Author Topic: "STEAM LONDON" Game Thread  (Read 244138 times)

clockworkcoffin

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Re: "STEAM LONDON" Game Thread
« Reply #100 on: January 02, 2008, 05:21:17 am »
As Daniel walks through his newly refurbished ship, he examines ever aspect of it, from prow to stern and finds himself surprised at the quality and elegance of its craftsmanship.  It is still recognizable as the Inevitable, and yet it has gained a quality of presence that pleases him. 

His thoughts trail briefly back to Amelia and the maid at breakfast, but he banishes the thoughts from his mind and returns his new objective. 

"Blenkensop...the Yard...those bastards gave me enough trouble when I was shipping Lord Trent around."  Daniel thinks back on all the times he had to dodge customs agents just to bring Trent's artifacts over the border.  "It certainly won't be any trouble to tail one person.  And the Inevitableis as powerful as ever.  This Sensi character...mysterious though he is...perhaps I've found new employment after all."

Daniel walked to the bridge and looked out over the hangar.  "The future just got a whole lot brighter."

With that, he continued to examine the Inevitable, perfectly familiarizing himself with it and speaking extensively with the crew. A couple hours later he took to the helm and gave the command for lift off.  He taxied out of the hangar and into the sky.  The controls were flawless and responsive. 

Suddenly a deck hand ran up to him.  "Sir, there's a courier requesting permission to dock.  He says he has a message for you."

Daniel called for his new First Mate to take the wheel and walked down to the deck hand.  "Take me to this messenger."

Daniel entered the docking bay and shook hands with the young courier.  A large, complicated apparatus hissed steam on his back, and from it extended two light, bat-like wings.  He handed Daniel a letter that had been sealed in black wax, Lord Trent's insignia stamped into it. 
Daniel broke the seal and opened the letter. 

"Dear Daniel,
  If you are reading this, you must be aware that I am no longer among the living.  I have led a good life and have no regrets other than the fact that I was never able to have a son.  Daniel, you were like a son to me.  And so with that in mind, and all the things that go along with it, I pass on to you, and you alone, the entirety of my estate.  Do with it what you will, though I believe that you will put them to good use and the benefit of yourself and those you come to know and love.  Speaking of which, tell Amelia that I love her and miss her dearly. 
                                                                 Take good care of her my son,
                                                                                  Lord Addison Trent, Esq."
« Last Edit: January 02, 2008, 05:23:05 am by clockworkcoffin »

Miss Gadget

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Re: "STEAM LONDON" Game Thread
« Reply #101 on: January 03, 2008, 04:32:57 pm »
"Yes, two thousand and fifty five years," Horatio noted the correction, "all ah ancient gods and darkness back then, merely superstition if you ask people in these um enlightened days."

Looking round as if suspicious, he beckoned his companions to draw closer and sank back into his seat, leaning in.

"See I...I...I obtained a commission several months ago to locate this err, text. Led me all the way to London and hit a d...dead end, looking in the wrong places I ah think," looking over his shoulder he sunk even lower and his voice descended to a whisper, "n...not sure who it ah is exactly. Only I'm to receive the sum of uh, no less than ten thousand pounds in exchange these, err, notes I now think, maybe?"

He was about to continue when it occurred he had broken one of the golden rules, never dicuss money. Closing his eyes in disappointment he scratched his head then raised one eyelid to look around the pub and make sure no one had overheard.

"Do you see my predicament gentlemen?"
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AFGNCAAP

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Re: "STEAM LONDON" Game Thread
« Reply #102 on: January 04, 2008, 01:41:25 am »
"Indeed, Monsieur...you don't know why this mysterious soul wants such a dark book." A pause; did they think he actually believed in this stuff? He did not even know if he believed in it himself. He only knew the chills of a year ago in the library in Annecy that were creeping back. To quash any suspicions that he was not part of said "enlightened days", he leaned back and composed himself, not that he ever needed to, being who he was. "That is not to say that I am of the superstitious sort, but I have read about just this subject, and it would bring nightmares to the staunchest skeptic. It makes me curious, who might want something so gruesome and dark--I have wished several times that I could..." Un-read? Was there an English word for this? Was there even a French word? "...not remember...un-read it--do you understand?"
Before anyone could answer him, another question floated to the surface of his mind.
"And...Monsieur Horatio..." he tipped his head Horatio's way. "In how many places is this legend written about?" He checked the faltering of his voice by finishing quickly and sharply, as though informing a waiter that his tea had been served cold (he definitely was not, though, having tea). He was unsure whether to hope he had touched this coveted book or to hope he was not that closely involved with this bleak stuff.
"An eruption!" I said. "We're in the chimney of an active volcano?"
"I think so," said the professor smiling, "and that's the best thing that could happen to us!"
-Journey to the Center of the Earth

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Miss Gadget

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Re: "STEAM LONDON" Game Thread
« Reply #103 on: January 04, 2008, 04:44:41 pm »
"Well, it isn't ah uncommon for one to have read about the uh exploits of Ba'al. Certainly most will have encountered such a creature in the pages of their Holy b...bible," he scratched the back of his head as he pondered the question, "I think none, none outside of S...Schaeffer and his team have ever dug deep enough with the original ah source material and artefacts to consider much beyond uh legend."

Bringing his tankard to his lips he realised with some dismay that it was empty and rose to obtain another, catching the bar keepers glare Horatio decided better of it and sat down once more.

"As as, err as for umm, well I don't ask question's if my clients don't offer information. Especially where the more esoteric volumes are concerned," the more he spoke the more he needed that drink and the more he became aware of the bar keepers disapproval, "although I suspect my next ah...trial as it were would be leaving this esthablishment in uh, one piece so to speak. A task that has me quite bamboozled I must admit."

