Vapor & Tenebrae

In character and game play posts for Aetherium 1879.
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Vapor & Tenebrae

Post by arcanus » Sun Sep 10, 2023 11:46 am

The Offices of Northrup, Dodds, Fogg and Honeywell - Albany Street, Edinburgh - 1879.
Mr Francis Dodds looked up from his paper, his attention drawn by the clip clopping of hooves on the cobbled road outside, he looked across to the carriage clock upon the mantlepiece noting the hour just past nine, a crisp bright February morning.

His esteemed partner Mr George Fogg looked up from his broadsheet as the maid brought fresh coffee and sugared oatcakes, they both liked it when the firms business brought them to Edinburgh, it had a different and one might say more convivial feel than the hubbub of The Smoke.
Mr Fogg frowned "Another alleged Revenant Attack, Denmark Court just outside the St Giles Rookery"
Dodds audibly exhaled through his teeth "What the bloody hell is the point of walling in the Rookery and having the Death Watch if a stones throw away innocent people are attacked!" Dodds looked over to the far side of the William Morris appointed drawing room, at the female elf sat at her desk.
"My apologies Miss Honeywell" he grumbled for his outburst
Miss Honeywell smiled without looking up "Think nothing of it Mr Dodds, I have heard infinitely worse"
Mr Fogg gave Dodds a reproachful eyebrow over his spectacles before returning to his paper, Miss Honeywell was not only a qualified solicitor but also by all accounts an accomplished mage, the firms founder Sir Charles Northrup was quick and it seemed astute to hire her.

The Fourth Reformation Act of 1846 had granted women limited Suffrage, those with professional qualification were even allowed to vote, of course it was all prompted by a female Chiraturge or magical doctor saving the baby Prince Albert or Bertie from an almost fatal bout of the Third Changing Plague of 1842, when the Queens Physician Andrew Halliday had been unable to alleviate the boy Princes suffering.
The Doctor Veronica Bennett was duly appointed as Extraordinary Physician to the Queen and subsequently healed The Prince Consort’s gunshot wounds after the failed assassination attempt on the Queen by John Francis in May 1843.
It seemed faced with the near death of both her husband and son, the Royal heir, was sufficiently galvanising for the Young Queen to patronise Medicine, thaumaturgy and that women be permitted to train for relevant professions, hence the Fourth Reformation Act was pushed through Parliament despite significant opposition.

Miss Honeywell was now a partner in the firm specialising in the complexities of magic in law.
"So not content with holding North Egypt, The Khyber Pass and our second war in Crimera, we're also engaging the Russians in Afghistan" noted Fogg
"Not to mention the Aetheric Mr Fogg"
"Yes let's not forget that Mr Dodds"
Miss Elizabeth Honeywell permitted herself a look up from the legal papers she had been pouring through, it was the same every morning, that the pair would set the worlds to rights as reported by the Times and Telegraph
Their collective attention was drawn to a wooden assembly on a small wheeled table beside the maids door, the assembly resembling a polished walnut clock case with a swirling green glass orb for its face, the assembly spoke announcing that their next appointment was here.

"He does so make me jump when he does that" complained Dodds
"Thats is rather his job" pointed our Fogg "However our chaps here or should I say there, shall we"
"If we must"
The pair of them took a deep azure blue powder from their snuff boxes and snorted, then quickly reclined back in their velvet padded office chairs, Miss Honeywell watched bpoth of them almost instantly fall into deep slumber, she took a deep breath uttered the incantation and waved her hand from left to right over her desk, a circular glyph shone gold and her mind ascended.

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Vapor & Tenebrae

Post by arcanus » Tue Sep 12, 2023 2:58 pm

The Scope Offices of Northrup, Dodds, Fogg and Honeywell - New London - 1879.
They materialised in the lobby of the Scope Office, an incredible facade of ivory white marble and deep gold, Fogg always found himself struck by the beauty and ingenuity of it.

