New Babbage

Loki Eliot’s New Babbage RP – The Black Heart

Loki Eliot’s been a busy lad of late – he’s rebuilt his Goonie Island and started up a new Babbage-based RP called The Black Heart. Like his previous Shadow of 13, The Black Heart has its own website (http://babbagechronicles.co.uk/) and it was during my search for this site I found a posting on his personal blog I’d missed and boy does it give a great run down of his previous stories. Oddly enough, given my love of shared RP in SL, I’ve never taken part in one of his – despite stumbling across them all in one way or another(1). I don’t know why this is, but I put it down to three things:

1) I’ve always wanted to do my own thing – at the times I’ve come across Loki’s RP I’ve been busy doing my own stuff and that brings me to…

2) I simply don’t have enough time! I never have had enough online time to do what I want to – not just in-world, but externally as well. This blog is as important to me as my stuff in-world. Some of you might not see why and that’s fine because to me it is and that’s all that matters. I can be in-world more but write less, or write more and be in-world less – the line has to be drawn and quite often writing and blogging win out. But under all that lies the fact that…

3) I’ve never felt part of the Babbage community. I tried back in late 2007, but it’s always seen like the preserve of builders and creators and so I just have never followed its development much. Same goes for Caledon really. In fact all steampunk. In truth I don’t much care for Steampunk – it just doesn’t interest me in the same way Star Trek/Wars doesn’t (2).

Anyhoo because I didn’t follow Babbage and because I had ideas to do my own stuff and because I have never been in-world as much as I feel I need to be I tended to miss the stuff that went on in the telling of the tales and that sense of ‘going it alone’ doesn’t do it for me (see my recent rant about Call of Duty Black Ops). This is why in the recent Steelhead RP I wanted to collect all the posts from everyone and make a “Story In Full” list so the whole thing felt like a collaborative effort.

Yet my personal foibles aside (3) I really want to get involved in this one, partly because I know some folks already involved (Myrtil and Miss Chernov) and partly because I want to learn more about multiparticipatory RP (as opposed to the other type of multiparticipatory activity this blog is famed for) and who better to learn from than the master (4). I’m sure that in a year from now Steelhead will be putting on this kind of RP – I have, you’ll be unsurprised to hear, several good ideas I’ve already pitched to the bosses ;-D

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(1) This post (https://headburroantfarm.wordpress.com/2007/09/26/in-other-news-murder-most-foul/) is from 3 years ago and shows how even then I was looking for a RP experience (as well as being quite keen on eldrich horror, a fact that hasn’t – and I doubt ever will – change).

(2) I still haven’t found my perfect world in SL, but when I do it’s going to be horror and/or 1940s LA detective noir based 🙂

(3) None of which have anything to do with Loki, who I’ve never met, or his excellent work, which I love.

(4) Although his building, texturing & scripting skills will always be beyond me – Loki is the perfect package for RP!

p.s. You can read more of my RP waffle posts here.

A fun trip through the waters of New Babbage

I just wanted to post this to direct people to the rather fun 21min long episode of Designing Worlds in which the hosts travel to New Babbage. They have some real fun RPing the show rather than conducting a straight travelogue – fitting given Babbage’s reputation for RP 😀

Anyhoo watch it here (I can’t find an embed link, sry): http://treet.tv/shows/designingworlds/episodes/new-babbage-mystery

Intermission…

Poor Old Dr Beck, trapped in Ol’ Steal Head’s lair for what seems like forever as our typist tries to find enough time to finish off his tale, the shame of it! Well in the meantime, and spurred on by Bookworm Hienrichs’ wonderful tale of the most recent zombie outbreak in New Babbage, I thought you might like the chance to re-read Dr Beck’s close shave with the foul undead in last year’s New Babbage zombie uprising. I don’t know, once seems like bad luck whilst twice seems a tad… careless if you ask me. Still, it is with great pleasure that I give you Dr Beck and his tale of The Mysterious Note! Enjoy… mwahahahahahahaha!

