Oct 01, 2020 3:46 PM
Lucy gets warped to a different place and time in the Fallen London universe
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"No clue. Miss."

An older looking man seems alarmed. "The bridge is that way. My fucking idiot cousin, he'd crash us, just to take us down with him!"

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"Wow, mean. Don't worry, you'll be alright, even if the interim isn't pleasant. But I'd really rather spare that unpleasantness," she decides, and follows after the idiot. 

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"Gee, Dram, come with me to kill the engine!"

 

At the front of the locomotive, "Beau Bloodletter" is holding a frightened boy who can't be older than sixteen by the ragged collar, shoving him out the bridge door.

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Lucy stalks down the hall, briefly codeswitches to gentle politeness as she excuses herself past the boy, then barges into the bridge confrontationally. 

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"I don't know what you are, but I won't let you take what I've won from me! My crew, my engine! Shitty homesteads and a life of toil rejected for taking what we want. Better to die fighting than live in such a prison!"

He wrenches the main control stick sideways, and the locomotive begins a shuddering, violent turn.

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"Calm the hell down. Even if you manage to kill everyone aboard I can bring you all back so you're not accomplishing anything except to break your precious engine, so why don't you not do that and we can discuss the situation like civilized people." 

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He is ignoring her and aiming the engine for a floating rock, singing some kind of hymn under his breath. There is a look of madness in his eyes.

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She stalks over and yanks him away from the controls and moves the stick he yanked back to its original position. 

She holds him up in the air by his collar. 

"Bad pirate," she says, flicking him in the forehead with her other hand. 

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The sharp shuddering turn slows down, the engine finding a new balance and slowly evening out just as the shuddering of the pipes quiets and slows.

The pirate goes limp and mutters in confusion. "...Knives in the dark and bodies in the sky... Hours and days and years..."

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She goes back into the hall. "You should probably go back in there," she tells the teenager apologetically, then drags her captive back into the crowded room. 

"Does this guy go crazy a lot? Is there some established procedure, like give him some booze and put him to bed?"

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There seems to have been a scrambled effort to clean up. They're all afraid of her.

"...Sky-madness. It gets everyone eventually. He's been, uh, paranoid that we're going to mutiny. Even if he could kill any one of us himself, he couldn't kill all of us. Because of the, uh, sky-madness, we were. Going to kill him. Miss. Strongest rules, until someone replaces him."

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"Is that what happened to that guy?" she asks, pointing to the corpse. 

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"N-No, he got shot when we were boarding the Tackety engine we hit this morning. He only died a bit ago, though."

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"Mm. Well." 

And she shines. 

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"What the 'ell-"

"The stars! The stars sent her to get us!"

The guy in the corner stands up, looking around wildly. The 'captain' she's holding by the collar clutches his head and groans.

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"The stars most certainly did not send me. I don't know how I got here but I sincerely doubt a Judgment was involved." 

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"A what?"

"How're ya glowing then? You from Eagle's Empyrean?"

(The locomotive seems to be coming to a standstill, if the reduction in engine noises and background groaning and shuddering is any indication)

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"I am the daughter of the Mountain of Light." 

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Few of the pirates have an immediate reaction to this, but the older man, the captain's cousin, does. His eyes are wide. "The light of the Elder Continent? The far-south of the Zee?"

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"Mhm." 

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"Oi, you lot, show some respect! We're in the presence of something older and greater."

"As if Clint standing up didn't tell us that already..."

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"Ahaha, well, I myself am only in my early thirties, it's my father who's older really. Anyway. From my perspective I was headed back into London after a visit outside it when there was some kind of giant horrible explosion and I was standing at the bottom of a cliff surrounded by broken things with Correspondence sigils on them and other things I recognized less, and a giant cranky flying isopod pointed me in the general direction of human settlements, and if any of you have any kind of explanation whatsoever for anything then I would extremely appreciate it." 

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"London's far away from here, miss. I don't know what could have brought you here, but if the Correspondence was involved that, ah, seems like a likely culprit."

"That sounds like a Cantankeri. They attack things they disapprove of. Which is most things. Cor, it must've been scared of you."

"Nearest city's over a thousand miles from here. But there's homesteads about."

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"I know London's far away, I don't even recognize any of these stars from Earth. What I want to know is when did people from London end up in the High Wilderness?"

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"Ah." The captain's cousin clears his throat. "Some years ago, about two decades I believe, the Queen had a disagreement with the Echo Bazaar. Nobody really knows the details, but she equipped expeditions to open the Avid Horizon and colonize part of the High Wilderness instead. And everyone came through, leaving old London behind. London now sits in the place now called Albion, taken over from the King of Hours. And the Reach, here, which was more-or-less abandoned when we found it, folk are expanding into."

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