Monday, September 28, 2015

The angles of time

Innsmouth, Massachusetts - 186X


Darien and I bolted down the cobblestone streets, dodging terrified townsfolk and maddened horses with empty carriages skittering behind them. That's when we saw it. Several not-eyes spun towards us as it ripped a rib from the carcass of a fallen horse it was crouching over. The bone snapped loudly between its horrendously large jaws.


"What the Hell kind of dog is that!?" I screamed.


"Tindalos!!! Shoot it! Shoot it!"


We unloaded both our pistols into it. To call it a dog doesn't come close to describing it, really. Maybe a malamute put through the meat grinder and squished back into shape with some insect parts thrown in and an extra helping of fangs.


It yiped and turned its long spiked eel of a tail to sprint down the streets of Arkham.


"Did the silver shot help?" I asked. Maybe he'd tell me it was best to let the thing crawl into a hole somewhere and finish bleeding out.


"Not particularly. That's a whole month's bar tab in his gut!"


I chased it for three blocks. I could hear the blood clicking in my ears. My heart was trying to break free from my chest. But the monster seemed to be slowing down in its obscene gait.


"Reload first you fool!"


"Details!"


I pulled my saber, hoping reach the silver first.


"What..?"


It dashed up a hill? No, the road goes downhill! Soon it was over the rooftops.


"It FLIES too?!?"


I traced that trail it left...a sickly color I can't describe because I can't find it in any rainbow on this Earth. I could only stare as it veered up to the top of the lighthouse and vanished with the glare of the spinning beams.


My sword clattered as I threw it to the pavement.


"It got away! Bloody hell it GOT AWAY!"


Darien laid a hand on my shoulder.


"It caught our scent. It's going to lick its wounds then come back for us."


He pulled off his rubber gloves and ripped off his mask.


"This is my fault," Darien said. "This is all my fault."


I looked up at him, fully expecting another rediculous plan.





We were back in the lighthouse where its lantern battery was also powering his so-called revolutionary invention. I was helping double check all the cables on his galvic something or other plugged into the spotlight


"Galvanic Tesseractor."


"Yes whatever you call it, Darien. How are we going to kill this thing?"


"We have to make sure it doesn't surprise us first."


As he pulled a lever I could feel the hairs on back of my head rise up.


"It's going to double back after it heals to this very spot, and from there hunt us down to the ends of the Earth. The only way to survive this is to split up."


"How far do we have to go?"


"Out of this timestream."


"You're joking."


"I wish I was."


He turned a dial and the stone around us began to vibrate.


"Massivitus levels balanced..."


"Darien. Where are we going?"


"If we go together it will still hunt us down anywhere, anywhen. Like I said we need to split up."


He pulled the lever up and down a few more times, measuring the pulses on a clipboard.


"Fine, where do I meet you and when?"


"Where is right here. I haven't figured out how to move through both time and space yet safely for humans."


He grabbed the beer bottle next to the voltaic pile and finished it, tossing it off the tower.


"Look, David...when you come out there will be a ripple effect. Time will readjust itself like a lady's ruffles after she..."


"We're not discussing Atlantic City again! Alright...I won't remember going through. We...won't be a team anymore."


Darien nodded hesitantly. "Well... Not like this."


"And why do I have to go? I mean if you built this damn thesis experiment in the first place then you should..."


"Exactly! If I go through then this thing was never built! Time can’t fix up a hole that..."


We both heard that sickening growl again.


"Hurry! Step into the Qlippothic Projector!"


"The what?"


"The LIGHT you idiot!"


"But I..."


I wrapped my arms around his shoulders and told him what I was afraid to tell him since we first met in freshman orientation. Then half a minute of being too close for words. That's all I had.


"I know, David. Me too. I'm so sorry."


The growl again, I swear I caught wind of its unearthly stench. He pushed me as hard as he could with both hands and I fell backwards into the blinding heat of the lighthouse lantern.


"GO!"



"Where am I? What the blazes are you?"

"I am Aeon. You're inside the Clock."

"What am I doing here?" 

"Didn't the Doctor send you? I have to readjust to put you back. Someplace wound a bit tighter, but not too tight. There will still be room for the little gears to spin their magic, when you find them..."

"I don't understand..."

"You haven't had your hour yet. Go back through the lantern. Things will be different when you get back. Forward a century. Gears rearranged, but still the same. With one replacement."

"I must be dreaming."

