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Aetheric Correspondence – Aquila IX

Dear Doctor Westbridge,

Further to our telegraphic correspondence I have come to an agreement with Miss Ironside to further reinforce the garrison at Aquila III. I would expect that by the time this letter arrives the new guards will be well on their way.

I am heartened to hear of the continued improvement in the health of the rescued urchins, no doubt due to the daily applications of your most excellent galvanic baths. Hopefully they will be recovered enough to return to New-Babbage once repairs are completed to the Magpie.

Currently we have a somewhat troublesome issue brewing in the North with the continued lack of communication from Aquila IX and the town of Wuldram. Our last telegram from the outpost arrived on December 23rd and we have yet to receive any further communications.

Mr Pendle of the Clockhaven Wireless Telegraph Office has been working tirelessly warming up the aether with his attempts to gather further information on the situation. The closest contact he has been able to achieve came from airship Carpathia whose captain reported all bridges to the North have collapsed. Carpathia moved to overfly Aquila IX but was met with fierce ice storms that forced the crew to abandon the attempt. The railway dispatcher at Aquila VI confirmed that the railway lines to the outpost were no longer navigable and a locomotive only narrowly avoided tragedy due to the quick response of the engineers on board.

I am considering options for an expedition to the North to investigate the situation. If I can get close by airship I may be able to walk in through the storms. The Carpathia is due to arrive in New-Babbage within the next few days and I have arranged by telegram for transport to a point as close to Aquila IX as the crew feel they can safely take me.

I must end this letter in some haste as Miss Ironside is about ready to set sail in the Swift on her return flight to the island. I will send further correspondence as opportunities present themselves on the journey.

Yours sincerely,
Avariel Falcon.


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  1. Avariel Falcon Avariel Falcon January 16, 2016

    Telegram to: Doctor Westbridge, Lovelace Institute Aquila III.

    From: Professor Falcon, Airship Carpathia.

    Have just set sail from New-Babbage on the Carpathia.
    Hoping for a break in the weather otherwise will walk in with packs.
    Unit 6 left in charge of Aquila XIII but not expecting any issues there.
    Have packed portable wireless set so will try to keep in contact.


  2. Avariel Falcon Avariel Falcon January 17, 2016
    The journey by airship was uneventful with favourable weather all the way to Wuldram Shores where suddenly conditions took a turn for the worse. Faced with raging ice-storms the airship crew had no choice but to abandon the flight to Aquila IX. The airship landed just north of a collapsed railway bridge for just long enough to drop off the only passenger on board.
    Professor Falcon surveyed her surroundings. Now that she was close to the bridge it was apparent that the structure had been destroyed by a considerable quantity of explosives! Bits of the bridge had been blown all over the place and a number of trees were splintered by the blast and flying debris.
    “I wonder who did this? And why...” She pondered looking at the wreckage.
    “Well, there is only one way to find out!” Picking up the harness to her equipment sled the dark unicorn started on the long trek north.
    As the skies darkened and the short North-land day came to a close the weather grew considerably worse. Visibility became dangerously poor as the howling wind drove sheets of snow across the barely visible track.
    Dragging the sled into the shelter of a small copse of fir trees Avariel set about making camp. She put out her rugs and pulled the wireless telegraph set out of its box. Throwing the antenna wire into the trees she set about making her first field report to Mr Pendle back in New-Babbage.
    It was shortly after making her report that she heard a strange noise from on of her packs. There was something alive in there! The pack was moving! Avariel's thoughts turned to spiders, could one of them have got into the packs? Or maybe a giant rat like the ones that had infested Brunel Hall?
    Carefully prodding the pack with her horn the unicorn jumped back as the pack burst open and something leaped out grabbing for her head!
    After a moment of panic and some startled screaming the unicorn found herself face to face with a small white clockwork bunny! 


  3. Avariel Falcon Avariel Falcon January 17, 2016

    Telegram to: Mr Pendle, Clockhaven Wireless Telegraph Office.

    From: Professor Falcon, 63° 17′ 4N 15° 10′ 59E

    Airship Carpathia made good time but hit ice-storms before Aquila IX.
    Proceeding on foot with equipment sled through Wuldram mountain range.
    Discovered rail bridge collapse was caused by high explosives.
    Poor visability with snow storms so will make camp for the night.


  4. Avariel Falcon Avariel Falcon January 18, 2016

    Telegram to: Mr Pendle, Clockhaven Wireless Telegraph Office.

    From: Professor Falcon, 63° 17′ 415° 10′ 59E

    Checking in before I break camp. Bad ice storms overnight.
    Woke up covered in ice. Wind sounded like singing in these mountains.
    Discovered Bunny XXVI stowed away in packs. Useful as Bunny XXVI
    has aetheric sensors and detected aetheric shifts as weather changed.
    Still do not know significance of aetheric disturbance but cannot be good.
    Will proceed further North today. Will check in again this evening. 




