Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Goodbye Juliana

I have just had the best night's sleep since Jed and I retrieved Juliana and that cursed Amulet. I did not require the soporific tea, I collapsed into bed and fell into a deep and peaceful sleep untroubled by those terrors. I feel sure now that Juliana must truly be at rest.

Yesterday the citizens of New Babbage and I gathered in the church in the Canals to say our final farewells.



I read two short poems. I took care not to assume her faith, my own lack of such made this easier.
The first was by Samuel Butler, a man who stands between both religion and science a position that I now find myself taking, though it is ever uncomfortable. Though with every event, every curse and terror vistied upon us I become more sure that be there a god, or many gods that look upon this earth, I have no respect for them. I would not work nor love a man who would treat others as these so called gods do. Why then should I lower my standards for an immortal?

This is Mr. Butlers Poem

I fall asleep in the full and certain hope
That my slumber shall not be broken;
And that though I be all-forgetting,
Yet shall I not be all-forgotten,
But continue that life in the thoughts and deeds
Of those I loved.


The second poem was by dear John Keats. A posthumously published poem

On Death

Can death be sleep, when life is but a dream,

And scenes of bliss pass as a phantom by?

The transient pleasures as a vision seem,

And yet we think the greatest pain's to die.



How strange it is that man on earth should roam,

And lead a life of woe, but not forsake

His rugged path; nor dare he view alone

His future doom which is but to awake.









After the funeral we retired to Ruby's where we drank to Juliana's memory.

I truly feel that the weight of Juliana's ordeal has been lifted from my shoulders. We have finally put things to right.

The night was however tainted. Ill omens from the involvement of the Van Creeds with Sanus and Moriarty. Now is not the time to write of this. Things have gone too far and last night, a member of the league approached me. "In the absence of the professor, should we consider the league disbanded?". Like me he felt that the League is needed more now than ever. It will not be what it was before and perhaps that is for the better, the league can be rebuilt, but we need to take care to select but the few who can help us.

We have little time left, Samhain is soon upon us, we must be ready.

Friday, 24 October 2008

Lucas

An apparition has appeared in the old theatre and what is more it talks.
The ghost of a small boy who claims to be called Lucas and is no more than 12 and a half sits on the stage, bathed in a strange light that has no apparent source. Behind him stands a menacing spectre that reminds me of Moriarty.

Poor Lucas has lost his cuddly toy, a bear, blue with gold buttons, which he calls SPud. He does not seem to know where he lost Spud but many of the residents here are now looking for him.

Something inside me tells me that I may not want to be here when Spud is found.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Alea iacta est

I have made my decision in truth there was never much doubt about it, I was simply deferring the inevitable. If Orchid is agreable to it, she will have the amulet once it has been modified.

Yesterday I had a long discussion with Sanus, I had thrown down a demand that the Van Creed were not to be trusted but had not had time to qualify that and yesterday he came to seek the answer. I showed him the details of the letters that Eliot had left behind and explained the part that they had played. I think we are in agreement that they want Moriarty dead, after all he has killed at least one of their own but they only work for their own benefit and I don't feel that a simple sentimental need for revenge could be their true motive. There is even the nagging feeling that they are pulling our strings even as I damn them, that somehow I am playing the very part that they expect of me. I will mistrust every item of information that they present and they know that. I wish I could see through their little plan.

Sanus is still to my mind unstable, he is a mad dog pulling at the leash to get at the quarry. He is without any doubt a powerful force of attack but strength alone will not suffice, a good warrior needs to know when to attack and when to hold back. He denies ever suggesting that Orchid be his shield, that her immortality be used to help him. In fact he was quite put out at this suggestion. I am sure it wasn't my imagination, Orchid had a similar recollection I believe, but perhaps I read too much into simple words uttered in haste. However it is in this very action that I feel the answer lies. With Orchid by his side Sanus will not throw himself needlessly into the battle. Even with the knowledge of her power he will hold back, and for her part she will guide and protect him. If the power of the amulet did indeed have anything to do with the weaknes proclaimed by Moriarty as he attacked me then it may assist us once again. Working together the two of them will get close enough to unleash the attack at its most potent.

