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Author Topic: The Darkest of Rivers...  (Read 14453 times)
MWBailey
Rogue Ætherlord
*
United States United States


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

rtafStElmo
« Reply #25 on: June 23, 2011, 10:08:47 pm »

(OOC: Rafael ('Rafe') J. Bass.
Mercenary LTA/HTA Pilot. Born and orphaned during the Matabele Rebellion in Africa of transplanted Scotch-Irish parents; found after a border station raid and adopted by a 'Flying Battery' captain and practically raised aboard various such aircraft. After growing up and attending the Royal Aerial Naval Academy, Captained Rapid Response Tactical Transport/Attack gliders from HMAS Hedley against aerial pirates (also individual 'infantry wings' devices), then as a mercenary pilot captained the AS Simba (a front-line skirmisher/scout raider dirigible), during a rash of border and mining disputes in the Transvaal and Lake Victoria regions of Africa. Has since piloted a number of craft for many different African scouting/exploring/bountying/adventuring/military expeditions, including a number of concerns financed and/or conducted by the Baron (though the baron might or might not remember the fact).

Has contacts with both  British and other African colonial entities, not all of whom see eye to eye (especially not the Belgians vs. everyone else). Is 'intriguingly' (in the words of the local Colonial constabulary) knowledgeable about smuggling routes, etc, but has managed to keep his nose reasonably clean. Armed with 3 large-bore webley-pattern revolvers, a couple of smaller hideout pistols, and various sharp things about his person. Often has a stick of dynamite or two, or a grenade or two, about his person(if this is too much or not enough, please let me know)).

____________________________________________________

The Capetown Hall of Justice sweltered in the African heat, the sea breezes from the harbor barely managing to supplement the creaking, sussurrating efforts of the ceiling and wall fans. The courtroom was not an ill-designed space for keeping a crowd cool; it was just that this was Africa, after all, and high summer to boot -- and teh room was stuffed full to bursting with the sweating and put-upon denizens of the city, some of whom waited for judgement and stank of fear, while others awaited justrice and stank of anger and righteousness, and others who were witnesses or just onlookers, many of whom were not as well-scrubbed as could have been, and therefore simply stank...

The Right Honorable Percy Slouch, Magistrate of Capetown, in his archaic powdered wig, sat atop his stool behind the mountainous podium, and viewed the roomfrul of sweating, stinking subjects with a jaundiced and (owing to the garments required by tradition) overheated eye the occupants of the court, and refelcted on one of teh more plebian facts of jurisprudence. Put 'em all in here, and we all share the sweatin', he thought, An' soon or late we all stink the same.

The next case having been brought by the barristers, and and bandied back and forth like some mad, devil-taken verbal parody of a tennis match, Slouch looked at the plaintiff, and said, "Ahhh... yes. Captain Rafael Bass, formerly of the recently-destroyed African Ship Simba..."

"Due consideration having been applied, I find in favor of the Baron, of course. I pers'nally never heard of the fellow before he started mining and whatnot, and why he chose the Bloody Congo instead of throwin' in with the eminent Messires Barnato and Rhodes I can't imagine, but he's still a member of the peerage, so there's that. His portion of the proceeds, being the sum of one million pounds sterling, common market value, shall of course be refunded as it was a Govermnment operation during which it was lost."

"As to yourself and the Simba, I can only offer you guarantee of Comparable Insured Replacement Value, as per the recent acts in the Colonial sections of the recent legislation handed down by the House of Lords in London. I realize that that is considerably less than you had demanded, but as a  merchant commoner contractor to the government in this case, you are expected to provide a reasonable levy of personnel and materiel and a portion of all proceeds to the Crown in any case. You are thus to receive the sum of Three Thousand pounds sterling, in compensation for the loss of your ship and payroll..."

It was a week later that Rafe Bass, former captain of the Mercenary airship Simba, stood on a street corner in Capetown, chomping down on his cheroot and wondering what to make of the news that the Baron was sending another expedition to Africa. he patted the lump in his field jacket made by the wad of the last of the cash from the government settlement, grunted as he picked up the  wooden crate that held the Vickers/Maxim 30 caliber heavy machine gun by its braided-rope handle, and strode across the busy street to the telegraph office to send an application of employment to the Baron. "Nothing ventured, nothin' gained," he muttered as he dodged a steam lorry overloaded with wicker baskets of something that hissed and rattled evilly. "'Ey! WOTCHIT, YOU!"

As he gained he wooden sidewalk on the other side of te street, his mind involuntarily went back over the previous week's events.
_____________________________________________

« Last Edit: June 24, 2011, 11:54:58 pm by MWBailey » Logged

Walk softly and carry a big banjo...