The Scope was a layer of the Aetheric Plane existing in what was called the Expanse, which simply put was the endless Aetheric World beyond, Fogg had never dsiplayed a strong spark, he could work Ether Machines and enchantments, but nothing beyond that, but it was fascinating.
Another example of how man had triumphed over this alien and often hostile frontier, his reading upon the subject informed him that the nearest part of the Aetheric Plane was actually the Astral Plane a almost mirror of the physical world created by the mixing of stable Aetheric energy with Earths life or Vito energies, this form of Aether was termed White Aether or Mana and the stuff that magical Sparks drew upon to work their wonders.
However the Astral Plane could only be reached by Magicians, Spiritualists and more recently the use of Aetheric Suits, above this was the rest of the Aetheric Plane the Periphery as it was called, rough analogous to the Astral Planes sky, the periphery was a thin band of stable Aether that lacked the Earths Vito Energy.

In 1832 a clever chap called Harold Wallace had invented the Scope Portal using magnets and his research of the Highbury Incident of 1812, the device allowed one to look into this new world although truth be told at the time it was just a swirling vortex of energy.
However this drew the attention of one Count Alessandro Di Cagliostro a noted occultist and spiritualist to European Royalty, who entreated Wallace to allow him to conduct an experiment using the portal, after some persuasion Wallace consented and the experiment was arranged for the following year.

Cagliostro had come into possession of a rare root discovered in the Cathayan Jungles of Xishuangbannaon the properties of which were said to be Magical and on the 5th of September 1833 using the root and the scope portal The Count projected his mind into the Aetheric Plane.

Although from his account he glimpsed strange lifeforms from afar, whilst there he found that he could exert a measure of control over the place, of course the greatest discoveries occurred from another prominent female pioneer that being Ada Lovelace, having made great leaps in vastly advancing the capabilities of Babbages Analytical Engine with her Lovelace cards she began collaboration with Michael Faraday.

The Faraday's research into electromagnetism had inevitably led him to developing Wallace's Scope Portal into something practical and testing his theories around the Aetheric Transfer that had occured at Highbury in 1812.
In 1844 he was successful in developing the Ether Vent, which essentially used electromagnetics to control the release of etheric energy into the physical plane, the results were volatile but the energy applications extraordinary and quickly showed considerable promise when combined with advanced steam turbines.

Due to introductions with Lovelace via Sir Charles Babbage in the 1830s, he once again began to correspond with the mathematician around the use of the Analytical Engine to control or automate the process of Etheric ventilation.
Her cancer cured through magical operation, Lovelace and Faraday discovered the that scope voyagers uttising cultivated Tao Root had discovered that her Lovelace cards combined with the Analytical engines were appearing as constructs in the Aetheric plane, whats more these voyagers could interact with these strange constructs.

They quickly deduced that the constructs only occured in conjunction with the electromagetic devices linked to the engines and cards and thus the writing of the Scope was borne.

He noted that Miss Honeywell was waiting for them inside, always puzzled him how she got here so much more quickly but she had her means, Dodds grumbled as was his custom and complained he was feeling queasy, Fogg sighed a strange thing for someone having an out of body experience to feel unwell but if anyone could it was Mr Dodds, god bless him.

The three, their Effigy's resembling themselves to avoid confusion stepped from the ornate main office into the meeting room, a temperatureless great fire burning within its mantlepiece, sat at the conference table were the two individuals they were her to meet.
Lord Gabriel Sabbath and where he went his right hand was always present Miss Samantha Brocklesbury.

"Welcome both of you good of you to come, may I introduce my colleagues Miss Elizabeth Honeywell Esq and Mr Francis Dodds Esq, refreshments?" said Fogg as they sat down to business.

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Vapor & Tenebrae

Post by arcanus » Wed Sep 13, 2023 9:44 am

The Scope Offices of Northrup, Dodds, Fogg and Honeywell - New London - 1879.
Samantha Brocklesbury looked out of the window at the dizzying activity outside, New London was a place of impossibly tall buildings, gothic towers that would prove untenable in the Physical or even Etheria, (the upper classes simply would allow such architectural vulgarity).
Not unlike Etheria monolithic constructions and ships floated high above but in a swirling blue and green sky, outside Scope Riders the name colloquially given to those that frequented or even worked in New London, travelled by all means imaginable indeed only bound by the Lovelace Crafters imprinting skill, even Etheria being a lost realm still had earthly limits albeit those were greater than the Physical but paled to those within this realm of fancy.

