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Dizelle Soup

Archivist note: This article is from an older recovered archive and might be obsolete or in need of updating.

Most recent revision is shown below, by Galactic Baroque.


”’Dizelle Soup was a spiritualist who contacted Mr. Underby through means of a ouija board, as she recorded in a letter to her brother:”’

”Dearest Winston,”

”I have been staying in New Babbage for a week now, O Winston, and can say with all truth that descriptions of the city have not been exaggerated, this city truly is bizarre, odd, weird, and certainly strange. I have seen twisted sites already which would turn mother’s hair black, and would have grown hair on father’s egg-like cranium. Speaking of which, how goes the business of phrenology? Have you tried father’s skull yet, it is a truly singular container, if ever there was one.”

”A strange occurrence occurred yesterday, as strange occurrences are wont to be. This strange occurrence, my own dear brother, is an occurrence which happened to me. How was my rhyme and meter there? Nevermind.”

”I was meditating through the witchboard you bought me, when suddenly the planchette was torn away from my fingertips and began to dance around the surface of the board. I was awestruck, and my first impression was the rush to the Vernian Sea and toss the whole thing in, but it began to slow and allowed my fingers to rest once more on top, and regain control.”

”I asked if someone was there, and swiftly the planchette swung to the word YES. I asked if it was the spirit of a dead individual who was wishing to speak, and just as swiftly the planchette zipped over to NO. Puzzling, yes? I thought so too.”

”I asked if it was a demon who desired to speak to me, which I was very much interested in ever since that talk with Grandmama so long ago, but to my disappointment, the planchette dipped over to NO again. With a swift but definite sigh I asked the board to spell its name, and was utterly disappointed by the results… the planchette moved around and around in circles, and finally and feebly, stopped on the letter Y, then moved around again slowly, stopping on the letter O. I tried to think of any named starting in Y-O, but could come up with nothing… meanwhile the planchette still slowly moved around the surface, only to stop again on Y, then after some hesitation again landed on O. It seemed to be stuck, and trying again, but would not budge until I at last spoke again.”

”I asked the being if it needed help, and the planchette jerked from my fingers again to land on YES. I asked how I might be able to help in anyway, and for a long while nothing happened. Eventually the planchette began to tremble and vibrate, then slowly started to move. It landed on F, and then moved on to I…”

”I won’t bore you, Winston dear Winston, with the monotony of going through each subsequent letter it spelled out, but suffice to say the sentence was altogether anti-climactic. The sentence the board spelled out to me was this:”

””FIND THE WRENCH””

”Strange and dull at the same time, no?”

”Your sister,”

”Dizelle ”

”’Dr. Dayafter arranged to have a public seance at the library in the presence of the paranormal researchers and a priest.”’

”Ladies and gentlemen, I will be conducting a séance this evening sometime in order to try and find out some information about Mr. Underby. Miss Dizelle Soup has been “in contact” with Mr. Underby (or at least we are to believe that) via a witchboard. I am not one to automatically disbelieve a lday that has no reason to spread lies, but as the witchboard is suspect, I intend to put this to a test that several of us within the Physical Society have seen work quite well before. We shall ask (one at a time) a series of questions of Mr. Underby, then dispatch our investigators to see if his answers can actually be proven. I should also like to know more about the details in which he was accused of murder. If there are any with that information, please let me know. One of my main goals in this venture is to try and clear this man’s name of alleged activities of evil. I only met and spoke with him on a handful of occasions, but I found him to be a very respectful, respectable, and knowledgeable man.”

”’The seance was a success, and photographic evidence was collected to show that Underby was indeed present in spirit.”’ transcript

”’In a bizarre spiritual scavenger hunt, the seven pieces of Underby’s soul which were hidden by Nightshade Sixpence were collected, most of it unwittingly by Mr. Tenk into his wrench as he went about his rounds, which enabled Underby to return to Babbage on the Ghost Train on the Day of the Dead, as she recorded in her journal:”’

”After talking with the spirit of Underby more, I was prompted to dig near the so-called Death Ray on Dr O’s island, and there I found a shard which appeared to be obsidian, although what it was truly made of, I do not know. I kept it on my person, and recalled that an earlier session with the witchboard had stated that I should be at the train station on Sunday night at sundown.”

”Filled with curiosity and anticipation I made my way to the train station. Mr Tenk, the town mayor, was already waiting on the platform with several large trunks. When I questioned where he was going, he gruffly brushed me off.”

