11

Re: The Peril of Power 2: "Red Cloud on the Horizon"

MRFATS

The smile Walter Bennet usually wore regardless of situation quickly faded. His eyes darkened. "I knew this would occur at some point. You certainly won't be the last to inquire. The tools I carry, always. However, as you are the first, I shall indulge your curiosity. Now, do not sbe frightened. Look." Walter rolled up a sleeve, revealing...his arm?

Arabella looked confused. "Why, Mr. Bennet, would you show me your arm?" She then noticed curious bits of writing and symbols on the flesh..Walter then pulled on his arm, thereby creating a loud "pop!", and held his left arm in his right hand. Arabella had become, to say the least, a bit shocked. "Wh-wh-what are you, Mr. Bennet. What-how, you removed your arm?!" she spoke rapidly, unsure of what this man had done.

"My arm, was lost long ago. Allow me to show you." Further rolling up his sleeve, he revealed a large brass fitting placed just a few inches below shoulder on his left arm. He also pointed to the brass fitting on the arm itself, appearing to be an interlocking set, his arm was artificial. "I crafted it myself, in my lab, with my staff in that place. Barnabas was holding something for me, something to help stabilize it better. You see, it feeds off the electrical impulses from my body, especially the left arm, which is conducted through the brass fitting into the mechanical arm.

Arabella stood in amazement. It functioned very well, it was hardly a simple task, and one would not easily discern that he had a mechanical appendage. Walter continued. "It is a bit simple in design, though, using gears and cogs, small pistons to help with the movement, specifically the joints. The symbols are of an occult nature, infusing my arm with a power to allow them to function far beyond simple mechanics. My own flesh was grafted to the metal, allowing my arm to look exactly like the original. No detail was spared."

Reattaching his arm,he unrolled his sleeve. Walter cleared his throat. "Now, Miss Arabella, you must tell no one. If they must know, then I suppose I should be the one to inform them."

12

Re: The Peril of Power 2: "Red Cloud on the Horizon"

COL. ADRIANNA HAZARD

"Certainly, Walter," replied Arabella. "I understand the need to keep quiet such sensitive information about yourself. An ignorant person could easily misunderstand the nature of the occult power you've harnessed to improve the function of your arm. Believe me when I say that I do not hold your life in so little regard as to endanger it in such a reckless and preventable manner - my lips are sealed."

"Thank you."

She turned to go, but hesitated and began to speak again, "It would seem that now I owe you some less well known information about myself. However, you must focus on the task at hand, so I shall retire for the night. My secrets can wait. Feel free to call me if the repair crew needs an extra set of hands. Goodnight, Walter."

"Goodnight, Miss Arabella," Walter replied.

With that, Arabella walked out of the engine room, the fabric of her black suit whispering with the movement.

13

Re: The Peril of Power 2: "Red Cloud on the Horizon"

OTTENS, JULY 26, 2007

The next day . . .

A knave and a ten.

Mina looked up at Isaac and gently shook her head.  She took a sip of her bourbon as Arabella glanced at her own cards and nodded.  Isaac delt her a queen and she disappointingly turned up her cards, indicating her surrender, revealing a four of diamonds and the king of hearts.

Isaac, a cigarette balancing casually on his lips, turned up sixteen---a nine of clubs and a seven of spades---and busted himself with the knave of spades.

Mina smiled contently, and with a grunt Isaac tossed a blue ten-pound plaque in her direction.  She took it and left the original stake as Isaac began to deal round the table again and everyone placed their bets.

"Hit me,"  said Tusk amused.  When Mina had suggested that they play a game of cards when they had gathered in the library for drinks, Tusk been the one to propose "Blackjack".  Isaac dealt him an ace of diamonds, and Tusk again checked his hidden card, then nodded.  He seemed quite content when Isaac turned him up an eight of spades and he leaned back in his chair as the game proceeded, smoking his cigar which spread a pleasant smell of vanilla.

Mina again shook her head, and Isaac turned to Arabella who contemplated her cards repeatedly before uttering a soft "Hit me".  When Isaac dealth her a nine, she growled and turned up her hidden card; a five of hearts which, along with her eight of diamonds and the nine of diamonds brought her up to twenty-two.  Isaac took her red five-pound plaque and turned up his own cards:  the king of spades and an eight of clubs.  He lay down the set of cards on the table, and looked at Tusk to reveal his hand.  He turned up a seven of hearts and a four of spades besides the ace and the eight Isaac had dealt him: twenty.

Isaac tossed him a blue plaque, then turned impatiently at Mina who revealed a queen of spades and a knave of diamonds.  Isaac pushed another blue plaque over the table in her direction with an expression on his face that was very like a sneer.

When he prepared to deal again, a voice came from behind them.  "Mind if I join you?"

14

Re: The Peril of Power 2: "Red Cloud on the Horizon"

MRFATS

Walter stood behind, a bit weary, it would seem.

