The Spider Cliff Mysteries

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Writing in the dust of dawn!

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Posted by Alice belladora, 7:44am, 26 May, 2009

*Picking herself up off the deck of Leticia's ship, with a slightly pained wince, she turns and gazes at Eckstein's vessel, following behind. He waves cheerfully at her, and she responds with a glare that says:
"If i were you, mate, next time we come face to face you'd better be running in the opposite direction." she turns on her considerable heel and stomps off to find Leticia, finding her whistling the very same tune, and looking chipper.*

Leticia? Ah, there you are. I've got the coordinates. They're rather heavy, so could we possibly adjourn to the map-reading room?

Hmmn? Oh, he's perfectly well. A little too well, if that is indeed possible. Strange, isn't it? Eckstein hasn't a cruel bone in his body, though he'll make you scrub the deck for hours until it shines. Eckhartd is a wily fox, treats you like royalty if he feels like it, and if he wants something off you. Cruel as madame beatrice, if not worse. I've no idea why they haven't hooked up by now. They have so much in common.

*Leticia nods, and presses a worn button on the control panel, marked "auto pilot".
She turns and marches towards alice, and escorts her to one of the many dark rooms in the bowels of the ship. There they spread out maps, charts, and cream cheese on ten-years-past-their-sell-by-date crackers, from an old wooden chest in the corner. They spend many minutes talking, drinking tea, eating stale bread products, and chatting about the olden days....*

"Yes, i did get that necklace from the markets of dalmoone."

"Yes, it is a nice suit, isn't it? Old Bertram seems terribly out of sorts, though. I can only wonder what could possibly have happened to him."

"Thank you, I'll certainly have another cracker if i may."
This message was last edited on 26 May 2009.

Posted by Lettuce-Chan, 7:59am, 26 May, 2009

*She leans back in her chair, and sighs deeply, looking content, her stomach full of ancient crackers and fine cheese, just like the old days. She looks at alice, and smiles, shaking her head.*

Alice, you old sea dog. You talk like a refined lady, which i know for certain you're not. I remember the days when your mouth was as hardened by adventure as well-worn leather. I see your can shaped injury has hardly left a mark! Anyway, i can see we'll have quite a journey ahead of us. The white mountains... ah, yes, i remember. How could one forget? *Speculative look*

I'm surprised you have the guts to go back, after what happened. Of course, that old friend of yours has the most dreadful memory, doesn't he? I'd be surprised if he even remembers Old Eckstein. Do you think he's succeeded in training those penguins yet? I always thought it a pointless struggle myself.

I'd better go and inform eckstein of our plans. He's not going to like it, but It's the only safe way of getting there. Do you really intend to visit Pirate Cove? Full of pirates, that place. Of course, the name rather suggests it. Not a very creative lot when it comes to naming things, are they?

But of course, we must pick up that housekeeper of yours. Do you really think It's safe to let her loose on all those poor pirates? Last i heard, she wrestled 7 armed soldiers to the ground for being rude to her. Fine woman.

*She swallows her last cracker, spits out a seed, and rummages in her pocket for her communication device. She calls Eckstein, and after a few minutes arguing, he agrees to the plans, and to come aboard for a discussion.*

Oh, and bring that nice mr Radek fellow. I'm sure he's finished the deck by now. What? Oh, well, tell him to do it later then. Right. And don't forget to bring the beverages. Alice will have a nice glass of egg nog, there's a good fellow. Bring a few bottles of rum for me, and don't forget to ask the gunman what he wants. He looks like he needs a nice stiff drink after the events of last night. Now, captain. There's no need for language like that.

*She pockets her strange device, and gets up to bring in more chairs and refreshments.*
This message was last edited on 26 May 2009.

