Thursday, May 28

Furthering of the Healing Arts

I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Geier, a surgeon emigrated from the Gor regions you has started in Infirmary in Caledon Tanglewood, specializing in Obstetrics. We immediately coordinated to certify her facility as part of the Caledon Red Cross network (including Regency Hospital and Tamrannoch Sanatorium). She assisted me in diagnosing a patient of a species of which I have considerable knowledge.

I also received a gift from Lady Darkling...Bottled Spierling Lightning! I'm sure I can put this to use in the Lab!

Now, I am off to Lady Eva's rezday!

Port Galveston Wants You!

Port Galveston is a quaint Victorian-age sim modeled after a Texas port town in the 1860's, with shops, residences and several club venues. Child avatars, Nekos, and animal avatars are welcome to join us. We welcome all newcomers to our fair shores. Home to The Menard House and The Strumpet's Mess. Owners are on the sim most of the time to meet and greet newcomers. Commercial and Residential Accommodations available on sim, if interested contact owners:

Tony Paragorn
Penelope Sandalwood
Aviborm Aristocrat

Wednesday, May 27

the cat brought company

"Stay calm, everyone! Stay..."

Yet another explosion rocked Mason Labs, knocking my dolls off their feet. Koen curled under the cover of my operating table.

"These demons don't give up, do they?" shouted marion as she pushed her two sisters off of her.

Indeed, they weren't. Three of them tried charging straight through the disintegration field (with predictable results) before they resorted to assaulting the Lab itself with the ugliest improvised artillery I'd ever seen.

"Why aren't we fighting back?" asked vanna as she reattached her arm.

"We don't have to. They're attacking from outside the Lab property, which means..."

I was interrupted by a muffled WHUMP of a small explosion and the shriek of a demon. Then a series of a dozen or so more explosions, followed by more shouts.

I turned on the amplifier and donned the headphones.

"Thank you Tensai!"

"Welcome! Don't forget your rent's due tomorrow!"

Tuesday, May 26

if they could only make 2 more hours of this...

perhaps I was mistaken

Sparky carried marion's inert frame in her arms as she emerged from the fog of the freezer unit.

"But..." I stammered as I fastened the bandages to my torso over the stab wound, "if that's marion, who is she?" I pointed to the broken doll on the floor wearing marion's dress.

Sparky only shrugged as she hefted marion's frosted porcelain limbs into the corner with a crash. I knelt down over my would-be assassin and removed her wig, and flipped open the access panel on her cranium.

"Sparky? Jeweler's goggles and tweezers."

After a day of examining the impostor's clockwork I pulled out a minuscule wooden punchcard from the behavioral index.

"This is Aleister's design," I growled as I crushed the card. I gave her key a few twists and stepped back as her processor began whirring.

"Little doll," I said calmly. "What is your name?"

"My name is vanna, Sir." The doll did her best to sit up, considering the mangling sparky gave to her earlier to rescue me. "Where am I, Sir? The last thing I remember someone biting my Builder on the neck..."

I nodded sadly. "You are in Mason Labs, vanna. Welcome to our family."

"Get out of my dress, vanna!" shouted marion as she rose, brushing the ice off of her synthetic flesh.

"So much for starting on the right foot," I sighed.

Monday, May 25

This week at the Menard House in Port Galveston (Note the Steampunk event!)

may 25
5-7 Belina
7-9 Darien best in gothic leather [I approve]
9-11 Johny Boxers and Panties

May 26
5-7 Belina
7-9 Darien Best in big hair [Filthy Fruno FTW]
9-11 Johny Vamps and tramps

May 27
5-7 Belina
7-9 Darien best in shorts [Oy!]
9-11 Johny best in tanks and halters

May 28
5-7 Belina
7-9 Ella Cops & Robbers
9-11 Johny Convicts and Wardens

May 29
5-7 Belina
7-9 Ella Gods & Goddesses
9-11 Johny Nymphs & Pucks [I'm glad there wasn't a typo]

may 30
5-7 Belina
7-9 Darien SteamPunk [RED FIRE!]
9-11 Johny Saturday Night Salsa Pajama Party

the betrayal is worse than the wound

So "Father", was it your intention to send marion back to me so she could murder me in my sleep? You very nearly succeeded. I am very lucky to have another doll who is loyal to me who prevented the coup de gras.

That murderous mannequin is probably miles from Steelhead by now.

Perhaps you were as taken in by blood-tinged sweetness as I was. Perhaps she was as eager a minion for your Spark madness as she was for me.

