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Even when there are no overzealous American survivalists trying to blow your brains out for sport, the undead life of a zombie doth verily suck. :) Poor Molly.

By the way, when Kwame introduced himself as 'Kwame Bawon', I had a rather unfortunate (unfowtunate?) association with one Elmer Fudd... ;)

Haitian Creole seems to use r and w interchangibly, so it's a whole language of Elmer Fudds. :D

Baron Samedi?
And what year is it?

What about him?
It all takes place in 2008.
 

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Pieleazar's crazy time shift

68

Pierre sat, tense, hunched forward, eyes locked on the glass in Prime Minister Selena Eryx’s hand. He could visualise the red potion, swirling around in the dark red wine, and his heart skipped a beat. Time seemed to slow down, nearly grinding to a halt, and Pierre could feel a bead of sweat trickling down his forehead, slow like a lava flow dribbling its way out of a caldera down a rocky mountainside.

They were in an airship cabin. Below, through the reinforced glass floor, Pierre could only see white, the endless white of the Antarctic, stretching infinitely all around. Selena raised the glass almost to her lips. She stopped, and put the glass down.

“It’s beautiful, isn’t it?” she said. “The last frontier. The great, mysterious south. Don’t you think, Eleazar?”

Pierre sagged slightly, and wiped his brow. Funny, it was so cold outside, yet Pierre was burning up. “Uh, y-yes. It’s amazing.” Please drink the wine. Please please please?

Selena’s hand remained on the glass, which was now resting on the table in front of them. “It’s the largest desert in the world, you know. But it’s not a total wilderness. In the later years of the Great War, it is said that Naci scientists established a base called Nouvelle-Picardie, and that this base exists to this very day. The French deny it of course, but even so…”

“I see.”

“And,” Selena said, picking up the wine glass, “we have been in communication with this base for some time, thanks to our agents in the Haitian Antarctic Company. They have a rather interesting piece of technology that they are willing to share with us, in exchange for…certain favours.”

Pierre sighed internally, looking at the glass. Drink, damn it, drink! “What sort of favours?”

She laughed. “Oh, a chance to live in peace somewhere that isn’t freezing cold! But now, this technology…it could potentially make Haiti the most powerful nation in the world. Apparently, several prominent Scottish scientists colluded with the Nacis, and a few of them went to Nouvelle-Picardie, including a certain Sir Robert MacGuffin. Accordingly, the technology is known to us as the MacGuffin Device, although I’m sure the Nacis have their own name for it.”

“Right.”

Selena lifted the glass to her lips, and-



No.

No, wait, I’m not going to tell you what happened next just yet. Instead, I’m going to take us back in time, to show how exactly Pierre and Selena Eryx came to be in an airship over Antarctica. I do admit, I might have slightly made up some of the details here, but never mind that, it makes for a better story. Antarctica, after all, is cool. Both figuratively and literally.

So Pierre was in his apartment, gazing out over the unreal city of Port-au-Prince, at the shifting form of the Hall of Records. Only, he wasn’t Pierre anymore. He was now Eleazar. He didn’t know what Eleazar’s surname was, which troubled him slightly. What had Molly called him; M. Minuit? Minuit, that will do.

“I am no longer Pierre Legrand,” he said to his reflection in the computer monitor in front of him, “but rather Eleazar Minuit. Yes, Eleazar Minuit. That’s a good name.”

So I look identical, but what of his mannerisms, his speech patterns? This was a troublesome aspect, but Pier-I mean Eleazar thought he would be okay as long as he didn’t try too hard. Just keep sensible and sober.

He had managed to arrange a meeting with the Prime Minister, saying that he had some new information about the attempts to bring down the Cloudbusters. Selena Eryx had readily agreed, and thus everything was set. They had agreed to meet in a nice little restaurant called La Vendangeur, which had various darkly lit smoke filled rooms where political machinations could take place undisturbed. They were there now.

