a silver-winged gyrfalcon (as even the heartiest pigeon could unlikely make its way to a ship ranging the seas). The falcon was trained to locate Soelle by scent, and had the tenacity and skill to do so over great distances, and also make its way back home. Gil and Anna added their letter to the vial, sealed it, and sent the bird off.
Logged

That delicate forest flower,   
With scented breath and look so like a smile,   
Seems, as it issues from the shapeless mould,   
An emanation of the indwelling Life,   
A visible token of the upholding Love,   
That are the soul of this great universe.

~William Cullen Bryant

Trains to Steamtown, this way...
Stormcat
Officer
***
United States United States


Sir Whiskers, Lord High Mouser and Royal lapwarmer


« Reply #102 on: December 03, 2015, 11:29:45 pm »

Jessica had returned home after a long day at the Cake and Kettle. She had changed out menus, dealt with some extremely nice but extremely slow customers, tried to get the cats to pay their tab, and she was exhausted. After letting her feet rest for a bit, she looked outside at the mysterious pine forest that had sprouted overnight. She got an Idea.

Rather than wait for Gareth to return home, she went into the basement to fetch some handtools. Since moving into the little town last year, she realized that she had brought with her very few festive decorations, and those she had typically went to the Cake and Kettle.  This town was all about free creation, so why not give it a go?

She approached a tree on the edge of the forest and made a motion to saw off one of the branches with a saw. She had not even touched the branch, but it fell down anyway. "Well that was odd." She said. Jessica went to cut another branch. Again, it fell down on it's own. Being a skeptical woman, she decided to test a theory. This time, she just pointed at a branch, and sure enough it fell down for her. Jessica went from tree to tree gathering pine boughs in this manner, and when she had enough, returned home to place them all on the workbench in the basement.

"Now all I need are the accessories!" She said triumphantly to nobody in particular. She figured the boughs would last until she got back from "Mister Oddbody's Odds and Ends Emporium". She returned to her coat just in time to see Gareth coming up the walk.

"Darling, I'm off to Mister Oddbody's. Need anything while I'm out?" She asked.

"Something for my headaches." Gareth replied. "It's like the fish have gotten so chatty all of a sudden! I had to stay late today because I couldn't focus at work."

"Well, lie down on the divan. We'll have brunswick stew when I get back. And if you go into the basement, leave the pine boughs where they are. I've got a project in mind!"
Logged

MWBailey
Rogue Ætherlord
*
United States United States


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

rtafStElmo
« Reply #103 on: December 05, 2015, 07:44:33 am »

Starbridge fumed and cursed and railed againstthe vagaries of youth and teh world in general, and finally sat down thae workbench in a blue funk. HE slowly came to realize that he was not angry at the boy for running off with Soelle; Heck, he wasn't even really angry at all - he just felt a bit cheated, since he hadn't gotten a chance to say goodbye.

He wished he couldhave ... "hello, what's this?" a jumble of gears, springs, and recondine accoutrements in the boxlike body of a dismantled carriage clock on a shelf above the bench caught his eye. it was accessible to one seated at the bench, so he simply reached out and grabbed it, set it down on the bench, and began looking through teh makeshift box's contents. "Oh, yeah, this old thing," he said, teh light of recognition shining in his eyes. "Lessee, that bit here, this bob...there, press this in place over 'ere..." Slowly a strange construct of machinery, some of it appearing to not be located in teh same plane of existence as the rest, troo shape before him. "yeah... wonder if the lad'kk remember this? he designed half of it, after all." Time passed, and soon Wilhelmina was knocking on the workshop's door, asking to be allowed to being his supper in on a tray.

He got up, let her in, and stood aside as she set the tray down on the bench.  "thanks, Willi," he said. "You're a lifesaver."

"Not 'a problem Mister Starbridge, no' a problem at all -- Oo, what's this? You making a clock, sir?"

"In a manner of speakin' Willi." Starbridge gentky put his arm arond her shoulders and gently but firmly guided her to teh door. "Messin with time ansd space again, I'm afraid. Moxon's going to 'ear from me  whether he likes it or not."