Posted by Sacrificialamber, 8:11pm, 26 May, 2009

Think about our actions? Why that wouldn't do at all, captain my captain! Well, I suppose Eckstein is technically captain... But you're the captain of our adventures! Hmn, does that even make sense, I wonder... Well, as you so aptly stated, we don't even have to think about that, now do we? *Grinning widely, he bends his legs to the ground and gets ready for Alice to execute a flying leap onto Leticia's deck!... A flying leap that never comes as he hears a muffled harggh*

Awwwww, Eckstein! She was going to make the jump on her own! My back would've been the back that catapulted her to greatness! *Barely able to keep his face straight, Radek sighs as he watches Alice tumble through the air and nevertheless still land with almost cat-like grace on the deck of Leticia's craft* Besides, a professional gunslinger needs to constantly set his strength.. Although if it's mopping you want... *grins dangerously, grabbing the mop from Eckstein's outstretched hands and twirling it around professionally, much like a spear.*

This deck'll be cleaner then clean. *mutters something under his breath* ... unless you make fun of Miss Alice again, or mock the lovely taste of a good raspberry muffin, in which case I might just fall asleep on the job. *grins to himself as if this is incredibly cunning, then sets to work swabbing the deck, stopping only to listen to Eckstein's oddly familiar humming, pausing to make sure that Alice is alive, well, and on the deck instead of in mid-air, watching her vanish into the (rather more shiny then Eckstein's battered but proud craft) conference room with a serene smile on his face*

Well, it wasn't exactly what we planned, but then again, you still jumped rather impressively, didn't ya?... A man's pride is his ship, and given how useless I was last time, I better repay the good captain by making this ship shine like edge of a blade. *sighs, staring at the many miles of deck to scrub, a mischievious grin spreading across his lips* Hmn, on the other hand... *Sneaks to the edge of the deck, and braces the mop across the bow, preparing to fling himself across to Leticia's skyship when a surprised voice catches him off guard*

"Skinner? What on earth're you doing? Don't be daft man, you can't scrub the floor like that!... Or jump from one ship to another. Call it a wild guess, but I highly doubt you're as agile as Miss Belladora. I'm really tempted to say that I forgot all about asking you to come along and -ask you kindly to scrub every square inch of this craft-, but given that I was asked politely..." *Eckstein sighs* "... I have no choice but to tell you to come along to Leticia's office. We're having a little chat about our goals." *Some buzzing from a nearby communication device echoes in his ear, and he sighs again* "And what do you want to drink? Apparently I'm supposed to bring rum."

Posted by Sacrificialamber, 8:22pm, 26 May, 2009

Ah, hmn... Right now, I wouldn't mind some tooth-rottingly sweet iced vodka, with a sprig of mint and a hint of lemon. *Eckstein's expression is a mixture of confusion and defeat* "Wonderful. I'll just go pluck some wild mints from the mountains, and grab some fresh lemons from the garden I grow specifically for this purpose."

Heh, sorry. But you did ask... *Grinning a cheshire smile, Radek attempts to leap across the gap between ships!... Narrowly succeeding, and getting knocked to his back in the process* Gack. Perhaps I need to get into shape... and certainly, carrying this bucket and mop with me was somewhat unnecessary... *Blinks, sighs, and stares in confusion as Eckstein jumps over carting several casks of fine rum, a glass of recently iced-tea with fresh lemon and mint, and a variety of small spices and flavorings. He grins a burly grin* "You thought I was joking, didn't you? I -am- a master bartender, after all. But I'm expecting payment, Skinner! Ahahaha, those decks better be shining when we get back!"

...
Somehow, I have the feeling of being utterly beaten. *Scrabbling to his feet looking embarassed yet cheerful, both walking over to Leticia's office. Opening the door for the over-burdened captain, Radek still manages to pull of a half-bow, before taking a seat.* Good evening, ladies. Always a pleasure!... Tell me about our plans. I'm ready for anything, and anything could be wonderful, as long as we make our own route there, and we stick together. *smiles radiantly, and takes a long, content sip of his drink*

Posted by Alice belladora, 4:26am, 27 May, 2009

*She takes a sip of her beverage, and puts her boots on the table, with her feet still in them.*

Well, chaps. Splendid to see us all together again, just like the olden days of of cogs and steam, although we seem to be missing one person.