""quid statis aspicientes in infernum"
Miles (a sailor)Martin
Zeppelin Admiral
******
United States United States


Just a head full of random thoughts


« Reply #26 on: June 23, 2011, 11:25:44 pm »

(ooc);Fine by me, Miss Cross and Mr. Gunn ,have the deciding votes at this point, I am prmaraly the pilot and support crew.   Pick you up Stateside or in Africa? t'will determine how much extras the Areoion 3 can bring and what will have to be shipped.    Miles

 ps (OOC) i am going to be driving back to NM starting the !0th of July,and will be on the road and out of contact till the 13th, then will be in NM till the 22nd then drive back to Md hoping to be back in Aberdeen the 25th. exept for the days on the road i should be able to catch up with things once a day ,in the late am by the BG clock               miles
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Who you calling old, Sonny boy? Just because my birth certificate is on birch bark there isn't any reason to be calling names.
machinist for hire/ mechanic at large
Warning : minstrel with a five string banjo
MWBailey
Rogue Ætherlord
*
United States United States


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

rtafStElmo
« Reply #27 on: June 24, 2011, 04:43:37 am »

(OOC: the Vickers/Maxim is the only thing salvageable from the wreck of the Simba, other than small navigational and personal items;  Thinking of maybe having  Rafe sell it, or maybe bring it along to augment the weapon store aboard the Areoion 3. The weight of ammo and weapon might make that a problem, though.

Rafe has little else, other than the standard colonial dress whites and a change of the standard khaki bush clothes (salvaged after the battle and wreck that destroyed the Simba), and the weapons he was carrying when the ship went down. The Simba would have been, I'm thinking, probably about the airship equivalent of a sloop-of-war, in other words only a little heavier-armed than the Beau Rosin and a bit larger.

Probably best to pick him up in Capetown or some similar location, since that's where he is now; not sure if there's time for him to make it to Johannesburgh.)

_________________________________________

The Last of the Simba
It had been a long running battle, and a grueling one. The mercenary contractor airship AS Simba,  a small zeppelin-pattern 'flying sloop' out of Capetown, had gone into the interior and up the Congo without incident. After taking on a Cargo consisting of diamonds for an american/british company and quinine and other Belgian colonial-made supplies intended for the various medical difficulties plaguing the small hospital in Capeton, however, the little zeppelin had been tracked and then fallen upon by the Buluwayo,  a pirate craft that was known to haunt the Congo and its tributary valleys.

Outgunned seven to one but having an excellent turn of speed due to its diesel-electric powertrain and slim airframe, the Simba's captain, Rafael 'Rafe' Bass, had to decided to make a run for it rather than fight (surrender being a bleak option, since most of the 'Jungle Corsairs,' as they were called, simply sold their captives as slaves or killed them if they were not slave material; Surrender in any case was not an option that Bass was used to exercising). The cargo was valued in the millions - mainly because of the diamonds, a loss that he could ill afford - and his craft had a three-ply veneer hull, as opposed with the more common stiffened canvas in common use (while it could hardly be considered armor in the strict sense, it had already proven its resilience in head-on and running encounters, the shallow angle of the enemy's rounds often causing them to only slightly plow the hull, ultimately glancing off). Add the aft rocket tube, the underslung turret-mounted fore-end tube,  and vickers-maxim waist guns, and most pursuers in the past had found the little ship to be more trouble to tangle with than it was worth.

The Buluwayo, however, was a different story than most; it actually had lightweight armor and the cells to lift it, with the engines and ducted fans(unexpectedly) to drive it at Standard Flank Speed, a velocity almost unheard of in such large Native ships - and 28 Maxim repeating deck guns. It had thus been a hard battle, over nearly five hours, from Walinga station on the Congo, over the mountains, to the hoped-for safety of the Traansvaal - right over the Whitwatersraand, in fact.

The miners had then been treated to a rare spectacle as the Simba was holed in the stern, effectively destroying her port prop, damaging her Starboard and severely mauling her engines, such that she was at best barely able to turn at bay. Bass and crew managed to give a good account of themselves, even as the shells from the Buluwayo began blasting through; they managed to hole the Buluwayo in her own stern with two rockets, damaging (though they did not realize it at the time) the Pirate vessel's main engine, and destroying the dorsal vane. The starboard waist gunner blasted away at the control car of the Buluwayo, completely demolishing it's interior despite the armor, until a small one-pounder shell blasted through and silenced his efforts, even as it broke the back of the Simba and set her center cell alight.

From there it was a series of explosions in slow motion as Bass grabbed the remaining Vickers, which had been knocked off of it's mounting, and yelled for the remaining crew to follow him as the stricken zeppelin passed the top of a hammermill tower above one of the Witwatersraand's many mineshafts, and he jumped to the maintenance platform at the top of the tower, his two remaining crewmen barely making it behind him as he dropped the gun and grabbed the second crewman and barely managed to keep him from dragging both of them over the edge.

Bass hauled the man up with the aid of the other crewman, and then they watched as the Simba died, blazing away as her hydrogen, fuel, and wooden hull ignited, the wreck drifting out over the plain, finally blasting itself to flaming bits as the ammunition and dynamite caught. In rage he turned and shook his fist at the Buluwayo as she limped away toward the horizon, just as a patrol zeppelin appeared at the opposite side of the plain. Word arrived a week later that the patrol ship, the Allenby out of Johannesburgh, had run the Pirates to ground after a three-day chase ducking in and out of the mountains, the final duel taking place at midnight.

They never did recover the diamonds; as soon as word of them got out, as it inevitably did, every yahoo within twenty miles was out on the plain scooping up the bonanza, and Bass was forced to report the loss and sue for the government's reimbursement in the matter; it had been mainly a government expedition in the first place, the diamonds being merely added to the cargo, as politically-fired unrest (as well as the Buluwayo) in the area had rendered the Simba the only craft and crew willing to make the trip.

