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The Almost Modern Fantasy

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The Almost Modern Fantasy

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby miyumi on Sun May 20, 2007 6:09 pm

(Note: these guidelines are in the order we came up with them. General rules still apply, post the profiles in the profiles area. Link to your profile at the top of your first ic post. Keep ooc chatter to pm's and chatrooms. All questions direct to myself or Grimbold.)

Fantasy set in equivalent of mid 30's (same countries, same continents)

Main method of travel is ship, train, airships

Most things are technology mixed with magic. Magic is considered to be an art that works along side the science bit.

Main method of communication is telephone, telegram, and letters, letters is the cheap way, telegram is lower working class and up (priced per word), telephone gotta be at least middle class

English class structure
manual working class
---factory laborers
working class
---workers who've been promoted
---lower level management
Middle class
---middle management
---have to have specific training
---landed gentry
---"old money"

No television yet, but movie theaters, Cars are very rare (professionals and wealthy), bicycles are common, electric trams

Fashion: take your cue from this: ... ping_2.htm

England is cultural center. Art style and design: art nevau has just faded, art deco is the latest thing, Tiffany glass is also big.

Money: Francs and centimes

History is mostly the same from our world, Great Depression is completely over

BMA- bachelor of magic arts

All research is done in universities, not private companies. Research is carried out within the universities, they have the facilities and access to PHD and other more advanced research students to assist. A large part of how the universities fund themselves is by selling commercial research and the facilities for outside groups to do their own.

Magic is more talent than skill; can be discovered at any age (kind of like music... some people are completely tone-deaf, others have perfect pitch). Usually ability becomes obvious around puberty, but can be discovered at other times.

Note: Racism is not an issue (except from the ideologies such as Nazism). Sexism has been mostly resolved.

EDIT: Forgot to put that Grim and I had agreed to use the American system of schooling... These are just average age though. Also, if the birthday is later than November, the kid has to wait a year before hitting first grade.

Pre School
Kindergarten- 5 years old

Primary School (Also known as Elementary school)
1st grade- 6yrs; 2nd - 7; 3rd - 8; 4th - 9; 5th - 10

6th grade (11 years old) is sometimes put in primary school, sometimes put with middle school

Middle School
7th grade - 12; 8th - 13

Secondary School (for you Americans, no, we're not going to use the Freshmen/senior levels at high school; it gets too confusing.)
9th - 14; 10th - 15; 11th - 16; 12th -17;

College (Undergraduate)
Freshman year: 18/19; Sophomore year 19/20; Junior year 20/21; Senior year 21/22

It's at the college level that one would get a bachelor's.

Additional, since we all seem to be working around Durham university I thought it would be useful to post a couple of links to give background to the university and city. Some of the history if the university can be found here: This is what Wikipedia has to say about the city:, and try this for photographs of the city:

Grimbold AKA Joseph Stewart.

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Re: The Almost Modern Fantasy

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby miyumi on Wed May 23, 2007 6:17 pm

[ooc]As promised, the link to the profile:

Emily Brown

Emily raced down the stairs, through the kitchen, pecked her mother on the cheek outside by the laundry line, and straight to the mail-box. She opened it, knowing the letter just had to be there. And it was! She raced back inside, the way she had come, then paused to compose herself. She knocked twice on the door to the sitting room, and then entered immediately, the door already being open. Mrs. Curzon looked up, and smiled at her.

So, you've received a letter, have you?

Emily nodded, and Mrs. Curzon gestured towards a chair. Emily handed the envelope to Mrs. Curzon, who took a quick glance at the college, then handed it back to Emily. Emily carefully tore it open, and read it outloud.

Jessica Rowen Elizabeth Curzon. We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted into the mathematical position on scholarship for half of the complete price.

Oh Madam! I can go there, can't I!

The stately woman nodded.

I'll even get you the appropriate dresses. The tutor has requested it for you, it shall be done.

With tears in her eyes, Emily hugged the smiling woman.

Thank you! Thank you so much!

Her mother was at the door, and hugged her as well. The elated girl danced out the door, pranced to the ball room, and twirled her excitement out. Her patron's son came in, and smiled at her twirls. Stepping up, he bowed, and she grinned. They started waltzing playfully, she as oblivious to the looks he gave her as he was to the looks she gave him. He didn't need to ask, he knew what it had to be. She had gotten in to St. Mary's at Durham University.

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Re: The Almost Modern Fantasy

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Grimbold Theoman on Wed May 23, 2007 7:10 pm

Joseph Stewart

With September coming round and a new year starting at University Joseph and his butler, Atkins, were packing for their return to the small flat that he kept near the main buildings of the university close to the Cathedral. He found himself looking forward to the view across the deeply cut river valley with the weir, and the town spread out below and around him. Most of the colleges were centred about the middle of the city and the cathedral itself.

Joseph and the other staff who didn't stay during the long summer holiday all returned a week before the students were due to arrive. There were lots of preparations to make for the next cohort. After the indolence of life in the castle over the summer the return to Durham and work would be a shock. It was last year, his first experience of earning a living. The young man hoped it wouldn't be so bad this time round.

Taking a break from pretending to pack his clothes, he went to the window and looked out over the valley laid out before him. The grouse shooting parties were in full swing the estate was buzzing, it was a good year. He would like to spend more time here, it was where his friends were, the gillies and ground staff. He always got on with them better than his so called peers. Taking out a silver cigarette case out of his jacket pocket he took out a cigarette and concentrating hard for a moment summoned a small flame and lit the it. He didn't really like smoking but somehow it was expected of one, so he felt almost obliged. At least when he was back at the university he could leave his title behind, and with it some of the trappings too.

A gentle cough broke his reverie and he turned to see Atkins his man standing in the doorway.

"Does Sir require me to finish his packing?" he asked his voice dripping with obsequiousness.

"Yes thank you, Atkins."

Atkins was one of the trappings that he could not leave, even if one worked for a living there was no way the son of a Duke was going to get away without having a gentleman's gentleman. And in truth Atkins kept his life in order when he had other things to worry about. Joseph stubbed out the barely started cigarette and left the room. He walked through the castle to the kitchen and out to the estate office to say farewell to Johnson, the estate manager. Having done that he wandered to the front of the castle to look at the view while he waited for Atkins to bring out the cases and the chauffeur to bring the car to take them the 40 miles to the railway station for the trip to Durham.

He was looking forward to getting back, but at the same time regretting leaving the place that was home. He sighed as the old Rolls Royce purred round the corner from the carriage shed where it was kept. Soon they would be on their way.

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Re: The Almost Modern Fantasy

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Edge on Wed May 23, 2007 9:52 pm

Edwin James Blackstone

“Alright lads!” cried the voice of one among many chattering students, not yet back in the dorms.

“Here’s the list. Flasks, bottles, cards, and…. From America, truly yours, popcorn!”