Anyhow, i think I'll hand this one over to Leticia, as she knows more about maps and flying than any of us uneducated sea-dogs. *Flashes a small smile at Mr Radek.*

*She leans back in her chair with a creak, and settles to listen to the discussion, which as usual quickly becomes a heated argument between Two Captains, Leticia and old Eckstein.
One thing about the old days she doesn't miss all that much, come to think of it. She thinks about the white mountains, and their true name, which few have heard. She thinks about her old addle-brained yet brilliant friend, living not-so-quietly in his frozen astronomy tower, with his inventions and his penguins. And she thinks about her housekeeper, the wise, tough, and altogether extremely dependable miss mufflethwait. Her mind wanders to her home in the peaceful woodland, her tragically flooded outdoor library, and her very own small astronomy tower, the telescope of which pokes through the highest leaves... she feels sad, and thinks about her poor antique shop. She thinks about spektor, and calls to him to join them. He does, somehow entering the room through a locked and bolted door. She does all this while Leticia and Eckstein argue, bang the table, gesticulate wildly, and wave charts and various other diagrams in the air. She feels herself falling asleep in the altogether too familiar atmosphere, from long ago. She slips off her chair, and another familiar sound hits the air, startling the arguing captains and one lone gunman...*


*Crunch*
This message was last edited on 27 May 2009.

Posted by Lettuce-Chan, 3:40am, 28 May, 2009

Alice?!

*She pauses in the middle of hitting the captain over the head with a compass, and tries to pick up alice, with some difficulty.*

Must be the drink. Either that or someone's poisoned her! ha, ha.. Help me prop her up somewhere, Eckstein, and we can carry on with our argu- er, i mean, heated discussion!

*She props the half-awake alice back on her chair, with the help of Eckstein, and spreads out a large map of the area. She draws her route, much to the consernation of the captain.*

Well, what do you think, Mr Radek? i think we could easily avaid those dragons. We just need to give er' a bit of the old welly! eh? once we get out of darcancian territory, we can cross the Darke plaines, and go over the mountains, keep an eye out for dragons, and a rocket launcher just in case! i expect the gunman to be on his feet and alert at all times! From there we fly over the Great Northern lake, send someone down to the village nearby for supplies, and out to sea. We can cross it and be docked at Pirate cove by the day after tomorrow, if i make her go full speed! there, we pick up Alice's housekeeper, and save those poor pirates from her. We fly onwards through wild territory, fighting pirate theives all the way! we fly through the white mountains, and find a safe place to hide the ship. We walk the rest of the way to the astronomy tower, using one of Alice's own maps, if she can find it, and hope he'll be welcoming. Always a risk of being bolted out and shot at, after causing someone a, er, bit of bother. So, what do you say? ..ouch!

"You've gone stark ravin' bonkers, woman! You can't pass into their territory! we'll be eaten alive before lunch! i propse a safer route, one that doesn't serve up the possibility of a dragon encounter!"

But we do have that strange silver device of Alice's, don't we? I reckon she got it off one of the Elders, powerfully magickal, aren't they, Alice? ....Alice? ....

*She glances at the gently snoring Alice, almost falling out of her chair.*

"Skinner, i think you'd better take her to one of the servant's quarters, to sleep it off. Though i can't imagine her passsing out after only one sip! in any case, we can't have her snoring all the way through, can we? Go on, get rid of her, out, out, out! the sleepin' quarters are just down the hall, go down a flight of stairs, through the first door you come to on the right, and you're there. Be quick, now. I'm right in sayin' she's not heavy! "

*He turns his back to the gunman, and starts stabbing at a piece of paper with a familiar pencil.*

This message was last edited on 28 May 2009.

Posted by Sacrificialamber, 5:00pm, 28 May, 2009

Splendid to see us all together again indeed. Seems to me like we're just getting started on what could be the journey of a lifetime. Who knows what we'll find if we keep traveling through reality like this, without a care in the world... *Speaks slowly, his eyes shifting around the room observing everyone behind thick lenses.... Then smiles widely at Alice*

Indeed, I figure I'll just sit back down here and let Leticia - er, and good Eckstein - finalize our travel plans. I'm sure we'll be asked our opinions when they matter. *smile widens for a fraction of a second, then disappears as he takes lawns loudly and lays back in his chair, resting his feet on the table his well; conveniently next to Alice, with no small amount of glee on his face as he winks at her... His grin fading as he notices how lost in thought she seems, especially when it's so hard for him to avoid being jarred back to reality by the heated debate going on between the two captains. He wants to talk to, but one of Eckstein's loud gestures causes him to look away for a second, and then...*

Alice!?