Repeating himself "Mind if I join you?"

Isaac motioned to one of them empty chairs and Walter sat down. He had been in his quarters all day, requesting no interruptions save for meal calls. Now he looked a bit tired, but otherwise well.

"Hello Miss Murray, Miss Arabella. Mr. Macklin. Blackjack, is it? Very well." Leaning over, Walter removed his pipe from it's resting place in his  bag, packing and lighting it. He took long, slow pulls as the cherry glowed bright orange. "

Tusk smiled, nodding at Walter. "Oh! Mr. Woolf, I apologize, seems I had forgotten you upon my initial salutations." Tusk replied "Think nothing of it, Mr. Bennet. How goes the archiving of Barnabas' items?" Walter was silent for a moment and it seems as if Tusk had struck a wrong note with the previous statement. However that worry faded quickly as Walter replied, smiling "Old fool never took care of inventory properly, I should have done that for him..I should have. Oh, what am I saying? Yes, the archiving is almost complete, and I have Mr. Smythe to thank, as well as you Mr. Woolf. Mr. Smythe had been helping me archive, and inventory, but he grew wear and had to rest.

"Now, let us play" Walter said. Pulling on his pipe, he accepted the cards dealt by Isaac. He heard boots clacking against the floor, and he turned round just in time, to see

15

Re: The Peril of Power 2: "Red Cloud on the Horizon"

HAC

Roger enter the room, dressed in a light khaki shirt and jodhpurs. A small satchel is in his left had. He still wore his high riding boots, and the hilt of his Khyber knife showed from the right one. He fills a glass at the bar, and wanders over.
  "Evening all, spot of cards I see? I must apologise for my absence, but the chore of inventory can be  hot dusty work.  Also, I must spend some time, once in a while, in meditation and performing mental exercises, or my Tibetan skills will suffer.. But I digress. I do have a few things of note. The first is this...."
  Roger reaches into a pocket and withdraws an object from the satchel.
"Found this while going through the stuff we brought back, thought it was a bit too useful to stash away"
  He holds out his hand, and shows them an object, about the size of an orange.. Apparently made of copepr and brass, strang highlights gleam on its patined finish. Closer inspection shows it to be a detailed map of the world, in low relief with fine delicate engraving. There are small crystal lenses mounted in gold at either pole.
  "Now look at this.." Roger says "Most amazing, I thought at first it was merely a bauble, fit for a curio cabinet, but look.." "He turns it around slightly, and all can see a glowing  red spot on it's surface.
  " It appears that this thing knows where it is, and shows it by that glowing point. At first I thought it too
small to be of use, but watch.."
    Roger points the North pole of the globe at the lounge wall, and presses the glowing red dot..Immediately, a detailed map is shown, as if by magic lantern on the wall, a small red X indicating position.
   "Amazing gadget,  and I though it. would be more useful to our pilot than sitting on a shelf in storage..."
Roger places the gadget on the table, in front of Miss Murray and smiles...
"I must also say we will not lack for fine spirits and tobaccos on this trip. Looks like our shopkeeper friend catered to quite an exclusive clientele. I do have some less happy news though. I have been studying  my notes on our foe, and have added to that some information passed my by Berlin Station.  It would appear that Ignatieff has access to a fully crewed Russian Navy "Sovremenny" class airship. I believe he will be persuing us most diligently.  I fear he means to either  beat us to the prize, or at the very least greatly hinder us.  Sovremenny class airships carry a single PI-100, a 100 mm forward facing main gun and four 30 mm PI-630 quick firers, they are, as you can see rather a deadly little ship.  However, they do lack a bit in speed. That is the bad news. What worries me is twofold, one, as to whetehr Ignatieff knows the location of our little island paradise, and two, whether or not he has someway of tracking us"
  Roger looks over at Isaac...
" I wonder, sir, if I could bother you for a bit of information on our island destination? I would be much re-asssured knowing a bit about the perils we venture into.. in your own time, though sir, I would not pressure you. In the meantime, if anyone has anything to add to this little bit of joyous news,  please, feel fre"
   Roger nods to the group, finds his way to a chair,  and lights a cheroot.

16

Re: The Peril of Power 2: "Red Cloud on the Horizon"

COL. ADRIANNA HAZARD, JULY 27, 2007

After taking a sip of her wine, Arabella sat up even straighter than she was already and adressed the company:

"Thank you for the information, Roger, and that globe is a delightful find. However, I worry about having so many of Barnabas' belongings on board. For all we know Nicholas could have put some sort of tracking device with them - cleverly disguised, of course - or worse yet, a weapon. I realize that inventory has been done, but I suggest a detailed search of the items acquired at the shop, if only to assure our safety."

Mina seemed to be in deep thought for a moment and then replied. "That's not a bad idea. I trust that objects were looked at carefully while inventory was being done, but it couldn't hurt for a few of us to check again. Arabella, would you like to head the initiative?"