Mordecai Maxwell

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Re: "STEAM LONDON" Game Thread
« Reply #104 on: January 04, 2008, 05:17:36 pm »
As the men turned to face Demitri, Wyatt fell onto his rear.  Instead of cobblestone, there was now grass under his feet.  He looked up to see the men looking around the square confusedly - Demitri and Ajax had disappeared.  The one carrying the drawer said, "Let's go!" and they took off running.

Wyatt stood and took in his surroundings.  Some things here had changed.  The building he was standing up against looked even less cared for than before.  A section of the ground about three meters around it was no longer stone and concrete, but grass.  One of the ripples of space-time had impacted this area; the building before him now was at least a hundred years older than it was a few minutes ago.

And the building next to it!  Where before it had been burned, and windows were broken out, it now appeared to be in fantastic condition.  "Something is definitely not right here," he said to himself.  He reached into one of his pouches and pulled out a small vial of clear liquid.  He opened the top, sniffed it, and quaffed it in one motion.  It contained highly concentrated caffeine, distilled from many coffee beans.  He couldn't go to sleep now; there was a mystery afoot and his natural curiosity was carrying him back to the bar.

the Hat

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Re: "STEAM LONDON" Game Thread
« Reply #105 on: January 04, 2008, 09:05:56 pm »
"Stop blabbering, man!" Scott was disheartened by Horatio's lack of spine. "I know these fellows well; they'd rather drink themselves to death than hurt a poor bookseller." Seeing that Horatio was not encouraged: "Look friend, you need not worry your head about the Colonel and his men... this is NOT a place they frequent! That big man was sent here to tie up lose ends for his master, to be sure. I doubt if he is connected with Bucer's in any way.

"Now come! I've been longing for an adventure for quiet sometime, and if you're not going to grant me that chance, well... I don't know who will! I'm bound to be off; lead the way!"
"Yes, ban people, the way of the future!" -Captain Minty Gearhertz

Miss Gadget

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Re: "STEAM LONDON" Game Thread
« Reply #106 on: January 04, 2008, 10:45:30 pm »
"I...i...ndeed," Horatio leant back in his chair at the outburst and adjusted his spectacles, "might I suggest we begin our search for one of the scholars who worked with the Professor or is indeed in the ah employ of the Colonel as is? Where we might find them I am, alas, uh unsure..."

AFGNCAAP

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Re: "STEAM LONDON" Game Thread
« Reply #107 on: January 05, 2008, 12:55:01 am »
"I'd be horrified if it were true, but I'm afraid there may be a chance that with my own university in such close proximity to the Colonel's domain, it could be a place to start...ha, I wonder if I've even spoken to one...and if you need help getting out of here alive, leave it to me. For all you've done for me--" He did not specify just what things Horatio had helped him with, because the receipt the bartender had just forced him to accept had one of them on it--by an innocent error (hopefully), Horatio was being charged for everything Demetri had ordered, and Demetri did not know the words with which he could remedy this. Alas, Professor Agrippa's English did not go far in an establishment like this. "--you deserve my protection."
Admittedly lacked a helpful looking physique, Demetri glanced around the room and readied himself to stand at the next glare he saw. The others glanced at him with wringing hands--most likely, they had reason to worry. But Demetri knew differently...if any remnant of Billy's cruelty remained in the bar, the slight Frenchman would only need to borrow one thing from one of the patrons...and this was England--someone had to have one...
« Last Edit: January 05, 2008, 01:30:35 am by AFGNCAAP »

Miss Gadget

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Re: "STEAM LONDON" Game Thread
« Reply #108 on: January 05, 2008, 07:25:04 pm »
"Guhh!?" the colour drained from Horatio's face as he scanned the receipt.

Searching in his pockets he located his final shilling and managed to rescue a further half penny from a long forgotten pocket.

"W...w...whatever you're th...thinking," he bit his lip and looked sheepishly at his funds, "I'd...d...d reccommend haste."

Ben Hudson, Esq.

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Re: "STEAM LONDON" Game Thread
« Reply #109 on: January 05, 2008, 08:50:34 pm »
Ben sat back in his armchair onboard the airship. An hour had passed, and no plausible options had come up. Couriering, smuggling and even piracy had come up. But there were no rich patrons with small packages needing shifting, the Excise Office had taken to the air in search-ships to prevent duty evasion, and the Boheme, protected and armed though she was, was not by any means capable of taking over another ship of any consequence.

He sighed. 'Well, I suppose that we are left with no choice but-'
There was a double clang of metal striking metal. After a moment's confusion, it became obvious that someone was knocking on the door. Ben set aside his half-empty glass on the veneered table and rose.
Twisting the lock-wheel on the door, he opened it.
A great lump of a man stood there, his battered top-hat perched on his head precariously. ''Ello there.' He handed Hudson a pristine linen-paper envelope sealed in vermillion wax. He turned on a hobnailed toe and strode off. Ben was baffled for a brief moment at the man (who he recognised from the scene earlier in Bucer's) and his brevity. Suspiciously, he took a few steps onto the gantry, and watched Bill leave. As he passed the guardbox, he flicked the hat off the guard's head and tossed a sovereign down as the hapless guard scrambled for his headwear. As Bill left the gates, he was joined by two others, even more brutish specimens.

Hudson returned inside, and ripped the envelope open. Inside was a small slip of paper.

Sirs and Madam,
It has come to my attention that your ship is in need of employ. Do not endeavour to find out how I know these things. It is such in this part of London and you would do well to remember that.
Now, to business. I understand that two of your 'crew'
(Ben scowled at the mocking tone emanating from the cursive hand) are inventors by trade. I assume that they are familiar with the concept of Maxwell's Demon?

