The Chronicles of Sebastian J. Reynolds

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Journal of an English Lord...

Post by Keeper » Mon Feb 07, 2011 12:09 pm

Journal of an English Lord...

6th Day of February, 1984.

It all started when, whilst I was breaking fast, Sam carried in an ethergram from one Lord Percival Smythe, requesting my attendance at a very important meeting .
Intrigued, I attended the meeting at a gentleman's club not far from Parliament.
There Smythe introduced me to a fellow who named himself Lord Pevancy.
Despite both mine own and Sam's best endeavours we have been unable to unearth any details on this gentleman, leading me to believe that he has adopted a pseudonym.

This Lord Pevancy knew too damned much about me, or more specifically my extra-curricula talents.

I felt sure that I would have noticed someone following me, it would have been difficult, given my widespread use of those talents for someone to have maintained such an observation unnoticed for such a time. That said, however, my confidence was dented a little.

Another idea did come to me later, much after our meeting had concluded. Perhaps Pevancy knew nothing of the specifics of my talents, only that I possessed some.
If he was a man who knew my father, or rather my father's pre-parliament days, then it was possible and a logical opinion, that he could have taught me much of what he knew.

Either way, Pevancy laid a task before me with a veiled threat as the incentive. I had no real choice if I was to maintain the secret of alternate vocation.

This meeting I realised, was indeed the beginning of a new chapter in my life...

****


The task seemed simple enough; acquire some sensitive documents from a man who was in the habit of getting his hands on such secrets. This man was an old adversary of Pevancy who had recently revealed his terminal illness.
This did initially give me cause for concern, how to gain the man's confidence to the point where he will reveal the whereabouts of said documents in such a short amount of time?

Pevancy provided the names of two fellows who might be able to aid me in my endeavours.
Of course I believed the men to be of use as they held some sort of knowledge on the specifics of the task, however it became clear that both men were 'volunteered' because of their talents only as a secondary factor. I soon came to believe that the primary reason for Pevancy naming them was because, like me, he held some degree of sway over them.

The first gentleman was known as JP. He was a man who provided certain legal and not-so-legal recreational activities for those that could pay.
He could be found in various public houses in and around Shaftsbury Avenue. His clientèle were mostly middle to upper class folks, theatre goers and Thespians alike.

I had Sam return home and try to dig up some background information on my two assistants, whilst I caught a Zep-cab down to Shaftsbury.

Lady Luck was with me that early evening as I found the man in The Shaftsbury Inn, the first such establishment I'd looked in.
The barmaid was a gamely sort and quite friendly too and she guided me to the back room where I discovered JP surrounded by a bevy of beauties!
I understood then why his clientèle were from the more discerning side of life.

Getting JP on board was surprisingly simple. I thought I might have to bribe the gentleman myself, however, after laying the truth on the table and explaining that Pevancy would effectively turn JP over to the law with enough evidence to send him down for a long time, the fellow just shrugged and accepted the task.
Upon revealing the second name on my list we were both concerned as to how to bring him on board.

Harry Lacott was not known for being the most personable of fellows, and certainly would not command the title of gentleman.
Lacott was a bare knuckle fighter of whom I had seen in a fight or two in the past. In fact upon my last visit to the ring as 'Jimmy Ambrose' I made the mistake of betting against him.

JP and I decided to head over to The Marquis of Queensbury pub where we were informed he would be fighting.
As it happens, JP was waylaid by a business acquaintance so I ventured on alone.

I had only been to the Queensbury a couple of times but I felt I should be fine despite my well-to-do attire.

The fight went as I expected, Lacott's protestations of ill health to the contrary.
It was afterwards, when I approached the man with a view to discussing a matter of urgency that I discovered what a foul-mouthed and rather uncouth individual he was.
Although I explained what Pevancy had offered, he didn't seem to understand.
To me it seemed a simple enough concept; Pevancy knew of some sort of difficulty Lacott was having with the local and rival sewer gangs and was offering to make those problems go away. I did however embellish the offer by informing Lacott that to refuse would have the opposite effect.
Even after I offered over my rather tidy winnings of £300, a sum the youth whom had accompanied Lacott could hardly believe, the bad tempered fighter still couldn't get in into his stupid head why he should help me.

Sam was at the pub by now, playing cards or something, and I have to admit that I was somewhat vexed by my lack of progress with the dolt, so his interruption was most welcome.
Lacott, who had already revealed the rather large chip on his shoulder about people he regarded as 'toffs', was immediately suspicious of Sam. When I revealed that Sam was my butler, the information seemed to spark some sort of flame within the ruffian, as he damned well near launched himself across the table at him.
I must admit that I was not really ready for it and was rather slow. Luckily Sam's reaction were not as dull as Lacott's wits, and I guess now that he must have been expecting a negative response as he had my walking cane up and pressing into the man's throat before he'd gone too far.
It certainly gave Lacott pause for thought and this was enough time for me to have drawn my revolver and have it pressing securely into the beastly fellow's temple.

Well, I had a feeling things were about to get steadily worse, but Lacott surprised me, I fact he seemed to warm to us. Perhaps our actions may have revealed us to be more than a couple of toffs after all.

As I studied the gruff fellow I wondered why someone like Pevancy would think this sort would be any use to me. What a fool I had been, I realised, to think that I would not need someone like Lacott. Obviously Pevancy was expecting us to encounter some trouble, I only had to wait and see in what form that trouble would come.

Lacott however had suddenly got the wind up him and despite the late hour we ventured off to Peckham to find our terminally ill Edison Greywall.

The old man was up, and upon hearing my surname he seemed to relax, as though he was expecting me, and his question, “What does the son of Lord Reynolds want with me?” took me a little by surprise.

Greywall explained that he and his working partner had in the course of their work come across certain information in one form or another, that was sensitive to it's owner or a third party. It became a bit of a challenge – collecting secrets. It seems the motive was simply the chase, for if the secrets had been used to blackmail their targets, then I felt sure that the ex-police inspector would not be spending his final days in this flea pit.
The documents that Lord Pevancy sought were not in fact discovered by Greywall but by his partner. Despite their little contest, neither spoke in any detail of the secrets they discovered. Best that way should someone decide to try to for the information from one or the other. However, it seems Greywalls partner was concerned enough with the contents of this particular document that he did leave a cryptic clue with Greywall as to the documents whereabouts, should Greywall ever find himself in a situation where he needed to retrieve them.

This clue, Edison gave to us, admitting that he really was too old and weary to go gallivanting off on some treasure hunt.

The clue: the location was written on the back of the mirror above the bar in Walkers Pub. Sounded simple enough except that the pub was in the Scope!

Our meeting concluded I invited Lacott back to mine where he could have one of the spare rooms.
I thought of mentioning that perhaps he could take a bath whilst we were there, however self preservation prevented me from saying it aloud.

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Re: Journal of an English Lord...

Post by Keeper » Mon Feb 07, 2011 12:12 pm

Journal of an English Lord...

7th Day of February, 1984.

I arose this morning after a fitful sleep and was terribly tired for it.
Was this because I had been unnerved by Pevancy's knowledge and, well, I have no better way of putting it; blackmail?

Actually, I think not, even in our meeting I felt no worry. I guess that to reveal me might in some way draw attention upon himself.
It wasn't until I headed downstairs to the kitchen to see Mrs Morris that I realised the source of my anxiety; Lacotte.
I passed young Paige and Georgina upon the upper landing, both seemed to be hovering near one of the guest room with their cleaning gear and they seemed pensive.
I instructed them to leave that room until later and to stay away from our loutish guest.

I had arranged to meet JP at the Shaftsbury Inn at midday, and was pleased that our late night had meant a late rise and therefore I had little time to waste with Lacotte.
Initially the man seemed once more put out by his association with what he termed toffs, however he soon resigned to our acquaintance.

I spoke to JP at some length about the events of the previous day and of our new found quest.
He told me that he had never heard of this 'Walker's Pub' in the scope and from his inflection I gathered that he was a regular tab-jammer.
After some searching I turned up one of my contacts with ether-tabs to the location of Walker's within the New London Scope.
We decided to head to the pub straight away, to much scoffing from Lacotte.
Returning to Knightsbridge I managed to dupe Lacotte into taking the tab and we were all whisked off to a little known part of New London.

The pub looked quaint enough, a little old-world and rural perhaps for the shining glass towers and neon signs of the Scope city. However, tucked away as it was it could claim the title of discreet.
The landlord and barman, Mr Pink, was a friendly enough chap and seemed eager and not a little intrigued when we asked if we could look on the back of the huge mirror behind the bar.

My experience of the scope showed me that this place was special, the 'construction' was detailed and solid. The odd thing is, this was the scope. There was only the bar, no other rooms. There was no way to get behind the mirror and de-code the wall.
The barman surprised me then, for as he reached for the huge mirror it shrank to a manageable size. Such programming 'on-the-fly' showed that this man was not only the land-lord but was a very skilled architect too.

What we discovered on the back of the mirror was both disappointing and unsurprising. A series of numbers rather than a straight "The document is hidden here..."

We had quite a lengthy discussion as to thee meaning of this and a number of theories were formulated.
It was decided that we would cross New London to the etherscape version of the National Library.
Of course it struck me as this was probably yet another place Lacotte wouldn't be interested in, and was about to say so when I noticed the grim fellow was nowhere to be seen.
The barman informed us the only the two of us had entered the pub.

Where the hell had he gone? Probably for the best in the end – we were a might better off without his rude manner upsetting folks.

JP and I made our way with haste to the library where we found out that the first part of the number, as we'd guessed was a co-ordinate relating to the Ordnance Survey maps of Great Britain.

It looked as though we were going to be heading north to the Great Metropolis; No.7 London Road, the Bradford & Barclays Bank no less.
The final set of numbers? A safety deposit box of all things.

Well, I was ready to leave but I had to hang on for JP's tab to wear off, so we visited a place he knew about.
Great Scott! The man even had girls working for him in the scope.
Of course it would have been rude of me to turn down his kind offer, and a wonderful ride she was too!

**

Back in the Prime at last I discovered that there was an express heading for the 'Big Smoke' a four in the afternoon so I had Sam make arrangements for my rail-car to be booked onto that train.

The journey north was uneventful. Lacotte was not with us as he had left my house earlier that afternoon and had not returned by the time we departed.
Pity! If we ran into a spot of bother up in the Black Country he would have been a handy chap to have around. Not all the ruffians in the Metropolis know or care how to deal with those of superior upbringing, which of course someone in my position would strike them as.

On our journey I lay upon my bed and pondered just how we were going to get our hands on the contents of that damned box.
So far, with the exception of a small remote place in Morocco (but that's another story entirely), I have managed to refrain from robbing banks, even breaking into them and stealing some papers would bring the law down pretty quick and hard should I be discovered.
Still, with Pevancy's concealed threat I figured i'd have the law to face if I didn't try. Despite the tension I felt, I managed to sleep well.

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Journal of an English Lord

Post by Keeper » Thu Mar 10, 2011 11:40 am

Journal of an English Lord

8th February 1984

A bloody cold morning! Punishment for the mild winter we'd been having in London.

JP and I took a cab from the station to the bank and I studied both the route and the possible alternate methods and approaches to the bank, should we require a stealthy retreat.

I decided, once we were outside of the bank that perhaps I ought to scope it out some more, get a look inside, even go so far as opening an account or renting a deposit box of my own.

JP, in his flamboyant and bohemian suit was of course not conservative enough for a bank so our first priority was to get him new, less noteworthy attire.
With the crass and obnoxious Lacotte still fresh in my memory I half expected JP the dandy to object, but he quite understood and I found the level of intellect and general common sense reassuring.

It was whilst we were at the tailors, and he was making some final adjustments to JP's suit that an officer of the law approached us. This plain clothes detective, a sergeant, requested that we accompany him to the local station.
At first my guard was up, after all I was aware of no crime that could be committed by the purchase of new clothing, however I saw no point in creating a scene and so we accompanied him as requested.

At the station we were taken into an interview room where eventually a rather broad fellow entered. His bulk was impressive, his arms and legs hissed ever so quiety as he moved belying their cybernaughtic nature. I was unsure but at least two of his four limbs had been replaced.

Dressed well in a fashion often shown on ex military men when they return to civilian life, he had the addition of an authoritative forbearing.
His name was von Stauffenberg, an Englishman long descended from German stock. His speech and mannerisms confirmed my original suspicions towards his soldiering background.
He revealed that he had been sent to us by Lord Pevancy.
Really? Was that to aid us, or to spy on us? Or perhaps both?
Was this man another upon whom Pevancy had some illicit knowledge and was using that to force the man into service? I hoped so. That way at least, he would be a little more trustworthy than if he was one of the peers goons. Another option of course was that Pevancy was desperate for us to succeed and seeing that our erstwhile bodyguard had gone awol, then he'd pulled some strings to get someone here who could offer us some genuine protection.
If that were the case then he was a better choice than the other fellow!

