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August 15 — Why is it Always Me?

On the other hand, I must admit that I do learn things in these confrontations with Dr. Obolensky.

We gathered Saturday evening at the Port Babbage docks–Captain Undertone, myself, Miss Lekvoda, and a few non-militia people, including Mr. Satu Moreau, whom I’d met a little over a week ago.  A certain Sgt. O’Cod was there as well, who gave himself out as a retired reservist.  We steamed and sailed across to the observatory–I in Sgt. O’Cod’s vessel.  And it was there, really, that I got my first intimation that something was wrong.  When he became angry as one of the other boats crossed his bow, there was something familiar in his tone…

And there was the matter of how well he navigated the treacherous waters around the observatory.  Not to mention the fact that his accent was all over the map.  And then, as he was stashing his too-large gun among the crates of shrimp that had somehow replaced the bullets that were supposed to be brought, I caught a glimpse of his eyes under his too-large helmet.  Eyes that were very familiar…  But I kept telling myself I must be mistaken.

Lesson #1: Listen to your instincts.

We climbed up again, after Jimmy flew up with his mechanical pack and confirmed that the place was empty, and set to work rendering the lab unworkable.  After about 10 minutes of this, though, who should appear but Professor Parx, the wheelchair-bound man who had shot Miss Mactavish at the Ball last October?  He immediately started yelling at us for wrecking [i]his[/i] laboratory, and going after [i]his[/i] ruby!

With those words, everything suddenly snapped into place, like a jigsaw puzzle, and I finally saw events clearly.  It was [i]Dr. Obolensky [/i]who had sent me that note, to set the militia against Professor Parx, to drive him out the the observatory!  The Doctor was also after the ruby for his own nefarious purposes; perhaps he would have tried to steal it from Militia headquarters, but the Professor had beaten him to it.  So now, he had joined us here, in the guise of Sgt. O’Cod, to see to it that his plans were successful!

Lesson #2: Stop.  Trusting.  Anonymous.  Letters.

I actually swore when I realized all this.  And when I whirled to the machine, I saw him calmly reaching for the ruby inside it.  I drew my revolver and ordered him to stop, but he tried to bluff his way through.  So I fired a warning shot–one that, I must admit, shaved closer than I’d intended; it grazed his helmet.  But that was just as well, for the bullet knocked his helmet back, revealing his familiar visage.

I was furious, absolutely furious, that I’d fallen for his schemes again.  And that’s when I made another mistake.  All of my attention was bent on him; I paid little attention to anyone else, especially Professor Parx.  I remember now that he made some very angry comments directed at me, especially when I mentioned the note, and that I’d been the one to bring it to the Militia.

Lesson #3: When there are two or more villains in a room, do not direct all of your attention to just one.

All I remember is feeling a sudden shock, rather like the one Dr. Obolensky had given me in the same building just a few months ago.  The next thing I knew, I was waking up with a splitting headache.  The others told me that Professor Parx shot me with some kind of electricity-based gun, and then made his escape.  I’d forgotten his wheelchair could fly.

I was badly shaken by what had happened, but at least I was able to discover, on the back of the death ray blueprint I’d taken from the desk, the true owners of the ruby–a museum in Belgium.  I informed Captain Undertone about that, and then, with Mr. Moreau’s help, descended from the balcony by the rope.  Mr. Mannonen had arrived shortly before I regained consciousness, and kindly ferried myself and Mr. Moreau back to the docks.  From there, Mr. Moreau escorted me back to my apartment, and even came in to make some soothing tea for me.

I am feeling better today–physically, at least.  Mentally, I’m still castigating myself for everything that I missed, everything that I fell for.  But no, it’s not just because Dr. Obolensky made me look bad.  Others followed me to the observatory, others who could also have been injured because of my stupidity.

Next time, if there is a next time, I will–I must–do better.

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  1. Bookworm Hienrichs Bookworm Hienrichs August 15, 2010

    ((*sigh*  For a better-formatted version of this, [url=]go here.[/url]))

    • Cyan Icewolf Cyan Icewolf August 15, 2010

      Fixed it for you. For now disable rich-text in order to add paragraphs.

      • Bookworm Hienrichs Bookworm Hienrichs August 15, 2010

        ((Thanks!  I did do that at first, but I thought it didn’t work.  Maybe because I went back to fix something, and that enabled the rich-text again.))

  2. MichaelD Mannonen MichaelD Mannonen August 15, 2010

    Miss Hienrichs, your desire to improve your investigative skills is commendable, and I encourage you in this area. But I fell compelled to tell you this…
    You HAVE done better THIS time.

    Just because this incident did not go the way you had anticipated, please do not discount it as stupidity. Look at the lessons you have learned; look at how differently you handled this from the previous incident at the observatory. I would say you handled this quite well, and, even though you did not forsee Dr O’s plan from the beginning, and even though he has regained his observatory, he did NOT get the ruby. THAT would have been a significant problem, and thanks to your intervention, he does not have it.
    You have foiled THAT portion of his plan.

    You are quick to note what you perceive as your failures. Please, give yourself as much credit for your successes.

    • Bookworm Hienrichs Bookworm Hienrichs August 15, 2010

      I suppose you are right.  But I’m afraid I can be rather a perfectionist at times. *wry smile*

  3. Cyan Icewolf Cyan Icewolf August 15, 2010

    Wow. Glad you are okay Ms. Book.

    As for Dr. O…. I think he might like you, I mean before I left, he seemed to mention something about marrying you. Although he was rather mumbly after everyone left.

    • Bookworm Hienrichs Bookworm Hienrichs August 15, 2010

      *is utterly speechless*
      ((Typist is utterly speechless with laughter.))

      • Sheryl Skytower Sheryl Skytower August 15, 2010

        *starts hummin’*
        Going to the chapel and we’re…. gonna get marrrrrriied!
        Well, I was at Dr. O’s last attempt at a wedding, so… and this *is* New Babbage.
        *begins rolling on floor with laughter*

    • Stargirl Macbain Stargirl Macbain August 15, 2010

      *giggles eevily and drops a note off to the local rag-mag*: Dr. O to propose to Miss Bookworm!  Wedding of the century! Good Vs. Evil as you’ve NEVER seen it before!

  4. Sheryl Skytower Sheryl Skytower August 15, 2010

    *sneaks up steps*
    *places tea tray with freshly baked cookies at door*
    *raps on door and waddles away*

    • Bookworm Hienrichs Bookworm Hienrichs August 15, 2010

      *answers rap and finds cookies*
      *smiles and brings in the tray, munching on one of the cookies*

  5. Professor Parx Professor Parx August 17, 2010

    I would have succeeded too if it wasn’t for those meddling kids!

  6. Breezy Carver Breezy Carver August 17, 2010

    Oh Dear Book don’t Please be so Hard on yourself .. think of the lovely new home You could have !!
    On the Sea … the Beautiful Sea .. You do love the Sea  now don’t  you ?? Ah and Doctor O he must  be just so Pleased ..  ((smiles))
    /me  bats eyes ..     twirlsss   away with a smile

  7. Queer Hermit Queer Hermit August 20, 2010

    Shakes her head and walks back to the grave yard.  Mac will take this ever so hard.  I just hope he does not start to haunt Doctor O’s home!!!

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