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Orpheus and the Dark Aether – Chapter 19: End Game

~Sometime in the future~

Orpheus sat at Loki’s, sipping at would most assuredly be his last absinthe ever. Across the street he could see some of the townspeople trying to fight off the creatures now flooding into our universe from beyond the Aether. “Well, old boy,” he said to his glass, “we’ve failed. The city has fallen, and we are all dead men.” While he sat there, he played with the ring that he had once again removed from behind the loose brick. “Moriarty certainly won’t be missing this, and it is such a nice ring.” He placed the ring into a folded square of cloth and put it in his pocket. He got up from the table, picked up the pack he carried with him and headed for his Tardis, zapping the occasional crab with his screwdriver. The chime from the bell tower told him that it was almost time for him to put his final plan into motion.

At last, he reached the Tardis and locked the doors behind him. He removed the contents of the pack and began to lay them neatly into a large wooden crate. While the rest of the town, at least those who hadn’t evacuated before it was too late, scurried around fighting the various Aether Creatures let loose by the Van Creed’s failed attempt to harness the power of the aether gas, Orpheus had been running around town on a different mission. He gathered up artifacts – pictures of buildings, portraits, jewelery – anything that he felt represented New Babbage in her glory days. He had raided the archives and taken anything dealing with Malkuth, the Knights, the incident with the homunculous, and especially any and all documents from the Van Creed regarding the Aether Pump. There were letters, films, and finally the cloth covered ring. Orpheus took out one last piece of paper and wrote a short letter. After placing the letter in the box, he sealed it up and addressed it. Looking at the clock he knew that Jimmy and his ship would be leaving soon. He prepared the transmat beam to piggyback off the frequency being used to send Jimmy back. If everything worked, the items inside would be transported back as well, and delivered to his past self. With enough foreknowledge beyond what that blasted Writer told, he could prevent all of this.

Orpheus threw the ships engines into full blast and quickly found where Jimmy’s ship was launching from. He would only have a few seconds to transport the crate, so he had to be careful. He made one final adjustment, shut down his ships shields, and waited. Alarms began to sound. He looked in his view screen. Jimmy’s ship was airborne, and a large energy vortex was beginning to surround it. It was time! Orpheus hit the transport button and watch as the crate dematerialized. He hoped it would not be too late.

As soon as the crate vanished, Orpheus checked his screen again. The ship had vanished into the vortex, but the aether creatures still advanced. Why weren’t things changing? Had their attempts to change the past been thwarted? Was the town still doomed? Orpheus was lost in thought when the ship shuddered. Sparks flew from the console.


Orpheus fell as the leg of one of the creatures smashed through the wall of the ship. He rushed over to the Eye of Harmony, where he saw that all containment was failing. The ship was being filled with…. the same energy coming from the cracks. He had an idea.


With one final bit of fight in him, he coaxed the ship away from the swarm of creatures pouring out of a new crack. Another monster slammed into the ship, knocking him to floor again. He hit his head on the way down. Struggling to keep conscious, he pulled himself up. It was too late… The Tardis fell into the rift and exploded.

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  1. Orpheus Angkarn Orpheus Angkarn December 15, 2011

    ~Present day~

    Orpheus had just left town hall, checking on the writer, when a messenger carrying a large crate came up to him.

    “You Mr. Angkarn?” the boy asked. Orpheus nodded. “This wot come in the mail for you. It’s been burried for weeks, we just done found it.” He handed the crate over and ran off again. Orpheus was worried. First, it seemed as if time and the book were quickly approaching each other, and the future was here. Now he was getting strange packages delivered to him months after they arrived? He pried open the crate and saw artifacts and documents, all of which were too familiar. He found a note on top, written in his own handwriting. He hadn’t written this, had he? He picked up the note and began to read.


    If you receive this package, know that it was sent with the best intentions. We have tried to stop the beasts, and we have failed. I am most assuredly dead now, you are our last hope. They have sent Jimmy back in time to deliver a device to the Clockwinder, but I fear that will take too long. I have managed to send you these documents. Use them and stop the pump from being built. The survival of New Babbage is at stake!


    So, he had tried to influence his own past to help the city, but his luck being what it was, the documents that would have prevented all of this had been lost until it was too late. Curse his fate! He had to find a way to seal up the cracks at last, and quickly before they let loose an army of monsters into the city. He fired up his ship and prepared for the unthinkable. He was going to fly INTO the rift and seal it from within! He had one last piece of business to take care of.

    Taking a cue from Jason Moriarty, he found a secure hiding spot that no one would find by accident. In it he placed his journals and his own family ring. He then sent letters to many of his closest friends in the city; those friends who without their help he would have perished long ago; Mr. Canis, Mr. Lighthouse, Mr. Stillwater, the Sonnersteins. In it he explained what he was doing and why. He understood the risk that going into the crack would cause him to never have existed, but it was the only way to seal the cracks. Each was told about his journals and instructed to “always remember.” As he had seen with Arnold, a strong enough will could counter the cracks’ ability to remove one from existence. Arnold had been able to return from “beyond” and so would he. After all, no one had a stronger will than the people in New Babbage. Journals secure and letters sent off to be delivered, Orpheus activated his engines and prepared for one final flight.

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