Cheers went up as the American treat was passed around the table. Lightly salted and buttered, the British lads dove their greedy hands in without a second thought.

That was their first mistake.

Moments later, there were desperate calls for water as a single blond boy stood over the gasping group. He grinned at them all, the fat prats that had made his life miserable were now choking on their own misfortune of having messed with Edwin Blackstone. One of the boys, a ruddy young man named Charlie Burns, lashed a hand out to grab Edwin’s ankle.

“What did you spike it with?” Charlie demanded as he choked. Edwin grinned and got down to eye level with Charlie.

“Paprika and chili you twit.”

Edwin said with a sneer. He rose to his feet and walked out of the pub room only to his ears pulled by a strong hand. Edwin whipped around to see a taller man smiling down on him. The tall man’s kind gray eyes caused Edwin to look down in shame.

“Come along Edwin,” the man said, watching the school boys choke on their spiked popcorn.
“You’ve done your deed for today.”

Taking Edwin’s shoulder the man guided the sullen Edwin out to the street.

“Really Edwin, I don’t know what Master Kain would say if he saw that kind of behavior from you.”

The man didn’t sound angry or even displeased. Edwin smiled and looked up at the man.

“Why Hughes! He would ask why I didn’t lace it with rat poison.”

The two laughed. The man, misnamed at birth, Hughes Rowling, took Edwin by the shoulder shaking his head all the while. He had known Edwin as a boy, and in the absence of the Master’s presence at the school, had been appointed to take care of the boy’s welfare. Young, but sickly Hughes had a sweet smile that made many ladies want to care for him. In Edwin's uncalled for opinion the sooner Hughes found a doting wife to care for him the better. But he knew better then to pry into Hughes's past life, there was something there that Edwin felt he should never touch about his friend. He half wondered if Hughes even knew how to love, never having seen him with another woman. No matter, it wasn't his business.

A strong hang guided him sternly around a street corner and deeper into the cobbleston streets, Edwin always felt bad about getting caught by person who had been the kindest to him. But no matter, Hughes’s inexhaustible patience had forgiven him every time.

“Come let’s go to your dorm.” Hughes said in a calm voice.

ooc: Sorry about not having the profile up. It's fixed now.

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Re: The Almost Modern Fantasy

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Nils on Wed May 23, 2007 10:27 pm

Nils Borden

"Och. Has the time to teach come so soon?"

Nils Borden turned in time to spy a professor shuffling past him grumbling under his breath. For a moment Borden thought he was mistaken to be a professor himself. Indeed, with his carefully put-together ensemble--five years out-of-date and smelling of mothballs--he could play the role of the absent-minded professor down to a tee. Except his head was held a bit too high and his stride had a proud lope that betrayed his Oxford breeding. If he were at Cambridge he would have been murdered, but he was at Durham, which contained enough of its own rivalries to overshadow his. Careful to tuck his hat lower onto his face, Borden allowed himself a smile. Most of the students had the luxury of a summer break, but with the neverending deluge of research and projects and conferences, the faculty of Durham University seemed to never have a moment's pause to enjoy balmy days such as this one.

However, the blue sky was marred by a curl of dark smoke emitted near one of the spires of Durham's buildings. The air reeked of smoke and the acrid odor of burning chemicals. As Borden neared the site, to no surprise and even to his delight, he found that the smoke rose from the charred remains of machinery. The burnished metal had been twisted awkwardly in what had been an unsuccessful flight experiment among the Durham mechanical engineering staff, but with a trained eye Borden could discern that they were once part of the graceful boning that formed the wings of an airship. Swarming about the defunct machine, the mechanics put out the fire to salvage what materials they could. Someone had magicked precipitation from the air, but as the water made contact with the hot surfaces, the air grew heavy with steam, obscuring any hope of identifying his personal acquaintances.

Soon, a wavering silhouette of a gangly man emerged from the smoke, wiping off the soot from his goggles, too excited to concentrate to magic the lenses clean. His turban was askew, and his face shined with sweat and dirt. He greeted Borden with a brief handshake.

"Salutations, Mr. Scott."

"Ah, Mr. Bhatta,"
Borden replied identifying the slight Indian lilt in the man's voice, who had also been careful enough to greet him with a different name to thwart prying ears. During the past five years he had worn several names to the bone--Mr. Conroy, Mr. Baker, Mr. Smith, and when he was adventurous Dr. Englebarthlomew. Today Nils Borden was Mr. Scott.

"So which one is it?" asked Borden indicating the crumpled aircraft.

"Gladys," frowned Mr. Bhatta. The aircraft were all identified with women's names of an older time, glamorous, dramatic, and graceful--Isadora, Corinne, Evelyn, Aubrey, Kay. Now women insisted on shortening their names to boyish ones. Winifreds became Freddies, Jessicas became Jessies, Madelines became Matties--a remnant of the Roaring 20's perhaps. "What a disastrous way to ring in the new quarter. For them at least."

"Gladys was one of the larger crafts they were working on wasn't it?"

"The largest. Plenty of spare parts for us."
Mr. Bhatta reached into his turban to extract a smudgy but well-manufactured sprocket, equipment that could only be gained by the universities. He grinned toothily and winked, a Western gesture he picked up during his years as a translator in British India. Borden examined the sprocket. It obviously came from the smoking site they were leaving behind and he grinned as well. "And still more to come. The smoke and steam I accidentally created should give us more time to smuggle the larger parts off campus."

"Well done, Mr. Bhatta."
Borden returned the sprocket to him. "Will you be joining us at the Estate for tea?"

"Certainly, Mr. Scott."

And with that, the two parted ways before they could draw attention to themselves, leaving Borden time to stroll the campus before tea time at the Borden Estate.
Last edited by Nils on Thu May 24, 2007 3:52 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: The Almost Modern Fantasy

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby miyumi on Thu May 24, 2007 9:13 am

As she made her way to the dorm, Emily looked around with wide eyes at all the sights. Friends greeting one another, servants struggling with luggage, smoke rising... smoke rising... was that supposed to happen? She shook her head, and focused on getting her things into her dorm. She was allowed to have her mother help her, under the guise of a servant. Her mother's eyes twinkled at her as she "miss"ed her own daughter.

They carried her bags through the halls and to her room, shared by another girl. Her roommate had not arrived yet, and there was a note saying that she had to leave space for an eventual roommate. Eventual? Meaning she had the room to herself for now? Interesting. All her luggage had the name Jessica; it made her feel special. Her "mother" had been unable to attend. The bursar of the college knew the truth about her, that had come up in the interviews. They had been strictly instructed not to let that get out though; it was a good thing she looked like her father. Whoever the man had been. All her luggage moved in, they closed the door for a bit of privacy.

Be good, Daffy.

Of course I will, mum!

They hugged, wiped tears away. The butler who had driven them knocked, and her mother left, throwing back over her shoulder,

And don't have too much fun! Your mum'd kill me!