"Perhaps you are. But this isn't any less real than the lantern house, where you shall return in 3...2...1..."

Thursday, September 24, 2015

From Nevermoor to Ravenwood

The Green Fairy Cabaret. It's very green. That's Zoe in the back and Lady Moldlylocks dancing with.

I was trying to get a handle on what happened to Steelhead exactly. I heard all kinds of crazy rumors. 

The St. Helens volcano finally had the big one. 

A flood washed it away like Ambertown before it. 

Evil turkeys run amok. 

The demons from Steelhead's past rose up and fought over it until there was nothing but burnt logs to fight over. 

The Masons came back and lost a fight with a giant crab that took up the whole harbor. 

A superhero lifted the whole acreage up with his bare hands and flew off to drop it on another planet for safekeeping 

He stuffed it in a tiny bottle for his curio cabinet on the North Pole. 

Yeah, somebody was pulling my leg. That’s the last time I trade whisky shots for tips.

I rang up Marshal Ortega again and asked him for the real scoop.

“Steelhead didn’t end," he said. "We just don’t have a place to take photos for our stories.”

Well you can't say he's not dedicated. He tells me he's already got a new spot to host his shindigs. In case you're not familiar with his operation, Krypton Radio, they do a lot of sci-fi radio plays and play corny songs of the Spike Jones variety. 

He tells me Miss Zoe, the lady who owned the absinthe house I slipped into before, was still running her speakeasy. I hauled it back to what used to be Nevermoor. They were replacing the signs to say Ravenwood Forest. I saw a lot of familiar faces. Looks like this is a rallying point for evicted Steelheaders.

I waltz into the aptly named Green Fairy and there she is floating with her pink wings on. I somebody I know - an almost-shrink by the name of Moldylocks. She's one of those eccentric Babbage types. I'll write a page on her later. 

She’s quibbling up there with that flying guy in the tights - I think his name is Cal - over which overpowering shade of green tiles to use to match the overpowering green walls and matching curtains. Cal seems to get real nervous around green rocks for some reason. I interject.

"You know most absinthe is yellow, right?"

She floats down and we start yakking. She’s got big plans for bringing this secluded magic patch into the 20th century. Progress! Well, still too many trees if you ask me. And still a lot magic floating around - this is the kind of place where you could sit in the wrong chair and end up someplace a mile higher than you started. She tells me they’re starting to have problems with fairy gangsters -- and by fairies I mean magic folks with wings like the one I’m talking to. Just making that clear. Seems they're gettin' into the fairy dust business. Now I don't know exactly what it does besides what Mother Goose says but there's obviously a black market for it. Yes, things should get very interesting here real fast.

As long as I’m in town I go to the phone book and ring up one of the Doc’s contacts who runs some kind of factory in Caledon. Some doll – of the clockwork variety - named Fauve Aeon. I gave her the bad news about the Masons and she was calm, but sad. I think she’s the only one I talked to that missed the demon more than any of them. Most people still won't even say the guy's name. I told her I thought I saw him wearing crimefighter tights in backstreet Berlin and she had a good laugh. I asked her as being one of the Doll Queens if she knew if any of the Doc’s pretty inventions were still ticking. Especially the stabby ones. She gave me an honest answer – no idea. At this point I’m going to assume they all ran down or broke down. She said if I ever need to get stitched up to give her a knock. Yeah, I've read about her work. If my legs get cut off I’ll certainly come running.

Friday, September 18, 2015

A little off the back

    
Finn Jr., Finn Sr., Mr. Chance and that guy in the middle.

 So before Mr. Finn’s kid invited me for to his Pop’s shop for a free haircut so I decided to take him up on it. Nice place as you can see. While Mr. Finn gave me a trim and a shave we start talking. He tells me about Farson and how there was a quake that broke the dam and flooded out what was left. I told him that’s kind of like what Steelhead’s going through, but I suspect that volcano will blow any day now.
 
     Little Finn's a nice kid but at 14 he’s too young to smoke. He also needs to button up his shirt and go to charm school while he’s at it. While we’re yakking this guy with an Appalachian drawl thick as molasses wanders in with a holster taking up the whole side of his thigh. I thought he might have been a lawman but that’s not the case. More of a businessman. I didn’t ask details but the moon was shining bright if you know what I mean. 

