The Aether Travellers of Down Cthulhu

The Princess Alexandria

After a Fennian bother, our aether voyage gets under way

Princess Alexandria particulars, gathered mostly by Martin’s Gather Info and Sam’s reading:
-For 2 hours early in the day, then 2 hours in afternoon, then 2 in evening, a form of purda takes hold-separation of sexes during those hours. Women and men are to be in the company of other women and men, respectively. Separate lunch times…
-Smoking lounge has it’s own filtration, library with most new literature, ship’s newspaper printed daily. When in sight of the Heliograph, the paper will incorporate as digest of System News courtesy of Reuters.
-Leather lined music room is soundproof, latest Edison phonograph with assortment of cylinders, piano, harmonium, sheetmusic…
-Billiard room richly panelled with exotic wood from Mars.
-see ship handouts for more info and schematics
-Follows Greenwhich Meantime, including lights off and lights on 9(dawn breaks at 6AM) schedule.
Passengers of note:
-See handouts

-Covington will take a tour of the Engine Room, visit the observatory often, listen to cylindars just because it’s new tech.
Rumors:
-says it’s taking the gold sovereign shipments for pay to British workers, military…
-originally going to be a naval escort, but cancelled because of another bomb threat against the Harbinger.
Sam “We can’t handle everything, you know.”

Keer says the Canal Keepers like us Red Men. They feel we may be an answer to saving Mars and both sides are stronger with each other, but the Ground Cleansers want to kill us all.
The ship will land at Syrtis Major, the human capital of Mars. It has more canals entering it than any other city, and a high population.
The canals in repair run heavy and full during the wet season. In the dry season, a smaller channel at the middle of the bottom of each canal is all there is. There are huge plants at the north pole that helps melt the ice quick enough. The knowledge of how the canals were built has been lost to history. The Brits estimate that it would take a fleet of 10000 flying battleships 10000 years to create them by blasting them with their guns. It was an astounding feat, however and whenever it was done.
We see Archimedes before we go. He gives us a codebook, so that we can send messages back via heliograph when possible.

Tuesday, January 14th, 1890

We arrive for the hoopla of the Princess Alexandria’s maiden voyage! A friend of Percy’s, Lord Reginald ‘Kipper’ Herring spots Percy “Stinky old pal”.
Percy “Lord Kipper!”
Kipper is very happy to see Percy, and farts very loudly.
Percy “You are intolerable.”
Sam “Sam ol’ Kipper.”
He is as much of a troublemaker as we Percy and Sam are known for.

During the final ceremony, a brass band plays. The Prime Minister prepares to cut the ribbon, and we have pulled some strings in the last couple days. We are part of the group standing at the ribbon on the gangplank, with Percy (his English Bulldog in tow) right next to the Prime Minister (who is to cut the ribbon) and the rest of us behind. Nearby, photographers load equipment onto an aerial steamlaunch, engines warming up. At 24,000’ they will record the moment the aether screws are activated.
Oddly, in the distance, we hear a loud ‘chuffing and clattering’ like cymbals. Above some trees, a strange looking flyer appears with oscillating dishes.
Sam ‘Ah Ha! The Fennians!" It shoots a rocket but misses it’s mark badly, exploding midway tween trees and the crowd’s edge. Some soldiers begin firing futile shots from the ground as people run in every direction.
Percy orders us to take the launch, and Gerald leads us on, taking the controls. We have to head the ‘Fennian Spear’ off at the pass. A second rocket fires, missing the ship wide and exploding harmlessly. It seems the rockets can not be aimed themselves, they are fixed and the pilot has to aim the shit. We throw the crew off, but for 1 civilian, and the photographers run. We see a sgt with 5 men almost at the launch as well, having had the same idea.
Sgt “Here, here, are you authorized to go after that thing?”
Sam “We work for the queen!”
Sgt “Ah, get aboard men!”
We and soldiers gather on the deck, weapons ready.
Sgt “Prepare to volley fire, men. Prepare. Fire!” They volley, but the range is too great.
Sam, Percy, tell them to stop wasting their energy!"
Percy “Sgt, I’m Lt.Col Lord Percy.”
Sgt “Yes sir!”
Perrcy “Hold your fire, sgt.”
Sgt “Men, hold fire! Prepare to fire at the Lt. Col order! Stand ready men!” as he stands, pistol in one hand, rifle in the other. “My Lord, men are ready!”
Sam “We could scrape the top with our hull, take out the oscillators.”
Percy “We could go alongside and volley into the pilot or oscillators.”
In what is a short aerial dual, Gerald maneuvers at a T to the Spear. Meanwhile, another rocket misses but explodes in part of the crowd killing about 15 after whistling directly over the PM’s spot and exploding just far enough away! The Prime Minister’s wife’s hat blows off as the PM’s guards have rushed them away and thrown them to the ground, covering he and his wife.
At this point, we cut directly in front of the Spear and volley fire. The soldier’s volley, 3 out of 5 hitting, kills the copilot and wounds the pilot. Percy fires at the pilot, hitting-13 DEAD. A rubber ball flies through the air, a soccer ball! It hits the pilot of the Spear in his head. It’s Kipper, who slipped aboard but was unarmed.
Kipper “I say old man, I think it was my ball that knocked him unconcious.”
Percy “Not a doubt in my mind sir.”
As we land by the gangplank, the band is playing God saves the Queen then bursts out with For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow. Percy passes out cash to the sgt and his squad as an immediate bonus.
Sgt “Thank you very much, sir” then turns to his 5 men “Give me those pounds. If you keep them you’ll just spend them frivolously. I’ll see they get their money sir.”
Once again, we make what will be frontpage headline news.
The ceremony then continues, Percy allowed to cut the ribbon with the PM, each with hands on one handle and snipping simultaneously.

