Thursday, 4 September 2008

Fire! Fire!

One has to wonder at the excessively placid nature of our New Babbage community. I arrived this evening in the docks at the site of the former "vertically Challenged" shop to find a rgoup gathered to gawp and point as the flames licked the fine wallpaper from the walls and reached ever up and out towards nearby buildings.

Perhaps because my own loss at the hands of fire is still keen despite the intervening years, I simply could not look on and discuss collective retribution against a newcomer to our town while the building burnt around us. The newcomer is indeed a strange one, a Doctor Oblensky, who is, one must admit, in appearance rather "evil", the cape and hat, his very presence seeming almost to caricature villainy, and yet for some poor chance of nature and his presence the man was condemned and pilloried when it seems that his "evil deeds" amounted to alerting the crowd to the fire in the first place. Tali always said that I was able to see good in everyone, though Cem called this naivety. Who knows, but I judge a person by their apparent actions and I hope not by the reputation that rumour mongers lay before me.

As ever, I digress, I was able to bring a tub that I used last Christmas from my factory/warehouse in the canals and young Django Yifu and Mr Sieyes set about dousing the fires, and the townsfolk showed some signs of acting in unison but it soon became apparent that the fire had taken hold of the upper storeys too.

Mr Merryman had arrived and many of the crowd were appealing to him to assist and I must admit I was rather dismayed at the reluctance of Mr Merryman to assist with his wonderful fire boat. I am used to the fire brigades back on the old continent, the ones that would attend only when your fire insurance had been paid but who were strangely close at hand when ever a fire took hold. I make no such accusation of Mr Merryman, far from it, but I fear that that is a slippery path along which we should not tread. To his credit Mr Merryman did arrive and help douse the lower levels as I addressed the burning above.

I struck upon a possible solution, an idea that should have occurred to me when I had earlier rejected repairing the old bilge pump in the basement of Aegir's hall. The Hippocampus Janusi has a pump that is driven off of the main drive and forces the water from the top exhaust fin. Luck was with me and I was able to guide, or rather bump my poor horse through the canals and opening the lower sea valve flood the compartment in a controlled manner providing enough water to supply the pump by re-routing the drive belt over an alternate gear wheel I was further able to increase the pressure and more by luck than judgment deliver a cascade of water onto the fires.

I am however a minor heroine now and I fear the eyes that turn to me appealing for my help, applauding my ingenuity. I am not one to
stand by in a crisis but neither am I infallible, the fate of poor
Juliana still hangs heavy upon me to prove this. I hope to bury her
properly this weekend, perhaps I will rest easier then.

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