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Orpheus and the Dark Aether – Chapter 7

29 October, 188~

Orpheus woke up from one of his many naps. His self imposed exile did not leave him much to do besides nap, tinker on his non-functional Tardis, and think. Not necessarily in that order of course. Earlier in the day he had been experimenting with ways to try to beat the timelock on the city. Of course he had no success, as would be imagined. Since he failed again, there was nothing to do but nap.

During that nap he had a dream, and when he woke up he immediately ran to the console and began swapping wires and diodes. He moved with a pace unmatched during any one of his previous repair attempts; it was as if some other force guided his hands. After a few minutes he placed the cover back on the panel he was working on. Somehow, he knew this would work. He flipped a switch, expecting to hear the familiar “THUMP THUMP” sound. Instead, the usual grinding sound came from the console as it faded from its place outside the city wall. Orpheus looked out the window of the exterior hatch to see the the swirling blue glow of the vortex. Never had he been so happy to see that energy fly by! He punched a few key strokes looking for a suitable landing spot. He entered the coordinates and pulled the lever again. The grinding sound happened again as the vortex faded, replaced by the stone walls of the power station. A quick scan showed that he had moved through space, but not time. He stepped out and bumped into young Scald Sonnerstein.

Scald stood blinking as the man stepped out from a column that lowered into a sewer cover. Orpheus asked if he would like to go with him on a trip. After a bit of cajoling, Scald agreed. Orpheus lifted the sewer cover off and Scald stepped into the column, followed by the ship’s captain. As Orpheus repeated the process of pulling switches, punching key strokes, and the like, he moved from Clockhaven to the Vortex, and finally appeared inside of the Brunel Hall, where the two passengers stepped out into a lobby decorated for an Hallow’s Eve party. Orpheus had a good chat with Scald, where he learned that the boy had once lived somewhere where the laws of physics allowed for an interior larger than the exterior surrounding it. This home was lost, and the trip made him sad. He also showed the older gentleman how he could talk to plants, which impressed Mr. Angkarn. Finally Orpheus left Scald behind and stepped into the Chinese Cabinet. He programmed it to take him back to the spot outside the city wall.

When the third flight landed successfully he did a quick check on the systems. Again he confirmed that his flights had moved through the Vortex, but in real time and it seemed to only work within New Babbage or its immediate vicinity. He began to copy down how the wires were connected. Mornington would kill for this information. (Well, maybe not kill… you know what I mean)

Speaking with Scald had cheered Orpheus up quite a bit. Earlier he felt that his recent development of electrically charged hands had doomed him to being the destroyer of New Babbage. Now he felt that maybe he could be of use to save the city. He needed to walk to think this over.


Darkness fell and he found himself at Miskatonic University. He didn’t know how he got there, but his feet just lead the way and he followed. He stepped into the lobby and found Kristos relaxing. Once again, the two men talked long into the night about recent developments. Orpheus explained that contact with one of the macines had triggered a near-regenerative state which produced the potentially hazardous electric discharges. He also shared his fears about being the “electric man” from the book, only being mistaken as Moriarty. Kristos assured him that he had seen Moriarty and that he was beginning to break down, making it more likely that he was the man, and not Orpheus, responsible for the city’s demise. All this made Orpheus feel better and he renewed his pledge to keep the city safe.

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One Comment

  1. Shon Tempest Shon Tempest November 3, 2011

    I must congratulate you on your ingenuity and I have relayed
    the modifications to the High Council. Have a pleasant day The Philosopher.

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