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Orpheus and the Dark Aether – Chapter 17: Endgame

Orpheus stood in the lobby of the University building enjoying a hot cup of coffee. Doctor Sonnerstein’s class on cryptobiology had just concluded and everyone was gathering for fellowship. Gadget of course had planted himself right next to the dessert table and had already finished 4 slices of pie. As Mr. Smythe left, Orpheus had the strange urge to follow him.

Once outside, Orpheus was stopped by a woman interested in enrolling in classes at the university for the following term. After helping her out, Orpheus looked up to realize that Mr. Smythe was long gone. About to go back inside, Orpheus heard the voice. Faint at first, then louder and louder, it told Orpheus to go to the Van Creed Factory. At first Orpheus tried to ignore it, but he knew that he could not. It was the same voice he heard when he found the Woe Tree, the same voice he heard coming from the cracks, and he realized the same voice he heard in his nightmares ever since he fell asleep in the factory weeks ago. The voice of Malkuth, telling him he did not matter, nothing mattered.

Once again lost in the despair that he knew his death was approaching, and that it would not matter, Orpheus did as the voice commanded. He knew something was amiss when he approached the building and saw that the loose boards had been replaced with a proper door. It was locked, but nothing that a little sonic screwdriver could not handle. Orpheus let himself in, preparing himself for the sudden wash of despair that accompanied such large quantities of the dark aether gas…

Nothing happened. Orpheus turned the corner and found that a large device had been constructed over where the hole in the floor had once been.


He ran up the stairs and saw some sort of control panel had been constructed. A quick scan revealed that not only was the Aether pump fully constructed, it seemed to be fully operational as well!


The Van Creed had also taken the time to set up part of the Porta Terrarum device, although Orpheus could not be sure what for.



Orpheus ran out of the factory, despite the voice calling to him. He didn’t know where to turn, he felt as if the world was collapsing around him. He found himself back at the University. Orpheus flung wide the doors and stood panting.

[18:54] Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein: Welcome back, Mr. Angkarn
[18:54] Gadget Ancalimë: If you come back for pie you is too late
[18:55] Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein tilts his head. “You alright?”
[18:55] Orpheus Angkarn: pump…. aether…. built…. van creed……
[18:55] Gadget Ancalimë: Bugger
[18:55] Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein: I saw the pipes, they’ve already assembled it?!
[18:55] Orpheus Angkarn walks over to a chair to catch his breath
[18:55] Cyan Rayna: The Van Creed have made a pump now?
[18:55] Gadget Ancalimë: Oh dear
[18:55] Orpheus Angkarn: thats better
[18:56] Stormy Stillwater: Ah, that’s what Gadget and I saw the other night.
[18:56] Orpheus Angkarn: yes, I was just over there
[18:56] Orpheus Angkarn: the pump is fully operational
[18:56] Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein: Oh no..!
[18:56] Lady Andrea Lindsay: Van Creed? these are the guys that moriaty was looking for!
[18:56] Cyan Rayna: Well he saw the pipes but not the pump.
[18:56] Cyan Rayna: That’s not good…
[18:56] Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein raises a brow at Lindsay
[18:56] Gadget Ancalimë: Aye, theyve put the pipes together sounds like
[18:56] Orpheus Angkarn: they also set up that portable terrarium device
[18:57] Cyan Rayna: The beginning of the end is coming… if we can just not let the book come true.
[18:58] Stormy Stillwater: Oh dear.. seems New Babbage is upon the edge of destruction… for the eleventh tiem since me movign here…
[18:58] Gadget Ancalimë: Well I better get back to *farts* excuse me,
[18:58] Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein smirks.
[18:58] Lady Andrea Lindsay: too much cake
[18:58] Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein: Good night, Gadget. Be careful
[18:58] Stormy Stillwater: Good night, Gadget.
[18:59] Stormy Stillwater: Be safe!
[18:59] Orpheus Angkarn: good night gadget
[18:59] Lady Andrea Lindsay: night
[18:59] Cyan Rayna: Night Gadget
[18:59] Scald Sonnerstein waves
[18:59] Gadget Ancalimë: Night all….aye, got things to do….seeya’s all about and all
[19:00] Stormy Stillwater: Now, miss reality device.. What were you asking about the University?”
[19:00] Orpheus Angkarn: sorry to interrupt, just thought you guys should be warned
[19:00] Orpheus Angkarn: i must attend to some business of my own. Good night
[19:01] Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein: Be careful, Mr. Angkarn

Orpheus left for the second time that night and wandered through the streets. He soon found he had wandered to the bandstand at the park. His legs were getting tired, and he thought a rest might help calm him down. He had finally shaken off the voice of Malkuth, or whatever it was. As he leaned back, feeling his eyelids grow heavy, his thoughts turned to the spirit of New Babbage.

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