We board the liner for takeoff.
Secretly, Grant will follow in our ship later, fast enough to catch up and arrive close to us. They have the Martian amulet. Any papers they need, thanks to the secret service, will show them travelling the opposite direction.
The ship takes off to great fanfair.
Covington spend the first few days in the infirmary fully recoverring. Within a few hours of his release, Percy and Sam’s room has been turned into a small laboratory for Sam to work on the batteries for the Martian blades and other such things.
We spend lots of leisure time with the 8th Marquis of Queensbury. Will offers to make a man out of his son, like only a naval man can. Lots of time in the saloon.

During Voyage:
During the first visit to saloon, a guy stands at the bar surrounded by several people including army officers. They follow him around like he is the greatest. Martin asks around, and it is Dr. William Gilbert Grace, the world’s greatest cricket player. Even Douglas introduces himself to Grace. He is travelling to Mars to inaugurate the game on Mars on Parhoon’s new cricket grouds. Cunard will be the official transportation for teams between Earth and Mars.
We meet an officer, wearing a victoria cross, names Cpt. Hugh Crammond. We know of him, the hero of Ft. Collinsworth on Venus (where we have been). We swap Venutian stories, and he is very friendly and happy to talk. We get along with him swimmingly. He has a Venutian Lizardman vallet Grommett, who used to be a pirate an sips Cola.
Percy “This is my valet William, he used to be a pirate.”
Crammond “What a coincidence, we might as well be brothers. Well, I’ve had lots of adventures on Venus, and now travel to Mars. Maybe I can shake things up there too.”
After talking with him much of this night he says “I have good connections with the military, so if you should need any help while there on Mars just say so.”
Grommett likes to say how Crammond would be dead many times over if not for him, though Crammond saved Grommmett. Grommett says Crammond has a jolly heart. “I better see if he needs anything. If his brain were as good as his heart he’d be a genius.”
Martin “Can’t leave him alone for 5 minutes.”
Grommett “No. I don’t want him to go wandering into the airlock.”

2 Martian Sgt’s come over and bow to Keer, thought sgt’s should be in steerage. One of them converse in Martian before Keer blesses him. Will says later that the sgt was a member of the Canal Keepers and wanted Keer’s blessings. Both are from the Martian Rifles, and have medals. Were flown to Earth to get their medals, now going home.

Grommett later “Too many bloody foreigners in this army.”

In the card room: 2 women who look younger than they are play cards with a few men. The Amazing Gustav enters, and they perform a magic act on the ship every Friday night. Someone asks him if he wants to play, to which he replies “I never play cards.” Someone asks why, and he asks for a deck. He opens it, shuffles, and begins to pull ace after ace after ace…and does a couple other tricks “That’s why I don’t play cards.”