Emily laughed and waved, until they were down the hall, then turned her attention to unpacking. Tomorrow, she would get her class schedule and meet her professors. But tonight was her night. Her night to get settled in; her night to meet her peers.

I'm home!

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Re: The Almost Modern Fantasy

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Zaine on Thu May 24, 2007 7:31 pm

Profile Link:

Peter was lost, he looked down at his room number and read the number 403, looking on the walls he read 178. “Gosh darn it, I’ve still got a lot to walk eh?” he said to himself and continued on walking. He lugged his luggage with him, getting tired he dropped his luggage and sighed, running his hand through his blond hair he smiled. Picking up all his stuff he once again began walking.

Peter had been walking for ever; looking back up at the numbers on the door he saw that he was nearing his dorm. He opened up the door dropping all his stuff on the floor he walked over to the bed, dropping onto the bed he sighed again. He was exhausted, getting up he walked over to his stuff, he took out a paper and feather; he began writing to his family. Once he finished he stepped outside the dorm and began searching for somewhere to send his letter, he soon got lost once again. He began wandering around hoping to find some sort of post office soon.
Last edited by Zaine on Fri May 25, 2007 2:04 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Damn ...

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Re: The Almost Modern Fantasy

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Edge on Fri May 25, 2007 12:19 am

An old brick building marked the Men’s dormitory. Ages could have come and gone without a single brick coming out of place. It was apart of the charm of living at the University that Edwin loved. The grounds were full of students with their parents and servants, all engaged with settling down to a life at University. Pops and fizzles from chemistry sets, old clocks being moved from off their fireplace mantels clanging, trunks hovering and bumping into one another as they were unloaded. Edwin stopped to watch, noting the new students. Many would be around his age finally, and a few older. He grinned, yet he would have seniority over all of them. He had earned his BMA with a few notes of sour comments from the staff.

Hughes stopped as well, his expression utterly content, almost serene. Edwin wished he had one of those new fangled cameras to capture the moment. There was just something about Hughes that always caught his attention. Then the movement was broken with a spasm of deep coughs. Hughes was no longer serene, rather he looked ill again. From the hankercheif in Hughes’s hand, Edwin caught the red colour that stained the cloth.

“Come along now.”

The words were simple, but Edwin knew it was a command to follow. He looked at the last of the black trunks hovering over the grass and kicked one causing a chain reaction of trucks scattering. The curses of the porters echoed and Hughes clouted the young man over the head before whisking the boy away to the Men’s dorms. If the outside was busy, the brick building that was the Men’s dorms was catastrophic. Men barks orders amid smoke and steam. Trunks rammed into other trunks, curses soared through the servant’s back passages and tight halls. Young men tried to make their voices heard over the bustle as their fathers bellowed out orders to servants who were heaving furniture and equipment lockers.

Hughes swept through the crowd with a given ease, some of the ports almost mistaking Hughes for a girl for his figure was almost as slender as one. Edwin was quick to follow. Up the stairs they went, the noise growing fainter and fainter till it was nothing but a low hum. Hughes opened a door. The two stepped in. Edwin looked around in pleasure.

Room 267 was a larger room then what most students got. That was due to the fact that no one wanted to live up here. In the winters it would be cold and drafty, and in the spring it would leak. But it was paradise to the young man. The factory windows were dirty and needed washing, and the exposed copper and lead piping would need treatment…. But to Edwin, the real prize was that it had a real workspace. A long workbench for his pleasure alone; for no other bed was in the room. Who else would want to live here? But what Edwin didn’t notice was that the room was bigger then he first thought. There was a half wall that showed the room was a double room.

“I’m sure your roommate will be here shortly.” Hughes said as he sat down, cloth pressed to his face. Edwin’s face fell. But the young man didn’t have time to pout, a porter with a trunk came bustling by, his fat face red and sweaty. He didn’t speak, he just shoved the hovering trunk forward and bide the two good day as all was in good order. Edwin tackled the trunk, Hughes watched with his mysterious smile. Instruments were handled with care as Edwin set up his little shop of horrors. Clothes however were another matter. School uniforms were thrown over the floor. Silently Hughes picked up the clothes and put them away neatly, every once in a while a coughing spasm tore the silence. But at every spasm, Edwin’s determination to save his friend from the terrible illness grew.

“I must leave you now.” Hughes said softly. “The Master will require me at home I will report to him that you are safe and settled in… Oh and Edwin…”

Edwin looked up.

“You know where to find me in the town. Please behave this year. We don’t want to hear any announcements for early retirement stemming from your actions.” Wit that, Hughes stood at the door and Edwin rushed forward to deliver a very affectionate hug and receive the costmary kiss on the cheek that families give. Hughes smiled and patted Edwin on the head like he had when the young man was a child.

“I’ll do my best!” Edwin declared much to the amusement of Hughes, who was already a shadow in the dimly lit hallways.

“Alright! Now to explore my courses…” Edwin pulled from his coat a list.

“Professor Grumblebutt in the morning…. Dr. Jackass right before lunch…. Joseph Stewart…” Edwin paused, “I haven’t had him so he’s on the good list… Oh! I got Dr. Albert again! Yes!” Fond memories flooded Edwin’s mind. The kooky old man was one of Master Kain’s former teachers and treated Edwin every once in a while to see what secrets or projects he was working on. But Edwin loved the old man for another reason; Dr. Albert was not against having fun. Often duped a old fellow, ready for a quiet retirement, Dr. Albert was a man who was indeed a figure who knew everything about the campus at any given time.

Edwin ran down the steps and out into the hallways, he was FREE!

“Maybe I should check out Stewart’s classroom… See if he’s in… Maybe the staff won’t have time to warn him I’m in his class!”

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Re: The Almost Modern Fantasy

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Grimbold Theoman on Fri May 25, 2007 3:03 am

OOC: I am sorry to upset you Edwin, but Stewart does not teach, he is merely a technician and he assists in demonstrations, setting up practicals, and with research staff if they require parts machined in the laboratories machine shop. I have also added a few links to the end of the introduction post to give those not familiar with Durham some idea of the place.

The luggage was loaded into the old Rolls Royce and Joseph sat in the back with Atkins in the front next to the driver they set off on the drive to the station. Once there the baggage was split: most being held back for another train it would go by freight, the two men took only light hand baggage containing what they would need for the first few days while the rest caught up with them. They had to make three changes of train and manhandling all luggage from one train to another was not practical. The two settled into the first class compartment of the train and did all the things people do to while away a train journey. Reading the paper, discussing the news, worrying over the apparent expansionist speeches of one Adolf Hitler recently elected to the chancellorship of Germany. They made their changes and arrived at Durham station late in the day.

The station was heaving with students returning early from the summer break, accompanied by servants and parents. It was the same every year and Joseph silently vowed again to come back a few days early next year to avoid the crush. He and Atkins took their bags and took the twenty minute walk to their home for the rest of the university year.