“Ah, Eleazar, welcome,” said the Prime Minister, after taking a sip of her white wine. “Do take a seat.”

Pierre sat down. Pebble had been right; she was identical to Marissa. Well, it was technically the same body, but even so, Pierre was confounded by it. He had by this point had some time to get used to the idea, but it still seemed abhorrent. And Marissa, stuck in the void…how was it even possible? Pierre tried to push all his feeling of revulsion and dismay to one side, and concentrate on that task at hand.

A waiter, who had been waiting for him to sit down, came over, and Pierre ordered a lemonade.

Selena raised an eyebrow. “Not drinking? How unlike you, Eleazar.”

Crap! “No, I’m trying to, er, cut back on the booze. Doctor says it’s doing my liver in.”

Selena laughed. “Ah yes, you should always listen to the man in the white coat. Or woman, of course. Haiti is, of course, an entirely egalitarian society.” Yeah, everyone’s equally screwed. “So you said you had news about these pesky terrorists who keep trying to interfere with our Cloudbusters?”

Pierre nodded, and was given a moment to think by the waiter bringing his lemonade. White wine, that’s not ideal. He thought of the vial, filled with dark red liquid. That’s no good, no good at all. “Ah yes. Er, well you see I’ve been spending some time with the high tech low lives of Port-au-Prince, and it seems to be the work of an organisation called Parasol.”

“Yes, I already knew that,” Selena said impatiently.

Pierre thought back to his meeting with Pebble. What to say next? “Well, the twist is that Parasol doesn’t exist. It’s a front for a group of…West African terrorists called the Malian Liberation Front, who…er, want to restore the…Caliphate.” That doesn’t make any sense, does it? Damn.

Selena looked slightly puzzled for a moment. “I…see. West African, you say? But I don’t understand, how would bringing down the Cloudbuster programme help them establish an Islamic theocracy?”

Pierre nodded blankly. “Er, good question. I’ll have to get back to you on that.”

Selena frowned, in a way that Pierre recognised all too well, and then clicked her fingers to attract the attention of a female waiter. “Can I have another glass of this…whatever this is, please?”

“Another glass of the house white, certainly ma’am,” said the waitress.

As she walked away, Pierre realised he recognised the waitress as Lois Mimsy, one of the Saints of Infinity he had met briefly at number 27 Rue de Molay. “Excuse me a minute,” he said, “nature calls.”

He got up and hurried after Lois, catching up with her in the main bar. He grabbed her wrist, and she turned around in surprise.

“Oh, it’s only you.”

“Lois, what are you doing here?!”

Lois smiled a wide smile. “I gotta new job! I need to make a living somehow, you know.”

Pierre narrowed his eyes. “Yeah, but this isn’t just a new job though, is it?”

Lois shrugged. “Okay, if you must know, I’ve been lacing her drinks with Lysergic Acid. Makes people more suggestible. I thought it might help you out.”

“Lysergic- wait, LSD?? Are you insane? What if she starts tripping out on me? She might be an imposter, but she is also the Prime Minister!”

“Oh relax, I know what I’m doing. And it’s not technically the same thing as LSD, you know.”

“I really hope so.”

Pierre went back to the private room, and sat back down. Selena appeared to be okay, but it was difficult to tell. “So, I was thinking-“

“I like you, Eleazar,” said Selena suddenly. “I don’t know why, but I’ve always liked you. I feel comfortable around you, unlike your friend Maurice, who creeps me out. I can trust you, can’t I Eleazar? I think I can.”

Pierre smiled. “Of course you can.”

“That’s good, because I have some business with the Haitian Antarctic Company that needs taking care of, and Anton isn’t available. I’d like you to accompany me.”

“Anything you say!”
 
Last edited:

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A McGuffin, excellent... :D

And that was a mean-ass mother of a cliffhanger. Joe Storey would be proud of you. ;)

Be careful of what you might find in Antarctica - it's a favorite playground of the Old Ones, after all.
 