Meet Pressburger, of the Difference Engine Corp. Huge competitor to Imperial Babbage Machine Company (IBM). "You woudn’t believe what we’re working on. It’ll put IBM out of business. It’s a man-machine interface. Instead of punched cards, we have attached a typewriter board to our difference engine so you can imput orders by typing!

A waitor pops a champagne cork rather loudly, and from a table next to us a man hits the deck, a rather nervous and paranoid one.
“They’re out to get me, I know they are.”
Martin “Who?”
The man “Who? You’re probably one of them? The Monarchists, they’re out to get me.”
Sam “Who are you?”
He’s Patrick Wendle, of Parliament and the Naval Estimates Board. “I may never live to get there.”
Percy :Why would the monarchs want to kill you?"
Patrick “I am the rightful heir to the throne of Britain. You don’t think they want to get rid of me? There are attempts on my life daily. My great great great great grandfather was the rightful king of England.”
Percy “Who, Edward III?”
Sam aside “Wendle? Don’t recognize that name.”
Wendle “My ancestor was a royal bastard.”
Sam aside “We should mess with him this entire trip.”
His wife beckons him away to rest “He works so hard, kind sirs.”
Martin “Why is he so paranoid?”
Wife “Because the monarchists are out to get him. He’s the rightful king of England.”
Sam “That could be construed as treason.”
Wife “Well, he may not really be. He gets confused sometimes.”
Hid daughter is darling, and tells us of her puppy in the kennels. She says how great it would be to have it with her in her room, even mentioning how maybe we should sneak it out. Sam tells her about his lizard and Percy his dog.

Prof. Strabismas thinks the aether doesn’t exist.
Percy “Absolutely preposterous.”
Martin “We’re in it right now.”
He thinks light exists as both a wave and a particle, his Theory of Wave/Particle Duality, and is trying to explain everything as the attraction of sub-atomic particles.
Passenger to us “The man’s insane.”
Prof “Aether technology is a fortuitous fluke, backed by mistaken theories.”
Gerald “What is space, a void!”
Sam “So how are we actually travelling now?”
Prof “I still don’t know, but there is no aether that surrounds us.”
Will “Yeah, ok.”
Martin “Whatever.”
Prof “In fact, I think that energy and matter are 2 forms of the same thing. And there has got to be a formula that describes the relationship between them.”
Sam “But what, man?”
Prof “I just have not figured it out.”

Every day at 11AM Keer teaches Martian languages. 2 Martians from steerage, also lay members of the Keepers, visit him during this on most days.

We meet the Japanese guy with the codebook.

4th day out:We notice crewman observing odd corners and such of the ship and checking storerooms, as if searching for something, and with a certain degree of urgency.
Sam “We’d better go ask the captain, introduce ourselves and explain the Harbinger adventure.”
Percy goes to visit the captain.
Cpt “Ok, maybe it’s time to talk to some others.” Tells his executive officer to get the Marquis and Wendle.
Will tries to gather info on the crew, who aren’t talkin until he overhears one say “If we don’t find that bloody bomb soon we’ll all be dead.”
Back with the cpt, fiddling with his brass telescope:
He got a message from Scotland Yard from heliograph, that the Fennians have supposedly planted a timebomb on board. It must be taken seriously condisering the last attack. He asks the Marquis and Wendle to try to play it off as looking for a minor leak and keeping all calm.
Marquis “Of course my good man.”
Wendle of coure, freaks out as if its the monarchists trying to kill him. He finally agrees to pull himself together “After all, there are other lives at stake. Including my own family.”
Cpt. to us “I understand you have had experience with these murdering scum, and finding bombs on spacecraft. I’d be grateful if you and your friend would help us in the search.”
Percy “Yes, they have proven somewhat helpful before.”

