Sir James Fritswick

A 19th century business owner that attempts to appear more sophisticated than he knows he will ever be.

0 · 70 views · located in The Onyx

a character in “Temporal Conscripts”, as played by Screedle


Sir James Fritswick was born and raised in urban Ireland in the mid 1800's; his family moved to England when he was a teenager, desperate to escape the harsh living conditions brought about by the Great Famine.
Left with nothing, it seemed that Fritswick and his family were doomed to a life of poverty; at the age of fourteen, he began working as a chimney sweep, only to be forced to quit at the age of sixteen due to being too large for most inner-city chimneys. Fritswick spent the next year educating himself in rather advanced topics that put his already limited knowledge to the test; around this time, he began to formulate concepts for improvements for various lower and middle-class jobs.
His family life was negatively impacted by his self-education. As James himself was unsuited for manual labour - due to a late-developing limp that had arisen during the time of his Sweeping - his father and brother were his sole supporters. At the age of 19, pressured by the rapidly declining health of his coal-mining father, Fritswick forced himself to apply for a job.
Through what he has described as "Sheer luck", Fritswick landed a job working as a laboratory assistant for one Professor Challen, head of the largest chemical application development company in Birmingham. There Fritswick became familiar with many of the elements and compounds that would be necessary for his later success.

At a point in time which Sir Fritswick refused to divulge (though which many to be speculate around the time of his father's death), by the age of 25 he had created a compound capable of producing matches, as well as complimentary candles and lanterns, with much greater efficiency than that of the standard white Phosphorus.
Having accumulated enough money to enter a business deal with long time companion Dean Hobson, whom he had met through his job with the Professor, James and Dean quickly established his own independent business; Fritswick and Hobson , within the space of just two years, managed to completely overshoot their own profit expectations by what is estimated to be 170%.

Fritswick currently lives in a two storey estate, along with his mother and work-unsuitable younger brother; he has described it as an "acceptably quaint, haste-free way of living." Aged 37, Fritswick has achieved mild infamy in the town he and his businesses live in - Wolverford, just north of Birmingham. There has been much discussion about the nature of his business, due to many factors; that he seems to have developed his revolutionary products entirely by himself, that they can't be replicated by any competitor, and that none of his workers have been able to deduce how it is done either.

Due to his limp, Fritswick is often seen carrying his trademark ornate cane wherever he goes, along with one of his many stylised pocket watches. In his spare time he takes to reading books on subject such as chemistry and engineering, and, to the surprise of nobody, spends hours synchronising every one of his 12 watches to the precise second.

So begins...

Sir James Fritswick's Story

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sir James Fritswick

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The cane of James Fritswick made a sharp tapping sound as it connected repeatedly with the paved pathway leading through his back garden.
By his side was a young lady, to whom he addressed as 'Miss Rowanne'. She was a fairly pretty lady, dressed in flowery garments that were simple in design, yet visibly appealing - including a corset pulled a bit too tight for physical comfort, but a perfect means to complete the aesthetics.
Fritswick was wearing his week standard attire - a brown tweed jacket over a plain grey shirt, accompanied by a black-with-red-stripes necktie.

"As you could probably tell," Fritswick continued. "I don't usually have guests within the house; most of them gather around the garden as ah... as we are in now."
Fritswick put a deliberate inflection on his speech, emphasising every use of each 'a' syllable. To many it seemed to make him forgetful, but to others it certainly completed his image.
"Please, forgive me for saying this," Miss Rowanne started, raising the back of her hand to her lips," but how do you... find the time to deal with your infamous watch collection?"
Miss Rowanne chuckled at her own joke, while Fritswick, used to that sort of remark, spoke with a smile on his face.
"Well, ah, you see I always believe in the motto, "You can always find time for a hobby of your passion". Timekeeping is a simply fascinating hobby of mine, possibly part of the reason I became so interested in machines as a young boy."
Miss Rowanne continued to chuckle as they stepped over a cracked path tile.
A few steps later, Fritswick raised his voice.
"Good day, Sam!"
At the far edge of the garden, a teenaged gardener raised his hand in reply.
"Afternoon, Mr Fritswick!"