"Certainly," she replied.

"Well now that that's settled, perhaps Isaac could brief us on what we can expect once we arrive at the island." Miss Murray said, turning expectantly towards him.

17

Re: The Peril of Power 2: "Red Cloud on the Horizon"

CHICAR, JULY 30, 2007

Meanwhile....


''how do you expect than i send a wireless telegram to a moving airship than i don't know the position?'' yell the telegraph clerk.

'' you will find the way'' say Dupré rudely but calmly.

'' Just type this:

Dear Mina

You was the only person who has objected to my discardment and i am the farest person to you knowing (Dupré hesitate)your secret. So, i presumed than we are some sort of ''friend''. I have some information to communicate you. I heard than you are presently in a personal inquest about this ''Killer poet'' we all heard so about.

I hope we can find a agrement between (another hesitation) imortal (''IMORTAL ?'' ''just type'')

Your kind ex-colleaque

Lord Pierre Dupré ''

'' there your payment my brave'' say Dupré

'' what do you mean by...imortal'' inquest the clerk

'' I mean  by that ''little secret than you must not care about if you want to live'' ''

''Ok,Ok, i make the telegram...your sure than you don't know the position''

'' take a guess between singapour and some island''


OG: this the best i can for introducing myself in the game, like we say in french ''la balle est dans votre camp''.

18

Re: The Peril of Power 2: "Red Cloud on the Horizon"

MRFATS

Isaac placed the cigarette out in a nearby ashtray. "Well, words would not describe. It's teeming with life you would never believe existed, dinosaurs, among other...creatures. I can't really explain much more. The madman. That-that crazy....he.." Isaac seemed to lose composure, a few tears welled up in the corners of his eyes as he thought of his dear Victoria. Attempting to regain composure, Isaac spoke again "The island is completely inaccessible by boat, by wheeled vehicles, air is the only means to gain access. I am afraid that once we arrive, if the airship is sufficiently damaged we may not leave." Looking around the room, he was unsure of his own capabilities, but tried to remember the people he was with, and how they would be able to aid him.

Walter looked around, calmly watching the expressions of those around him. "Well, Mr Macklin, I could see your distress. Rest assured I do believe we have a fairly capable group around us who will dispense easily of any threat. I understand your hesitation, but for now, we should rest. There will be more trouble at some point, and I have some work to attend to in my quarters."

With that, Walter excused himself and walked into his room. He thought of some of the items he had created, and set about to ensure they were in working order...

19

Re: The Peril of Power 2: "Red Cloud on the Horizon"

HAC

Roger stubbed out his cheroot..
"Well, well, my dear Isaac, that sounds dangerously interesting. Looks like some of the baggage I was carrying as part of my cover in St.Petersburg might actually be of use.. Mr. Woolf, I know you to be a dab hand with a firearm. I have in my baggage, a brace of Holland and Holland .577 Nitro Express double rifles. I would be more than happy to give you one of them to carry on  our little jaunt, if that is acceptable to you. Drop an elephant with one well placed shot, or rhino.
I also have a .50-90 Sharps Creedmoor, should we need something with a bit more reach.. Same type weapon the great Billy Dixon used to drop a Cree at 1600 yards when his party was attacked at Adobe Walls.. Quite capable.
Roger looks over at Tusk and smiles .. "Cheroot?" he offers?

20

Re: The Peril of Power 2: "Red Cloud on the Horizon"

FLEET ADMIRAL JD

Tuskegee Woolf leaned back in his chair as Bennet walked out of the room. Though he and Bennet had become pretty close over the past few weeks, Woolf didn’t care for Macklin much at all. Something about the man just. . . made him uneasy. “I’m unfamiliar with the term, Mr. Smythe,” he said congenially, “But I do need to go back to my cabin and get some time in with the wife. If you’ll excuse me.”
   Tusk headed back for his quarters, where his wife was standing on the balcony, against the rail, staring out at the night’s dark sky. She was sipping at a glass of the current vintage of Armagnac that the couple was working on. “Elisabeth?”
   She turned her head for a moment, gave a small, false smile and turned back towards the evening. “Hello love,” she replied.
   “What’s wrong, Elisabeth?”
   “I feel awful for what’s happened to the ship.”
   “You know it—“
   “Yes, it wasn’t my fault! I’ve heard that a thousand times! But I still cannot grip it, Tus.” She turned back to him, her lower lip trembling. “I can’t grip that the deaths of those crewmen weren’t my fault. Now,” she smiled a bit ruefully, “now I understand how you feel.”
   Slowly, very slowly, Tuskegee nodded. “And,” he said, looking into her eyes and taking her hands gently, “since I’ve been through this, I can help you get through it.”
   She bit her lower lip and nodded. “Thank you, Tus.” She looked to him—“I do love you.”
   He smiled, and picked her up, bringing her inside the cabin. They did not leave the bedroom until the morning.