She smiled as gentlemen and ladies flew past their twelve story window, as if that were the most common thing in the world, the maid a Lovelace construct floated into the meeting room, made a slight curtsey and set the ornate silver pot on the desk, a female form resembling a woman made of brass she proceeded to pour the steaming liquid into china cups.
Refreshments in the world of the mind Sam thought possibly the strangest aspect to all of this, however there were aspects of Lovelace Imprinting that affected the psychic link between sleeping body and mind, drinking the refreshment creating an Aetheric effect back to flesh and blood, by all accounts it worked equally in the negative, there were plenty of things that could you harm you body and mind in the Scope.

Mr Fogg the seemingly more gregarious of the three solictors waited for the tea to be served and proceeded.
"Lord Sabbath and Miss Brocklesbury as I said we are most gratified you were able to find time to meet with us at short notice, we have a delicate and somewhat urgent matter that we are informed you may well be able to assist us in resolving"

Gabriel and Sam merely nodded attentively
"Before we continue I hope you understand that due to the sensitivity of the matter we would need your Sovereign Word that these discussions are strictly private and confidential" Sam glanced across at Sabbath, who considered things for the briefest moment before nodding.
The pair leant forward "We grant our Sovereign Word that the matters discussed in this meeting are bound by oath and shall not be broken"
All who were aware sensed the tremor of the pledge resonate within the Ether and Aetheric, Miss Honeywell nodded and Fogg continued "Excellent, formalities, formalities, Mr Dodds would you do the honours" Dodds it appeared the more tacturn of the trio nodded and explained

"If I might start with some questions Lord Sabbath?" said Dodds, the Lord nodded
"You are reputed to have access to one of the fastest Ether Flyers in England?"
Gabriel cocked his head considering this "Probably Britain, but yes"
"Good, good" replied Dodds "But it lacks a Transference Chamber"
"Yes, said things are costly investments gentlemen, all in good time" sabbath replied a little defensively
"Of course, well perhaps sooner than you think sir" replied Dodds, Sabbath frowned in puzzlement
"Our client has a valuable cargo on the oceanic clipper Stella Polaris bound for a facility in New Shoreham, Rhode Island, the ship is midway across the Atlantic and broadcast an SOS by Ethergram last night, it appears it is being targeted by some manner of foul play, the Royal Society provided ceremonial thaumaturgic assistance early this morning, however further broadcasts then indicated that she continues to be under threat, we understand your vessel could reach her in a few hours!"
"And transfer the cargo through the Transference Chamber" Sam added
"Yes quite my lady, I am led to understand no Earthly vessel could make such time"
"Quite correct” interjected Sabbath “It would take several days for an Aerostat even with elemental or Aetheric assistance" he continued "However there's no guarantee that flying by the Etheric would make it in time, the streams change constantly and delays are common even for the best Celestial Navigators"
"Yes which is why our client requires the trip to be completed in the Astral" Mr Dodds let that statement hang
"That would half maybe even quarter the etheric speed, the Astral might be part of the Periphery however it is bound by much of the Earthly laws" replied Sabbath "An abundance of Mana has its drawbacks"

It was Miss Honeywell who next picked up the briefing "Which is why the client is prepared to provide a Loadstone to tap the Atlantic Telluric currents, that would bring etheric speeds up to near Periphery standards and guarantee expedient arrival times"
Both Sam and Sabbath sat forward in their chairs "Impossible" they both blurted,
"Its madness" added Sam, "Whilst the etherium hull could take the strain the Mana would strip the Lovelace Imprints from the whole ship"
"Not to mention the small problem of it devouring all of the crews astral bodies" said Sabbath solemnly
"Which brings us to the third element of the proposal, our client understands this isn't without considerable risk so they would provide Guild standard Lovelace glyphs to ward the hull" smiled Honeywell
Sam raised her right wrist tapping the keys of her difference engine "Whilst avoiding being contrite they would have to be Guild Standard, there's quite a storm over the mid Atlantic"
The three solicitors merely nodded in agreement
"Once you have secured the cargo you would fly it to New Shoreham and deliver it safely" said Dodds

