Archivist note: This post is from an older recovered archive.
The Ashiko Kuroe Case – Dr Beck Receives His Orders.
((Posted by Ryne Beck on June 17, 2010))
The owl gazed at Dr Beck with eyes as inscrutable as time itself. For his part, Beck stared back with his one open eye full of confusion and sleep. He propped himself up on his elbows and blinked a few times. The owl sitting on the back of his chair failed to vanish and instead stared coolly back him.
“Erm, hello?” Beck mumbled. The owl blinked once very, very slowly. “You’re one of the Mayor’s owls, aren’t you? One of his messengers?”. Blink. Beck stood up and gingerly walked towards the owl as if it were a fiver pound note on a windowsill in danger of blowing away. The owl just sat and watched him. “Do, er, do you have a message for me then?”. Blink. Beck waited. The owl watched him. Beck shuffled his feet a little. The owl tipped his head almost imperceptibly in such a way as to make Beck feel decidedly nervous. “If you do, may I have the message, please?” he asked. The owl did nothing for a very, very log second before tucking its beak under its wing and pulling something small out from its feathers and flicking it towards Beck. The still sluggish doctor missed it and it fell to the floor at his feet. He bent to examine it and saw it was a small, folded piece of paper roughly half an inch square and one eighth of an inch think. “Thank you. Does the Mayor expect a rep…?” he stopped as his hair was ruffled a sudden breeze and he looked up to see a small cloud of soot fall from his chimney as the owl left. “…ly. I’ll take that a no, then” he completed to himself. He looked at the paper in his hand for several seconds before unfolding it. It was a letter from the Mayor himself, handwritten in his swirling spidery script…
To: Dr. R. Beck. No. 13 Shamian Alley, Shanghai, Stlhd.
Following your rather vocal appeals to the citizens and civic leaders of New Babbage over the recent incident involving one Captain Kuroe I have been visited by a representative of Mayor Tenk who wished to discuss the matter as well as possible solutions.
To cut a long tale short the accused will receive a fair trial in a location still to be decided (although I favour Steeltopia, it is possible that Caledon may be chosen). In the meantime, and following rumours not only of limb amputation but also of beatings meted out to the prisoner, I have agreed you will travel to the William Wilde Hospital in the Academy of Industry in New Babbage and act as his personal physician and, after a fashion, his guard until the trial is completed and justice seen to be done.
I realise you are a busy man and therefore I have booked you on the noon steamer from Steelhead Harbour to Clockhaven.
Travel well and I know I need not remind you to uphold the proud reputation of our city at all times and be the best ambassador we can expect, so I won’t.
Mayor of Steelhead & Environs.
Beck read and re-read the letter several times as the full weight of its message sunk in. He had to go back to Clockhaven. Today. Now. He had to pack. He had to be ready and on that steamer in time, Steelhead was counting on him. “Oh God, I need a cup of tea,” was all he could say.
Half an hour after the Clockhaven Queen had paddled away from Steelhead and out to sea with a nervous Beck onboard a tall, worried Chinese man was knocking on the locked surgery door. He was scared and upset. Back at home his wife had sunk further in to the darkest places of her mind and had become all but lost to him. He was sure she was in danger from herself and he needed the English doctor to come and help. The doctor had been so good to his wife since their child had been snatched and killed. The doctor would be able to help. The man knocked louder, “Dr Beck! Dr Beck! Li Fe father! You come help Dr Beck! Please come help!”
==Comments (page 1)==
*Comment by Mr Underby on June 17, 2010 at 9:04am
You will be looking long and hard for the Hospital in Clockhaven, good sir… I believe your mayor’s information is out of date.
*Comment by Ryne Beck on June 17, 2010 at 9:40am
((Oh bugger… where’s that edit button?))
*Comment by Ryne Beck on June 17, 2010 at 9:45am
cough carry on…
*Comment by Mr Underby on June 17, 2010 at 9:47am
*Comment by Mr Underby on June 17, 2010 at 9:48am
It’s in the Academy, by the way.
