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Author Topic: Homecoming  (Read 287 times)
MWBailey
Rogue Ætherlord
*
United States United States


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

rtafStElmo
« on: April 13, 2017, 03:21:06 am »

An Idea I had.

A new RP? Maybe, if anybody's interested.

Add your own entries here if you like, or perhaps we could start a new RP, sequel, or otherwise, in a new thread. Anybody?

_____________________________________________________________________
Homecoming
"Follow that Damned beast!" the Duty Officer bellowed, as the kraken shot forward, spewing a cloud rarified gas and particulate, the airgoing squid's equivalent of the seaborne variety's ink that they expelled when attempting to escape danger. The noxious, clingy stuff splattered the ship's envelope, bow, and the prow of the gunboat section, befouling the bridge's bay windows until the anti-smear arms (a gifted student of the Airwise University's engineering department had invented them not a year hence) cleared the mess away. "Dimension Hopper on Standby! We don't want to miss the portal!"

"Aye, Sir!"

Blue and white actinic arcs suddenly sprouted and began to play over the entire surface of the ship. "All Hands, close exterior doors and brace for Dimensional Jump , Repeat, close exterior doors and brace for Dimensional Jump!"

"Ensign!"

"Sir?"

"Ring up the Commodore, will you? Tell him it's a big one, and she appears to be following the exrtrapolated London Proper Jump Pattern."

"Are you sure, sir? Last time -!" The ensign quavered.

"Stiff Upper Lip, Rogers! HE keeps believing, so should we!"


Jaisen Santiago Dreyfuss, former and current Commodore and commander of the Republic of Texas Airfleet's London Liaison and master and commander of the Second-class Aerial and interdimensional Man o' War RTAF St. Elmo, made his way along the corridor toward his cabin after the morning inspection of the corps of cadets. He shook his back and dislodged a couple of feathers from under the greatcoat that he wore, the doffed it and shook and popped it just to make sure no more pinions remained. "Angel did a good jonb o this thing," he muttered, "but consarn it if I don't keep moulting in it!"

The sound of the squawkbox in his cabin sounded a muffled buzzing noise through the door, and he unlocked the portal and stepped in, hooking the handset from its cradle with his left pinky.

"Dreyfuss here. Report!" He listened, and made a fist, his face coloring and his back twitching in a certain place as the import hit home. He punched the bulkhead beside the door, his fist fitting well into the dent made there in the partition's steel surface by long habit. Five years, ship time, had passed since they left London Proper; the Airwise Academy became the Airwise University as it's cadets matriculated through the classes, and a few cadets became full-fledged officers; some even married and had children, adding to the ship's complement, and making it like a flying family compound, perhaps even a city at times. Dreyfuss had given up the captain's cabin in the stern of the gunboat and moved to the new quarters in the newly-opened space in the envelope section that the adoption of Sir Charles's inventor's antigravity lofting just before departure had made possible.

Five years, first spent following energy traces that a cadet had identified, and experimentation had proven, belonged to Nadya and Irene, two former female crewfolk and persons dear to Dreyfuss' heart. A brief period of hope and longing had buoyed up The commodore's spirit at the thought of tracking down and reuniting with Nadya, but that had died as it became apparent that she knew she was being followed and had taken several devious detours that made it obvious she was not keen on the idea herself - not to mention made it impossible to follow her, without a massive recalculation of her possible future choices. Dreyfuss had given up that idea, and in a long-term fit of pique, even refused to use his Bright One's powers (which in truth were the only thing aboard that could still locate Nadya's trace) to find her.

"Taking the hint," he'd said to Jock Loughmalley, the Chief Engineer and an old friend from their days in the Marauder Mercenary Company's Air Division.

"You sure, Dreyf? Ye nivver know, mebbe she'l just show up again, like she did th' firs' toime."

"I don't think so, Jock," Dreyfuss had answered. Better see if we can just Find Irene. At least she's blood family."


But Home! Well, London, anyhow. Home. Miss Emma, Patrick, his Boheme companions. He looked to where the Boat Gun stood in the corner, an old friend that had seen him through many a scrape in the old days, and had seen him through more since, after the ship had gotten lost in the airways of Time and Space. zhe felt for teh Whitefire pistol at his hip-!

"Oh. Yeah.  Dammit..." The miraculous sidearm had disappeared from its holster in a plasma storm on the edge of the Earth's atmosphere as they chased a sprite form the top of a thunderstorm to find the portals that they caused. The air krakens of this current dimension had a peculiar ability to open portals in similar fashion to those storm sprites in that other plane, and the energies that seeped through these newest portals bore energy signatures that matched london Proper's patterns exactly, right down to the depleted Cold One taint.