Joseph handed his things to Atkins and turned to head to the university administration buildings. He had to report to the Chancellor and see what work needed doing for the first of the lectures and classes this year. Usually there was little to do for the first week or so, everyone was too busy settling in, sorting out timetable clashes, and for most of the students getting roaring drunk in the many public houses around the university.

As he was the senior technician for the Magical research department most of what he did would be to administer the other technicians but there was always the odd professor or lecturer who would demand his services for some classes and more complex demonstrations.

The Chancellor was busy, he always was at this time of year, but took time to greet Joseph back to work.

"Good afternoon my lord." In spite of Joseph's attempts to stop him the Chancellor always seemed to take pleasure in emphasising his title. Joseph worked hard at hiding his position from his colleagues and the students, but the Chancellor had his own contacts and knew who just about everyone was.

"Thank you Chancellor, but please I have asked you many times to not use that title sir. I am going to my office to start sorting the staff out for the start of term. I just called in to let you know I was back at work, Sir."

"Of course, my lord. Your status is known only to me. I shall see you at top table for the first dinner of the year of course."

The Chancellor always insisted on his attendance of all the university dinners, it was not an onerous task, the meals were excellent and the university kept a marvellous cellar.

"Of course Chancellor, but I must go, I have work to do."

Joseph was never sure that the Chancellor's quip about his status was not a threat, almost as if were he to rock the boat in any way the Chancellor might let it out. Joseph certainly was always extremely careful to accede to the requests of the Chancellor.

He walked to his office in his department and spent a couple of hours sorting out rotas and ensuring all the jobs would be done before returning to his home. Atkins had produced an excellent dinner, as usual. They ate and after dinner Joseph took an early night ready for the first day of term tomorrow.

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Re: The Almost Modern Fantasy

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby LordSaladin on Fri May 25, 2007 4:38 am

Arthur George Maze

The morning was good as Arthur Maze stepped out of the mansion he had recently bought near to Durham. Compared to his main abode, the mansion, Trickett House, was small. A building with a half acre of land, six bedrooms, two sitting rooms, a kitchen and dining room along with a double garage. However, it was comfortable, the furniture that had been included in the price was slightly old fashioned, but served its purpose well.

Walking down the ten steps slowly, a walking stick in his left hand assisting him in the task, the white haired man smiled as he lifted his head to face the sky, breathing in deeply; the cool morning air filling his lungs made him feel good as he smiled, his already wrinkled face gaining more creases as he did so. A gentle mist covered the valley, and as he looked across the panoramic view in front of him, he felt content. Mornings like this always made him feel happy; the mist was beautiful as the rising sun cut through it, creating a watery glow in the valley.

Reaching the steps just as the chauffeured Rolls pulled up in front of the house, Arthur opened the door and awkwardly sat down in the rear seat, on the opposite side of the driver. Wincing slightly, he hated the fact that his body was not as supple as it used to be. Sure, he knew that he still had quite a bit of physical strength, his muscles showed that, but he was beginning to get stiff, and that annoyed him.

His mind was still as sharp as it had ever been, and unlike many his age, he had no problems with memory, nor did he suffer any other age related illnesses. Except for the stiffness in his body. As he shuffled in the leather seat to get comfortable, he cast a warm, genuine smile at the man who would be driving him to Durham today.

"Let's go."

Even his voice belied his age, unusually strong, and carried a warm, caring tone, those tenor vocals hinting slightly at his Yorkshire background. Friendly, definitely friendly, but to some that friendliness came across as condescending. It was, to those people, as though Mr. Maze of Maze Borden Industries looked down upon the people, considering them less than human. They felt his friendliness was much like the love a man gave to a rather stupid, but much beloved pet dog. Arthur always proclaimed that was not the case.

As the car began to move, Arthur allowed his thoughts to drift away from more important matters, to the new investment he would be visiting today. Durham University. Indeed, it had certainly been an investment of gargantuan proportions; a full one million pounds, and he had paid for the administration costs for processing that vast amount of money, to ensure that the full amount was given in its entirety to the University. In return they had promised to name a lecture hall after him, which was not what he had expected.

However, he knew that the investment had been worth every single penny, not just for the good it would do for the university and the level of education offered there, but also for reasons known only to a few people knew. Plans that had been laid in place for many, many years, many times more than a million pounds being spent on their implementation, the investments would all finally bring forth their returns now, much to his pleasure.

Allowing a heartfelt chuckle to fill the otherwise silent car, Arthur rubbed his hands together eagerly as a shiver of anticipation ran down his back.

"It's a bloody good day, take the quick route to the University"

His voice was full of excitement as the driver muttered an affirmative, and turned down a side lane, Arthur knew this would lead them to the University in approximately half an hour.

For the duration of that journey, Arthur allowed his thoughts to wander almost aimlessly through various different subjects; manufacturing times and contracts, account figures, plans for new airships, and various other plans and projects.

As the Rolls finally pulled up in front of the University, a single project came to the forefront of the old man's mind. And as he looked at the main University building, he smiled, knowing that final preparations and stages for that most important of projects were finally starting, and that soon the preparations would be over.

Then, there would be a new beginning.

Opening the door of the car to step out onto the pavement, Arthur began to walk the two hundred yard distance to the main entrance of the University. Forcing his back straight, a genuine smile adorned his face as he looked at the many young students bustling with bags and suitcases and other things expected of those beginning a new year of expanding the mind. Most would give glances towards the aged man dressed in a dark brown suit with a matching tie, and polished shoes of the same hue, others would stop and whisper with friends staring blatantly at the man. It was public knowledge throughout the country that Arthur Maze, airship tycoon and lover of education had given the great amount of money to the University. That coupled with his already established fame meant that he would be noticed by any who laid eyes upon him.

And despite the unwanted attention, he allowed his smile to stay, and gave small, friendly nods to those who passed him, offering a 'Good Morning' to those who returned the smile. Indeed, right now, he was happy.

A million pounds? What was that amount of money when compared to this feeling?
Last edited by LordSaladin on Tue May 29, 2007 5:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Almost Modern Fantasy

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Edge on Fri May 25, 2007 2:55 pm

Edwin rushed across campus trying to find Stewart’s classroom, but as he wandered the halls he became more confused. Wasn’t Stewart teaching? Finally Edwin turned and found one of the few friends he had on the campus. Jack Sutton, or Jackstraw, was one of the few people Edwin felt he could trust enough with his back. Edwin smiled to the half Scot, who tipped his hat and glided towards Edwin with an uncanny grace. Jackstraw was popular, smart, well connected and from a well to do family. The problem was, like most second sons, Jackstraw was bored. Having Edwin as a friend was merely another asset in his mind, Edwin didn’t mind. Jackstraw, with his poker face, dismissive attitude, and calm voice had gotten him out of trouble more then once with the staff. Edwin stopped to ask where he could find the elusive Stewart classroom.

