A portal appeared. Not the violient angry rend in the world that had appeared once. It was small, and possible not noticed save by those who might be looking for such a thing.
An airship entered the skies in the fields north of New Babbage, a small thing, though oddly out of style with the craft of the region. It carried a number on its tail in romain numberals, 108, belonging to the Delator division of the Armada.
The captain of the craft surveyed the wall. There were defences but no one manned them, nor was any noticed seemingly taken. Whatever this place was, they had found no evidence of the person who had once attacked them and destroyed one of their battlecraft. The communications ship set their aetheric transmitters to cover all wavelengths being broadcast in the vicinity and began to attempt communicatin via a simple code.
“Send the message,” the captain ordered to his communications officer.
IMPERIAL FORCES RESPOND.
Adjusting her cap, the captain frowned. “It’s just a small city of some sort. It could be anywhere. We may have wound up in Dakota for all we know.”
CALLING IMPERIAL FORCES
Looking out at the terrain the navigator/mechanic shook his head. “I doubt it. Looks familiar but then again not quite. I would almost say.” whatever it was he was going to say, he didn’t finish.
The captain sat back in her chair and took the yoke. They began to inspect the city, at first only flying a perimeter over the wall and the powerful looking ray guns. She knew what the navigator had wanted to say. That looked like the old wall, long since surrounded by suburbs, in the sleepy old town of Babbage.
THOSE LOYAL TO CROWN AND BUILDER RESPOND
“Either no one can hear us, or no one is loyal.” The Communications officer said. They were still transmitting overtop of some baroque music. The Captain thought she recognized the composer.
Still no responce. The city was not heathen, they’d seen the spire of a proper cathedral. They tramitted the same message again. By now there was little risk, and the exploration ship flew over the city without incident.
“A port town, does a lot of trade.” The Captain observed. ” Look at that, they seem to power everything with.. coal?” It seemed depraved, and disgusting, like a high civilization run by human-flesh eating cannibals, somehow. The other two crew members looked in revulsion.
Finally there was a responce .Of all things it was a sarcastic remark that they had called the wrong receiver. The reply was immediate
MESSAGE WAS RECEIVED.
A short wait, and the reply came “What?”
The captain took over the code key, “DO YOU LEAD THIS CITY”
The responce from this Pseudo-Babbage was quick, “Do you land the city there?”
Everyone looked at each other, “This guy’s high” the Navigator offered.
“I think it otherwise. It could be our code did not go through, or there are differences in what we understand the code to be.”
DID NOT RECV
The person in the city replied, “Did you receive”
“COPY LAST TX” the communications officer replied, almost habitually.
“Whoever he or she is, they are toying with us.” the captain decided at last. “No further replies. Continue to copy their broadcasts and terrain. We leave in two hours before the portal may close. Make sure the filters are purging the air here if we have to take oxygen. I don’t want that sooty filth getting in our lungs!”
The ship returned north of the wall and continued its visual, waiting for some sort of responce that would make sense to them.
(ooc; thank you Kristos for all the translating)