But, such was life in the aerial Jungle...
« Last Edit: June 24, 2011, 11:57:02 pm by MWBailey » Logged
Miles (a sailor)Martin
Zeppelin Admiral
******
United States United States


Just a head full of random thoughts


« Reply #28 on: June 24, 2011, 01:08:25 pm »

OOC how far did Ceicel Rhodes make it with his dream in this timeline, or did the Alexandria and Capetown Railway never get started? or is it still under construction?  Opinions ?  Options?
                                                         Miles
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The Abiliegh
Zeppelin Admiral
******
United States United States


Wench with a Wrench

The_Abi
« Reply #29 on: June 24, 2011, 01:36:57 pm »

OOC: I figure, based on the histories from the last go, that there is probably more, not less, in the way of forward progress to the area. People tend to join together a bit after facing global crisis, and on the heels of the Martian Wars (no WWII, remember) I can only imagine there was a time of improvement, even in the most rural of places. Keep in mind, we're in the late 40's Smiley

"Both Tommy and I are quick learners, Mr. Martin. The bulk of my experience in flying 'craft came from a paniced grab at the helm and the learning of it after the fact, but I didn't wreck 'er." She smiled, remembering a moment. "Either way, we'll make do. Dame though I am, I'm not the type to avoid a little work. Of course, we oughta get a good night's shut-eye while we can..."

They parted ways, the night passed quickly, and soon it was morning. The baron had sent for Clark while they slept, and with his near infinate reach and rather mysterious resources, the clockwork was in the manor house before any of them awoke. As it turned out, the Baron had done more than just that over the course of the evening. Having deemed Tommy and Abiliegh's beachware unsuitable for whatever they might find on the dark continent, he'd had Willoughby pack them sturdy trunks full of appropriate clothing and needed accessories. Tommy's gun cases had been brought up from the buick and put on the Areoion 3, and there was a new one beside it, smaller and slightly more elegant, with the initials A.B.C. engraved upon the lock. Clark had loaded these, the steamer trunks, and bevy of rations and supplies onto the airship, and the crew awoke to the mechanical man and Willoughby conversing cheerily in the drawing room, coffee and breakfast ready for everyone.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2011, 01:38:39 pm by The Abiliegh » Logged

Action! Adventure! Possible Harlotry!
Abis do it for SCIENCE!
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The Abiliegh
Zeppelin Admiral
******
United States United States


Wench with a Wrench

The_Abi
« Reply #30 on: June 24, 2011, 01:51:20 pm »

OOC: About all we've got left to do stateside is get the Martian home, which wont take but a minute and a teary goodbye from Mrs. Cross and probably a "good riddance" from Tommy Wink

Then, we can be off. MW, I'd say it's likely that the Baron is going to approve you on our mission, heh heh. Seeing as we're like to depart "today" and it will take us a couple of days to get across the pond, perhaps there would be time for Rafe to head up to Pointe Noir? Seeing as by this point, it was already a rail hub, it's a good a place as any to get started!
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Miles (a sailor)Martin
Zeppelin Admiral
******
United States United States


Just a head full of random thoughts


« Reply #31 on: June 24, 2011, 10:29:32 pm »

OOC read all the post on SG and  left a note giving the ad'tin'al specifications of the Areion 3.

 Miles wakes at dawn,showers, dresses and walks down to the smoking lounge to have his customary cigar and coffee,meeting Wilkins ,the butler, on the way he inquires of the groups readyness,saying in passing " that Mrs Cross is going to make as fine a pilot as she is a looker, if my pilot in the recent unpleasentness had been half as good, I wouldn't need this brace on my leg" smacking it with his everpresent Winchester cane/rifle. "Thank you, please let me know when the rest of the party are up, I will wait here "miles says as he enters the smoking lounge, and fires up a Havana.
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The Abiliegh
Zeppelin Admiral
******
United States United States


Wench with a Wrench

The_Abi
« Reply #32 on: June 24, 2011, 11:03:15 pm »

OOC: I'm about to head off camping for the weekend (yes, yes, i know, I don't ever stay still). I'll be home Sunday, and hopefully that will give the dear Sgt.Major time to post. I'll check again once I'm done packing and showered, and see if I need to finish up Abiliegh's affairs at the Manor. If not, expect a nice send-off for Perry on Sunday and then departure for Africa once I'm home!
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Miles (a sailor)Martin
Zeppelin Admiral
******
United States United States


Just a head full of random thoughts


« Reply #33 on: June 25, 2011, 12:14:06 am »

(ooc) hav fun dear, stay cool,and hydrated ,that Texas sun can sure get hot.as an old desert rat myself ,i know you will take care but a timely reminder never goes amiss.
                                                Miles ( a desert born sailor)Martin               
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MWBailey
Rogue Ætherlord
*
United States United States


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

rtafStElmo
« Reply #34 on: June 25, 2011, 12:42:50 am »

(OOC: Have a good ol' time, Abi! If you have AC I wish I was going; if not, then I think I'll pass, unless its in a tent with a HUGE fan...

Rafe's going along the coastline via a passenger train hauled by one of the African Rail Garratt-built steam locos, one of those behemoths with the huge streamlined sleeper out front....)

