The past week had been busy, but now everything was going ahead fine, so Tepic had a few hours for himself. He had heard of the appearance of some strange machines, and determined to hunt them down and investigate.
Rooting around his camp, he unearthed a ragged paper with a City map and the stub of an old pencil, one of the ones Mr Tenk gave to the urchins to record their dice throws, then it was off to the first machine, the one he had heard of in the old Palisade Wall graveyard.
There it was, in the back, sticking upright like a weird, glowing grave marker, taller than Tepic and bigger round than Tubby at his most rotund! It was partly buried, appropriate, Tepic thought, for something in a graveyard, with a ring of earth around it, as if it had either grown upwards at a fast pace or maybe landed from above with great force. Maybe it was like the strange automatons that landed from the Moon last year? Behind a transparent panel machinery could be seen whirring and turning, though with little noise. As Tepic approached closer there was a chilling cry from within, as if of some poor soul in torment. His ears and tail drooped on hearing such a sound, so sorrowful it was, and he resolved to return and play some music for whatever creature was within, in the hopes of bringing it some comfort….
Off to further the search, for rumour had it that there were several of the objects about, he came across the Lady Macbain, who after exchanging pleasantries, told him of one possibly hidden near the Port district, down by Cuffs. Tepic sped away, and searched all around the streets to no avail, even dropping down into the sewers. Then, turning a corner, he saw a strange red cloud puff from a grating set in the pavement, very much like the red cloud he had seen from the first machine. Kneeling down on the cobbles, he put his ear to the ground, and faintly could hear the dreadful sound. Sitting up, he pulled the ragged paper from his pocket and marked a second cross….
The next two were easier to find, one of the urchins telling him about the one under the old theatre, and a citizen suggested that there was one in the gardens near the Peirmount. He found both, marking them carefully on his map, then studied it for a while, before heading over to the Ruby Pub……
He was searching the area around the pub when Miss Avariel came by, and they chatted for a while. Tepic showed her the map with the strange machines marked on it, and how they made a sort of curved line across the middle of the City. It might not be important, but he had wondered if they were spaced evenly, in which case, maybe there was another in the vicinity. Miss Avariel volunteered to keep an eye open on her daily runs, but neither of them could see any trance of another machine, perhaps it was a red herring?
Whatever the mystery, it seemed important to unravel it, if they were to avoid the dreadful story that was being written by the strange machine in City Hall!