If and when you come back from your expedition to find Professor Burro, "Doctor Mason", we will have a nice long talk. I've tolerated your delusions for long enough. It is time for a cure.

Sunday, May 17

Tonight at the Menard House in Port Galveston - Victorians, Cowboys, Pirates and Sailors

Tonight's Events:

5-7pm sl time Couples best in Victorian dress 1000L with Miss Angeni

7-9pm sl time Couples best in Western attire 1000L with Miss Ella

9-11pm sl time Couples best in Pirate/Navy 1000L with Johny Diavolo

Come and dance in the Menard House Grande ballroom; Beautiful romantic setting and lovely music 24/7. Friendly hosts to make your visit unforgettable. The ideal place to be with that special someone or maybe meet the person of your dreams. All new and up to date dances.

If you haven't committed to some other event tonight, please give our newest member of the Victorian Grid a visit!

Thursday, May 14

Customer Service

Those of you who recall the early days of Steelhead will remember meQal Anna. A dear friend still, the self-styled "King of the Rednecks" started as the official Town Drunk with a tent for his home. His gregarious personality quickly made him a Host. I knew he had some programming skills, but I was surprised when rapidly became a gifted builder of clothing and gag gifts. He even became the manager of Starlight Casino, which for a while was one of the most popular spots (for casinos at least) on the Grid.

And just as quickly, he vanished.

He told me he had some extra time and was looking for something to do. I suggested he give Second Life another try. This was his responce, reposted with his permission:

Sorry but Hell has a better chance of freezing over, thawing out, and refreezing again before I will ever play Second Life again. Linden Labs pissed me off that bad with how they acted regarding screwing up a paid account I had and then telling me it was my fault. It took them over a year to even admit that they messed up before even contacting me about it and that was only because the BBB [Better Business Bureau] had them listed as a disreputal[sic] business. I am still waiting two years later for a promised refund from them. Before I will ever install anything made by that company again on any computer I own, I will require a lobotomy and my gentaila[sic] nailed to a table with railroad spikes.

Great job, Linden Labs.

Tuesday, May 12

Released on my own recognisance

"It's not that easy, girls!", I said to marion as she broke open the lock at my chest with a bonesaw. "Floating in a jar without your body is a novel sensation for the first ten minutes...but without any tactile sensation you start to..."

Marion tossed the broken lock aside as sparky unlaced the bindings in the back of my straitjacket. "You've got a lot of mail," said sparky, "Mr. Esk sent you a moldy old book..."

"Wait," I interrupted. "Mister ESK? Was it spelled E-S-Q?" Marion nodded. "Ah. Esquire. That must be from Mr. Broek regarding my failed testimony..."

"No Father," I heard from behind me, "it was from Mr. Headburro Antfarm Esk...choir." I nodded as I slowly stretched out my arms, sluggish from being bound up for days. The sleeves snaked down to the floor of the padded cell. "Your father..."

"He's NOT my father!", I stammered. The girls looked over at my shoulder at each other and simply shrugged.

Marion continued. "The man who thinks he's your father said it was from an old friend of his, Professor Headonius Burro."

"Oh, I remember reading about him. He disappeared..."

"Yes, Mr. Jeremy says it's Mythos trouble, and he's gone off to investigate."

"What? How was Professor Burro involved in our...oh THAT Mythos..." The girls peeled off the unlaced jacket from me. I watched my hands as I tested my fingers for sensation. "Well, if he wants to get involved in that, it's his funeral. If he really thinks he's my father then he must already be mad, which means he's already prepared to face Cthu..."

I looked back at their smiling faces. Behind their lacy dresses their mechanical keys spun in quiet synchronicity. Best to keep them out of those discussions, I thought. I also secretly prayed that Qli-2 wasn't involved.

Sparky unbuttoned my dress shirt from the hanger as she gleefully continued. "Mrs. Tensai wants to see you because she has a really bad cough."

"Alright", I sighed. "I suppose she still trusts me as her primary physician."

Marion held the shirt behind me as I slipped my arms into the sleeves. "Sparky! Can I tell him?" "No! I want to tell him!" "No! I want to tell him!" This breathless banter continued for a never five minutes as I marion adjusted my cuff links and ruffles and sparky retrieved my jacket. "No, I do!" "No, I do!"

I set on the bed, crossing my arms with growing curiosity as they each slipped a sock one of my feet at pushed wrong-pointed shoes on them.