"Pointe Noir? Well, it's as good a place as any to meet up, I suppose," Bass muttered in his nearly-but-not-quite-cockney accent as he perused the reply to his job query. He eyed the crate containing the Vickers gun, and considered selling it for train fare and perhaps a trade for something a bit more portable. "Here, lad, send this back the way that last 'un came will you?" he said to the telegraph operator, as he penciled the message on the slip provided.

Quote
To the Right Honorable Baron ThistlewaiteSTOP
Job Conditions and payment offer accepted STOP
Will meet expedition in Pointe Noir as requested STOP
Bringing usual goodies and a big stick, Lost the other in the crashSTOP

END


"If they won't take Effie here, I'll just trade 'er for one o' them sub guns what's all the rage these days," Bass said to himself as he picked up the crate again and sauntered off to the Railway station.
______________________________

The trip from Capetown to the border of the Belgian Congo territory was uneventful; the Vickers and several ammo belts residing in the crate, and a trunk (purchased at the station for the purpose) containing the contents of Bass's knapsack, the knapsack itself and his machete, a leather rollcase containing his other two regular revolvers and the smallarms he usually only carried in the bush, and various other things, resided in the baggage car, while he himself, armed only with the shortest-barrelled revolver, and the Khukri he'd been given by a late comrade, occupied the usual long-journey sleeper, diner, and lounge cars patronized by the anglo-european passengers. There were rumors, as always, about the Pirates, bandits, and other ruffians preying on both air and ground traffic, but none of his felow passengers seemed to really believe that such could befall the Coastal Express. The shore-and-cliff-hugging rail line that the express traversed on its three-day, two-night journey had been laid down during the recent 'Martian Scare,' as a supply route for military purposes, but niow served mainly a commercial function, as well as a handy mail route.

Uneventful, yes, save for the final leg of the trip. It proved to be impossible to reach Pointe Noir easily by train, the bridge spanning the estuary between Boma and Pointe Noir not yet being completed, adn he dared not spend the price of an airship ticket. Oh, there was a bridge alright, he was assured by the man at the counter at the station in Boma, -- a triple-span pioneering-style rope bridge. Pedestrians, porters, horses and mule strings could traverse it, but that was it. So, it was back to the old tried-and-true of acquiring two horses (one for baggage) and packing across the old-fashioned way. Easily said, he realized about halfway across, but the wind and the crowded traffic made it a dizzying trip, and the shipping passing by far below between the huge timber towers only served to point up the precariousness of the traveler's position.

Once in Pointe Noir, he sold the horses, and actually made a small profit, which he used to procure a room in the hotel next to the airship docks. Having been sent a description of the ship on which he would be working, and having gotten a room facing the docks, he sat at the window and watched to see if he could catch the arrival of the ship...
« Last Edit: June 26, 2011, 06:09:12 am by MWBailey » Logged
Miles (a sailor)Martin
Zeppelin Admiral
******
United States United States


Just a head full of random thoughts


« Reply #35 on: June 27, 2011, 11:50:53 am »

"Baron" inquires Miles "can your shop do a clean and tune up on the Gatling cannon,then store it and the ammo until we return? Given the news stories in the Capetown and Johannesburg papers you had on hand ,I think a bit faster firing guns,as well as a few more will be of use.I love old Georgette but in this case ,her and her ammo are a bit to heavy,also,I think it may be a bit hard finding reloads in Africa for a 1.1 straight case? eight of those .303 Vickers in twin mounts or four .50 Browning's in single mounts will be lighter, that way we can carry more ammo for the same weight.  ,I'd like at least four belts each of all the odder ammo you can get me. Have your armorers use the ammo that's being offloaded as examples of what I'd like ,just in .303BRIT or .50BMG. I think twenty belts of standard ammo loaded 1AP-T,1HE-I,1INC-T,2-AP per gun should do for Air combat or strafing if necessary. I hope we never use more that enough to test fire and qualify but better safe than sorry."

 The Baron's reply is short " the showroom has twice that many on hand, the specials,depending on exact specifications ....24 hours no more. then your ship will be ready?"

Miles looks across the table at Mrs Cross an Mr.Gunn then up at the clock showing a quarter past eight  " Given how these two are shaping as aeroglider pilots one more day of practice and I think we will be safe to depart in 36 hours from now. What say you two?"

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The Abiliegh
Zeppelin Admiral
******
United States United States


Wench with a Wrench

The_Abi
« Reply #36 on: June 27, 2011, 06:43:02 pm »

"More practice would be appreciated." She smiled, but there was a tighness to it. "I've got to send Perry off first, however...." Her words trailed off a moment. "You boys go take 'er out galavanting. I'll catch up with ya when I'm done. Tommy will know when to head back down to the pad for me." With that, she stood, kissed Tommy on the top of his head, and left the drawing room.
-----

She stood on the bounce with Willoughby, the Baron and Perry, looking at the egg-shaped space-capsule that brought back oh so many memories. The men gave her and the Martian a respectful distance, and she almost wished they hadn't. It was difficult to keep her mind separate from the Hive when she didn't have someone human to ground herself upon. It was moot, however, as for this goodbye, she had to submit to it. All the work would be for naught if she didn't make it known to the Martians that Perry was now the "king".