But first of course, Dr Dayafter needs to do his part.


Monday, 20 October 2008

Exhausted...

I have made in recent days a number of alarming discoveries. With the realisation of my apparent immortality there came the implication that the recent assault by Jason Moriarty might well have been fatal had it not been for the necklace. The mysterious sapping of Moriarty's power, we had attributed to the strange fire unleashed by one of the children (how do they come by such things?), but it may have bee the charm working to sustain me. This makes two things clear, firstly Sanus' plan is viable and perhaps a person armed with such a charm might be more than simply a shield, opening a way to weaken Moriarty, allowing the attacker to strike. Secondly, that Moriarty has to be stopped, it was only luck that I was the first to draw a threatening weapon upon Moriarty, if it had been another then it would not be just poor Juliana's funeral that we would be preparing for.

Two nights ago I spoke with Dr. Dayafter and he has agreed to work with me to adapt the charm and curse so that we can minimise the risk. Into our group we have brought both Miss Dagger, who I have found to be unfailingly supportive and Mr Dayafter's friend and cook, a man who I have no knowledge of but am assured by both the others to be of sound character. I will write more of our plans at a later date as it is something that needs to be recorded in some sense; however, despite the privacy of this diary, the need for secrecy and the utter catastrophy that might unfold should the secret be lost prevents me from .writing of it this night.

To allow us to conduct our work I have retrieved the item from Bow Street at the agreement of the Mayor, the fair period of statute having now passed it is but a matter of process before the legal ownership is my own. It is now stored in a secret workshop of my own and locked away from prying eyes. Only myself, Miss Dagger and the good doctor have access and at the present time the other two do not know the actual location only of its existence.

I have been proceeding but slowly with the preparations for Juliana's burial. The power of the herbal sedative appears to be lessening, the dreams are gradual becoming more vivid once again. Though they remain manageable my sleep is less sound than it was, this along with pressure of events has left me drained. In an attempt to face down the demon exhaustion, I spent a short but enjoyable evening at a ball with Doctor Mason last night, however upon returning, I collapsed into a fitful sleep, undrugged and unprotected my night terrors. I woke this morning with a terrible malady of the head, a persistent throbbing above the eyes that penetrated deep in to my brain. I tried to work some more but retired to bed before midday, with a strong brew of Mr. Whitfields sleeping tonic helping to ensure that this time my sleep was less disturbed.








Friday, 17 October 2008

Too many questions

I had a long discussion with Miss Orchid McMillan this evening and I must conclude that she is to all my senses, a fine, brave and intelligent young lady. However, her companion and lover, Mr. Kanarik, despite his alleged age is impatient, quick to anger and I truly fear that he could be turned against us.

It has strengthened my resolve in this matter. If there is a chance that the amulet may be used against Moriarty then I must allow that chance to be realised. In so doing I place the weapon within his reach and all the ills that this carries with it, lie now at my feet.

A young urchin rapped on my door early this morning to deliver a note from Dr. Dayafter, I had requested his assistance, his skills in alchemical sciences and related lore. He has agreed to help in any way he can and I sent the lad back with a note suggesting a time to meet. It is my intention to undermine the powers of the amulet, to taint the blessing so that it has a weakness then, if the charm were to fall into the wrong hands, this achilles heel would perhaps afford the rest of us one final hope.

Miss McMillan came to me in Aegir's hall as I was working on the broken lift mechanism. We retired to my study where we could speak in peace.