"Ahem." I pointed down to show them their error, and they traded shoes. "Just tell me."

They took a deep breath and spoke in unison. They must have practised. To be honest it even creeps me out.

"You received a letter from Miss Precious Adored..."

"Is she a doll?"

"No father. She's from the Menard House in Port Galveston Texas."

I arched a brow. I haven't heard from them since they were negotiating with my brother on trade deals with Belhaven.

"Mister Paragorn and Miss Sandalwood said they would be honored if you hosted for them at their new ballroom!"

I reached down and hugged them both.

"Oh! That's the best news I've heard in a long time! I was starting to miss the whole Hosting scene!"

"Can we help father? Can we? Can we?" They pleaded sweetly.

"Well girls, I'm not sure what kind of events they...girls? Girls?" They were frozen in place with their glass eyes staring up at me, painted smiles perfectly still. I released my hold on them and they tilted forward, propping against each other's shoulders to keep from falling. Their shiny keys slowed to a stop simultaneously at the 12 0'clock position.

"I see Jeremy doesn't know to remind you to rewind each other..."

Sunday, May 10

A Jarring Conclusion

So the Judge was willing to let an empty-headed body testify but not the seat of my intellect? Someone needs a refresher course in Biology! No matter. That person masquerading as my father finally put me in a stable frame. Now it's time for a well-earned vacation.

Gematria assures me that Mr. Fourway's chats are quite therapeutic. I may even get some supervised visits to the Fallen Anvil across the road. I'm a bit dubious about his assertion that an entirely liquid diet is the key to good health. I will reluctantly stick to the chicken broth while my new digestive system adjusts. I do hope you'll stop by and visit in a bit.

Friday, May 8

I ain't got no body that I can depend on

My family keeps trying to put a body on me, but it keeps falling apart. They're trying to sew me together without reanimation fluid! Silly people! Oh they never use reanimation fluid in Europa says Ama. Well they're AMATEURS!

Besides, I've been summoned to testify in Miss Burton's trial as an expert witness! Just set my jar up on the stand. The swearing on the Bible (Old Testament please) may be a bit difficult...just touch the jar with it or something.

Oh this should be FUN!

Wednesday, May 6

sanctuary in which I hide from the world I despise

Oh, hello Ash, Gem, Ama, Koen! And you're the actor standing in as Jeremiah! It's a cast party! The whole family's almost here except for Qli-2. She's hard to find. You'd think a cybernetic Celt would be easier to spot? You all know sparky I presume...oh my goodness is that marion? Oh you're in the pre-upgrade body! I sold it because I couldn't bear to scrap it for parts! This not-father must have put you back together! But I thought you...oh you came back with him from Erebus! Well that almost makes sense! My fantasies are so wonderfully intricate! I should write them down! Sheriff, will you take down dictation? Oh, no thumbs. What about shorthand? Oh we're missing Marcus! Say, where is he? It's almost time for my amino acid solution!

What? Put me back together? Oh don't be silly! I'm quite enjoying this bodiless existence, thank you very much. Sheriff Goblinsky is here to keep me company. He tells the most entertaining stories.

You don't see him? Well that's because you're not real. And YOU, you don't even look like my Father! Why do I know? Because I was him. And he was me. We were clones you see. And Marcus makes three.

No really, this is the most relaxed I've been in years! I don't even have any...well alright there's that body I fished out of the bay, but...Hey! Leave him alone! He's had a bad week! Sheriff Goblinsky, arrest that faux-father! What do you mean you don't have THUMBS? I've got a whole drawer of them! Go get a few!

Unhand me this instant! These gloves are cold! NO! This can't be happening! Why do I feel limbs again? SHERIFF! You're not real! This isn't REEEEEEEAAAALLL!!!

the wall was too high as you can see

I remember removing my helmet, looking down at Marcus's corpse that I had blown large holes in because it had refused to stay dead...then an impact from behind... a metal claw suddenly clamped around my skull and the deafening whir of bonesaws...

For over a month I have been trapped this jar. This isn't the first time I've been in this jar I'm ashamed to say. But at least that time I had a robot's body to ride on top of. Marcus gloated over me constantly, wearing my own face. He told me how stupid I was to trust him again, how even though he only ruled an island for a little while it was more than I ever would rule.

