He sat alone in what was apparently one his rooms, since to all intents and purposes he was Jonathon Spires, local businessman.
The knife had been sterilized in alcohol, something this “New” Babbage had plenty of at hand, at least. The knife went into his upper arm, and connected with another foreign object. The man cutting into himself bit down on the spoon. This wasn’t nearly as bad as the night in the Huxley-Wilde center, nights before.
Digging in with a pair of stolen forceps he found the biomedical info chip and removed it. Capital crime where he lived, but necessary here. One had to blend in.
The night the two physicians, Doctors Sonnerstein and Sinclaire. What had he ranted under the influence of pain and morphine? Doctor Sonnerstein had an ill look about him, and seemed to trust his patient not at all.
The next morning while no one had been looking, Capt. Spires left the hospital through a labyrinth of tubes, realizing only later that he’d been undersea the entire time since some concerned farmers had brought him in there. The city that faced him was one he had not been prepared for. Triumphant in its grandeur, as if it had sidestepped the lessons of history and gone its own way. He’d found himself near the library by happenstance and visited there through most of the day, finding out what he could of history and local custom.
It was only later he’d ran into someone who known his doppelganger. A bit of bluffing here and there sufficed to find enough to find this room.
The medical chip would have a homing beacon once removed. Perhaps if there were agents of the Empire here, or if anyone else had made it though the void, they would locate him. He packaged it along with his uniform, all he had left of an old life, and wrote a note with it, to be sealed in a brass tube he’d stolen from the curious postal system. He wrote in a code specific to the Admiralty, which no local would be able to decipher.
To Whomever finds this with wisdom to discern.
Captain John Spires
His Imperial Majesty’s Air Service
During the battle with the angle on July 1st I became trapped after the loss of my ship in the course of the matter. My crew fought to the best of their ability, and should any of them survive, I request they be exonerated of any inquiry to the loss of Airship 2791. I shall present what I know to have occurred to the Admiralty Court if I am able to find a way to return.
Should this message be found and returned to Bumpopolis without locating me, I ask also that it be entered into legacy accords that my status as free citizen first class, my estate, and all possessions pass into the hands of my only son Charles Spires, Warrant Officer HIMAS as I will be unable to return, and shall be for all practical purposes, dead to the world. Send him my fatherly affection and pride.
Should anyone loyal to the Emperor read these notes and find themselves in need of assistance, or seek me for what I hope shall be rescue for this strange land, please see the enclosed maps I have drawn. They will guide you to the appropriate place. If you are familiar with the old walled city of Babbage, you will find that the Ancient Wall still exists, as well as the Cathedral itself. The members of the Cathedral will provide you with food, I have discovered.
Long Live Emperor Cleon III
May He Triumph Over Dread Heaven,
The letter was sealed and wrapped up in the silver uniform. When he had the strength to do so, after a day’s rest, he returned to the place of the crash, and hid the parcel under a small flat stone not far from the horrible crash. The small pond looked untouched. There was a rotting corpse inside it, that looked just like him, but it was time to move away from this place. It was time to blend in.