  5. Bookworm Hienrichs Bookworm Hienrichs January 18, 2016

    Over dinner, Bookworm Hienrichs told Mariah Lanfier about her recent discussion with Beryl.

    “He’s worried about Miss Falcon going north alone.  Frankly, I am, too.”  At Mariah’s questioning look, she continued, “Well, first and foremost, she’s an important part of this community.  I’d hate to lose her.  I’m also worried about what else might be up there – and whether they could also end up here in New Babbage.”

    “So you’re going.”  It was more statement than question.

    “If something appears to be going wrong… yes.  I think so.”

    “Not alone, I trust?”

    “No.  I’m going to ask Mr. Wright if he’d be willing to come.  Beryl said Tepic likely will, once he hears about it, so Beryl will come also.”

    “And me.”  Mariah grinned.  “It’s about time I see you in action again.”

    Bookworm studied her for a moment, then grinned back.  “Make sure you have enough cold-weather gear then.”

  6. Avariel Falcon Avariel Falcon January 18, 2016

    Telegram to: Mr Pendle, Clockhaven Wireless Telegraph Office.

    From: Professor Falcon, 63° 51′ 1315° 12′ 23E

    Variable weather today but making good progress.
    Bunny XXVI detecting increasing aetheric instability related to the
    erratic weather conditions. Certainly something is not right here.
    Will monitor overnight. Getting hard to take aetheric direction readings.
    We will be navigating by dead reckoning soon if this continues.
    Made camp in an old abandonned mine for the night.
    Will check in again tomorrow morning.

  7. Avariel Falcon Avariel Falcon January 19, 2016

    Telegram to: Mr Pendle, Clockhaven Wireless Telegraph Office.

    From: Professor Falcon, 63° 51′ 1315° 12′ 23E

    Woke up to find footprints outside. Appears to be from a large bipedal
    primate approximately two times the size of a human. Quite fascinating.
    Aetheric compass dead with burnt out focus coils. Will leave behind to
    save weight. Today we travel up hill along the north track.

    • Bookworm Hienrichs Bookworm Hienrichs January 20, 2016

      Bookworm entered the Gangplank, and found Mr. Underby at Mr. Lighthouse’s desk, bent over a stack of papers. She still didn’t – officially – know how all this had happened, but she had her suspicions…

      Larger matters were at hand, though. She cleared her throat, and Mr. Underby looked up. “Good evening, Mr. Underby,” she said, trying to be pleasant.

      “Good evening. I wasn’t aware you were a drinker.” He smirked rather knowingly.

      Bookworm couldn’t help but roll her eyes a little. “I need to speak with you.”

      “I see.” He leaned back in his chair. “Please, do go on.”

      She quickly explained to him about the concerns some people, including herself, had for Avariel Falcon and her trip north, and how she saw the possibility that she and a team would follow after.

      “You can’t send cadets?” He arched an eyebrow. “What if some calamity should transpire in your absence?”

      “If Miss Falcon runs into such trouble as she can’t handle, no, cadets would not do. We are past trouble with the Bear gang now. Other than the spiders, there has been little trouble in the city since then.”

      “I see.” Mr. Underby steepled his hands in front of him. “Well, presumably you didn’t come to me for permission.”

      “If I go,” she replied, stressing the ‘if,’ “it would be for an indeterminate amount of time, so I thought I should inform you and the Clockwinder. I’ll make sure my subordinates in the Militia are able to continue work without me.”

      “Very well. I shall make the mayor aware and let the officials know that the militia may be temporarily headless. I will also make sure the Free Press is not informed of that fact. I’m sure you can imagine possible consequences of news such as that leaking out.”

      “Mmm… true.” Though she wouldn’t have admitted it aloud, the man had a point there. “Well, I won’t keep you from your busy schedule any more tonight. Have a good evening, sir.”

      “Have a good evening Captain, and good luck on your harrowing mission. I am certain you will come back unscathed,” he added dryly. “Your type seems to.”

      “I thank you for your good wishes,” Bookworm replied just as dryly. She threw him a half-hearted salute, and left the Gangplank.

  8. Avariel Falcon Avariel Falcon January 19, 2016

    Telegram to: Mr Pendle, Clockhaven Wireless Telegraph Office.

    From: Professor Falcon, ??° ??’ ??N ??° ??’ ??E

    Sudden storm has blown in. Bunny and I are taking shelter.
    Supplies of apples are running low but we have plenty of tea.
    Clockwork teapot is brewing as I work the key.
    Believe I spotted the primate down in the valley walking away from us.
    The creature was a large bulky primate with shaggy white grey fur.
    Most impressive. Hope storm will break soon so we can continue.