"Oh, sir, don't scold the boy, he loves that girl-"

"more'n life itself. Yeah, I know that feelin'. I took a bicarbonate and it got better." he looked atteh expression n Wilhelmina's face, and said, "Now, now, I'm just tryin' to be funny, Willi, you know that. It's just to tell Mox farewell and come back soon, you're missed, and suchlike. You write a not on that pad, there, and I'll put it in, too."

"Will you, sir? Really/" teh housekeeper said with tears in her eyes.

"O' course I will!

Oh, Mister Starbridge, you're such a kind soul!" Wilhelmina write out the note, with a spcial P.S. to Soelle that she'd better treat Moxon right or she'd hear from the Housekeeper.

"after Wilhelmina left,  Starbridge wriote a not of his own and put it in the message carrier.

Quote
To Moxon Praetorius
From Israel Starbridge

Lad, I don't know why you'd think you couldn't tell me you were going, but I wish you and your little lady all the best. treat her right, I might not know her very well, but her parents and siblings love the girl dearly so I hear, and that says a lot in it's own way.

Us folks here will welcome you if you should decide to return. You and Soelle'll be welcome here if you want to stay either as guests or as employees.  The road's long and you never know what you'll find, take it from an old traveller. Just take what comes and enjoy it and your youth as long as you can, it don't last forever. We both know I'll never quite grow up, but that doesn't mean I'm young anywhere but in my head. I think that's the best way to stay, anyhow.

take care, lad, and come back anbd see an old farmer sometime.

Your former employer and a friend forever,

Israel Starbridge



Starrbridge wiped a tear form his cheek and complete teh device by adding a pair of beautifully metal-feathered wings, with a wingspan more than adequate to carry the weight of the device. A short test, and he took it from the bench, out the door of the workshop and through the barn to the the place in teh back where the hatch into that weird other world resided. He opened said hatch, cradled the device against his chest as he descended the ladder into a meadow full of sunlight, the smell of long hay and rain, and margarineflies dancing amid the buttercups. he took out the device, wound it up, flipped a switch, turned a dial on the back, and set it down amid a clump of purple winecups where slightly-druink pixies leaned against flower stalks abd gazed up at him in slightly terrified fascination..there was a series of blinding rainbow flashes, and suddenly the device was airborne on it's flashing metal wings, flying off into teh aftenoon sun, becoming transparent as it did so. The poxies all pointed, laughed, and in general made a big to-do  over the event.

...A while later, teh device materialized in a certain place, beside a certain ship on a certain ocean, and entered said ship through a certain open porthole...
Logged
Stormcat
Officer
***
United States United States


Sir Whiskers, Lord High Mouser and Royal lapwarmer


« Reply #104 on: December 07, 2015, 02:22:27 am »

The trip to Mister Oddbody's was quite productive. Jessica got all the ribbons and bangles she needed, as well as extra-stregnth headache tonic for her husband. "Darling, have you heard? It seems Soelle Inverness eloped with Mr. Starbridge's hired hand." she said, handing the headache tonic to her distressed husband.

"I was wondering where the girl was." Gareth said after tasking a swig. "any idea where they went off to?"

"An expedition of some sort." Jessica Replied. "All that they left behind was a photograph and a brief note. Doesn't say where they are, but the photo suggests the high seas."

Gareth had a bit of the shock when the high seas were mentioned "Are they looking for-?"

"They seem to be staying topside, which will make it all the more difficult. They're in a boat."

"Phew. You didn't mention what vehicle they were traveling in, so I just assumed it was a submarine." Gareth was able to relax a bit.

After bustling down to the basement, Jessica started to assemble decorations from the pine boughs. An eerie wind seemed to rustle through the trees outside. Jessica didn't like being outside after dark alone, but she was curious about the trees. It had been ages since she can concocted and used an "instant forest" potion, so someone must've done that. But who, and why did the trees willingly drop branches instead of allowing them to be cut down?

"Gareth Dear, could you fetch my old yearbook from Miskatonic U?" She called upstairs.
Logged
Rose Inverness
Snr. Officer
****
United States United States


Communing with the Over-soul via you.