Hudson strode back into the drawing room, and spoke hurriedly with Leonard and Oliver. 'Maxwell's Demon?' There was a brief pause, then Oliver stuttered 'Yes, yes, James Clerk Maxwell's thought experiment, where... whereby a hypothetical being of infinite influence can control the passage of relatively heated particles, thus apparently violating the Second Law of Thermodynamics, decreasing entropy.' Hudson's mind reeled. He read out loud.

I have in my possession the punch-cards for a program that may be used in combination with a Engine of suitable capacity to create a pseudo-demon. I suspect that this would be of interest to you. I can find no use for the program myself.

'Wait, wait. What could it be used for, this demon?'
Leonard replied. 'It could potentially be used to create a far more efficient steam-engine... by controlling the transit of the hotter water particles, they would form steam faster and hotter, with no extra input past the energy required to run this program. I had heard of this use in a journal, but to my knowledge a Demonically Enhanced Engine has never been built. Read on, man.'

I suspect that your more astute companions will have grasped the significance of this program, even if you have not. The cards are deposited in a strongbox in the office of Messrs Kendle and Bulthaup, Solicitors. They await my instructions for their release. I ask that you pick up a package for me from a business associate in Shengjing. It is a small package, no more than ten inches square. Its contents are of no interest to you, and of no inherent value, merely a piece of apparatus that I desire. The slip enclosed will tell you where it is to be found and will ensure your safe passage. Bring the package to me at my address overleaf before the fortnight is out, and you shall have your cards.
Yours,
H. M. (C)


Hudson flipped over the missal. On the reverse was a generic india-rubber stamp impression in black ink, with the address of a minor clerk's office, not a mile from Bucer's Quill. Out of the envelope fell the slip referred to - handwritten on thick red paper. There were a few lines in Chinese, then a brief section in English, written by the same person as the letter: Treat my envoys with the same respect as you would F.M. or myself. My signature is their guarantee of safe passage. Below was an elegant signature, which could be made out as 'Hiram'.

Ben fell silent. After a moment, he spoke.
'Well, this looks like this is it. A courier job after all. What do you think?'
 
Quod me non necat me confirmat

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Vienna Fahrmann

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Re: "STEAM LONDON" Game Thread
« Reply #110 on: January 06, 2008, 06:13:43 am »
     Before anyone had time to answer, a further knocking sounded on the door.  Ben unlatched it again and was confronted by a large, darkly clad man with a muffler wound over the lower half of his face.  A large, white bundle was slung over one shoulder.  The man pushed his way past Ben, and dumped his bundle onto a chair with a loud "Whuff" of relief.  He turned to Ben "I hear that you're leaving town, Captain".  He tossed a heavy-sounding pouch onto the table, knocking several glasses aside in the process.  "My boss wants her out of the way for a while.  Just take her with you and bring her back safely.  There will be a further payment when you return.  I really don't suggest saying "no"".  He spun on his heel and left without giving Ben a chance to answer.  Ben re-locked the door, before any more strangers could pop through it and turned to find his crew examining their new "guest".  The "guest" was a red-haired woman clad only in a very frilly chemise and seemed to be deeply unconcious.

     Vienna
« Last Edit: January 06, 2008, 06:17:17 am by Vienna Fahrmann »

Vienna Fahrmann

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Re: "STEAM LONDON" Game Thread
« Reply #111 on: January 06, 2008, 07:37:03 am »

     Miss Butcher was having no luck reviving their unexpected "guest".  She was rather resentful that the task had been left to her while the man investigated the contents of the money-bag.  She had tried shaking, then gently slapping the womans face, with no result.  After she had dumped the contents of the water pitcher over the unconcious woman and got  no response, she gave up.  Reaching for a woolen afghan that was draped over a chair in a corner of the lounge, she tossed it over their motionless "guest" and joined the men's discussion.  The bag, she found, contained 100 gold sovereigns.  Whoever wanted the redhead out of the way was obviously wealthy.

     "No luck?"  Ben enquired, as Miss Butcher rejoined the group.  She shrugged.  "Out cold, probably gassed or drugged.  There's no smell of alcohol.  What do we do with her?".

     Ben looked uncomfortable.  He didn't particularly want a passenger, but he could hardly dump her off the airship in her present condition, and he did have a deadline to meet.

     "We take her with us, I guess".

     Vienna

AFGNCAAP

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Re: "STEAM LONDON" Game Thread
« Reply #112 on: January 06, 2008, 10:17:03 am »
Demetri drew the receipt back toward himself with one finger, not one crease of fear upon his face.
"Do not trouble yourself." For once, he did not add "Monsieur", which probably fled his tongue when the shadow of a man rose behind Horatio like a ghost.

"With such a payment to make, I'd expect you to be counting your money, sir..."

Demetri spoke back over the petrified Horatio's shoulder, who looked so wracked with shock that Demetri could not be sure whether or not he was still conscious. "We were talking, if you failed to notice. Worry not; after we have discussed these important matters in peace, we won't forget." Yep, he still underestimated the danger of Lower London...

"Ve vere talking..." mocked the shadow, who stuck two gloved hands out from his inky veil and gripped the back of Horatio's chair; he leaned forward on them and showed Demetri one steely eye from behind a messily shaped tin mask that covered three quarters of this strange man's face--behind the other eyehole was an empty socket and a sliver of pasty scar tissue. He wore fairly nice clothes, but the patch in his top hat the makeshift mask, and his crooked cane of a similar tin betrayed him as someone suffering beneath the Colonel's men, not one of them. But that did not mean they were out of danger. "...that is the problem, fools. We--you--we were all lucky I happened by." he hissed. "As Edward Crowley, the manager of Bucer's, I order your party to leave, and--" He turned to Horatio, eye dripping murderous ice. "--if I ever hear so much as a cough from you that sounds like 'Moriarty' in this establishment again, I'm locking you in when they burn this place, too."

Demetri suppressed a gasp, something he was quite practiced at. So it wasn't an innocent scientist's accident.