Steelhead: The Mysterious Note

p.s. The Steal Head tale will be resuming (and completing) very soon. Honest.

Snatched From Steelhead: Chapter 4 – Owls, bunnies, kids & cake…

I’d been in Babbage for a week when the cake was delivered. I had been billeted in a high attic room in the hospital, the type usually reserved for trainee nurses, servants and the like. I assumed this was a small way of trying to make me feel unwelcome but in truth the room was warm and dry and therefore several degrees more desirable than my own back in the Shanghai slums.

A week. It was hard to believe I’d been away a week. Seven days had passed since the Clockhaven Queen paddled into harbour and, still sporting my black eyes and swollen face from the tong attack but three nights earlier, I had walked nervously down the gangplank to the quay below.

Arriving in Clockhaven_001

Arriving in Clockhaven_002

If it hadn’t been for Madam Luck smiling upon me by arranging a serendipitous meeting with young Tatsuya Skytower I fear my journey through the ever-sooty streets of Babbage would have been considerably less friendly. I knew of Tatsuya’s cousin, Sheryl, from Steelhead and although I had never met the young woman tales of a small, clockwork dragon tend to make an impression and do not go unremembered. Tatsuya (once I had apologised for assuming the small clockwork dragon in front of me was in fact Sheryl) offered to act as my guide and led me through the streets right to the front door of the William Wilde hospital.

Ryne at the William Wilde Hospital_001

The hospital itself (built at great personal expense by one Blackberry Harvey, my generous & genial host) was a marvel to behold. Clean and modern with attentive and polite staff. I made a mental note there and then that once home I would write a letter to Steelhead’s Town Council to beg them to build such a place in our fair city, but for now I was only too pleased to see that both myself and my patient would clearly be in good hands.

Indeed, the accused Captain Kuroe couldn’t have hoped for better medical care as I was not the only doctor charged with his well-being during his pre-trial recuperation. Dr Darien Mason was a name many knew, some feared and all respected. Long before my time he had been a resident of Steelhead and like me had been the sole medical provider for the whole city, but his family’s knack of courting trouble had seen him (and most of his relatives) lost, presumed dead. For months all trace of the Masons were lost, indeed the very fire that burnt Antfarm had taken place in Dr Mason’s abandoned Steelhead laboratory and nearly a year later whatever chemicals and compounds Mason had been experimenting with still prevented anything beyond the hardiest of grasses from growing on the ever-vacant lot. Then only a few weeks back I heard that a certain Dr Mason had been spotted in New Babbage, but I never for one moment thought we would meet like this! He was Babbage’s representative and I Steelhead’s and we had both been charged with ensuring Ashiko Kuroe recovered from his treatment at the hands of the Mayor and the Militia so he could stand trial for his alleged crimes.

As for the patient himself, after a few days his cuts and bruises began to heal (as did mine although my jaw ached all week and I still have a terrible headache all down one side of my skull) and a new leg was crafted for him. I won’t detail the matters surrounding the loss of his original leg as even though I feel physically sickened at what appears to have happened, it has been agreed by Mayors Tenk & Eclipse that the matter is a private one between Mayor Tenk and the prisoner. Even Ashiko seems content with that arrangement, but I know there are others in the city who are less happy to let such an act lie.