”Soon, the temperature plummeted, and a strange high-pitched buzzing filled the air. A thick fog rolled in, and with it came a spectral locomotive. I was shocked into stupefaction, and almost didn’t notice that the shard of obsidian in my pocket had begun to vibrate like a tuning fork. I had an uncontrollable, and wholly berserk, desire to take out the shard and gaze upon it. The moment I pulled it out, my hand jerked toward the Clockwinder, and my eyes flashed on his wrench, which I fancied was glowing somewhat. It bewitched me in a way I know not, for I was suddenly overcome, and began to howl and chant, and foam at the mouth.”

”I watched myself, as if in a dream, as I pounced on the Clockwinder, who was already moaning, and thrust the shard at the wrench, while I heard the words “IA! IA! UNDERBI FTHAGN!!” gibbering from somewhere, in a shrill high-pitched whine. Slowly, I began to realize I was hearing my own dreadful voice, chanting eldritch words I knew not.”

”The pungent reek of ozone filled the air, and a sharp crackling erupted in the air around us, I felt every hair on my body arise. It seemed to emanate from within the ghost train. Slowly I became aware that a figure was forming within the train. A deep basso profundo laugh echoed around us as a figure stepped from the back of the train…”

”It was Underby, in the flesh. He was repellent, and seemed inhuman, I did not wonder any longer why people seemed filled with such fear and loathing when they spoke of him, yet in my gibbering state I was somehow attracted to him as well, it was a stunning dichotomy of feelings. He slowly strode toward the Clockwinder and myself, I was still in some sort of dreamstate, where I could watch my own actions from a distance. It was disgusting, and yet strangely fascinating.”

”Underby sat on one of the Clockwinder’s trunks and thanked him for his assistance in his return. “I did not assist you,” the Clockwinder said, obviously still in pain. “Oh, but you did, my little friend, more than you will ever know… I have not has as much assistance in any other familiar in my many years…”

”Mr Tenk sat up on one elbow and leveled a long gaze up at Underby. “I am no man’s familiar,” he said.”

”Underby smiled. “If you say so, Mr Tenk. You should come by my quarters sometime soon, for dinner.” His smile stretched tight, into a wide rictus grimace. “Or, perhaps… breakfast.””

”Tenk crawled to his feet, and wobbling slightly, climbed aboard the other train. He turned back to Underby, who approached the train, still smiling broadly.”

””I am under nobody’s control!” Tenk shouted. “I can come and go as I please! I can leave this place whenever I want to!””

”Underby smiled still. “Certainly, Mr Tenk, certainly you can… but make sure you bring your trunks full of dirt.””

”Mr Tenk’s train pulled away, Underby began to briskly walk away, and I felt control start to swim into my body again, though I felt cold and numb, and my mind swam as if drunk on absinthe… ”

”’She lived in with Underby in his house in Clockhaven and the house under Oldbridge. She died after drinking tea laced with belladona which was addressed to him. Underby wrote her obituary as follows:”’

”Dizelle Soup RIP 1853-1883”

”Citizens of New Babbage”

”It is with a heavy heart that I bring the news to you all of the untimely passing on Miss Dizelle Soup. She has been very close to me since my return to Babbage, and at times my only friend and confidante. I am sure some of the more unpopular citizens of the city will understand what I mean when I say that this city can be extremely cold at times, and I am not referring to weather. It is nice to have someone to rub your feet near the fire while you chat mundanely about the lower levels of the aether.”

”Miss Dizelle was, unfortunately, the victim of both her own kindness, and my rather staggering unpopularity. She knew my reputation in this town and would steadfastly not allow me to eat or drink anything which passed through its doors without trying it herself first. This was to be her doom. Some frigid heartless wretch took it upon themselves to send me tea which was heavily tainted by arsenic, which put Dizelle into a deep fever from which she never recovered.”

”She will be missed, most by myself, but also by both of my assistants, Pippin Jollygoodfellow and Boris… Boris something.”

”Flowers may be sent to my house at Oldbridge. A funeral will be announced, and a burial will be planned for when the ground thaws enough for digging.”

”’Dizelle was resurrected after her death by Mr. Underby, with questionable results. She served as a cleaning woman at the Bucket of Blood. Later, her brother, Winston Soup, came to New Babbage searching for news of her.”’

*The Oldbridge Project

”’While the project was a success, the long term results were not as good as one could have hoped. Dizelle was interred with an operating reality enforcement device in the the old quarter wall, to promote natural decomposition of her body.”’

* Blog: Requiem for a Revenant

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