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French Nacis? :D

Oh yes! :D
A McGuffin, excellent... :D

And that was a mean-ass mother of a cliffhanger. Joe Storey would be proud of you. ;)

Be careful of what you might find in Antarctica - it's a favorite playground of the Old Ones, after all.

Don't worry, the cliff hanger is resolved in the next update...sort of.
 

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But maybe the snail's lying, which is itself symbolic of...oh never mind

69

-was about to take a gulp when there was a sudden jolt, knocking the glass clean out of her hands. It shattered on the hard floor, spattering the red liquid in all directions.

What the hell was that?” Selena said, in shock. A secret service goon in an oversized black suit appeared seemingly out of nowhere and began cleaning up the mess left by the wine. Pierre stared at the scene in shock, and sighed. Typical. Luckily, he still had about half of the red potion left, but he couldn’t afford to waste any more of it.

“Just turbulence, I expect,” Pierre said. “Nothing to worry ab-“

An earth-shattering KABOOM ripped through the cabin, sending all those on board crashing to the ground. Pierre shielded himself from the falling debris, and through the glass floor he noticed with some inconsiderable discomfort that the great white Antarctic expanse seemed to be getting…whiter. He couldn’t see Selena, but the black-suited goon was lying unconscious on the floor, his blood interspersed with the wine and the potion, and there was distance screaming and heat and fire. There was a whooshing sound, and then a tremendous crash.

Then, only silence.

***​

Pierre woke, startled. He was…in a warm bed, surrounded by figures watching him. There was an indecipherable muttering, and the walls seemed to be made of ice.

“Blub blub blub?” inquired one of the figures, a giant goldfish wearing a white lab coat and goggles.

“You appear to be a giant fish,” Pierre said, slightly surprised not be as surprised as he felt he should be, considering that a big fish had just asked him a question.

“Blub,” replied the fish. “Blub blub blub.”

Pierre sat up, and took stock of his situation. There was a giant snail wearing a pair of sunglasses, a badger wearing a dress, a man on horseback and a panda.

“Er, do any of you speak French?” said Pierre.

The snail slid forward and…somehow said, “Yeah, of course. What a stupid question.”

“Oh, right sorry. It’s just the fish just seems to be saying ‘blub’.”

The snail laughed. “Yeah, that’s just Dr. Fish’s way. Excellent doctor, but yet to master the complexities of language. But anyway, I’m Snail Dude, and this is my wife Badger Chick,” he said, nodding towards the badger. “Also, meet Don Quixote and Sancho Panda, who were totally trying to get to La Mancha but unfortunately ended up lost in Nicaragua.”

Pierre nodded slowly, with a knowing look creeping across his face. “Ah, okay, I think I understand what’s going on here.”

The snail shrugged. “Do you indeed? Well, please do tell.”

Pierre looked at the assorted crowd and grinned. “Well, it’s obviously meant to be symbolic of something. I’m assuming that this is some kind of dream, and that you lot represent something of importance to the plot. You’re probably all archetypes that represent specific concepts that are vague but highly significant, and understanding the precise meaning of those archetypes will shed light on everything significantly. So let’s see, the panda represents, er, the black and white nature of morality, the exclusion of shades of grey. Don Quixote…ah! Now is he a tragic, romantic figure, or the bumbling buffoonish caricature that Cervantes intended him to be?”

“Who are you calling a buffoon, dude?” muttered Don Quixote. “I’m totally rad I’ll have you know.”

“Um, right, but anyway, it’s to do with the death of the author. Should we take Cervantes’ intentions as gospel, or should his interpretation hold no more weight than that of any other critic? Is there any real meaning behind anything, or is it just a bunch of made up stuff? The snail, well, snails are slippery and are associated with France, Haiti’s old colonial power. The sunglasses possibly represent a disapproval at how things have developed in Haiti what with the Cloudbusters and everything. As for the badger….okay, badgers look cute but are actually pretty vicious. That dress pretty obviously establishes a female identity, and as such could represent, well, pretty much any female character in this story. So,” Pierre said with a grin at the snail, “how did I do?”