"Well, old friend, one more time, eh!!" He strapped on the Boat gun, it's weathered strap laying just between his wing humps on his back, over the greatcoat. In a few moments, he swaggered in through the door in the upper bulkhead of the bridge. "Let's see if we can get home this time, people," he said jovially as the lightnings flashed and roared, a steh St. Elmo plunged headlong into the screaming corridor opened by the passage of the lightning kraken.

A blinding flash, a press of cloud and rain, and suddenly bright sunlight flooded the Bridge. There, Below, lay The Medway, Aetheric liners plying the waves and airships of all kinds swarming the air. Soone an all-too-familiar voice blasted the ears of the Bridge Crew .

ST. BLOODY ELMO! came the voice over the Aetheradio...
Logged

Walk softly and carry a big banjo...

""quid statis aspicientes in infernum"
The Corsair
Defective Inspector
Moderator
Zeppelin Admiral
*
New Zealand New Zealand


PixieOnTheMic
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2017, 06:10:19 am »

A cold, bone-white hand flicked the syringe.
"Now hold still..."
And the syringe, colder still, pressed against the ensign's arm track-marked. Even the good doctor had long lost the patience to properly treat the young man's injection wounds adequately. If anything, the men could wear their track-marks with pride. Except this one, of course.
"For goodness' sake calm down. You've done this enough times." the whipcrack-sharp voice came. Deep like the cracking of glacial ice, and just as unnerving. "Nurse hold him."
Restraints whipped up from where they hung from the bed rails and bound themselves together, like they had some sort of life of their own. Amusing to think so, the doctor felt, but of the many things that had life in this room the restraints were not one of them.

The needle pierced the ensign's haggard skin, just inside the elbow joint, and the doctor's steady hand sunk the plunger. Immediately the ensign went still, then slumped limp and stopped breathing. Above him, his Other Self began to build and glow.
"Thaaaat's better isn't it? We'll keep the room locked while we jump and you'll be juuust fine."

The nurse whispered in his ear, "All vitals normal Apothecary. His ghost will ride this one out just fine."
"Nastiest case of spiritual dissociation I've ever seen..." the doctor muttered back.

He looked around the room at the glowing blue almost-people floating about. Some hung close to their bodies, others drifted freely and even conversed - as much an incorporeal form could converse that is. His eyes met the ensign's ghost and he smiled.
"You're safe here with Abernathy. Always."

Then the jump came, and my was it a good one...
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 #2 on: May 04, 2017, 08:42:10 am »

Colin Sunnybrook looked up from his seat on the park bench where he'd been dozing in the morning sunlight, a meteorological rarity n London Proper even now, long after the demise and defeat of the Cold Ones and the interdimensional wars that had ultimately spawned the Aether League's Aether Guards, a year after the presumed demise of the St. Elmo - and his sister, Rebecca, along with it. The front lawn of the O'Flaherty Technomagical Institute, which so many years before had been the site of a titanic battle that seemingly had presaged the coming conflict - but now bore few scars; the only such remaining were those considered to be monuments to the struggles of the Heroes of the Boheme and St. Elmo; the shell holes made by the salvo fired from the Obs deck of the Texian warship as Captain Ishmael brought her to the battle (in a timely intervention that destroyed the enemy's aerial battlewagons in a hard-fought dual-broadside artillery slugfest) had been artfully converted into sunken bowl-shaped flower gardens, and the ripped-up sod and loam where the Texian battlewagon's mooring torpedoes had had to be laboriously removed had been made into a rectangular reflecting pond, edged with more flowerbeds and a path on which sat the bench upon which Colin drowsily half sat, half reclined.

The six years since that battle and the reconfiguration of the St. Elmo into the Airwise Academy(and it's departure via the newly-refurbished D-Hopper drive) had seen Patrick's school burgeon from a small, acclaimed, yet obscure isolate institution into one with multiple campuses in most of the major cities of Europe and the Empire of Britannia, and even one in Austin, the Capital of what had become the United Commonwealth of Texas, now a powerhouse world power in her own right. Most of that was lost on Colin, however, as is often the case with supremely-gifted students. He was mainly concerned, at least for the moment, with dozing on the bench, his smith-magery text balanced precariously on his knee, and his boxed lunch being stealthily visited by one of the campus's many gray squirrels. It was with a shock that he awoke suddenly to the sound of a mighty bellow of thunder from above and in the direction, seemingly, of the Docklands harbor and aerodrome complex. It soon became apparent that it was something more than just an unexpected cloudburst when three Aether Guards corvettes streaked from three separate directions across the midmorning sky overhead, their ball-turretted guns visibly being run out of their ports, warning klaxons blaring as they formed up en echelon and roared off in the direction of the thunderclap. His callbox (a dictionary-sized device all technomagical students learned to make in their first classes of their first semesters and which all students used - somewhat excessively, according to several of the schools more conservative faculty) squawked to life.