     Guy's name is Chance. Turns out he’s a big gun collector. By which I mean he collects big guns. Cannons even. And he likes to practice shooting abandoned crates off the pier. Holy smokes. Should I tell them they sometimes smuggle people in those things? Where was this guy when I needed backup in Innsmouth?

     Speaking of canon, Finn Sr. asks me about my back story. Great. Now I gotta make one up. Here goes nothing.

     The Littman family had old money from Virginia tobacco. We lived on an old plantation that my grandpa foreclosed on after the previous occupants went missing during the so-called War of Northern Aggression. My Pop was a lawyer and helped in the military court during the Great War. He made his way to military judge. A real spit-and-polish no-nonsense kind of guy. He made my sister Simonetta and I line up for inspection each morning before breakfast. That’s why when I had my fill of it and split to go round up cattle out West he hired some goons to haul my skinny kosher cowboy keister back east and throw me into law school. Miskatonic freaking University of all places. I think he has some deal with that Mason family on the other side of the Line that we’ve known for generations because their boy Darien ended up being my roommate. Nice kid if you could take all the drama. Ever get the feeling somebody’s been planning out your whole life behind the scenes?  Yeah, me neither. 

     After Pop died we sold most of the land and kept the mansion. Simonetta’s still there. After managing what was left of the estate she’s gone into the art trading business and seems to be holding up okay. Meanwhile I’m the one with massive school debt and being stalked by loansharks with real gills.

     Well finally I walk out while Chance is showing off his motorcycle so I can’t hear myself think. At least I look good enough now to find a real job. 

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Welcome to New Palermo

     I already took an unexpected risk taking the kid into that lab. Yes he might have seen more danger than I already have in my posh middle-class life but he’s not getting killed on my watch. I left James in Steelhead for a while since all the scamps I ran into told me it’s a safer place to run around in than New Babbage, and except when they all get rounded up for schooling once a week it’s all hunky-dory. Miss Blue promised me James could have all the grub he wants. The more he eats the better, and it takes him off my back for a bit.

     I got on the train at the Steelhead station heading east. It took me a couple days. That’s when I found out Miss Blue of all people left me a bundle in my briefcase, and not just dinner rolls. She must be the best if not only baker in town! Along the way I sat next to a salesman from Philomena who gave me a great deal on an olive trench coat. The fedora didn’t quite match but he threw it in for free.  I needed to look a little more fashion-forward when I got back east. Once I got to Trenton I hitched a cab to New Polermo. 

     Like I said before most of the townsfolk were from another town that got flooded out. The cab driver was going bonkers from all the construction so I got out early and let him keep the change. After the train ride I needed to stretch my legs. There was so much construction you’d think the Depression was already over. More roads than not were blocked by cranes and streets were filled with the smoke and stink of hot tar. If I was a bricklayer I could be working triple shifts. 

     So I’m wandering through the streets for a couple hours since nobody thought to put up the street signs yet. Around 6 o’clock I noticed some poor sod left his silver Caddy out and the roads around him got ripped up so he had to park on the sidewalk by the barber shop. Right next to the stuffed bear with the fez. I guess when people can’t drive to your business you get desperate for advertising.  Well the advertising must have worked because there was a ruckus on the street corner with people standing around. There was a paperboy selling the first new rag of the city and I guess there was an informal celebration which turned into a gossip fest and airing of laundry. Who needs a newspaper when you got a tongue-wagging crowd like this?

     Hoo boy if I thought these guys weren’t gonna be my neighbors the things I could tell you. Just suffice to say that my time in Berlin taught me a few things, and I could tell this one British dame that had just high-tailed outta Berlin did for all the right reasons and just the right time. Most of the crowd was in on a little surprise she was hiding except apparently her main squeeze. A some point he’s gonna be real surprised, either that or he already knows but is so proud he’s playing it…well he acts like it’s all peachy keen. I may be a lawyer but I think that wedding is gonna set some major precedents. Little Miss Drama huffs off and we all breeze to the local watering hole, where they only serve tea. It took me another few days to find the local pool, and there I learn about the other watering hole where the sparks really fly.   
  
     Later while I’m schmoozing I met a guy and his dame who might be the Mayor or a least came up with the idea of starting a new town. I also met the guy who runs the local rag and he asked if I want to take the beat. Why not? I could use a half-steady salary and it fits in with my line of work. 