We all look at a schematic to decide how to conduct our search.
Sam thinks we should check the saloon and observatory, considering the catastrophic consequences of the front glass breaking instantly, and the mechanical workings of the ship. The crew, knowing the ship, has searched the engine room already as well as storage. So, it must be in a common area in plainer sight.
Sam “Let us begin with the observatory and make our way back.”
In the music room, we see that the harmonium is of the trademark Francotti and company. Of course, the Fennians who kidnapped us were in a warehouse full of pianos and such. The company was Francotti and company! It’s in the harmonium! From inside, Sam hears a faint tic-tic-tic. Opening it, we see the explosive. Sam examines it, and thinks he can defuse it.
Percy “If you can’t, we can dump it out the airlock.”
No one, including Percy, realizes the idea he just had, but for Covington who’s head pops up. He turns and says “Not a bad idea. We can do that, can’t we. Why don’t we simply dump it out the airlock now?” Of course, Covington should have thought of it, but he’s so concerned about the technical side of things he was only thinking of disarming it. HA! All worked perfectly for the Aether Traveller feel.
We pad the inside well and toss it into space, leaving it behind us.

Some time later, there is a drunken fight tween Carstairs and Kempff who share a room too. It is obviously Carstairs is a horses ass. He has been transferred to Mars from the Guards to get him away. He thinks all who aren’t English are worthless, and got caught talking down Germans. It has been brewing for a while now.

Another day: Kempff and Evans provide some musical enterainment this night. Steerage passengers have been allowed in the saloon, and the performance ends to great applause. As it draws to a close, the performers silouetted by the backdrop of stars through the observatory, some of the stars appear to be moving.
A steward “Ships! 8 or 9 of them.” As the ships get bigger and bigger closing in on us. They shoot past, only in range for a minute or 2. Quick signal exchanges by light between us and them which Gerald translates.
First each names themselves, they are 9 British Navy on maneuvers. Second from them to us, saying no risk of collision. 3rd wishes us good luck and apologizes for alarming us.
Sam “God save the Queen!”
Sudddenly, a great crash, the liner shudders hit by repeated blows, and one of the glass panels shows a crack. Our ears pop as the pressure begins slowly dropping! All scramble for the airtight door out of the saloon.
Percy “Were we fired upon?”
He and Sam rush forward, and see the glass of the observation deck cracked and slowly bending outward as we watch. We see a nutshell lodged in a hole it created in the glass. We ran into the military’s recently dumped garbage!
Sam “Everybody get out!”
There are 2 armored doors, one from either side, that close outside the glass, and need handcranked shut.
Covington “Quickly, we need to crank them shut!”
A bottleneck at the doors of course slows the exit, with Keer leading the crowd out trying to control the situation from the front. Martin sticks to him like glue.
Something else is wrong, for the ship slowly but noticeably lurches back and forth. Gerald says something must be wrong at the controls, so he and Will make for the bridge. They will need spacesuits however…
A dented can of Bully Beef had crashed through the bridge glass and out the roof, tearing away all of the equipment like the communications and telescope for longrange calculations. The hypersonic shockwave and decompression killed all present, including the cpt., doctor and navigator!
Percy “Let’s give it the old Oxford try old man!” They both put on emergency oxygen masks and each takes a crank, Percy left and Covington right. Kipper appears to help Percy at the physical task, and Queensberry helps Covington. Crammond takes the other door, opposite Keer, trying to organize the exit. Seeing us, he runs up to the window and covers the cracks with his jacket! HA!
Sam “Damn fool.”
Wendle was fast into the hall, making for the rear of the ship yelling about monarchists out to kill us. The cricket players stand on this side of either door ushering women and children out, ready to slam the doors from our side to save the rest of the ship should it come to that.
We begin cranking (half a point of cranking per person on a crank per turn, str check can add bonus;below 10 and you slow it down by half a point;10 points closes a side):
1st crank: All succeed for 2 points each side.
At this point, flakes of glass fly off the window.
Percy “Get away from that window.” He runs and grabs a large Turkish carpet, doing the same with that he previously had done with his jacket “It has a rubber based back!” yet he has the fuzz on the outer side at first before turning it. The slight pressure through the cracks actually holds it in place.
2nd crank:Sam and Marquis get 2 1/2, Percy and Kipper 2.
Outside, Keer suddenly gasps and falls over. The widowed Martian woman had bumped into him just before him. Martin stoops and finds a short hatpin thrust into his heart, but he’s still alive.
Martin “I need a doctor, a doctor here!!”
Just about everyone is out, so the cricket players slam the doors shut after Grace races out for Keer and Martin, but his son remains on the saloon side.
Air getting thinner now, but we 4 endure.
Crammond and Grace Jr. grab 2 oxygen tanks, breathing as they run for us. Crammond shares with Sam and Marquis, and Grace Jr. with Percy and Kipper. At first, Crammond just lets it blow in Percy’s and Kipper’s face from a few inches away until Sam yells “It has to be right against their face, man!”
3rd crank: Sam fails and Marquis gets -half for 1/2 total; Percy and Kipper get 1 1/2pts.
Crammond and Grace Jr. pass out. Sam starts to feel woozy.
4th crank: Percy and Kip gain 2,Sam and Marquis 2 1/2.
Kipper passes out.
5th crank: Sam and Marquis get 2 pts;Percy gets 1 1/2
The window spiderswebs fast as the section of the glass not yet covered shatters at our final crank. Percy needs a point, Sam and Marquis a half.
6th crank: Sam and Marquis close theirs, as does Percy, as Crammond and Grace Jr. began sliding across the floor by the suction.
Outside, Martin shows the doctor the weapon and says it may have been poisoned. Everyone knows who it belongs to, it is something she had openly worn many times. It was that of Lady Jane Evans. The doctor saves Keer’s life, thank God.