He would rant for hours about how he'd capture Koen and send him back to the Vortex, the new King of Erebus would destroy the Hydra, then send his troops to conquer the Steamlands and make him the provincial ruler. If that wasn't bad enough I had to watch as he mangled my body with one procedure after another, trying to make himself more powerful even as his lifecode needed more and more reanimation serum to keep stable.

Poor sparky doesn't understand he's not the real me. I have no voice, and she can't hear my thoughts. I'm just another curiosity on the madboy's shelf to her.

I thought I saw a mouse that felt like Kira. I begged her to help. It must have been a hallucination. I've been having a lot of those lately. They keep me entertained. Mostly designs I regret I'll never build. And there are those little robots and goblins sitting down for tea in front of me but are too impolite to share with me. Not that I'm hungry, but I'd appreciate the thought.

There's an interesting one I'm right watching right now. It's on the security viewscreen, which normally means it could be real...except it looks like it's Marcus fighting Jeremiah. I know it's not real because Father says he's going to save me. Part of me must really be desperate to get out of here to come up with a rediculous tale like that. I'll just watch for a while. Then we'll break for tea.

Friday, May 1

the writing on the wall

Darien emerged silently from folded space, still clad in the armor of the Blood Wing Knight and hovered on crimson wings over his Steelhead home. He descended slowly, twin beams of light illuminated his gaze from beneath his helmet as he scowled at the graffiti painted on the rear wall of the metallic box known as Mason Labs.

"Sparky! BOX! The natives are resorting to vandalism! Clean up this mess! Quickly!"

"Yes Doctor!"

The violet field of energy dissipated just before the doll emerged from the bleak aperture of the laboratory in a maid's outfit. She carried a mop, bucket, and a solvent can. BOX, a small black droid with yellow orbs for eyes lay the wooden ladder on the stairs and used it to safely glide on its treads up the precipitous incline.

The Basic Operational eXpendable unit was a wind-up model designed for laboratory work and had never been outside the facility, except in a shipping crate. It was equipped with treads which were perfect for transporting beakers of unstable compounds across the room, but were far from optimal for scaling the steep stairs leading up to the front portal. It tried to tilt its treads, but could not achieve the desired angle. It tried to jump, but only caught a couple inches of air an instant of hang time with each attempt. From outside, Sparky heard a flew loud CLUNKS from the attempts.

Sparky watched as the end of the ladder jutted 45 degrees upwards several yards from the portal. BOX, having never been outside the lab, assumed there was another wing of the facility beyond the field and sped to the tip of the far end of the ladder. BOX rotated its head backwards to register the error as it realized it was hanging precipitously on the tip of the ladder in open air. BOX rolled backwards towards the portal to avoid the fulcrum effect and the prospect of crashing it down on the steps and smashing the ladder to boot.

Sparky gasped in alarm as she saw the violet web of searing energy reform, severing the ladder down the middle. A clatter was heard from inside the field as the back half tumbled down the stone steps. The rest of the ladder began to slide backwards, vanishing in smoke as the field reduced inch after inch into black smoke.

BOX beeped in apparent terror as it immediately rolled its treads as fast as it could up its side of the ladder to avoid the disintegration field, which in turn sped the ladder's slide into the field. The droid quickly pulled out its key and ran its coils into overdrive, its metal frame rattling as it used the last yard of ladder to catapult itself into the air. It tumbled treads over antenna, and sparky dropped the mop and aerosol can and crouched, holding the metal bucket in front of her face as protection as BOX crashed in a heap on the cobblestones of the Port Harbor street.

Sparky laid down her cleaning equipment and quietly stood next to BOX. She picked up its key from the ground and pushed it through the aperture in its back. After several turns, BOX slowly righted itself and spun its limbs back into proper place. BOX noticed the twin wisps of smoke, and spotted a couple rungs worth of ladder left on the ground that fell from the stairway as he went airborne. The ends of the ladder still smoldered. Sparky picked up her tools and skipped her way around the street corner. Once she reached the back wall, BOX rolled up next to her, offering her the smoking fragment of the ladder. Sparky blinked. BOX propped the fragment against the wall. It was only a foot of climb at the most. Sparky shook her head at the droid.

Darien hovered above them silently, his attention wholly transfixed on the graffiti.

"What does this mean, Doctor?", she asked as she gingerly perched on top of BOX's shoulders.

Darien drifted to the roof by the defaced wall and landed.

"Nothing, sparky. Nothing at all."

Sparky shrugged and sighed as she began to spray the solvent, causing the first letter of GENESIS 27:22 to seep and bubble down the length of the black sheet of iron.