Miss Rowanne chuckled a little more at their display.
"I must say, Mister Fritswick, you're exactly as they say..."
"They must say good things, I hope?"
"You're a fine gentleman, but at the same time, you don't have that... how shall I put it, stale air about you that others have."
Fritswick guffawed at her compliment.
"You are quite a woman as well." He paused before continuing. "You may tell your father that, yes, I'll reconsider the proposal."
Miss Rowanne nodded in confirmation.
"Thank you kindly. Oh, I nearly forgot the occasion! Do you have the time?"
Fritswick rolled his eyes, pulling out a silver-cased pocket watch from within his jacket.
"It is fifteen minutes past the hour of four."
"Oh, heavens, I'm afraid I'll have to end my visit here."
Miss Rowanne bowed in courtesy, before taking off back into the house.
"Forgive me, James! I may see you again within the fortnight!"
Fritswick waved her goodbye as she disappeared behind the door.

"Nice woman," Fritswick muttered to himself. "Father of hers is still a right..."
He inhaled sharply. With his exhale, he let all of his anger into the summer breeze.
"That crook'll get my secrets the day bowties go out of style."
Fritswick continued along the garden path - though, he admitted to himself that calling it a garden was a mistake, as it encompassed almost an entire acre by itself.
Fritswick came to the centrepiece of the area; a gazebo, sheltered by a wooden roof, within it four wooden chairs and a child-sized chest, within which were many books of many subjects.
Feeling rather tired, having spent the last three hours entertaining the daughter of his rival, he decided to take one of his customary afternoon dozes in the gazebo.
He pulled out the watch from his right pocket - this one a slightly larger one with a fine wood finish.
To his mild surprise, it said the time was five twenty five.
He quickly took out the silver watch to compare - it told him the time was four twenty two.
"Now," he muttered. "Which one of you decided to stop working right?"
He glared disdainfully at both the watches, both of them ticking at the exact same speed.
"Oh well," he thought aloud. "Won't do her too much harm."
Fritswick pulled up his usual chair, sat right beside the chest of books. He decided against taking one out, realising he would insult the author by falling asleep right after he began.
And so Fritswick slept through the rest of that summer Thursday afternoon.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Commander Viridin Character Portrait: Sir James Fritswick Character Portrait: Lieutenant Sophie Victors

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#, as written by Lemunde
Fritswick awoke in hell. His entire body felt as if it were covered in liquid flame. He could not see; his eyelids refusing to open lest his eyeballs be consumed in fire as well.

He could not fathom what sin he could have possibly committed to deserve such punishment. He was a decent enough man, all things considered. But these thoughts were merely momentary distractions from the excruciating pain.

After what seemed like an eternity he felt his body being slowly pulled. He could hear a dull roaring sound and imagined a tidal wave of molten iron, lead or rock coming to compound his suffering. He was no doubt surprised to find his body striking something cold and hard, the dull roar turning into a constant splash that slowly diminished. There were voices, not demonic as he might have expected but certainly strange, speaking unrecognizable tongues. They were shouting at each other, some of them sounding like commands.

Fritswick's body still felt like it was on fire. As cool as the floor felt, it's touch only compounded the pain. It was no different when the hands touched him, several of them trying to lift him up. He instinctively struggled against them, crying out in agony, but their grasp was firm. The pain was unbearable and just as he thought he wouldn't be able to take any more he felt a sharp stinging sensation in his neck. He shouted out again but his shouting died away as he suddenly decided shouting was too much work. He felt his pain slowly diminish along with his consciousness.


Fritswick awoke on some kind of padded slab in the middle of a bright room. Light poured out from what he could only describe as a large white circle in the ceiling. He began to look around and saw a blue beam of light spilling out from some kind of mechanical device suspended from the ceiling just in front of the foot of the slab. The beam moved back and forward over his naked body. From his waste down his skin was red and horribly blistered but as the beam past over each one the blisters melted away. He tried to move to get a better look at this clearly fascinating phenomenon but found that he couldn't.

A hand pressed against his shoulder and a foreign voice calmly spoke to him. The voice was that of a woman, blonde and dressed in what he could only presume to be some kind of military uniform, though none he had ever seen before. He could not understand what the woman was saying but by her voice he understood that she most likely didn't want him to move.

The woman reached over and picked up a device situated on a nearby counter. She held his forehead and pressed the device against his temple. For a brief moment he felt as if she had shoved a nail into his skull but the pain vanished almost immediately. She spoke again, this time in clear American English.