"Or if I feel like it right then..." With a flick of his wrist, Edward unscrewed the round (sort of), nondescript top of his cane and pulled a spindly sword from within--half an inch from Horatio's neck. "What will I have to lose?" Edward's voice--and the sword, dangerously--shook with true, blind fear. His eyes darted around the room, and his grip on the sword tightened. "Perhaps too late...perhaps even now, sending that...that--"

"Laisse Monsieur Horatio seul--!"

Before Edward's mind could register how it had happened, his hand was empty and his sword was sliding across the floor. He looked up--suddenly, the annoying young Frenchman was standing on his side of the table, between him and the troublemaker, wielding a mean...parasol? At a nearby table, a young lady was counting a pile of franks.
The ridiculous turn Edward's situation had taken--disarmed by a boy with an umbrella!--rendered him unable to do anything but blink his one eye, befuddled--a pause that might have saved all of their lives.

"If one of the Colonel's men was sent for you, it would have been Billy, and he would already be back here," Demetri said sharply. "It will never happen again, but none of us fully knew the danger you speak of--" A shiing from beneath Edward's cloak, and Demetri's mouth was covered by the flat edge of an ornate dagger.

"Not another word about the Colonel. Oh, help, I hear footsteps...they're...that devil..."

There are no footsteps; fear has driven you out of your mind, Demetri desperately wanted to say, but could only communicate with his eyes. He looked at Scott, then looked at Horatio, clearly saying with them, "I can take care of myself. Leave."
« Last Edit: January 06, 2008, 10:24:10 am by AFGNCAAP »

Ben Hudson, Esq.

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Re: "STEAM LONDON" Game Thread
« Reply #113 on: January 06, 2008, 03:53:33 pm »
With the help of Miss Butcher, Ben moved the unconscious passenger into one of the bunks. Mindful of her modesty, he pulled the afghan over her body. He checked her pulse with two fingers under her chin, and observed the passage of her breath. Both were normal, if perhaps a little fast for an unconscious woman. Nothing to worry about for the while, anyway.

Leaving her briefly, he returned to the others. 'It appears that we have an passenger.' The others nodded, having seen her entry. 'She's insensible at the moment. Miss Butcher suspects drugs or gas. There is no smell of alcohol or chloroform on her breath, so my guess is as good as yours. Her vitals are fairly normal. I suggest that we leave her be until she regains consciousness.' He turned to Miss Butcher. 'I'm sorry to ask, but would you have any spare clothes that you could lend our guest? I doubt that she would be happy walking around in just a chemise once she wakes up.' Miss Butcher nodded in approval, and fetched a simple skirt and blouse. From the look of the quality of her chemise, it was less than she was used to. She folded them and put them at the foot of the bunk, then drew the curtain closed.

Everyone assembled on the bridge. 'If we only have two weeks, then we had better get going.' Ben drew a rolled up chart from a cupboard and weighted it down on the map table. Shenjing is here, about 5200 miles away as the crow flies to the south east. The Bohème has a top speed of perhaps 180 miles per hour, but that would empty our tanks within the day. If we fill the long-range reserve tanks, we can make it there in one hop, which is advisable because we will be flying over a few hostile territories. Nothing to worry about, but we don't want to end up being given watered-down fuel. With full tanks, our most economical speed is about 80 miles per hour, still a good rate. That will get us to Shenjing in a little under three days. If we add a day for unexpected problems, that's four days each way. Now I have no idea how we go about finding this Colonel's man in China, but if what I know about the triads is right, they will find us soon enough. Two days will do it. With ten days in total, that gives us four days in hand. As we will be lucky to get flight clearance before the day is out, we will leave tomorrow, if that's fine with everyone. That will give us time to gather our effects and prepare the ship.' He paused and took a breath, then let it out slowly. 'This looks like a good opportunity. I'll go and get the fuel and clearance, as all my belongings are already on board. We will leave at ten o'clock tomorrow morning. I will be here overnight to keep an eye on our passenger. You are welcome to join me if you wish.'

He bade them farewell, and left, having first checked on the mysterious passenger. She was still unconscious, but well. She had moved a little, and her fingertips shifted slowly.
Ben walked slowly over to the guard-box, a slight spring in his step. This could be very profitable, and fun too. He tried to not think about what the contents of the package would be. With the reward offered, this Demonic Engine, he could not afford to mess things up. The guard looked up at him as he neared.
'Good afternoon, Mr Hudson. How may I help you?'
'Flight clearance forms please, and a full load of one-fifteen meth in my ship, berth seven.'
'Very good. Pilot's Card?'
Ben handed over a creased pass. The guard perused it, and typed its embossed number into an old Analytical Engine that ticked and thrust out a punched tape. 'Credit it to my Card account. I'll have the money to pay on my return.'
The guard reached under his desk and pulled out bits of paper from various cubbyholes. 'Clearance forms. Delivery port is next to the hangar entrance.'
Ben thanked him and returned to the ship. Already, a begoggled dockhand was clamping the huge fuel pipe onto the port on the underside of the ship. He nodded a greeting to him, and threw him a half-sovereign. It was worth tipping well when a 'mistake' could have you going down in flames.
Back in the cabin, he sat down to fill in the forms. There were about ten pages, each needing to be filled out in triplicate. He cursed, and poured himself a stiff drink.With the help of Miss Butcher, Ben moved the unconscious passenger into one of the bunks. Mindful of her modesty, he pulled the afghan over her body. He checked her pulse with two fingers under her chin, and observed the passage of her breath. Both were normal, if perhaps a little fast for an unconscious woman. Nothing to worry about for the while, anyway.