  9. Avariel Falcon Avariel Falcon January 19, 2016

    Telegram to: Mr Pendle, Clockhaven Wireless Telegraph Office.

    From: Professor Falcon, ??° ??’ ??N ??° ??’ ??E

    Made camp for the night in an old optical telegraph station.
    There are a couple of run down buildings and the remains
    of a tower. I do not think this station has been used since the
    old empire collapsed. Living quarters are still mostly livable.
    Weather taking a turn for the worse, heavy snow storms.



    • Bookworm Hienrichs Bookworm Hienrichs January 21, 2016

      Bookworm entered the Essex House, Lady Moldylocks’s new venture, and where, she had heard, Mr. Wright was now living. As she asked the attendant at the front desk if Mr. Wright was available, rather loud sitar music began drifting down from upstairs. A moment later, she heard Mr. Wright’s voice – “He’s got that blasted music going again.”

      She peered up the stairwell, and saw him on the second floor. “Ah, Mr. Wright. Good,” she called over the music.

      The wolf looked down. “Captain, are you looking for me?” When she nodded, he came down the stairs and escorted her into a library. “Mind the dogs,” he said, indicating a few lean hounds sprawled around on the floor. “To what do I owe the pleasure of this house call?”

      “I have a… proposition for you.”

      “I’m not joining the militia, if that’s what you’re asking,” he replied hastily.

      She smiled a little. “No, not that.” She went on to explain again about Avariel, and her planned rescue mission, if it was needed. “I was hoping to hire your services, if we do go. I’ve seen how very useful you are in a fight. I’d rather not be… unprepared.” She smiled crookedly.

      “You’ll want my tracking skills, too, I’d wager.”

      Bookworm nodded, and went on to tell him who else was likely to be involved in the trip, and roughly where they were going.

      “So, you’re leading an expedition into the harshest climate around?” He took a long sip of his whiskey. “You really do need my help, don’t you?”

      “Very probably.”

      “You can count on me, Captain. Telephone the hotel when you have news. Assuming you have one, that is – this is the first time I’ve seen one in a private business.” He nodded toward the instrument sitting on a table near the library entrance, as they left the room.

      “The new militia headquarters has one.”

      “I should talk Canergak into installing one at the hospital and the asylum.”

      “Yes, that would be useful. Would’ve been useful earlier.” She smiled wryly. “Thank you for your willingness. I’ll be in touch.”

  10. Avariel Falcon Avariel Falcon January 20, 2016

    Telegram to: Mr Pendle, Clockhaven Wireless Telegraph Office.

    From: Professor Falcon, ??° ??’ ??N ??° ??’ ??E

    Wild weather overnight. High winds and blizzard conditions.
    We were attacked by a savage monster in the night.
    Appeared as a distorted hairless human with elongated limbs.
    The monster charged with astonishing speed. I managed to hit
    it with a couple of laser bolts that put it on fire but it continued
    to charge towards us forcing me to impale the beast to stop it.
    Visability is very poor today but will press on as I want to put
    plenty of distance between us and this place before nightfall.


  11. Avariel Falcon Avariel Falcon January 20, 2016
    In the wireless room onboard the airship Carpathia junior wireless officer Jenkins listens to the mid-day static when suddenly…
    CQD CQD CQD de AQ13F AQ13F AQ13F
    Being stalked by multiple large pack hunters. Visibility poor.
    Cannot escape them with sled. Have to abandon equipment.
    Can hear them getting close. Have to s



    • Beryl Strifeclaw Beryl Strifeclaw January 20, 2016

      After the Carpathia contacted Mr. Pendle with the horrific news he called for city messengers to fetch Captain Hienrichs and several other parties.  The messengers didn’t have to search long to find Beryl.  They just had to listen for the violin.

  12. John Wright John Wright January 21, 2016

    Wright had spent the last few days packing supplies into a rucksack, much like the ones he kept hidden in various locations throughout the city. Inside were canned meat and beans, mostly high protein, high fat meats for the cold northern climate, a small pot to boil water or beans, several boxes of ammo and matches, bottles of whiskey, bandages, morphine. enough for at least a week if he rationed it well.

    he laid his old duster out on the couch, and set to work on the various holsters for his weapons, one for his back, two under the arms, two at the hips and one on his leg. he laid out the weapons he’d bring with him on the table, the Mauser was coming, along with the two smith and wessons, and the Browning .45 prototype he’d recieved as a retirement gift. Next he set down his eldest brother’s old henry, the old girl wouldn’t fail him, it hadn’t yet, and a shotgun, one of the double barrels.

    Yes, that would be packed away for now he thought as he set about dilligently cleanining each weapon from the inside out.


    All he had to do now was wait for book to call.

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