Tuesday, November 2

Steal Head - Hanging By A Thread

Koen turned his face away as Qlippothic tesseracted onto the deck of the Bloodwing's Revenge in a blossom of electricity.

"I'm going back down. Increase the air pressure, the water level is rising inside."

The neko nodded, and pulled another lever on the machine that connected the airship by a canvas-like tube to the abandoned train car that became the monster's lair. Koen was ready to wish his sister good luck when he noticed her shoulder was ripped open, her brass-like sheen jaggedly torn revealing the gears and pistons beneath.

Koen gulped nervously as Qli jumped down the tube a second time. It was still too close of quarters to teleport in blind, even after seeing the inside. He leaned into the ship's speaking tube.

"One patient!"

A door to the cabin swung open automatically, and two pairs of small white gloved hands pulled Dr. Beck by his shoulders down the ladder that had been covered with metal to make a chute, just for this purpose. Dr. Mason caught him with a white towel before his head hit the operating table at an uncomfortable angle. His young assistants helped place him on the operating table.

"Checking for life signs...pulse is weak, face is pale...corneas unresponsive to light...mouth is filmy. Rehydrate intravenously."

The tube installed in the corner of the cabin ceiling squealed and Qlippothic's voice could be heard through the squeals and pops of the Marconi waves, but barely understood through violent sounds of ripping metal and wet crunching.

"Attacking with maximum force. Target is absorbing blows. Natural weaponry compromising armor in multiple locations."

As Wren and Lo held Beck's arm and slid in a needle attached to a rubber tube, Dr. Mason cut away the patient's filth-encrusted clothes and sprayed him down with a cleaning solution in a brass cylinder while he searched for wounds.

"No sign of concussion." He murmured as he wrapped Beck in a clean white hospital gown. "The coma must be shellshock...Nurse! Monocle!"

"Attempting to restrain subject." Qli continues. "Physical strength rivals...exceeds my own."

Lo reached across a long tray of shining bladed implements to pick up a glass circle ringed in brass and connected to bronze filigree in the shape of a handle. It was the only piece of jewelry he wore regularly, aside from the Wulfenbach cravat pin he wore on official business. He clutched it and pressed it to his eye as he leaned over Beck, staring straight into his dilated cornea.


Dr. Mason recoiled in horror just as the craft shook from another crash below.

"QLIPPOTHIC! AMA!" He scrambled to his feet and shouted into the voice tube. "Beck's soul is ABSENT! There are TWO astral cords! Triangulating!"

He knelt on the floor squinting into the lens through the hull of the ship. As greenish wisps he could make out the shapes of the Jagers, continuing to fight on despite their horrific wounds. His mechanical daughter's energy spheres shone brightly as she was bent and thrown about the creature's lair like a ragdoll by a force his lens could not see. There was the demon-daughter, pulling a stunned Jager from the muck before he drowned.

"Ama! The beast is using a talisman! Somewhere close to you! Qli! The monster has Dr. Beck's soul in..."

"Understood, Father! Attempting to pry open..."

The young nurses covered their ears as the sound of tearing metal and the monster's roar of hunger made the entire airship tremble.

"The boxcar's slipping into the bay!" Shouted Koen. "We cut the tube or we slide down with them!"

Dr. Mason looked down at the young assistants. "You two. Take Dr. Beck off this ship, now."

1 comment:

Rhianon Jameson said...

I really enjoy the crossover you're doing with Dr. Beck. This story has so much to it that there's a lot of room for having other people in Steelhead participate.