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The Open Road

Tenk didn’t stay long in Falun. Not that it was not good to see his adoptive clan again, most of whom assumed he was a distant full cousin in the tangled heirachy of clannish relations of the mountain mining folk (he was actually a demi-uncle, but that is too long of a story to go into here). He politely refused the stunted young women that were presented to him in an attempt to marry him in closer, and soon got about his business of getting as far away from New Babbage as he could before the grace of Christmas passed.

Illuminopolis! That was where he would go. He had never seen the lights of Illuminopolis, for by the time he reached the outskirts, the famed lights were long extinguished, and the dark times had come.

Tenk gathered what he would need and booked a ticket westward.

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  1. Garnet Psaltery Garnet Psaltery January 24, 2013

    Safe travels, Clockwinder, or if not safe then illuminating.

  2. Mr Tenk Mr Tenk January 29, 2013

    After attempting to getting to Ichor Falls by rail, and failing for the usual reason, Tenk had to travel by carraige north and west around the Ironwood. Eventually, he was forced to travel by air, as the roads were all blocked by snow. He hated travelling by air, but it was over halfway through January now, and he had felt no compunction to return to New Babbage. Perhaps it would not be so bad. He certainly wasn’t going to wait until spring to see Illuminopolis.

    Excited as a schoolboy on vacation, he boarded the airship Katrina.

    • Bookworm Hienrichs Bookworm Hienrichs January 29, 2013

      ((/me pictures urchin running out of the Sneaky Vole, yelling, “Tenk! Come back, Tenk!”))

      • Jimmy Branagh Jimmy Branagh January 29, 2013

        (“What a perfect image.”  :)  Makes note to get Tepic some bib overalls)

        • Lottie Lottie January 29, 2013

          ((suddenly confuses Shane and Old Yeller))

    • Junie Ginsburg Junie Ginsburg January 29, 2013

      What an auspicious name for an airship.

  3. Mack Blackwell Mack Blackwell January 29, 2013

    Heck I just like hearing about all the other places :p Notes man, write notes about it.

  4. Garnet Psaltery Garnet Psaltery January 30, 2013

    The images in this tale shine so brightly; I am captivated.

  5. Mr Tenk Mr Tenk January 30, 2013

    “Captain!” called the Quartermaster. “Looks like we got some weather up ahead. Should we make for Rieshausen to wait it out?”

    The Captain of the airship Katrina stepped up to the fo’c’sle and extended his brass spyglass. He felt the gaze of the silent gods who look down on all captains as he pondered the skies ahead. After waiting the proper amount of time to pass (a measure which all captains instinctively know), he snapped his brass spyglass short and turned enough to let the wind carry his voice back to the helm.

    “I see no reason to land, Mr. Starkey. Open the burners and tell the passengers to bundle up. Up and over!”

    The passengers rippled giddily at the news that they were going to higher elevation rather than be delayed on the ground. All, except the rotund gentleman in first class who had had been forced to leave part of his luggage behind, who was hoping for a dinner of Rieshausen sausages.

  6. Mr Tenk Mr Tenk February 2, 2013

    The novelty of the occasional lurch as the airship slipped off an invisible shelf of rising air had changed to grim distress as turbulence increased. The clouds rose to meet the Katrina, thunderheads climbing ominously on all sides. Th gondola shook and the lady in the lilac traveling ensemble vomited quietly into a napkin. Tenk became more agitated as the motion of the ship increased. “What day is it?” He demanded, too loudly, of his tablemate. “January 25th” said the other. Tenk blanched. “We have to land! I have to get off this ship!”

    The rotund gentleman (who had taken an instant disliking to Tenk, as he appeared to be underweight more than the luggage he had been obliged to abandon was over) complained to the steward. The steward consulted with the Bo’sun, the Bo’sun reported to the Captain. “Put that man in the brig and keep the rest of them calm,” said the Captain. “And double the rigging on the bag. We’re in for a run!”

  7. Emerson Lighthouse Emerson Lighthouse February 2, 2013

    I pity the fools who put Tenk in the brig.

  8. Avariel Falcon Avariel Falcon February 2, 2013

    Illuminopolis sounds like my sort of place! *nods*

  9. Mr Tenk Mr Tenk February 3, 2013

    “You don’t understand!” Tenk yelled at the Captain. “I am endangering the ship!”

    The Captain spun around to see the midget about to assail his lower  torso. “Bo’sun! I told you to lock this passenger up!”

    “I did sir,” bellowed the Bo’sun in reply. “Three times! He keeps getting out!”

    “Then lash him to the shrouds before he gets over the sides! That will set an example to the rest of the passengers to keep themselves contained.”

    The crew were clipped in now, great buckles attached to their belts that trailed a think line behind them in case they were blown over the rails. The men grabbed Mr. Tenk as he was struggling to get to the rails and carried his kicking form to the starboard shrouds and bound him fast. A thin voice came through the wailing wind. ‘Captain! Should we decrease volume?”

    “No! If it luffs in this tempest it will be torn to shreds! We blow where we will be blown now. Strike below and strap in. Leave that man there until he calms down.”

    “But where are we heading?”

    “God knows. Ask the passengers if any of them knows how to pray.”

    Tenk watched grimly as the crew struggled across the deck and disappeared into the hatch. “Babbage.” he said to no one that could hear. “We’re going to New Babbage.”


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