Orpheus sat at his console. Life aboard the ship was starting to get dull. Each day, dozens of Babbagonians (?) departed for safer lands away from the Dark Aether. He wondered how much longer the lands outside New Babbage would be safe. Even yesterday he received a letter from overseas; cracks were starting to appear in Boston, although with different side effects because of the absence of the Dark Aether. Orpheus’s daily routine was starting to enter a rut. Research, read the Book, avoid the creatures. At least the entries were starting to come slower and slower. Although that was probably due to the fact that the event was getting closer and closer, although still many years off by his calculations.
He couldn’t take the monotony anymore. He decided he would go out for a walk. Tonight the ship was docked near the Wheatstone district. He had taken to moving the ship to avoid crab monsters (or Moriarty and the Van Creed for that matter). He made his way past the Piermont. “Curious,” he thought, “that I know events shall occur there, but I haven’t made myself familiar with the layout, just in case. Another time perhaps. A stroll through the garden sounds more relaxing however.”
As he strolled through the park he became aware of the smell… not the flowers that he expected, but something much more foul. As he passed a large tree he heard the moaning call and saw the one-eyed monstrosity off in the distance. “Of course!” he shouted, immediately covering his mouth, hoping the thing hadn’t heard him. He remembered that Miss Falcon had mentioned a canister surfacing in this park. How could he have been so careless?
He remembered hearing that the crab monsters usually hung around the canisters, and so he hid behind the tree, keeping an eye out. He saw no crabs, but he saw something much more worrisome. An elderly woman dressed all in black was also walking through the garden. She moved as if she were unaware of the danger she were putting herself in.
The creature focused its large, glossy eye on her and let out a moan. Orpheus tried calling out to her, but she ignored him. The crabs would certainly be here soon, with all that wailing going on. Orpheus ran from the tree to the well. He would act as a diversion, allowing the lady to escape. [img_assist|nid=4092|title=|desc=|link=popup|align=left|width=640|height=330]
He charged the monster, throwing clumps of mud at it. “Hey One-Eye! Go home, you ain’t welcome here!” A thick glob of mud hit the thing squarely in the eye and it let out a mind bending scream. Instantly a swarm of crabs made their way towards him. “Please let this work,” he thought as he turned to run. This was the first time he had seen them up close. He had seen the drawings in the factory, and heard their horrid scratching and ticking in the sewers, but to see them this close was WAY worse than he could have imagined. And for being mostly crab, as well as no depth perception, they moved very quickly![img_assist|nid=4093|title=|desc=|link=popup|align=left|width=640|height=330]
Orpheus ran back towards the Piermont, hearing that ticking growing closer and closer. There was no time to try for inside, so he did the next best thing. He held his breath and leapt into the canal. The murky water shielded him from those beady eyes; hopefully they would get bored and leave before he ran out of air. “God, I hope these buggers can’t swim,” he thought. After a minute he heard the ticking trail off as they went back towards their guardian.
Orpheus climbed out of the cold water and sloshed his way up the street, until he found himself at Emerson’s place. Strike that; Sir Sir Emerson’s place. He had heard that he had returned, and wished to discuss his travels. Orpheus knocked on the door, to no reply. He knocked again. Again there was nothing. “Emerson must be out celebrating still, but shouldn’t Arnold answer the door?” he wondered. He went around back and heard the horrible moaning. “Right…. damn….” he muttered. He looked around the corner and saw the creature, as well as that damned crack.
Suddenly without warning a swarm of crabs climbed over the larger beast and ran towards Orpheus, leaving him no choice but to run faster. He found the back door to the lighthouse locked, ran around to the front, and found it open. He let himself in and slammed the door shut, barely locking it before the crabs made their way up the stairs.They clawed and scratched as Orpheus tried to catch his breath.
After checking that the lock was holding (as well as sonic-ing it for added protection) Orpheus looked around. The place was mostly spotless; Emerson had apparently not spent much time at home since arriving back in Babbage a few days prior. Orpheus climbed the ladder to the top of the building. He crossed the gap to the next building and made himself comfortable. As the sun rose over the horizon, he watched the streets below. Now he knew the crabs occupied each canister location. It was going to be more dangerous to find them all himself now.
Hours later, when he was sure things were calmer, Orpheus made his way back down. Neither Emerson nor Arnold had returned. He opened the front door and looked out on the city. His time at the cannon had given him plenty of time to think. He would leave the crabs to the Militia. He would focus on the Cracks. Reality was tearing itself apart faster. He needed somewhere to keep an eye on the cracks. “Hmmm…. This place is pretty close to one of those cracks…. This would be a perfect place. But how to do it….”