WWW
« Reply #105 on: December 07, 2015, 02:03:28 pm »

“Oh, hell.” Soelle muttered irreverently, with her parents’ letter in hand.
Moxon grunted, with a questioning look.
“Everyone in town is talking. At least we managed to hide our headings, so those folks with the pincers and scalpels and all that are decidedly in the dark about how to find us. I don’t really fancy losing my brain to someone’s morbid concept of ‘science’!”
Moxon hugged her comfortingly. Suddenly a whizzing noise came from outside the porthole, inside which was the cabin where they now sat comfortably. Moxon's jaw dropped briefly and then he smiled knowingly as he recognized a gear here and a bit and a bob there. They read the missives from Mr. Starbridge and Wilhelmina. With a smile Soelle rolled her eyes about ‘hearing from a certain housekeeper’, but only because she knew Willi was quite fond of her. Willi knew of all the time Soelle had spent tiptoeing around the farm (to avoid seeming to be distracting Moxon from his work which she was actually aiding him with) that she was devoted and kind to her now-husband.

Moxon wrote a letter back to his former employer.

Quote
Mister Starbridge sir,

I tried to tell you, really I did. My first attempt was met with some screaming about tentacles, and Willi nearly shoved me out of the doorway, saying I’d be next if I weren’t careful. I didn’t realize you were so ill, sir. Sorry about all that. Hope you’re well now.
We placed an invitation under your door to the Inverness’ house, where we told of our upcoming flight from Steamtown… and would that you’d been there. It was a nice little thing, the evening. Gingerbread from that shop in town, spiced apple cider. Little sugar things to eat.
If you go to the Inverness mansion they can tell you why we went. We had to go, sir.

Thanks again for all your kindness.

M. Praetorius


Meanwhile Anna had put in a call to Jessica Aquos, to discuss the oddity of the newly sprouted bits of forest. "I've tried to contact Arabella, because she always seems to know about these sort of things but she must be out on a voyage of some sort. I really can't get ahold of her. I also wondered about Gundermann, whether he could be behind it? Or at least know about it? I think he lives in forest, doesn't he? I don't know, I've never been there of course, but I've heard."

It had also come to Orion and Rose's attention, because their forest-to-home string telephone system had been hit by trees growing up from under the string, and communications were down at present. Or at least were 'under repairs'.

Gilbert had put in a call to the town hall, to ask about the annual meeting to choose a name for the winter carnival. Nothing had been announced and the time was growing near, and to a father whose children asked him energetically every night before bed what the fair would be called this year, it seemed a bit of a growing emergency.
Logged
Stormcat
Officer
***
United States United States


Sir Whiskers, Lord High Mouser and Royal lapwarmer


« Reply #106 on: December 16, 2015, 10:30:03 pm »

Smoke came billowing out of the chimney of the Cake and Kettle. The Unthinkable had happened, the cookie machines all broke! Jessica did her best to mitigate the damage, but alas, pieces had to be replaced and there were still cookie orders to fill.

"I'm sorry Ma'am." The Salesman on the other end of the phone said. "Best I can do is the 26th."

"But I have a business! How am I supposed to fill out all these cookie orders without a heating element! No one else in town has an oven big enough and everyone wants their christmas cookies by the 25th!"

"Ma'am, please calm down. We will deliver the part to you as soon as we can." Said the salesman, obviously reading from a script.

Jessica feared she would suffer a panic attack. The Salesman hung up on his end, and Jessica let the receiver slip from her hand. Finding no solace in the disorganized kitchen, she locked herself on the broom closet and burst into tears.

Meanwhile, Gareth seemed to barely be keeping his head above water. Sir Whiskers had gotten himself lost in the mysterious pine forest, and villagers were clamoring to know when the winter fair name election was to be held. Paperwork had piled up, and Gareth was the only one in the office. When the telephone rang for the umpteenth time, Gareth was barely holding it together.

"Excuse me, when is the next town meeting?" A voice on the other line asked.

Town meeting. Maybe, just maybe if Gareth could organize a town meeting and tell everyone about the numerous crises that had hit the town, they might be able to pull off a festivus miracle and solve them all.
Logged
Rose Inverness
Snr. Officer
****
United States United States


Communing with the Over-soul via you.


WWW
« Reply #107 on: December 19, 2015, 10:12:03 am »

Gilbert listened to Gareth's tales of woe and hardship with a sympathetic ear. Being that he had four children, he knew quite well the frustrations of life amidst chaos. "I'd be happy to organize the meeting if that would make it easier for you," Gilbert offered and it was agreed that this was a good plan.