*Jumps to his feet, (nearly banging his head on the somewhat cramped ceiling as he does so) and rushes over to Alice* Leticia, she just fell out of her chair! I do know that this sort of thing happens - *a shocked expression flits over his face, and his hand briefly slides into his coat against the stock of his revolver* - all the time with her, right? *Helps stand Alice up, and get her back into her chair. He gets back into his own seat reluctantly, idly staring at the prone Alice several times... and covertly pocketing her half-finished drink.*

Hmn? Oh, let's see... Well, both routes have their merits, but being that you both seem incredibly capable, and I'll expect you not ta discount Alice and myself, we-ell... I cast my vote in for Leticia's route. Not only does it sound like it'll be a lot more fun, but honestly? Not all dragons are so terrible, nor are all men not monsters. *grins widely at that strange statement* And although I understand this is hardly as effective as a rocket, a good shot between the eyes gives even flying lizards a reason to pause.

I'm going to take you up on moving Alice out of here... I was thinking of needing some fresh air, myself. Leticia, remember that I cast my vote for your route! As for Alice, I'm sure she'd agree. Figure out how to do it, and do it well. Whatever is finally hammered out, I'll do my best. *Reaches for Alice's arm, and instead of trying to heft her around, slips it around his back, walking so that she's leaning on him* I'll likely be back after I make sure she's sleeping soundly. *Eyes narrow as he watches the pencil cut into paper, and purses his lips, then opens the cabin door, helps Alice out onto the deck, and closes it shut.*

Posted by Sacrificialamber, 5:09pm, 28 May, 2009

*Stares at the slumbering Alice, clearly worried, before sighing and keeping step with her down the corridor and a flight of stairs, then to the right as instructed. Figuring he's in the right place, he looks over the semi-comfortable seeming beds, grabbing a blanket and no small amount of pillows to cover it with, and then laying Alice out on it. He then sits on a chair nearby, and removes her drink from his pocket, stopping to gaze at her silent face*

Oh, Alice. If you were awake, I'm sure you'd have some sort of brilliant way of determining whether this was drugged using science or logic, or perhaps even magic. Or something! As for me, I feel as if I'm just being paranoid, but if my suspicions are right... Hah, you can never been paranoid enough. Isn't that right, Skinner... *looking somberly off into the distance, he takes a slight sip of Alice's drink, tasting for any strange textures or off flavors, before downing the whole thing in one gulp*

C'mon, Radek. If this is some sort of nasty tricky sleeping posion, fight it off. And if it is, figure out exactly what's going on... *Losing track of time, he stares at Alice and reclines back in his chair, glasses falling to the bridge of his nose as he goes over everything that's happened in the last few days, a wash of memory suddenly coming over him... He nevertheless stays awake and alert, watching Alice with a soft concern as the minutes tick by...*

Posted by Alice belladora, 4:38am, 29 May, 2009

*Deep in her sleep, Alice dreams of white. Pure, gleaming whiteness. Snow capped mountains. Stars twinkle silently overhead, lost in their own thoughts. A howl of some distant mountain-beast. A tower, almost buried under the heavy snowfall. Something large passes overhead, and obscures the figure below, waist deep in the freezing white stuff.
Memories are like socks. Easily lost and forgotten about, so It's best to wear them proudly, even if they are covered in holes.
Other scenes flash by; A library filled with hundreds and thousands of books, a city of steam and industry. A woman with a cruel yet beautiful face laughing.
A really big mug of steaming hot tea, and a chocolate bourbon...*

Whaaarrgh?!! *She sits bolt upright, looking startlingly lively for someone who only moments ago lay comatose on a rather saggy old mattress. She looks to her right, and almost falls out of bed from the surprise of seeing someone sitting only about a foot away.*

Skinner?! Albert, Rosemary, stripy socks and blue teapots!
You...! ....ugh.

