Archivist note: This post is from an older recovered archive.
((Posted by Doc Miggins on May 28, 2010))
Doc Miggins never saw the New Babbage skyline. The fog materialized about 15 miles out to sea, solid ivory mist; the bow of the ship had disappeared into the ghostly vapour, and even the sea was hard to make out. Miggins was reminded of what Ol’ Babcock had told him before he left the Black Hills: “Babbage, eh? Get ready for The Weird.” The capitalization of the last two words was apparent through emphasized intonation. Miggins chuckled it away. He didn’t believe in nonsense like that.
Watching the clouds of fog move around him, those words came back, and chilled him. He reached down into his pocket and found Mary, his standard flask… Old Faithful, his backup flask, was in his inside breast pocket, as usual. It was comforting to know it was there. He took a quick nip, and then saw the flash of a lighthouse through the gloom.
He was in New Babbage.
Standing on the dock was a tall thin man dressed entirely in black. His tall top hat rose into the fog like a chimney pipe. He stood perfectly still.
When the boat was docked completely Miggins stepped down and looked around. “Excuse me,” he said to the man in black. “I am the new town coroner, might you direct me to the town mayor? A Mr. Tenk I believe it is.”
The tall man smiled and moved closer. “Oh, I see,” he purred. “the mayor is, unfortunately, unavailable this evening. He and his people are involved in a special dinner, a somewhat religious matter.”
“Ah.” said Miggins. “That puts a crimp in my plans.”
“Have no fear my good friend, fortune smiles upon us this eve. I happen to be personal advisor to the mayor, and would be happy to entertain you this evening.”
Something in the man’s demeanor struck Doc as wrong, but he didn’t want to be impolite. “Ah, thank you… sir.”
“If you do not have accomodations I could show you to a hotel,” the man suggested.
“How very kind, though I suspect they have a room for me at the hospital.”
“Of course they do. And so close to the haunted Academy. Charming.”
Doc Miggins blinked. “Haunted?”
The man in black waved this question away. “A charming fancy, surely based more in tourism dollars than in fact.” Something in the man’s tight smile said otherwise, however.
“I didn’t think people still believed in ghosts in this day and age.” Miggins said, gruffly.
“Oh, people here believe in all manner of things that go bump in the night… ghosts, werewolves, vampires… sorcery…”
“Hmmph.” Miggins said, being able to think of no other response.
Suddenly the man turned. There was something wrong with his eyes, but it was hard to say what exactly. “Well,” the man said. “here we are… this is the hospital.”
“Ah, thank you. Again. I’m glad I was able to meet someone from the local government to show me the way.”
“Yes.” the man said. “So am I.”
He stared, and smiled.
“Well.” said Doc Miggins. “Good night.”
The man bowed deeply, turned on a dime, and strode away into the fog. They fog now seemed to be moving.
“Superstitious twaddle.” Miggins said, and turned toward the hospital. As he began to open the door he realized he never got the man’s name.
*Comment by Cyan Icewolf (Cyan Rayna) on May 28, 2010 at 3:01pm
Welcome to New Babbage Dr. :3
I’m sure you’ll soon have your hands full of all the Weirdness that Babbage likes to throw upon us, especially since you’re in the morgue.
*Comment by Moses Mureaux on May 28, 2010 at 3:50pm
Welcome to New Babbage. Mind the sewers. And everything else.
*Comment by Arconus Arkright on May 28, 2010 at 4:03pm
The man in black forgot to mention the aliens, robots and evil masterminds. The monsters and magicians are only the night shift.
*Comment by Cyan Icewolf (Cyan Rayna) on May 28, 2010 at 4:06pm
Well if you want to get technical he left a lot of things out. I mean we could write a book or two on the things he left out I bet.
*Comment by Ceejay Writer on May 28, 2010 at 4:58pm
My coffee is ghost-free! I wonder if the new coroner might stop by for a cup.
*Comment by Stargirl Macbain on May 28, 2010 at 7:18pm
Welcome to new babbage, come to the ‘Plank for a pint. You’ll need it. Trust me.
*Comment by Doc Miggins on May 29, 2010 at 9:51am
I shall do just that… I’ve now been introduced to zombies as well. Hell…
*Comment by Tepic Harlequin on May 29, 2010 at 1:09pm
zombies…. must make a Coroner’s job a bit more…. difficult? imagine someone turning up to dispute the officially recorded reason for their own death….. anyway, welcome ter New Babbage, i guess you will be busy!