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The Long Way Down (The Dark Aether)


“May ya live in interestin’
, thought Jimmy, as he sat precariously upon the handrail atop the
Enjinne Aerocraft Tower overlooking the city that he had come to call home.

He couldn’t remember where he had
heard or read the phrase, but recalled that it was meant to be a curse, not a

Oy ain’t never seen so many
interestin’ toimes.

He fully believed that The Writer
was forecasting events to come, and he had stayed scarce of late, believing also
that Moriarty was indeed the dark figure written of in the story, that Moriarty
would kill him on sight, and that his friends were all more safe if he was not
among them.

He had not seen Myrtil in several
days, and was very worried.

He was worried about himself
as well.  His mind had been chaos ever since
the mysterious old man that many believed was himself had appeared at City Hall
and given The Clockwinder the machine that was telling the tale.  Since then a strange dread had infected his mind, along
with thoughts and images he couldn’t possibly understand, as if the mere presence
of the old man had somehow placed them there.

Jimmy gazed out into the rapidly
darkening sky, into the city.  Is it
this place, or is it me?

He switched his gaze to the
pavement far below.  Oy ‘ave a role
in th’ story. A big role it seems. 
Per’aps ifn Oy didn’t, enough would be changed thet none of it will ‘appen, an’ none of me friends
will die.

Jimmy leaned forward, lowering his
head.  Another inch, and he would pitch
forward to the street below. 


Earlier in the evening he had been
flying around aimlessly, wearing the old steampack he had recently taken to
wearing to make a fast escape from Moriarty should that prove necessary.  He had stopped and talked briefly with
Gadget and Nat, catching up on recent news. 
On leaving them he had resumed his flight, and had noticed the lights
were on in Dagon Hall.  Thinking that
maybe Stormy was there, and would have some further news, he landed and
approached the front door.

Upon opening it, he saw standing in
the lobby the figure of Jason Moriarty. 
Moriarty quickly turned toward him, and the immediate hate that
registered in those eyes could not easily be estimated.  Jimmy thought to pull his pistol, but common
sense prevailed.  He stepped back
quickly, and flew off.


Jimmy’s eyes were still locked on
the pavement far below, when suddenly he heard a voice in his head, a woman’s
voice, familiar and soothing.  A voice
he couldn’t quite place, that came to him like a discarded memory unexpectedly
found again.

It said “There, there
Jimmy.  Big boys don’t cry.”

Upon hearing it, he nearly did
cry.  He jerked himself back from the
precipice, swung his legs over the handrail and fell back hard onto the
platform behind him.  He got up slowly, gripping the handrail with
both hands he pulled himself to his feet. 
He couldn’t stop himself from shaking.

Th’ story is bein’ writ
he thought, and th’ end wosn’t never written yet.

There’s somethin’ Oy hafta
fix.  Oy promised.

 But wot is it?


((Formatting is not correct, but what the hey.))




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  1. Breezy Carver Breezy Carver October 29, 2011

    sniff sniff .. wipes away tear … careful Jim !!!!!!!

  2. Gadget Starsider Gadget Starsider October 29, 2011

    Mr Enjinne said if ‘e sees you buggering about on ‘is tower again yer up for a right good thrashing!

  3. Stargirl Macbain Stargirl Macbain October 29, 2011

    Oh my dear boy, I’m so sorry. Such big things should not fall on such small shoulders. 

  4. Avariel Falcon Avariel Falcon October 29, 2011

    Don’t worry young Master Jimmy. We will fix this with science! And lots of engineering!

    • Nathaniel Lorefield Nathaniel Lorefield October 29, 2011

      Weapon? This is no weapon! It’s a 500,000 volt tesla cannon… OF SCIENCE!XD

      If you need help turnin’ some bolts and buildin’ some things give little Nate a yell, I’m sure he’d be more than glad to help!

  5. Mr. Arnold Mr. Arnold October 29, 2011

    *Arnold reads the new pages, Emerson is in them which meant he had originally survived in this tale.  That didn’t mean Arnold hadn’t converted him into a mop, as Arnold would have had little in the ways of complaint about the man screaming in protest while dunking it into a bucket, it just meant he hadn’t originally died if the story was becoming true. 

    Still, now that he knew someone was not to be believed, he couldn’t help but suspect Emerson Lighthouse was the man…though he couldn’t imagine everyone believing him.

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