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The Lost Float- an alternative/additional invasion arc finale tale

Discussion in 'UO Catskills Role Play' started by Stevie, Oct 1, 2017.

  1. Stevie

    Stevie Visitor

    Joined:
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    The Lost Float


    King Blackthorn awkwardly held a plate of cookies as he watched the Royal Britannia Investigators examine the wreckage of Jhelom’s celebratory parade float. Sherry the mouse sat next to his ear, her mousey arms folded as she struggled to balance on his unusually steeply sloped shoulders. Mythran wandered about the scene, murmuring an occasional “hmm” or “ahh” to himself as he inspected the wreckage between shoving chunks of cookie into his mouth.

    Inspector Norfolk stood up in the wreckage and waved the waiting Britain healers over to gather the scattered human remains. He scribbled a few final notes in his notebook, then approached the king.

    “Sire, we are still seeking out and interviewing wit-- by the virtues, there is a rat on your neck!”

    “Mouse!” Sherry shot back irritably.

    The inspector jumped slightly and took an involuntary step backwards before catching himself. He looked at Blackthorn, whose weary and slightly bemused expression remained unchanged, and Sherry, who had slid down Blackthorn’s shoulder and was scrambling to climb back up.

    “Er.. yes. My... apologies?” he stammered.

    Blackthorn sighed and gestured for Norfolk to continue.

    “Yes... yes...” Norfolk tried to compose himself. “Yes... as I was saying, we are still seeking witnesses to interview. There were no survivors on the Jhelom float, and most of the float operators and citizens seem to have fled the scene in a panic, except perhaps for a few of the more, shall we say, maladjusted. A couple of the New Magincians on the next float stayed long enough to talk to us. Would you like to speak with them yourself?”

    Norfolk gestured toward the New Magincia float, where a withered old woman heavily bedecked in thick, expensive looking robes and ostentatiously gem-encrusted jewelry stood with her proud little chin jutting skyward. A short distance from her, an irritable looking man in blue platemail held his helmet under one arm and glowered back at them, his critical gaze pointed directly at king and mouse.

    “Oh!” squeaked Sherry. “Look, it's--”

    “I don’t think that will be necessary,” Blackthorn said hastily.

    The old woman, however, had already caught his gaze and hurried toward the small group as fast as her heavy robes would allow.

    “Your highness! This is an outrage! Those Jhelomian ruffians have ruined the celebration for all of us!” she said, her thin voice quavering as she fought to catch her breath.

    Blackthorn looked at the corpses strewn about the Jhelom float, then looked back at the old woman.

    “This would never have happened if New Magincia had been at its PROPER place at the head of the parade. These slights would never have been made back before the kingdom robbed and looted True Magincia blind while letting it fall...”

    Blackthorn hastily gestured toward one of Norfolk’s assistants. “Of course, madam. Please give your statement to this gentleman if you would.”

    The assistant gently led the woman, still rambling, away from the king. The woman shook her withered fist at him as she was led away.

    The man in the blue platemail still stared accusingly at Blackthorn and Sherry. Blackthorn shifted uncomfortably and turned so that the man was not in his direct line of sight.

    Norfolk continued, “We aren’t sure exactly why, but it seems the Jhelom float was moving at high speed when it collided with this lamp post.”

    He pointed helpfully to the undamaged lamp post standing directly in what should have been the center of the float.

    “We suspect there may have been alcohol involved. Preliminary information also seems to indicate that the float was constructed by out-of-work pit fighters rather than actual builders, and it is suspected that they used salvaged materials from shipwrecks off the Jhelom coast to build the float rather than fresh timber. The wood on the float is definitely soft and water-damaged.”

    Sherry nodded mousily. “There HAVE been an awful lot of shipwrecks discovered recently.”

    “Indeed, the ocean floor is apparently shore-to-shore layers of shipwrecks,” Blackthorn mused. “Curious, really. I suppose it keeps the shipwrights in business, though.”

    “Too true, sire,” Norfolk said.

    “Inspector,” one of the healers interjected. “These bodies are... well, sir, they are proving very difficult to move. They seem to have become partly lodged into the ground on impact. We were only able to move two of them. We may need some miners to help.”

    “Lodged into the ground?” Blackthorn asked. “How could that happen?”

    Norfolk shrugged helplessly.

    By this time, citizens of Britannia were beginning to line up along the parade route. They “oohed” and “ahhed” at each float, seemingly undeterred by the carnage of the Jhelom display.

    Blackthorn sighed. “The people seem to think it’s part of the parade. Just prop up the two you were able to move as if they are part of the scene. We’ll call for the miners and take care of this in the evening when the crowd has dispersed.”

    The king looked back toward the man in the blue platemail. The man’s intense, critical gaze was still directed toward where the king stood, but it now oddly seemed to also encompass the entire crowd. He seemed to be scorning and disapproving everyone simultaneously without ever moving. Blackthorn shook himself and turned away once more.

    “All hail Gonorrhea! Thy bravery is known the realm over!” one of the citizens cried jubilantly as a colorfully dressed individual strutted past. Confetti shot over the blood-splattered remains of the float and the corpses within.

    Blackthorn stared at the citizen briefly, then stared at the Jhelom float briefly, then stared down at the plate of cookies still in his hand.

    “I think I’ll just head back to the main float and hand out banners and trading cards. And maybe sneak a quick drink or ten at the castle bar.”

    “You never hired a bartender,” Sherry reminded him. “I swear I told you at least a dozen times...”

    “That you did,” he cut her off wearily.

    “If you’d listen...”

    “You know I don’t mind pouring my own drinks--”

    “It’s not just the bartender! It’s nearly every job in that castle, and many in the city and even beyond! You MUST learn to delegate!”

    “Is this really the time, Sherry?”

    “It’s NEVER the time with you!” Sherry retorted sharply. “Mythran!”

    Mythran drifted dutifully toward the monarch and the mouse and obediently held his hand up to Blackthorn’s shoulder. Sherry nimbly lept off Blackthorn’s shoulder and scampered up Mythran’s sleeve to nest on his. She settled into his oily but much more reasonably sloped robe and nodded curtly to the king.

    “Until next time,” she told him mousily. She turned her head toward Mythran’s ear. “Let’s go.”

    Mythran casually relieved the king of the plate of cookies, which was fine with him. Blackthorn turned back to Inspector Norfolk.

    “Just get this moving again, if you can. Or don’t. I suppose a stationary parade may be the safest option, all things considered. I’ll be out front.”

    The inspector nodded smartly, and the king headed back toward his castle, where the lead float sat. He felt the eyes of the man in the blue platemail follow him across the bridge and all the way to the float, but when he turned around he couldn’t see the man anymore. He shuddered.

    He looked at the massive piles of souvenirs and trinkets waiting to be distributed and wished he’d listened to Sherry’s endless pleas to hire enough staff and delegate properly. Not that he’d ever tell her she was right.


    ***********
    OOC: Inspired by the actual Jhelom float and various tidbits from Catskills and Chesapeake.

    Screenshot (598).png
     
  2. Revenant

    Revenant Visitor

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    I want to star this again. Can I?
     
    Aedon Durreah likes this.