The aftermath:
-when questioned after the events, Evans has no idea what happened to her hairpin. It was lost to her days ago.
-We now have a computer out and observation deck gone. Will and Gerald now pilot and navigate with spacesuits on. It will require old fashion navigation and dead reckoning now.
-A few hours after, the saloon is pressurized but overall the ship is still a bit underpressure. Ears and throats ache and people pant easily. The ship was peppered and watersupply is low.
-Keer is in the hostital still in trouble, it is unclear whether he will survive.
-The ship’s remaining senior officer speaks while we sip tepid chocolate: he explains the situations to all, and that he is the only surviving officer, thus in command. Bridge instruments badly damaged and can not communicate. There will be water and air rationing and…smoking is banned.
Sam “No.”
Percy “That’s barbaric!”
He asks for anyone with skill in aether navigation, operation and engineering to join him after this meeting. He asks Dr. Grace to become ths ship’s acting doctor. He then announces Keer’s attack, assuming it was and accident by a frightened passenger. He has Father Moriarty to lead a prayer.
Covington, Gerald and Will see the new Cpt. after the prayer ends.
Essentially, we have taken much control of the ship. In the next 3 days, Covinton leads the repair teams and complete juryrigged repairwork, including finishing the readjustments of solar panels, lacking much of the proper structural materials that would make a full repari. On the first day, Sam successfully completes 14 man-hours of repairs in a single 7 hour shift. Over the last 2 days, he completes 36 man-hours in 16. In the meantime and with much work, Gerald and William succeed at replotting our position and course, somewhat oldschool-style since much of the mechanical navigation tools are gone.

On the 3rd day after disaster, Keer wakes up but is dying. He moans an inhuman wail and speaks gibberish at first, seeming to concentrate on Percy, then “Must go to temple…Seldan…Seldan. Must go to temple…Garyan…safe there..Garyan.” And he dies.
Sam “Nooo!”
Percy “Bastard!!” Still, we have no idea who murdered him. In the bar, Covington with some books on Mars in hand goes over some of what Keer said: Garyan is a city, the center of teh Canal Keepers. Seldan is a kind of mytho-historic Alexander and Caesar, leader of their past who united Mars and built the canals. He wants us to go their, obviously."

Next day, Percy and Martin are walking down a corridor and smell somethng.
Martin “Do you smell that?”
Percy “Irish cooking?”
It smells like smoke, but not a fire or cigars. We seek its source and come to a crew lavatory. Inside we see 2 of the Chinese stewards smoking opium.
Martin “They are wasting oxygen.”
Percy draws and waves his revolver at them “You had better put that out and hand it over immediately.”
Martin “We are confiscating this.”
Percy “By order of the Queen, you will hand over the opioum pipe.”
Martin “And its contents.”
Percy “Or you will meet swift justice.”
“They should be thrown in the brig.”
Percy “Good show, Irish!” They stand, wobbling some, and hand it over. We take them to the purser and new cpt, meeting Sam along the way.
Sam “Lashes I say.”
Percy “Let them taste teh cat.”
Purser “We don’t do that anymore, not even to the Chinese.”
Percy “The hell you say!”
Sam “What’s this world coming to?”
They order the Chinese back to work, without pay for the entire voyage. The Marquis of Queensbury says they should be thrown out into the aether for using up valuable air. Martin has pocketted much of the unused opium for possible sale on Mars for a good price. If they repeat any offense, Percy says they will certainly be tossed out the airlock.
The cpt and crew are now to search the ship, confiscating all smoking materials and other combustables.
Percy “Except for my cigars, of course.”
“No, sir. Even yours.”
Martin “You’re not going to trust Lord Percy?”
Sam “I find that preposterous.” Percy, after a few minutes, is able to ‘convince’ them (more like intimidate them with his enormous presence and grand charisma).