“Edwin, when will you learn to read things properly? There isn’t a teacher by that name.” Jackstraw said with a sniff as he watched a pair of pretty girls walk by. He was shaking his head as Edwin drew out his paper, the girls long gone around a corner.

“But it’s right here!” Edwin cried as he waved the class schedule in front of Jackstraw, who snatched it out of the shorter man’s hand. His eyes scanned over the paper, and then narrowed.

“There’s a mistake… He’s a technician… Ah! I see where the mistake is. The names got switched around. You see Edwin, Stewart is the recommended technician to go to if you have some mechanical problems… Professor Hawthorn is the teacher. Yes… shoddy office work. Some new secretary must have mixed this up. Poor lass, she probably didn’t know better… Oh? Da Vinci's concepts again? Come now… The study of Might and Magic? Don’t you ever give up? You have a talent for magic, why try and explain it? And what's this? Einstein? What has physics got to do with you?”

Edwin sighed, already tired of being scolded by Jackstraw, “Einstein’s theories are on somewhere on the mark, I just know it. I don’t care what Germany says about him, I think he’s got something with the integration of physics and magical instruments.”

“You keep your concepts to yourself. There are some who think he’s gone off the deep end. Besides, there are plenty of German sympathizers as well who will soon as kill you if you spoke out against their new leader.”

But Edwin's attention had already shifted, he held no interest in politics.
“Who’s that?”

The boys froze and looked out on the grounds. A strange man in a brown suit was walking across the grounds, free and as friendly as you please. There was something about that stride that bothered Edwin, like he should know who it was. Clearly Jackstraw knew, for his mouth was slightly forming the name on his lips.

“Maze… It’s Mr. Maze himself. My, my, Edwin, one mad man for another eh? He’s donated more money that an American businessman can hope to see in his lifetime.” Jackstraw watched Mr. Maze carefully.

“Yes, he’s very interested in Magical arts and all that.” Giving a side glance at Edwin, Jackstraw grinned,

“Maybe he’s after your school records, or looking for your mystery master…”

Edwin gave a stout punch into Jackstraw’s bony arm.

“Shove off… He has no reason, he’s an airship man.”

“Funnier things have happed.” Jackstraw said in a wispy tone, gliding away again as the bells tolled out from the church. Edwin sighed and went out to the grounds, found a clear place to sit and watched the bustle of the crowd. A small orb of light dancing through his fingers before going back into a pocket watch Edwin carried, mulling over Jackstraw’s words.

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Re: The Almost Modern Fantasy

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby LordSaladin on Fri May 25, 2007 7:59 pm

The bustle surrounding the University reminded Arthur Maze of his younger days, both as a student and a lecturer at Oxford. This time of year was always so busy in such establishments, and he was somehow surprised that he had forgotten this. But, again, his presence now was a good thing; it showed he stayed true to his word that he would play an active part in his new investment. Which, of course, he intended to do wholeheartedly.

He was intending to first go to the Chancellor's office and speak with him on various subjects that would be considered important; it was most important to gain rapport with those at the University. Being in business as long as he had, Arthur was perfectly aware that conversing about matters of interest to the customer would easily build that rapport.

Despite having invested so much in the establishment of Durham University, something that was generally unheard of, the white haired man had taken little effort in familiarising himself with the layout and structure of the University. That, he had left to his companions.

It was then that the solution appeared in front of him. A skinny, vacant looking boy was walking directly towards him, seemingly lost in his own thoughts. Arthur reached out , grasping the boy's arm firmly with a wrinkly, knotted, but strong right hand.

"Lad, can you escort me to the Chancellor's office?"

Despite his words being that of a question, it was obvious that Arthur wasn't really asking. Not that he was arrogant, far from it. The warm smile given to the boy was genuine, Arthur just carried that air of command naturally. Most likely due to his being in charge of such a large organisation as Maze Borden Industries, he was used to giving commands and having them carried out quickly.

The young chap seemed to change in demeanour quickly, his vacant look disappearing as he turned to look at the aged businessman. He returned the smile, and it was unknown if it was genuine, but that did not matter to Arthur.

"Ah! Mr. Maze! Yes, I will certainly escort you, it will be an honour."

Holding out his hand, the young man certainly seemed genuine.

"Jack Sutton, sir. Nice to meet you,"

Arthur laughed fully now at the respect given to him by the young man, surprised that the young still had respect; especially students. The laugh subsiding, Arthur gripped Jack's hand and shook it, also surprised at the firmness of this skinny lad's returning shake.

"Let me get this right, lad. Sutton Corporation?"

"Yes. Well, it is my uncle's company. I don't know too much about it."

Arthur nodded at this, but observed the boy carefully, somehow, it appeared that young Jack Sutton was not quite telling the whole truth, he knew at least something about his uncle's business, Arthur knew that. Maze Borden Industries had placed Sutton Corp. in their employ some time ago, to serve as transport for the company. And although never meeting the man who owned the company, Arthur had heard that Mr. Sutton was very much a family man.

"Well, let us proceed to the Chancellor's office, Jack, I have quite a bit to discuss."

Arthur's Yorkshire accent was certainly thick, but his word were easily understood, the aged man speaking with a distinct clarity irrespective of his accent.

And so, with his words spoken, he played true to them by resuming his approach towards the main entrance of the University. A strange excitement was filling him right now, anticipation mixed with the knowledge that soon it would begin.

Jack was following almost instantly, and upon reaching the door, he opened it for Mr. Maze, which was returned with a "Thank you, Mr. Sutton" and a warm smile. Continuing towards the Chancellor's office, Jack smiled at the old man; somewhat surprised that he was being referred to as 'Mister' by one of such fame and status.

"Most people call me Jackstraw, Mr. Maze."

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Re: The Almost Modern Fantasy

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby miyumi on Tue May 29, 2007 2:09 pm

After her mother left, Emily closed all doors and curtains, locking herself in her room with no way to see in. She didn't want anyone to see her acting quite obviously like she had newly-risen to her present station. She made up her bed first, lovingly stroking the embroidered pillow she had been given. She unpacked quickly; gasping as she realized that she could go a whole month without wearing the same thing twice. Literally, she had that many shoes, dressed, coats. It was a little overwhelming, but she realized that it was normal. At least, normal for a person of the station she was claiming. She hoped she could really pull this off.

Once she was unpacked, she went out, making sure to lock the door securely behind her. She had a map and a list of rooms, times, and professors. She had marked in red the classrooms she would be visiting, and in green the offices of the profs she would be studying under. She resolved to visit everything at first as she came upon it, and then visit all her classes in the order she would need to go there. First up on her list was the office of the Calculus professor, Dr. Taylor. Reminding herself to walk with her head high, she set out.