The snail would have applauded, but he had no arms. “Very impressive, Pierre, you got it exactly right!”

“Wow, really?”

“No. I was being sarcastic. This is just a load of made up shit that you are dreaming that has absolutely no symbolic meaning whatsoever.”

“Oh.”

***​

Pierre woke, again. A man in a white coat was standing over him, and when he noticed that Pierre had woken up he grinned.

“Ah, you’re awake,” the man said, in strangely accented French.

Pierre sat up, and looked around the room. The walls were made of dark stone, and partially covered in a dull green moss. The only light source was a solitary bulb that hung from the low ceiling. “Where is this?”

“You’re lucky to be alive. That was quite a nasty crash you were involved in.”

Crash? Of course, it came flooding back. The sudden jolt, explosion, and then…oh god, what about Marissa/Selena? If she was dead, then all was lost. “Were…were there any other survivors?”

"Indeed, only one other passenger survived, who we believe to be your Prime Minister Selena Eryx.”

Pierre breathed a sigh of relief.

The doctor continued, “but she’s in a pretty bad way. She’s suffered some internal bleeding and a cracked skull, and has yet to regain consciousness. The rest of those on board, all the passengers and crew, appear to have perished in the fire and ice.”

Pierre nodded, sadly. Still, he thought, the two important characters survived. That was something, at least. Then something occured to him. “But…wait a minute, we were flying over Antarctica when the ship crashed, so…where the hell am I?”

The man smiled. “Welcome to Nouvelle-Picardie, the last Naci outpost.”
 
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Da-Da-DUM!

Pierre's subconscious is one messy place, for him to come up with that dream, attempt to decipher it and finally being told (by himself) that it's all a load of bollocks... :)

As welcome an introduction as it is, I doubt that the belated entry of 'French Nacis from Antarctica' into this convoluted story can do much to upset the balance of power. Either you're planning a miraculous last-minute saving of the day, or The Forces of Doom (the other Forces of Doom, not the Nacis) will prevail and destroy everything. Compared to the might of Narrative on one hand and the evil of Selene/Eryx on the other hand, a bunch of frostbitten Nacis strikes me as decidedly small fry. ;)
 

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Da-Da-DUM!

Pierre's subconscious is one messy place, for him to come up with that dream, attempt to decipher it and finally being told (by himself) that it's all a load of bollocks... :)

As welcome an introduction as it is, I doubt that the belated entry of 'French Nacis from Antarctica' into this convoluted story can do much to upset the balance of power. Either you're planning a miraculous last-minute saving of the day, or The Forces of Doom (the other Forces of Doom, not the Nacis) will prevail and destroy everything. Compared to the might of Narrative on one hand and the evil of Selene/Eryx on the other hand, a bunch of frostbitten Nacis strikes me as decidedly small fry. ;)

Surely it depends on what the MacGuffin device is?

Can she be killed?
Not with fire nor ice?

Interesting question; possibly, possibly not. If she can't, then Pierre might end up killing Marissa when he administers the potion...
 

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Make sure you don't get burnt, Keita. Seriously.

70

Kwame came into the front of the shop, and found himself confronted by Mike.

“Oh, good afternoon to you…or is it evening?”

Mike, eagerly, “how is babby formed? Er, I mean, you’re Kwame, right?”

Kwame rolled his eyes. “Oh, you’re to do with Parasol, right?” He grinned, took out a cigar from his jacket pocket and lit up. “I already told your lot that I’m not getting involved in any of that stuff anymore. Although,” he continued, taking another puff, “if you really want to be useful, then I’ve got a name for you.”

Mike leant forward. “Yes?”

“The name is Madame Tzarsou. If you can work out who that is, then you’re golden.”

Mike frowned. “Madame Tzarsou…right. One other thing, where did Anney go? I wanted to ask her something.”