"COLIN! YOU"LL NEVER GUESS!"

Colin sighed, fumbled the bothersome thing out of his labcoat's thigh pocket and  and thumbed open the  callbox's lid, flicked the toggle and pressed the "speak" button. "Never guess what, Roy? Another incredible dice roll that you lost our week's grocery money on?"

"Whitefire, no,  roomie! You'll never believe it!" Roy De Valera's voice squawked back. "Himself (the term the students used for Patrick O'Flaherty, the school's headmaster) just came slammin' outta his office, yellin' for wife and  Miss Angel, adn and sayin', "it's Mister Dreyfuss an' the St. Elmo!"

Colin went slack in shock. The ST. ELMO!? Rebecca? Was his sister alive after all!? He suddenly became aware that the other students scattered around the lawn were all chattering excitedly on their own devices, and then the airwaves that the boxes served quickly became jammed with traffic, until headmaster O'Flaherty's voice roared above all others on all frequencies.

"ALL STUDENTS 'N FACULTY INDOORS NOW! THIS'S 'N ORDER!"

A a huge silvery airship shape of the old school, flanked by the shapes of three more modern-seeming military-like craft, slowly hove into view overhead, as a blimp-like lighter with the particulars of Tinker's Row Airdock stenciled on her envelope's prow approached from the opposite direction, and then hove to alongside the Texian airship. The St. Elmo was finally going home to her berth-away-from-home in Tinker's Row.

AS Colin and others watched, even as Patrick and the school's faculty ushered them inside the school buildings, it became apparent that the St. Elmo had been damaged, repaired, and rebuilt, remodeled, and modified several times since her departure from London Proper. Her centrifugal ducted fans had always WHOOSHed a bit loudly, but there was now a thunderous undercurrent, as of an engine or set of engines of much more magnified power than she had originally had, or so one of the older professors, who had been around at the time of the interdimensional war, remarked. Her guns were all run in, the casemate doors tightly shut, but it was obvious, even under the paint that scores of student maintenance teams had slathered over the gunboat sections hull, that she had been damaged and that armor patches that were obviously made on board had been welded over the worst bits, and one or two casemate doors looked different from their fellows. In several places she still bore the scars of battles with krakens of the air, and it seemed that she had seen more than one  broadside fight with other warships since her departure, judging by several dents that had yet to be hammered out or patched over. 

There was also a slight doubt in Colin's mind. Something seemed odd, almost arcane or magickally mysterious; the Ship and her master and crew had always been surrounded by uncanny and (some would say) occult legends and rumors, the strange case of the ship's cabin with a haunted reputation, and commodore Dreyfuss' relation to a certain Louisianan magickal practitioner looming large among them, not to mention the strange, rumored transmutation of the commodore himself; his mystical, sometimes seemingly demonic paramour; and his allegedly deathless niece - but Something more, yet indefinable, tickled at the back of Colin's skull, as a blue arc crackled down the length of the hull from stem to stern, and then crackled to nonexistence.

-----------
"Damage control, report!" the captain's voice barked tinnily through the squawkbox network and the classroom PA system. TEh disciplined answers rangout through the same system. D-hopper mechanisms all sound and  secured. No damage to the gun deck. student, faculty and crew complement all present and accounted for. Hull sound, with no breaches. Aether reciprocators running a bit rough; Chief Engineer Loughmalley's voice nagged, not for the first or even hundredth time, that the antennaeic aetheric collection array needed recalibration with the capacitance matrix. The Bat colony seemed agitated, according to the Husbandry Detail's cadet JG lieutenant. Antigrav lofting in optimum form and trim, save for a slight juddering in the repulsory output of the port trim ballonet (why Sir Charles's engineers had persisted in calling them "ballonets" instead of stabilizers was nonsensical, Dreyfuss mused to himself.   

Hearing Patrick's voice greeting them as they broke out of the portal and into the Medway's bright, unseasonable sunshine had been a welcome sound to the Dreyfuss' ears. He wondered how Miss Emma was getting on - then turned at the report that no, two students and three air rangers had injured themselves when they failed to grab  handholds and brace during the jump.

"Joyriders, seems like," the Ship's Doctor speculated aloud. "They said they wanted to see London Proper through the 'aetheric aura,' whatever that means."

Dreyfuss and the Bridge Gang muttered various epithets about D-Hopper dime novels (a craze that had erupted the week before the ship's departure from that same London Proper five years before) and penny dreadful authors, and then the First Mate told the Doctor to treat the miscreants and send them back to duty as their treatment allowed.
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