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The Rogue Portal Hunters

Avariel Falcon looked up as the door to her office burst open and three men stomped in.

The unicorn addressed the leader of the group, a black bearded dwarf dressed in leather work clothes and covered in a multitude of aetheric devices.

“Mr Tamarisk! Should you not be out hunting rogue portals?”.

The dwarf grumbled “Aye! That I would if it were not for this!”.

The rogue portal hunter threw a newspaper onto Avariel’s desk.

The unicorn read the lead article…

Effective immediately, and until further notice is announced, a citywide curfew is to be put into effect.  Persons of all ages are to remain indoors after sundown, and remain so until sun up – no exceptions…

“Oh!? This puts a spanner into the works!”.

Mr Tamarisk grumbled “That it does! We are bearly keeping up as it is! Unless we get back to work this city will be infested with rogue portals!”.

One of the other portal hunters, a tall man in similar dress to the dwarf, chimed in “Children sucked into the aether! Cats and dogs sent to the Antarctic!”.

The third, a rotund man with a handlebar mustache shouted “A city wide disaster!”.

The dark unicorn pondered this… “Oh dear…”.  

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  1. Nathan Adored Nathan Adored January 21, 2013

    Where the frak is our real mayor?  The actions of this acting mayor are getting out of hand…  Oo

    I wonder if he knows where the mayor is, and has him caged up somewhere in another part of the Steamlands. oo  Or if the ones behind the bombings do.  oO

  2. Bookworm Hienrichs Bookworm Hienrichs January 21, 2013

    *reads the full text in the New Babbage Free Press*

    Wait a minute. If all people are supposed to stay indoors at night, with no exceptions, who would see those who break the curfew, and how would the Militia detain them?

    I’d say our “good” acting mayor is not thinking very logically…

    • Mr Underby Mr Underby January 22, 2013

      Those patrolling have authorized permission, which the statement clearly defines as permitted, Miss Heinrichs.  Though I do applaud your pedantic nature for the good of the city, of course.

      • Albert Addlebrass Albert Addlebrass January 22, 2013

        Now see here, Underby, you’ve no right to go about telling folk when they can and can’t leave their houses to go about lawful business.  I’ve a good mind to come and sort it out with you man to man.

          • Albert Addlebrass Albert Addlebrass January 23, 2013

            Where I come from, might is right.  Meet me anytime, top-hatted titty.

            • Mr Underby Mr Underby January 23, 2013

              Well you are in New Babbage now, sir.

      • Bookworm Hienrichs Bookworm Hienrichs January 22, 2013

        Ahem.  The full text, as found in the New Babbage Free Press.  Emphases are mine.

        “Effective immediately, and until further notice is announced, a citywide curfew is to be put into effect.  Persons of all ages are to remain indoors after sundown, and remain so until sun up – no exceptions.  Any person, or persons, found roaming city streets without authorized permission (of which none will be granted) will be subject to immediate arrest and detention at Militia Headquarters until they can be tried for their crime, or the curfew is lifted – whichever occurs first.  It is for the protection of the citizens that this extreme measure has been taken, and we hope you will do your part to conform and protect one another in this abysmal period of the city’s history.  —Mr O Underby”

        I see nothing that says that this notice does not apply to the Militia.

        And, considering that the two individuals who caused much of the most recent havoc are both dead, I would consider this, sir, to be rather draconian.  To say nothing of the disruption to the economy of the city, and its social calendar.  What of our monthly ball, sir, I ask you?

        • Mr Underby Mr Underby January 22, 2013

          Again Miss Heinrichs, your temerity is to be admired. A question for you, why would I even mention “authorized permission” if nobody at all had any? Clearly me, and those policing the streets, have authorized permission – it is further authorized permission which will not be granted.

          Inferences are a common part of the English language, and are used to fill in gaps which would be… pedantic… to express.  I know you are aware of the existance of inferences, since you eroniously inferred that it would be the Milita patrolling the streets at night.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  The patrolling will be conducted by a group I put together myself.  We will simply be using Militia jail space to hold any unrulies… which I certainly know you will not be amongst, Miss Heinrichs.

          Further to my original point, even if you were correct (which you are not), do you really suppose I would be bound by my own statement?  Do you not suspect I would simply issue another statement, superceding the first? Really.

          And lastly, are you aware of the identity of the assailant who left the open-skulled corpse laying around near the canal in the Gut?  If so, I received no report.


          • Bookworm Hienrichs Bookworm Hienrichs January 23, 2013

            1. In laws and city proclaimations, inferences are not a good thing.  They must be clear and unambiguous.

            2. I said “much” of the havoc, not “all.”  But if we shut down the city for every unexplained bit of havoc, New Babbage wouldn’t get much done at all.

            3. So you are setting yourself above the law, and your own proclaimations? And instead of utilizing the trained personnel of the Militia, you will use your own, hand-picked, who-knows-who-they-are-or-where-they’re-from cronies?

            It’s Obolenskidona all over again.


      • Mumsy Abigail Mumsy Abigail January 22, 2013

        Never you mind your critics, Mr. Underby; you are executing your duties admirably.  There is altogether too much merry-making in this town, and a firm hand is required when our safety is at stake. Congratulations sir, on making the difficult decisions.

        When I was young we stayed indoors from dusk until dawn.  Too much air is unnatural in any case; all anyone really needs is the ability to move from one smoke-filled room to another.


        • Mr Underby Mr Underby January 22, 2013

          Thank you miss.  

          I do it because I care.

  3. Avariel Falcon Avariel Falcon January 21, 2013

    Watches The Rogue Portal Hunters lounging around the power station as they drink absinthe and play chess with Unit #6…

  4. Tepic Harlequin Tepic Harlequin January 21, 2013

    so… do the sewers count as indoors? they got a roof, an doors, least manhole covers, in different places, so i guess they don’t count as outside?

  5. Mack Blackwell Mack Blackwell January 22, 2013

    /me read the New Babbage Free Press and scowled.
    “In by sundown?? ”
    He wasn’t sure what about this whole thing seemed “off” to him, but something was.
    Then he realized what it was. Blood.
    The body in the newspaper photo showed no blood. Neither had he seen blood when curiosity had provoked him to look under that bridge where it was found. The scientist that the paper said was a brain researcher had been covered in the stuff when they’d encountered her, yet *this* man’s clothes were clean head to toe. The area around him was clean also. Where was his blood? Even a head opened by a surgeon bled. If the man’s body showed no signs of a struggle, and there was no blood, he might have arguably have *walked* into the hands of the killer. One with surgeon’s skills. Skills that could have that killer still very much functional in broad daylight.

    “I don’t know if this curfew is going to help us at all”, he said to nobody at all and wondered if he should share his thoughts.

  6. Snowfang Snowfang January 22, 2013

    aye is trouble this curfiew though won’t stop me from exploring plus the best rats only come out at night in the canals.

  7. Jimmy Branagh Jimmy Branagh January 22, 2013

    (Jimmy’s voice is heard shouting throughout the narrow streets, all over the city)

    “Roise up you Babbagers!  Be a slave ta no one!  Hit th’ streets at awl hours an’ defoy th’ oppressor!  Militia people join wit’ us! Urchins myke mischief wherever ya can!  Up th’ revolution!

    “Long live the free Babbagers!”


    • Tepic Harlequin Tepic Harlequin January 22, 2013

      Tepic starts to hum a familiar tune…… “Can you hear the people sing, singing a song of angry men…”

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