Kwame grinned widely, showing his somewhat blackened teeth. “She’s in the back with her friend the zombie.”

Mike nodded slowly. “I…see.”

***​

So, what’s the deal? So, in the deep south we have Pierre, trying to eject Selena and recover Marissa, and in the port of New Orleans we have Molly, a reanimated corpse, Kwame, who is most definitely a Bawon of some sort, of Saturday and the cross and the cemetery, immortal Anney and Mike, whose presence is somewhat unwanted. On Navassa Island we have Tzarsou and Janus, and the Criminal, who never lets his debts go unpaid. On Aiaia there sits Circe, in her ruined temple surrounded by her creatures, who owes a great debt to the Criminal but has absolutely no intention of paying. Unfortunately for her, the Criminal has considered this eventuality, and has a number of contingency plans…

And then there is President Keita, who has dreams of empire. In a bunker somewhere near Bamako, he has assembled a meeting with several key ministers and military chiefs to discuss the Guinea Situation…such as it is. But first, let the present become the past, and let history begin.

On the wall was a map showing West Africa, and around the table were seated six men. Keita, of course, was at the head of the table. Beside him was sat the Vice President, and then the Interior Minister, Defence Minister, Chief of the Army and finally completing the circle was Mamadou Diaby.

“The people must be witness to the glory of what is to come,” spoke Keita, in a booming voice. “What better way than an overwhelming display of force against one of our neighbours? Guinea will fall like a domino, and then West Africa will be dead, and a new Empire of Mali shall be proclaimed!”

“The preparations are all in place,” said the Defence Minister once he was certain that Keita had finished speaking. “We have two armies at the border, ready to cross whenever they’re given the signal.”

“Excellent,” said Keita. “But, they will have to remain patient for a little while just yet. Remember, this isn’t just a military invasion, but also a statement to the world. As such, it is fitting that the new empire should arise on an appropriate day…therefore, the attack will take place on November 2nd, the Day of the Dead.”

Diaby looked at the assembled, and felt slightly troubled. Keita had pretty much admitted that this invasion was purely for show, and it wasn’t as if West Africa was the strongest country on the planet. “Mr. President, there are a couple of things we should consider. One is that there are currently Portuguese troops stationed in Bissau, and if we are responsible for the deaths of Portuguese soldiers that could have…implications.”

“Pah, Portugal??” blustered Keita, “what can they do? I don’t think we have anything to fear from Portugal!”

Diaby shrugged. “Maybe not, but they have powerful friends. Both the French and the Germans are unlikely to take well to an African country killing European troops, and may intervene. The Haitians may also withdraw support for your rule, which, seeing as they’re your only major foreign backers, would be a massive blow. And,” he continued, with a dark look on his face, “let’s not forget that those three nations are nuclear powers.”

Keita laughed. “My dear Mamadou, I think you’re being overdramatic. No, the invasions continues as planned, and November 2nd 2008 will be a glorious day in history.”

Oh, there was something I didn’t mention. The meeting had a seventh individual, although he kept himself very well hidden in the shadows. The Shade snickered silently. His dream-weaving had worked. November 2nd will indeed by a glorious day, he thought, a glorious day indeed! Mwahahahaha!*

_____________________

*Yes, he actually thought maniacal laughter
 

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Thinking maniacal laughter is surely a sign of a diseased mind, like multiple exclamation marks...

Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but from my indepth research (i.e. arsing around two Wikipedia entries for five minutes), it seems that in order for something to truly be a MacGuffin, it should not actually come into play in the story. If that's true, then by definition the MacGuffin would not matter in the greater scheme of things. :)

War in West Africa. Not sure how to tie that in with the rest (though it has to be said that the first paragraph of the second section was unusually lucid for this story. ;)).
 

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Thinking maniacal laughter is surely a sign of a diseased mind, like multiple exclamation marks...

Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but from my indepth research (i.e. arsing around two Wikipedia entries for five minutes), it seems that in order for something to truly be a MacGuffin, it should not actually come into play in the story. If that's true, then by definition the MacGuffin would not matter in the greater scheme of things. :)

War in West Africa. Not sure how to tie that in with the rest (though it has to be said that the first paragraph of the second section was unusually lucid for this story. ;)).

You're right. Don't hold out any hope for ever finding out exactly what the MacGuffin Device is, because you won't. ;)

Oh yeah, something big shall happen!

Something big indeed...but hopefully not something bad!
 

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Could the impossible merely be a reflection of the improbable? Yes/No

71

I’m holding on, I’m holding on…let me be free of this cacophony, free of this-

-who’s there? Is he indeed? Well come on in. This is a celebration, after all. This is a day to be merry and drink (but what day isn’t, hehe?), and a day to remember those who are no longer with us, those poor souls lost in the darkness and screaming in the void. Pity them, for they have nothing else. The dolorous lady weeps tears of blood and leaves her crimson footsteps in the snow. The pain and the greed and the anger and the filth and the shit of this world encapsulated, sitting there proud like a child who’s just put a bowl of spaghetti hoops on his head. Spoilt brat-

-they said I could see clearly, but the he-

-BBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZT!

…and you’re under…

-fragment, (consider revising)-

…and wake up.

She did. It wasn’t sleep though, not proper sleep. Life was just a dream now, a flashing of images and associations but without the feeling. Before, she had been chasing something blind, always thinking and asking, ‘why me?’ But now, she understood. She sympathised, she truly did, but one was bad enough, seven billion would be intolerable. It was a different kind of numbness, maybe, but the parallels were clear. Always she had doubted herself, but now she felt a strange clarity, and deeper knowledge of her environs.

Molly Nemoy was dead. Most of her had been stripped away.

What was left?

The days were falling like the autumn leaves, blowing away in the breeze never to be seen again, lost to eternity. Anney had stayed, which was nice, as Molly knew she had more pressing things that she wanted to get on with…

Guilt.

Was it guilt?

Maybe.

Possibly, but it was a guilt that Molly didn’t fully comprehend. “I can wait,” Anney said. “It’s been three hundred years, what difference is another few days going to make?”

Or was she being selfish again? Possibly a mixture of self-preservation and compassion. In the shadows stood:

• Baron Samedi, the foul mouthed, a true swine with his jaunty hat and glass of rum…
• Baron Cimetiere, the dutiful, standing guard
• Baron La Croix, the sophisticated, philosophising and pondering the nature of life and death.

Vultures, Anney thought, though she couldn’t help smiling a little bit. But Molly…soon it would time for the Ultimate Showdown of Doom, on that island with the sorceress and her higgledy-piggledy creations, in that ruined temple where the sun casts long shadows and the days are endless.

And Molly, poor Molly…just look at her. Her skin is dark grey, her eyes sunken and her hair thinning, her clothes raggedy and her movements jerky. It’s up to her. It was his fault. He’s been waiting for this moment for a long time, since 1991, since the unveiling of that rather inelegant new flag. That flag…what was wrong with the old red and blue? Why must everything be changed for the sake of change? Okay, that’s a bit ironic, since change is inevitable, so why not make the change before the change makes you?



What does that even mean? There’s a Soviet Russia joke in there somewhere.

But the new flag. The colours:

• Black
• Purple
• White

Why those three colours? Anney didn’t know, but it was something to ponder. A few days had passed since Molly’s revival, and she still hadn’t gone outside the shop, let alone to Aiaia. But she had time. The bigger problem was, what about transportation?

By airship…

That ship had sailed. There didn’t seem to be any other way to get there, but that was what Roerich said back in the Blue Cherry bar.

“So what am I going to do?” asked Molly. “I don’t have any kind of airship, and I need to go sooner rather than later. That professor guy Roerich seemed very insistent.”

Anney nodded sympathetically. “I know, but maybe…hang on, I have an idea. It’s crazy, but it might just work.”