Now, I'm not normally a snob, my other vocation means I deal with all walks of life and Jimmy Ambrose and Sebastian Reynolds count many a lower class person amongst their friends. In fact some certainly rate higher than many of my upper class friends.
Like I say, I'm not normally a snob but Lacotte really had pissed me off.

That aside we eventually made it to the bank, von Stauffenberg in tow.
I took out a lease on a deposit box in which I place a few trivial items and my pistol. You never knew when something like that would come in handy.

Whilst the clerk was out I located the box number that the clue hinted at. Out of interest I entered the same number into the combination lock and hey-presto – one open box. Inside was a briefcase, which I took.
Whatever was in that case was going to have to wait until I was back in my rail-car.

Our journey back to the station was more convenient thanks to von Stauffenberg's steam-car and was spiced up thanks to our discovery that we were being followed. JP seems to have some uncanny sixth sense.
It was a zep-car with some sort of ether connection. JP, in a rather hasty move took a tab and managed to chase them off. Unfortunately we then had to wait for him to wake up. We put him in one of the small guest rooms upon my rail car.

Whilst we waited for the train that would take us back to London I perused the documents.
At first glance they were essentially a family tree pointing out evidence that Eddison Greywall was in fact the twentieth in line to the thrown.
An eyebrow was raised, but the I looked closer at the documents and found them to be a forgery. In fact the documents contained scientific notes and studies by a Dr Sullivan Bennet on the production and operation of a device known as an ether prime-converter.

Essentially it was a machine that could manipulate ether into any form and then convert it into prime reality substance.

By God! The potential was huge! The ether was essentially the stuff of dreams, yet here was a way of making those dreams a reality.

I couldn't help the cold shudder that ran through me. Whoever got their hands on a device like this would have untold power.
You could make anything from nothing. Bloody Hell! The Luddites would have a heart attack over something like this.

Here we were, in the heart of the Empire's industrial capital, and I held in my hand a document that could take British industry to a level beyond anyone's dreams, but at the same time it would ruin the lives of so many who relied on those labour intensive industries for their very survival.

This was of course not to mention the military applications of this device.

I decided there and then that this was too much ppower for any one man, or even any one nation.
Instantly I set about replicating some of the pages with much of the details changed. I slipped these excellent forgeries into the document and hid the originals behind a panel on the train.

It took me a long night's work but I got there.

We arrived in London somewhere around two in the morning.

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Re: The Chronicles of Sebastian J. Reynolds

Post by Keeper » Mon Mar 14, 2011 11:58 am

Journal of an English Lord

9th February 1984


I was dog tired when we arrived in Paddington having only had a few hours sleep.

We found that there were several unsavoury types hanging around and paying particular attention to my rail car.
I had Sam create a diversion whilst we slipped away, however the thugs were covering that exit too.
Saffenburg then took diplomacy to the next level and confronted the men head on.
A third man waiting further down the platform scampered and that made me nervous of heading out that way.
In the end, once von Staffenburg had rejoined us we nipped in through the Royal Mail office in the hope that this route was not being watched.

We thought of heading to my town house but in another of JP's miraculous 'feelings' he believed Greywall to be in danger so it was decided that we should make for Peckham forthwith.

Well our arrival there in the small hours was none too soon.
The locals were remarkably quiet this evening with the exception of a few ladies of the night and their 'managers'.
Staffenburg had an altercation with one of these fellows, I know not why, and so JP and I proceeded on to Greywall's place.

There was a number of rough looking individuals outside the main door obviously standing guard, so JP and I approached from an oblique direction.

I scaled the pipework to an accessible balcony, however JP was less adept at this and brought upon himself some unwanted attention from these unsavoury characters.

Luckily for me I managed to remain out of sight, hidden above them despite my near bungled attempt at gaining the aforementioned balcony.

I have to say that as far as stealthy entrances to places I should not be going, this was not my finest performance.

JP unfortunately tried to bluff his way out but was called out and a confrontation ensued.
Well, I had one thing to be grateful for; late night gunfire in Peckham rarely brought the police in until after the sun had come up.
The fight was frantic and I could tell that JP was, like me, not one for open conflict of this sort.
Now, it struck me with irony, would have been a good moment to have had Lacotte around.

It was lucky then, that JP was armed!

Well, with the ructions potentially waking the neighbourhood and potentially calling reinforcements from whichever gang these men were affiliated with, I proceeded into the apartments.
Once more I found luck, in that the resident of my particular entranceway remained sound asleep. I did wonder for a brief moment if, with all the noise outside, whether he might not be dead!
I was still several floors below Greywall's rooms and so I made there with all the haste that stealth would allow, slowing only as I came to that level.

There was a man just to one side of Graywall's door, he seemed pre-occupied. I used this to my advantage and made a stealthy approach.
Knowing these men had a propensity for violence I struck first, from behind, plunging a fat bladed screwdriver into the man's throat, penetrating his voice box and thus preventing him from yelling.
Surprisingly he struggled very little and I managed to get him to the ground quietly.

The sight inside Greywall's apartment was not good to see. The gentleman himself was laying on the floor, a bloodied corpse, whilst a brutish thug of a man was rooting through his belongings. He was taken aback by my arrival and very cautious as he stared at the business end of my pistol.
Our conversation was short and unproductive and so, with thoughts of my own security in mind I shot the man dead.

It was then that I heard the faintest of groans from Greywall. He was not dead despite appearances.
By now JP and von Stauffenberg had arrived and they had some of the gang behind them.

An almighty gunfight broke out as our mechanical man (had I not mentioned that Stauffenberg was an ex-military man who for reasons I can only guess were caused during some conflict, now has cybernaughtic limbs?) held them at bay despite becoming severly wounded himself.

I hefted Greywall's beaten form into my arms and carried him out, having already called for rescue!

Having little stomach for the continued fight the gang ran, no doubt having performed enough to justify their withdrawal so they could report the event to their master – some fellow of nasty reputation down near the river.

Sam turned up in good time and I exchanged places with him, driving the steam car back to Knightsbridge while he used his first-aid knowledge on the injured.

On the way I rang Dr Chase, requesting he meet us at my home. Thankfully the cheerful ex-navy surgeon was more than willing to be of assistance.

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Re: The Chronicles of Sebastian J. Reynolds

Post by Keeper » Mon Mar 14, 2011 9:59 pm

Journal of an English Lord

10th February 1984

It was a late start this morning and I don't mind admitting (in the pages of this journal at least) that I was feeling stiff and aching.
Despite my alternate lifestyle I feel the luxuries of my public life are making me soft.

It was for this reason, I believe, that I found last night's activities so invigorating. I was glad of the action.

Dr Chase informed me that Greywall was doing fine, as was the hardy von Stauffenberg, or Bull to his friends.

I sat with JP and Greywall towards lunchtime and discussed our options.
It would seem the documents were sought by not only Pevancy, but other unsavoury types too. Someone thought the were valuable enough to kill Greywall for too.

We decided that none of us were comfortable with the thought of this device falling into anyone's hands, let alone the enemies of Britain.
We would instead turn this document into the ultimate practical joke.
Instead of plans and calculations for the Prime Converter, we would create a forgery which would contain a complex series of Ether Programs, each more dubious than the next and culminating in two figures, identical to Greywall and Art, essentially mooning whoever went to the expense of creating the Ether domain from the code!

Greywall seemed to like the idea saying it would have been right up Art's street.

At this point it seemed the day would be a busy one, and none of us were wrong on that account.

JP and I returned once more to Walkers and were successful in enlisting the Mr Pink's assistance with the etherscope programming. He informed us that he would have the code to us in two days.

After this we travelled to see Carter Brookman, a forger of great repute.
This involved a trip through the sewers for JP and myself in my Jimmy Ambrose guise.
Carter was, like pink, keen to assist, and £700 and four days was all that was required.

Four Days... there was nothing for it! A trip to sunny Spain should do it.

JP called Pevency to inform him of our journey and I tried to trace the call through the etherscope. Good Lord! It was an extremely rough ride and I got dumped out with nothing but a thunderous headache for my efforts.
Four days in Spain, I suspected, would heal those hurts.

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Re: The Chronicles of Sebastian J. Reynolds

Post by Keeper » Mon Mar 14, 2011 10:04 pm

Journal of an English Lord

11th - 16th February 1984

Of course, four days in Spain means six days away from good old Blighty, as I hadn't factored travelling time into my original calculations.
I guess Pevancy must have been pacing a groove in the carpet waiting for us to contact him again.

I must admit that I was half expecting trouble on our trip, but having told Pevancy that we were going to Barcelona and in fact going to Madrid, things seemed to go very smoothly.

JP and Bull had a good time I believe, with Bull wooing a few Spanish ladies with his war stories and I dread to think how JP managed, although judging by his stable back home he seems to have a way with the ladies.

It was whilst I was over there that I came to review my own outlook.
Women had always seemed to me to be an annoying distraction. Don't get me wrong, I'm no whoopsy, and have often partaken of the pleasures of a woman's flesh, but in the long term I have had no desire to settle.
I suppose I must, to stop tongues wagging, and it is expected of a man in my position to provide an heir to my station.
My biggest concern would be on finding a woman of suitable stature who would accept my 'other' side.
It was going to be hard enough keeping my nocturnal activities from an overly nosey society, and bringing a woman into the equation, especially a society woman, would make the subterfuge even harder.
Yet my father did it, hence my existence, and his father before him. I figured that I'd have to look in that direction soon enough if I was to pass my skills on.

However, my young sister has a small boy, my nephew, I could always fall back on him. I'm sure sis would be delighted!

After four rather productive days in Spain, during which I renewed some old acquaintances and forged new ones, as did Jimmy Ambrose, it was time to return to England.
This was a mixed blessing as both JP and myself were as pink as freshly cooked lobster!
Having our own chemist along with us certainly had its benefits, as he concocted a slave that soothed the skin and took away the sting.
He's like a twentieth century alchemist.

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Re: The Chronicles of Sebastian J. Reynolds

Post by Keeper » Mon Mar 14, 2011 10:10 pm

Journal of an English Lord

17th February 1984.

Upon our return to England we discovered that the code and the forged documents had all been delivered to my Knightsbridge address.

We took our time and I arranged for a meeting with Pevancy at the SEP QORUM Club, one of my regular haunts. Actually it was my father's haunt really and he took me there on occasion.
When he passed away I was invited to take his place on the members list.
It's not a bad place to go if you want to get things done without all that annoying bureaucracy the civil servants insist on generating.

We arranged the meeting place carefully and I was fully expecting trouble. However the meeting went well and Pevancy seemed pleased with our efforts.
There were three things to come from today that struck me as things upon which to ponder...

Firstly Pevancy seemed not to have, or at least showed no sign of any knowledge of our deception, which brings me to thinking he might not be as omnipotent as I had built him up to be in my own mind.
I suppose, upon reflection, that being as discreet a fellow as Lord Pevancy is, means he has to act discreetly.

Another thing, which Bull hinted at, is that he might not actually be acting wholly in an official capacity, in which case he'd have to think carefully on whom it was he brought into the game.
Food for thought.

Secondly, Pevancy mentioned, almost in an off handed manner, like he wanted it said so he could profess to being open about it, and almost so's we wouldn't notice, that he might have future use of me.

Like bloody hell, he will! If the pumped up bastard thinks he's going to use me as his whipping boy then he's got another damned thing coming.
It has been a few years since i've had to resort to such devices but i'm not afraid to remove someone if I find the necessity for it.
Lest he forgets, I am a damned good thief and the only difference between me and an assassin is the fact that I tend to take a man's property, not his life. But I could be persuaded.

Perhaps a polite inquiry with the palace might not go amiss in my endeavours to uncover the man's true identity.

**

after our dealings with Pevancy were over, we went our separate ways, each with our own agenda's it would seem.
Von Stauffenberg wanted to do some digging on this Brom character, in fact I think he was itching for a fight. JP wanted to check in with his girls and I wanted to find out what had happened to the good doctor and creator of the dreadful Prime converter. It would seem a waste of my effort in keeping the plans for such a device hidden if someone had already made a working model.

I also wanted to track down Pevancy and make sure one way or another that I wasn't going to have him bothering me again.