On day 9 since disaster, the ship starts to shake and shiver. We are passing through Mercuric aether turbulence which we failed to calculate for. Dishes fly off shelves; Sam, though outside on the hull, immediately thinks of his lab equipment. Those outside making repairs are in danger of being shaken off, but only one steward slips away. His air/pressure line breaks from the strong tug and he dies very quickly.
Gerald rushes to the repaired bridge and takes the controls. In a show of supreme ability, Gerald not only calms the ship throught the turbulance, but he is able to angle the ship as such that he used its wake as a kind of slingshot, the Princess Alexandria being the slug, hurtling us further on our way!
Sam, later “Gerald doesn’t so much fail, as succeed less.” So, Covington has successfully led the repairs, and Gerald has us safely on our way to Mars.

On day 13 since disaster: Kemp is again ranging on the British “Of course I ahve nothing against your Queen, but as for the rest of your government…”
Wendle “The Queen! The Queen! DOn’t you realize the monarchy is responsible for this disaster? They dare not admit that I am the true heir to the throne. You really thing what has happend was as accident? They want to kill me! Even aboard this ship!”
Sam “That’s treason.” Percy makes to settle him, and he pulls a revolver!
Wendle “Back! Everyone back!”
Percy is able to calm him by playing on his delusion, telling him how the Percy’s family would be the ones he wants on his side if he wants the thrown “King makers we are! And have always been!” and Wendle “I trust you” then hands the gun over. Immediately the purser and staff jump him and drag him away as he screams “The monarchists did this, we’re all doomed! Just like Jack the Ripper!”
Sam “What in heaven is he talking about, Jack the Ripper? The man’s insane. He’s right for once though, we monarchits did it.”
Soon, he’s in a straight jacket and locked up for the remainder of the voyage.