*She glares at the concerned gunman, as if her current condition was his fault, and flops back onto her back. She looks a bit worse for wear, and has somehow managed to put 5 stratigically placed holes in her right sock.*

I had the most unfortutane dreams, Mr Radek. Bad memories. Teacups, bah. That wretched madame Beatrice, who hasn't troubled my sleep for a long time...

*She lies still for a few moments, looking troubled. Then, without warning, she sits bolt upright again, and leaps out of bed with a slighly wild glint in her eye. She exits the room so fast she sends feathers flying. Her loud footsteps can be heard receding into the distance. She bursts into the room where Captain Leticia and Eckstein sit, and hurriedly withdraws a large piece of paper from inside her velveteen jacket, slapping it on the table.*


We must stop at the nearest town, and stock up on our ammunition as quickly as possible! What are you all looking at me like that for?!
This is terrible! As i told you, Eckstein, Madame Beatrice Isn't dead. She twists and turns like a big twisty turny thing, i say!
I always knew she'd come back, but not so suddenly and without warning. Of course, i should have expected as much. She won't attack us right away. She'll bide her time, waiting for the opportune moment. Once we get into pirate territory, every single criminal and petty thief will descend upon us. Their allegience can be bought easily, and that dreadful woman has stocks of everything, from caskets of rum to state-of-the-art weaponry. We must be on our guard at all times, and i suggest we all adopt disguises. She has many spies, those of which may be watching us now. She seeks to destroy us, and my frozen professor.

We must fly deep within the clouds, lest we be seen. Once we reach the place where Miss Mufflethwait waits, Mr Radek and i shall plunder the place of all It's stocks, from food to antique furniture. No one will dare come near us with my housekeeper watching our backs! We arm ourselves as heavily as we possibly can, and blow all our enemies to hell and back if they so much as dare come close! We'll show the sorceress what we're made of!

*Leticia and the captain stare in silence at the animated antiques specialist standing exitedly before them. They look at each other with deeply troubled and perhaps slightly exesperated expressions on their faces.*

This message was last edited on 29 May 2009.

Posted by Sacrificialamber, 3:57am, 30 May, 2009

*Radek waits for what seem to be hours, taking intermittent gazes at Alice while resisting the urge to yawn; even if the drink wasn't poisoned, the events of the day seem to have warn him out, and his eyes constantly drop close to being shut.. Until he is woken up immediately from his sleep by a familiar voice bolting awake*

Alice! *Completely oblivious to her surprise, he smiles warmly* Glad to see you haven't been poisoned, drugged, or otherwise put out of commission. For a minute my terrible double-guessing paranoia was on full swing, you see- er, are you really surprised to see me? *Suddenly turns a shade of bright red* Er, sorry if I should've given you some space, I mean... I just figured that if you had been poisoned, I'd have to wake you up or something... And... Uhmn... *his excuses sounding even more pathetic, he nervously scratches the back of his head, looking away, just missing her glare sharp enough to crack the most stout of teacups. When he looks back, his eyes are clouded with a mixture of emotions, most prominently concern.*

Perhaps, perhaps it's my fault? I've been known to be a bit unlucky... *looking even more nervous and self-introspective, Radek falls rather silent.* Ah, you seem to have some more holes in your socks... I suppose I could try to patch them up-

Dreams.

*Instantly alert, he leans close, eyes unreadable* Tell me more.I trust dreams more then anyone else I know, and if you've seen someone who should've been dead... *his eyes narrow, as he jumps out of his chair(knocking it to the ground and nearly falling himself), coat-tails swishing as he dashes after her.... Only to be blown away by the rather rambunctious outburst of a very animated, dream-dusted antiques specialist slash pirate slash warrior of the skies. He's completely silent; as is the whole room, except for Spektor who appaears oddly content and familiar with the situation... Perhaps it's one of the gifts of being an owl. More of a pregnant pause follows, and then...*

