Sunday, March 29, 2009

Steelhead Adventures: Journey To Fusang Part Twenty Nine

In which we continue our adventure, while at the same time, laying seeds for future adventures, because it's kind of like an old fashioned serial type thing. Never a dull moment when you're in Steelhead City.

Following Here and Here

Somewhere Above The Pacific Ocean

The USS Liberty was a large airship. The same size as Caledon's Steam Sky City, to be precise, but where Sky City was more friendly looking, The Liberty had a more militaristic look to it. It was used by all branches of the US military, as well as several government agencies. Angelica stepped off her airship onto the landing deck of the Liberty and walked down a corridor. She stopped to see two guards and another gentleman, who was looking ashamed. The guards were part of the security of the Liberty. The gentleman was Jim Taylor, a resident of England, who was also an operative of Pinkerton.

"Sorry, Miss" Jim said, "The Admiral caught me."

"It's ok, Jim." Angelica said, smiling. She then looked at him puzzled, "Caught you doing what?"

One of the guards motioned for her to continue walking down the corridor. Soon they were brought into the office of Admiral Eastland, commander of the Liberty, and at present, Angelica's superior. Eastland sat behind his desk, his thin gray hair was neatly combed. Beside him, a woman, approximately his age sat quietly. Eastland looked at Angelica and Jim as they walked in.

"You are familiar," Eastland began, "with the policy of using our resources for personal missions?"

Angelica looked puzzled, "I have not been doing any personal missions. I merely asked about the situation in the Celestial Kingdom, to find out what my brother was getting himself into. Much as I'd like to, I have no intention on involving myself in the situation." she looked at Jim, "I have nothing to wear."

Eastland cleared his throat to let her know he wasn't finished, he then continued, "This has nothing to do with that situation. Although, this does have to do with your brother, the sheriff."

Angelica raised an eyebrow, then turned to Jim. "What did you do?"

"Nothing." he said, "That is, except for take a package that Miss Adler sent me to give to you."


"On a mission," The Admiral said "infiltrating the air ship pirates. Her main mission was to infiltrate the crew of Iron Paw. Unfortunately, the pirate met with a setback at the hands of a...."

Eastland looked at the report, then looked up at Angelica.


Angelica smiled.

"However," Eastland continued "she did infiltrate with another crew. During their scouting for a ship to raid, a submersible was found."

Angelica's eyes narrowed, "Submersible? I don't understand."

Eastland picked up a box and placed it on his desk, "She found this, sent it to Mr. Taylor here with the intention on sending it to you."

Angelica slowly opened the box, the gazed wide eyed at the black top hat that was inside the box. She looked at the Admiral, "Was anyone in the submersible?"

Eastland ignored the question and continued, "Now, you and Agents Lockhart and Adler are the only women agents in Pinkerton Intelligence, and I'm aware that having to deal with some of the men who are old fashioned, the three of you have formed some sort of bond...."

"Was anyone in the submersible?"

"...but this is not the time for personal vendetta's. I understand the sheriff is your brother, and that...."

Angelica slammed her hands down on Eastland's desk. The desk shook from the vibration. Although she was not a Lycan like her brother, from time to time, when she was extremely angry, she would have the lycan strength.


"No." Eastland replied

Angelica calmed herself before asking her next question, "Where was the submersible found?"

"150 miles east of Caledon." Jim replied. "Be a helluva swim for him."

"Agent Trescothick," Eastland continued, trying to remain authoritive "you have returned to duty with Pinkerton. For the time being, personal agenda's are on hold."

Angelica nodded, "I understand, Admiral"

"Good," The Admiral said, smiling, "now, you and Mr. Taylor here are to leave for New York to join Agent Lockhart. There've been a rash of robberies at museums in several locations around the world. Realize that it's merely detective work, but it is a case that we need our best agents on the job, and whether the male agents like it or not, our best agents are all female."

"Of course, Admiral." Angelica said.

As she and Jim left the room, the Admiral turned to the woman sitting next to him.

"I really should scold her for raising her voice to me like that." he said

"And leave me a widow?" the woman replied, "Oh no you don't.

In the corridor, Jim kept apologizing to Angelica.

"It's ok, Jim." she said, "The Admiral's right. Besides, as you've said, it's quite a swim to Caledon. Maybe we'll be lucky and Jobias'll be eaten by some sea serpent."

"All the same, we need to let your brother know." Jim said

Angelica nodded, "Right now, it's a comfort to know he's safe and sound in the most violent war torn country in the world. We'll drop by Steelhead City on the way to New York."

She stopped and thought for a moment, tapping her chin.

"I'll have to leave him a letter." she said, "Hopefully, nobody'll open it. If that town found out there was a possibility that Jobias Barthelmess was alive.....Jaeger's were attacking complete strangers stepping off the train."

Jim smiled

"So," Angelica continued, "tell me about Sally's investigation. What's this about robberies."

"Certain artifacts were stolen from museums. One from each. The Molet Chalice in Paris. The Dagger Of Anubis from Egypt. Berlin Museum had a display featuring the Crown of Cornelius, till it was stolen. New York recently reported the Golden Tock Lobster stolen."

"Those were all stolen before." Angelica said, "Throw in the Belt of Lady Chasity in England and the Caledon Cross, and you've got my brother's first adventure after becoming sheriff of Steelhead."

