The Spider Cliff Mysteries

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A hastily made shelter in the wreckage of many zeppelins

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Posted by Alice belladora, 4:57pm, 7 Apr, 2010

*Alice stumbles out into the street from a dark alleyway, looking slightly worse for wear. After a very long haggling session, which at one point progressed to the drawing of weapons, she has come away with an armful of damaged cookware, a small snow globe with a crack down one side, and a large pile of clothes ten sizes to big for her. She slings the pile of clothes over her shoulder, surprised that she doesn't sink through the cobbles due to the weight of the things. She staggers off down the street, intent on finding her old pirate friend, and possibly getting a nice cup of tea.*

~Meanwhile, as "Doctor Edgar" lies curled up on the floor of his cell, wondering when on earth someone is going to rescue him, the real Doctor Edgar lets out some dark, unpleasant words. The reason for this being that an incredibly rude griffin has given him a particularly troubling message, and the gist of the thing is that he must meet a certain person, right away, or else his research will all be for nothing.
At least, that was the basic message. The rest went on rather tediously for about a foot and a half about evil sorceresses and giant black ships and the end of the world, and so on, but Doctor Edgar ignores those bits, flinging the awful thing away from him as he gathers up his hat and coat, and prepares to leave right away. He mutters under his breath as he stuffs his pockets with anything he can lay his hands on, and flies out the room, while the griffin takes its leave of the windowsill and flies up into the sky.~

*Alice begins to make her way back to the ship, an enormous brown trench coat spilling over her arm and trailing across the ground as she goes. Having searched in vain for almost an hour, she feels obliged to give up, and break the depressing news to Leticia and the Captain. She wonders, in an idle way, why there aren't any proper beds in the ship, but soon turns her attentions to other more pressing matters, such as why she is suddenly lying sprawled on the floor and covered in feathers. *

~Back at the ship, Eckstein watches the world go by with a contented look upon his face. Hildebrand has taken her leave, and gone to do a little snooping around, while Leticia is nowhere to be seen.
Thoughts of why Alice and Radek are so late barely register in his mind. He pulls the brim of his hat over his eyes, and settles down for a short nap.~

*Alice runs down the street, persued by a furious merchant carrying a now empty sack, a few feathers stuck forlornly to the filthy brown material.
She passes many stalls selling an array of things, not that she has time to look. Until, of course, she trips over a deviously large cobble, and lands headfirst into a crate full of fruit that has seen better days.
Pulling herself out of the crate, she distracts her pursuer by hurling a large, bruised mango at him, and upends the crate, before running off down a side street, cackling a little.
It is in this fashion that she bumps into a familiar gunman carrying an array of goods, most of which end up on the floor during the collision.
She gives him an apologetic smile, staggering to her feet and helping to pick up some of the dropped items.*

Heh, sorry about that. You see, there was this merchant with a bag of feathers, and i bumped into him, and, well, he wasn't best pleased about it. So he chased me down here, and there was this large crate of fruit in the way, but don't let me bore you with the details. I think i gave him the slip, anyway. Bit silly, getting so worked up over a few feathers. Say, is that a tin of-

*Her inane banter is interrupted by the shout of the angry merchant. He starts towards them, waving his considerable fist in the air. Alice grabs the gunman by the sleeve, and pulls him down the street, followed by the merchant, and several others who have got the idea...*
This message was last edited on 7 Apr 2010.

Posted by Radek, 6:20am, 8 Apr, 2010

*The occasional glimmer of sunlight peaks through high-rise tenements and the smog of Atlas as a drawling tune echoes around alleyways and filters through the city proper; accompanied by a discordant mixture of instruments from the wailing of construction equipment to the tromping of booted feet shuffling along the cobbled walkways. Radek seems oblivious to any distaste the citizenry have for his impromptu singing - but to be fair, it's hard to notice much of anything over the precariously perched bundle of supplies he's carting.*

"- And through twenty years the fields took root, and sighed among the raindrops;
their tender roots towards stars did reach, gentle persimmon eyes turned ever back. And for each question asked, a seed she shed but declined to answer
a quiet smile upon her face and the world upon her-" *A terrible clattering of tins, trays, cans, and packages against haphazardly paved stones brings a quick end to Radek's singing, as the gunman pulls himself to his feet with a theatrical display of injury- injury that clearly isn't there as he helps gather up the baubles and goods now littering the ground with a wry grin.*