     Later that night some kid asked if I was looking for a place to sleep. Well sure my coat was wrinkled from the train but I’m no hobo. I told him I was staying at boarding house just outside of town until I could get closer in. He tells me he’s the barber’s son and tells me his Mom is the one with the lousy parking skills and his Dad is the one who shot that bear. No it wasn’t wearing the fez at the time. No neither was he. Save that gag for the Marx Brothers. At the city limits I ran into a dame looking over a plot of land, she told me she’s building a boarding house and offers me a pamphlet. I told her I’ll give it serious consideration. 
           

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Strife in September

<flashback>

     Of all the places to take a break from college I had to choose Berlin. Downtown was reveling in Oktoberfest like there was no tomorrow. They had no idea how right they were. So there I was your drunken college kid stumbling in the dead of night back to the hostel. I’d just spent my allowance at one of those cabaret shows. For someone who accidentally showed up at a Deep One clambake once it’s hard to surprise a guy like me but boy let me tell you. Actually come to think of it I better not. Anyway there I was completely flipping lost and stumbled into the carnival section, all boarded up for the night. But there was movement under the canvas, and not the good kind. Soon I was surrounded by maybe a dozen goons. 

     Not just any goons. Brownshirts. Deep in Socialist territory at that. They looking for brownie points by beating up somebody heading home from the wrong part of town coming out of the wrong kind of bar. Now for all I care as long as you’re not on the menu there is no wrong kind of bar. As a foreigner I was probably worth double. If only they’d have known my full name? They probably could have won a toaster.

     One of them jerks the phrasebook out of my hands while I’m thumbing through the chapter on insults. I get a crash course. Then they start pushing me around in a circle. I lose my balance just as one of them tries to sucker punch me. They laugh and I laugh with them, shaking my finger. Being the weak kid growing up taught me the importance of being the class clown. Then I introduce Smiling Hans to my right hook. Then it felt like I got smashed by a tidal wave of torsos. Then the rain of boots. I curl up. Did these guys play rugby? Am I gonna get to finish my term paper?

     Then there’s the shouting. What the hell’s a Blutfl├╝gel anyway? I could feel the weight of bodies getting pulled off the pile. The last guy floats off of me. These guys were getting pushed around by…a midget? The hell was this, a stunted white and red faced clown with a red miner’s light on his helmet? It was no kind of clown suit like I ever saw. What kinda clown wears combat boots, heavy gloves and a cape? Well this one obviously. This shorty was fast and had moves I’ve never seen before. Way beyond boxing and too disciplined for street. This must be one tough circus. Whoever he was, he was kicking their proto-fascist keisters. Three of them were already laid up and twice that many hobbling out of range. That wasn’t a miner’s helmet either. Some kind of combat helmet with spikes welded on…were they supposed to be horns? The way this fella was proportioned I soon realized this wasn’t a dwarf. These goons were getting thrashed by a kid who might have just had his bar mitzvah. With a loud rip I heard one of the SA goons ripping a tent pole out of some canvas.

“Can’t play fair, can ya?”

     The goon was already wobbly from a few body shots so I gave him a leg sweep and knocked him backwards. The two-by-four clattered and bounced off my temple in the process. Soon I’m playing tug of war on the pole with this joker while I try and scream the German word for “Utility knife some bastard just pulled so look out behind you”. I'm sure there is one. That’s when the kid’s headlight started sparkling. I think it was more than the booze because the grunt with the knife stopped in his tracks too. "Give me the weapon" he must have said, because the big guy just straight up offered it to him. And both me and Grunt #2 held out our ends of the pole to pass it to him like it was the most natural thing to do. Then the kid kicked him where it hurts the most and he crumpled like a sack of potatoes. I looked at the guy next to me.

"Der Blutfl├╝gel?” I asked. The guy scampered a few feet then stumbled up and ran in the other direction screaming.

“Danke,” I slurred as I reached for a wall to pull myself up.

“You’re welcome, Mr. Littman.” he replied in English as he lifted me up like I was a bag of leaves.

“What? How do you know…?”

“Go down two blocks and you’ll see the train station!” I heard him echo.

Haven't seen him since.

</flashback>

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Errands in August

What were you expecting? Brass goggles?

     Sometimes you just gotta start writing. So that's what I'm doing. Some of this may be true. Some of it might not.  It doesn’t matter. Just read and enjoy.

     Who am I? Is that really important? Fine. Name's David S. Littman. Besides that I got a useless diploma from a haunted school and I have to turn to gumshoeing to make ends meet. I don’t even care what the date is. To me it’s just August. Is that good for a start?

