Sep 29, 2020 10:39 AM
Lucy gets warped to a different place and time in the Fallen London universe
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"...I appear to have time-traveled, okay, that's new. Well. Everyone came through? Even the formerly dead? That seems unwise..."

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"Well, not everyone. A few formerly dead probably came through with some contrivance or another. I know the Snuffers are still with us." He makes a sign over his heart.

"What're you gonna do to us?" A young pirate asks.

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"Ideally get you set up somewhere doing something that isn't piracy. I don't like it when people are dead." 

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"...Nobody respectable will take former pirates on. Maybe some of us have family who'll take them or homesteads that haven't been overrun, but I doubt it's all of us."

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"I wasn't assuming you'd disclose." 

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"We could try to get jobs on other engines... They don't tend to be too picky."

"I wanna go home," the teen from the bridge says from the other side of the hall.

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"You can go home. Where's your home?" 

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"Zacharias village, off a spar of a little path between the Rat Memorial and Titania. Second northernmost one. Third spar, starting from Titania. Left at the zigzagging pass, few miles past the old pyramid."

"If you disapprove of people being dead," someone comments, "You'd better go get the Tackety engine we blew up this morning. And you'll be very busy for a very long time."

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"Where is the Tackety engine." 

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"Just about due south. How long's it been - six hours? So, about two hundred miles."

The teenager looks like he's going to cry at the thought of her leaving.

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"--Oh, shhh, don't worry," she says, laying a hand on his shoulder. "I am definitely going to make sure you get home no matter what. I'm going to help those people, but I am going to make you gentlemen help, since it's your fault they were dead in the first place. Now. I am going to strip, because in order to drag this thing two hundred miles south in less than six hours I'm going to have to assume my full true form, and that's really not compatible with wearing human-shaped clothes. I expect zero inappropriate comments, and I strongly disreccomend going through my pockets," she says, and smooths a hand over the white-on-white Correspondence sigils embroidered into the fabric. 

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"-Uh, human shaped-" Someone slaps the speaker.

"We'll need steel and bronzewood and stained glass if you expect us to repair their locomotive. Unless Mountain of Light powers can do that."

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"I expect you to take them on board. If you think there's enough left of their locomotive to be worth repairing instead of scrapping and starting over I can grab it too but trying to do that in the middle of the cold void seems unnecessary." 

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"That's a recipe for more murder."

"Do we even have enough fuel and food-"

"We do if we take them on a one-way trip to the Nature Reserve. This locomotive's not much better than scrap itself, anyway."

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"I can wait to bring them back, if you'd rather share space with corpses than angry victims. What's the Nature Reserve."

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"The Leadbeater and Stainrod Nature Reserve. It's like, a place for rich tourists to hunt and for scientists to poke the mushrooms or whatever. Closest significant port, by my reckoning. Er, I'm the navigator."

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"Anyway, fuel isn't that much of an issue, I can carry you, if there's a better port." 

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"I don't know where these Tacketies came from. You could put them in Lustrum? That's a Tackety place. Uh, at least a week's journey away though."

"Everyone we see will shoot at us. Even if we take down the pirate flag. This heap of junk is just obviously a Marauder engine. And there are more Marauders, you know? All operating out of the Battle of Culverston. God, this is - whatever you did, I feel the starlight's influence falling away from me. There's no future in this. It was just acting out, when I saw no other options."

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"What is the Battle of Culverston." 

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"It's where the first Winchester War turned. Tacketies and a defensive line versus the Stovepipes, hundreds of engines in a mad dance of combat. Now it's over a mile of wrecks and ruins. Easy to hide in. And a source of parts, to keep our engines going just a bit longer."

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"What are 'Tacketies' and 'Stovepipes.'"

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"Independence-seekers and London's lapdogs in the Windward Company."

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"Okay. Well. Is there somewhere uninhabited at the Reserve where we can rearrange things without anyone who isn't me having to go out in the cold." 

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"There's plenty of space near the Reserve to set down and work. We have a sky-suit for exterior work, and it's warmer over land. New engines are built only in major ports, though."

"You can slap together a Spatchcock from pieces of any two other wrecks, though. If we shorten the Rancid Bite, clean up the firebox, remove the prow blade, rename her..."

"...True. We can probably make it presentable enough with pieces from the Tackety wreck. Make a new nameplate, claim to have been lost for a while, show up in New Winchester later. That... Could work. Since we don't seem to have much choice but to stop being pirates, and all."

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"That's not what I was imagining in particular but it seems to put you in a better position than that so I'm all for it." 

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