I ran a bath and was relaxing nicely when Sam knocked with my ether-comm.

It was JP. He informed me solemnly that one of his girls had met with an untimely demise in the early hours of this morning and that he believed this to be a message to him.
He feared that Brom, whose men we had had a run in with almost a week ago, had come looking for him.

Brom? Maybe...
if it was him then, so far, I have managed to avoid witness from his men and I considered it safer, for the time being, that Lord Reynolds remained out of this.

Jimmy Ambrose arrived in the Shaftsbury Inn, his nails dirty, coal dust smeared upon his face and his clothes those of an 'honest' working man.
The barman showed me through to where JP was performing an analysis on the victim's blood with some very clever and expensive looking equipment.

After a brief explanation of the woman's murder he led me to the body.
She had been strangled yet there was in addition to the bruising on her throat, a pair of puncture marks on her neck, as though she had received injections.
JP remarked that he had found some unexpected markers in her blood.

I checked her body for other signs of violence – there were none.
I asked about a necklace, as woman tended to wear them these days. Yes, she had worn one, a locket. It was not on her body when she was found.
I suggested that perhaps JP should get one of the local urchins to look around the local pawn brokers and see if it had turned up.

Then looking at the late hour I suggested that after our long day it might be an idea for us to sleep.

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Re: The Chronicles of Sebastian J. Reynolds

Post by Keeper » Wed Mar 30, 2011 9:55 pm

Journal of an English Lord

18th February 1984

It was in the early hours of the morning that I awoke, long before the sun broke over the horizon.
I ventured downstairs in the hope of finding the kitchen and making myself some breakfast. It seemed I was not the only early riser.
Jody, one of JP's more reliable girls had been out scouring the local pawn shops for the murdered Lilly's missing necklace.

What she returned with surprised us.

The necklace had apparently been placed into an envelope by the man who deposited it with the pawn broker, with the instruction not to open it and to hand it over to whoever came looking for the necklace. Alongside the jewellery was a piece of mistletoe. Significance? There was much conjecture but we were unable to come up with an explanation.

Of course this new development got us all rather jumpy, I must say. I considered it a good idea to pay an unannounced visit to the pawn brokers.

The directions Jody gave me were were easy to follow and I found myself in the street without incident.
Suspicious of being observed by our perpetrator I was cautious, employing as many of the surveillance-countermeasures my father had taught me as I could.

Breaking in was easy, in comparison to some places I have tried, although my shoulder still ached from my near miss in trying to get onto Greywall's apartment block.

I startled the old fellow who was the proprietor of that establishment and although I felt slightly guilty at rocking his faith in what he believed to be his secure fortress, it was a good lesson to him.

From the broker's I procured some moving images via the rather crude and basic scope imagers, of a tall man in a long coat with the collar turned up high and wearing a wide brimmed hat so that his features were always removed from the view of the camera, like he knew where the devices were.

As we viewed the ether images back at the Shaftsbury, von Stauffenberg and Lacotte turned up. Lacotte? Good of him to put in an appearance I suppose.

JP and I were briefing the pair on recent events when we were interrupted by a man from the police. It seemed that despite JP's efforts to keep Lilly's death quiet, news was getting out.
Then the delectable Jody came in, her face ashen white.
The mere gravity of her expression was enough to alert is to the horror about which she then informed us.
My first thoughts were that another of JP's girls had been murdered but alas, it was nothing so mundane.

The young street urchins, to whom JP had spoken just the previous evening about the whore's death, had themselves been killed in a most hideous manner; tied by their ankles and beaten to death whist fighting off the blows with their bare hands.

My god how my stomach churned at the sight of it. I felt sure that it was an image I would never be able to rid myself of.

From our crude investigations we were unable to identify their assailant(s), however, more and more the conversation was steered towards Brom and his gang. Upon reflection I now realise that it was mostly von Stauffenberg who seemed most eager to be confronting the crime boss.

And so it was then that by night fall I found myself, against my better judgement and being carried along by reactionary reasoning, a few streets away from the Foraging Ferret, a well known haunt for some of Brom's lieutenants.

We had a plan, of sorts, to capture one of Brom's men and extort information from him.

Unsurprisingly, von Stauffenberg announced that he would go in thee front door and create a scene.
Lacotte would be waiting out back for anyone coming out that way, whilst JP was in the car waiting to pump untold chemicals into our captive in order to force his responsiveness.
I in the mean time was to approach from some way off and linger to run down any attempt to call in reinforcements or capture any that got away.

Things seemed to be going smoothly until I noticed a sentry in the alleyway beside the pub.
He only needed to spot the car to grow suspicious and off he'd go and fetch back-up.
I decided to try and take him down quietly. When I got close I realised that he was a big bugger. There was no way I'd get the better of this one in a fair fight.
I coaxed him into a better situation for myself, with the intention of bopping him on the head with the axe handle I have strapped to my shoulder pack.
It was a good ploy and would have worked perfectly had I not missed him entirely.

He pulled a knife and I knew I was for it. Nervous speed guided my actions as I dropped the handle and drew my pistol.
This was a new one, given me just before we came here. A silenced revolver no less. How von Stauffenberg had obtained two such items intrigued me.
I wasted no time in dispatching the man. The gun itself is more deadly than it appears.
So close to his head was I that the shot damned well blew the entire back of his head out.
There was just the dull click of the hammer striking the pin to announce the discharge and the man's bodily fluids splattering the alley floor behind him made more noise.
When the body had crumpled to the ground, the remains of his head striking the cobbles with a sound akin to a soaked towel dropped from an upper window onto a hard floor, I had to turn away as the bile rose and I expelled my lunch upon the pavement.

It took me a moment or two to recover my wits. This was the second time in as many weeks I had killed a man, and although I felt guilt, I also felt justified in my actions. Then, I suppose ones does when one's own life is in the balance.

No sooner than I had removed the corpse from general view then Von Stauffenberg was outside looking rather discombobulated.
He had, it turns out, received a call upon his ether-comm from his superiors informing him of Lord Pevancy's dispatch of a team to the Great Metropolis and also to tell him to “stop horsing around with the locals”.

A day or so previous we had discovered that the good Dr Sullivan Bennett had moved from his London address up to the Great Metropolis. It could have been nothing, or it could have been Pevancy chasing after a prototype of the doctor's device.

I admit that I was relieved. I was yet to be convinced of Brom's part in the murders of JP's whore and the children. Although I wanted justice I wanted it to be enacted upon the right culprit.

Lacotte, I knew, was to the rear of the pub, so I made to warn him of our withdrawal.
Not yards from the end of the alleyway I heard his distinctive voice below out a profane challenge to someone I had not yet seen.

As I neared the end, still enshrouded in darkness and hidden from their view I saw the thugs and what must have been a lieutenant of Brom's in the road beyond.

The cat was well and truly out of the bag now. I heard a scuffle and saw the expression on their faces change from indignant outrage to fear.
One of the men made a move that appeared to be him going for a gun.
The silenced pistol, a remarkably accurate weapon by the way, was employed again.
The man fell. His colleagues, not knowing from whence the shot had come bolted in panic down the alley towards me.

They had seen Lacotte. They were about to stumble across a grotesque corpse.
If I let them go now would reach Brom. Lacotte's description would therefore reach him, and how long would it be then before he was willing to pay the big brute a visit? How many of the youngsters that Lacotte had in his care at our original meeting would be hurt or worse because of this? There had been enough killing of children to my mind.
And what of myself? My household as yet has remained outside of event, unknown. What if Lord Reynolds was somehow connected to Lacotte, or of course the big oaf were to 'dob' me in? I wouldn't blame him, if it meant saving the little ones.
However it would put my own household in danger. Yes there would be my good name, but it would be unlikely Brom would try anything against a peer, however he would be less worried about striking at my staff.

No, for the sake of a few scum-bag peasants there was too much at risk. So I shot them as they passed, their bodies mounting up in the dark, cobbled alley.

Again it is not something I considered to be a pleasant course of action, but given the alternative, what choice was there?

By now the lieutenant, unaware of the fate of his thugs, was in conversation with Lacotte. He had recognised the fighter and was trying to diffuse the situation.

The man had recognised Lacotte? Sweet Jesus, what a mess!
Now that the initial conversation was over and Lacotte's temper had ebbed he declared that he could not bring himself to kill the man.

Well given my previous concerns, I had no such qualms about removing all witnesses.

Lacotte seemed much aggrieved by my actions. I could not blame him, the poor uneducated fool could only see the here and now. The bigger picture was probably too much for him to comprehend.
Big and strong and honourable to and extent he may be, but it is a good job I have intellect and wit enough for the both of us.

Meeting up with von Stauffenberg and JP we returned to Knightsbridge where we decided it might be prudent to leave the capital for a while. We had another possible fight elsewhere.

After ensuring the JP's girls were removed to a secure hotel, we booked passage to the Great Metropolis.

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Re: The Chronicles of Sebastian J. Reynolds

Post by Keeper » Mon Apr 04, 2011 8:20 pm

Journal of an English Lord

19th February 1984

With the decision to head north, I was relieved. I had been uncomfortable about “taking the fight” to Brom in case that man had nothing to do with our problems.

However, from von Stauffenberg's news I gathered that Pevancy's mission in the Metropolis was 'official' business.
We would ave to tread carefully up there if we were going to interfere with official business.

Well. I happened upon a perfectly legitimate reason for heading to the metropolis myself.

Having a rail car is fine on its own, but I have to rely on the posted services. What I really wanted was a locomotive with matching rolling stock. The design I looked for was being manufactured up in the Metropolis, somewhere between the Manchester and Liverpool districts.
I placed an order through the correct channels with a view to inspecting their examples and deciding on the finishing touches when I arrived in a few days.

For something of this nature then, it would be completely plausible that Lord Reynolds would be going north. And why would he not take his latest acquaintances along too. After all, there's nothing the aristocracy likes more than showing their superiority to their peers!

**

JP having booked passage upon an airship for us all, we relaxed.
There was some concern that our high-collared adversary might have agents or himself be persuing us and following us aboard.
Alternatively there could have been someone from Pevancy's crowd.

Although expecting trouble we in fact had a sedate flight until Greywall called me.

The elderly gentleman remains a guest at Knightsbridge and has been using his convalescence to look through Art's old things.
He came across something strange and contacted my ether-comm.
What he had for us was a domain co-ordinate within the scope.
JP was able to craft a tab to take him there and so I joined him. Or so I thought...

I appeared alone in a hallway of some old stately home by the looks of it. The alone part concerned me.
I could hear voices, as of children, perhaps? I made in the direction of those voices.
Now I entered a large room I which suits of armour stood like silent sentries and other artefacts were displayed on shelves and in cases.
My eye was drawn towards a singular looking long-knife in one of the display cases.
It looked valuable, and my awareness of the scope around me revealed that this was more than just a superficial value.
As soon as I touched the weapon it bound itself to my avatar. I knew then that my suspicions were correct. Time would tell if this was a good ting or not.

I could hear the voices again but this time some distance away. I also sensed JP's presence.

Breaking through the architecture itself I came to a dark lounge.
JP was there, seated in front of a blazing fire... and so too was 'High Collar Man'.

Upon seeing me he was gone in an instant, and all that remained was a crown made of mistletoe upon the chair beside JP.

Again I heard the voices but JP said he heard nothing and seemed more interested in this place. He seemed to think it was familiar.
We moved out of the room, further into the house and Jp finally hit on it – this was one of the orphanages in which he stayed when he was a child.
We wondered if this place had been built to high collar man's design? If so then there was a very good chance that High Collar Man (whom I shall henceforth denote as HCM, or at least until such time as we discover his true identity) could have resided at the same establishment.

I said nothing to JP at the time and as an educated man I would like to think that he would have come to the same conclusion, but if this was the case then HCM's motives were likely aimed directly at JP and not as the ultimate plans of a Peckham crime boss.

I wanted to find this place secret and asked JP where they would have kept things securely within the orphanage. He told me of the safe within the study and led me there.

I found the safe behind a large picture mounted on the wall. After disarming the traps and alarms I then concentrated on the safe. It took a while but I managed to get the door open.
Inside the safe was a solitary item. A very singular photograph of a group of the orphanages previous residents. I asked if there was a chance that he would recognise any of them. His response surprised me – he was one of them.

I heard the young one's voices again and this time wasted no time in rushing out into the corridor. JP declared that he heard nothing, and once in the hallway, saw nothing.
I on the other hand saw something that disturbed me greatly.
There was one of the young lads we had discovered yesterday morning, dead and beaten upon a London rooftop, yet his quite obviously alive form was here now, yet only I could see him? That meant that he wasn't some sort of scope program thrown in here by HCM to give us the heeby-geebies. This was my own personal delusional.
This was strange, yes, but also begged the question – was I creating this form in my own psyche, as some sort of projection, in fact had I helped create this place and those in it?
No. it could not be that. This was a place from JP's past, not mine.
It would certainly be a very outstanding piece of scope-geneering indeed to have a place form and shape the ether from one's own mind and memories.
But that's not how the scope works, is it?

It was about now that JP's tab wore off and he faded away. Just as another thought came to my mind, one of rumours and superstition that I had heard and dismissed heartily before. The thought of ghosts.
I decided that it was probably best not to stay here alone and so I jacked out.

What we saw upon waking within our cabin aboard the airsip caused us some alarm and sent a chill down my spine.
Lacotte, the who should have been watching over our prone forms was fast asleep in a chair. Upon the chair beside him lay a crown formed from Mistletoe!

Good Lord! That meant the HCM had been in here.
After admonishing Lacotte there was little else we could do.

Oddlly I felt a little bit better about the affair. If HCM had wanted to kill us the opportunity had been there for him to do just that, yet he hadn't – why?

There was nothing more to be done at this point so I decided to slep for the rest of the journey.

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Intrusion

Post by arcanus » Sat Apr 30, 2011 6:52 pm

The Baron of Roboroughs London Townhouse
Inspector Giles of Scotland Yard graciously accepted the brandy brought for him by Sam, Reynolds butler was in a foul mood.

They were learning the darker consequence of The Game, whilst away in The Great Metropolis Lord Reynolds Townhouse had been burgled, in itself upsetting
but nothing that couldn't be replaced.
The grievous issues were that his gardener had been beaten and knocked out, his cook scared out of her wits and Edison Greywall stolen away in the night.

However unbeknowst to the Inspector the Blue Prints were safe, although Reynolds was unsure whether that had been their intent.
Wearily he finished providing the Inspector with any and all details that he could and commited to retiring to Maristow House to recuperate and regroup.

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Re: The Chronicles of Sebastian J. Reynolds

Post by Keeper » Wed Jun 15, 2011 10:47 am

Journal of an English Lord

20th February 1984

All too soon we arrived at Manchester.
We played out the game – staying aboard until the last possible moment to see if that could draw out anyone or perhaps we might observe someone behaving oddly as they left.

But why would they? If our crown delivery man was merely in the pay of HCM, then his task was complete. If I were him I would depart the scene in an ordinary fashion without lingering.
Of course if it were HCM himself aboard but left the airship in anything but the HCM outfit, then how would we know. All he would have to do to go undetected was act completely normally. I couldn't be completely sure but I would guess that unlike the arch-villains from the penny-dreadfuls HCM would have more that one set of clothes.

As Pevancy had a fair head start on us we decided to try and track down Dr Bennett immediately. I hit on the idea that a man of Bennetts background would likely have socialised with the academic fraternity and I was very pleased to find that JP had a few friends in this area. So without further ado we took a zep-cab to the Greater Manchester University of Industry and Etheric Studies.

JP's contact in fact knew the Doctor well and provided us with a home address.

We located a decent hotel, leaving Lacotte to secure our equipment and keep a look-out for unwanted guests.
Then, having equipped ourselves appropriately we proceeded to the good Doctor's abode.

His front door was open and that got us immediately on our guard. Cautiously we went in, wondering what we would find.
Unsurprisingly the house appeared to have been given a thorough going over, unless Bennett liked to live in complete disarray and chaos.
It was towards the back of the house that we encountered resistance.
There were two of them, and thankfully it was the indomitable Bull who took the brunt of their aggression and unashamedly am unashamedly grateful for that.

His retaliation was swift and final for the two whom attacked us.


We witnessed a third person observing from a building across the rear yard.

I managed to gain entry unobserved but in my enthusiasm I forgot the basics and was revealed by a screamer. Damned noisy little devices. Bloody thing got me shot too! Luckily the mesh armour that Bull had provided did its job.
The gunshot however did bring in the cavalry in the for of Bull and JP with guns blazing.

Not the sort of thing you want when you are trying for discretion, but there was little I could do after the event.

Our third assailant was a woman with a Liverpudlian accent.

She was a hired gun, someone paid to watch the house and kill anyone snooping around.
As is often then case with such people the thought of despicable violence being conducted upon her or more probably a drugged coercion caused her to spill the beans with little actual effort on our behalf.

Her employer had taken Bennett just yesterday. He was being held in the canal district.

So now we had another adversary – Skelton. Yet another local hood who had taken an interest in Bennett's invention.

Brom/Skelton, London/Great Metropolis, Search for blue-prints/search for the real thing.
There was a modus operandi here and I now understood why the London based criminal had been looking for the Prime converter papers.

It seemed obvious now that damned Lord Pevancy liked to get the local thugs to do his running around – no doubt using the same technique he had on me. So, as he dispatched me track down the plans for the converter, he'd sent Brom and his goons to make sure Greywall wasn't hiding anything.

The bastard may well find this to be a mistake. Making threats against the criminal elements is one thing, but threatening a Lord of this Realm is another.

With his lead to the plans failing (in the form of an ingenious ruse I might add) he and his team were in the Metropolis looking for Bennett, or more precisely a prototype converter, and using Skelton to take care of things.

**

Now that we had a better handle on things as they stood right now, we decided to have a real good nose around and see if we couldn't unearth some half decent clues.

Well, unearth it was to be too.

Having searched our way meticulously through Bennett's things starting in the attic and working our way down we eventually came to the cellar.
After Bull had crashed his way through the stairs we finally found a strong box buried in a corner. Once the traps were disarmed we discovered just an ether-graph image and a pair of keys.
The image was of Bennett's family.

One of the keys, we discovered later, were for a lock up a street away. The second key being to the battered old zep-car held within it. As the day was drawing on we decided to forgo any return to the hotel and head straight for Skelton's. However we had no idea where that was, so I hit on a novel idea – we'd recruit the local constabulary. I hoped Bull's credentials would be enough.

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Re: The Chronicles of Sebastian J. Reynolds

Post by Keeper » Wed Jun 15, 2011 10:48 am

Journal of an English Lord

20th February 1984 Continued......

The Manchester Police were rather taken aback at our sudden arrival and at first the uniformed Bobbie didn't know how to react.
Eventually Detective Burns took control and organised some uniforms to assist us.
Burns came with us in the old zep-car and the policemen followed on strange gyro-copter contraptions.

We should have known really, the way things had been panning out of late.
We'd developed ourselves a tail and they were rather aggressive.

JP managed to rip the flight control box out of the car, allowing us free flight outside the normal lanes.

I must admit that at one time, having leaped out of our car and onto theirs, whilst Bull had done the same, I hadn't really given much thought to the consequences of leaving JP in control of ours.
I don't think he'll let me forget that for some time to come.

Never mind, needs must and all that!
We overcame our adversaries in the end, finding out from their pilot who they worked for and then where exactly they had taken Dr Bennett.

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Re: The Chronicles of Sebastian J. Reynolds

Post by Keeper » Wed Jun 15, 2011 10:50 am

Journal of an English Lord

21st February 1984

It must have been around midnight when we had commandeered their vehicle.

Detective burns was both stunned and amazed by our antics and I rather think he would have chosen to remain behind if he'd known.
After a wee bit of persuasion – JP style – the drive told us exactly where to find Bennett.
We took their zep-car, judging that Skelton's men would recognise it and ignore it until it was too late.

Our plan worked well as we were able to get right in over the warehouse where Bennett was being held.
We were about to order the police officers to begin their assault when we noticed another group closig in.
Skelton's lot were holding them off and their attention was away from us.

Over the main building we dealt with a rooftop gunman and JP decided to try and nip in through the skylight.
He didn't land as he would have hoped, slipped and tumbled down the roof. My initial thought as he disappeared over the edge was that he would not survive.
Luck or some other mystical design must have intervened as JP despite being stunned, had managed to get away with only a knock to the head.

As he lay inert upon the ground, the rear door burst open and who should appear but the good doctor himself.
He looked as though Skelton's mob had been pretty rough on him.

Bull sorted out those members of Skelton's team that made a nuisance of themselves and we bundled Bennett and JP into the car, pulling away as quickly as the thing could muster.

It was moments later that our elation at such an easy resque was dashed upon the rocks of karma.

Our departure had drawn much gunfire from below and Bennett had received a fatal wound, but not before imparting upon us the necessity to get to his lab.

Even with Bennett dead I knew we had to continue on. This bloody device of his was on the verge of falling into the wrong hands.

**

At first glance Bennett's lab looked quiet enough, but then we spotted the sniper on the roof opposite the main entrance.
I brought the zep-car around to the back entrance, out of sight of the sniper. Bull, JP and myself went in cautiously, eventually followed by Burns.

Inside the lab we encountered agents of The Reich. It was a frantic fight, Bull and JP keeping them busy and under pressure whilst I tried to capture one of them.

Things didn't go entirely to plan there, my first captive dying and my second target getting away. It turned out he escaped with Bennett's journal containing enough details for the Reich to determine the location of Bennett's machine on the scope side.

We knew this because in him escaping we encountered a terrified man named Simon, who was Bennett's assistant.

Whilst JP interrogated Simon, in a friendly non-chemically enhanced way, I hit on a strange idea. I have no clue why but just thought of it then. Just to see if I really was seeing things, or crazy, I went out to the zep-car and jacked in to the scope.
I didn't enter any co-ordinates, I merely opened my mind to my surroundings.
There I found Bennett sat next to a large gravestone inscribed with his own name. He was, of course, well aware of his situation, that being that he was dead, and seemed to be taking it well. He was disappointed that he would not be able to carry on his work though.
Not knowing whether I was right in doing so I suggested that he might wish to devote his time to the study of his current location, somewhere within the wild scope.
I asked him of his hidden laboratory where the Prime Converter was constructed. It was the information that we were missing and as JP had pointed out, the Germans had the details for the scope part, so were less likely to be heading for the physical equipment.
Bennett's answer; the sewer kingdom of Ralph Faulks.

This was to be my test. If I was going mad then whatever experience I had just had would be a figment of my own imagination. There was no way I would know of this Faulks or that that was the place to find the laboratory. Of course, if my answers were correct then that meant I really had communed with the dead. Found the prospect chilling.

Simon had given us something of Bennett's; upload tabs for finding and destroying the machine, both in the physical and scope worlds.

Apparently destroying either one would render the other useless and trigger a destruction of the other.

We left the body of Bennett in the care of Simon and Detective Burns and took to the air.
Although the tab didn't say to look in the Kingdom of Faulks it guided us to a specific entrance in the sewers.

With Lacotte now with us we ventured in and simultaneously piquing my interest and filling me with an odd sense of … fear? I realised that my conversation with the dead Bennett had been no imaginative figment.

Speaking with the dead? Through the scope? Mad maybe, but at least I hadn't taken to wearing large hooped earrings and carry a crystal ball!

**

Our first encounter, once we were inside the sewers was with the god awful smell! Lacotte went so far as to say it was fragrant, in the manner of my mother commenting on my Grandmother's pot-pouri.

If he wasn't such a big bloke I would have slapped him!

Very soon we came upon a toll booth. The price was extortionate but we had little choice.
By the information imparted to us by the tabs, these 'gatekeepers' were from a clan that was not affiliated with a kingdom or other territory. They merely ensured the main highways between the kingdoms remained open.

JP had inquired as to whether there were any other outsiders down here, and whether these folks might ensure that we were the only ones.
The old gentleman's posture and demeanour suggested that we had already been beaten to the mark.

Proceeding cautiously we entered Faulks' realm.

Our first obstacle came when the tunnel opened into a chamber, the walkway finishing here and continuing on down the opposite tunnel, across a filthy looking pool.

JP wasted no time and plunged right in. I have to admit to being a little less inclined but eventually went for it, dropping down into the waist high water.
I slipped and went under, only just managing to keep the filthy muck from my mouth.

JP on the other hand met with an all together different trouble. A crocodile of all things latching on to his leg and dragging him down.

Whilst I floundered, trying to find my footing, Lacotte came into his own, diving straight in and wrestling with the beast.

I have to say I had seen nothing of the sort in my life, it was like something straight out of the pages of Greystoke.

However, it did take all of Lacotte's quite obvious strength to hold the creature still whilst simultaneously holding JP's head above water.
The thing still held on to JP's leg like a dog not wanting to give over it's favourite bone.

In the end we had to shoot it through the eye with the German machinegun.

There was a lot of blood and bull helped patch JP up. The erstwhile professor quaffed some odd concoction and before we could stop him he was up right as rain and marching on.
He called after us telling us to hurry up as he didn't know how long the effects of the draught would last.

It was the first time I had exchanged one of those “uh-oh!” glances with Lacotte. Normally he is the one causing such looks between JP and myself.

**

We travelled through more of the dank dark arched tunnels, the flotsam and jetsam of human waste rippling in a repulsive stream beside the walkway.
My God, how it smelt right then!
My suit was ruined, my hat was missing – lost when we encountered the crocodile and now, in the middle of winter, I was freezing cold, soaking wet, filthy and smelling awful.

Thankfully the path ended in a small set of steps that took us up into a disused subway tunnel and within a few yards we were climbing up onto a station platform.

We were immediately accosted by Gamma's who I suspected were under the control of Faulks. We were asked to leave.
I have to say that we didn't get off to the best of starts with these fellows as JP, in a mixture of pain and drug induced delirium began shouting for the man who owned the damned crocodile.
It was all I could do to stop JP shooting the old chap who was already insisting we clear off.
We tried to bargain with them but a voice from the door to what must have been the old waiting room urged the gamma's to stop talking and start fighting.
The man in the door didn't look like a gamma. Too tall and clean. However, a right old scuffle ensued.
The man in the doorway produced and odd looking pistol. When it fired the retort was deafening and the pistol seemed to give off a strange greenish smoke.
The bullet however struck me a glancing blow on the shoulder. I was most glad of the mesh armour Bull had provided for us because other than a dull throb from the impact I felt no other pain.
I got out of the brawl sharpish, hoping that I might come upon our mysterious stranger by stealth.

In fact, with all that was going on it was aa simple thing to sneak up on the doorway unobserved.
JP, Lacotte and Bull were rather busy bashing heads here and shooting limbs there.

I think it was the old gamma who went by the name of Scribbler who, in a bellowed order at his companions, revealed the man in the door with the heavy Manchester accent was none other than Skelton himself.

Now that I was much closer I could see that Skelton's pistol was an ether-tech weapon. How it hadn't blown my arm off I'll never know.

Not wanting to take any chances I unclipped the German machine-gun thing and quickly popped it around the door frame, squeezing the trigger and emptying the magazine.

I'd aimed low and found that I had torn his legs to ribbons.
He was sprawled out on the grubby floor writhing in pain. Time to finish him, I thought.

As I stepped into the doorway the door was slammed shut, squashing me against the frame but not seriously hurting me.

Dancing back I was confronted by a man I later discovered was called Sweeney. I guessed by the knife in is hand that this must have some reference to Fleet Street's demon barber, and I doubted very much that it had anything to do with his given name.

I drew my sword from my cane and prepared to fight. We played and pranced and postured then, when he realised that his skill with a blade far outmatched mine and he began to press home his advantage, I managed to surprise him by drawing my pistol and shooing at him.

Of the blasted luck the damn thing failed and I was left wheeling backwards, Sweeney having slashed my arm.

We were out on the platform fighting now and I could see Lacotte, JP and Bull back to back fighting off hordes of the sewer dwellers.
Sudden excruciating pain in my leg let me know I'd yet another wound. In the to-and-fro of our combat I managed to position myself in the doorway, suddenly but painfully leaping back through it and slamming the door shut, sliding the bolt across. Sweeney was left on the other side frustratedly trying to get his knife in at me.

I looked for Skelton in the hope of finishing that man off, but he was nowhere to be seen. Only a smeared line of blood leading towards the far door revealed anything of his whereabouts.

It was then that I noted there was a knife embedded in my thigh and as the adrenaline of the fight began to wear off so did my awareness of the pain increase. Having listened to Dr Chase often enough, I knew that removing the blade would be a major mistake so despite my natural instinct, I left it there.

The bastard Sweeney! He appeared at the far door briefly and something small and round was thrown in to come bouncing along the floor to a rest next to me. It smoked slightly from one end.
I recognised it as a grenade instantly and threw myself away from it.

The explosion left a ringing in my ears and the shrapnel tore sheds from my back and legs, but not enough that I could not go on.

As the smoke cleared I clambered unsteadily to my feet and stumbled for the door, my gun re-chambered and in my hand.

But Sweeney and Skelton were gone.

Then I spotted old Scribbler as he urged the gamma's on in their attack on JP, Bull and Lacotte.

I don't know if it was me pointing out that it was Faulks and not Skelton who ran things here or the fact that I mentioned Skelton's alliance with the Germans, but before we knew it the fight had stopped.

As I write this journal some considerable time after the events, much of what followed I have either forgotten or was too tired and in too much pain to heed.

Suffice to say that we travelled deeper into the Great Metropolis' sewers than I had imagined possible, coming at last to a great town in a vast cavern. I do not recall if the cavern was natural or a man made part of the sewer network. There were proper houses and streets here so that it looked just like a normal part of the city above ground.

Here we were treated well and one of the gamma's even fixed up our wounds as best they could.
I had been dubious but afterwards I felt no pain. Whatever salve, foul smelling though it was, she had plastered over the deep ragged wound had completely numbed it, though with the damage done I still walked with a heavy limp.

We were then herded on towards a larger dwelling, looking remarkably like a council building. We were being taken to meet with Faulks himself.

Eventually we came to a set of rooms that took my breath away by it contrast.
Further and further we had so far progressed into the sewer kingdom, dark, rank, wet, cramped, bloody awful.
Yet now we emerged into brightly lit rooms with plush fitted carpet, comfortable chairs, expensive looking wallpaper.
If I didn't know any better I'd say we were in a gentleman's club in Kensington, not some room deep beneath Manchester.

There was a shallow trough in which we had to clean our shoes before being allowed to progress further.

“King” Faulks, master of this kingdom was sitting behind a large oak desk in the next room. Looking for all intents and purposes like the home secretary, in both dress and demeanour. Yet this man, leader of a self proclaimed sewer kingdom was not one of the rat-like diminutive Gamma's. Nor was he totally human, or a Beta, as the scientific community has classified the majority of humanity. No, this man was tall, slender, almost pretty. This was an Alpha, genetically manipulated to host the best qualities of the human condition.

It was at this point that I looked at Bull with renewed interest. The formation of the big man's cheeks, the shape of his skull, similar in perfection to the “king's” yet more robust. Bull was an alpha too then. I felt a tinge of inferiority. It didn't last long.

Faulks was dissmissive of us at first, in fact I believe it was his original intention to have us killed.

I should have liked to see what the outcome of that particular order would have been.
I know that for my own part I was prepared to eliminate him right now. Even as I stood there in my wet, ruined clothing I was fingering the hammer of a pistol in my pocket.
Faulks, I feel, for all his confidence, would have met his end before we did.

But it didn't come to that. We spoke like gentlemen briefly then after mention of the Reich-lander's again, he gave us permission to proceed to the doctor's lab.

**

Escorted by Scribbler and his “crew” we arrived at the laboratory.
It was an easy matter for JP and Bull to destroy the essential components that would mean the device was rendered useless.

Scribbler's orders were to bring us out of Faulks' kingdom once we were finished by the quickest route, which he did.

Emerging though we were into a dull, cloudy and early February morning our eyes still stung with the comparative brightness.

Although we had much still upon our minds, hospital was our first port of call...

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Re: The Chronicles of Sebastian J. Reynolds

Post by Keeper » Wed Jun 15, 2011 10:52 am

Journal of an English Lord

22nd February - 26th February 1984.

We convalesced for several days, first in hospital, and then in the hotel, where a private doctor was called.

Once ready to travel we booked passage south to London. JP wanted to check on his girls, Bull needed to report in, Lacotte just wanted to get back to his normal life and I, having no mind for the hectic city at the moment decided I would retire to Maristow.

I extended an invite to my companions to join me once they had concluded their business.

Only Lacotte declined.

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Re: The Chronicles of Sebastian J. Reynolds

Post by Keeper » Wed Jun 15, 2011 10:54 am

Journals of an English Lord

March & April 1984

It was a pleasant change of pace, being back at Maristow after all this time.
Normally I would pop in for a day or two whilst on my way to somewhere else, or to deposit an item I had acquired in the old hidden vault in the cellar.

It was never a peaceful return and Beth, Elizabeth, would always be fussing that I was a disruption to routine.

Beth, my only sister, lived in our family home running the estates and despite the fact that Maristow was actually mine, she was always annoyed at my often unannounced arrivals.

This time however, having read about my foiling a plot by the Reich in the papers, and seeing my rather wounded condition, she seemed very accepting of my return.

Elizabeth is several years younger than myself and despite being married when she was sixteen, she was widowed by twenty, having borne a son and a daughter, twins, of her own.

Having my sister and her children nursing me and fussing after me was rather nice.
I think Beth was actually glad to have me there as she was being propositioned by a number of eligible bachelors on a regular basis. Once it was known that I was back they seemed less inclined to come calling!

It was in mid-March that my guests arrived.

JP's leg seemed to be healing well, Chase doing his thing with excellent skill as usual.

Bull seemed completely oblivious to the slowly healing holes and cuts that peppered his torso, though his more serous wounds had been to his limbs.
Being cybernaughtic, these had been repaired by the ministry technicians.

All this time got me to thinking about how much my life had changed since the beginning of February.

My father had trained me in skills that were quite simply unbecoming of a member of the aristocracy and had me put them to nefarious use, though always with strict guidelines and never overly conspicuous. Why?

I had wondered this for many years. It was like having a thoroughbred hunting dog and only letting it chase sticks.

Then, days before he had died he called me to his room.
There he said to me that I, like him, would come to find myself more involved in things than I would expect or wish to be.
When that happened, said he, I would want to gather around me individuals of a similar disposition, although probably not in background. These individuals with unique knowledge and skills of their own would join me, of their own accord or through means of provident circumstance.
I would know when this was.
This group would band together in crises, helping one another. They would require a man of wealth and position to lend credence to their actions and provide financial support. He believed I was in as good a position as any to take that role.

Father told me not to bring “the group's” business home.

At the time he had told me all this I had thought him going mad. How could he possibly know the future? Just because something like that had happened to him why should it follow with me?

Well here I was, two unique yet intrinsically linked adventures later.
“Adventures?” I hear the casual reader of the journals scoff! Well what other description better fits the scenarios in which I have been involved?
And I was gathering unique persons about myself. You only had to look to JP and then to Bull to know that was true. Even Lacotte was unique in both his skills and more importantly his connections and knowledge of the seedier, grimier side of life.

If I was to complete father's prediction then I would need somewhere away from both Maristow and Knightsbridge. Somewhere odd people and strange things would not necessarily go unnoticed, but would be ignored as nothing unusual.
I looked about and found an establishment on Shaftsbury Avenue. I spoke to JP and Bull who both considered it a grand idea, buying an old theatre. In fact, so taken with the idea were they that they decided to chip in!

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Re: The Chronicles of Sebastian J. Reynolds

Post by Keeper » Wed Jun 15, 2011 10:55 am

Journals of an English Lord

21st April 1984

So it was then that in the morning just as we were getting ready to go out for a round of golf at St Melion , that I received a call on the ether-comm from the conveyancing solicitor we three had engaged.
The polite young man on the comm, a representative of Woodframe & Hearth informed me that the vendor was very keen, had been well prepared and was eager for the sale to proceed.

The solicitor said that all of the paperwork was being checked and our signatures would be required in four days, that being the 25th. Once signed the papers would be ether-scanned across to the vendor and the theatre would be ours.

JP announced that the theatre would be called The Magdeline.
It was a good name for a theatre, if one ignored the reference to biblical whores! Neither Bull nor myself could come up with anything better.

We were joined on the green at St Melion by my father's old friend, Lyndsey Trenholm or The Viscount Falmouth, and by Sir Virgil Sarls, a high ranking member of the Eugenics League.

All in all a good day even if I did have to hobble most of the way on my stick.

Later in the 19th hole Falmouth invited us to join him at a show he was seeing in London in a couple of days.
We accepted and I, in turn, offered the use of The Wraith, my new shiny black, sleek steam train.

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Re: The Chronicles of Sebastian J. Reynolds

Post by Keeper » Tue Jul 05, 2011 7:43 pm

Journals of an English Lord

23rd April 1984


On our way up to the capital our discussions turned to our recent experiences.
JP announced his desire to return to the house where we had met High Collar Man upon the ether.
Although wary at first I was interested to see the place again.
Falmouth, intrigued and a little naïve, requested that he come along too and despite my warnings that our destination was nothing like the pleasure domes of Soho he still persisted.

We arrived in the grounds of the house this time and were confronted by odd bestial looking hounds, lots of them.

We made for the house smartly and once inside it didn't take long for HCM to appear. And then so did more of these dogs. There was a scuffle with the beasts.
I quickly erected a portal through the wall HCM also stepping through.
There were words exchanged and Bull, unused to the ways of the scope tried to fight HCM after the enigmatic figure who at first seemed to be helping us, had stabbed and killed JP's avatar.

HCM was far too quick for Bull, something the big man was not used to. All this came to a head though as the dogs appeared through the portal I had forgotten to close.
HCM began to fight them, indicating that we leave.
Bull 'returned' Falmouth to the real world and then turned the pistol on himself.
I was about to leave myself when a thought came to me.
I jumped in beside HCM, taking on the dogs. More and more were coming in. eventually as things started to get frantic HCM told me to go. Actually spoke, or rather hissed. There had been ample opportunity for him to take me down but he didn't. Why not?

With a salute I logged out.

Falmouth was full of it, talking like an excited school boy. He said it was most different to the pleasure domes he had previously visited.
I lied, telling him it was a similar concept, but instead of the hedonistic delights we were beset by difficult challenges that we had to overcome whilst solving clues along the way.
He seemed impressed.

***

that evening's entertainment was excellent; a good yarn well told. It was probably considered high-brow and I felt justified in not contacting Lacotte and inviting him along. I had the feeling he would have issued a stream of obscenities in my direction declining the invite anyway.

It was as we filtered out of the theatre (not too far from our new purchase) that we heard the scream.

I don't know what compelled us, but we all three; Bull, JP and myself cast each other a knowing glance and made wordlessly for the corner from which the sound had come.

There we discovered a young couple down the side alley, one Natty Miller, a working girl not in JP's employ, and Joseph Jefferies, an accountant whose details I ascertained before allowing him to make himself scarce. A married man he seemed more concerned about his own predicament – that of being discovered with a lower class tail like Natty than he did about what he and she had just discovered.

Their little tryst had made use of and old cart parked against the theatre wall as a support for Natty.
In the course of the coupling they had disturbed the cart and in doing so had caused the old tarpaulin covering the contents to slip, revealing the corpse of a young woman.

Red haired and delicate of features this woman, as JP very soon discovered, was yet another victim of the unknown killer that had taken the life of one of his girls. HCM was our prime suspect in that investigation.
Natty very quickly identified her as a working girl, new to the area.

Bull kept the crowds back while JP did more investigation.
I was, at this point, reluctant to get too involved. This was a case for the police, whom I could hear approaching with calls of “step aside,” and “coming through.”

As they bustled past me I reflected upon the situation as a whole.
I had been shocked to discover upon my return from the Great Metropolis that I had been named in the national press as the man who thwarted a plot against Britain by the Reich.
I wondered how my peers would take it, but also whether the enhanced reputation I gained would be harmful to me in my other pursuits. In fact the event had brought my name to the forefront of many conversations amongst the peerage but for all the right reasons.

So, did I want to expose myself to more attention? I was not sure so I opted to sit back and avoid being the centre of this episode.

Detective Sergeant Armstrong arrived once the bobbies had secured the area, shooing everyone away.
It was only Bull's credentials that had allowed us to remain near the crime scene thus far.
Thankfully Armstrong, with whom JP and myself had a particular bond with after the discovery of those murdered children upon a rooftop not too far from here, allowed JP to continue.

My friend took samples of blood and also discovered the victims blue tongue.
Armstrong informed us that there had been seven girls now, reported dead. This one was not the only one with a blue tongue. Those that were strangled to death had not had this symptom.

Armstrong let us in on this information discreetly, telling us that the killings had stopped approximately two months ago. Now it seemed they had started again.
Two months ago? That was roughly the time we left London. And now upon our return they started up again. Coincidence? This body was at least a day or two old and we only got back today. If this was in some way connected to us how could the killer have known we were coming back?

With the pressing throng of onlookers Armstrong bade us depart. We did.

I returned home to Knightsbridge. JP, however, went to his laboratory above the Shaftesbury Inn and worked on the blood samples.

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Re: The Chronicles of Sebastian J. Reynolds

Post by Keeper » Tue Jul 05, 2011 7:56 pm

Journals of an English Lord

24th April 1984

I had a late breakfast where Mrs Morris frostily offered me only the barest of meals.
It seems she is still unhappy with me.
When I left for Manchester my house had been burgled, Mr Morris had received a beating and Greywall, who had been my guest had been taken. It was a bit of a nightmare for all of my household.
Cleverly, whoever was behind it had timed the event for when Sam was out of the house.
Mrs Morris had been rather offish towards me since, despite my numerous apologies.
Thankfully Sam, who had been fuming at the crime, dealt with the police on the matter.

Taking my leave of my own household I took a cab to the Shaftesbury.
There old Ron told me That JP had gone to the University medical college to speak to someone. I figured that would be about the blood samples.

I took a cab in that direction and upon arrival was able to find out that he was speaking with a Professor Giles Ochram, Head of Forensic Sciences.

I met up with JP on his way back from his meeting. He informed me that he had placed the samples with Ochram's students to see what they could come up with.
Ingenious idea!

We had arranged the previous night to meet Bull at the Shaftesbury at lunchtime and so we headed that way once more.

On arriving Ron seemed annoyed, swearing at JP and telling him that he wasn't his “bloody receptionist!”
JP had two visitors awaiting him in the back room. I was instantly suspicious.

The first man was a Mr Donald Campbell, a working man from up north. He apologised for the intrusion but needed help to find his sister. JP didn't seem to flinch at this request, like it was normal for him.

I wondered if that was one of the reasons Pevensy had put me on to him in the first place. Did JP have, as Campbell mentioned, a talent for finding people?

Campbell told us that his sister, Mrs Jane Culver, had had suddenly stopped writing to him.
She had come down to London a month or so ago after a break up with her husband over an affair.

She had come don looking for work as a seamstress apparently.
Campbell gave us as much detail as he could, answered JP's questions, and those of myself, though mine were only asides and poignant pointers really, and then ha awkwardly left.

JP's second visitor was very different. He was better dressed, his clothes, although not opulent or especially fine, were of a more academic style and neater cut.
He introduced himself as Addison Parker, a free-lance writer and author, looking for inspiration and research on his new book. Apparently he was a crime writer, like Christie. He had heard on the grape vine that JP had been paying an interest in the murders, and having seen the article about out northern adventure thought we were idea muses.

I don't think JP was too keen to have him tagging along though, despite a promise of a cut in the royalties and access to his contacts.

**

JP seemed determined to find out about this Jane Culver woman, especially after he had seen her image.
She was very attractive.

Donald Campbell had mentioned that one letter had come via the Euston Hotel. JP decided that he should head straight there.
It seemed odd to me that JP should suddenly channel all of his energies into a search for a compete stranger, on behalf of a complete stranger, when he had other pressing matters closer to home. I would have thought discovering the identity of the man who killed one f his girls would be of highest priority.

However, there seemed an enthusiasm to JP and I wondered if the lack of progress in finding the murderer had necessitated interest in the direction of finding the missing woman.
“you have a reputation for finding people,” Campbell had said. Perhaps then, this was more familiar territory for JP and he needed the assurance a positive outcome would give.
Or, of course, he could merely be filling the time until the students got back to him with the results of their blood analysis. A distraction.

Still I was concerned for my reputation. On the cusp of setting up a.... what? Foundation? No, Society was more apt. The reputation I held in general was a good one, a solid foundation with which to build or little group. To tarnish it now, right at the beginning would be folly, and so, I found myself reluctant to get too involved in the investigation of a whore's death.
But here, now, as I watched JP gathering up his coat and hat I pondered the situation.
Certainly, helping look for a lost person was not a bad thing, although not the sort of thing your average aristocrat would normally indulge in.
And the murder of a whore? Well it wasn't just that now, was it. There had been many and the police were as baffled now as ever they had been with the Ripper.
It seems there had been no negative backlash from the peerage on my foiling a Reich plot. Perhaps a reputation as an active exponent of British Law and Order would be a positive thing.

I offered JP my assistance in the matter and so, in the early afternoon we took a cab to Euston Station.
It was fairly convenient as there was a Lostwithiel born baker not far from there who made the most glorious Cornish pasties and I am rather partial to the “minor's fare”.

At the hotel we came across Bernie Pailin, the doorman.
A rather likeable and friendly chap he seemed guarded about telling us anything about our missing woman.
However after proper introductions and the explanation of our reasons, he warmed to us.
He told us that Jane had gone to work for one of his old army colleagues, a Sir Addison Reeves, over at Burmansea Tailors.

We then went in to see the receptionist who JP was very friendly with. She wouldn't tell us anything, but both JP and myself independently came to the conclusion that she knew something.
JP came up with a plan to bribe her, and whilst he went off to find a local jewellers, I wandered over to the bakers to grab us some lunch.

Upon my return I saw a couple of thuggish brutes roughing up old Bernie, but he seemed to be standing his ground.

They left before I got near and handing the two pasties to Bernie and JP I wandered on (limping and making more use of the stick than I would care to admit) up the road, following the two men. Bernie had quickly mentioned as I passed that they were inquiring about Jane.

I followed them to the Dog and Duck, some distance away.

Quickly removing my coat and jacket, and using the grime of the alleyway behind the pub to dirty myself up a bit I became Jimmy Ambose.
Limping stickless into the pub I exaggerated my ailment, knocking into one of the two men as they stood at the bar.
Instantly aggressive, the man threatened to do me harm. Of course I played out the apologies and offered to supply fresh drinks for the pair of them, at which point they mellowed.
I introduced Jimmy and gave them some bull story about me being injured escaping the wrath of my wife as I leapt out of the bedroom window of another woman.
They found it amusing and soon Burt and Henry were quite talkative. It didn't take them long, after I let them know I was on the lookout for work, to start telling me about their current employment. They were working for some fellow down from Manchester who was looking for his unfaithful wife. Apparently he was putting quite a lot of effort into it.

I had another pint with them and departed saying I'd be back to see if the Manc bloke had some work for me.

Upon returning to JP and Bernie I was to discover that the husband had put pressure on the receptionist to give no information out about his wife, even giving an address to send people to.
As the address was not in Burmansea, we had a feeling it wasn't right.

Heading back to the Shaftesbury, JP stopped off to engage some thugs of his own, employing them to go to this address looking for the girl, suspecting that they would not find her there at all.

After dropping JP off I headed home looking for a peaceful night. I didn't get it though.

Sam was out with Mrs Morris and her daughter. According to the note Sam had written, Mrs Morris' mother had taken ill and so Sam had driven the two women over to Greenwich.

Mr Morris however, was in the kitchen trying to console a sobbing Paige.
On my arrival though my household's youngest servant quickly pulled herself together and in embarrassment ran from the room.
Mr Morris had no idea what the metter was and even though I asked her later she would not speak of it.

I wondered how long it would be before I was involved in something else!!

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Re: The Chronicles of Sebastian J. Reynolds

Post by Keeper » Sun Sep 04, 2011 7:34 am

Journals of an English Lord

25th April 1984

I took a cab to Berman's Tailors with JP and Bull in the morning.

The place looked as though it could do with some investment.

Inside however the place was a hive of industry. We were greeted by a cheerful young lady working a weaving machine. The girl, whose name was Amy, directed us towards the office at the rear.
There we met with Sir Addison Reeves. He was a portly fellow with a rather pleasant nature and sporting and old and battered cybernaughtic leg. Apparently he lost it in one of the Crimean wars.
Bull took rather a shine to the old warhorse, even offering to buy the man a new leg. He, of course, refused.
Reeves informed us that Jane, now going by the name of Jennifer Coyle had not stayed with the factory long – just three days. She had been boarding with Mrs McCord, a fellow worker, who brought in a letter to say she would not be coming back.
Mrs McCord's husband had apparently set her up with a new job.
We arranged to visit Mr and Mrs McCord at their home next evening to discuss with him the details.

Having few leads we used the afternoon to pick up the keys and papers for our newly purchased theatre.

It was cold and must inside and many of the amenities were old fashioned. And the mouldy, peeling decor?
Once it was agreed on how the theatre would be divided up I set about making calls to my betters in the world of interior design.
I suppose I ought to have contacted Elizabeth. She’d be perfect for this kind of thing. Probably be good to check on JP’s designs too!

It was in the late afternoon that we received news from the medical university. The students had come up with the results on the blood samples JP had supplied.
We headed there immediately.
I listened intently to the technical babbled between JP, the professor and his senior student. It all got a bit too technical for me.
It boiled down to the fact that there was an odd and very rare plant extract within the blood. So rare that they were unable to establish an origin.
I asked if it were poison made from this plant, to which they replied that it was too elaborate to be poison. It was also very detectable.
They were unable to give us any further specifics.

We returned to the Shaftsbury Inn to retire for the evening.

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Re: The Chronicles of Sebastian J. Reynolds

Post by Keeper » Mon Sep 12, 2011 9:14 pm

26th April 1984

In the morning we decided to contact Scotland Yard with our findings in the hope that their Detective Armstrong might be able to use this new information.
We were taken to the office of Inspector Norrington. The manacled policeman was pleasantly surprised to see us as he had intended to look us up this day also.
His reasoning, it turned out, was to enlist our services in his investigation, as we were already doing this ourselves anyway.
He handed us papers, already drawn up, that officially declared us as assisting the constabulary.
From our conversation it seemed that he believed us to be able to speak to people at both ends of the social ladder that he might otherwise have difficulty in gaining access to, at least not without a lot of paperwork. Also our methods did not strictly have to adhere to the bounds of the law!

That aside, Norrington took us into his confidence and we shared what information we could with him, also asking for his aid in the search for Jane.
From the inspector we gleaned that there had been a rash of killings that stopped a month ago, they have now started again.
There have been, contrary to the press reports, 12 murders. The first two of which were men.
Then until a couple of months ago, the victims were all working girls. The more recent victims however were possibly not prostitutes.
Dr Oscar Sullivan, the coroner, had the details on each of the victims and their autopsy reports.

It was late in the afternoon and too close to six in the evening for us to go off and do anything else. JP was called away – some issue with his girls needed sorting.

So it was that after a hearty meal at the Savoy, Bull and I arrived at the home of Mr and Mrs McCord.
Bull had purchased some rather fine gifts for the couple in way of thanks for their assistance.

Peter McCord gave us the following tale:

At the Three Lions pub down in the docks area where McCord sometimes went for a pint or two there was a fellow going by the name of Billy Carver. He was not a regular, but did tout for working girls in many of the local drinking houses. He was a kind of seedy talent scout.
This time however he was asking around for anyone who might want to become a model for a legitimate painter. This being a more respectable task and Jenny (as Jane was calling herself) being a very attractive woman, Peter took the proposal home to her. She jumped at the chance, moving out after just a week at the McCord’s. That was some four days ago.

We left the McCord’s with very little additional information, however, Billy Carver seemed to be our next port of call in that case.
It was already late, and as we were passing, Bull and I decided on visiting St Arthur’s Mortuary at St Arthur’s Hospital to see Dr Sullivan.
There we gleaned further useful information:

1. There was a chemical in the blood that caused massive and painful muscle spasms.
2. Some of the bodies had wax beneath their nails.
3. Cassandra, the woman we discovered a few days back was not a working girl as her maidenhead was still intact.


I had an idea.
With Cassandra’s body lain on her gurney, and I on another beside her, I had my portable etherscope point set up.
Sullivan seemed put out, and both Bull and JP who had joined us outside the hospital, were rather perturbed, but non-the-less I carried on, sure of my results

Once I inserted the cable into my cybernaughtic scope-jack the world around me disappeared.
Normally one would formulate a destination in one’s mind but this time I refrained, like I had when I contacted Bennett.
I let my mind drift to my current surroundings. A huge black wall of marble appeared upon which were inscribed the “in Memory to Those That Tread Through The Shady Glen.”
Nothing nor anyone else appeared.
I felt sure they would.
Then I felt embarrassed.
Perhaps I didn’t have the ability to contact the dead? But I had done it before!
Hadn’t I?
I began to doubt myself.

Jacking out, I remember very quickly packing my things away and not saying much to the others.

I decided to go home for the night.

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Re: The Chronicles of Sebastian J. Reynolds

Post by Keeper » Mon Sep 12, 2011 9:15 pm

27th April 1984

In the morning of this fine spring day we ventured out to Kew Gardens to meet with Lord Herbert Gilsmore, the number two man there.
We showed him our results from the blood tests.
He was able to dig out some information from his archives.
There is a rare plant known as Death’s Tears and is described in the native tongue of the ancient Amazonian tribe of the Tipoc’s.
The plant was discovered and brought back to England by the explorer Gregory Archer.
In fact, Gilsmore informed us; Archer had not long returned from another trip to South America and was lecturing at the British Museum.
We thought to ask Archer about the plant but Gilsmore said our best bet was to speak with another explorer, Augustus Tilsbury, who accompanied Archer, was less overt, and did the write-up for Kew on the plant.
He could be found most evenings at the Temple public house.

Gilsmore have us the name of Sir Getham Allbridge, the curator of the museum.
I knew also that we should tread carefully at the museum. The figurehead for the place was one Lord Hawksmore, the Duke of Monmouth, and Commander-In-Chief of the British Army. Not one I wanted to upset so I for one was going to tread carefully.

We arrived before Archer’s lectures began.
He told us that he was in South America looking for ruins of an ancient civilisation when he discovered this new plant that grew only in this small area. The locals avoided it apparently.
Archer brought back only two specimens, one of which was displayed at Kew (dried and dead) the other he sold to a private collector through an agent.
That was as much as we gained from him though neither of us got the impression he had been completely open and honest with us.

Over lunch we decided upon a plan of action:

First we would track down Droogan, one of JP’s associates. JP had hired him and his men to go to the address we had been falsely given at the Euston Hotel. We knew we wouldn’t find Jane Culver there, we were interested in just what we would discover there.

Next we would go to the Temple Inn for around 7.30pm to speak with Tilsbury.

Then we would go on to the Three Lions for about 8.30pm to find Carver.

And finally we would return to the Shaftsbury for around eleven where JP had a meeting he had to attend.

Once we met with Droogan we were pleased to discover that the address had indeed been a trap. There had been four goons waiting there in the employ of Vernon Culver. Those goons wouldn’t be trouble for a while!

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Re: The Chronicles of Sebastian J. Reynolds

Post by Keeper » Mon Sep 12, 2011 9:18 pm

27th April 1984 (Cont...)

Our next stop was the Temple Inn.
There we met Tilsbury.
He is an older gentleman than archer, a lot less brash, and a lot less full of himself.
Once we established that our opinion of Archer and his were on an equal standing, i.e. that we both considered the man a pompous arse, Tilsbury was rather open to discussing his recent endeavours.

He explained that there had so far been two expeditions. The first of which returned three months ago. They were searching for the ruins of a lost civilisation. This corroborated Archer’s tale at least, though we didn’t believe that he only returned with the one plant. Tilsbury confirmed the theory.
He did some research whilst on the original journey and discovered journals written by the conquistadors that mentioned the small blue flower.
It was fabled by the descendants of the Tipoc tribes that the plant, if used correctly, could constitute the key ingredient in a potion that could impart immortality on the drinker.
Of course, if used incorrectly, then it became a chronic and lethal poison.
Things were beginning to add up.

It was at this point that the lights went out.
Immediately I became suspicious and looked around just in time to see the lights of the street outside as someone stepped through the main door.
Another tried the door but it was now locked.
Then came the scream as something unseen tore the throat from one of the customers.
There was mayhem as in the darkness several more people were attacked.
It was not until I bellowed for silence that some sort of order descended.
Despite there being many influential persons within the establishment very few were willing to lend a hand. Those who protested against my instructions were very soon cowed into obedience once our mystery attacker struck again.

The light from my torch and JP’s ether-comm did little to assist us, however after several more attacks we located the vicious gremlin-like creature with its razor sharp claws and pointed teeth.
It was an agile little bastard! Leaping about like some tree monkey, taking great slices out of people as it passed by.
What a bloody job JP and myself had!
We realised that it was going for Tilsbury (my assumption from the beginning).
With sword-cane in hand (as my pistol proved no good against the speedy critter) I managed to grab the thing as JP coaxed it out.
It sank its vicious teeth into my arm JP managed to finish it off with a broken chair leg to the back of its skull if I remember rightly.

What a fine mess we were in by the time the lights were returned and the police arrived.

Armstrong was on the scene very quickly as was another gentleman who seemed to be standing observing rather than getting involved.
Norrington turned up later and told me the mysterious gentleman was one Inspector Carver, from Special Branch.
He seemed rather sinister to me and there was no love lost between the two men.

Both the sergeant and Inspector Norrington were taken aback by the sight of the unusual creature we revealed hidden under my coat on the floor.
It was like a gibbon crossed with a dog, a jackal, and it was of the like I had never seen before, even in zoos I had visited across Europe.
Surprisingly JP identified the creature, though I confess I forget the Latin name he gave it.
He became rather concerned about me though, taking the translation of a part of its name very seriously; Vampire.

Tilsbury, who had refrained from entering into conversation with the police, gave his hip flask to JP and me.
The rather disgusting concoction in it, however, had some rather extraordinary effects.
Immediately my aches and pains were gone, including my sore leg, and then I noticed the creature’s bite marks had healed over, leaving merely an angry red mark.
Astonishing!

We were eventually allowed to leave and headed back to the Shaftsbury, where JP insisted on taking a sample of my blood and then injected me with essence of garlic!

Did he really think I was going to turn into one of Stoker’s abominations?
I let him have his suspicions without too much objection though, as it kept him quiet.

I didn’t sleep well that night. The overpowering smell of garlic oozing from my every pore made me feel sick!

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Re: The Chronicles of Sebastian J. Reynolds

Post by Keeper » Mon Sep 12, 2011 9:20 pm

28th April 1984

Sergeant Armstrong called round in the morning.
He brought with him some useful information.
Firstly, he had located our Manchester gentleman’s hotel.

Secondly, he was under the impression that he had managed to identify the girl we had discovered on the cart behind the theatre.
A vicar – Father Gordon Gates has been inquiring about a missing girl who matches the description of our victim.

Well, I must say that this morning I was rather fired up. After that realisation that somebody had set some bazaar and rather murderous creature loose in a crowded pub just to get at either myself, JP or Tilsbury, I had had enough playing nice.

So far we had been chugging along, looking into this, looking into that, and doing a good job of building our case, I might add.
So now was going to be a time for a change of pace.
JP and Bull both agreed.
Despite this I still thought it prudent to visit the vicar and hear what he had to tell us.
We found the man in a soup kitchen. He spoke about the girl, Rebecca Morris. He told us that he had heard from a man named Stanley, a war veteran who drank in the Blue Angler, that Rebecca had been approached to be a model for a painter.
Apparently Stanley had gone looking for the scout who’d approached her.
Stanley was found dead the next day.

We took Father Gates to St Arthur’s where he identified the body of our girl.

So there we had it. One giant piece thumping into place across two both of our investigations.
Whoever Carver was taking these girls to was our culprit.
Things were also not looking so good for our Miss Jane either.

Later in the day we headed for a pub called the kings head. We were told we could find Billy Carver there.
After a short scuffle in which Bull exerted his authority, we managed to grab Carver.

The slimy toad tried to wriggle out of it but we were very aggressive, and JP’s chemicals very persuasive.
Carver told he takes the girls to the house of the Veiled Lady.

Before he could be made to answer more, HCM appeared and despatched our Mr Carver. He gave JP a poke or two also, before leaving.

The Veiled Lady sounded to me to be both mysterious and dangerous.
I didn’t like the idea of going into this without knowing what we were up against.

Then JP and myself hit upon a great idea. We would meet with Culver, our fellow from up North and inform him that his wife was staying at the Veiled Lady’s address.

Disguised as Jimmy Ambrose I took JP to meet this antagonist.

He took the bait.

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Re: The Chronicles of Sebastian J. Reynolds

Post by Keeper » Mon Sep 12, 2011 9:22 pm

29th April 1984

Having returned to the Shaftsbury, we got up early and headed over to the Veiled Lady’s address so that we could see how Culver fared.

Our first observation was the door ajar. This made me suspicious.
I wondered if Culver had been and gone, having secured his wife.

Slowly and with weapons drawn we entered the well-to-do residence. There were signs of a struggle but there was no-one around. We heard movement on the floor above so crept up the stairs.
The sound had come from the room entered via the door immediately at the top of the stairs.
Gently pushing the door open I was confronted bt a large pi;le of cadavers, all recently deceased through violent means. Included amongst the dead was Mr Vernon Culver himself.
I caught a movement out of the corner of my eye and aimed my gun at it.
It was HCM and he flew at me with blinding speed.
I tried to pull back out of the room but the devil managed to slice into my arm. Luckily for me it was only the faintest of cuts. Strangely, as I staggered backwards out of the room HCM didn’t follow.