Leaving her briefly, he returned to the others. 'It appears that we have an passenger.' The others nodded, having seen her entry. 'She's insensible at the moment. Miss Butcher suspects drugs or gas. There is no smell of alcohol or chloroform on her breath, so my guess is as good as yours. Her vitals are fairly normal. I suggest that we leave her be until she regains consciousness.' He turned to Miss Butcher. 'I'm sorry to ask, but would you have any spare clothes that you could lend our guest? I doubt that she would be happy walking around in just a chemise once she wakes up.' Miss Butcher nodded in approval, and fetched a simple skirt and blouse. From the look of the quality of her chemise, it was less than she was used to. She folded them and put them at the foot of the bunk, then drew the curtain closed.

Everyone assembled on the bridge. 'If we only have two weeks, then we had better get going.' Ben drew a rolled up chart from a cupboard and weighted it down on the map table. Shenjing is here, about 5200 miles away as the crow flies to the south east. The Bohème has a top speed of perhaps 180 miles per hour, but that would empty our tanks within the day. If we fill the long-range reserve tanks, we can make it there in one hop, which is advisable because we will be flying over a few hostile territories. Nothing to worry about, but we don't want to end up being given watered-down fuel. With full tanks, our most economical speed is about 80 miles per hour, still a good rate. That will get us to Shenjing in a little under three days. If we add a day for unexpected problems, that's four days each way. Now I have no idea how we go about finding this Colonel's man in China, but if what I know about the triads is right, they will find us soon enough. Two days will do it. With ten days in total, that gives us four days in hand. As we will be lucky to get flight clearance before the day is out, we will leave tomorrow, if that's fine with everyone. That will give us time to gather our effects and prepare the ship.' He paused and took a breath, then let it out slowly. 'This looks like a good opportunity. I'll go and get the fuel and clearance, as all my belongings are already on board. We will leave at ten o'clock tomorrow morning. I will be here overnight to keep an eye on our passenger. You are welcome to join me if you wish.'

He bade them farewell, and left, having first checked on the mysterious passenger. She was still unconscious, but well. She had moved a little, and her fingertips shifted slowly.
Ben walked slowly over to the guard-box, a slight spring in his step. This could be very profitable, and fun too. He tried to not think about what the contents of the package would be. With the reward offered, this Demonic Engine, he could not afford to mess things up. The guard looked up at him as he neared.
'Good afternoon, Mr Hudson. How may I help you?'
'Flight clearance forms please, and a full load of one-fifteen meth in my ship, berth seven.'
'Very good. Pilot's Card?'
Ben handed over a creased pass. The guard perused it, and typed its embossed number into an old Analytical Engine that ticked and thrust out a punched tape. 'Credit it to my Card account. I'll have the money to pay on my return.'
The guard reached under his desk and pulled out bits of paper from various cubbyholes. 'Clearance forms. Delivery port is next to the hangar entrance.'
Ben thanked him and returned to the ship. Already, a begoggled dockhand was clamping the huge fuel pipe onto the port on the underside of the ship. He nodded a greeting to him, and threw him a half-sovereign. It was worth tipping well when a 'mistake' could have you going down in flames.
Back in the cabin, he sat down to fill in the forms. There were about ten pages, and each needed to be filled out in triplicate. He poured himself a drink and set to work. It took him a little over an hour to fill in all the details of the flight, with a little fibbing when it came to the purpose of the trip. This done, he filed one set, then slipped another into a tube. This he rammed into a pneumatic delivery tube at the entrance to the hanger, whereby it was forced by air pressure to the Flight Bureau at the Embassy. The third set he gave to the guard, who stamped it and put it away.

The day had come to an end, and the last remnants of light from the hazy sun were creeping back towards the dark line of the horizon, punctuated by the spires and roofs of the buildings all around. The stars were invisible thanks to the thick smog that lay, choking, over the whole city.
He returned to the ship. The woman was still unconscious. 

