I showed Mr Sprocket to the shop which was clearly assigned to Mr Moriarty but just as clearly empty. I explained what little I knew, that I had found the shop while searching the arcade that being the only place I remember ever seeing the name Moriarty before recent events. The mayor was clearly thinking over his options, he was planning to way lay the werewolf that was clear, our conversation came to an end the mayor was finished with me. I took the opportunity as we parted to raise the issue of Prof Nishi's treatment asking directly whether, had she been a man she'd have been treated quite so poorly. I put it to him that the Guild of Ladies was here to defend the female citizens and fight for their equal treatment. The mayor fair exploded at this...
Me: "The guild of ladies is here to defend the rights of Women in this society I feel that Ms. Nishi was not treated the same as if she had been a man. A witch hunt almost."
Shaunathan Sprocket: women? rights? what is this colonial mumbo jumbo
Shaunathan Sprocket: I assure you an automaton will have the right to vote before any common maid.
Me: Please sir, yesterdays liberal nonsense is tomorrows right. We will stand our ground sir and be heard.
We exchanged a few more verbal assaults until a sound in the doorway drew us back. Pizzini Mayo, clearly having been summoned by the mayor had appeared in the doorway, with this the mayor left without so much as a goodbye, to view "the blueprints", I presume to the arcade.
I was furious, spitting feathers, I left the arcade and headed back toward the bar. How dare he. The mayor had suggested I move to Caledon "where such tolerance is accepted. At least here you are respected, so long as you keep in line!", his time will come. He should look around, beyond the close knit band of fellows that he holds dear, to the active citizens of Babbage, those who pay his taxes, and bring his tourists to his lands, publish the news and service the airships. We the women folk of Babbage are no common maids. But there was something more in his words, as ever carefully drawn, did he know my past? No I'm paranoid.
I never reached the bar. As I crossed the bridge Prof. Nishi was standing to my left, visibly shaken. I enquired as to her well being. She bid me relay a message to the young boy McKay, "Tell Myrtil not to show him" or some such, the message ambiguous, I relayed it verbatim; the lad understood, but it was apparently too late and "he" had already been shown. The professor had feared as much but seemed somewhat better now. She bid me sit with her by the canal side and we chatted. She expressed her gratitude for my support and seemed to understand my position on her involvement. Miss Paine arrived and we went in side, the gathered crowd had realised that one of the art works was by none other than Mr Moriarty.
On seeing the artwork Prof Nishi wanted to see the arcade shop and it was in the empty shop that we stood when young Jimmy relayed the news that a note had been found. As quick as a flash the Professor and Ms Paine were off, I followed but tripping awkwardly and turning my ankle got to the bar just in time to find them leaving quickly, one of the children running alongside, escorting them, back to the museum. I followed on, unclear now as to what had happened.
Prof. Nishi invited me inside the impressive looking museum. A copy of the aforementioned letter was read out by Ms Paine. It was a letter from Alexander Eliot to Jason Moriarty, begging him to leave New Babbage and warning that the 13 were going to get rid of him, Mr. Moriarty, at all cost. How strange that this should be left for us to find. A clue to what? It mentioned the old gods and destiny. To what did this relate? I parted company with the Professor and her companion and headed back to my home, the party having clearly ended.
I did not yet feel ready to sleep and noticing a light on in Miss Li's row house I knocked at the door. I had called to check that she was Ok, that I had not abandoned her to a bunch of drunken strangers. As it turns out she had had quite a shock herself.
3 years ago