Mar 17, 2009

Fleet Intel from familiar waters

(written as part of a series for Zatzai.com)

It had been only 15 minutes or so since the yeoman brought the steam kinescopic device and accompanying envelope to my desk. I immediately recognized Bestoso's handwriting. Good- she had survived the trip back through the rift. Even better - she was alive and was able to get a report back through time to me. After I studied the information, I packed it up and walked across the yard to the Commodore's offices.

I found him standing around charts with CDR Murakami. They were speaking to Mr. Zatzai Asturias, the autocrat of these lands. Apparently updating him on the floating island recently found.

I cleared my throat and they all looked up.

"Lady, what do you have for us, then?" asked O'Toole.

I simply walked over to the drafting table and laid my folder on top of the charts. This picture was on top.

Of course Murakami and the Commodore immediately knew where this was taken. I could feel more than see the junior officer in the room shift uncomfortably in his boots. O'Toole's jaw dropped involuntarily, his pipe splashing into the mug of coffee he had placed so carefully on the edge of the table. Zatzai watched in growing curiosity...not quite worry...but concern.

"What else, Eva?" the Commodore managed in a quiet tone.

I handed him the brief note from LCR Bestoso and continued describing what appears to be a rebuilding of the fleet in Caledon.

"Well - obviously - we see in that last picture, the Guvnah's mansion in Victoria City, although it appears to have undergone significant changes since we were last in that time and place. As a side note, Bestoso did not give any indication if she arrived back through the portal at the same time/place she left it with us so many months ago or if time had advanced significantly for Caledon and the world as we knew it."

"This new class of ship they are building appears to be of a pre-dreadnought design of some sort. The power plant is large, but I cannot make predictions as to the fuel used based on our limited information. There are also at least 4 light guns and possibly a torpedo ram."

Fleet Intel Report
CDR Bellambi - I hope this kinescopic device and the few still pictures make it back through the rift. We have found what appears to be HQ for the rebuilding Caledon Navy. I am safe here back in 19th Century Caledon and will stay to provide future reports. Hope to have orders from you soon. Yours- LCDR Bestoso


"Good lord, woman! I've enough on our hands with this blasted floating island approaching. What do you think this means? Will the Caledon fleet now follow us into the rift of time? Do you think they want us back there? Or dead?"

"Hotspur, I don't think we can answer those questions just yet. We just don't have enough data....not by a long shot." I felt Zatzai and MrBunwah watching me closely as I continued. "Desmond does not seem to have more than this one ship at present, and it is still in the shipyard - such as it is. What we HAVE is a warning. Something to watch and be very sensitive to, because you are absolutely right. That floating piece of discarded ships and whatnot is a far greater threat to us right now."

I felt his resolve return as he picked his pipe up from the coffee and began wiping down the charts with his handkerchief. He straightened up and then...

"MrBunnnnnnnnnwaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh!"

Zatzai jumped as did the young Commander.

"Yessir Commodore. I'm right beside you sir." He managed.

"Do you have the task force of Tyrians, Kotetsus, and Lavancos ready to go? We must get out ahead of this interloper...meet it along it's path. That will be our surprise for them."

MrBunwah shook his head and began to detail some delay or another when O'Toole interrupted,
"Well get a move on boy! We've no time to lose! Disssssmisssssed!"

As he ran out of the offices, I turned to Zatzai and Hotspur...."Now let's review the kinescopic data and see what else we may be in for..."

We huddled around the machine only beginning to digest what this all may mean for the Wrath Fleet and for Lilliput and surrounds.




7 comments:

Edward Pearse, Duke of Argylle said...

"There are also at least 4 light guns and possibly a torpedo ram."

And from what I've seen two torpedo launchers (though I'm not sure about them).

A new Admiral has been appointed and uniforms are in the works.

Can't wait to get one of these for my ownsome.:-)

Eva Bellambi said...

Oh yes - it is a beautiful boat. I have heard about the new Admiral....and am looking forward to the new uniforms.

As an aside, I was thinking about how it is awfully fun to be able to run simultaneous story lines as a character in SL.
1-Eva - Lady of Skye and Clan Chieftainess
2-Eva - Head, Caledon MI-5
3-Eva - CDR, Wrath Exiles
4-Eva - Lost somewhere in Fusang
5-Eva - Professor in the Royal Society
and etc.

*grins*

Edward Pearse, Duke of Argylle said...

MI-5 Doesn't exist

Eva Bellambi said...

The surest way to keep people thinking that it does not really exist is to continue to insist that it does.

So does it? or doesn't it?

Hotspur O'Toole said...

Good Lady E:

By suggesting "Torpedo Ram", I assume you mean as a class of ship, one that could ram and fire torpedos. Steam torpedo rams were rare-- I think the RN had one, the Polyphemus, during this time period. This new Caledon ship bears a slight resemblance to Polyphemus, if you scrunch your eyes up. Having received a coat of Caledonian white ship's paint recently, it paid a courtesy call on Port Merrimac, where the resemblance was more acute to the trained eye.

MI-5, Madame Commander? You serve the intelligence department (rumored or no) of a foreign power and retain a staff position as fleet intell officer? How do you sort your loyalties? :-D

Hotspur

ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Polyphemus_(1881)

Eva Bellambi said...

Commodore-
Based on the work of my team, it seems entirely possible that this boat does in fact have a steam ram not unlike the Polyphemus; however, as neither my staff nor I were present at the "visit" of the new ship in Port Merrimac we are hard pressed to say for sure. Would have been nice if you would have hailed us from our work locating the floating island for a boarding inspection. Hmph!

As for the issue of my varying lines of work or allegiance....it seems you have forgotten your work with MI-5 (glares) Agent O'Toole. :p

*Still love that each story line can stand alone and/or be woven together at the whim of the character's typist or other story tellers. Ain't virtual living grand?*

Edward Pearse, Duke of Argylle said...

According to Miss Commons, who was sporting the ship on the (as yet named) harbour in New Babbage the ship is based on the HMS Collingwood

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Collingwood_(1882)