So she kneeled, putting her at eye-level with the young Martian, and gave herself over to his gentle presence. She became aware of looking at herself, and felt the detached assesment that was ever-present in the Martian mind. But she also felt the human emotions she had taught him, and those rose to his surface thoughts to meet and mingle with hers.

Cherish these... They thought. Teach these...

And then they expanded, mind reaching towards the distant red planet and to the rest of themself. It was a joyous moment when they were whole again, and the consciousness flowed, lifting and falling, playing over the winds of the pieces like the ocean on the beach of Key West.

King... The thought was a bubble rising to the surface of the world. King... It was understood.

And then there were two again. Abiliegh pulled herself reluctantly from the celebration. She felt the confines of her skin again, and knew that it was hers. She could still feel the press of the Hive upon her mind, but it was much more like the first time, when the previous Martian king had used her own psychic aptitude against her. She looked at Perry, and he tilted his head, the guesture filled with weight and sadness. He understood what had happened. He understood that she was separate, that he had just taken her place.

He moved to her first, draping his arms around her the way a child would to a grieving mother. Tears sprung to her eyes, but she otherwise maintained her composure as she returned the embrace.

"I know, my sweet boy. I know." She spoke aloud, further impressing the finality of the moment to him.

"This... is good-bye?" The Martian spoke in a soft voice, its gravelly tones not well-suited to the sounds of english. "Yes... This is good-bye. I will... go home. Will teach. Will love. No more war." He paused, contemplative. "It would not be... good... to destroy... piece of us. Even separate piece. That more wrong than... all other you taught."

"It is all important, Perry. But thank you. Thank you." Standing, she took his hand, and led him to the pod.

It was quick work, prepping him for flight, and she wished there was more of it to do. The time had come to send him home, and there was nothing she could to to delay it. She embraced him once more, this time touching his mind while she spoke. "Be excellent, Perry."

"Be... safe, Mrs. Cross." It was the most caring thing he could have said, as individual safety had easily been the most difficult of the concepts she taught him. It had quite the effect on her.

The pod sealed itself, and she retreted alongside the Baron and Willoughby to watch the launch. They allowed her her distance as she pressed her face to the glass, ignoring the violent vibrations as the vessel was fired skyward. She watched until there was nothing left to see, and then for a moment longer, until at last, she heaved a heavy sigh and turned to face the men. "Thank you."

It was always an impressive thing to watch Mrs. Abiliegh Cross shift from a vulnerable woman back to a no-nonsense dame. One could very nearly see the steel forming in her eyes, down her spine, and in the air around her. Had her make-up not been a bit smudged, no one looking at the woman would believe the scene that the Baron and Willoughby had been allowed to witness.
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MWBailey
Rogue Ætherlord
*
United States United States


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

rtafStElmo
« Reply #37 on: June 27, 2011, 08:55:13 pm »

Somewhere within the maze of industrial businesses on Chicago's waterfront, Behind and beneath a misleading facade of what appeared to be a slightly down-at-the-heels import company, whose sign proclaimed it to be Aunt Sally Imports, A purple jewel light lit up on a huge mahogany-and-brass bank of such telltales, which stretched into a hazy horizontal distance, and soared upward to a height that defied the outer appearances of the aforementioned warehouse.  One of the many attendants at said bank climbed a motorized library ladder and trolleyed it over to the relevant position, read the brass-framed tag below it, adn called a certain number on her portable wireless telephone.

A connection was opened, and the young woman spoke into the receiver, "Yes, Madame... Number Four Seven Three here... the modified form of a certain vessel in is once again in passive transit. Understood. Will monitor until it reaches destination." The connection was then closed.

Sally Kemmermann, Director of the temporal regulatory entity AUNTSALLI, punched the number of the Agent Dispatch Department. "Yes, Marjory. Any word on our agents?"

"Still at Coordinate Zebra, Madame, Macau relative present, to be exact."

"Stand By to enact Forcible Recall and Forcible Shunt to Coordinate Mu, planet Four, Home Relative Present If, and I repeat, only if, I give the order. The wait will hopefully be a long and fruitless one."

"Understood, Madame."
(OOC: Just a blurb, in response to the 'egg' bit.; unless otherwise requested, this will be the last we'll hear of Brantley, Miss Sally, or their organization this trip... Wink).
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The Abiliegh
Zeppelin Admiral
******
United States United States


Wench with a Wrench

The_Abi
« Reply #38 on: June 27, 2011, 09:32:06 pm »

The wind blew warm and fierce along the face the the cliff to which he clung, and he took a moment to be appreciative of the darkness that cloaked the true distance of the beach from his feet.

It ain't too much further, just a few more handholds, really. He urged himself onward, trying to ignore just how treacherous these last few feet of rock actually were. It didn't matter how many times he made this climb. It was always terrifying. Bloody bastard wouldn'ta used this spot if HE were th'one had'ta make the climb.

When he gained purchase on the small lip of the cliff-face cave, he clambered from the edge as quickly as could be safely done, laying flat on the level floor a moment to remind himself it was there. A few deep breaths found him steady once more.

The cave was large enough for a man to crawl through, but little else, which is why it was so perfect. From the top of the cliff, the ledge just looked like a bit of the shear itself, and from the ocean, it was indiscernible from the other shadows cast by the irregular rock. And the line that ran from the rail-side telephone poles, down the cliff and into the cave was just as cleverly hidden.

