Thursday, July 22, 2010

time may change me

What was it that made me and the frozen urchin stand there slack-jawed like a Japanese tourist who stumbled into a Caledonian Burns Supper?

"'Oh hell no?' Is that any way to treat your Regent, Koen?"

Floating in the air. Gold and crimson robes. Red demon wings. The crest of House Bloodwing on the chest.

"Would you expect any less from me?"

An exquisitely decorated staff from an estate sale at the other side of the galaxy.

He descended as quiet as a thought in sleep.

"Yes, Koen. This is my doing."

A gold headdress of a bent circle perched on his shoulders and fanning out behind his head.

I cautiously padded forward. "When did you decide to become Regent?"

Gray fur with traces of black. Bags under his scarlet eyes. Slightly trembling paws with overgrown claws. I won't even think about the teeth.

He let me come close enough to scent him. I lurched back. He ignored my response as he ambled towards Wren. "I had no choice. A construct can't become Regent..." He lay his paw on her shoulder, and her flame danced again. She looked up at him with a quivering lip and frightened eyes.

"I'm sorry, Mr. Regent. He chased me..."

"It's alright, Wren. He's unharmed. That's what matters."

I scratched the back of my head, trying to wrap my head around what he was telling me. I couldn't even put together the words. I was afraid to.

"You understand now, don't you Koen? Why a reconsolidated version of your Qli-Nova just happened to be right under you when you arrived from a fifty-year jump?"

"That was you..."

"Yes. Yes it was."

He scratched the back of his head. Looks like he never quit that habit. Still a bit of red on those silver ears.

"In this timeline..." He leaned over on his staff. Was he exhausted from the giant Void bubble? Or was the headdress or his wings the heavier burden? "The Bloodwing's Revenge crashed before it got to Babbage. It didn't get to Qlippothic in time..."

"Yes, Koen. You saw how it ended. No one was there when the Vesprium broke through. No one to hold them back at the hellgate. No one to raise the alarm..."

Wren embraced him while he sank to his knees, leaning on his staff for support.

"I miss Father..." Wren whimpered.

"We didn't even have time to finish mourning and rebuild the Foundation before we realized the Steamlands were being overrun!"

I knelt down next to him, whispering as I shook my head. "Why? Why are you telling me all this? We're not supposed to change..."

"You already changed it when you watched this world through the Time Window! The first thing I did after becoming a Time Lord was to trace those energies back to your ship and devise a rescue! LISTEN TO ME BOY!"

He gripped my shoulder with his other paw.

"Don't end up like me! Trapped with a legacy on your shoulders and nobody left to pass it to!" He looked up at me, trembling with bitterness growing in his eyes. "Look at you, aging yourself in a timejump! You can get those years back with the turn of a dial! I'd give up my last moments just to spend a do-nothing day in Kittiswitch one last..."

"FOR THE LOVE OF BAST WILL YOU JUST STOP!" I broke his grip and leaped to my feet. The bunnies at the other side of the building snapped back into land-piranha mode, converging on the space where I had been cowering moments ago. Theirs ears perked and I saw a hundred pair of green beady eyes staring at us. I assume it was the sight of the Regent that made them leap down to the fire escape.

I felt my back arching and the fur on my neck standing on end. "What do you want me to do?", I snarled.

The old, sad, bitter, weary version of me rose and tilted his staff towards me. I looked down at Wren as she pulled a yellow and tattered old newspaper from under her jacket....

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


There's a giant fuzzy tidalwave of serious bionic pain bearing down on me. I spin and run like hell (on all fours no less!) back towards the fire escape, but there's a line of gaslamp bunnies already waiting for me haunched up in a row, all fuzzy wuzzy cute except for those steel uppers and beady radioactive eyes staring at me like I'm a giant carrot. These lop-eared rodents are hopping circles around me! I draw on what little magic I already recovered and hurl a Void bubble as they stretch out their shiny claws and...

...freeze in midair?

Yeah. All of them. Just floating. Lines of bunny drool trailing from their carnivorous bunny mouths. Even their gas flames in their little glass tummies are frozen in place. Except for the one that was caught in a Void bubble the size of a Caledon football. It's scratching furiously at the inside of the bubble, trying to get out.

"What the...?" If I had Qli pouring time-energy into me maybe I could pull something like this off. But my powers don't work that way!

So I carefully slip out from under the bunny-avalanche and look around. I still see the neon signs of Seraph City blinking in the distance. I look up and the stars are twinkling, probably from the clouds of exhaust from the airships. At least I know I didn't freeze this whole freakin' dieselpunk world.

Ah, there's Wren. She's frozen too, just like her pets. She's pointing towards where I was. But she's got this surprised look on her face? She's not looking towards me at all. She's looking up at...


Monday, July 12, 2010


I kinda like this Seraph City, once you get over the exhaust fumes. But you really gotta watch your step. It seems anybody who's anybody has a horseless carriage and drives like a maniac! But the clubs! They got these crazy new kinda sounds called jazz and, how do I even describe them to a Caledonian?

But anyway, at dusk I was struttin' down the street in my new black pinstripe suit and matching fedora en route to the next juke joint when I hear this girl shouting,


Aw man, what a letdown. Of course, they would still have urchins in the future. Just look at her in her white blind-glasses and blonde ponytails and her smock glowing from the light in her...WAIT A GODDAM MINUTE!!!

She saw me alright! She ripped off her glasses and smock and dashed for the alley. I bolted after her. Yeah, she's still small and probably knows this city like the back of her hand. But I'm a neko. She covers her light, but I can still see in the dark. She hurls garbage cans at me (note to self: Mason hydraulics) and I leap over 'em.

"You almost cut my FOOT off you psycho little BRAT!"

"That was FIFTY YEARS ago! Get over it!"

"For YOU it's fifty years! I've still got the STITCHES!"

I turn the corner and it's a dead end. She's not there. Then I hear the clatter of the fire escape above. She's zigzagging from one level to the next. I'm jumping from railing to railing. I reach for her ankle as she hoists herself over the rooftop. I grab her ratty old shoe which slips off in my hand.

"WREN! I got a nine letter word for what I'm gonna lay on..."

I land on the gravel of the rooftop. She's standing there, her heart burning under the night sky, her beady eyes glowing a reanimation wait, that's the bunny on her shoulder. And a bunny on her other shoulder. And the dozen at her feet. And another twenty behind her. Here comes another hrair of them. She's surrounded by what, a hundred...gaslamp bunnies?

They've got shiny teeth. Razor-sharp steel I must assume. Aw crap, the claws too?

"Hey..." I chuckle, "Y'know...fifty years is a long time..."

She just points at me.

"GET 'IM!"

Now if I was Doc Mason I'd write something like, "as one, the leaping legion of lepuses advanced upon me" but really the only words that came to mind were "OH SHI--"