20 days since disaster, day before we will land on Mars: Mars is well in site and getting larger, Gerald’s navigation certain. Repairs still being done as well. Early morning, a knock on our cabin door. It’s Cpl. O’Brian, the captain has asked all passengers to assemble in the saloon. “Come along now, please” We gather our group and follow him to the saloon.
We find that all the crew are there. Gerald and William are absent, currently manning the bridge, as well as all passengers. At the far end is the Cpt (chief engineer) standing with Father Moriarty. Steerage is also present. After a time, Moriarty says “Ladies and gentlemen, this ship has been taken over by the Fennian Brotherhood…”
Martin “Not again.”
Sam “I think not.”
“…and I ask you all not to try anything untoward. If you all maintain calm, after the ship is landed, I will make arrangements to see that many of you are returned to British holdings on Mars.” We assume that by ‘many’ he means most but us and friends.
Cpt “I’ll have none of this, you can’t take over this ship…” at which M calmly draws a revolver and shoots the Cpt/chief engineer between the eyes.
Percy to Sam “I guess you have been promoted old man.”
The crowd draws in a breath of surprise and all freeze in shock. Sam looks around and spots the Marquis…Kipper…Crammond…We see everyone loyal to us is here.
Sam It’s time for a jolly good drubbing. Percy, rush him."
Percy “Right so.” Before he does, we hear noise behind us. The stearage from behind us has pulled out clubs. 15 of them.
Martin holding up his fists “I carry 2 of those.”
Percy “I say, let’s get them boys.”
We figure we 3 can depend upon Crammond, Kipper, the Marquis and son, Carstairs, plus Kempf. Sam makes a quick mental calculation of the odds: 9 vs 16 known opponents. Less than 2 to 1 against us! Seeing as an Oxford Boy counts as 4, and Kipper counts for 2 since he went to public school with Percy, that makes an even fight. Of couse, in any even fight, the side with Oxford Boys will undoubtedly win.
M “My men lack rifles, since the bluff would be useless as we all know rifles could compromose the hull.”
There is pandemonium as Queensbury makes for M, but Percy stops him “Keep our cool, Marquis.”
Queensbury “Indeed, he shot the Cpt, but he certainly wouldn’t shoot a nobleman.”
Percy “He’s Irish!”
Queensbury “Dash it all!”
Percy “Trust me, I work with 2 of them.”
Quickly the room is obviously divided, between those willing to fight and the meak who won’t or can’t (including all the Chinese; Percy “I say,there’s not a karate man among you?”).
M “Are you really thinking on resisting?”
Percy “Not at all. I am planning on taking my ship back. Resisting implies the possibility of failure.”
Everyone else back off, leaving us and all that we knew we could rely on.
M to the Marquis “You should behave more like a gentleman” and shoots him-9.
Marquis “Just a fleshwound, men.”
Kempf rushes one of the soldier but misses with his fist. Martin does the same and crits-15 KO’d.
Percy rushes Moriarty and slugs him-10, then heroic surges-miss.
The Fennians engage. Sam, Percy and Martin are missed, Kipper is criticalled, Kempf and Marquis are hit, and 2 are pounding on his son.
Kip and Crammond hit, the others miss. Sam punches-6.
Moriarty turns his pistol into a bludgeoning weapon against Percy-miss/7 as it breaks off of the handle upon striking Percy(card).
Percy crits M-16. Martin turns and crits another soldier-16 KO’d. Kempf crits-8.
Martin is hit-4; Sam is hit-5;Kip is hit-4;Kempf and Carstairs are missed;Crammond is hit-8;Marquis is missedx2, and son vs3 is hit-4/miss/6 KO’d.
Crammond hits-11/5;Sam hits-10;Marquis hits-8/10.
Our energy surges and we all go first (Johnny decision to simplify fight): Percy hits M-18crit!;Kip hits-7;Martin hits-10;Crammond hits-11;Carstairs hits;Sam hits-10;Marquis ?
M now brawls and hits Percy-8;Martin is missed twice;Sam is hit-5 and by another-7;Percy hit by a soldier-4;Kip, Marquis is missed and hit-7 and Crammond are missed;Kempf is hit-7 and by hit by another, Carstairs is hit-8 and missed by another.
Sam hits-10;Martin-miss;Marquis hits once-10;Percy hits-6;Crammond hits-7;Kip hits-8.
Martin is missed, Sam hit-8, Percy hit-3, Kempf critted;Carstaires is missed;Crammond is hit. Marquis vs2 is missed and hit-7; M hits Percy-7. 3 extras now hed to gang up on Carstairs (Sam “Carstairs, look out man!” but he’s an ass anyway) and they start beating on him. He screams “pitshit Irish” as he fight back.
Marquis hits once-6;Sam hits-9 KO’d;Percy hits-16 KO’d by a bloodied Percy. Kip hits-8, Crammond hits-5, Martin misses.
Martin is hit-8, Sam is hit-5, Percy-missed;Kip-3;Kempf-2;Carstairs and Crammond are missed;marquis hit-4. The extra 3 on Carstairs-miss/crit16 KO’d.
Meanwhile, someone must have snuck out because Gerald and William (with his cutlass) suddenly show up!
Martin hits-5, Kempf-miss, Sam hits-10, Percy hits-9, Gerald-6 and Will-7, Kip hits-4, Crammond-5 KO’d. Marquis hits-5KO’d/6 to another.
Percy, Kip, Kempf, Crammond are all missed. Marquis hit-7 and Martin-5. Sam is hit-8 (KO’d but card that clears his hp!) Will is hit-7, Gerald is missed.
Marquis hits once-7;Sam hits-10;Martin hits-6;Percy hits-8;Gerald hits-4;Will hits-7;Kip hits-3;Crammond hits-5.
Percy is hit-4;Kip-6;Kempf-7;Marquis-8;Martin is missed;Sam is hit-13crit;Gerald is hit-7, Will is missed;Crammond is hit-8.
Sam hits-6. Martin, now fighting at the door to the music room misses a bullrush attempt;Marquis hits-6/8;Percy hits-8, Gerald-4;Will fumbles;Kip hits-8 KO’d;Crammond misses then hits-4.
Percy is hit-7 KO’d. Sam “Percy! Nooo!”; Kempf is missed;Marquis is hit-14crit;Gerald and Will are missed;Crammond is hit-4.
Martin hits-6, Sam hits-8;Marquis hits-7/10. Gerald hits-9, Will hits-7, Kip hits Percy’s-9, Crammond hits-12 on 2 hits.
Kip is hit-4, Kempt-3, Marquis and Martin and Sam are missed;Gerald is hit-8;Will is missed;Crammond is missed.
Sam crits-15 KO’d;Martin hits-9;Marquis hits once-4 KO’d. Crammond hits-9, Kip hits-8 KO’d, Kempf misses.
Kempf is missed, Martin is hit-3;Sam, Gerald, William and Crammond are missed.
Marquis hits Martin’s-8/6 KO’d. Sam misses. Kip helps Kempf and hits-11 as Kempf hits-3, Crammond hits-9;Gerald hits-10;Will hits-7.
Kempf is hit-4; Marquis and Gerald are missed;Will is hit-7 and Crammond-3.
Kempf misses, Kip hit his-16crit;Marquis hits-8;Sam hits-10, Martin hits-7; Gerald hits-4, Crammond-10 KO’d;Will misses. 3 left now.
Marquis hits-6;Gerald is hit-8;Will is missed.
Marquis hits-9, Kempf misses him but Kip hits him-10 KO’d. Gerald and Will miss. Martin misses Gerald’s;Sam does 6 to Will’s, Crammond hits Gerald’s-10 KO’d. Sam hits Will’s-6. He is the last remaining. He misses and is quickly beaten to a pulp. Sam turns to treating Percy. The Marquis talks it up, insisting he could have taken them all on by himself “You were find comrades in arms, however. Did you see my son. He took on 4 of them. 4 of them! He didn’t turn and run.”

