((The following is a page someone in London finds from Harper’s Weekly, with date so smudged as to be unrecognizable. This is just explaining their presence in Babbage – Art and Lily also RP in Pandemonium (London) and will continue to do so))
Off to a new land
London society bid farewell this week to Lady Cavendish and author Arthur Serpente who have announced plans to relocate to a New Babbage. Mr Serpente explained in a visit by your correspondent that he is exhausted by making the rounds of polite society and elsewhere owing to the extraordinary popularity of his books, the 6 Habits of Highly Effective and Polite Vampyres, and Vampyre No More, and will be upon scholarly retreat. He indicated the departure has nothing to do with persistent claims that various unexplained body parts have been found in Lady Cavendish’s scientifical laboratories or the reports of lesser classes of missing parties in the area of the Cavendish and Serpente compound, which local bumpkins have affectionately christened “The Pit.”
Mr Serpente did express great dismay at the state of Scotland Yard and certain inquiries as to bodies missing from graves, saying there was never any evidence to connect them to himself or Lady Cavendish.
Mr Serpente indicates he has signed a contract to write a third book, “To the Moon, Mars and back: How Aliens Can Explain the Phenomena and Preternatural Marvels of Ancient Egypt, Various Wonders of Technologie, the Americas, Various Heretofore Unexplained Phenomena such as the Bustle and Mayonnaise, the Misleading Fossil Record and in Conspiracy with Secret Societies such as the Brotherhood of the Rosy Cross have Advanced Societies in Such Ways that Wise Citizens Will Wish to be Aware, With Particular Reference to the true Authors of Shakepeare’s Plays and the Mysterious Source of the Zombeh Affliction, Boils and the Plague of Manly Exhaustion.”
“Don’t let the short title fool you,” Mr Serpente averred, before this correspondent could even speak the question. He continued, “It is my intention, thanks to my unparelled journey to shed my vampirism and what I have seen and experienced, plus my collection of tomes and occult periodicals, to produce irrefutable evidence of the visit of aliens long ago and their influence upon secret socities who then in turn changed civilization in ways that continue even unto this day.”
It was this moment that Mr Serpente anticipated the next question. “And no, there is no evidence the aliens walk among us today. You will have to come up with another explanation for the Welsh.” His comment is followed by a hearty laugh.
Our discussion is punctuated by a loud scream coming from immediately above us. Mr Serpente makes a motion of reassurance to me, as if I should simply sit. “That would be Lady Cavendish, who continues her experiments about the zombeh affliction.” He reads my expression of concern and quickly adds “Oh no, the screaming is not Lady Cavendish, it’s the scream of the future zombeh. She is dissecting hi… I mean, it. She has revealed a number of insights that await publication for what I know is an eager scientifical community.”
At that point, a hand crashes through the door behind Mr Serpente, and he looks up with vague disinterest. The hand is making a clutching maneuver, and shreds of wood are impaled upon portions of the wrist and the third finger. I hear a melodic voice, though perhaps filtered with just a hint of strain, “Sorry darling!” I then hear a clanking and grinding sound, an even louder scream than before, and the hand suddenly goes limp, hanging from the door as if it was now a doorknob.
Mr Serpente, glancing slightly in the direction of the door, proceeds to reach for an old, tattered volume and present it to me. “If you wish the secret about aliens, look no farther than the Voynich Manuscript, which belonged to Queen Elizabeth’s conjuror, John Dee.”
I open the page and see an odd script and what seems to be a bathtub full of women, and several tubes. The script is so incomprehensible and illustrations so compelling, that when I look up, i see the hand is missing from the door, and Mr Serpente has picked up a small sheet of thin cut wood that he is tacking up on the hole in the door. I note that it joins about eight other such patches on the door, and then I look back down at the manuscript.
((Here is the page that he opens to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Voynich_manuscript_bathtub2_example_78r_cropped.jpg ))
“What on earth does this mean?” your correspondent inquires.
“The reason no one has interpreted this mystery before is that they do not have access to the life experience and travel and journey that I have, as well as the library,” Mr Serpente comments. “My relocation to New Babbage is to allow me proper focus for even I have just begun to unravel the tale. It’s clear, however, to me already, that what you and others have taken to be a large bathtub is in fact an alien craft, of a design seen in Mayan, ancient Babylonian and Swedish etchings from before Christ, and the material the women are in is designed to perpetuate their life in the long trip from Earth to another planet. As to what planet, and why, other than to satisfy alien lusts, is unclear, and thus awaits my study. It’s my intent to assemble my libraries, now scattered in seven different locations, into one place for focused study, scholarship and meditation.”
Your correspondent cannot help but ask another question. “I have had some difficulty finding this New Babbage on a map, sir”
Mr Serpente smiles. “Lady Cavendish picked it out. She has always chosen excellent spots for our travels. What could go wrong?”