"So what are the payment terms ladies and gentlement and why us?" asked Sabbath

"Quite simple really Lord Sabbath, we approached Lord Reynolds for advice on this matter, he confirmed that such matters were outside of his area of expertise however that you share your fathers somewhat formidable skill in Celestial Navigation, combined with a talent for getting difficult things done" smiled Mr Fogg
"In terms of payment our client is prepared to give you the Loadstone once fitted, ensure the Glyphs are permanent and has granted our firm the ownership of the Transferal Chamber which we would provide on permanent loan to your enterprise, in return for some future movement of cargo by agreement, I understand it would provide enormous benefit to the Sabbath mining interests on Fumis" clarifed Dodds

"And for your swift assistance our firm would sort out any current nonsense that industrious free agents such as yourselves are currently experiencing as a result of the American Union's and the Northern Consortiums materials transference embargo from Fumis, Lord Reynolds was very clear that he would not discuss Sabbath business however he agreed this might provide a considerable boost to your enterprise" added Fogg

"So ladies and gentlemen can you do it?" asked Miss Honeywell

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Vapor & Tenebrae

Post by arcanus » Wed Oct 25, 2023 11:38 am

The Wapping Pylon - Upper Greenwich, New London
The scope pylons were immense towers that seemed to stretch thousands of feet above the Astral Earth into the clouds, looking up from the Astral Plane they could seen as indistinct almost invisible beanstalks stretching from some faraway point on the ground up into the heavens.

At the top of the Wapping Pylon was the Royal Etheric shipyard and scope docks, a vast sprawling complex made from transitioned physical materials and where many of the British Etheric or Etherships were built.
Although on paper the facility was owned by the Crown, the Royal Air Arm's activities were only conducted in the secure space of the North Yard, the remainder of the complex rented or part owned by such entities as Cunnard or Harland and Wolffe and smaller scope builders.

In the sheds of the smaller Spectrum Vickers Incorporated yard, Agnes ignored the muttered slurs and sneers as the latest shift of shipwrights went off-shift, arriving the day previously she'd stared down the surliest of them as they protested that they wouldn't be made to work with a satanic goat headed bitch.
Nothing she hadn't heard before, her childhood had quite literally been the school of hard knocks before her travels had taken her to the reputed safety of Wales, turined out not so safe as she Jepson had found her battered and bruised from another kicking by rural locals, size had a lot to do with things and even the most classist and racist human thought twice about taking the huge walrus man on.

She had brought the Sabbath Ethership The Crimson Cambion, down from Strumble Heads pylon to Wapping for the Spectrum Vickers Etherneers to quickly complete the installations, much to her annoyance but as Lord Sabbath had pointed out the gear wasn't their's until they'd fulfilled the contract. She'd got straight on with supervising the upgrades as time was of the essence, whilst Lord Gabriel had wrapped up other urgent matters with the Investors, although wasn't every matter for the investors urgent.

She chuckled as the last shipwrights vanished, fragile little things they could only manage a few hours in the Scope, whereabouts she could stay here days if needed, thats what you got for using outdated Elevation Cradles she mused, although the truth was she didn't need a cradle or mind enhancing drugs.
She turned to the Ethership, the lodestone had been fitted beneath its nose, the colour of amber the stone contained in a hardened crystal half sphere, its surface marked by ever swirling black ink trails.
The Cambion floated some six feet above the deck, held down by burnished cables, she walked around allowing her planar sight to trace the newly etched interlinked pattern of etheric glyphs, looking for breaks in the Sovereign inscriptions, she effortlessly floated over the ship satisfying herself that the patterns integrity was complete, transition from the Scope into the Astral not only took accompished celestial navigation and piloting but that the ship took take the punishment.

Descending through the dorsal hatch the ships Lovelace programming responded to her mental command, she didn't need to walk to the control panel when she could talk to its programming, she looked at the green misty screens checking that everything was joined together, she had no doubts that everyhting was in order after all she had kicked the Lovelace programmers off the ship as soon as they had completed the installation, despite their protestations of going to the Union, completing the configuration herself.

By the time she sensed Lord Sabbath and Miss Brocklesbury ascending she had checked that the Transition Chamber had settled into its new housing and was behaving, everything was in order and now the hard work began.