Orchid was visibly pale and drawn out, I do not think that she has slept at all well recently. Not that surprising, it is hardly a regular occurence for your boyfriend to ask you to endure immortality in ase he needs a shield against the rages of a monster. The whole idea is absurd, unfortunately it may be the only option we have. We spoke at lenght of the charm, the curse and our shared fears for what we might unleash. We know so little of the amulet, of its powers. I do now know that I am held in its thrall, the powers work upon me despite its containment. I did not tell young Orchid but tonight, while working, I cut my hand, not badly but enough for it to bleed profusely, yet before I could treat it, it was gone, healed without a scar or trace. It is not the wearing but the owning and as such it seems likely that I must yield the amulet willingly for the charm to pass on. Juliana's fate reminds us of the fearful price that any holder may pay. If poor orchid were cast into some fearful inferno by the powers of Moriarty she would truly suffer an eternity in hell, and what is the exten of the power of the charm? We know that it can mend bones and force water from the lungs, but what if the bearer were dismembered, Juliana's fate shows us that the bearer can suffer, the body must remain viable for the charm to restore it. The images that fill my mind are ever so dark and clouded. There is nothing but ill in this so called charm.

The darkness has also taken on a further new shape. It seems that Sanus and Orchid were approached by the Van Greed society last night. Apparently now going under the name of the Van Creed society, a Mr. Jesper Renfold, approached them offering insights into pwoers that might overcome Moriarty. I do not doubt their hatred of Moriarty but their motives are not clear and past experience suggests not in anyone's interest but that of the Van Greeds themselves.

There is no sign yet of the twins, their return might offer an alternate path, if Moriarty and Eliot brought them here then they may wish to end this affair, but what if they seek the same as Moriarty? To open the doorway so that they can return home?

So many questions yet to answer.


Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Assaulted by Moriarty.

A brief note this evening, it has been a draining day. I was down on the jetty with a large group of the town's children when Jason Moriarty appeared. I immediately drew my sword from my cane summoning the gavanic energy to give the fiend a burst, but before I could strike he enveloped me with lightning. The energy held me tearing at my clothes and hair, I tried to scream but found I could not make a sound or move of my own volition. After a time the energy subsided and I collapsed to the floor, or so I am told, for I was competely unaware of anything by this juncture. I came to a short time later to find that the fiend was being assualted from all sides by the feisty young urchins. What a splendid group they are. Soemthing had weakened Moriarty, though it is not clear to me what that was. A creature name Deimos, with whom I am not acquainted suggested that his hellfire might have been the cause of the decline, but it amy equally have been the assualts of Mr Welles' weaponry or indeed the effects of my own galvanic sword. No damage was done to Moriarty but his power was interupted enough for the simple mortal weapons of fists and feet to find their mark. It took some time before I was able to move once again, at first crawling and then finally standing shakily.

It was then that the peculiar turned to the weird. I discussed the possibility of contacting the cuckoos, Myrtil and I wondered whether it might be possible to enlist their help and then, moments later, the twins' mechanical comrade appeared. I know not how he knew to come to us. As ever very little was said, but the mechancial being was heard to utter "Destroy Moriarty" and "My masters will return, you must wait".

I only hope that we have the luxury of time to wait for their return, but it has occurred to me since that their connection to the device may even be something that Moriarty seeks to use to his own ends. I am trying to think what the professor might have done, were she here, but I lack her learning.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

You find yourself at a fork in the path...

The left fork drops away into darkness and shadow, the right into desolation and emptiness.

Last night I met with Miss Orchid McMillan, the alleged love of the lycan Kanarik. I am not happy at his desire to force eternity upon his beloved. This is the madness of legends. While I have room in my cold heart still for the concept of true love, this young lady has known her lover for but a short time, why should anyone force another, especially one that you claim to hold dear, into such a rash decision. To her own good strength though I will trust, she seems quite a balanced individual. I have told them that I will make my decision by the end of this week and asked that Orchid consider alone, away from his pressure, the fate that awaits her. I will however seek assistance. I truly fear the turn of events that my actions could unleash, I cannot give this power over to another without some flaw being introduced. The legend is interesting of course, despite the granting of eternal youth, no single owner seems to have survived. The curse it is said brings no harm to the wearer, however the blessing seems doomed to failure too.

