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Taking care of other matters – Corruption P2a

Mornington had spent the better part of 3 hours, rummaging around in the basement of his house in clockhaven.  The door of his TARDIS was wide open, which was also in the basement of his house, something which Mornington rarley done, but he was looking for something… something he knew he had…

After rummaging around in the basement for a further hour he walked out of the house and over to Brunel shouting for a messenger or Urchin.  Little tubby stomped up to Mornington and nodded.

“Ello mista goatlegs… ya wan something delivered?”

Mornington held over a large hessian sack bag.  Inside it was a rare example of a pre empire collapse Tyrolian wall clock, with all parts still intact…but of course horribly in disrepair and in need of that special care that only the clockwinder could give.  He also included a note in the bag which read…

“Dear Clockwinder

Please find enclosed in this bag something which you may find interesting.

As far as I know this clock is one of the few ones which still has the original cogs still in order…but it needs a lot of attention.  The clock is yours.

Sincerely… V.M”

Mornington grinned…

“That should keep him busy for a while…”

He strolled back to Brunel and helped himself to a double Chivas gold, and lit up a cigar… still grinning.

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  1. Junie Ginsburg Junie Ginsburg May 27, 2013

    It’s like throwing grains of sugar in front of a fairy creature.

  2. Mr Tenk Mr Tenk May 29, 2013

    Tenk opened the lid of the candy jar to let Tubby take his tip while Mr. Underby looked at the child with not a little contempt. “One,” said Tenk. “Don’t be greedy or you are not coming up here anymore.”

    Tubby mumbled his appreciation as Mr. Underby shooed him into the elevator. There was Important Work to do. No time for dawdling with children. Important. Work.

    Tenk unwound the twine that held the bag closed while Mr. Underby continued his litany of city business for the week. When he looked up to see if Tenk was paying attention, he saw the little man reverently lifting a clock from out of the nest of straw that had been protecting it within the hessian sack.

    “Tyrolian…” Tenk whispered. “Imperial seal. Not a reproduction. I wonder…”

    Tenk found a key that fit the action and wound it the old clock. The clock did not tick, but a sequence of mysterious clicks and thocks came from inside the wooden box. A filigreed lever tried to turn, but only jerked impotently, then a pair of carved doors flicked open and a jeweled trumpeter swung out onto a little threshold. Tenk counted to himself as the trumpeter blew his horn, one, two, three….

    Mr. Underby stopped what he was doing, regarding the scene with the expression of an annoyed cat. The clock had struck 16 before something inside of the mechanism jammed and brought it all to silence. Tenk kept his eyes on the clock, reaching for his wallet of tools that lay rolled up on the shelf.

    Mr. Underby continued where he had left off as Tenk turned the clock over and opened it up.

    Mr. Tenk did not look up when Mr. Underby slid some correspondence across the desk for Tenk’s signature. Underby pursed his lips, tapping a bony finger to them in thought.

    “MR. TENK,” Underby commanded.

    “Go away,” said Tenk in his soft quiet voice.  “I have work to do.”

    Almost as if someone had suddenly lifted him up by the collar, Underby stood up to his full height.

    He looked the Clockwinder, looked to days’ agenda, then looked to the Clockwinder again, who was carefully guiding the thinnest of screwdrivers into the depths of the clock movement, quite oblivious to the world.

    Mr. Underby bridled.

    No one talked to him like that. Even if he was the mayor.

  3. Mr Underby Mr Underby May 29, 2013

    Underby stepped out of the City Hall lift with a snarl curled on his lips.  Striding toward the west door, he planned to walk toward the Messenger Depot, looking for a child.  Any child.  He needed news, and swiftly.  Mornington thought he could just send an elaborate clock to the mayor, and be about whatever reptilian deeds he had up his sleeve this time?  The gall of it, the very gall, to send this… ‘gift’ right under his nose. 

    He attempted to throw open the doors in a fury, but they were thick lacquered mahogany, and exceedingly heavy.  He slowly pulled one open with a grunt, and heard a dry chuckle from behind.  Dorchester stood, placing a tall familiar hat onto his own head, laughing.  “Pitiful display.” he said.

    “Quiet you.” Underby said, placing his own top hat on his head.   “What do you know about Mornington’s plans, anyway?” he asked, scanning the alley outside City Hall.  It was bereft of urchins. 

    “Squat.” the small man spat out.  “You had me working on sewer regulations all day, so don’t be expecting me to spy for you when you have me working on tunnels full of sh-” 

    “Alright alright, enough.” Underby said, waving a hand.  “Go get your pint, and be off with you.”  

    The small man tipped his large hat, and strode off toward the Rusty Cog: a favorite of City Hall civil servants.  Underby let him round the corner, out of site, before he continued toward the Messenger Depot, lighting and enjoying a cigar in the meantime. 

    At the North end of Perdido Street, Underby came across Gilhooly chasing off a boy in a dark suit who had tied an empty tin can to a rat’s tail.  After untying the can and setting the rat free alongside the tram tracks, he stood up and brushed his hands off on his ragged trousers.  “Cor, these lads t’day… tsk tsk tsk…” his whiskers twitched.  “Dunno wot’s got inta em.”  He turned from watching the rat scamper off, to squint up at Underby, shaking a little as he did.  Their relationship had always been… complicated. “So, er… wotcher wontin then, Mr U…?” 

    Underby breathed in deeply through his nose, gaining height with the move, and puffing his chest up as he did so: getting into character.  Tipping his head back ever so slightly, he peered down his nose at the urchin.  “I  need information.  Information on dear Mr Mornington.”  Underby thought about that ridiculously elaborate clock, and decided whatever Mornington was working on must be big.  “Anything he might be doing could be valuable information, so let your cronies and goons know that I shall pay for useful information. Useful information, mind you.” he pointed at the boy with his cigar.  “Do NOT tell that fat little oaf.  If he comes to me, I shall cut off your tail with a carving knife, myself.” 

    Gilhooly’s eyes went wide.  Underby smiled.  “So, just don’t tell him.  Correct?” 

    “Cor…cor…cor…” he managed. 

    Underby went to pat the lad on the head, but Gilhooly snapped from his catatonic state, and dodged out of the way at the last split second, Underby’s hand patted through empty air.  Gil, already on the opposite side of the tracks, turned back to Underby.  “I can already tell ya one fing, Mr U… Mr Mornington’s drilling up all over the area in Wheatstone.” 

    Underby deflated.   

    “He..what?  Drilling?” he asked.  His cigar hung from his lips.  “He can’t be.” 

    The rat boy grinned a little, which was not as visible to humans as it would be to other rats or mice.  Nodding, he said: “Yup, drillin like, late inta the evenins and early in the mornins… it’s drivin the people in the area ‘alf mental.” 

    “But he doesn’t have a permit.” Underby said.  Blinking, he turned toward City Hall. 

    Gil coughed loudly.  Underby stopped.  “Oh… yes.” he said, pulling a quatloo from his coat pocket and tossing it to the lad.  He turned back toward City Hall, a dark cloud passing across his features.


  4. Victor1st Mornington Victor1st Mornington May 30, 2013

    …and now… it begins…

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