"You should be sorry! That was a tin of excellent cocoa you spilled there and we'll never find it's like in all of Atlas! Haha, don't worry about it. I was hoping I'd run it to the mysterious lady who planted a boot so elegantly in my side this morning - just my luck!... Er wait, chased you? Go back a sec, Alice-" *But Alice has already started dragging them down a maze of passageways and turns in the city... as a rather impressive crowd of thieves, brigands, pickpockets, and bemused onlookers chase after them.*

"What on earth did you do?! I mean, where they the valuable (and highly illegal) feathers, plucked from one of the town griffins? Was it your contact?! Do you just cause this much chaos the moment you arrive in town?" *Radek is laughing even as they run, clearly enjoying the thrill of the chase as he motions to the left of the dingy alleyway the two are running through, recognizing a familiar statue on a nearby chimney.* "Alice! I remember coming that way up ahead - could've sworn it wasn't a gargoyle on that house, but i think we could duck down that street and shake 'em for a bit!" *He smiles cheerfully at her while dodging a thrown shard of glass that whizzes past them, still deigning to be dragged anywhere she pleases as they avoid what seems to be half the town's populace.*
This message was last edited on 8 Apr 2010.

Posted by Lettuce-Chan, 10:02am, 11 Apr, 2010

*Captain Leticia arrives back at the ship, carrying an incredibly suspicious brown paper package.
She places it to one side, and walks over to the loudly snoring Captain Eckstein. She watches him through narrowed eyes for a moment, before giving him a sharp prod with her pointed stick.
Many unpleasant words later, Leticia sends the Captain away with instructions to go and look for Alice and Radek, and not to return until he has found them, preferably alive and without too many injuries.
She checks her watch, and glares at it for a few moments, before looking up and frowning at the sky.
She can make out something, perhaps a ship or some kind, circling in a menacing fashion far above.

Several streets away, Captain Eckstein curses his bad fortune, and declines the services of a crooked insurance salesman, giving the poor man a dark look and a swift kick.
As the unfortunate fellow lies in the wreckage of what was once an antiques stall, the Captain lumbers down a side street, looking all about him for any signs of Alice, possibly a few destroyed buildings or some such thing. Finding none, he lets out a deep sigh, and starts off down a particularly dark alley, hoping to bump into her coming back his way, and unwittingly moving in exactly the wrong direction.

As all this goes on, Hildebrand contents herself with having a good brawl at a greasy tavern over the other side of the city. She gives little thought to he lateness of the hour, the time being just past four, and continues hitting one of the regulars with a viciously sharp loaf of bread.

Far above, Doctor Edgar worriedly pilots his small ship, haphazardly pushing buttons and hoping to hit the right one. Tired of aimlessly circling the city, he gives the gear stick a kick, causing the ship to drop fifty feet and take a detour into a clock tower...*

This message was last edited on 11 Apr 2010.

Posted by Radek, 4:39am, 12 Apr, 2010

*Time seems to stand still as Radek half-ducks half-drags Alice into another twisty substreet, the lanky gunman peering over his shoulder and smiling confidently as he decides that they are no longer being followed. Leaning against a wall and using the opportunity to reorganize what's left of the supplies he managed to organize earlier, he breathes a sigh of relief into and nearly collapses into a relaxed heap before realizing that'd just send everything flying again. He leaps back to surprisingly good posture and chuckles.*

"So; quite the crowd you'd managed to have after you. Seems like you got some interesting shopping done as well; hope you didn't lose anything important- I kept most of the food stores, so we'll be set for the long trip out of Atlas!..." The bitter note of dissapointment creeping into Radek's voice is barely audible, but still there; a grimace of sorrow at losing the first new clothes he's owned in ages. Assuring himself that someone'll find use for them, the gunman idly throws a pickled tangerine into the air, catches it and takes a bite. "So- why are we really in Atlas, Miss Belladora? From what i've seen, there's nothing here but conmen, thugs, and drunken pirates. Not that I mind exactly-"