I must seek out an alchemical mind, someone versed in this veiled science will undoubtedly have more insight than one such as I.

Monday, 13 October 2008

Curses within curses

A spent this long autumnal evening in the company of my fellow Babbage residents at a "Salon", a novel term that I have not come upon before but effectively a public gathering with nominated guest speakers to discuss a pre-determined subject. This evening the subject was curses and Miss Trafalgar had kindly welcomed me as a speaker.

It was a peculiar event and I approached it with trepidation. Babbage is expanding, the thrust of commerce and industry attracting many to these shores such that even a long term resident such as I may find themselves confronted by many a new face, perhaps I should force myself to socialise more.

To add to my concerns, not long after I arrived at the Aether Salon where the gathering was held, one of the new faces, a Mr. Sanus Kanarik, changed into dog form, bringing back memories of Jason Moriarty, and the terrors that nearly took the professor and Miss Paine from us last year. To make matters worse I have recently learned that Mr. Moriarty, is far from dead and has been seen to wander our streets once again. So to see an lycanthrope brandishing its "talent" in our faces was far from my ideal start to the evening. I kept my cane close by my side having made sure that the dog-thing Kanarik was aware of its sting. Mr. Kanarik, did little to endear himself to me in those early minutes and I have my concerns as to his intentions but, as ever, I am getting somewhat ahead of myself.

The speakers for the evening were Master Yifu, myself, and Miss Jedburgh Dagger, whose late arrival served to calm me somewhat, she is good company and a reassuring presence.

After the welcome and introductions by Viv Trafalgar and Serafina Puchkina, Master Yifu started with his surprisingly eloquent account of the disastrous trial of events the were collectively known as "the finger of Babbage". It is clear that there is plenty of animosity between young master Yifu and master Bob Streeter, I am unclear as to the reason for this but master Streeter's clear disregard for the welfare of others in the way that he conducts his endeavours seems to lie at the heart.

I will not dwell upon the details of the speeches I am sure that they will have become the source of rumour and speculation in the taverns and gossip houses of Babbage soon enough. I will simply say here that I fear my tongue got the better of me. I had had no intention to give such a broad account of my involvement in the amulet curse, the dreams, still kept beyond the reach of sleep by the concoction offered to me by the good surgeon, should not have been mentioned, they still haunt my waking hours, the fear of repeating Juliana's fate. As my voice started to crack and the questions rose to people's lips Miss Dagger stepped in to take the sting from the tale. Her account, supportive and factual, delivered in her usual calm manner quelled many a question. In further questioning that followed I recounted, poorly, the legend as it had been told to me, I covered the origin of the amulet but briefly and spoke of the curse itself, the amulets restorative power is paid for highly, as those who are close to the wearer all seem to perish. Miss Writer, I think it was, queried whether this doomed Miss Dagger and I to life alone, a question, so insightful that I had not considered it before. For my own part, my life's love has already been taken from me, perhaps it is with this that the curse is broken? Though immortality without Tali is not a prize I'd ever have sought, one that I will gladly relinquish.

Strangely quiet was Miss Capalini. I know that despite her presence at the autopsy she holds a resolute view that current scientific knowledge does not support such happenings. I was inclined to those thoughts no more than 18months ago, I recall my encounters with the professor, talk of time travel, old gods, and most ludicrously, it seemed at the time, werewolves. How events move us on. I applaud Miss Capalini's sense of reason, it is much lacking in the current climate of speculative occultism. The very fact of a public forum to discuss such things sends alarm signals to my brain and yet my experience is somewhat removed from the naive days of apprenticeship and study. As Mr Darwin would agree, evolution is not a process that resulted in the human being, we are but a step upon its way. There is much that is beyond our ken.