Following the line deeper into the nook was slow work, and it took the man the better part of an hour to crawl to his destination. When the cranny widened to reveal what could only be described as an office, he stood, stretched, and moved immediately to the desk. The contraption that sat atop it chattered away, loudly tapping out the signals from the line into Morse code and spitting out a thick paper tape with it's records.

First, he added another spool of the feed paper from his knapsack to the machine. Were it ever to run out, he'd be hung, of that he was certain. Once finished with that, he waited for a lull in the messages to appear, and he cut the completed tape.

He had a long night of decoding ahead of him.

OOC: MW, it's good to know they are still watching, but I think it will be fun to write without that much god-mode this time around Smiley
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MWBailey
Rogue Ætherlord
*
United States United States


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

rtafStElmo
« Reply #39 on: June 27, 2011, 11:02:24 pm »

(OOC: Agreed. )

Feeling somewhat foolish, Rafe got up from the chair on the balcony, adn went back into his room. Kinda dumb, I guess, thinkin' they'd be 'ere this soon, he thought, taking out his watch and checking the time. Ought to buy a wristwatch, Rafe boy, this old turnip's starting to turn brass. He eyed the crate containing the Vickers gun, and came to a decision, opening it and taking out everything that had nothing to do woth the gun or its ammunition. He stowed the various items in his knapsack and on his person, and then closed the crate, put the pin in the hasp, and picked it up by its rope handle and carried it out of the room, down the stairs, into the blazing late afternoon heat, and down to a weapon shop that he knew of close by.

An hour later and fifty pounds richer, he walked away fromn the shop carrying a different case, this time containing a short-barrelled Villar Perosa, fitted complete with shoulder stock and foregrip, five or so dual magazines, and rounds to boot. Though not as pinpoint-accurate as the Vickers, The Italian-made double-barrelled machine gun was lghter, yet still had a reputation for inflicting heavy damage on the target. The things were notorious among those who'd had to face them for literally filling the air in tight confines with a storm of bullets.

The wristwatch on his wrist was new, and sported a calculating ring and radium dial. He decided to keep the pocket watch, as it could still be used for dead reckoning (he figured it still might be more accurate than the wristwatch). He walked back to the hotel, stowed his gear, and went back down to the restaurant for dinner. He noted a dark-clad man sitting in a corner of the room,  his attention on the room and tension made obvious by the way that he radiated the fact that he was forcing himself to remain calm. Wonder what's up with that bloke, Bass mused. Bloody amateurs...
« Last Edit: June 27, 2011, 11:27:08 pm by MWBailey » Logged
Miles (a sailor)Martin
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« Reply #40 on: June 28, 2011, 01:13:27 am »

Wendsday morning dawns, and finds Miles already down at the Areion doing final load and balance checks,working by the light of a Edison lamp at his desk at the rear of the bridge pit,looking back and fourth between the instrument repeaters and the Cur-ta calculator that he continues to crank numbers through,speaking in a low voice "Darling we can do this, we've done it before",he feels the ship shift,then shift again,glancing at the load gauges monitoring the three landing feet,he sees that the load has risen by three hundred pounds,
   "I'm up on the bridge, stow your overnight bags and come on up" he calls . a few minutes later The Abiliegh  and Mr Gunn drop down into the central area of the bridge pit.
 "Have you had breakfast? No, you say,give me a minute and I'll have the final trim done and we'll all go down together. The Arieion is ready to fly,we've three days run ahead,four hour shifts once we get 'feet wet'  but until then i'll need both of you as look outs aft to port and aft to starboard"pointing at a seat at each rear corner of the bridge-pit area, "when we get clear of land i will fire up the ?radar? system, but until then it is Mark One eyeball and 7x50 Ziese Binoculars.' he turns back to the calculations works for another two minutes ,then nods his head. tearing off the sheet of paper he says "all right ,Lad your up first then Lass your next
  ,"as they start to go up the folding stair they see Miles carefully stowing the maps,log,and Cur-ta in the desk then dropping a lock bar through the handles of the drawers.
 Gunn says 'what no lock?"
 Miles looks up "no it is to keep things from coming adrift, that's all. The ship  sometimes gets fair angles on it and the bar is to keep the drawers from fling about." as the three make their way up then back to the primary hatch,
  he explains" as thin skinned as she is locks aren't a whole lot of use. that is why most times i use a rocket anchor system.and leave her at fifty feet up,with a timer on the boarding ladder when I have to leave her in a unlikly port.
  if I know the ground crew, like in Seattle, then I have one of them ride her till i get back, but were we are going,the only local contact that i may have ever met is this 'Rafe' the Baron mentioned that we are to pick up in the Congo at Point North". as first Gunn then the Abiliegh  step off the Boarding ramp the ship lifts slightly,Miles stops opens a small panell and looks in, then he nods his head" as i thought " he says to them,descending the ramp to join them " once breakfast is accomplished we will be ready to launch five miniutes after we return aboard. Mr Gunn If you and Mrs Cross will lead the way ,let us inform the Baron the Game is afoot"
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« Reply #41 on: June 28, 2011, 01:37:12 am »

"You've allowed for Clark's weight as well, yeah?" She looked to Miles. "I can set him to still while we're travelling, heavy thing that he is, but I really do believe it's in our best interest to have him along."