"Wow.....right back to your brother, again. You'd think the universe revolves around him."

"Oh God, please don't tell him that. Last thing we need is a werewolf with a swelled head.

Fusang, The Celestial Kingdom (aka China)

Dogg sat on the hill and watched the fight below. She turned to see Fuzz and the wolves walking up to her. From the looks of the groups fur, they had a few fights with the Fusang army on the way to the castle.

"You're late." Dogg said

The werewolf shrugged and nodded towards a particular fight down below, "Who's the green guy?"

"That's that Lieng guy we've been trying to save Hotspur from."

Fuzz nodded, "Shapeshifter. Naturally. Who cares about making it easy for everyone. What's the fun in that?"

*Fenris' Bane,* one of the wolves said in Wolf Speak *our fight is not over*

*Yes, I know* Fuzz replied. He noticed Kim Chang hiding behind a statue of a dragon as several Fusang soldiers fired towards his direction. Fuzz turned to the wolves, *There is another of Western decent here. I am not sure where.*

Another wolf looked at the castle *Perhaps in that cave of white stone.*

*Go, search the cave. Take the feline with you. I shall join you shortly.*

Fuzz turned to Dogg, and started to speak.

"Oh come on," Dogg said, "357 IQ, familiar with 150 languages, 145 dead languages, and you think I don't know Wolf Speak?"

Fuzz howled, followed by the wolves howling. Fuzz leapt towards the courtyard, Dogg and the wolves headed towards an entrance to the castle.

Behind the statue, Kim tried to figure a way to escape. Unfortunately, he was trapped.

"Mr. Paladin," Kim whispered, "I'm afraid I will not be returning to San Francisco."

Suddenly, he heard a scream, and saw one of the soldiers fly past, hitting the wall. Followed by another, then another. He peered around the statue and saw the werewolf fighting the soldiers. He picked up a sword and ran to assist Fuzz. Fuzz looked over the courtyard to see Lieng fighting what apparently was once Hotspur.

"Hey, he's a shapeshifter." Fuzz said, "What's next? Baron Wulfenbach makes coffee?"

Fuzz turned to Kim Chang, motioning towards the castle that several heavily armed guards were charging out of. "I need to get into the castle."

Kim nodded, then shouted out in Mandarin. Several of his comrades ran towards the two and then, they all ran towards the heavily armed guards. Suddenly, a scent hit Fuzz's nose. A very familiar scent, and he knew who had magically teleported to Fusang.

Wonder if the Duchess is also a shapeshifter? he thought

To Be Continued
(Hopefully a lot sooner than the last time)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Steelhead Adventures.....Back On Track

Ok, we're all caught up with Real Life.......can I contact concierge at Linden Lab to fix Real Life?

Story continues. A chapter from Hotspur, a chapter from Darien. Eva's got a chapter coming soon (ok, not all of us are caught up with Real Life), and I'm working on my chapter. We're on the fast track towards the end of the story.

Hotspur's post

Darien's post

Friday, March 27, 2009

Ok, I Found This Interesting.....

Although, I'm sure there are others who've known about this long before me.

Last year, I picked up the first trade paperback collection of "Fables", a comic book series published by DC's Vertigo imprint. Basically, it's about the lands of all our favorite fairy tales and nursery rhymes being conquered by someone known as The Adversary. Many died, those that managed to escape wound up in our world. Some live in a section of New York City, others, who can't pass as human, live in a place called The Farm in upper New York State. They form a community called Fable Town.

So far, I've gotten the first five trade paperback collections plus one hardcover graphic novel, and haven't been disappointed.

Well, how this is relevant to Steelhead, the Big Bad Wolf is a main character. Sometime, during the big escape from the homelands, I think, he was given the option to take on human form. Due to his bad reputation, he wasn't going to be welcomed on the Farm. So, he did, and took the name Bigby. He can transform into a large wolf, and sometimes Lycan style. And at the beginning of the series, and until Old King Cole lost the Fabletown mayor election to Prince Charming, Bigby was in charge of security amongst the Fables and had the title of sheriff.

During the reading of the second trade paperback, I thought, "Bill Willingham's gonna sue my ass."

Other interesting characters, so far: Snow White, who, until Cole lost the election, was the deputy mayor of Fabletown. The hardcover graphic novel, 1001 Nights Of Snowfall, had a story that more or less hinted about her time with the seven dwarves.....and it ain't pretty. She also has a relationship with Bigby, and gives birth to his at once.

Flycatcher- The Frog Prince. Lost his family during the invasion. Bigby has him doing community service to keep his mind focused, or else he'll go find a way back to the homelands and find his family.

Jack aka Jack Of FAbles. Jack Frost, Jack B. Nimble, Jack and the Beanstalk, Jack and Jill......Jack was all those. Eventually got his own series. Haven't started reading that, but heard that in his series, he meets some of the American folklore like Paul Bunyan.

Rose Red- Snow White's sister. Bit of a rebel, so far, and I'm not caught up with recent events, she's in charge of the Farm.

Frau Totenkinder- The witch from Hansel and Gretel.

There's many more. Like I said, there are others who've read the series from the beginning and are more up to date than I am. But, this is a very interesting read.