HAC

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Re: "STEAM LONDON" Game Thread
« Reply #114 on: January 06, 2008, 11:30:05 pm »
Information trickled in slowly, by letter and note and cable. The Babbages whirred softly, digesting the information fed into them from the telegraph repeaters.  Hiram sat at his worktable, poring over notes and sheaves of reports.
 The attempted assassin's gun lay on the desk before him. Hiram picked it up  and studied it.
  "A nasty little piece.." he thought, "but, still, a work  of a craftsman,for all that"
 Indeed, the weapon was deadly. Hiram had taken the liberty of carefully unloading it, the single cartridge being contained in the screw-in barrel. Truly a one-shot weapon. The bullet itself was curiously notched and drilled, in a manner to make a Dum Dum Arsenal armourer proud. The drilled hollow space had contained a small explosive charge as well, with a miniature delayed impact fuse.
  "A close thing, that was.." sighed Hiram, and went back to work..
There was a cryptic cable from Fu Manchu, warning him of "the bear arising", and telling him that "plans to counter were being drawn". There was no further mention of the device that Fu Manchu was making available, save that it was a gift in appreciation of the shipments of armaments and gold that Hiram had caused to be sent, save that the Oriental Lord had promised it to be of "great promise, and profit".
  There was a sealed package from Lamont. Hiram opened it and read, and understanding  began to dawn.
Lamont had tracked the assassin's steps. They led to a flat in Lower London that was supposedly owned by a deposed Russian noble. Lamont had, in his usual efficient manner, put the man to the question,and had extracted a confession, of sorts, that held the man to be a Russian secret police operative.   Lamont, knowing this to be a ruse, applied himself with vigour, and had  eventually extracted the truth. The Russian was in fact an operative for the   foremost Russian crime family. With his dying breath, he had uttered one word  through shattered lips - "Pencherevsky".
  Lamont had  gathered what papers he could find, and had then set a fire, which destroyed both the flat, and the not quite recognizeable as human, ody.
 Hiram looked at the enclosed documents..
   "Pencherevsky, I would not have though to hear THAT name again...That can only   mean that he is still  working for his old master, the Count. Damm Cossack!"
 Hiram knew that the Count, and his master henchman, Pencherevesky had tried to take over  Moriarty's empire years ago, by way of the Professors holdings in India.  That had failed, but now it would seem , the Count had enough ambition to try again, and perhaps by moving now, while the Colonel and Fu Manchu were engaged in  setting up a new coalition, he could see his two rivals fallen in a single stroke.
Fu Manchu obviously had some notion of what was happening, and was making plans of his own.  His warning to the Colonel was timely, indeed.
  "To every time there is a season, they say, season enough for war, then" thought  Hiram.  On impulse, Hiram picked up the assassin's gun, and a hand magnifier.   He began to examine it closely, ah, there, almost hidden, a proof mark of the  St. Petersbug Arsenal, thus confirming his suspicions and Lamont's findings.
  At that moment, Uriah entered bearing a coffee service. He set it down and began to pour. One of the Babbages clanged, and a paper tape began to emerge from its punch.
  Uriah took it..
   "It seems, master ,that the Captain of the Bohème has filed a flight plan with  the Air Ministry, and Shenjing is the destination. Our man there also suggests  that they may have a new passenger as well.."
  " Good" said Hiram.. "That was an opportunity too good to pass up, an unknown ship, with no questionable history with the Air Ministry or Revenue, with a plucky enough looking  crew.  I suppose we should look after our little courier somewhat, after all the prize is great.  Have our agents in the Air Ministry hold their departure slot until I get a package to them.  There is danger awaiting them unless we act now. As far as their passenger, well, one only hopes they can stand a little excitement."
   Uriah went over to the telegraphs and Babbages, and too out a small paper tape  punch keyboard. With deft strokes he coded a message, and fed it into a Babbage.  It was gone in seconds.
   Hiram went to his desk, and withdrew a folder. He withdrew several ornate forms from it,and then, signed them. Taking a new sheet of paper he began to write.  He took the forms and letter, and put the into a thick envelope, sealing it with  red wax and an ornate seal.
     "See this is delivered into the hands of our Captain, and no other. Send it  with Lamont, he will know what to should their be a problem. Have Hickock  back him up from a distance with his Sharps handy, just in case our Russian  friends decide to join the party"
     "At once, master. This does seem like the old days, though, does it not?" said Uriah
     "Indeed it does, my old companion, indeed it does"
 Uriah took the envelope and left.
 Hiram sighed and said to himself "I will not lose this time, either, my old enemy.. I have a few tricks up my sleeve this time, be sure of it."
     
     
   
     
« Last Edit: January 07, 2008, 12:43:48 am by HAC »
You never know what lonesome is , 'til you get to herdin' cows.

Sir Nikolas of Vendigroth

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Re: "STEAM LONDON" Game Thread
« Reply #115 on: January 07, 2008, 09:13:09 am »
"Not another word about the Colonel. Oh, help, I hear footsteps...they're...that devil..."
Underwood entered Bucer's and looked around. In the corner, a man in a crude metal mask was holding a dagger across a pale man's lips.
"No matter", Underwood thought, "I can wait"
He crossed the room to the bar, and sat down.
"Barman, earl gray tea." he said, in a hoarse voice. He then turned and gazed at Edward, as if he were measuring him.

Miss Gadget

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Re: "STEAM LONDON" Game Thread
« Reply #116 on: January 07, 2008, 04:13:56 pm »
Horatio glanced at the confrontation above him and decided it was time for a sharp exit. Sliding his chair back he left the table, pausing during his egress to deposit the few coins he had on the bar. With one last look back at Demitri, he pulled open the heavy oak door and left Bucer's.
The chill of the night air hit him at once and he rubbed his hands together to generate what warmth he could. The door slammed shut causing him to jump, he was in bad territory now, not that it was anything he hadn't risked before, but your luck only lasts so long.
Watching his breath condense in the cold air and fighting the temptation to pretend he was a steam engine for a short while, Horatio weighed his options...
A) Stand around like a fool, waiting for trouble.
B) Go and find trouble.

Checking his bag was clasped shut and his spectacles adjusted correctly, the bookseller set off towards the university with a new resolve. The scholars would not be around for another few hours yet, which meant there would be little obstruction in the way of his inquiries.

Jessica Butcher

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Re: "STEAM LONDON" Game Thread
« Reply #117 on: January 07, 2008, 05:13:39 pm »
Meanwhile, onboard the Boheme, Miss Butcher had been forced to share a cabin with the mysterious passenger... well, not really forced, as it was the logical thing to do. The truth of it was that this woman bothered her. She reminded her of someone... but that was irrelevant now. The passenger stirred, groaned, and actually woke for a moment, gasping and, seeing she was not alone, suddenly crying out, "It's a conspiracy!" Then she lapsed back into unconsciousness.

Miss Butcher, a conspiracy theorist of some repute, had only begun to consider the possible though unlikely meanings behind these words, when the ship was rocking by cannon fire from below. The shot narrowly missed the ship, doing no damage but to chip some paint. In any case, it successfully captured the crew's attention.
~WWND: What would [Captain] Nemo do?~

Ben Hudson, Esq.

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Re: "STEAM LONDON" Game Thread
« Reply #118 on: January 07, 2008, 09:01:19 pm »
Ben fell out of bed heavily.
What the hell was that? he thought, very rapidly roused from his characteristically deep sleep.
He got to his feet and rushed to the bridge, just as another round smashed though the outer skin and buried itself in the gasbag armour.
Miss Butcher entered a moment later. 'The woman... she... what's going on?'
Exactly what I'd like to know, thought Ben, as he pulled a Smithson 40-cal from an overhead locker and made his way to the fore lookout dome, mounted on the keel of the airship.