On her way there, she was accosted by a small group of young men. There were only four, but it seemed like a lot more to her. They were loud and not looking where they were going, and one of them seemingly bumped into her at random.

Hey, watch where you're going, sweetums.

I'm sorry, maybe you should try looking with your eyes instead of your temple.

She had been practicing this, and could tell these students were freshmen, like she was. She knew the student hierarchy. One of the boys jeered at the one who had bumped into her, and they started picking on him in front of her. They kept coming closer though, and pretty soon she was backed into a wall. One of the boys swerved suddenly, using his hands to pin her shoulders to the cold, hard bricks behind her.

Listen missy, I don't know what town you come from, but around here, we are rulers. So you'd better watch what you say, or I'll make you regret it.

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Re: The Almost Modern Fantasy

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby LordSaladin on Wed May 30, 2007 5:54 am

Walking along the corridors, Arthur remained generally silent, as did Jackstraw. Through a maze of corridors they travelled in their journey towards the Chancellor's office. Arthur was not particularly looking forward to his meeting with the Chancellor, but knew that it was necessary to further his plans and ideals. The raport that would be gained today would surely place the foundations.

It was as the pair turned a corner that the old man decided that the world was certainly losing the most basic of civilities. Walking into the next corridor, Arthur was certain that he would not be able to find his way back out of the building unguided. But, that was not what troubled the white haired businessman, it was the view of a group of young lads surrounding a rather pretty girl, the manner of the boys speaking of hostility.

Seeing one of them press her shoulders to the wall, he quickened his pace, Mister Sutton leaving his mind now. He walked briskly, the sound of his walking stick upon the ground was a fast, rhythmic beating, matching his steps perfectly. The attention of the boys was obviously entirely on the young lady in the nice dress, for they did not hear his approach at all.

With them in a semi-circle around the woman, it was easy for Arthur to place his hand upon the shoulder of the one who had pushed her against the wall. His grip was solid and strong, despite wrinkled and slightly twisted hands.

"Now then, you little shit, what do you think you're doing?"

His background as a middle class man came to the forefront as he used an expletive, also a sign of his anger at the obvious disrespect these young men had for women.

All the lads turned their attention to the old man, initially their faces all showed irritation and anger, but almost instantly, with realisation kicking in, the looks upon their faces would turn to surprise and shock, with whispers of "Arthur Maze" and "Mr. Maze". But once again, after a few moments of whisperings, each to himself, they each turned fully to Arthur Maze now.

"And what are you going to do, Mr. Maze?"

It was the one who had pushed the girl against the wall who spoke now. Arthur said nothing, but simply placed a hand inside the brown suit jacket that was covering his slim body. Hopefully unseen to both the woman and Jack Sutton was the handle of a Smith and Wesson revolver, a tool that Arthur always carried with him. As expected, the young men all scarpered at that. Replacing the gun into its holster, Arthur turned his attention to the girl now, careful that she wouldn't see it.

"Are you okay?"

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Re: The Almost Modern Fantasy

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby miyumi on Wed May 30, 2007 4:10 pm

OOC: I actually have some very specific ideas about this math prof... maybe enough to turn her into a real character

She didn't notice the man until his hand was on the boy's shoulder. She shrank back against the wall, then she heard the boy's mutterings. Maze? Maze himself was here? Not only that, but defending her? Barely before she had time to properly take it in and recover, the boys were gone and he was making sure she was alright. You're a noble, remember that. A hint of blush turned her cheeks pink, offsetting the periwinkle color of her dress.

I'm fine, thank you.

She gave a small curtsy, then hurried away, not wanting any conversation with the older nobles just yet. As she wove her way through the crowd, she did what she could to avoid pretty well everyone. Her first stop was the maths professor, Dr. Taylor.

Her first impression of Dr. Taylor was seeing a short-haired woman dressed in a black leather jacket, a matching skirt, and combat boots staring intently at some sort of problem on the chalk board that covered one wall of the professor's office. The woman turned around, first startled, then pleased, to see her. She actually remembered her from the interview, and hinted that one day she expected Emily to take her place. She insisted that all the students called her Jo, and "Jessica" should do the same, but the closest Emily felt comfortable with was Dr. Jo. She shrugged, and took that, brushing some of the bright orange hair out of her eyes. There was no way that was her natural hair color.

Her second stop had been the Magical Research prof. That man had seemed quite kind past the briskness with which he quizzed her on her knowledge of the magical arts. He was satisfied with her grasp of theory, and a touch disappointed that she appeared to have no aptitude for magic at all. His quick pace had left her dizzy and with absolutely no recollection of what he or his office looked like, but an absolute surety that she would recognize him no matter where they should meet again. Rather, no impression of his office other than it was full of books and papers.

Third stop was the physics professor, who had seemed very distracted. Emily doubted he had heard a single word she said the entire time; he had only answered her with grunts and the occasional short, three-word sentence. She couldn't for the life of her figure out what he was doing, seemingly drawing in the air. She didn't know that this was usual for him. The slightly chubby man had a very hands-on memory, and had a blackboard etched in his mind.

The last prof was a history prof, and she left that office quickly. This tall, slender, imposing figure had snapped at her for bothering him, and in general made her feel like she would drop out of college within a week. This puzzled her because she had overheard another student talking about how great professor Triole was. Almost in tears, she walked slowly to the last office, that of the technician, Joseph Stewart. She wanted to be composed when she got there.

He surprised her by responding to her tentative knock by inviting her in and offering her tea. In their conversation, she discovered that he had enjoyed Dr Jo's class as much as she expected to. She also discovered that he was usually bothered by people for the sole purpose of doing something, making or fixing things. She was invited to return, and had left with the promise that she would. She made her way to the mess hall, ate dinner rather quickly, then headed to her room.

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Re: The Almost Modern Fantasy

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Edge on Wed May 30, 2007 11:59 pm

Edwin lay on his back dozing on the grass, the breezes passing over him He was glad to be back in place where he felt the safest. Dusk fell over Edwin as he opened his eyes to the early stars. Smiling, he sat up and then brushed himself off. He heard the chattering of the other students, their voices just as eager as he was to start lessons. The world was good and whole as velvet night came and Edwin couldn’t help but explain it as a time when all was good with the world. He spread his hands wide and his fingers even wider as he tilted his head back. Soft glows of light came off his fingers tips. Like tiny blue fire flies the small glowing orbs went all over the open space where Edwin stood, the lights leaving his finger tips to float around him, the very center. In Edwin's mind, he was surrounded by the glowing stars above.

It was a small reminder of his earliest memory with his Master. His master creating these small orbs and then releasing them for him to chase as the summer nights wore on as Hughes would stand in the doorway watching with a faint smile. Over the years Edwin had learned the secret of the orbs, just minor masses of energy that were released over a controlled period, but he never forgot the wonder they still held for him. Sighing Edwin decided he would go off to the dorms.