(As an aside to my recounting of events that led up to the gift of cake left for me, I would say a word or two about the state of fear that hangs over this city like a shroud. There is a palpable air of dissent in New Babbage, the city seems divided into several camps, all of them arranged around the Mayor and his “ advisers”. These, for want of a better word, rulers appear so high-handed and dictatorial in style that they polarise the people; some can see in them no wrong, only the inevitable and unstoppable march of progress as the city expands and grows and damn the eyes of any who stand in its way, whilst others see an authoritarian and uncaring (and possibly corrupt and evil!) regime that oppresses its people and the wider environment in the most heinous ways. Let no one tell you this is a happy city, revolt & espionage seem to lurk around every corner, or at least the ones not already taken by the threats of cut-purses and the hollow promises of fallen women. Of all people the chief plotters at the moment would appear to be the street urchins. They feel marginalised, misunderstood and disliked at the best of times but the events surrounding the removal of Ashiko’s leg has really put fire in their bellies and now they speak openly of revolution! I’m sure the only reason Mayor Tenk and his attack dog Undertone haven’t fallen upon them like a ton of bricks is because they perceive them to be of little threat. They may be right, but it is the Devil’s own gamble because I’ll wager these urchins know this city like no others and have connections beyond its limits that would be the envy of any military tactician. Small these street children might be, but powerless? I think not.)

And so the week passed, I tended to my ward; helped with the fitting of his new leg; lent my services to the wider hospital (which seemed to be in the middle of treating a minor epidemic of tram crash injuries and deaths – obviously the New Babbage trolley system is not to be trifled with!); sent reports back to Mayor Eclipse via the owls which arrived at my window; toured the city with various urchin guides; and sent urgent telegrams back to Steelhead regarding evidence I came across of Babbage arming itself with fearsome machines of invasion. In short it had been a busy week and I was exhausted. The knock on the door woke me from my half slumber and I opened the door half expecting a call to yet another tram mishap, yet there was no one there! Instead, on the floor and in a plain paper wrapper was a rather tasty looking cake. A small note sat atop it, scrawled in what looked like a child’s hand it said simply “Fank yoo Dr. Bek”. How lovely! And I was ever so hungry. What a pity Mason was out of the hospital right now… I’d save him some of course, but in the meantime I fancied a good quarter of this to myself with a nice cup of tea.

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Ten minutes later, three small figures hiding in the shadows outside Beck’s room heard a thump followed by a series of noisy snores. One of the figures turned to the others and nodded, whispering “Roight chums, ee’s ander. Let’s go!” As one they turned and scampered of into the hospital to keep their pre-arranged assignation…

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To be continued…

All my “Snatched From Steelhead” posts can be read on my blog here.

Links to other blogs and stories:
1) My background in the Ashiko Kuroe case can be found here here.
2) Some posts from the New Babbage Ning outlining the actions (or not, he is awaiting trial as I type this remember) of Captain Kuroe can be read here and here and here.
3) Captain Kuroe’s letter to Steelhead can be read here.
4) The appointment of Mr Byron Wexhome by Mayor Tenk can be found here.
5) Mr Wexhome’s initial investigations can be read here and here.
6) Mr Wexhome’s proposed Plan can be read here.
7) The details of Ashiko’s new leg can be read here.
8 ) The Urchins’ call to arms (and cake) can be read here and here.
9) My telegrams to Steelhead regarding New Babbage’s Engines of War can be read here.
10) Dr Beck’s near-fatal last trip to Clockhaven is journaled here.

Cross-posted to the Steelhead Ning and the New Babbage Ning.

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A Telegram from New Babbage: They have a Land Behemoth!

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From:- Dr Beck, New Babbage
To:- Mayor Eclipse, Steelhead

Further News STOP About Babbage military I mean STOP They have new Ironclad for the land STOP Urchin passed me ‘found’ plans STOP ALSO HUGE! STOP Babbage Militia is arming! STOP Steelhead must be in their sights! STOP

All the best,
Dr Beck.

p.s.STOP Weather here still fine STOP Bit foggy I suppose STOP How are things back home? STOP STOP

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Picture credit Mr Archie Chelmsford of New Babbage. See more of the titan on his New Babbage Ning post here! Cross posted to the Steelhead Ning here. Read all the “Snatched from Steelhead” posts here.

A Telegram from New Babbage: Warship Ahoy!