I SECOND THE MOTION! *Radek grins and jams his booted foot into the table, grinning a shark-like grin from behind his glasses* This is even better then the last idea, something about dragons or something! Naturally, this means that we'll be outnumbered - uh, hrmn, ah, something huge! Seventeen hundred to one, but that's precisely the best odds we could hope for! Odds so huge, we can't lose! *His eyes glisten with excitement, clearly lost in Alice's worldview*

Naturally, we'll all have to act completely unlike ourselves! Hmn, hmn, and wear facemasks! And build more onto these ships, yes, and make an even bigger vessel! And arm it with whatever we can pilfer, and then, and then fire wildly into the sunset until the timber of our enemies crafts lines the shores! Er, if we're above the sea by then. I suppose it'd be all right if they lined the mountains, too. Just not as poetic.

*stops to catch his breath, then turns even more red and slowly removes his foot from the table; a muddy boot-print is now in one of the very old and likely expensive maps*

Posted by Alice belladora, 5:03am, 30 May, 2009

*She trembles from the exitement of the olden days suddenly rushing back to give her a hearty slap of the back, and without warning grabs Leticia's over-large bottle of fine rum, downing it in one. She turns to the equally exited gunman, and gives him a slap on the back that the heartiest and weather-beaten of pirates would be proud of.*

A splendid plan, even though i thought of it myself! Come on, let's leave the company of these city-softened land-lubbers. I've an old invention to show you, and i await your hopefully eager comments with the highest expectation!

*She grabs him by the lapels, and pulls him out of the room, where the confused captains sit.
He gets dragged down the dark corridor, down a flight of stairs that threaten to give way, through a gap in the wall that could only have been made by some sort of small explosion, and finally into a dark and dusty old room, filled with boxes and barrels and an antique tea chest, all coated with several decades worth of dust. She spins around on a well-practised heel, and pulls a large piece of dirty-looking paper from her seemingly bottomless coat. She thrusts it at him, and steps nearer to explain it properly.*

This here's something I've been meaning to get round to for a while. Course', my expertise in making flying contraptions is virtually nothing, or at least nothing sensible. I had Leticia build it years ago, long before we set out on our troublesome adventure, when i still had my shop, and she worked within the bowels of the city. As you can see, it is powered much the same way as a penny farthing, with pedals and such. Of course, they have to go. Back in the day, only if the day was a few years back, getting hold of a good powerful flying-engine was almost impossible. I'm certain Leticia can throw something good together in an instant, nowadays.

I plan to use this so we can dive through the clouds, and land somewhere quietly. We needn't draw attention to ourselves until we reach the place where miss Mufflethwait lies waiting for us, unless we get attacked, which is very likely, so don't give up hope of an aerial brawl just yet. She knows my signal. Once she knows we're close, she'll respond by creating a large explosion, using rum and matches, knowing her. When we get there, we shall set the sky alight with gunfire, and fly off into the sunset, just as you envisioned! The old days shall be born again, and our hearts shall be set alight with nobility, honour, and as much rum as we can carry!

Ah, by the way, you should ask Leticia for some of my old theatre masks. I'm sure we can find one to fit you, and if not, we'll just have to make you look as tough and grizzled as possible. Ask old Eckstein for all the ammunition we have in stock. You need to be armed to the teeth. Ah, don't worry. I'll be fine. I have spektor, and my trusty pistol. You're the one defending me, I'm the one negotiating with the shopkeeps. You really shouldn't underestimate the power these people hold. You see this interesting scar? Well, i got that from a gunfight with a man selling antique teapots.


In any case, i have a lot of preparing to do, as we should be nearing the mountainside Village in just under 4 hours, if my memory serves me correctly. We're passing over the darke plaines.
They should have all the weaponry we require, and then some. They live in the shadow of the mountain, where dragons fly, and wild beasts roam free. If you could just give my flying contraption a bit of a dusting before you go, I'd be most appreciative, Radek me old chum.

It's right over there, beneath the curtains.

*She pulls more tea-stained diagrams from her bottomless jacket, and hurries off, with an exited sparkle in her eye, and the heady scent of adventuring about her.*
This message was last edited on 30 May 2009.

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