     If you ain’t heard the Hard Times hit Steelhead bad. I’m not going to bore you with details or foot the blame anywhere because I don’t know the whole story and I don’t wanna know. But the whole reason I’m going to this funny little town in Oregon is that just as I'm arriving the whole place is packing up and shutting down. And one of my old friends who was there from near Day One has decided to walk off into the sunset with it. That’s where I come in…to pick up the pieces.

     I was sitting on the doorstep of the apartment I was renting in Northern Virginia. In fucking August. It was too hot and muggy to stay inside and I couldn't foot the bill for the iceman even if he showed up that week. Then the mailman pushes a thick envelope stamped all over in my hand and makes me sign.
     It was from a place called New Babbage and from some guy with a Baron in front of his name.  I start reading. Concerns one Darien Mason. Hell. That’s a name I ain’t heard in years. He was my roommate at Miskatonic U. We got into all kinds of hijinks and I was usually the one who got him out of them.

<flashback>
     I remember one night shortly before we graduated from Miskatonic. My roommate Darien and I were doing shot after shot, try and forget the horror we just put down so we could continue the rest of our lives.
"David...I promise you...you're going to outlast me. With all the non-Eucledian equations and mad blueprints and chapters of forbidden books crashing around in my head...you've got the one thing that'll save you that I've never had."
I looked up from the table, hoping it would stop lurching.
"What the Hell's that, Mason?"
 "Common sense."
And with that, we both found solace in a small patch of Oblivion.
</flashback>

     So there’s a check in that package fat enough that I can’t refuse. Luckily I still hadn't unpacked since coming home from law school. I took the first blimp to Babbage. It was night by the time I got there. Frankly, it might have been an hour until sundown, I couldn’t tell because the smog was so thick I could barely see the rooftops. But I did see a kid on the top of one of those rooftops. Yeah, definitely a kid.
     I yelled at him to get the hell down from there. I squinted and got a better look. The kid was in rags. To make things worse that was a glass roof he was sitting on. He had to be rail thin not to crash through. I kept yelling at him and he spat back all the self-pity lines I’d been rehearsing to myself since I took off the cap and mortar. And I spat back all the retorts my family and friends were telling me to cheer me up. I guess I’m a good convincer because he edged over and slid down the gutter pipe where I caught him.
     Yep, he sure was scrawny. And he had an eye wrapped up too. Cripes, he needed a bath. Said something about getting it knocked out by some cops in Houston but I didn’t believe him. He said he was American like me, but a little slip here and there told me either he wasn’t or he’d been out of the States too long to know he was slipping.  He said he didn’t even know his own name. Fine, I said. I’m calling you James. You’re my responsibility now, so come with me.

     I finally got to the Consulate. I couldn’t find the address at first because they just moved. Herr Baron and his Baroness had servants pushing monuments around the courtyard like chess pieces trying to get them just right. Relation-wise and resource-wise that’s a whole galaxy away from the problems I got.

     So you probably know this Baron already, he’s a big mover and shaker and mentioning him by name might attract the wrong kind of attention if you know what I mean. Suffice to say he’s Teutonic, got white hair and a nose like an eagle. His wife is darker skinned, guessing someplace the Conquistadors could never shoot a sneeze into. She looked very elegant ordering the grunts around in her green silks.

     So the Baron took a break from arguing with her adoringly over the placement of that obelisk and started gabbing with me.  Seems after Doc Mason and I parted ways he eventually wandered into Steelhead, an out-of-the-way place that still had some memories of the Gold Rush. He wore a lot of hats there though they never seemed to fit him that well, except for that Mad Scientist hat. That’s where he met the Baron and they become much more than friends, practically family. Must be a Mad Scientist thing.

     Yep, that’s the Darien I remember. Always building things or designing things he planned to build. Like the time he showed me sketch of a girl made of metal with watercolor circles for organs and surrounded by scribbles that made my eyes water. Clip Pothic or something he called it. Must have been an art project.
     So Doc Mason was good and so was most of his family, and I had to grab some important knickknacks out of there before they fall into the wrong hands. I was starting to hem and haw and ask “Why me?” before he pushed another Baron-sized bundle in my face. He’s a shrewd negotiator.
“Well, James” I said. “Let’s take you home.”
------------------------------------------------------------------
     James and I got to Steelhead during a storm. I slipped him something and told him to hold onto it. Soon he realized I slipped him a bar of soap because he’s trying to wipe all the suds off him in the downpour. The Baron told me Steelhead was kind of a Bohemian place while still being wholesome. Yeah that’s pretty much on the dot. A Steampunk Noir vibe. But you could tell things were just starting to tip. A bit too much dust and new boards over some of the windows. I ducked in from a rainstorm and realized we were in an absinthe house with mechanical waiters. Okay, fine. I was told to expect this kinda thing. I get some dirty looks from the patrons for bringing a kid in, but hey he we were soaking wet. I opened the door and pointed at the lightning crashing outside and they let it go.