The meeting was called at a quarter or two to two on the first Saturday following their phone call. Whiskers having been found (a search party of relentless cat lovers is a group not to be trifled with), he stood atop the platform in the town square. Anna helped Jessica serve Mexican hot chocolate all around and the meeting began.

"We have a few suggestions this year. And they are..." Whiskers had another cat unroll the list. The ordeal in the forest had been quite trying. All those people calling his name and scaring off the birds he was hunting.... simply awful.

The list was read:

1 Solstice & Stars Festival
2 Solstice Frolic
3 Snowball Madness Festival
4 SnowWolf Festival
5 Ham for Cats Festival
6 Jolly Christmas Festival

A top hat was passed around and votes on slips of paper were collected.
Logged
MWBailey
Rogue Ætherlord
*
United States United States


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

rtafStElmo
« Reply #108 on: December 26, 2015, 01:33:53 am »

Starbridge had cast his vote with a good grace.He had managed to make it into town on the ioddly harvester-like train once more (it now ran between  Streamtown and the neighboring community of Cogg's Corners), along with Adelbert nd Miss Wilhelmina. "Well, that's settled!' he said, when teh votes were counte dand the decision made. Shall we go for a coffee and Pie?"

"Do, Lets," said Wilhelmina. "I'd like a slice of chess pie, myself."

"Cherry for me," Adelbert said, while eyeing and winking at a certain pretty yound lady; Moxon's luck had set him thinking about his own marital state.

"Careful, lad, I don't want to lose another helper," Starbridge laughed as he reached around and yanked Addelbert's cap bill down playfully; Adelbert laughed and straightened his headwear.
Logged
Rose Inverness
Snr. Officer
****
United States United States


Communing with the Over-soul via you.


WWW
« Reply #109 on: December 26, 2015, 04:46:29 am »

The Inverness children were giggling and laughing in a corner of the Cake and Kettle when Starbridge and crew arrived. The children had been skating on the frozen pond around the fountain the town square and were tired and getting cozy around hot cocoa, with sweaters and leg warmers off and drying.

Gilbert sat nearby with a close eye on his children. He felt the need to be more watchful now that the eldest was not around to do so. He was quite happy for his daughter, and thought Moxon was a nice young man. He bid a cheerful 'Hallo' to Israel Starbridge.
Logged
Stormcat
Officer
***
United States United States


Sir Whiskers, Lord High Mouser and Royal lapwarmer


« Reply #110 on: December 30, 2015, 08:50:51 pm »

By the generosity of the people of Steamtown, Jessica had completed all the cookie orders. Sure, she had to run from house to house to use their ovens, but she figured she could use the exercise.

When last seen, she was slumped over the kitchen table of the previously unheard of Cogsworth family, half covered in cookie batter and flour. Because the Cogsworths were so shy, they dared not wake her or tell her the season was over and she should really vacate the kitchen and clean herself up. Still, Jessica eventually uncrumpled herself and looked out the window to the town square. Near the town's clocktower was a machine counting down the seconds to the new year, and another machine that looked like it was to drop a very large, shiny cog at the stroke of midnight on new year's day.

Satisfied with having all her work done, Jessica went back to sleep.
Logged
Rose Inverness
Snr. Officer
****
United States United States


Communing with the Over-soul via you.


WWW
« Reply #111 on: January 01, 2016, 03:58:27 am »

The Inverness family had returned from a round of joyful caroling to a cheerful fire in the fireplace. They'd ignored Soelle's suggestion by letter of a tune to sing: 'Grog or we'll shoot!', as well as the cats' suggestions of 'Santy Claws Saunters Past' and 'Protest Song Re: Mistletoe'.
The family shed wet boots, hats, coats, spats, etc., and sat around the fire in armchairs and on generously-stuffed settees. Rather than reading a book, tonight they listened to the wind howl across the fields.

Dairy-free cocoa emitted from a brass contraption Gilbert had fashioned years ago in his workshop, and into metallic-earth-toned ceramic mugs. The contraption rotated the cups and each got an abundant dollop of whipped topping added to it. The family was quiet, contemplating their year. Much had happened.

Victoria curled up in her mother's lap. Orion allowed Rose to lean on him, even as he leaned against his father. Their sister's presence was missed, though there was still quite a lot of coziness. They felt the pull of the warmth lulling them to sleep.
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