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From:- Dr Beck, New Babbage
To:- Mayor Eclipse, Steelhead

Inform Steelhead Navy STOP Babbage have new warship STOP HUGE! STOP The City’s Naval forces seem to be mobilising STOP Steelhead might be in danger! STOP

Warmest Regards,
Dr Beck.

p.s.STOP Weather here fine STOP Hope all well back home STOP STOP

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Picture credit Mr Wiggy Undertone of New Babbage. See more of the brute on his New Babbage Ning post here! Cross posted to the Steelhead Ning here. Read all the “Snatched from Steelhead” posts here.

Snatched From Steelhead: Chapter 3 – Back to New Babbage

The owl gazed at Dr Beck with eyes as inscrutable as time itself. For his part, Beck stared back with his one open eye full of confusion and sleep. He propped himself up on his elbows and blinked a few times. The owl sitting on the back of his chair failed to vanish and instead stared coolly back him.

“Erm, hello?” Beck mumbled. The owl blinked once very, very slowly. “You’re one of the Mayor’s owls, aren’t you? One of his messengers?”. Blink. Beck stood up and gingerly walked towards the owl as if it were a fiver pound note on a windowsill in danger of blowing away. The owl just sat and watched him. “Do, er, do you have a message for me then?”. Blink. Beck waited. The owl watched him. Beck shuffled his feet a little. The owl tipped his head almost imperceptibly in such a way as to make Beck feel decidedly nervous. “If you do, may I have the message, please?” he asked. The owl did nothing for a very, very log second before tucking its beak under its wing and pulling something small out from its feathers and flicking it towards Beck. The still sluggish doctor missed it and it fell to the floor at his feet. He bent to examine it and saw it was a small, folded piece of paper roughly half an inch square and one eighth of an inch think. “Thank you. Does the Mayor expect a rep…?” he stopped as his hair was ruffled a sudden breeze and he looked up to see a small cloud of soot fall from his chimney as the owl left. “…ly. I’ll take that a no, then” he completed to himself. He looked at the paper in his hand for several seconds before unfolding it. It was a letter from the Mayor himself, handwritten in his swirling spidery script…

To: Dr. R. Beck.
No. 13 Shamian Alley, Shanghai, Stlhd.

Dear Sir,

Following your rather vocal appeals to the citizens and civic leaders of New Babbage over the recent incident involving one Captain Kuroe I have been visited by a representative of Mayor Tenk who wished to discuss the matter as well as possible solutions.

To cut a long tale short the accused will receive a fair trial in a location still to be decided (although I favour Steeltopia, it is possible that Caledon may be chosen). In the meantime, and following rumours not only of limb amputation but also of beatings meted out to the prisoner, I have agreed you will travel to the William Wilde Hospital in New Babbage and act as his personal physician and, after a fashion, his guard until the trial is completed and justice seen to be done.

I realise you are a busy man and therefore I have booked you on the noon steamer from Steelhead Harbour to Clockhaven.

Travel well and I know I need not remind you to uphold the proud reputation of our city at all times and be the best ambassador we can expect, so I won’t.

Respectfully yours,
TotalLunar Eclipse.
Mayor of Steelhead & Environs.

Beck read and re-read the letter several times as the full weight of its message sunk in. He had to go back to Clockhaven. Today. Now. He had to pack. He had to be ready and on that steamer in time, Steelhead was counting on him. “Oh God, I need a cup of tea,” was all he could say.

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Half an hour after the Clockhaven Queen had paddled away from Steelhead and out to sea with a nervous Beck onboard a tall, worried Chinese man was knocking on the locked surgery door. He was scared and upset. Back at home his wife had sunk further in to the darkest places of her mind and had become all but lost to him. He was sure she was in danger from herself and he needed the English doctor to come and help. The doctor had been so good to his wife since their child had been snatched and killed. The doctor would be able to help. The man knocked louder, “Dr Beck! Dr Beck! Li Fe father! You come help Dr Beck! Please come help!”

