Jan 27, 2021 9:01 AM
To Eleutheria.
« Previous Post
+ Show First Post
Total: 51
Posts Per Page:
Permalink

After she pays, he says the supplies will be delivered within the hour.

The mayor is waiting outside the dispensary! Maybe he moves faster when you're not looking at him?

"I think we'd like a demonstration of your anti-aging magic! It seems like a better option than our other plan, and we've scrounged up a barrel of time Old Bill was saving for a rainy day - lucky sod! Do you happen to have anything for memory? That would be peachy, it would."

Permalink

She doesn't visibly startle, but she's taken aback for sure.

"I can demonstrate on someone, and as for memory I have a way to preserve and share it. Is that what you're looking for?"

Permalink

He looks serious and sad at this. "We'd like to recover ones faded by the passage of time, actually. Many of us would like to recall their youth."

Permalink

"That's more difficult, I'm afraid. The antiaging may help somewhat, but..."

Permalink

He's crestfallen. "Ah. It was just a thought. Shall we go see Old Bill? He has the Hours you want."

Permalink

"Please."

Permalink

Old Bill's barrel of hours proves to actually exist, though it's about three-quarters full, not completely topped off. He's smoking something that's not tobacco and seems to leave him not entirely present.

 

"No way I'd say no to that price, no matter how 'spicious it is," he comments after a bit. "Well, pay it back out in your youthening magic, won't you? Enough for everyone won't it be? Hours can do that too, but not enough. Not enough."

Permalink

"It will be," Thorn promises, and starts counting out ka from her belt pouch. She asks ages as she goes along, and passes out enough to restore everyone to their twenties.

Permalink

They don't actually know their ages for sure. The Workworlds rather confound calculations like that. But they're all youthened up after a while, and Old Bill wants his change in Sovereigns.

Nothing threatening happens, though the little village continues to be slightly... Off. They all seem a lot cheerier and a lot more avoidant of the worst of the fungus now that they're young again. Someone's playing drums and guitar, and a couple others are dancing.

Her crates and barrels of supplies are sitting by the dock.

Permalink

She counts out Old Bill's change from another bag, goes back to the ship, tells her sailors to begin loading. Then she looks around for Lenora.

Permalink

Right there, supervising the loading. A bit tensely.

"Any trouble?"

Permalink

"The place gives me the creeps but it could be worse. We just need to bring aboard some Hours and supplies and then we can be free of it."

Permalink

"Let's get it done. After seeing it, I have to say- No wonder Hybras is not exactly a prime destination."

Permalink

"I've got to agree." 

Thorn goes to oversee the loading personally.

Permalink

Loading goes without incident. The driver's paranoid nudging has gotten the chief engineer to deploy a cloth soaked in antiseptic on all the supplies, and she recommends that Thorn take a shower and get her current outfit washed in a bin of the same antiseptic, just in case.

Permalink

Only good sense. She will.

Permalink

Her first officer finds her after she's cleaned up. "I gathered you a report. The rat crew say the spores in the air are causing a bit of trouble with the engine, but they can stay on top of it. Just an increased maintenance schedule. Navigator has a proposal for a breadth-first search to find the Relay, the thinking is that we'll see signs of it before we actually find it. Sounds reasonable to me. I think we should set off again right away. The sooner we start the sooner we finish, and we're not far enough into things that everyone needs a break, yet."

Permalink

"I agree. Let's move before the spores start causing more problems."

Permalink

"Aye, aye."

Preparations for departure go smoothly. The crew grumble a bit at not getting any shore leave or time off, but then 'did you really want to go out in that?' passes around and they quiet.

For dinner Cook serves a lovely meat pie made of creatively reconstituted and processed salt jerky, fungal crackers, and other odds and ends. There is a quiet rattling in the walls down by the mining rig; The rats are too busy working on spore filters to investigate it right away. The driver secrets away a few wooden wedges used for damage control, some wire, and small metal parts from engineering into his cabin, and will tell anyone who asks he's 'fortifying'. Lenora has decided that propriety can hang and would like to sleep in her captain's cabin today, if her captain will have that.

Permalink

Her captain will certainly have that. 

Hopefully nothing important will happen at an inopportune time.

Permalink

Nothing important happens at an inopportune time!

During the next day, however, they come across a wide, open area. Visible far below is... A corpse of titanic size, covered in sigil-marked chitin. The navigator swears under her breath. "Faith's Fall."

Permalink

Well, fuck. That certainly puts the dangers of unknown universes into perspective. After all, if something that big died, what killed it?

She gives orders to steer well clear of the corpse, as best that can be done within the fungal tangle of this part of the reach. 

Permalink

There's a great, ragged hole where the vast Messenger fell, with two other major exit points beyond the one they just came from. The Navigator suspects one leads towards Scamp's Narrow, a notorious navigation hazard best passed through by small locomotives but which constitutes a shortcut north towards Titania. The other exit, aside from the one they came in, is about sixty degrees off to the right, not quite fully turning back the way they came. She thinks they should go for it, she suspects it doubles back to one of the side-passes near Hybras they haven't explored yet.

There appears to be some sort of expedition on the corpse's surface. Another locomotive without any particularly clear markings, resting on the surface, a vague crowd of men working around a - hole? "They're all gonna die," the driver comments after pointing it out.

Permalink

"Not our problem," Thorn says. "Make for the right-hand exit, the one that's not for Scamp's Narrow."

Permalink

"Aye, Captain."

The expedition on Faith's Fall - or maybe just the dead titan itself - unnerves everyone a fair bit, but they're beyond and into a passage away from it in a couple of hours.

And then in the late afternoon they see what looks like a Tackety scout-engine, with its running lights all doused.

Total: 51
Posts Per Page: