Eyes Without A Faceearliest post first | most recent post first
It's a rookie mistake to confuse "nautical miles" for "miles," but it's a whole new level of rookie mistake to fail to make the conversion when you're traveling through Floodspace... in which case miles can mean light years, depending on how you navigate the swirls and eddies of the Murk Sea, the deep dark depths between the Island Earths. Also "west" becomes problematic in terms of the accretion disc and the leeward spin of the extra-planetary plankton swells... but, after thoroughly and good-naturedly I might add razzing our new recruit, we did stake orbit around the dismal little planetoid they had charted.
Now we await the results of Claira and the away team on the surface. Will they locate the dolls without incident? They've taken the landing bathysphere down through the muck, and have likely broken atmosphere by now... perhaps I can tune them in on the shortwave..... zzzzzzz... buzzzzz... scrich!!!!
I've heard that there is an old well 13 miles due west from our current coordinates that contains four sufficiently haunted Victorian era dolls. I reckon picking this up for the shipment is the best option. The client should be pleased.
I accept even though I have no idea what this job is.
There's an old Floodspace sailor's ritual, where the newest crew member brings along a new job. In this case, we're on the hunt for old dolls, haunted or unhaunted. Hopefully Junior Navigator Claira has a clue about which direction to point us through the Islands in the Sky, keep us clear of the Murk Monsters, and take us safely through the Floodspace, Mazu be praised.
Job claimed by Islardsavi 2018-11-26 08:57:17
Looking for a ship with a 35,000 gallon capacity for delivery of the Water of Life from our extraction facility in Menemquiz to our disruption facility in Knockaknocka. We will also need a return run 35,000 gallons of the Water of Life from our extraction facility in Knockaknocka to our distribution facility in Menemquiz.
Payment is 500 gallons of the Water of Life.
I am writing to formally accept the job upon the airship 'Eyes Without A Face'.
This is a very exciting opportunity for me, and I hope I can add something new to the crew.
Job claimed by Claira 2018-10-23 00:19:16
I need some dolls from the Victorian era, Edwardian is acceptable but not ideal. I would like at least three, and will accept up to seven.
Haunted or unhaunted, doesn't matter.
Please drop them by one of the two oak trees behind 11 Southern road, Mentone, Victoria, Australia.
Thank you for your business.
I will be waiting.
“Pings ninety thousand clicks and closing, mam.”
“Steady as she goes, Ms. Mate.”
Everybody’s heard of the Murk Monsters. Since the time we were little. The idea that enormous, slimy intelligences haunt the Murk between the islands and the island stars has been used as an existential threat to children everywhere for millennia, taking root in our oldest myths and bedtime stories. But never in actual recorded history has an island been attacked, and when you run across the Monsters in the Murk they’re always more scared of you than you are of them.
“Thirty three thousand clicks, your honor.”
“Keep it steady, Mr. Fruitybumps. And call me Gene.”
They might not be terribly aggressive, but it is true they are enormous.
“Alrighty, number one, let’s light her up with the LIDAR. Full sensor sweeps, don’t forget to correct for the gravitational refraction. We don’t want to have trash another dataset.”
“Yes sir. Jeesh.”
Even at this distance, the individual Murk Monsters are truly enormous. The screen quickly becomes full of a constellation of points, which becomes a connect the dots of green lines, then wireframes. Looks like we’ve encountered a small family group. Or whatever they call their little herds.
“Look at that serrated tentacle. That one must be Flossie!”
“Leave the identification to the eggheads in exo, sailor. Just take the readings and keep moving. Not too close though—don’t want to scare them off.”
I’ve seen Island moons smaller than these guys.
“Batten down that hatch engineer!!!!”
Floodspace exploded above my head, but before the Engineer General even started yelling I was already securing the portal. Why do we even have portals on this vessel if we can only open them in port?
“I guess that’s why they call ‘em PORTals, innit?” says Bunky, my roommate.
It’s all good, I figure. Any chance to get off my little island and navigating the Floodspace between the stars is right by me. That murky muck between the planets was put there for engineers and sailors like me to navigate the depths between, and if it doesn’t get in your hair now and then then you’re not really living the Floodspace sailor’s life then are you?
Orin was seated cross-legged in the rubble, beams of light radiating from his head. With his hands he made complicated finger gestures, mudrâs of unknown derivation, perhaps operating some complicated invisible dashboard. His former captors--the men from the black van--lay crumpled in different shapes of supplication all around him.
Our ragtag fleet of mismatched toys slowly maneuvered up to his perimeter.
"Orin! Over here!"
"Orin--hey boy! What's up?"
Orin looked at us and smiled.
Then he remade the universe.