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Orpheus and the Dark Aether – Chapter 1

Saturday, Evening

A few minutes after the Police Box disappeared from outside Cuffs and Collars, it reappeared again. Orpheus stepped out, no longer resembling the undead. He stepped back inside the bar.

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Thermite apologized for throwing potatoes at his head, to which he told her he had long since forgotten about it. Orpheus began asking if anyone had been at the meeting that afternoon. He had received a transmission that there was an urgent meeting, but he had not been able to arrive at the designated time. Unfortunately, no one had any credible information to share with him. He departed again and made his way towards the docks, where a large group of people was gathered.

Doctor Sonnerstein, Aurora Yardley, Captain Von Thesium, and Mr. Melnik were discussing the creation of a Mer Embassy in New Babbage when Orpheus joined in their discussion. He apologized profusely for any damage he caused to the hospital Friday night. Doctor  Sonnerstein assured him it was ok, and that no one had been hurt in the flooding.  It was a very interesting conversation, but eventually talk shifted to the events at the meeting.

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Orpheus learned that while everyone was gathered at City Hall, there was a strange disturbance and an airship came through. An old man gave Mr. Tenk a strange box containing a peculiar automaton, and then returned to his ship. Unfortunately, the trip must have caused some damage to the ship because it proceeded to crash and explode, leaving no survivors. What was even more peculiar was that the old man seemed to be an older version of Jimmy B.

Upon learning this, Orpheus became very concerned.

“This is not good!” he exclaimed. “The universe is supposed to prevent these things from happening. One should not be able to cross their own time stream.”

“How? I would think one such as you might know, Mr. Angkarn… if my nose is correct…” responded the doctor.

Mr. Angkarn gave the Doctor a knowing nod. “Yes, despite what many in town believe, time travel is fully realized with the proper methods. However, crossing your own time stream is impossible, else paradoxes can rip time in two.”

Messrs. Angkarn, Stillwater, Von Thesium, and Dr. Sonnerstein, as well as Miss Yardley debated as to how such an occurrence could happen, and what a paradox of that magnitude could do to the town. Then Dr. Sonnerstein  continued his narrative. Shortly after the ship crashed, the mechanical device in the box began writing an account of the destruction of New Babbage from the perspective of one who witnessed the destruction. The Scribe was placed into the Hall of Records in City Hall, where it was on display for the public to see. The group decided to go to City Hall to check it out for themselves.

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When they got there, they found the mechanical man with his journal standing there just as the doctor had said it was. One of Miss Falcon’s service units was on loan from the power plant, acting as a guard as well. Orpheus read the account, which described the destruction of Piermont and the impending battle for New Babbage.

Orpheus was concerned by what he read, as was everyone else. He knew what he must do. He left the group and ran to his Tardis. He knew the best way to deal with this would be to research the History of New Babbage. He set the Tardis to take him to Zenobia Station, where there was quite an extensive library, much of it provided by (or will be provided by) Mr.

Mornington.

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