Monday, November 30

A Friend in Need

This is the time of year when we go out of the way to help the unfortunate. There seem to be many more of them this year. Some of them have lost everything. Some are teetering on the brink, quietly praying for help before frustration turns to full despair.

I have never understood why so many in my country despise the government so much that they're not willing to fund it so it can, in turn, help those among us who need it most. An ounce of prevention is indeed worth a pound of cure if it stops the cascade. Lack of daycare leads to lack of employment. Lack of internet access means isolation from contact with the ones who support us and the fonts of knowledge that can help us improve our desperate situation.

Dame Kiralette Kelly made the Steamlands and Second Life proud by running this year's Relay For Life. She gave her time and energy to help us fight cancer. Now, my friends, with great humility, she asks us for our help. Were it not for a change in my fortune just today, I would be a month or two away from holding my hand out as well. I do not have much to give, but I will give.

That is what friends are for, is it not?

Sunday, November 22

Et Tu, Hotspur?

It seems my friend Hotspur Otoole has become the latest victim of Linden Labs, or "Labbies" as the astute Crap Mariner has begun to call them. I guess calling the Labs Stalinist was one step over the line?

We will all be watching Linden Labs ticket #4051-7043947 very closely.

Colonel Otoole, please enjoy the amenities on the Clockwork Caravel in the meantime. Lady Christine left a banana bread in the pantry and the bar is fully stocked.

Tuesday, November 17

Of Clanks and Cultists

As much as I miss Steelhead, my face is too familiar there. To keep the peace, I will keep my distance from the previous home unless the need is dire. My friends know where to find me.

The metropolis of New Babbage provides the anonymity I need. There is always an influx of new residents who don't remember the Monster Hand epidemic, or even know me from the other Mason who lives here (with whom I have no relation).

Praise the Founder I had those crates of inoculation guns stored from the last epidemic. One zombie plague is bad enough. Two strains in the same area can lead to cross-contamination and dangerous new pathogens.

I also solved a murder mystery with Miss Kamenev, who saw right through me.

I cannot thank the Baron and the Consulate enough for use of their facilities. The gargoyle's spirit would have perished had I not the materials on hand. After the Equinox his golem form quickly crumbled. But now as an avian clank, he flies again.

Herr Baron has asked me to watch or the Spark urchin, Clara. Indeed she is quite the handful. She apparently foiled the invention of another young Spark named Triky, who built a school-smashing, teacher-eating clank. I was not there at that incident but I did intervene when she and her little friends tried to repair a multi-purpose construct of Captain Mauriac. Note to self: keep ALL talking birds far from the premises when working on a heavily armed clank!

Now it seems I have a nemesis. Mr. Yoyo Underby. His Qabalistic knowledge rivals my own. I thought as a colleague I could convince him to use his skills for the good of the community, and capture the kidnapper of urchins loose in the streets, this Creaky Gloom. But Underby played me for a fool!

And now Tenk blames me for his entrapment.

I shall see you free, Clockwinder. I swear!

Monday, November 16

all the years I walked unknown behind the faces I'd assumed

Through enchantment you may find this tome sitting upon on your desk or shelf or coffee table, on your favorite tree stump or box of gears. Is it truly there? Your fingers pass through it, yet you can read the pages that seem to know when to turn when you have taken your fill from the open leaves.

The crest embossed on the front is unmistakable. The ziggurat with a pyre at its peak, flanked by batlike wings. As the pages turn you catch scents that are familiar, perhaps not pleasurable but somehow reassuring. It may be absinthe, soot, sulfur, or the lingering vapors of reanimation serum.

Handwritten inside the front cover, addressed to you by name:

It is my dedication you and the many friends I have made in the Steamlands and beyond that has compelled me to return. As a fugitive, the smog and brick canyons grant me anonymity. The sea of tuxedos in allow me to blend in with the other dapper gents on the ballroom floor. The tunnels beneath the streets echo my whispers to your ears.

I have made my presence known to many of you. Some of you have glimpsed me as I raced in silence from one danger to another. Some of you have prayed for my return. I thank you for your prayers, for they have been answered. For you, I write this book so enchanted that only those I trust may see and read.

Is this selflessness or sheer folly to return with nothing more than the clothes on my back and an inoculation pistol? Only time will tell. As Surgeon, Sorcerer and Spark, I will help you however I can, whenever I can. My life has no meaning otherwise.

All I ask in return is that you refer to me in your tales only as "The Scientist", and that you never publish an image of my face or otherwise explicitly reveal my identity. In this regard, my life is in your hands.

Be Well, my Friend.

The Scientist

The book then vanishes in the blink of an eye. Were you only dreaming?