He didn’t regret coming in late at all. It was worth it to have a few moments of his past come back to him. Yawning, Edwin flopped onto his bed, barely listening to the shuffle of other students below and around him. Closing his eyes Edwin dreamed of tomorrow.

And tomorrow would be filled with scouting for his newest exploits.

Edwin would be awaken with a gentle shake from the house maid as she went to the fireplace and stroked the fire. Then she left as Edwin sat up, still more then half asleep… Edwin sat up all for a full minute and then fell backwards fast asleep.

The clocks in the room ticked, and the bed over the half wall was no longer empty. Jackstraw had been reassigned to this room at his request, having disliked his roommate intensely. Jackstraw slept on the other half of the room, his things were laid out much more neatly then Edwin's. A mark of silent protest that because he was in a lower ranking dorm room, he would not have to live like it.

Edwin’s books were on the shelf but it looked like he had just thrown them in… But there was something else the student brought with him. A small black box with silver designs all over it sat on the workbench, ready to be looked over; a gift from his master. To Edwin, he called it, “Pandora’s box” for he couldn’t open it, and the curiosity ate at him from within. Some books and scrolls splattered across the workbench gave some hints as to what was inside but to Edwin, he took the research with a great pinch of salt.

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Re: The Almost Modern Fantasy

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby miyumi on Wed Jun 06, 2007 9:08 am

She woke up way too early. The dinning hall wouldn't even be open yet. Slipping out of her dorm room, she made her way to a large field. I'll just practice with the katana while I wait... She planned out her day while she walked. They weren't allowed weapons, so she found herself a stick of the right length and weight. Taking stance, she started with the seven sacred cuts. Half an hour later, she headed back to the dorm and jumped in the shower. That didn't take long, but by the time she was done, she could head over to breakfast. Her first class started shortly after breakfast was to begin, so she took her own bowl, scooped breakfast in, and headed to class.

She was the first one there, as she expected to be. She readied her pens and her paper, then ate neatly while other students came in slowly. Ten minutes after class was supposed to start, Dr. Jo walked in, placed her mug on the table, and walked back out again. Some of the students exchanged looks. Emily kept on reading. It was a book that had been recently made into a motion picture, called All Quiet on the Western Front, and she was completely enthralled with it. So completely enthralled that she almost missed the start of class seven minutes later. Emily was saved from that horrible fate by Dr. Jo placing a hand on her shoulder as she passed by.

Alright people, lets see what you remember. Easy stuff first. Robert! What is the Pythagorean Theorum?

With the tiny boy's stammered answer of a squared plus b squared equals c squared, the class began. Dr. Jo shot questions at the students, and they replied. If they didn't know the answer, she invited other students to come up to the board and show the answer. For the tougher ones, she would let the person work it out on the board, and let the others give hints. Jokes were inserted wherever she found an opening, and soon the students were tossing them out too. Emily was torn between hiding in a corner and joining in the fun- but not for long. Dr. Jo didn't let her hide, throwing her one of the hard ones at the board. After the hour-long class (that had been shortened to fourty-five minutes), Dr. Jo disappeared into her office. Emily hesitated a moment before carefully knocking on the door. A weary voice answered her.

Come in.

Tentatively, Emily opened the door, and stepped inside. The professor's face lit up.

Jessica! Come in! Come in! Have a chair! How'd you like your first class?

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Re: The Almost Modern Fantasy

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Nils on Wed Jun 06, 2007 7:44 pm

It was morning, first day of term.

Borden eased his way across the campus going largely unnoticed. To the students he could have been a parent, a guardian, or a faculty member.

He spotted a tallish man, who strolled gracefully, if a bit haltingly, through the bustle. In a few moments Borden caught up with him. They nodded curtly, recognizing each other, stepped briskly, and conversed in low tones.

"How is it, my dear sir?" Borden asked.

"I'm coping, thank--." A hacking cough stopped him short and he was quick to hide the blood that had appeared on his handkerchief. "As far as I know, they suspect it is only a touch of bronchitis."

Borden remained silent, allowing the gentleman to collect himself. He was a man of great composure, and Borden respected that.

After the man stopped coughing, he continued without even a trace of a grimace and looked Borden in the eye,
"I... may need some looking after. When will Mr. Bhatta be able to examine my... dilemma?"

Borden eyed him and the bloodied handkerchief. The man's gentle drollness contrasted with the serious situation of his health. Borden replied, "I just saw him a moment ago. If you would join us for tea at the Estate perhaps you can make an appointment with him."

A small somber smile appeared on the man's kind face but his gray eyes turned steelier. "Ah yes, I thought I recognized that turban of his. And I saw the commotion at the facility, all up in smoke... are those the parts you'll be using on me?" He laughed a bit.

Borden chuckled with him, and without another word, they parted ways.

Forgoing the private chauffeured taxi, Borden took the longer, more common way home. Although the scenery of the university was nicely bucolic, Borden was once more struck with a thought he had not had since his short stay at the Oxford of his college years. He could not help but think that stepping onto the Durham campus, or Oxford, or any other university for that matter, was like stepping into a bubble. Its classrooms within the ancient walled buildings seemed to shield the university populace from the outer world. Among the lovely landscaping, the inspiring architecture--no doubt funded in part by donations from a good portion of the richer families of its bustling student body--it was simple to forget that beyond the school lay the grimy streets teeming with the proletariat and factories belching industrial waste.

Magic and technology was not so clean-cut in those outer parts unlike in the sheltered laboratories of the universities. The increasingly controversial integration of magic and technology was progressing quickly out of necessity--war. Especially with the bloody gleam of war on the horizon, the universities were slow to pick up. It did not help that research was exclusively limited to these institutions, no matter how revered, resource-rich and well-funded they were. Scientists and inventors, people with vision, were thus forced to turn elsewhere.

Perhaps the progress was obstructed by morals. Understandably, a professor could not possibly get their hands bloodied in dirty research. Pressing their own politics onto their students was another problem. Perhaps universities refused to tarnish their reputations for sponsoring controversial research. Even though techno-magical innovations eventually had found their way on the path of progress, in the end, it was all politics.

Perhaps progress was obstructed by decades of parochial academia, too mired in their tunnel-vision of tradition. And how, Borden remembered, how his lip curled at the stranglehold that academia held on technological and magical innovation. What was the point of learning when he could be doing?

This was why he had dropped out of Oxford. Had it not been for meeting his dear wife Clarice Maze at Oxford, he would not have even completed his first year. Perhaps things had indeed changed, but Borden and society had already changed many, many years ago--in fact, by picking up on this change Borden quietly helped make a business out of it; he had become richer and his closest associates had become wealthy, lucratively wealthy.

A dammed river would overflow its banks as the water seeks another direction to flow. And if the dam were not sturdy enough, the river would simply and eventually burst through. At any rate, for any progress in techno-magical innovation to occur, progress was forced to occur in... alternative avenues.