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Vapor & Tenebrae

Post by arcanus » Sun Oct 29, 2023 10:33 am

A Sabbath Residence, Somewhere in the United Kingdom.
The slightly amber concave glass door closed over the asension cradles housing the sleeping forms of Sabbath and Sam, as they descended into the land of nod they felt the familiar caress of the cradles headrest linked with their temples and the sensation of floating.

The Wapping Pylon - Upper Greenwich, New London
Agnes felt their arrival before the circular brass dias thrummed and sections of its surface rotated, Lord Gabriel Sabbath and the somewhat irksome Miss Brocklesbury stepped off the dias, their forms becoming solid as soon as they did so, unlike most they assumed no avatars or alter-egos in Lovelaces land of fancy, although Brockelsbury wore some akin to modern day leather armour.
The Ether Engineer tutted a little too figure hugging for polite society, but then the Scope had somewhat different rules, Hellfire Rules one could say.

They wasted little time, Agnes had re-run the Lovelace cards ensuring that the Transission chamber would behave during the flight, her chief responsbility on their jaunt.
Sabbath settled in the horseshow set and console almost on the nose of the Cambion's cockpit, whilst Samantha and Agnes sat at the consoles behind, it was pretty cramped as he was a small fast craft, with most of his space dedicated to his hold.

Sabbath nodded as he surveyed the glyph like readings from the thick lozenge screens across the flight console, directly before him on the polished wood array was an ornate and strange looking spherical object, its orb like shape made of intertwined and bands that slowly revolved around each other.
Looking into the sphere he tapped a sequence into the right hand brass consoles keys, the sphere began spinning more quickly and changing shape becoming something more like a spiralled spike that a globe, satisfied he had his bearing he took hold the two large flight levers that where affixed to the arm-rests of his chair and pulled up.
The Cambion almost silently and smoothly floated up and turned starboard "We are cleared for departure" said Agnes the towers instructions flickering on her screen
"Twenty minutes until we reach the entry point, enjoy the calm it will be bumpy when we descend" said Sabbath and the Cambion rocketed out into the emerald green sky of the etheric Plane.
"Your actually getting better at this" chided Sam mirthfully, Sabbath frowned but said nothing, smiling to himself Sam hated turbulence and in a short while she'd get her fill.

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Vapor & Tenebrae

Post by arcanus » Sun Oct 29, 2023 9:43 pm

The Scope.
Moving out into the expanse the Crimson Cambion circled New London, the great facsimile of old London Town, a mixture of recreating the bricks and mortar city and a splash of Georgian decadence amidst towering neo-gothic towers.

The green sky signified a dominance of green ether, water orientated as their ether vents expelled blue ether, the two mixed creating a jet stream of steam behind them.

Pushing past the scope city the ship cruised into the green expanse, buffeted by flotsam as it gradually began to descend, white vapour flowed over the crimson Etherium hull.

The as the dropped they were confronted by a thin layer of cloud that stretched in every direction, the first gate appeared before them nothing more than a thinning in the layer.

Sabbath brought the ship in so that it skipped along the vaporous layer, it’s nose dipping into the thinning and it passed through.

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Post by arcanus » Mon Oct 30, 2023 11:14 am

The Threshold
Sam gulped as the Crimson Cambion bucked and jolted like an angry stallion, below the thin cloud layer was an almost fluid place and below them again a swirling milky white atmosphere.
The bluish fluid trembled and undulated as glittering white ribbons of energy or currents surged through its medium, buffeting the Etherium Hull.

Despite her body being comfortably back in the physical world, she still felt a little sea or airsick "Where are we" she asked
Agnes snorted through her capran nostrils "The threshold between the true Etheric and Astral Planes" she replied
"Why is it so bumpy" she grumbled
"This is where the etheric energies collide, vitas colliding against elemental"
"Wonderful, you don't here about this from those high faluting astrally projecting magi now do you" she huffed
"Actually thats an astute observation Miss Brocklesbury" Agnes said sincerely
"Mage usually avoid this bit by moving directly from the Adtral to the NetherWorlds by way of a gate, however those that have travelled through the threshold find it easier, the energies are interacting with the Etherium hull, vitas dislikes materials, thats why the transit from the Scope to the Astral is generally avoided!"