At the end of the evening, the lycan Kanarik beckoned to me and asked that we might speak alone. I suggested that we return to my Palisade home where privacy might be more complete, but in part at least it was to be nearer my damned handgun. As if the night had not been stressful enough, the events that passed then were to throw me completely off my guard and I know not where to turn next.



The lycan stood at the base of the stairs in the Bel ├ętage. "Miss Janus, I have a question regarding the amulet".
"please ask away"
"Well i should do some explaining first. As you may or may not know, Moriarty has returned to Babbage."
He looked full square at me. I had never met this man/beast before, what had he to do with the Moriarty abomination? Perhaps noting my reaction, he changed tack, telling me of how he had dedicated his life to ridding the world of evil but feared death and how with the amulet he could do so much more. This blatant attempt to get the amulet for himself seemed rather too clumsy to be untrue, though rarely one to take things at face value I questioned his intentions and indeed his understanding of the limitations of the powers, or rather the price that one pays. He mentioned that he could perhaps right these wrongs, I must have looked puzzled at this rather outrageous statement coming from one as young as Mr Kanarik appears, for he moved to take off his shirt. I stepped back reaching behind me to where my cane now rested, reassured that gun lay but a few steps away. Yet I had nothing to fear, he pulled the fabric of his shirt down from his muscular back to reveal a disturbing looking tattoo, which he named "romance and death".

He went on to explain that the symbol, which he received, I know not how, at the age of 16, could magnify the powers of magic and with the blood of a lycan in his veins it would trap the blessing. It is for this reason, he told me that the blood of his kind is sought by enchanters. I felt the sincerity of Miss Capalini's opposition to myth and magic rising in my own mind. There was too much mysticism here, I could not trust such tales from a friend let alone a shape shifting stranger.

I let him go on to describe the process by which he would remove the curse and unleash the power while all the time contemplating my dilemma. Perhaps emboldened at the thought of the gun secreted not far from my reach, or simply frustrated at this audacious attempt to gain this powerful charm I confronted him with my dilemma.

"I applaud your intentions but, Mr Kanarik, excuse my reluctance, I have only met you but this once, is there anyone who can speak for your good intent? How am I to know that with this power, your Lycan bestial roots would not become dominant? A werewolf that will not succumb to silver bullets nor wolfs bane?

"Because i would rather die than hurt anyone.", he pleaded. "If you are here tomorrow seek out a woman name Orchid".

I promised to seek her out, and it was then that he turned the tables on me. He spoke to me of his love for this Orchid woman, his fear of death, and the look in his eyes told me that this much was true. Whoever this Orchid was, she had captivated this beast.

I spoke further then of my fears and he spoke more of his own background. He is not as young as he seems, indeed he is much older, 54 years old if he is to be taken at his word. He spoke of a mysterious benefactor called Obelisk, of his life being saved and given purpose. The rest is somewhat of a haze, I asked that he leave me, promising that I would seek out his beloved Orchid.

I retired to bed with this conundrum:-
Miss Writer had indicated that I must live a loveless life, an observation that I accepted almost gladly to my broken heart, but perhaps I had not correctly defined love, for it must be said that I love Babbage. For all its peculiarities it is my home, welcoming me once as a stranger, asking no questions, accepting me as I am; is that not in itself an act of love? Can a place love a person, or vice-versa? If it can then the curse of the amulet could still be enacted. Through my possession of the amulet the destruction of all that I love and hold dear could be wrought.

It seems now that through action or inaction I may equally damn this world. If I were to fulfill this beast's request would I unleash an unstoppable evil upon the land? By holding the amulet to myself and not relinquishing it, would I allow the abhorrent Moriarty to triumph?

And now as I write these last words, sitting here on my bed and sipping my drugged tea to bring on the fog of sleep. I recall my comment from earlier,
"Adventure is not something one should seek. It seems to find us of its own accord.", but I do so wish it would leave me alone for a while.