Clark, once again, was aiding Willoughby is setting out breakfast for the trio of adventurers. He very nearly gleamed, and even at a quick glance she could tell there were bits of refurbish on the clockwork man. She suspected an appreciative Willoughby spruced him up in thanks.

"Well well, Clark. Are you lookin' a big six this monring." She smiled knowingly at Willoghby. "Your work is excellent, sir."

Breakfast was quiet, as the Baron and all his energy hadn't yet arrived. She ate lightly and sipped at a glorious cup of joe. She knew the baron had provisioned the ship well, but she also knew that this was a cup to savor. Road coffee was never so good as this.
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« Reply #42 on: June 28, 2011, 02:25:08 am »

"yes ,M'lady though he will have to stay near the center of the ship, H'mm, how good is his resolution on detail? do you know? if he can run a remote gun turret then it could make the operations at the other end of this flight much more conductive to a positive resolution." miles pulls out a pencil and notebook,draws a quick sketch of a twin machine gun mount with a remote reflector sight system, passes it to the Abiliegh,and says" do you think he could run this? "
 "The Areion was fitted for them but the guns were never installed as I haven't been operating in that high a threat environment until now, and would have cut into the cargo capacity  too much, with Gatling's mounted in those positions " under his breath in a near whisper "What cargo cap"then in a normal tone" As the galley is on her CG ,and that is where the remote gunnery station is it would be where i would like him to stay unless we are on the ground,or we need a fast attitude change."
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« Reply #43 on: June 28, 2011, 02:24:47 pm »

OOC/sidebar: Sorry, all, mia apologia! The closer I get to "being Thistlewaite" in RL, the less time I have...working on three guns right now, doing a fair trade down at "Accordions to Zen" and of course all the ordinary duties of running a household and taking care of Nancy...I'll try to be more attentive and contributory henceforth!Great start, good writing so far, MW, welcome aboard!

Lighting a Sullivan-Powell, Tommy squints upward at the airship that is to transport them to Africa. Compared to the dreadnaughts that regularly call at the Iron Furnace for armament, it is small and not terribly impressive, but perfect for the mission at hand. It's good to see old Clark again, and Tommy is glad the mechanical marvel is coming with them. He takes a long draw, then stubs out the butt with the toe of his new jungle boots. It feels odd to be dressed in the tropical weave khakis that his Uncle's tailor has provided...the fit is, of course, superb, but after a year of shorts, sandals and little else, just the feel of the collar is a bit restrictive, and he runs a big finger around under it.
The Baron has briefed him, and Masterchief Martin, and he knows they are to meet an agent in Point Noir....."Hope th' feller is an 'Old Africa hand," he thinks. "Otherwise, we're going to be babes in the woods over there. He feels a slight sense of foreboding, and rubs a big hand on the back of his neck. His fresh haircut, high and tight, itches. "Hmmm." Tommy grunts. "Never been apprehensive about going into action before...mebbe I'm gettin' old."

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Yet well thy soul hath brooked the turning tide, with that innate, untaught philosophy,Which, be it wisdom, coldness, or deep pride, is gall and wormwood to an enemy.
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« Reply #44 on: June 28, 2011, 03:53:54 pm »

Miles hears Tommy's comment and says to him" Isn't anything wrong with beening o tad nervous bout a new place, it is a stupid person who isn't,you will do fine, young man, and that gal friend of yours is a spitfire if I've ever seen one. If'fen this Rafe fella is as good, And Knowing the Baron he will be, then the local Knowledge end should be covered. " turning towards the light  of a personnel door opening, Miles sees The Abiliegh  and Willoghby escorting her and bringing the overnight bags down from their rooms.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2011, 07:55:57 pm by Miles (a sailor)Martin » Logged
The Abiliegh
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« Reply #45 on: June 28, 2011, 05:04:07 pm »

OOC: Wait.. Miles... Abiliegh was already speaking with you over breakfast, which would make it difficult for her to have gone back to yesterday and taken the baron and willoughy with her (for detailes about explosions, reference the last story, heh heh). I was also under the impression that you'd moved past the rest of the day prior (when the Martian was sent home). Care to edit your last post for continuity?
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Miles (a sailor)Martin
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« Reply #46 on: June 28, 2011, 06:27:07 pm »

OOC; just filling in the detail's of what had been happening and also why we weren't around for the launch, it is now Wendsday morn about ten o'clock, you, the Baron and Willoghby,sent the boy on his way an hour  ago,shortly after breakfast.  You discussed this with Tommy last night,and Tommy clued me in when he ran into me in the smoking lounge  before b'fast.
 To give you a bit o' privacy ,Tommy suggested and I went along with going down to the ship and checking the belly remote turret out with Clarke operating it doing dry runs.