Vienna Fahrmann

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Re: "STEAM LONDON" Game Thread
« Reply #119 on: January 07, 2008, 11:12:23 pm »
     Lilli was dimly aware of a brief falling sensation, then a hard and painful thump.  Considering her semi-concious condition, it was surprising that the fall seemed to have woken her up somewhat.  Or, she thought dimly, maybe the combat-like sounds were ringing alarm bells in some of the far reaches of her brain.  She willed her limbs to move, but still seemed to lack the power of fully co-ordinated movement.  She finally managed to brace herself in a half-sitting position and wonder what the hell was going on.  This was decidedly not her suite at the Savoy Hotel.

     Vienna
« Last Edit: January 07, 2008, 11:45:35 pm by Vienna Fahrmann »

HAC

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Re: "STEAM LONDON" Game Thread
« Reply #120 on: January 07, 2008, 11:19:29 pm »
Even as Ben rushed forward to the observation dome, Air ministry patrol airships could be seen heading for a squalid section of Lower London, directly across and below the Airship Port. There was another noise, the crump of a heavy mortar, followed by the sound of an air burst as a shell exploded near the Boheme. The Air Ministry ships opened fire, and a decrepit tenement building disappeared in a sheet of flame and dust. The shelling stopped....
  
Some time later, a Port Official was escorted forward to where Ben sat, looking over the damage reports, and wondering how he was ever going to get out of London.

"Port Superintendent Quimby to see you Cap'n" announced the crewman..

"Ah, good day, Captain Hudson, or rather not a good day, I see.  I must apologize for the danger presented your ship and crew, and the damage done to her. Most unusual thing to have happened. Never seen the like of it in London before, what?  What we have here, then looks to be some rogue element that opened fire on you with field mortar. There was some small damage to the docks as well. Looks like a Russian piece, from the shell  fragments we found, but that can't be, now can it, Long way for a Rooskie to come just to take a pot shot at you, what?
  At any rate, The Port Authority cannot accept liability for damages taken by your ship, but we are willing to waive docking fees, from today, until the damage is repaired. You have the use of our repair facilities, if needed, at the normal rates, of course. If you would sign this liability waiver and acceptance of the forgiving of dockage fees, well, then I'll be on my way..."

Ben, still confused by the occurrences of the last  few hours, signs, and the Port officer bows, and is escorted off the Boheme.

A few minutes later, another crewman returns..

"Anuvver cove ter see yer, Cap'n.. Dangerous looking bloke, all hard-eyed and lean, says 'es got a package for you, and 'e won;t leave until he's given it to yer, pers'nal like.. Says he's from "your employer of the Shenjing matter"

Ben nods wearily, and a few moments later, meets Lamont, indeed a very dangerous looking fellow.
Lamont hands Ben a package tied  with heavy string and sealed with a red wax seal.

"For your eyes alone, Captain, and I am not to leave until you have read it..."  Lamont says...
"My master has given me some discretion in this, for I know the contents of the package. Might I give you one
small piece of advice.. Your ship will need repairs, trust no-one from the Ministry, trust Bertram's boys only.
 I am sure my master knows of this incident already, I am sure he would see to your safety, and to that end,
may I offer you a few of my own stout lads, to guard your gangway and keep unfriendly folk from your ship's
more vulnerable parts? They are, well, like myself, shall we say, deadly efficient in their duties."

Lamont smiles, and waits for Ben to open the package and reply.








« Last Edit: January 08, 2008, 12:22:43 am by HAC »

HAC

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Re: "STEAM LONDON" Game Thread
« Reply #121 on: January 07, 2008, 11:35:01 pm »
Hiram adjusted his coat, and donned his hat, preparing to leave for his Club, where an evening of gambling and business deals awaited.
Suddenly his thought were interupted by the mad clanging of the ALL of the Babbage's alarms.. Something serious had happened in London for sure, if EVERY government telegraph was carrying it..
 At that moment Uriah rushed in..
"Master, someone has attacked the Boheme!. Air Ministry took the attackers out, though, but damage has been done, I am sure"
Uriah and Ben rushed to the teleprinters, both trying to catch the essence of what happened.. Hiram began reading bits and pieces as they came off the telegraph repeaters..
"Field mortar, seven rounds on the docks, two to the fueling platforms, four, perhaps more to the Boheme, damage uncertain,  Lower London from tenement roof, fragments of shells recovered, appear Russian origin. Air Ministry destroyed attackers...All departures held until safety of Port assured..."'
 
"Good Lord, man..." shouted Hiram .. "This can mean only one thing Pencherevsky has a mole in the Ministry!"
"It would seem so, master" agreed Uriah, shocked that this could happen in London, right under his master's nose, so to speak.

"Thank God we sent Lamont, he will know how to handle our courier's security, thats a sure thing. Send a runner down to Bertram's, a runner we can trust, no messages by cable for now, runners only. Tell Bertie to get on it, chop-chop and no baksheesh, and see what extra armaments he's got in stock. The sooner that ship is in the air, the safer she'll be..."
"At once, master, and if I may suggest that we put a word in OUR Ministry man;s ear, discreetly, and perhaps to Blenkinsop at the Yard?"
asks Uriah..
"Good man, have it done, and cancel my evening appointments with apologies, this needs to be studied" replies Hiram..