"A ride, sir?"

Borden's thoughts scattered. Lifting his hat, he looked up from the cobble-stoned street into the lined, dirty face of a commoner, who was guiding a small horse-drawn taxi. In response, he nodded simply, proffered a few bills, and from there hitched a ride back to the estate.

Through the window, Borden watched the steam and smoke laden streets of the city jostle past. Ladies in their cloche hats and clean-cut fashions, occasionally twirling a parasol. Bakers and butchers at their posts. The greasy mechanic wiping his hands on a soiled cloth while jittery mechanical children's toys circled his feet.

And among the bustling masses, he knew, there were people with their hats pulled close to their faces to hide the metallic gleam of their eye, with their bodies bundled up in bulky trench coats to disguise the stiff lope of their legs, curiously gleaming like brass, catching the light from under the hem of their britches.

After an hour's ride, Borden asked the driver to stop. He would walk the rest of the way from the outskirts of the city to where the pointed rooftops of his estate joined the dark peaks of the forest that clustered at the horizon.

There, at the Borden estate, he would wait until midnight for his compatriots, Mr. Bhatta and the company of others. They were all very dear and important to him and his cause, a cause in the same vein as those "alternative avenues of progress." And so, "tea" was always held at midnight, under the cover of darkness.

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Re: The Almost Modern Fantasy

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby LordSaladin on Fri Jun 08, 2007 7:27 pm

Sat once more in the Rolls, Arthur looked back on the events of the day. In truth, it had been quite boring for the man. Tedious, even. But it was necessary.

The strange girl who had been intimidated by the group of lads perplexed her. But, she was truly irrelevant at this point. The thing that mattered was that she wasn't hurt at all. The conversation wit the Chancellor, however, was a different story.

That was what made the day tedious. A two hour long conversation, listening to what the Chancellor had planned for the upcoming academic year, his hopes, what he was going to use the million pounds on. Arthur made an attempt to seem interested, and seemed to be successful. The Chancellor had ended on terms considered as good, a shake of the hand and a "Come see me again, Arthur. I like your company." Arthur smiled slightly at that. Happy that things were going well.

Now, back in the Rolls, events seeming to go as planned, Arthur Maze looked out at the scenery around him. It was beautiful. As would be the night. He was travelling towards the Borden Estate. It was the night when he would see his son-in-law for tea. Among various other friends. Although, those friends would arrive quite a bit later than he would.

Time was certainly on the side of everyone. Plans would not unfold overnight, and every day there was news of new innovations in using magic and technology together. New devices, new ideas for Arthur.

He had heard someone speak of the Austrian fellow, Adolf Hitler, the leader of the National Socialist political party in Germany had gained a position similiar to that of the British Prime Minister. Arthur wondered what that would mean for the world. Would Germany once more pose a threat to the people of the world, as they had done during the Great War? This Mr. Hitler certainly seemed not quite sane, and was an obviously power hungry fellow.

Although, Arthur knew well of his ideals, he never voiced his opinions on them.

After some time, the Rolls finally entered the heavily vegetated forest that housed the Borden Estate. The road that served as the approach to the house was rough, and winding. Quite an uncomfortable ride for the old man. The jolts caused pain to travel through his body, up his spine.

Finally, after what seemed an eternity, but was in reality only twenty minutes, the car pulled into the main area in front of the house.

The gravel covered opening was coated in leaves, golden, red and yellow shades like a beautiful collage upon the ground. A usual sight in autumn, it was something that Arthur always enjoyed seeing. Then, the car stopped, directly in front of the large house. Arthur looked at the old house with a certain sadness.

The once beautiful building, consisting of a tall main section, and several towering ramparts, was now in a state of disrepair. Thick, dark green ivy covered most of the building, the windows were mostly dirty, dusty affairs, curtains drawn, the colour faded through age. Occasionally, the dirty of cloth of thin curtains could be seen flapping from within the building where windows had been broken. The main door was a heavy oak affair, that too, was faded in colour.

Shaking his head, Arthur decided he would perhaps mention this to Nils. It was quite disgraceful. However, he had no idea how the house would be able to be renovated whilst keeping hidden the secrets hiding therein.

Waiting inside the car, Arthur knew his much loved son-in-law would be coming out shortly. No-one entered the Borden estate without Nils knowing.

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Re: The Almost Modern Fantasy

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Nils on Fri Jun 08, 2007 8:52 pm

"National Socialism Rises to Power in Germany." Borden considered the headline splashed across the top of the newspaper he was reading. It was something he had picked up during his stroll through the city. Turning the page, he reclined in a tattered leather easy chair, his legs propped up on the table before him. Nearby a kettle bubbled gently on a stray bunsen burner and the pleasant smell of coffee wafted through the dim room. He was reading by the light of a few rickety electric lights that were strung across the ceiling. No sunlight would reach these quarters, for there were no windows down here. And according to the old cuckoo clock by the door to the stairs that lead to the upper floors, evening was approaching fast.

The cuckoo clock chirped. It had been enchanted to announce the presence of anyone at the front gates. A small figurine bird popped out of the clock face. It was one figurine bird out of many others, and on its wooden chest was etched the initials "A. M."

Even without looking at it, Borden knew who it was the figurine bird represented. Outsiders rarely ventured onto the Borden Estate. Five years had faded away any of the old Borden intrigue. They were too long gone from the spotlight. The journalists had long since lost interest in the incident with the Borden boy and the state of the Estate. Not even tourists bothered with this relic of the past now that society was speeding onto more modern things.

Going to answer the front gate himself, Borden strode across the length of the room toward the stairs. His steps echoed off of the various tables on which were strewn gyroscopes, tools, blueprints. It was rather crowded, but everything was shoved into one side to make room for the massive object that stood at the other end of what used to be an underground hangar. It was covered with a vast white sheet through which one would see the graceful outlines of an airship. Another corner was roped off, another sheet curtaining what lay behind it from view.

He heard the whistle of the kettle of coffee go off behind him as he was half way up the stairs. It was too late to go back and turn off the bunsen burner, and he did not want to keep his father-in-law waiting.

Through the wrought iron front gate Borden could see the shiny length of a Rolls Royce, looking slightly out of place among the Estate's unkempt landscaping. He waved by lifting an arm.

"Arthur," he said, letting slip a fond grin. "Honored to have you back at the Estate even after... what did you say? Oh yes, 'Tea time with no tea and cakes! We ought to hold these meetings at Trickett House!' '"

He grasped the old man by the arm to help him out of the car and they hugged each other firmly. Arthur Maze was impeccable as usual. Borden was only slightly aware of his own appearance and smell from walking through the city, the smoke clung to his clothes. His face was probably still streaked with sweat. He, like the house, had let himself fall into disrepair.

"Well, I regret to inform you that there is still no tea and cakes, but I hope you can stomach burned coffee."

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