Strange Portents in the Sky?

Oct
30
Strange Portents 3
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Strange Portents 1

Citizen Spots Unusual Activity over Speculation Lake : By Milo Pressmore, Boy Reporter

While walking her steam-bot at Quarry Hill yesterday, Captain Killian Jameson spotted several glowing lights in the sky over Speculation Lake. Stunned by the sight, the Captain still managed to capture on tintype three amazing images that record the flashing phases of the largest, and most perplexing, of the luminosities.

 The larger of the brilliant objects pulses with sharp electrical spikes in a purplish hue, accompanied by terrifying sizzling sounds. The smaller dazzling orbs appear like glowing coals, albeit the size of a Christmas goose, with flaming tails chasing behind. The largest anomaly sparks right above the lake, higher than the dam wall but no higher than the observation tower. The two smaller orbs can be found strung out just above and along the city wall by Quarry Hill.

 Captain Killian asked, while vigorously shaking this reporter by the lapels, “Why don’t the auto-cannon fire at them? They certainly fire at me whenever I chance to fly over.”

 The frazzled Captain added, “Those smaller orbs look like giant, flaming tadpoles crossing the sky. It was just a couple of months ago that the annual Kraken Run visited New Babbage; could these be the result?” The Captain admits she knows no details about the annual spawning of the Air Kraken, adding that citizens of the City-State are not known for keeping sound records, or for answering too many impudent questions from newcomers. “I don’t know what to think,” Captain Killian concluded. “These lights… are they portents of doom? Or just egg sacs?”

 Captain Killian requests assistance on identifying the nature and potential danger of these skyborn anomalies from both the Babbage Militia, and from private investigators of the city, as they all need something to do.  “I’ll pay their weight in cabbages to whoever can solve this mystery. I have too many cabbages at the moment.”

 

5 comments

Bookworm Hienrichs's picture
Reply by Bookworm Hienrichs | Sat, 4 November - 12:15 pm SLT

Bookworm panted a little as she finally reached the top of the stairs of the tower in Speculation Lake.  She'd received reports of strange lights above the lake, and she took a boat out to the tower, thinking that would be the best vantage point.

For the larger light, it certainly was... but it brought her no closer to an answer.  Well beyond and above it, she saw one of the smaller, golden lights.

'Odd,' she mused silently. 'Very odd.' After about 15 minutes of watching them, she went back down, wondering if she could find a volunteer to take an airship up and near them - cautiously, of course.

Russell Firecrest's picture
Reply by Russell Firecrest | Wed, 8 November - 11:14 pm SLT

Captain
Firecrest carefully guided his ship through the fog, flying in to the
city from the North. It had been a tiring few days, but the deal had
been made and his hold was full of fine cider from Southern England.
As the Albatross approached, New Babbage's lights came into view,
accompanied by a strange purple glow over the lake. Slowing to a
crawl, the captain took out his binoculars and peered through the
fog. His eyebrows raised over the leather bound instruments. 

"How
odd." The Captain mused as he stared at the glowing shape. 

The
Albatross drifted closer. 

"Very
strange indeed." Firecrest quickly decided not to get too close
and adjusted his course, taking a wide circle around the light source
and eventually docking at his old brick tower. 

Deciding
his cargo would keep a little longer, Captain Firecrest climbed down
to street level and headed towards the militia Head Quarters. 

 

Captain Killian's picture
Reply by Captain Killian | Tue, 14 November - 10:07 am SLT

What next befell Capt. Firecrest after he reached Militia Headquarters was to remain, for now, a mystery, as no one, including  Militia Commodore Jedburgh Dagger, could be found for comment. Capt. Killian observed "I suspect skullduggery. Or at the very least, shenanigans.  Citizens are disappearing! These lights are up to no good! Don't say I didn't warn everyone."

Russell Firecrest's picture
Reply by Russell Firecrest | Tue, 14 November - 2:23 pm SLT

The reports of no reports have been greatly... underexagerated.

Russell Firecrest's picture
Reply by Russell Firecrest | Tue, 14 November - 2:21 pm SLT

Captain Firecrest strolled alongside Captain Hienrichs towards the large tower where the Albatross was docked. It was a cold day, but the ever present smog was thinner than usual, allowing the faint sunlight to warm the air a little.

Bookworm jerked her head toward the lake.  "The large purple... thing.  It's not there anymore?"

“Indeed.” Russ replied. “It seemed to vanish some time around the barrel race. I am not aware of how. Perhaps we should look to see if it dropped in the lake?”

“I'm not sure how we'd accomplish that, unless you have a submersible.” Bookworm replied with a chuckle.

Russ smiled as they reached the tower door. “I'm afraid I don't. I have an airship and a rope though.”

Captain Firecrest cast off from the tower and navigated his ship to where the light had last been seen. Bookworm peered over the side, holding tightly to a rope as cold winds clawed at her, threatening to send her tumbling down into the water.

The ship descended to lake level, gently settling onto the surface of the water. Ripples spread out and slowly cleared, but the calm water showed no sign of what had caused the purple light.

“I'm not exactly dressed for swimming.” Bookworm said with a wry smile.

Russ chuckled. “I believe I have my swimwear down below.”

The Captain quickly changed into his swimwear, strapping the old bone knife he had won on an adventure long ago to his chest and walking to the port side. Bookwork handed him one end of a long rope and secured the other to the deck, while he tied it around his waist. Turning to her, he chuckled.

“Take my hand Captain.” Russ said.

Book raised an eyebrow.

Russ detached his mechanical hand and offered it to her. "Don't want to submerge the mechanisms."

“Ah.” Book replied, taking the hand and laying it carefully by the ships wheel.

Pushing his goggles down over his eyes, Russ jumped into the cold, murky water. Light from the sun didn't penetrate very far beneath the surface, but there was enough to see the bottom, barely. Russ swam downward, squinting at the muddy floor, trying to see any sign of the light that had hovered above for days.

Russ swam in a slow circle under where the light had been, but no sign of it could be found. After coming up for air, he swam a little further, to widen his search. As he reached the bottom, a warm current washed over the Captains face. He looked up, straight into a large eye on a stalk, which slowly turned to look at him, followed by another. Kicking off the bottom, Russ swam frantically for the surface, pausing only briefly to look down at a long shiny body laid across the lake bed.

Seeing Russ break the surface and swim back towards the ship, Bookworm called out to him “Anything?”

Russ clambered aboard, spraying water everywhere and panting. After taking a moment to catch his breath, he wrapped a towel around himself and stood. “No Sign of the purple light, but there was certainly something down there.”

“Something can mean a lot of things.” Bookworm replied.

“Something moving. Large. Couldn't see it terribly well, but it looked a little like a large slug.” Russ said, breathing beginning to calm down. “I couldn't see that well, but I'd say... maybe half as long again as the ship.”

Bookworm whistled. “How fast was it moving?”

Russ reattached his hand and began wrapping himself in every town on the ship. “Not very. Barely at all. Didn't seem very interested in me.”

Bookworm sighed. “Well, that's a relief...”

Russ stood and moved to the ships wheel. “Just in case though, it's probably best if we lift off. Also before I freeze.”