"Who are you?"

The setting changes from the-mayall-galaxy to The Onyx


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Commander Viridin Character Portrait: Sir James Fritswick Character Portrait: Lieutenant Sophie Victors

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Fritswick could easily showcase his intelligence by rattling off facts about great historical events, or by solving simultaneous equations without use of an abacus.
The greatest part of his wisdom, however, was his ability to deduce the specifics of a particular situation without fully understanding what was happening. It had happened before; back when he had worked for the Professor, he had been able to judge from a distance the name, title and intentions of a visitor simply from the type of coat he had worn.
Here, Fritswick took in everything he could - the room, the strange contraptions, and of course the woman - brought him to two conclusions.
Firstly, based off the fact that the technology was entirely new to him, coupled with the accent of the woman and the silent, low-pitched rumbling that emanated from somewhere a few rooms away, led to the conclusion that he was on some sort of ironclad - a steam-driven iron plated warship. This option would only make sense if he had somehow been captured with the intent to make him fight in the civil war the Americans were currently having.
Secondly - and, while probably untrue, should still be considered - he was in Hell. The first indicator was the burning he had experienced while being dragged into this place; the second was the strange light that somehow healed him - for surely, this could be a way of keeping man alive while he endured endless torment.
Considering the woman had driven something like nail into a spot below his right ear, he felt as if he was obliged to lean towards the second option more.
At this point, Fritswick realised he had forgotten to respond to the question of the woman, who had been messing with something during the silence.
"Can you hear me?" she asked.
Fritswick felt that his most pressing question should be asked first.
"Am I in hell?"
Mid-sentence an air bubble caught on his throat, making his words seem more shaky than he wanted to seem.
"No, far from it." the woman replied. "Could you please tell me who you are?"
"Fritswick," he said, "James Fritswick. "Th-ah-call me 'Mister', please."
Fritswick found himself horribly out of breath. The woman did something he couldn't quite see, but whatever it was produced a lot of clicking noises in rapid succession.
"Mr Fritswick," she said, not turning back to him. "Could you explain how you came aboard?"
Of course he was on a ship - he almost felt ashamed for thinking otherwise.
"I don't know," he said. "I was just asleep in my garden, I felt like I was dragged through hell itself, and here I am! I would've expected you Americans to keep better track of whom you throw onboard before setting off."
"Americans?" the woman replied, confused slightly.
"Yes, I know you're an American - I've heard similar accents before. I'll have you know, I won't stand to be taken across the Atlantic-"
"Sir, please!" she said, raising her hands slowly. "Calm down, your body isn't ready for stress at the moment."

Fritswick - slightly appalled at a woman having told him to quieten down - took a deep breath, and let it out, managing to stave off his nerves for another minute.
"Alright, I'm calmed," he continued. "Can you please explain to me why, save for my lower skivvies, I seem to be in a state of undress?"
"Well for one the regenerator needs direct skin contact," she said, looking up at the source of the strange beam of light. "But aside from that you were found this way. What ever garments you think you might have been wearing are most likely gone. Even if you had them they would have most certainly been damaged beyond repair in the coolant reservoir."
Fritswick was confused by two things; the few words he didn't understand, and the woman that was saying these things.
"You seem to know your way around a dictionary," Fritswick commented. "I barely understood that sentence."
"It's my job," the woman said with a shrug. "Though, don't tell me you don't know what I'm talking about."
Fritswick looked at her for a moment in silence.
"I actually do not," he said. "Your words are strange to me. You are a scientist, I presume?"
The woman looked at him strangely, turning away from him slowly.
"Doctor, actually. Although my job does involve me applying the scientific process."
"Tell me, how did you get into this job?"
"I studied, like everyone else."
The woman began to repeat the action that produced many clicks, back now turned to Fritswick.
"They let women do that in America? My word... not that that's a bad thing, but to be fully honest some people I know would be appalled at the sight of a woman doctor."
"Uh-huh," the woman continued. "Sorry for asking but, what year do you think it is?"
Fritswick opened his mouth, but froze before he could speak, making sure he understood the question.
"Eighteen-eighty and seven, the year of our lord."
"I see," she muttered, not showing her face to him.
"I must ask, what is your name?" Fritswick asked. "I can-not have myself calling you 'That American Woman' in my head."
"Sophie," she replied. "Sophie Victors. If you'll please excuse me a moment."


