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Orpheus and the Dark Aether – Chapter 5

New Babbage – Midnight

The City had a sort of calm to it this time of night. Despite the appearance of several strange devices and the impending doom of its destruction, at this hour everyone was asleep and the City stood in all its glory beneath a star filled sky (although the smog covered most of it). For the moment it seemed as if nothing could disturb the calm….

That was, until the blue Police Box came suddenly out of the clouds, doing what could best be described as “half flying, half crashing.” Inside, the ship’s lone inhabitant did his best to pilot the vessel. He had acted upon a theory. The temporal quarantine had halted all forms of time travel, including the Aetheric Portals and his vessel. He still had standard flight capabilities, even though the ship wasn’t as well equipped for such travel. Still, he had to see something, so he had flown off into the night a few days ago to head for America. He had contacts there who would be happy to help with the investigation.

As it turned out, the strange devices were not showing up amywhere else, or at least, no one was reporting them if they had been. Orpheus showed his friend, Mr. Burrell, a crude photograph he had taken of the canister in the sewer. “Such a device would have created a panic, therefore I can only assume none exist here,” he had been told. Orpheus returned to his ship, both relieved and afraid now that it was confirmed the danger was limited to the confines of New Babbage. He knew that whatever horrors these devices contained would not be limited to New Babbage for long though, and he vowed to do everything in his power to prevent the events in the book from occuring.

Orpheus managed to regain some control of the ship’s descent as it touched down outside of City Hall. The whole flight back his mind had been thinking of that book. He rushed inside to find that another page had been written. He was horrified to find that Victor knowingly sent Mr. Branagh back in time, where it was guaranteed that he would cross his own time stream. Were times that desparate? He checked the papers for the last few days and discovered that more devices had surfaced around town. He wondered whether there was some sort of pattern. Also, it seemed the Dagonites were being blamed. He didn’t trust the church, and he knew what it was like to live in a world run by their terrible gods. He didn’t know how, but he had recollections of a London controlled by the Old Ones, though that seemed more nightmare than actual memory. But were they really capable of this? And how did Moriarty fit into this? He would have to wait until morning to start asking around. For now, he went back into the Police Box and went downstairs to his quarters, determined to get a few hours of sleep at the very least.

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