OOC ; time line as i under stood it was ;
 day one the baron shows up at Key West ,
 day two you guys start driving up to Iron forge and The Baron does his Majic and sends the telegram to me in Purgatory some 60= years earlier,upon recipt ,I launch on my way after sending a return 'gram to the Baron,saying The Arieon will arrive in three days.
 days three and four and five both you and Tommy and the boy? are driving up to Va arriving late day five(Friday  May??,1940+)
the return 'gram I sent on Tuesday arrived at noon Friday saying I will arrive that evening.The Baron sends the telegram to Rafe,
 but because of the Time storm that I encountered in Oklahoma,i did not arrive until Satuday late afternoon,beliving it to be a Friday in 188?, not realizing until i arrived at Iron Forge how much time and space that storm had cost me.( Miles can get a tad focused on his flying at times,and tends to miss details, like Model a Fords and Buick Super's where horse drawn wagons and buggies ought to be.)

  Late day six the telegram is recived by Rafe and he starts off to point north
 this gave you an extra day with the boy(?) as Miles is kinda superstisios about anything but emergency work on a ship he owns on a Sunday ,so that cost a day that he hadn't planned for.

 day eight is Monday, which was a combined ground school and first flight for you and Tommy.
 Rafe hits the end of track
Day nine is Tuesday, second though fifth flights for both and then You guys went off to have a final evening with the boy,while i and clark got him all set up in the Galley/ remote gunnery station. Clarke pulled the plug on me at & saying that Willoghby had seen me at it and told him(Clarke ) to shut me down in time for supper or I would skip it.
 Rafe spends night  at Poma after finding a horse and mule to haul his stuff.

day ten is Wendsday, at seven we all meet for B'fast  I was introduced to the Young Marsman King for the first time , wished him a good flight and a long and a happy, fulfilling life, and you the Baron and Willoby went off,while tommy clarke and I went down to the areion to finish the final checks. and you come in all ready to hit the sky .
Rafe arrives at Pointe Noir, Gets room and 'grams the Baron, Baron return grams him telling him we are on the way and giving a fuller description of the Arieon, and her crew.
                                                                Does this make it a bit clearer?
                                                                              Miles
« Last Edit: June 28, 2011, 07:58:21 pm by Miles (a sailor)Martin » Logged
MWBailey
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« Reply #47 on: June 28, 2011, 07:07:30 pm »

(OOC:Only change I'd make, Miles, is that Rafe was waiting to cross the footbridge at Boma to Pointe Noir; Boma'd be a sizable town since it's the jumping-off place for a railhead thats just across the estaury from Pointe Noir, which is a major Transport hub. Too, the big bridge is under construction (note that in our own RL world it hasn't been begun yet, unless they started in the last two months, please pardon my creative license). He might be camping out while waiting for his turn to cross, but he's not 'in the bush.' I'd imagined that it'd be like a huge waiting area, patrolled lightly by guards, with a massive transient population of travellers, porters and pack animal trains; There might even be a toll for crossing, just to keep the riff-raff from causing trouble. He's definitely in Pointe Noir now, though, at the aerodrome's hotel.)

« Last Edit: June 28, 2011, 07:09:07 pm by MWBailey » Logged
The Abiliegh
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« Reply #48 on: June 28, 2011, 07:17:59 pm »

OOC: Okay, based on your time line, we've still got a problem. You're "wednesday dawns" posts is already after Abiliegh has sent the Martian off-planet. Your post prior to the launch was also at breakfast, which would imply that, with the later mention of wednesday, that the posts prior to that was Tuesday. (this is sort of why it's easier to avoid labeling days and just sort of use day/night to guage the passage of time).

Layout of events that are happening in Thistlewaite Hall, deliniated by post (ignoring the time before, and the goings-on in Africa):

Day One: everyone arrives and attends the dinner breifing

Day Two:
-Clark is brought from Chicago and the ship gets it's primary load (My post)
-Miles goes to breakfast (your post)
-Miles asks the Baron for ship upgrades, suggests one more day of flight training (even though there had been none mentioned prior), and suggests that we'll be ready to depart in 36 hours (your post),
-Abiliegh agrees to more flight training (hey, part of the comunal writing is to go with it!) but says she's got to get Perry off first, and tells Miles and Tommy to go on ahead of her and to come get her after the launch. The same post cuts to the launch scene and gets Perry in the air. (my post)

-Day Three
-Wednesday dawns, Miles is working on the ship's balance, Tommy and Abiliegh show up breifly, and they all head to breakfast (your post)
-Abiliegh asks about Clark coming along (my post)
-Miles asks about his ability to weild the gun (your post)
-Tommy wonders about the agent we're meeting in africa (Sgt.Major's post)
-Miles assures Tommy, and then suddenly Abiliegh comes back from the day prior the fact that Miles had just asked her a question while they were both at breakfast seems to have disapeared. (your post)

My suggestion, just delete "turning towards the light  of a personnel door opening, Miles sees the unmisteakable sillouettes of the Baron , The Abiliegh and  Willoghby coming through it," ah, the Young king must be on his way, and then so must we. " from your last story post. Abiliegh can answer Miles's question about the gun, and we can get this story across the poind where it belongs Cheesy
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Miles (a sailor)Martin
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« Reply #49 on: June 28, 2011, 08:07:20 pm »

OOC take a look, i revised both posts,does that look better to all three of you ?
the time line was getting me all screwed up in my head,that is why i created it,now with a 60-72 hour flight ahead ,depending on winds aloft, we (The Arieon and Co.) should arrive Saturday, giving Rafe two days to get drunk,and sober up put his ear to the ground and get any rumors that are going around the area about the Baron's operation,good,bad or indifferent.

                                              Miles
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