*The explosion and crash could be heard everywhere from across Atlas, but what really caught his attention was the smell of burning rubber and the shower of machine parts. Pursing his lips and fighting the urge to drop everything and reach for revolver still hidden inside his jacket, the gunman turned a cautious map of burnished hair just far enough out of the alleyway to see the small crowd gathered around an uncharacteristically beautiful clock tower, which is burning equally spectacularly. A solitary figure can be seen high above, keeping away from the encroaching flames as the wreckage of his plane crashes around him. Radek curses under his breath.*

"They're just standin' there... It's like people want to watch the poor guy burn. Apologies Alice-" Radek grins embarrassedly, sighing slightly as he lowers the few crates and bags still on his person to the ground. "- as much as we both love a good explosion, and we're supposed to be laying low, my conscience wouldn't rest easy if I just stood still." Rubbing his chin thoughtfully and wincing at the memory of a close shave before, he sighs. "Not like I've done much else right recently. Well, if get burned alive or lose our supplies cause'a this, tell Eckstein it was my fault!" He grins as he sprints into the plaza, scrabbling from debris to the fire escape and climbing quickly as he can.

... He fails to notice the shadowy shapes melting away from the walls and corners of Atlas's streets, leaving the air chill and brisk. Hildebrand does not however, turning her attention to the shadows and glowering at them - perhaps out of recognition of something wrong, or perhaps out of the fact the entire pub barring the bartender lying in a comatose heap; a natural consequence of the ensuing brawl. The clock edges slowly half-past four.*

This message was last edited on 12 Apr 2010.

Posted by Alice belladora, 10:17am, 12 Apr, 2010

*Finding herself left rather suddenly alone, she allows herself a sigh, and then a "gaaah!"
as she notices, apparently for the first time, the burning clock-tower.
Or more to the point, a very familiar figure running about his crashed ship in panicked circles, and flailing his arms in the air.
Letting out a dark word, she hurriedly runs off down another street, intent on finding Leticia and telling her the bad news, and possibly orchestrating a daring rescue attempt. She, like Radek, fails to notice anything afoot with the atmosphere of the place, more concerned about the figure she has seen, and whether she can get scorch marks out of fine silk waistcoats.

She pelts down another alley, ignoring the shouts of a down-on-his-luck pineapple seller as she accidentally puts her boot through one of his crates, unfortunately still containing one or two pineapples.
As she comments to herself in a weary way about her mysterious bad luck concerning fruit vendors, she cannons into the back of a very large figure who turns out, upon inspection, to be Captain Eckstein.
Picking herself up yet again from the dirty cobbles, she offers him no explanation of her current state, or the whereabouts of Radek, and requests that they go at once to the ship.
As he grumblingly turns around and leads her back the way he came, muttering loudly about combing through half the city looking for her and "that blasted gunman", Spektor flies overhead, thinking it might be a good idea to report the situation to Hildebrand, and possibly impart some vital information he has just received from a certain source, about the urgency that they leave at once.*

~Meanwhile, a large griffin arrives onboard Leticia's ship, grinning in its toothy way at the unfolding events, and causing much consternation from Leticia herself...~

This message was last edited on 12 Apr 2010.

Posted by Radek, 4:14am, 13 Apr, 2010

*As a griffin perches on the bow of the ship and displays it's pearly white teeth at a very frustrated captain Leticia, chunks of masonry and burning debris are falling off the clock tower in the edge of Atlas; below, the small crowd has grown to include gamblers, betting their wages on the chance one or either of the figures on the tower will meet their demise, what passes for law enforcement in Atlas, and refreshment sellers cheerfully peddling hot food of dubious origin.

The chaos below seems to have taken it's toll on the figure in the now terribly tattered and aged pirate jacket climbing up the rickety fire escape; Radek swears and leaps to the side, fingernails digging into the iron ladder as the minute hand of the clock tumbles from the top of the tower; it's nowhere close to him, but the shock as it hits the ground is terrifying. Looking pale, he sighs, then curses again as he realizes of all things he left Alice in the crowd. With a look of horrified apprehension, he brings his hand to his forehead but quickly realizes that there is no turning back now, and continues to climb upward, hands gray and chalky from ash and grime.