Gerald and Will, along with Martin in case of trouble, get back to the bridge. They find the door to the control room locked, and jammed from the other side besides. Gerald uses his key to unlock it first (the bridge is resealed by this time). William and Gerald break the door down on the first rush, Martin behind them with a fist in one hand and a sap in the other. The crewmember left to watch the deck lies on the floor, head broken open. 2 of the ‘soldiers’ (Fennians) are there. One at the helm and another holding a rifle ready for action. He turns the rifle toward the new window!
Gob springs at the man, grappling-5 his arms to pull the rifle down. The Fennian tries to resist but can’t, pulling the trigger all the same to fire randomly about the room. The slug hits the pilot in the back of the head, killing him, and ricochet’s off the ceiling just above the glass.
Martin and Will rush in, and the 3 Celts beat the man down easily
Meanwhile, down below, the real soldiers have all been found, throats cut.
Cpt “Why would Fennians put a bomb on a ship and blow up their own men?”
Percy “Well, multiple opportunities to get the job done. They were willing to sacrifice themselves.”
We have made the final approach fast, and the ship is going to go into the atmosphere hot. The outer mirror is broken, unable to fold in. Covington leads Crammond, Will and the Marquis outside to reattach 4 pairs of cable so that the handwinch will secure the mirror. Suddenly, an explosion rocks the ship! The boiler room is destroyed.
The work on the 2 handcranks starts off fast, but then Sam and Crammond have a tough time on their 3rd crank. After getting it closed, Will and Marquis suffer the same. With the air getting hotter and the first feing feel of atmospheric pressure, we finally succeed in getting it all retracted. On the way back in, Crammond is practically swept off the side by the movement and wind, but we all get back in safe.
The descent is rough, and it’s a testamemt to Covington and his teams the the ship doesn’t splinter into pieces, especially after the Mercurial turbulence. The hull creaks…shakes…pieces start to fly off from the previous damage. Through it all, somehow, someway, Gerald is able to land the ship with only a minor crash and everyone survives relatively unscathed thanks to him, all with total calm. The ship is very damaged now, and of no good for flight in the atmosphere at all. We have landed in what seems to be the middle of nowhere, in late afternoon, a bleak Martian landscape in every direction.

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