     This young girl pops in, about James’ age but better fed. She was half dressed like a mourner at a funeral and half like some rainbow parade float. She had a huge platter full of fresh cookies and cakes for everybody. She had a French accent. And she used it a lot. You know how self-conscious girls are that age. She tells me her name is Blue Lacroix and that Doc Mason was one of the first people she met in Babbage, and brought here to Steelhead where she set up her own bakery business. 

     Okay you're asking how could a little girl start her own bakery business. Look I know this probably doesn’t make sense to you but I’m cutting everything about Steelhead to the bare bones enough so that you’ll believe ANYTHING I say about it. It’s that kinda place. 

     So Blue points out where Mason Labs is. I thank her and let her and James chat up while I make a quick side trip and introduce myself to the local lawman – one Marshall Ortega - and show him my papers, so he knows I’m not a looter or a kidnapper. It all checked out. He was friendly enough but obviously had a lot on his mind. He was obviously upset that his Doctor friend was gone, but not surprised. Apparently he’s pulled this disappearing stunt once before. He and this whole town had a bittersweet flavor.

     So I swung back to the absinthe house to pick up James. Blue says since I'm friends with Mason she's friends with me and can probably swing some business my way. Well I'm not sure if she meant more than tea and biscuits but I'm not complaining. At first I thought it was an old stone chapel. Cripes, someone’s been reading too many Gothic novels. The stone building was surrounded by swamp gas. At least I hope that’s what it was.                  

     Nobody wanted to go near the place so I guess he wasn’t afraid of people stealing from him because one of the big metal double doors was swung open. It was chockablock full of inventions and lab equipment with barely room for his desk and a chair. I told James what to touch and what not to touch. Ignore the jars of brains. Stay away from the sparking stuff. Grab the documents. Get that chest. Get that… Suddenly something crashed down from the ceiling.

“Oh crap.” I say. “That’s a Voorish Sign.”

“Is that a Voorish?”

     James is pointing at something at the other end of the room. His eyepatch is off. The hairs are standing straight up on the back of my neck but I can’t make out anything in all the flickering. But I look down and something’s moving away the dust and cobwebs and pushing away furniture to get to us.

“I dunno kid, but let’s not stay and find out.”

     I grab one strap of the chest and he grabs the other strap. He’s behind me but the way’s to narrow from clutter to switch places. I’m counting one-two one-two so we don’t fall end over end. Suddenly he’s tossed to the ground like a rag doll and that something I can’t see is lifting up the other end of the chest. I hear lots of metal crashing inside it as I hold on, the damn thing’s lifting me up!

“I did NOT sign up for this!”

Suddenly the strap at the other end of the chest snaps and it comes crashing to the ground with me in tow. Crap spilling outeverywhere.

     I hear…I suppose you could call it a roar. The whole lab started shaking to the ground. Stones, girders, tubes of green light, brass lightning balls, even his pole with the yellow flag all collapsed. Then came the weird part. It all folded in on itself with a grinding and crunching sounds, then it popped out this world. There was only a patch of bald dirt where the whole place stood.

“Is it gone, James?”
"Yeah..."
“What...what did it look like?”
“You don’t wanna know, Mr. David.”
I gave him a hard stare. The kid is calm. He’s seen the damn Mythos before.
“I suppose you’re right, kid. Help me put this stuff back in.”

What kinda stuff was this? A turn-key for a giant doll? An Egyptian ankh? A white fur rug? Whatever.

     We got on the next blimp with the chest and floated back to Babbage. It sounded just like what the Steelheaders were going through expect they hadn’t settled on a new place yet. The residents were pointing in all kinds of directions so…who knows.

     During lunch I was reading the paper about some town in New Jersey with a story a bit like Steelhead. It flooded out and everyone moved across the river to a new spot they were still building. It’s called New Palermo. It’ll be September when we get there.