"Its going to get bumpier" interjected Sabbath "There's our entry point"

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Re: Vapor & Tenebrae

Post by Keeper » Mon Nov 06, 2023 6:57 pm

Sabbath felt a surge of adrenaline as he had taken his seat at the helm of the Crimson Cambion.
He loved flying, in the real world, in the scope and was looking forward to taking the Cambion into the Astral realm.
He had relaxed, listening to Agnes' slightly bleating voice as she communicated with the Tower.

Take off was particularly smooth, he'd noted, but could not decide if that was down to him, or the new glyphs and tech on board.
He and Sam were being hired for their speed, so that was exactly what he gave them, punching the Cambion forward, swooping out towards the barrier between the volatile ether-space of the scope realms and the mirror-world of Astral space.

The transition between the two worlds was not without difficulty, even with the new glyphs working to smooth the transfer over to the Astral plane.
Sabbath could feel the turbulence, buffeting the craft, feedback to the controls threatening to shake them from his hands.
The glyphs glowed bright, the ether thrusters roared as the vessel passed through from one state of being, to the other.
"Agnes?" Sam Brockelsby called out over the rattling cacophony that was the Cambion fighting the friction between Vitas and Elemental etheric energies, discarding its synchronicity with the one and in favour of the other.
The engineer locked at the panels before her. Nothing stood out as being of concern.
"Everything is working as it should," Agnes called back.
Sabbath pushed the ship harder, the ether engines screaming.

The Crimson Cambion announced it's arrival in Astral space with thunderous clap that echoed around the heavens for miles around.
Below them Mirror-London, the spiritual reflection of a city with millenium of history exuding from every alleyway and building.
Sabbath stared out at Wapping, taking in the new sensations and feelings the astral realm imposed upon him.
One thing he noted, his hands seemed redder, his senses sharper and, and something else that he just could not place.

But he wasn't here on a sight-seeing exercise. He steered the Cambion west, powering towards the Cornish peninsula and eventually the open Atlantic.

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Vapor & Tenebrae

Post by arcanus » Mon Nov 20, 2023 3:43 pm

The Skies Above Astral London
The thunderclap sent a ring of white cloud out in all directions from the craft, as it turned west and accelerated the ring finished its expansion and then suddenly swept back in, the Cambion being enshrouded in a fog of glowing white specs.

The ship bucked and and pitched as the fog swirled around its hull, white steam and vapour hissing from the Etherium as it did.
"Agnes" hissed Sam
"Orience" she replied focusing her console
"What" said Sam in exasperation, as if she had the first idea what that meant
"Astral Spaces immune system" she replied

Sabbath frowned as one of the Lovelace cards disintegrated he knew the etheric feedback had frazzled its real part rentering it useless.
He'd have to replace it fully once they were out of this, keeping the Cambion level he could feel its performance become a little sluggish as the miniscule critters attacked its outward circuitry.

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Re: Vapor & Tenebrae

Post by Keeper » Thu Nov 23, 2023 10:40 pm

The Crimson Cambion surged forward as Sabbath pushed the throttle to the maximum.

The ether ports in the port and starboard engine pods opened, expelling more charged ether through the exhaust and propelling the ship westward fast enough to force both Samantha and Agnes back in their seats.

From her vantage point, just of the above, behind and the left of the pilot, Samantha observed the scene beyond the Cambion's toughened glass windows.

The world below was a cacophony of colours, similar at times to the physical world and at others a myriad of hues that related more to Auras than actual representations of their physical counterparts.

It was both beautiful and terrifying at once. Scarier still were the little motes scurrying over the Cambion's hull plating, sparking and popping as they attacked the very fabric of the ship. Sam’s jaw clenched and her hand gripped the arms of her chair tightly, white knuckles straining painfully.

"Agnes!” Sabbath called back over his shoulder. "Yes boss?" Agnes bleated back.
"What do I need to do to get these little shits off my back?"

"Erm, well, looking at the new technology we have on board I would say that we have to attune the Lovelace Glyphs on the hull to match the Mana's magnopheric signature, and then activate the Loadstone to integrate the…”

"Agnes!" Sabbath "interrupted, "I appreciate that it's complex, but can we do it? And do it before these blighters eat my ship!"

"Yes, I think so," Agnes replied, staring at her console and turning dials and knobs.

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