*Comment by Ryne Beck on June 17, 2010 at 10:03am
((noted and amended – this should be a lesson to me not to rush a post together at work before an important meeting… but let’s face it, it won’t be :D ))
*Comment by Stargirl Macbain on June 17, 2010 at 12:18pm
((haha, in fact, I would suggest you ALWAYS do it that way. GIve you something to fret about during the meeting…))
*Comment by Bookworm Hienrichs on June 17, 2010 at 12:33pm
((Ahh, unintended repercussions in your departure. Nice touch!))
*Comment by Zaida Marie Thibideaux Gearbox on June 17, 2010 at 12:37pm
Imma confused. If’n Mr. Lunar only a mayor den why Mara an’ udder grow’d ups in Steelhead always callin’ him "Lord?"
*Comment by Tepic Harlequin on June 17, 2010 at 1:02pm
well… mayors are usually elected, Zaida, fer to do stuff for a place, but someone can also be a toff, an the top ones can be Sirs or Lords or even Kings! When addressing a Mayor, you usually use Your Worship, but if you is a Lord, Your Lordship or Your Grace trumps the mayor title…. errr… it gets a bit complicated after that…
==Comments (page 2)==
*Comment by Grendel Footman on June 17, 2010 at 1:20pm
because teir mayor doesn’t wind clocks, so clockwinder would be an inappropriate title.
they may jut be caught unable to think of any title other than "lord’
*Comment by Skyler ‘Artful Dodger’ Gant on June 17, 2010 at 1:43pm
As Tatsuya *Opens left eyd as the loud horn of a ship could be heard. Tats stands up, moving toward the edge of the pier to read the name on the edge of the thing. Nodding, he sits down, waiting to great whoever gets off the ship*
*Comment by Ryne Beck on June 17, 2010 at 2:25pm
((@Stargirl – LOL! I’ve written posts *in* meetings before, on my phone so people thought I was taking notes and being super efficient :-D ))
((@Bookworm – The death of poor Li Fe, the Chinese child from the slums of Steelhead Shanghai, is actually connected to New Babbage as it was the monster Creaky Gloom who killed (and ate!) him as RPed by the Scamps & Urchins who came to Steelhead from Babbage last year. I fear Dr Beck will return to firther develoments in that sad story.))
My dear Zaida & Mr footman, I do believe that young Tepic is right, although I can’t swear to it. I, too, have heard many folks call the elf mayor "Lord", but as a plain speaking Northener (of England I hasten to add, Manchester born and bred) I have always used Mayor or Sir or even a simple Mr Eclipse. He seems a decent sort who wouldn’t mind a bit if someone used the wrong (or even no) title for him.
*Comment by Ryne Beck on June 17, 2010 at 2:26pm
((@Tatsuya – I don’t think Dr Ryne & Tatsuya have met, but given his contact with the Scamps in Steelhead he would be more that happy to locate an Urchin willing to be his guide to the Big Soot :) ))
*Comment by Skyler ‘Artful Dodger’ Gant on June 17, 2010 at 6:50pm
((Tatsuya’d be more than happy to show Ryne around. Hopefully Ryne doesn’t mind a tiny clockwork dragon Urchin. XD. That’s what Tatsuya is.))
*Comment by Ryne Beck on June 18, 2010 at 1:42am
((LOL! I’m sure the good doc would take it in his stride… I have to say you have the most inventive collection of characters ever! :-D ))
*Comment by Ryne Beck on June 18, 2010 at 1:44am
((If Tatsuya or anyone else would like to discuss RPing together, just drop me an email at headburroantfarm @ gmail . com :) ))
*Comment by Sheryl Skytower on June 18, 2010 at 8:02am
In her upper writing sanctum in Clockhaven, Sheryl Skytower twitches. There is something afoot with her cousin Tatsuya and that can’t be good.
*Comment by Fuzzball Ortega on June 18, 2010 at 3:14pm
I’ve never called Lunar "Lord". I think it may have to do with the fact that he hates to be called "Mayor", even though that’s his title, and people wish to use a form of address towards him that shows respect. Me? I call him Lunar, or That Elf In Charge. But, a Lycan tends to march to the beat of his own drum.
*Comment by Skyler ‘Artful Dodger’ Gant on June 18, 2010 at 4:29pm
A sly smirk grows on Tatsuya’s face as he watches the ship get closer to shore. This may be his chance to cause trouble, given the passenger(s) aboard are willing to cause trouble, to.