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10 April NByr5
Our return from Cala Mondrago was quiet, and it was marked with a certain degree of restlessness on both our parts. In spite of Kimika’s normal predisposition to fly ourselves, I opted to get passage on the Air Packet back home, since it would give both of a little time to relax before returning to the normal pace of life. I’m not sure how many times I nodded off during the trip, but I do know my new copy of The Army-Navy Journal spent more time in the floor than in my hands. Having managed to break the point of my last sharp pencil, I absently fished in the pocket of my traveling coat for my penknife, and instead came out with a lovely piece of silk cloth, the cloth that had so recently contained the prize money from the fencing tournament. Rolling the cloth between my fingers, I recalled my feelings from earlier in the trip about even bothering to enter. I hadn’t been back on the piste since Dr Dayafter left town, and perhaps I wondered if my lack of practice would put me at too great a disadvantage. I found my answer written in weathered ink on the flyleaf of my journal, “Fortes fortuna adiuvat”. Fortune favors the bold. As if to add punctuation to my thought, Kimika stirred in the seat, leaning her head over onto my shoulder. The dance contest had been an ever greater gamble. Granted, I had watched my step-mother dance, and have had the opportunity to see others dance while I was working for the Foreign Office, but it was wholly another to do it myself. I hastily repointed my pencil and made a note to check on the workshop when I returned home to New Babbage. It would be nice to have a space of my own to work on things, and the looks of the new place would give us the room to work on whatever things we had in mind, given the ceiling height of the factory and the various shops I had been borrowing for my sundry few projects. I put everything back in my travel case, and tucked myself in for the rest of the flight. Given the pace of my life, I expect a little quiet time is not a bad thing at all.
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One of the newer releases from Kiergarten Armory is this S&W #3. The picture does not do the pistol justice. It is really well done, and is (IMHO) possibly one of the most accurately done pistols on the grid.

The pistol comes with a holster, a gunbelt, a shoulder rig, and has free updates as well.

Anyone who grew up watching westerns saw everyone carrying Colt Single Action Armys. The truth is that there were a lot of other handguns out on the frontier, from cap and ball Colts and Remingtons, to top-break Smiths and Merwin & Hulberts.

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Tonight was a return to classic Iron Melee: hammering iron and clouds of coal smoke. We were told it was a War of Northern Aggression theme (sorry H, had to :P), so we were limited to 'period' ships. Initially we were two on two, with the South having the Nashville and my new Arkansas, and the North with Hotspur's baby the Elliot ram and a Pook turtle. The South managed to pull off a credible win, and we had some "SL related technical issues" before the next round started...

The fight of the night was the last one...a free for all with your intrepid reporter in her Arkansas casemate ram being chased by 3 monitor style ironclads (technically, one was a Monitor proper, with a Passaic and another one I'm not sure of). While it was ugly, and intense at times, and brutal, and busy...I managed to prevail (and by the skin of my teeth).

Thanks to everyone who came out, and to our hosts for continuing the tradition.

Sea Trials

Jun. 19th, 2009 03:31 am
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Captain's personal log
NBS Charger
Location: Open ocean

We've been under way for hours now, and I had to go topside. So here I am, sitting on turret 1 watching the sea roll by and listening to the gun crew working underneath me. Looking aft, the other ships in the line plow ahead, running along into the twilight, towards...an uncertain future.

Earlier today, I woke up to a typical hazy New Babbage morning. Things in town were even more tense than when Doctor Obolensky made his move to take control of the city government. Given the state of relations between his goons and the remnants of the militia, I had been planning a way to move the remaining operational ships out of the harbor.The key was how and when.

The first thing was to secure my effects at the office. I placed the majority of the case files and company information in the safe, and packed the majority of my personal papers in a satchel, and delivered them to my prearranged hiding spot in the coal chute of Peacock Place. I slid the note under the door, and walked back over to the salon for a final cup of coffee.

"Dear Ladies, There is a package that I am entrusting to your safekeeping that is now in your house. If circumstances allow, I will reclaim it from you when I return. If not, I leave it to your discretion to do with as you see fit. As always, I hold you both in the deepest of esteem. Bon chance, Jed"

I changed into a plain working gown, pulled back my hair and donned a blonde wig, and topped it off with a rather austere bonnet. Armed with my shopping basket, I felt I favored one of the domestics that would be out shopping during this time of the day. The streets were largely empty, save for the Doctor's automatons. They were menacing, yet for all their ability, they were not inquisitive.

The docks were active with sailors, most of whom were milling about looking for work. Sadly, the fast packet ships were not operating as they normally did, since the Doctor had rerouted most of the traffic to his fleet of airships. This was most obvious in the market stalls, as the only foodstuffs I found were a few old tins of corned beef, wiggyfish chowder, and a sad lot of rapidly aging bread. I walked across the docks to the outfitting pier, and took a long look at the two flagships of the fleet, the Industry and the Commerce. Work had ground to a near halt since the occupation, and both of them languished there at their moorings. Luckily neither one of them would pose much of a threat as they had not been outfitted, fueled or provisioned.

I walked back towards the quay market, wondering what I would do next. The four operational navy ships were moored on the far end of the prier, under what I had estimated to be a very light guard. Luck was on my side, as the Smashingtons had not been programmed to detain ladies with shopping baskets. Armed with this knowledge, I walked towards the one place I expected to find some help. Sitting in the corner booth at the Gangplank, was a very disconsolate navy officer. Jack Palmer had been a newly promoted Lieutenant in the Wrath fleet when an angry redhead walked into Commodore O'Toole's office with a letter of introduction and a second-hand uniform. We had served together for a long while, and he had followed me to Babbage once he found out about my commission. He refused promotion, content to be my second, and I was very glad to see him at this point.

