Saturday, November 21, 2020
Welcome back to the steampunk riverboat, my chuckaboos! This is a short episode, but it helps explain what is going on in the story. If you’re paying attention, you’ll find a clue.
Random Reader Things
Diana Wallace Peach has left several great “things” during course of this voyage. This time I used martini. By the way, I’m running low on random reader things, if you care to leave one in a comment. Thanks again to Dan Antion for letting me use his photos.
Last time we left just as Blue John somehow launched himself toward the tear in the sky. The Delta Pearl answers to no one, and she acted as if she might leave at any minute.
The Delta Pearl
Chapter 56 — Rocket
Darkness sat on my chest — as if its weight was too heavy for my lungs to work. I thought I’d gone blind. With a loud involuntary wheeze, I realized the sensation was the result of not breathing.
I wasn’t blind, but all the stars were gone. In the spot where the moon had been, traces of blue and green waves lingered. The last notes of the harmonic tones that accompanied them echoed.
A small but bright light seared my vision. As I blinked away the spots it caused, I heard the inventor’s voice.
“Victor? You should go back below. It’s not safe on deck,” I said to the light that continued to come closer.
It was hard to know up from down in such darkness. I felt a little like the time when I sneaked a martini. However, I wasn’t arfarfan’arf. I didn’t realize that I was sprawled on the floor until Victor knelt down beside me. First, I was blinded by utter darkness, and then by his bright light. I held up my hand to shield my eyes.
“Oh. I apologize,” Victor muttered, seeing my grimace.
He raised his hands to his head. As he moved the light to point it upward, I saw that it was attached to a helmet he wore.
“Are you unharmed, Émeraude? I felt the most terrible sensations. It felt like I was on a giant, powerful magnet. As it would be if someone tried to force such a device to touch another magnet, but one of the opposite pole. I could feel the approaching power, and then the way the two repelled one another,” Victor told me.
“Did you see Blue John Boulton — I mean the Mate? He… he went…” I sputtered, still shocked.
Victor made a frustrated noise. He looked upward and shook his head sadly.
“I saw the rocket, and what looked like it might be a man attached to it,” my inventor replied. “Blue John sometimes helped with the project Randall Needleman and I started with the supplies we got in Cairo, Illinois.”
“You mean the electro telescope?” I interrupted, feeling certain I had gotten the name of the gadget wrong.
“Telectroscope,” Victor corrected the term softly. “The rocket was a second part of that creation. The blasted rocket wasn’t designed with any safety features! I never meant a human to fly with it. I thought perhaps one of the clockworks, but I didn’t feel comfortable with even that!”
Of course, Victor had done most of the work. The image of him, essentially pretending that Randall and Blue were helping, came to my mind. It would have been amusing under other circumstances.
“I meant to eventually send it into that brown cloud,” Victor continued. “After you were abducted in that net, I knew it had to connect to something. That there were more than vapors in the cloud. I was sure it, and whomever controls it, would come back. When it does, I hoped I could use the rocket to get the telectroscope up there and use it to have a look around.”
“Blue John was ranting like a lunatic. I didn’t understand half of what he said. The only part I heard clearly was ‘It’s coming.’ And as nonsensical as it sounds, I could have sworn he said ‘the other pearl.’ For a moment I thought he meant the Delta Pearl, but that’s insane,” Victor commented. “Then he bolted away with the telectroscope and the rocket.”
I had lost sight of the Mate when the colored sound waves blasted heavenward, pushing against the tear in the sky. Blue John disappeared into the harmonic waves of blue and green.
“Blue didn’t just take the telectroscope,” I told Victor, understanding the strange thing I saw before the world went dark. “He rocketed himself into the sky along with it.”
End Chapter 56
Blue John seems to have taken the only device that might have been used to get him back. Where did he go anyway? It looked like he went into a tear in the sky. What happens when the rocket runs out of fuel? Is there anything beyond the split in the heavens? Can the Mate be saved? Until next time.
Be well, be happy, my chuckaboos.
This is a work of fiction. Characters, names, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, locales, or events is entirely coincidental.
Copyright © 2016 and 2020 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene
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