When the lone gunman finally manages to pull himself up from the creaking iron bracing, he is greeted by a stern stare that could freeze someone in place. The man on the roof looks... Oddly familiar, although Radek can't place where he's seen him before. There is a pause, and the plane's pilot grinds his teeth together. He's about to speak when Radek sighs apologetically, but firmly cuts the man off.* "Sorry, time to talk later - this is a little somethin' i've picked up from an excellent acquaintance of mine, who coincidentally I should not have left waiting. When the explosions have cleared, then we can trade life stories!" The cheerful tone in Radek's voice isn't matched by the glint in his stormy grey eyes as they dart across the building, looking for any possible exits... And finding none. The hour hand begins to move quickly, as if pushed by some unseen force - before stopping minutes away from five o'clock. The clock booms sonorously, even though it has not reached the hour yet- and more blasts rock the building as the foundations begin to sink into the ground. The two fall to the ground. The gunman is flung around the edge of the building like a ragdoll, barely managing to grab onto a piece of piping that juts out from the roof.

None too far away, Spektor soars back from a meeting with Hildebrand - who is no stranger at reading the urgency in the owl's warnings and has begin to hurry back towards the ship with the haste of any experienced barmaid turned buccaneer. For a minute, Radek thinks he catches a familiar glint of feathers in the air, and wonders if it means Alice is nearby - she must be safe, at least. Gritting his teeth, he manages to pull himself back up, staring down at the assortment of figures below as the building begins to shake menacingly. As he hastily tries to assemble some sort of device to brace himself and the pilot for the inevitable fall, he fails to see two figures dashing away from the crowd back towards the ship... The building collapses soon after in one last sigh of mortar being torn apart, sending the Radek and the pilot crashing into the ground- when Radek comes to, the crowd has parted somewhat. Cursing about the general unhelpfulness of gawkers, he painfully climbs to his feet and pulls a chunk of splintered balsa from his arm, somehow managing to hold onto a pithy expression.*

"Well- seems like things couldn't get much worse, mister. Figured that fall'd end up tearing our bodies into so much meaty confetti, ha! Er, that was a joke. You can stop looking so terrified-" *Radek pauses, a bead of sweat on his forehead at the stranger's expression of unadulterated terror. Lookers by have begun to evaporate in all directions as something sizzles against the pavement behind Radek; he glances over his shoulder and turns white as a sheet as two glassy reptillian eyes stare curiously back at the two men who haven't fled yet. The dragon ruffles it's stone-like scales, head tilted to the side as if in thought as saliva dribbles from it's lips. Then, it opens it's mouth, displaying row upon row of shark-like teeth, and lets out a terrible shriek; Radek and the doctor have already taken off down an alleyway, the gunman hastily making his way back towards Eckstein's sunchair as the dragon rises into the sky, wings creating a tiny storm as it lifts off.*

This message was last edited on 25 Apr 2010.

Posted by Lettuce-Chan, 2:35pm, 1 May, 2010

*Having spent a good ten minutes battling an incredibly vicious griffin with nothing but a very sharp stick, Captain Leticia looks understandably concerned, not least about the lateness of the arrival of Eckstein or Alice. Or indeed Radek. She remains rather oblivious to the rather eye catching smoke, rising from the doomed clock-tower, having somewhat more important things to think about, like how she will be able to get rid of the dead griffin cluttering up the deck.

She paces up and down for a while, occasionally venting her impatience on Eckstein's deck-chair, all the time wondering where on earth the others have got to.
She checks her watch for what seems like the 500th time, before finally reaching the end of her tether, which was never particularly long anyway.
She throws the deck-chair over the side of the ship, causing an innocent bystander to leap into the nearby canal, shrieking with fright.
She starts up the ship tapping her fingers irritably against the rudder. Five minutes later having rendered herself suitably airbourne, she turns the ship around, and makes her way over the rooftops, keeping a weathered eye out for the no-good Captain Eckstein, and hopefully either Alice or Radek in tow.
Muttering something along the lines of "if you want something done properly, do it yourself", she draws out a large map of the city, and gives it a deeply perplexed frown.

"Now I'd imagine they would've headed towards the centre..."

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