Mara Razor

Snatched From Steelhead: Chapter 2 – When Justice Is Blinded!

Say No to New Babbage_001

A few days ago a man was taken by force from the streets of Shanghai in Steelhead. Now as this was Shanghai rather than Boomtown or Capital City and given that the man in question could at best be described as a pirate accused of arson & murder many may not raise an eyebrow too high, but raise them high I say, high and arched with concern for what happened to that man was an affront to our fair city and a threat to every citizen who calls it home.

Mr Undertone, the head of the New Babbage Militia, under the auspices of that sooty city’s Clockwinder Mayor Tenk sent armed goons to snatch one Ashiko Kuroe (accused pirate, accused firestarter, accused bunny murderer & odd-choice for an Ambassador for the floating state of Armada) at knife-point from a tea-house in Shanghai. He was spirited away to a New Babbage jail where, it is rumoured, his leg was amputated as part of a payment for a previous contract with Mayor Tenk who then ate it. Yes. Ate it. In discussions with the good bergers of New Babbage I have detected as much shock & horror at this outcome as would be expected among such civilised peoples, but I’m sorry to say that not every New Babbage voice is rational or reasonable – Mr Underby (whom I mistakenly took for the head of the militia) is one such unreasonable soul who has even begun to speak of, and I quote, “open war” with Steelhead!

Now if Mr Kuroe is guilty then I will be the first to say he must pay for his crimes, but to send hob-nailed booted thugs to our city rather than go through the offices of Mayor Eclipse and Sheriff Ortega is disgusting! Steelhead is a fair city, a just city, a law-abiding city. We have rules, regulations, protocols, laws! If New Babbage feel they can simply walk in and snatch people from under our noses, then what’s to say that you or I won’t be next?

Some less than rtional voices in New Babbage have accused Steelhead of wilfully harbouring a dangerous criminal, but I tell you here and now this is not true! Such talk, such mud flung in anger and, dare I say, shame by those guilty of strampling our city’s laws is a mere distraction to the actual matter in hand, to wit the illegal incursion by another city’s armed militia. Do let us not be continually distracted by the erroneous argument that Steelhead somehow condones vile crimes such as arson and murder and is happy to harbour the criminals who perpetrate them. It does not and is not. But at the same time Steelhead believes in higher ideals – the ideals of Justice for all not just those in power; Liberty for all not just those in privilege, and The Rule of Law for all not just those in High Office (or, indeed, clock tower).

Join me, good people of Steelhead, New Babbage and every Steamlands state, in a protest to hold New Babbage’s leaders to account! Take one of the posters below or go to Steelhead’s City Hall for a selection of placards and make your feelings known – if we don’t stand up now, who knows what evil will be perpetrated next?


To be continued…
All the “Snatched From Steelhead” posts can be read here.

Links to other blogs and stories:
1) Mara Razor’s initial posts on the Steelhead Ning and the New Babbage Ning.
2) My posts on the Steelhead Ning and the New Babbage Ning.
3) Ashiko Kuroe’s post on the Steelhead Ning.
4) Reference to the affair was made in the June 1st Steelhead Town Hall Meeting, the minutes of which were reprinted in the Steelhead Sentinel.
5) Mr Underby meets the accused to measure his neck!

Steelhead vs NB 002 Steelhead vs NB 001

Steelhead vs NB 004 Steelhead vs NB 003

The kindness of neighbours…

When I moved to the wilderness of St Helens I knew that food would be a problem. Of course I could go to town to buy provisions but that would defeat the object of coming out here. I toyed with asking Beck to bring what I needed on his visits, but in truth I don’t want him to visit. He’s nice enough and means well, but he is… a complication. No, I needed to be as self-sufficient as possible as possible, but even so I still needed to get food from somewhere until the land thawed out enough to plant, let alone grow, my food. So thank the gods for Mara Razor and her mill!

Situated across the mighty Spirit river from my own land, I first saw Mara’s mill in operation when I had toured the region looking for somewhere to live…
Steelhead St Helens Tour

Mara had brought in farm animals and begun to grow her own food in order to to feed the ever hungry mouths of her charges, the Scamps and urchins that had made my life in the city so difficult. Without her bravery, I have no doubt that many of these wee tormentors may have fallen to the monster Creaky Gloom!

I had Beck approach Mara with a proposal – for a modest, regular payment she would provide me with enough food to see me through winter. To my delight she agreed and ever since she has left a packed basket on her pier and all I have to do is row across and pick it up. It was just this I was doing when I noticed something rather nice – she has found a replacement for poor Horace, her donkey so cruelly killed by Gloom.
Steelhead St Helens

It fair made my day and as I paddled back to my campsite I found myself looking forward to the day ahead cutting and shaping logs for my planned cabin…
Steelhead St Helens

Mutations: Chapter 1 – Seeking Isolation.

Far from the taunts and the stares of Steelhead I hauled my canoe onto the riverbank that led up past an icy stream to the snow-laden forest that was my new home. I stood in the early morning chill and listened… nothing… pure silence.
Steelhead St Helens

Around me nature was slumbering under winter’s blanket, even the river seemed sleepy and slow as it gurgled past, innocently hiding the fact it was deeper and colder than hell itself.
Steelhead St Helens

It was a steep climb up into the forest, the trees creaking under their snowy burden as I passed beneath them. I spotted the yawning maw of a cave hidden in the gloom and made note to be on the look out for curious and hungry bears come spring.
Steelhead St Helens

A sudden roar of steam had me ducking for cover! It seems my new home had its own central heating system in the form of a geyser that erupted every fourteen minutes or so in a most impressive manner!
Steelhead St Helens

Looking down and back to my landing spot I knew I had made the right decision in coming here. Yes Beck was worried, but if not what the doctor had ordered then this glorious isolation was what the patient needed, I reasoned. Since I had entered this world I hadn’t for one moment been alone. The Elemental severed my connection with my creator, the fire swallowed up the Elemental and his damn backpack, and Shade had connected directly with my mind during The Erase. Since then I had managed to have only one voice in my head and I liked it that way.
Steelhead St Helens

I pitched camp by the water and lit a fire to boil some tea and warm what was left of me. Canvas would do for now, but I wanted more than that. I looked first at the trees high above me and wondered how many I’d need to build a cabin. Then staring across the river to Mara Razor’s mill, I began to wonder about approaching her for regular supplies in order that I wouldn’t have to venture into town.
Steelhead St Helens

My tea finished I moved over to the stream to wash my cup. Under the silent gaze of St Helens I gazed at the stranger staring back at me from the water and drew up my plans never to see a living soul again. After all, who in Steelhead wanted to see this walk amongst them?
Steelhead St Helens: Burnt HBA Reflection


To be continued…

All the “Mutations” posts can be read here.

Links to other blogs and stories:
1) This tale follows on directly from Far From Home.