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Commander Viridin Character Portrait: Sir James Fritswick Character Portrait: Lieutenant Sophie Victors Character Portrait: Onyx-Soul

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#, as written by Lemunde
Sophie reached for a small vial and collected a bead of sweat on Fritswick's chest. Just as she placed the vial in a device on a nearby counter a door near a corner of the room slid open, seemingly of it's own accord. A man walked in, clearly someone in charge.

"How's our patient?"

"Commander!" The commander's entrance seemed to catch Sophie a little off guard. "He's conscious, as you can see. I've just started the hydroanalysis. It should give us an idea of his origins in a few moments."

"I see." The commander walked over to stand beside Fritswick. "My name is Commander Asiros Viridin. You are on board the Onyx, a... military vessel."

Viridin began slowly pacing.

"You've come at a very inconvenient time. Our ship is engaged with a hostile force and your presence is interfering with our mission. If you are who I think you are then I must accept the possibility that you may be here to assist us in some manner. However I want to make one thing clear."

Viridin was looking directly at Fritswick now.

"Your mission, whatever it is, is secondary to ours. Right now my mind is focused solely on eliminating our enemy. We..."


Fritswick looked over to see Sophie staring into what looked like some kind of illuminated picture frame, various strange text and graphs scattered across it.

"What is it, lieutenant?" Viridin turned to look at the same device.

"The hydroanalysis is complete." Sophie's voice had an air of surprise mixed with concern. "These hydrogen atoms... they show a decay of 0.985274." She placed a great emphasis on the '4'. "If my calculations are correct that would place him at...4000 years prior to Exodus!"

Viridin turned to Fritswick and studied him intently for several moments.

"Are you telling me this man was pulled from over 17000 years in the past?"

The room was silent for a long while, save for the strange chirping coming from various devices in the room. Viridin's eyes turned to Fritswick's arms and legs. "Has he shown you any indication that he might be dangerous?"

Sophie studied Fritswick for only a moment before answering. "He seems harmless enough."

"Go ahead and release him. Once he's able to move you have my permission to show him around the ship."

"I've taken care of his external burns but there is still some internal damage. He'll need to undergo nanotherapy for a couple of weeks before he's fully recovered. I'll give him something for the pain which should make him well enough to move around."

"Very good. Well 'Mister' Fritswick..."

Fritswick wasn't entirely sure how he knew his name but he had only a moment to contemplate this when the ship he was apparently on suddenly lurched. A disembodied voice called out from a device on the wall. The voice was that of a woman, somehow both cold and calm.

"Interstellar drive disengaging."

Viridin moved to the device on the wall and mashed his thumb on a nearby protrusion.

"Onyx, report!"

"A metallic object has been detected 300 kilometers from our position. I thought you would like to investigate."

Viridin glanced back at Fritswick. "Do you think this has something to do with our guest?"

"Lieutenant Victors has apparently confirmed him to be a conscript. The probability of encountering a man-made object this far into interstellar space is extremely low. Given the short amount of time between these events there is a high probability that they coincide."

Viridin hesitated a moment before responding. "Understood. Inform bridge personnel that I will be there shortly."

Viridin left the room, the door sliding closed behind him.

Fritswick felt a prick in his shoulder. Looking over he saw Sophie removing what was clearly a syringe.

"This should help with the pain. And this..." Lifting his head, Sophie detached a device from the back of his neck, setting it on the counter. Strange that he hadn't noticed it before. "Should allow you to move." This last was said with a smile.

Fritswick sat up.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Commander Viridin Character Portrait: Sir James Fritswick Character Portrait: Lieutenant Sophie Victors Character Portrait: Onyx-Soul