« Last Edit: January 07, 2008, 11:37:32 pm by HAC »

Vienna Fahrmann

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Re: "STEAM LONDON" Game Thread
« Reply #122 on: January 08, 2008, 12:14:40 am »
     A short time after Ben had accepted his delivery from Lamont, Lilli was aware enough to start examining her new surroundings in detail.  Everything in the room had been disarranged by the violent motion of the ship.
There seemed to be a small travelling case on the floor, not hers; a pile of dark blue wool which turned out to be an afghan, and a brilliantly magenta and purple pile that were a woman's blouse and skirt, again, not hers.
     Since that only thing of hers that seemed to be in this cabin was the chemise she was wearing, Lilli pulled the afghan around her while she examined the clothes.  They were of moderate quality with American labels inside them.  THat intrigued her, but she put those thoughts aside as it became increasingly obvious that she needed to find the nearest WC.  She dressed as quickly as possible and discovered that the original wearer was of slightly smaller build.  She was also, Lilli decided, not a redhead.  No redhead would possibly have purchased a magenta blouse.  It was going to clash magnificently with her hair.  Her feet were bare, but there didn't seem to be any shoes in the debris on the floor, so she decided not to worry about footwear just now.

     Vienna
« Last Edit: January 08, 2008, 12:24:32 am by Vienna Fahrmann »

Vienna Fahrmann

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Re: "STEAM LONDON" Game Thread
« Reply #123 on: January 08, 2008, 12:32:02 am »
     Lilli carefully hoisted herself onto one of the bunks, then after several attempts, managed to stand and wobble her way to the door frame.  The corridor looked like she was on a ship of some sort. Since it didn't seem to be moving, Lilli judged that they were still in port.  Working her way slowly down the corridor, she discovered several other cabins, and finally, the WC.  Examining herself in the mirror she decided she looked awful.  Her hair was a tangled mess, and she was smudged with dust.  After fixing herself as best she could, she continued her exploration of the ship.  She was hoping to find a way out of it before it lifted off.  More than anything, she wanted to find out which of her possible enemies and rivals had ordered her gassed and abducted.  That search would have to be carried out in London.  She couldn't think of any Americans she had annoyed enough for a stunt of this magnitude and decided that the American whose clothing she had borrowed was probably a paid employee of some sort. 

     She finally encountered a dogged hatch, which seemed to be only shut, not locked.  She opened it as quietly as possible (which was still too noisy to suit her, but she was still a bit wobbly and fumbled it a bit).  As she opened the hatch, the light of the dock poured in.  A callused hand grasped her elbow as she stumbled out. 

    "Careful there, 'pet" a lean man with a lower London accent said cheerfully "don't want to 'urt yourself now". 
    "Thank you" Lilli said and attempted to remove her arm from the man's grasp.  It tightened.

    "where you think yer goin' now?" he asked, sounding a good deal less cheerful and more businesslike.  "I gots orders that nobody wot isn't ships crew or our boys goes in or out of this ship".  He looked her up and down.  "I seen who's crew, memorized their mugs, I 'ave, an' YOU ain't crew, so back in yer goes".

     Lilli began to protest.  She was not used to this sort of treatment, from this sort of ruffian.  He didn't give her time to work up into a real rage.  He merely whistled to a similarly clad ruffian at the bottom of the gangway.  When the man looked up, he called "'ey, Joe, I'm taking poppet 'ere back inside.  Don't let nobody up".  With that, he spun her around, expertly pinned her both her arms in one of his and shoved her back through the hatch.  Kicking the hatch shut behind him, he propelled Lilli along the corridor until they came to what seemed to be a small lounge area.  He pushed her into a chair, gave a quick salute to the other occupants of the lounge, then swiftly retreated, presumably to resume his post at the door.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2008, 01:18:13 am by Vienna Fahrmann »

HAC

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Re: "STEAM LONDON" Game Thread
« Reply #124 on: January 08, 2008, 02:03:05 am »
Bertie Bertram looked around as a slender young boy ran into his shop...
"Oy, Snooks me lad, ye'll break something, now stop yer running around, and what's what" says Bertie...
  "Boss says as yer to look after that ship wat got blitzed, Bertie, Boss 'e says do it pretty quick, chop-chop, number one job, and no looking fer bribes, an what you got laying about in the way of summit to give 'er teeth?"
 "What, legal or not legal?"
"Boss don' care much, 'e says make 'er safe"
"Tell 'im I hear, Snooks, now off wit yer"  Bertie tosses the lad a shilling, and whistles to himself..

"Aye and well, someone on that ship means somthin' to the Boss, alright, best I get me lads to go have a look and see what's all busticated on her"

Bertie thinks back to the day the Boss found him, outside his burned out shop in Rangoon, victim of standing up to the Mandalay gangs.. The Boss had set him back in business,  and seen that any competition from other chandlers was discouraged. Since then, Bertrams had grown into a string of Airship Chandlers shops, in all the John Company Ports.. The Boss had done well from this, Berties shops were useful for moving goods of suspious nature around, and money as well.. Bertie knew that he owed his sucess to the Boss, and if the Boss wanted that ship fixed, well, then fixed it would be, and number-one job, too..

Bertie called down a hall, " McGonnigle, get yer lazy Scottish arse down here, this minnit!"
A heavily accented voice replies.. "What th' devvil air ye blathering abaht?"
"Boss 'as a ship that needs yer lovin; touch, as in sooner than now!"

A heavyset bearded man, in a leather apron, fingers stained from working on engineering drawings, comes into the shop room..
 "Och, weel, noo, that's different. Whit'll she be needin?"

Bertie replies, "'At's fer you to tell me, Mister Hamish McGonnigle, seein as ye are an Master Airshipwright and Engineer, or so ye keep tellin' me.. And see if she's got the bones fer to put some teeth in, and how many, if ye please, and fer Gawd's sake will ye clean yerself up and get over there, respectable like"

A while later, Hamish walks up the gangplank, tosses a nod to Joe, and is shown up to the Captains cabin..
He looks at Ben, and casts an eye around him..

"Hamish McGonnigle, Master Airshipwright and Enngineer, at yer service... Aye, an older ship. Weel, I like that, good bones on her. Noo, what do ye need, for her and what kin we do to mak' her better?"....
« Last Edit: January 08, 2008, 02:04:53 am by HAC »