Molly thought a frown. “I hate it when people say like that. I much prefer sane ideas that definitely will work.”

Anney laughed, and said, “okay, maybe it’s not that crazy, at least not when compared with some of the other events in this story. But it’s still pretty outlandish. The only thing is, I need to ask Miss Charlotte something and I never know when she’s gonna show. She tends to appear whenever I’m feeling at my most vulnerable and proceeds to rub salt in the wounds, but other than that she’s a swell gal.”

“I detect sarcasm,” Molly said wetly.

“You don’t say,” Anney replied dryly.

“And I detect that little miss jerkass doesn’t like being called out on her questionable actions,” said a different voice coldly, none other than Miss Charlotte. She emerged from the shadows, her skin milky and illuminating as always, her voice smooth and calm despite the snark, her face a smile of beneficence.

“Listen,” Anney said, glaring at Miss Charlotte, “I’m not responsible for the people who happen to get in my way and slow me down…no offence Molly. But whatever, I’m staying and helping Molly, so how’s that for a bit of altruism, huh?”

Miss Charlotte rolled her eyes. “Is it altruism if you only help someone because the direct consequences of not helping will be far worse for you personally?”

“Whatever, I’m not interested in discussing the finer points of ethics. What I wanted was to ask a question about the HMS Impossible.” Miss Charlotte shrugged nonchalantly, and Anney took that as a cue to continue, “well, you know how it went under the sea, like in a bubble? Well, I was thinking, could it do the opposite and, like, fly through the air? Cuz then, Molly would have her air ship and everything would fit neatly into place, you see?”

Miss Charlotte spent a moment thinking, and then replied, “no, that’s impossible even for the Impossible.”

Molly muttered, “See, that’s why I prefer sane ideas…”

“Oh,” said Anney. “Well. You know what, in that case, screw Roerich. Molly, we’re gonna do this thing my way. This whole ‘by airship’ thing seems like a rule, and you know how I feel about rules.”

Molly nodded vaguely. “That…they’re there to be broken?”

“Well actually,” Miss Charlotte started, “rules are there for a reason. And, weren't you two in the police force? You can't have been very good officers if-“

“Damn straight, to be broken!” Anney said beaming, talking right over Miss Charlotte. “I don’t care bout no rules-well, apart from the first rule of Fight Club, but that makes sense damn it-but part from that, none.”

“So wait, what are you suggesting?” said Miss Charlotte.

“It’s time to take the lesser trodden path.”
 
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When Anney sets her mind to something (such as breaking the rules), there isn't anything or anyone that can stop her, whether they employ sarcasm or holier-than-thou morality or whatnot. :)

So Molly can think the emotion, she just can't feel it, right?
 

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Show me the flag.
Sounds epic.

It's already somewhere in the thread, in one of the updates.

When Anney sets her mind to something (such as breaking the rules), there isn't anything or anyone that can stop her, whether they employ sarcasm or holier-than-thou morality or whatnot. :)

So Molly can think the emotion, she just can't feel it, right?

Basically yes. Her cognitive processes are still intact, but all the chemical and hormonal stuff no longer happens
 

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Into the final stretch...

72

“It’s time.”

“Do you think I’m ready,” Molly replied uncertainly.

Kwame laughed, pulling his cheeks back and showing his blackened teeth. “Don’t matter. Fet Gede approaches. There’s no time not to be ready.” He nodded towards the calendar that was pinned to the wall. “29th October. It’s now or never.”

“I see. So, er…what do I do when I get to Circe’s island? Everyone’s been kinda vague about that…”

Kwame winked. “You’ll see.”

“Why doesn’t that fill me with a sense of certainty?” She thought a sigh. “So when do we leave?”

“Right now,” said Anney, emerging from behind Kwame. “The Impossible will take us there. Come on, there’s no time to lose!”

***​

Pierre looked at the man with wide eyed astonishment. “A Naci doctor? Oh lord…”

The doctor smiled. “Don’t worry, M. Minuit. We aren’t like we used to be. We have no objection to someone of your…disposition being here.”