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Fritswick delicately placed both feet firmly on the floor; though he had strength in both legs, he could not feel anything in them - from the temperature of the air, it was clear that this was a good thing, as it prevented his toes from freezing.
"So, Mr Fritswick," began Sophie. "Would you care for a new set of clothes?"
Sophie pulled out a drawer at the far end of the room; inside were three vacuum packed unisex clothes, each item of clothing embroidered with a small 'recycled materials' logo.
Sophie handed Fritswick a set of clothes, and walked to a corner of the room; she drew a curtain attached to a rail in the ceiling.
"If you wanted get changed behind here, that'd be fine," she said. "The set comes with a vest and underwear, so..."
Fritswick, speechless from contemplation, nodded simply and walked over to the curtain concealed corner.
"Thank you kindly," he said, finding the opening clip to the plastic bag.
Sophie pulled the curtains over completely as Fritswick began changing.
"So," she began, back turned to the portieres. "Tell me about where you're from."
"Could you give me a minute while I get changed?"
"Just trying to break the ice, sir."
"Sir? I'm not a Sir, I've never been knighted - as far as I can tell."
Sophie exhaled a sharp sigh.
She walked over to her desk, pressing a few buttons to log herself back in.
Following that, she opened the file that the Onyx's AI had automatically generated - one listing the known physical details of Fritswick.
"Can you tell me your age, Fritswick?"
"Is that necessary to - urg - to know?" he replied, struggling with something halfway through.
"I need to write down everything you can tell us, because you'll be staying with us for a while."
"Thirty seven, if you must know. Born in eighteen-fifty two."
"Eighteen hundreds, huh..." Sophie muttered to herself, doing a quick calculation with her fingers. "Pre exodus makes that... right."
"What happened to my evening wear?" asked Fritswick. "Is it being washed, sewn up, or what?"
"Well, what little was left of them is probably part of the recycling system by now," she replied. "They were pretty burnt up when we found you - speaking of which, were you carrying anything metal in your pockets?"
"My watches - two of them, in fact."
"Ah, sorry then, both of them melted before arrival. Anyway, as part of our ship's regulations on material conservation, all damaged or unusable items are taken apart and used as something else. In fact, the replacement for what you're wearing is probably being made right now."

Fritswick drew the curtains back sharply. He was now dressed in a plain, silvery-blue work outfit with two logos - the recycling logo on the front, and an Onyx production code on the back.
"You look dashing, Mister Fritswick." Sophie said with a complacent grin. "Do you feel healthy?"
Fritswick made a deliberate frown on his face, trying to convey his disappointment.
"I feel frustrated that my clothes and timekeepers have apparently been dismantled and re-used, but otherwise, yes I am quite well."
"How's your limp?"
"My... well, how strange, I don't actually feel crooked anymore."
"That's temporary, I'm afraid." Sophie elaborated. "The regenerator picked up on it; it isn't a physical issue, more of a psychological one, so once the pain killers wear off, it'll come back again. Do you normally have a walking implement?"
"A cane, yes - it was wooden, so I assume none of it came through hell's blaze?"
"Ah - no, we didn't find anything like that. Give me a second."
Sophie began rummaging through the cupboards next to her desk; eventually, she found a retractable metal cane, and unfolded it before Fritswick.
"This should do for when you need it," she said. "You can retract it for easier storage."
Fritswick took the metal cane carefully; he tapped it against the floor a few times, getting used to leaning his weight on it.
"Thank you, lady Victors."
Sophie made a noise mixed between a cough and a chortle.
"Just call me Sophie, you don't need to be that formal to anyone except Commander Viridin."
"I see," he replied. "Tell me, what exactly is he Commander of? I assume this is a ship, so, where are we sailing?"
Sophie contemplated for a moment.
"I see; you're used to 'ships' being water-runners only..."
She began wandering towards the far side of the room. At the wall opposite the door was what appeared to be a metal hatch, firmly secured by a mechanical lock. Sophie pressed a small button next to the hatch.
"Requesting permission to open Med-Bay Port-side observation hatch."
There was a few seconds of delay, before the calming voice of the ship replied "Permission granted."

With a mechanical clunk, the fastening bolt of the hatch retracted; following this, the panel itself retracted into the wall, revealing a thick chunk of reinforced glass, beyond which was apparently nothing but darkness.
"Lowering solar shield for Med-Bay observation window." the voice added.
Seconds later, the darkness was replaced by an indescribable light; Sophie motioned for Fritswick to get a closer view.
Fritswick felt his legs go weak as he took in the view; stars in every observable direction, no land or sky to obscure their view. Ripples of cosmic energy fluttered in and out of view as the ship travelled at low-warp speeds, distorting space by miniscule, yet still barely comprehensible amounts.
"We... are sailing through space."
Fritswick took a few steps back."
"This is... a work of fiction, surely. I... I must have fallen asleep reading something..."
"I can assure you, Mr Fritswick, this is no fantasy. