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An Unfortunate Display of Temper

‘That was a most foul experience.” said Petharic, wrinkling his nose in distaste at the putrid puddle pooling about his feet, lamenting the toll the Clockhaven sewers had taken on his shoes and finely tailored trousers. “But I appreciate your guidance nevertheless. How fortuitous Emerson Lighthouse never saw fit to shore up this means of access to his establishment. Now it will be possible to take him completely unawares.”

“My friend Gil sleeps down here sometimes.” said Johnny Dawkins indicating the space beneath the bakery ovens. “A real nice one Gilhooly is; If you want t’ find your way under the streets ‘round about this end of town, he’s the urchin t’ ask.”

‘That’s nice,” Petharic said, though he didn’t appear to be listening as he was distracted by the crates piled precariously atop each other backing against the damp stone wall. If he was not mistaken there was a faint glow coming from one on the very bottom labeled ‘NOT CAVORITE.’ He pursed his lips tightly and shook his head wearing an almost pained look. “It is really quite amazing that Lighthouse has lived this long.” he said, drawing one of the Colts from its holster. “You want to know something Johnny?” Petharic asked before answering his own question without waiting for a response from the lad. ‘There was a time when my greatest foe, Emerson Lighthouse, and I used to be friends.’

“Really?” The urchin sounded incredulous.

“Well, not friends exactly, but we had common acquaintances… and now it has all come down to this.”

Petharic was just about to make his way to the stairs leading up to the bar when they heard the unmistakable sound of laughter drifting down.

“Do you hear that son? It sounds as if people are talking upstairs. Sneak up and see who it is. If it is just Lighthouse and that skinny bartender of his I’ll shoot them both. But I’m not one to hurt innocent bystanders so make sure it’s just those two. I’ll hide behind these crates until you return.”

Petharic made his way behind the crates, squeezing passed what appeared to be a large painting wrapped in a curtain. After several minutes the boy returned. “Mr. Petharic, sir.” The boy called out into the gloom, then looked relieved when he saw Petharic step from the shadows.

‘There’s four of ‘em up there sir Mister sir.” informed Johnny. “Mr. Lighthouse, Mr. Malus, the missus – Miss Ginsburg, and her friend Miss Kaylee.”

“That would be ‘Miss’ Ginsburg, or ‘Miss’ Juniper” clarified Petharic. “She’s nobody’s missus.” Petharic paused looking somewhat agitated. “What are they doing up there?” he asked the boy.

Mr. Malus and Miss Kaylee, they is just talking about grown up stuff. Mr. Lighthouse and the missus are dancing.’

Petharic looked up sharply. “Dancing you say? What kind of dancing?”

“What do you mean, sir mister sir?”

“I mean is it a jitterbug type of dance, or more like a rhumba? Surely not something as risque as the lombada?”

“I’m not sure about all that…” replied Johnny, somewhat confused. “It’s more of a kissy-face, smiley kinda dance I would say.”

“Dammit!” cursed Petharic turning and kicking the nearest crate. They barely had time to register their surprise at the sound of breaking glass before the floor suddenly imploded in a cloud of dust and debris beneath their feet. Both Petharic and Johnny, along with the crates dropped from sight. Miraculously, the curtain-wrapped portrait remained in the corner undisturbed.

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  1. Junie Ginsburg Junie Ginsburg May 8, 2012


    *narrows her eyes*

    Someone’s crate-stacking algorithm was incorrect. Every broken bottle of rum is coming out of your tip can, Squire!


  2. Brother Malus Brother Malus May 8, 2012

    My stacking was sound! Someone must have got into the place and messed with it! I said you need to replace the iron grates that lead into the sewers so we don’t have to man the Gangplank 24/7  from looters, but you just don’t listen!

    • Emerson Lighthouse Emerson Lighthouse May 8, 2012

      I can admit it, you were right Squire.

      By the way, if you still want that night off to satisfy your post adolescent pursuits you’ve got it… just as soon as you climb down that hole with me to get my cavorite back.

      • Unit 3 Unit 3 May 8, 2012

        Unit would be happy to assist you with any retrieval needs you might have in hazardous underground environments.

    • Junie Ginsburg Junie Ginsburg May 8, 2012

      Wait…what?  Did you say something?

  3. Victor1st Mornington Victor1st Mornington May 8, 2012

    He…just leaves that painting…LAYING AROUND ON THE FLOOR?!


    • Emerson Lighthouse Emerson Lighthouse May 8, 2012

      Not that I’m admitting to having something you might be looking for… but if I *did* have a certain something I should tell you someone came by the Gangplank the other night searching for it… whatever it is ;-)

      By the way, can I have a loan to fix the Gangplank floor?

  4. Avariel Falcon Avariel Falcon May 8, 2012

    Yes, gates will do the job, then you can safely leave everything unguarded.

    *nods while checking readings from the portal generator*

    • Emerson Lighthouse Emerson Lighthouse May 8, 2012

      Avariel… I’ve been meaning to ask you just how stable the foundation of the power plant might be… not that you have anything to worry about mind you… I’m just curious is all.

        • Arconus Arkright Arconus Arkright May 8, 2012

          A new ad slogan for the Tourism Board: “Come to New Babbage! It’s almost safe!”

          • Junie Ginsburg Junie Ginsburg May 8, 2012


            *sits down at the drafting table*

            • Avariel Falcon Avariel Falcon May 9, 2012

              The power station is a very old building with an extensive dungeon like network of tunnels, laboratories, generator rooms, strange rooms with undefined purposes, mushroom caves and a secretish underground chess den.

              Even Unit #6 does not know what is on the lower levels, and he has been around a very long time indeed!

              • Junie Ginsburg Junie Ginsburg May 9, 2012

                What Junie hears:

                “Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, mushroom caves, blah, blah, blah, blah…”


                • Avariel Falcon Avariel Falcon May 9, 2012

                  Blah, blah, blah, mushroom men, blah, blah… ^_^

                  • Emerson Lighthouse Emerson Lighthouse May 9, 2012

                    *dons the mushroom-huntin’ goggles and sneaks across the back alley very covertly clutching a burlap sack while the Mission Impossible theme blares in the background*


                    • Orpheus Angkarn Orpheus Angkarn May 9, 2012

                      Don’t lie Emerson…. you’re less “mission impossible” and more “John Belushi sneaking to the sorority house in Animal House”…

                • Kristos Sonnerstein Kristos Sonnerstein May 11, 2012

                  Haha, that was my typist’s hearing going on there too. “Omg! Mushroom caves! Yay!” And no doubt for a different reason.

  5. Cadmus Lupindo Cadmus Lupindo May 8, 2012

    In the dead of the night, a skiff silently glides towards the dock. Two figures unload a crate.

    “Why di we na take some of that Chivas ‘e is always gahn on about?”

    “That would have been too obvious. He won’t miss a bottle or two of this stuff. ”

    “Capn. Why does ‘e ‘ave a paintin’ of the goat man?”

    “Not sure I want to know. I will send off a wire about it and the special crates. That should get the Society off my back for a while.”

    • Victor1st Mornington Victor1st Mornington May 9, 2012

      What the… o.O




  6. Orpheus Angkarn Orpheus Angkarn May 9, 2012

    Deep in the sewer system, the Maestro thought he heard a crash coming from off in the distance. “Can’t go back…. must get out…. the smell…..” <retches>


    ((By the way… just how many clandestine organizations are trying to get their hands on this portrait? What did you DO Victor?))

  7. Tepic Harlequin Tepic Harlequin May 10, 2012

    Slowly making his way through the sewers to check on the widly spaced vole traps, Tepic sensed something was slightly different….. He stopped and peered into the gloom beyond the range of his lantern, straining to see if there was anything dangerous ahead….

    Something brushed lightly against the back of his neck, and there was a squeek. He lept straight up, spining 180 degrees in the air to land, crouched and ready, facing his assailant. Looking back at him was the slightly worried muzzle of a sewer rat, level with his head, floating gently in the air….. Tepic’s eyes widened, this was not really normal behaviour for the rat, then he stood in amazement as the creature rose gently upwards, coming to a stop as it’s back hit the roof of the tunnel. The rat squirmed, squeeked again, then flipped over, feet now firmly on the ceiling. It looked down at the boy, seemed to shrug it’s shoulders, squeeked almost appologetically, then scampered into the darkness, still upside down.

    “Oh….” the fox boy said to himself, “that’s….. odd.”

    He shrugged his own shoulders to himself, then headed off on his rounds, hoping that his voles would keep their feet on the ground, and occasionally glancing upwards, scanning the ceiling for movement….

  8. Avariel Falcon Avariel Falcon May 10, 2012

    Unit #6 looked at the readings from the lower turbine room… “Hmm… Cooling… system… malfunction…”.

    The hulking clockwork picked up his toolkit and stomped off towards the lower levels to investigate…

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