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

Links to other blogs and stories:
1) The background to the Ashiko Kuroe case can be found here.
2) Captain Kuroe’s letter to Steelhead can be read here.
3) The appointment of Mr Byron Wexhome by Mayor Tenk can be found here.
4) Mr Wexhome’s initial investigations can be read here and here.
5) Mr Wexhome’s proposed Plan can be read here.
6) The terrible tale of poor Li Fe can be read here.
7) Dr Beck’s near-fatal last trip to Clockhaven is journaled here.

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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?

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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

Snatched From Steelhead: Chapter 1 – What price justice?

Steelhead Protests Poster

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

Links to other blogs and stories:
1) A list of New Babbage & Steelhead Ning posts can be found here.

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Mutations: Chapter 3 – Smoke and Water

Beck rode back in silence; both rider and mount had a lot to think about and the winding path around Spirit Lake and back home afforded them plenty of time to do it in. Once they reached the blacksmith outside Shanghai, Beck passed his surefooted steed back and retrieved his bicycle for the last part of his journey through the tunnel and onto the rickety wooden bridges that clung to the side of the crowded harbour. Normally he cycled slowly along these, having more than once nearly tumbled over the edge in the past, but now he peddled urgently with a seemingly scant regard for his safety. He’d been eager to get back to his practice before nightfall but something he’d seen when he looked at Antfarm had shaken him to the core and now he had a very different destination in mind.

Down in the belly of Shanghai, as night seeped its way across the water and squeezed itself into the alleys, snickets & ginnels criss-crossing between buildings, parents fussed and worried over their children. Those rich enough set guards to watch over their wards whilst others less well off locked and barred their homes and prepared to spend another uncomfortable night propped up in a chair with a gun nestled on their lap. The parents in the slums had no such comforts, and indeed, far more reason to worry. Their homes could not be barred and bolted, the heaps of rotting wood and crumbling brick they had no option to live in couldn’t even keep the night breeze out, let alone a child-snatching nightmare. They couldn’t afford gaurds to patrol their streets and watch their windows. Oh they had tried, exhausted men and women banding together after long, hard days in the cannery. They took hour long shifts from their precious sleep to walk the streets and alleys and watch over their sleeping children, but the Tong smelt money and sent in their thugs to deliever a series of painful lessons; pay us to protect your streets or no one protects them. Now families gathered even more tightly together, taking it in turns to sleep through the darkness of the night whilst someone sat awake, boning knife or fish-hook at the ready.

Beck could taste this atmosphere, could taste the fear and anguish and resentment, and it made him sick. Not since Manchester had he felt such terror infesting one place and he’d been living in it every day and every night since little Li Fe’s bones had been brought to his surgery. Well not tonight, he had decided. He couldn’t take it anymore, couldn’t take the constant pall of dread, the sense of impotence, the bloody memories. Not tonight. As the sun set behind the harbour, the shadow cast by the glorious Sun Tower falling across the slums as if to deny its wretched residents any crumb of comfort by cutting off their light first, Beck propped his bicycle against the rear of the Dragon Lady’s hotel and slipped in a secret door.

“Ahhh, Meester Smeeth, welcome back,” the greeter’s tone a perfect blend of ice cold warmth, his spell gutting fish had apparently worked wonders on his attitude. Beck all but ignored him and instead allowed himself to be led through the heady, sickly smoke to a cot by one of the pipe girls. Unlike the poor women owned by the Tong, the Dragon Ladys girls were never forced into anything as seedy as common prostitution. That wasn’t to say such a path was closed to them, but if they chose it they ceased to be pipe girls and instead moved behind the curtain, deeper into this dimly lit underworld, and became concubines, dreams wrapped in flesh and silk, soft-skinned angels bestowing their graces upon mere mortals. Beck had always resisted their siren song no matter how insistent the call, but despite his resolve in his mind he was an adulterer; another failing, he thought, to add to his legion. He climbed into his allocated cot and loosened his collar while the girl handed him a pipe and turned to leave. As she walked away, her hips swaying back and forth beneath her exquisite red hanfu, Beck tried to ignore the knot of desire that twisted in his groin and the shame that it brought. Instead, to block it out, he put the pipe to his lips and drew in a cloud of sweet, thick smoke. Somewhere deep in his brain the rational, lucid, controlling part of him collapsed like a marionette having its strings cut. He was free once more…

