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The Dunsany Brick

“Can anyone see the bottom?” asked Emerson as he held the lantern over the edge of the pit which was once the floor of the Gangplank’s cellar.
“I don’t see anything at all.” said Junie waving away the dust that still filled the air.
“What was in those crates anyway?” asked Gilhooly who had arrived only moments earlier expecting to crawl into his little sleeping den beneath the ovens.
“Mostly just bar supplies…” Emerson answered. “…and some machine parts…” he hesitated. “…and a small supply of cavorite.”
“Cavorite?” Kaylee shook her head. “Are you planning to go to the moon?”
“Mars actually.”
“With cavorite?” she said, stifling a smirk. “You don’t know the first thing about flying to Mars do you?”

“I’ve been self-educating.” hedged Emerson, “Are you saying cavorite won’t work?”

“Oh, it’ll work, eventually, but ya really wanna be mixin’ it with a bit of apergy, which seems ta harness the force which binds matter. Cavorite’s an earth-based element so its got certain earthly restrictions ‘bout it. Also, it’s strictly bound by the laws of gravity. Lotta people think it’s a propellant but that ain’t the case, ya need a constant line a sight ta the earth in order for it ta work. But used properly, it can accelerate ya at a rate a 32 feet per second… the same acceleration rate as an object, like a cannonball, falling ta the ground from off a buildin’ say.”

“32.2 feet per second actually.” clarified Malus who had just joined them carrying about 100 feet of coiled hempen rope.

“You seem to know a lot about a secret substance that has yet to be documented.” remarked Emerson, impressed.

“Cavorite ain’t so secret, and ya don’t need documentation if ya know the right people.” Kaylee smiled before continuing. “Its terminal velocity varies, but is around 67 000 miles per hour, the average speed at which the earth orbits the sun.”

“67 062 actually.” clarified Malus.

Kaylee glared at Malus before continuing. “The distance between Earth and Mars varies depending on their orbits but based on what I believe ta be the current distance, it’ll take ya 62 days ta reach Mars by Cavorite alone. You can cut that time by two thirds if ya mix a 60/40 split between cavorite and apergy.”

While the details of what Kaylee was saying was of interest to Emerson, he became distracted by a loose brick hanging precariously at the side of the pit. He picked it up and turned it over in his hands. After brushing it clean of dust, he read the word ‘DUNSANY’ stamped in its side.

“How odd. Has anyone here ever heard of ‘DUNSANY’ before?” Emerson looked about but everyone just shrugged their shoulders. “32 feet per second you said?” he queried, looking over at Kaylee.

“An acceleration rate of 32 feet per second.” confirmed Kaylee.

“32.2 feet per second.” interjected Malus.

Emerson dropped the brick as all five of them peered into the hole and counted in silence…

one mississippi,
two mississippi,
three mississippi,
four mississippi,

…the faint inhuman scream that rose up from the depths of the darkness sounded both pained and angered.

“We are going to need a longer rope.” whispered Junie.

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  1. Kaylee Frye Kaylee Frye May 11, 2012

    “Close Enough”  Thats my motto.

  2. Avariel Falcon Avariel Falcon May 11, 2012

    A trip to Mars sounds fun, but sadly the portal will not lock onto the red planet for some unknown reason. If only someone would mark a transresonance crystal there…


    Deep underground Unit #6 banged on the coolent feed pipes with a large hammer… “Hmm… Blocked?”.

  3. Victor1st Mornington Victor1st Mornington May 11, 2012

    The brick dropped roughly 128feet below the current street level…

    …but…that means your looking down into the old towns foundations…

    ohhhhhh dear….

  4. DoctorDinosaur Runner DoctorDinosaur Runner May 11, 2012

    Mars is overrated, now Venus, they have some good flora and fauna, all good for hunting if Dr. Grodbordt is to be beleived.   probably not bad for a BBQ either….





    Mecharaptor # 1293 stood on a cliff lower down in the shaft, bolting a hypno receiver to the side, when a brick knocked it out of it’s claws, brick and device skittering down the shaft.  Having not much smarts, the automoton dived off the cliff after it, to it’s destruction.

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