Mr. Underby loomed over the the counter of the central message depot giving his instructions.
“No ship or vessel will debarque until I have approved the passenger manifest. You will bring them all to me, personally. You will keep an eye to the sky to so that you do not miss any airtraffic bypassing the mast and sneaking into the city directly.”
The assorted children behind the counter looked at each other skeptically, then set about discussing how best to carry out those orders. They all knew Mr. Underby was close to the Mayor. Underby listened until he was satisfied that his orders would be carried out, then returned to City Hall.
He no reason to go through official channels with this.
“The assorted children behind the counter looked at each other skeptically, then set about discussing how best to carry out those orders.”
I personally found the above line quite exceptional ..endearing and quite believable :) (( made me smile ))
Underby listened until he was satisfied that his orders would be carried out, then returned to City Hall.
This one too :)
“Any news from north of the city?” Underby asked Dorchester, who was copying out pages in a methodical hand.
The small man set down his quill and looked up at the acting mayor. “Do I look like a telegraph machine?” he asked.
Underby frowned, slipping his hand into his coat pocket and running his fingers over the cool mayoral medallion. “You should think about the future, Dorchester.” he said.
“Contemplating a future working for you is entirely too depressing, Underby. I live day by day.”
“Perhaps not for long.” Underby murmered, striding away from him.
Early the next morning just as Monrington was finishing chatting to the dock hands at Port, one of the rumour bringing urchins scampered up to Mornington and the dock hand crew…
“Ere! Mista Goat Legs! Old Underpants has gotten a load of urchins to keep an eye on the docks and air ship travel! Thought ya might wanna know!”
…with that the Urchin scampered off.
The dock hands looked at Mornington with a worried look…Mornington ran up to the dockmaster, Mr Biggleswade…
“Biggleswade, cancel all shipments to Port Babbage, redirect them to Steelheads warehouse until further notice, Underby is looking for something…”
The Yard has a portal to Steelhead which could prove useful for those small items one is forced to obtain urgently. Perhaps we could come to some arrangement, Mr. Mornington?
The dark unicorn stomped her hooves!
“What?! He wants us to do what!?!”.
Unit #6 pondered the letter “Hmm… actually… he… cannot… order… this…”.
“What do you mean? He has the power of the Mayors office!”.
The hulking clockwork rumbled “Yes… but… we… opperate… under… the… direct… command… of… His… Imperial… Majesty…”.
The unicorn pondered this “Oh… I forgot about that… The old charter to protect the imperial power supply… I wonder if that is really still in effect?”.
Unit #6 nodded “It… is… hard… wired… into… all… the… clockwork…”.
Avariel thought on this for a moment “So… I wonder how good his ability to coerce a decree from the most drunken man in the city would be… after all he runs a bar, or at least used to, I wonder how that business with Mr Bucketheed is going…”.
The unicorn shook her head “This is what we shall do! Stall him with that archaic law as long as you can and transfer portal control to the Lovelace facility! But keep it quiet, its only to be used in an emergency!”.
The old clockwork rumbled “Is… Lovelace… ready?”.
The unicorn nodded “We will make them ready!”.
Ah, such a brilliant clockwork!