We became aware of a very short man standing beside us. His name we discovered later was Tullis and he was the Veiled Lady’s servant.

He led us up to meet the woman herself.

Despite a few low key threats hidden in her words she seemed neither bothered by our arrival or concerned about the outcome of our plans.
It seemed that she had been engaged in providing a service and no longer deemed the contract suitable.
She was however most perturbed by HCM’s unwillingness to kill JP, despite her numerous instructions to do so. Odd, considering his reaction to my friend at their every meeting!

As we sat and conversed with the Lady at her huge round table with the crystal ball she revealed that we should seek out Mr Sharp at his abode – 50 Bridge Street, Bayswater.
So without further ado – we did.

Our welcome was not hospitable, but JP had removed the shotgun from the hands of one of the men who came to greet us and used it to shoot the man in the back room who was about to do likewise to us.

Well, the long and the short of it is – Sharp was indeed an artist. Not a particularly note-worthy one though. He was being paid to take the ladies that Carver found out to another studio in Bayswater.
The women would be unconscious, bound, bundled into the back of a truck and Sharp and his goons would drop the ladies off in a room round back of the gallery.

When I asked who the studio belonged to I felt dread; Baron Richard Falstaff.
I knew this man!

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The Chronicles of Sebastian J. Reynolds

Post by arcanus » Fri Jan 27, 2017 11:17 pm

Back Street Symphony's, The Crown Capital
"This is a matter of delicacy"
"They usually are, Inspector!"
"Yes, Yes, Quite"
"Your man completely reliable?"
"There's only one person I trust more than him, that being myself!"
"Well then, we'll leave the matter in your capable hands Lord Reynolds!"

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The Chronicles of Sebastian J. Reynolds

Post by arcanus » Sat Jan 28, 2017 11:15 am

Late Summer 1984, Maristow House, Devon
Late summer had started the change to Autumn, the sun a little lower in the sky, mornings bearing a little chill while midday sunny and warm, the vibrant greens of the grounds woodland foliage starting to change to yellow the transition to orange.

Lady Rebecca Reynold's having completed her rigorous regime of working out and fencing, having now showered and made herself presentable presented herself for late breakfast. Eating alone she acquainted herself with the days news before before responding to her summons Turnable appeared at the great doors to the breakfast room, the aged Butler waited for her to speak.

"What time did Sebastian arrive last night?"
"His Lordship has sent word of a change of plans, he has travelled from London to Edinburgh!"
Rebecca frowned, she was sure her infuriating older brother was avoiding her
"Any explanation why?" she asked, Turnable clearing not willing to venture anything further of his own volition
"Urgent business mil'landy"

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The Chronicles of Sebastian J. Reynolds

Post by arcanus » Sun Jan 29, 2017 7:52 pm

Blair Castle, Blair Atholl, Scottish Highlands.
The Zep Shuttle cut through the twilight, the gathering darkness of the summer night.
Lord Reynolds took in the slender of the rolling highland hills covered in thistle and heather, Samuel Brocklesbury swung the craft into a descending arc.
Ether vents fired from the upper fuselage slowly pushed the ship downwards against the perpetual buoyancy of its ether bubble, pitching her down onto the forecourt of the ancient stone castle before them.

"Very good Sam, Butlerling hasn't dulled your skills" quipped Lord Reynold's already on his feet and heading towards the hatch
For his part Sam cocked an eyebrow and pursed his lips "Quite sir!"
The side hatch hissed and swung open
Reynolds hopped down into the ground "Shall we"
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Re: The Chronicles of Sebastian J. Reynolds

Post by Lord Reynolds » Mon Jan 30, 2017 7:58 am

Reynolds shivered slightly in the cooler air. This far north was always several degrees colder than London.
I suppose the important question is... why am I in the land of the haggis chasers?

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Re: The Chronicles of Sebastian J. Reynolds

Post by arcanus » Mon Jan 30, 2017 11:05 pm

Blair Castle, Blair Atholl, Scottish Highlands.
As he approached the castles great doors, Reynolds mentally recapped the discussion in London leading to this latest caper.
'A prominent member of the aristocracy and patron of experimental ethertech had been found unconscious in a coma in his Kensington Townhouse, the most likely suspect or perpetrator of his injuries, one Lady Fairshem who had suspiciously disappeared upon the offending evening.'

'Despite the incident being of little interest the fact that her Ladyship had fled north to the safety of Lord Justin Kincaid, The Lord of Kinloss, a known Republican and Fenian Sympathiser, had aroused significant concern within certain circles. Reynolds was to engage his agent Jame's Ambrose to locate Lady Fairshem and establish what she had purloined!'

To which end he had looked up a previous partner in crime, one familiar with Ambrose The Duke of Atholl, as he paused at the main stone steps he absently scratched at the perpetual itch of his forearm.

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Re: The Chronicles of Sebastian J. Reynolds

Post by Lord Reynolds » Tue Jan 31, 2017 7:20 am

interesting... and just how is this particular peer aware of Ambrose? You say partner in crime what service to the criminal world does he perform?
Reaching the huge aged doors, the oak stained dark almost to the point of being black, Reynolds came to a sudden halt.
The zep-shuttle wasn't exactly discreet so someone should have noticed their arrival. He had expected the doors to swing open as he approached. But they hadn't.
Frowning, a little suspicious, he glanced back at Sam who was unloading their bags.
Returning his attention to the doors once more he raised his cane and hammered the mace like pommel on the door several times.

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Re: The Chronicles of Sebastian J. Reynolds

Post by arcanus » Tue Jan 31, 2017 9:44 pm

Lord Reynolds wrote:interesting... and just how is this particular peer aware of Ambrose? You say partner in crime what service to the criminal world does he perform?
GM wrote:In so much as you have a handy but unseen employee who goes by the moniker of Ambrose and can be useful......
His Lordship being a military man of real service and experience is acquainted with the necessities of life.....
After a short while the black doors swing open, the first member of the household to present itself is the large black nose of an Scots deer hound sniffing the air. A very large man in a bonet, Clan Murrey of Atholl Tartan Kilt and two industrial brass cybernatic arms completely the assemble, stands very literal baring the way.

"Lord Reynolds" says the mountainous butler known as Bhaic "Wit brings you so far north?"

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Re: The Chronicles of Sebastian J. Reynolds

Post by Lord Reynolds » Wed Feb 01, 2017 9:56 pm

Reynolds first bends to ruffle the dog's head then glances back over his shoulder once more and nods towards the bag of clubs Sam is slinging over his shoulder.
"Golf, apparently, Bhaic! How are you, by the way? His Grace not running you ragged, I hope?" He smiles pleasantly at the butler as he steps inside the cool but well lit keep.

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Re: The Chronicles of Sebastian J. Reynolds

Post by arcanus » Thu Feb 02, 2017 7:35 pm

The big Scotsman smirked "Am no bad Yer Lordship, ar you alright with thar heavy bag of clubs Sam"
Sam breathed through his teeth "Fine"
Bhaic chuckled "His Lordships not in right noo, the younger Lordships are in residence Lord Reynolds"

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The Chronicles of Sebastian J. Reynolds

Post by arcanus » Sat Feb 04, 2017 11:46 am

Blair Castle, Blair Atholl, Scottish Highlands.
A great hall opened before the Englishmen, the chamber roughly circular its original medieval stonework rising into a tall rib vaulted roof.

Several smaller hearths supported the great fireplace at the rear of the hall as it turned from being an entrance to the gathering place for the Clan, Elk and bear heads silently watched from their mounts, no pictures or portraits adorned the walls instead Murray clan tapestries, the Jolly Jack and St Andrews Cross took pride of place.

Despite the balmy summer evening the stonework kept the hall cool, a valet in the form of a clansman stood at the base of the interior entrance steps invisibly summoned, Sam handed their bags over and he hurried off.

Reynolds attention was drawn to the sound of heels clicking on the the stonework of the corridor in the halls east wall, as if summoned by their arrival another resident of the house a tall rangy man with dark red hair entered the hall. Dressed in a smart black tartan suit, peering through a cloud of bluish cigarette smoke sharp eyes settled upon Reynolds.

"Like a loathsome bad penny!" Lord Callan Murray, Second Heir Apparent to the Dukedom of Atholl and Clanship of Murray sniped

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Re: The Chronicles of Sebastian J. Reynolds

Post by Lord Reynolds » Mon Feb 06, 2017 11:36 am

Reynolds supressed a grin and also the urge to slap the man.
“Oh, I don’t know Callan, you’re not that bad!” he said allowing just a little mockery in his tone.
He quickly turned his back on the young man, while still being aware where he was.
Taking one of the heavy bags from Sam he nodded to Bhaic and said, “We’ll get ourselves settle before meeting His Grace.”

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Re: The Chronicles of Sebastian J. Reynolds

Post by arcanus » Mon Feb 06, 2017 10:32 pm

GM wrote:Make a Bluff or Intimidation Roll?
Lord Reynolds wrote:Intimidation: 11+6= 17. It was said in a slightly mocking, slightly joking tone but at the end of the day his childish grumbling just pisses Reynolds off
Looking at Reynolds, Bhaic nodded quietly "Thas way gentlemen" he said quickly and led the two Englishmen across the hall and towards an archway through the north wall.

As Reynolds made to leave he noted his repartee had found its mark, despite the younger Lairds best efforts to conceal his reaction his face smouldered with resentment. Stepping through the archway they entered an exterior corridor the roof of which was an domed leadened glass affair running the length of the north east wall, to the north tower.

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Re: The Chronicles of Sebastian J. Reynolds

Post by arcanus » Fri Feb 10, 2017 12:18 pm

They were accommodated in the North Tower, their apartment leading out onto the spacious balcony roof of the north round tower.

While Sam decanted their accoutrements of travel Sebastian freshened up, changed and made his way out onto the balcony taking in the Highland air.

Irritably he stopped himself from scratching his arm, and then found himself distracted by someone walking over his grave, a breeze blowing directly in his face and making the hairs on his neck stand upon end.

From a stone stair way running up the inner wall of the wall below a large fellow appeared, the older son of Andrew, Alistair.
He smiled upon seeing Reynolds "Seb how r ye keeping"?

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The Chronicles of Sebastian J. Reynolds

Post by arcanus » Sat Feb 11, 2017 4:48 pm

The Clansman,Highland Express - Edinburgh to Dunkeld
Twilight settled across the lower highlands, Sir McMasters clicked the lid of his Ethercom closed, his man was to meet him at the end of the line at Dunkeld with the Zepcar. He disliked spending too long in the infernal flying machines, far preferred the trusty steel of the locomotive

The Steward returned with his order of tea and cake, waiting for for the Royal Edinburgh employee to finish laying out the silver service and depart he returned to the documents in his confidential wallet.
Adjusting his nez piece he rubbed his eyes before resuming his scanning of the information, the question was how was Sebastian's arrival linked to Kinross and his activities both in Edinburgh and to the North.

An hour passed before he allowed his tired eyes some rest looking out into the almost darkness of the night, they were two thirds of the way to Dunkeld by now, suddenly he was awake, instinct told him something was amiss. He shuffled along the baroque pattern maroon velvet seats and as subtlety as possible drew the curtains, he then proceeded to switch the carriage lanterns off.

His sixth sense rarely let him down, taking his goggles from his travel bag he stood and peered through the curtain 'Damn I hate it when I'm right'
he mentally chastised himself as he picked out ether trails in the sky, luminescent green trails looping in towards the train.

"It would be a rare treat if I can catch a wee break occasionally" he mumbled to himself, buckling his holster and then checking his pistol.

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Re: The Chronicles of Sebastian J. Reynolds

Post by Lord Reynolds » Tue Feb 14, 2017 10:17 am

Reynolds smiled at his visitor as he approached and shook his hand warmly.
“Good evening Alistair. I am fine, thank you, a little stiff from the journey but that's to be expected. I take it you are well?”
The Baron glances towards the sky as a bird, an eagle maybe, swoops majestically across his line of sight.
“More to the point, my friend, how is your lovely wife? The baby must be due soon, if I recall? Congratulations on the impending fatherhood, by the way.”

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Re: The Chronicles of Sebastian J. Reynolds

Post by arcanus » Tue Feb 14, 2017 11:31 pm

Alistair smiled "Aye I'm fine and the bairn will be with us soon enough, ah I see you encountered Callan"
The younger Lord looked out over the Highlands catching the Eagle circle "Father is on the late train, so we're eating with Blair tonight!"

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