The smoke moved about him and through him. It infused his skin and flesh and bone, it swirled into his ears and nose and mouth filling him up with warm water from the bottom of the ocean. He was a fish swimming through himself in the depths of his own smoke and he was empty of purpose and memory as he drifted on strange currents, uncaring and unknowing. Until the hand. It reached through the smoke and the water and caressed his cheek, rocking him, tugging him. He turned away, pushed it aside. Not here! Not now! The currents raced and he pushed off into them, determined to get away, to stay free! But the hand was fast and strong. It fought for him, grasping and grabbing. He swam and dodged, flipping and wheeling to get away but it was tricksy and swift. And then, it had him. Strong fingers took hold of him and held him fast.

“Dr Beck…?” words darted around him, quicksilver through the smoke and water. He opened his eyes, staring up from the murky depths and into a woman’s face. For a moment he couldn’t place himself, a young well dressed white woman here? What would a respectable woman be doing here?

Er, yes? What can I do for you Miss…?” his mouth felt strange and full of seaweed and fish scales.

“Rhianon Jameson,” she said offering a gloved hand and Beck moved his own dull, dead hand to meet it, “I was hoping you could help me find someone. It’s quite important.”

“Hmm, yes, who is it?” he mumbled.

“A man who goes by the nom de plume the Scientist. He apparently knows some powerful medicine. I must find him, and time is running short.”

Beck’s face froze. Him! This woman was looking for him! God help her because if she found him no one else could. “I’m, ahhh, afraid I don’t know anyone with that name,” he tried to sound as sober as possible, please believe me please believe me please believe me he thought.

“You lie, sir. I can see it in your face,” her voice had a steel-edge that matched her eyes.

“I’m telling you, I don’t know…” A wave caught him, currents and undertows pulling him away as he started to drift off. The hand grabbed him again, he opened his eyes and she had him by the arm, anchoring him in the swell of the opium’s ebb and flow.

“Dr. Beck!” she was angry now, “You call yourself a medical man; you took an oath. And yet you are willing to let a man die – for what purpose? To protect the Scientist?”

One of the attendants appeared by her side, politely asking that she stop but she was having none of it. Around the small den people in various states of drug-induced apathy were gawping at the most unusual scene unfolding, all except Beck. He was staring at his hands as if trying to remember what they were called. No, not to protect him, he thought, to protect you! “Dangerous,” he said at last.

“I understand danger. I can take care of myself. Just tell me where he is!” Her tone was diamond hard.

“I don’t…know. I really don’t. He didn’t want anyone to find him. All I know is…Babbage…” Beck mumbled through the fog behind his eyes.

“New Babbage? Where?”

“Hmm, not sure. Find…” his voice trailed away as a wave narcotic slumber crashed against the rocks of Miss Jameson’s enforced lucidity. The attendant called for reinforcements. Footsteps coming near. He must warn her. He must.

“Find who? The Scientist?”

“No, not him. Find Lo Ping. Elderly chap. At least I think so…can’t really tell. He’s the only one…only one…who knows how to locate Scientist. SssssallIknow. Nowleavemealone.” Beck’s connection with the world was severed. The waves roared over him and pulled him far out to sea. The woman became but a distant speck on the horizon, a pinprick of light lost in the stars who were themselves extinguished by the ocean closing over him. He sank into it, to the bottom of its warm, cosseting depths to where his beloved waited for him with their children and he was disturbed no more…

Rynes Addiction_007

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To be continued…
All the “Mutations” posts can be read here.

Links to other blogs and stories:
1) For more on Miss Jameson’s hunt for The Scientist, read her blog here
2) For more on the death of the Chinese boy Li Fe, read about Creaky Gloom on this blog here and on the Steelhead Ning here.

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