Pierre looked at his coffee-black hands, and frowned. “You mean you’re not going to kill me because I’m black?”

The doctor smiled thinly. “Precisely. Anyway, I’m led to believe that before your unfortunate airship crash, you and Ms Eryx were coming to meet with Dr Trangedamour about a certain device we are in possession of.”

Pierre blinked. “The MacGuffin Device. Yes, Selena mentioned it, but never mentioned a Doctor…what was it?”

“Trangedamour. Yes, well, he’s rather…idiosyncratic. He has stated quite firmly that he’s only willing to meet with your Prime Minister.”

“But she’s unconscious.”

“Yes, that could prove to be something of a problem.”

Or not, Pierre thought. He had been getting carried away with himself. What the MacGuffin Device was, it would probably be better of staying down here in the frozen Antarctic rather than falling into the hands of the Haitian government. And, of course, Selena was unconscious…what was he waiting for?

“Can I see her?” Pierre said suddenly, sitting up. There was a jolt of pain in his ribs, but he ignored it. “It’s just, I’m, er…rather fond of her. You know.”

The doctor smiled conspiratorially. “Ah, yes, of course. Ms Eryx is a beautiful woman…and so pale, for an Egyptian.”

“Yes, quite. So, erm…”

“Oh yes, of course. Follow me.”

Pierre got out of bed and stood up. He had several scratches and bruises and what felt like a fractured rib, but found he could just about walk. The doctor led him down a clean, white corridor, and into a room where Selena lay, attached to various pieces of medical equipment. He sat down in a chair that stood beside that bed, and looked up at the doctor.

“Could I have a few moments alone with her?”

The doctor nodded. “Of course, of course.”

When the doctor had left, Pierre reached into his jacket pocket, and was relieved to find the now half-empty vial of red liquid where he had left it. He took it out and closed his eyes. “Please, let this be enough…”

He opened her lips slightly, and poured the red liquid down her throat. She choked slightly. Pierre watched nervously, and then to his amazement her eyelids began to flicker. She murmured something that was inaudible to Pierre, and then she opened her eyes.

“Pierre?”

***​

Janus returned to the chamber, carrying a banoffee pie (Madame Tzarsou’s favourite type of pie), only to find a vast, completely empty cavern. He glanced around for a moment in panic, and then nodded resignedly.

“It’s time.”

He knew that the Criminal had finally won, and Madame Tzarsou was gone. Fet Gede was approaching, and the Criminal had no doubt gone to Circe’s island to collect his debt, using Madame Tzarsou as his vessel. Janus put the pie down and from his pocket took out a remote control with only one button, large and red. He pointed it at the ground, and pressed the button.

First there was nothing, and then, like an earthquake, came the rumbling. The floor parted, and from the depths of the earth rose the humongous mecha, as dramatic organ music filled the chamber. After nearly a minute, the mecha had arrived; this was not the mecha built by Madame Tzarsou, at least not anymore. Janus had modified it beyond all recognition, and it now towered about him, nearly a hundred feet tall, reaching halfway to the ceiling of that great cavern. It was broadly the shape of a human and its body was covered in shiny blue panels interspersed with metallic joints. In its left arm it carried a laser blaster, which Janus had added merely because it looked cool; he hadn’t been able to get it to work.

After a moment spent admiring his creation, he used the remote control to open a panel in the mecha’s foot, and climbed inside. Once he was in the cockpit, he started it up, and the mecha clunked forward. Janus took a deep breath, and then punched with all his strength. The mecha punched with him, its powerful arm smashing into the wall of the chamber. Several punches later and water began to enter the chamber, first a dribble and then a flood, like a burst pipe. Soon the mecha was entirely submerged, floating horizontally in the water, and when it was it smashed its way out of the cavern and onto the sea floor. Janus set the co-ordinates, and then the mecha began to swim, with powerful strokes, in the direction of Aiaia.
 
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