"Sir, may I have a seat?" I smiled at him, and he looked up from his beer in some degree of surprise.
"Miss? You..I.." He smiled back, and I sat carefully, adjusting the petticoats as I slifd onto the bench across from him. "thank God, Jed. I though you'd be in the jail by now."
"Not yet, bud. What's the word on the ships?"
"Not much. The goons that pass for the constabulary moved off most of the crews, and only left a few of those clanks to keep onlookers off the docks"
Not good, but still hopeful. "How many of the boys can you quietly round up?"
"Most of ours, with a few extra from the other boats."
"Jack, get them ready to move. See if you can find the Greeks, and have the bosuns meet me back here this evening. We're taking the fleet out. Tonight."
He grinned, tipped his cap and walked out into the street.

I returned to the Gangplank later that afternoon, and found that Jackie had managed to get six of the senior crewmen from the fleet together. They sat in the corner, and looked like any group of friends chatting over drinks. The boys knew what was at stake, and didn't make their normal show of jumping to attention when I slid in next to them. I relayed the plan to each of them...they would each take a group of men, secure the ship, make enough steam to get underway, and meet up on the edge of the Vernian once we were out of range of the Observatory. We would use the cover of darkness, and I hoped that the airships used by the pirates under the Doctor's employ could not track us once we were seaborne.

(more once I get some sleep)
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Yesterday afternoon, in spite of the typist's real life and family's best efforts to derail it, I took the stage in the New Champagne Room New Babbage and danced.  It was the "1001 Arabian Nights" show, so it was very Middle Eastern, and did not require the shedding of any clothing.  I shared the stage with the owner, the lovely, graceful, talented, patient, and forgiving Ahnyanka Delphin.  From all accounts, it was a lovely show.  I am still not a professional emoter, this may not be a career detour for me, and I doubt I will give up driving ironclads or being an investigator for it....but there for a moment, it was euphoric.  For that moment, I was desired by men, envied by women, and watched by both.  So today I go back to being your best friend’s tomboy sister.  Thankfully I have the poster. Before all of my friends start in on the “I told you so” Greek chorus, let me have my one wistful moment… Thanks again to Ahnya and Ceejay, whose patience and encouragement kept me going.  Love you two.
jdagger: (grr)
Last night's Iron Melee at Port Merrimac featured ship to shore action. While this was one of the most fun evenings we have had in a while (from my perspective, anyways) it was also one of the more challenging and frustrating ones as well. I had been asked to come up with a scenario for use with a shore battery, and the one we used was simple...Red had 2 mortars, and one ship, tasked with defending the port. Blue had the task of knocking out 1 gun and the ironclad.

The boxscore was simple, as Blue took a beating each time. I first fielded a Kotetsu, which gave me just enough elevation to hit the docks, but I found that one of my old favorite axioms from Murphy's Laws of Combat came into play..."if the enemy is in range, so are you". I scored a few hits on the guns, but even with my shoot and scoot strategy, I found myself bracketed by mortar fire tout suite. Our comrade from the Steubings found that their large impressive looking ships make large impressive targets. Commodore O'Toole and I tried several different strategic approaches, but the end result was close to the same. I found that I could get away from the harbor boat, and range the mortar pits, but managing a hit while under fire was daunting at best. I think the best we managed was 30% damage on any one of the guns. At any one point, Blue had 4 ships in the water, and I feel that maybe (and a qualified maybe at that) if we would have had 2 more ships we may have been able to land a few more hits. At one point I was able to get around to a position where the gunners were not focused on me, but the number of hits on the gundeck didn't slow them down enough to keep my bacon out of the fire for very long.

This would have been a perfect scenario for a St. Nazaire raid approach, with either a suicide bomb boat or some sort of landing force. The problem is going to be having enough ships to keep the gunners busy so someone can get a bead on them.

With all of that said, we had a good time, and much was learned for the next scenario. My thanks go out to the hosts, Commodore O'Toole, Lady Bellambi, and to the new faces who decided to crew the artillery.

This is Commodore O'Toole's take on the festivities
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Location: New Babbage Gasworks, Wheatstone Waterways (Central Western Wheatstone Waterways)

Synopsis: On this date I was contacted by Mr Gatsby Szuster, who said that he has discovered an incendiary device at the gasworks. Mr Szuster had been present at the scene of the last fire at Undertone's Barbershop, and was familiar with the device that had been located in a nearby building at that time.

He said that he located the device while he was going to his office located on the second floor of the structure. He removed the fuse and left it in place prior to my arrival.

Once I arrived on scene I searched the area both inside and outside. No additional devices were located.

The device was identical to the previous located one. I took a sample of the contents for later analysis and disposed of the device in an empty lot nearby.

I was later advised that the suspect has been in contact with Mr Undertone by letter. The suspect is demanding a cash payment from the city, or he stated he will set more fires.

The suspect is a white male, possibly in his mid 20's, average height, slender build, dark hair. Based on his previous actions I feel that he may be disposed of a maniacal disposition, prone to assaultive behaviors.

The investigation is ongoing.

Miss J. Dagger
Terranova Investigative Services
Aether Salon, 2nd Floor
#6 Academy Downs
Babbage Palisades, New Babbage
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I must take a moment to talk about the firearms and other products that are available at Kiergarten Armory. If you want a very detailed Martini-Henry or an excellent Colt Navy 51, he is the man to see. Jasper has a great eye for detail, and he is a bonafide gun enthusiast. The Colt is a personal favorite of mine, and it is very very accurate.

Come to New Babbage, and buy one!



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Jedburgh Dagger

April 2014



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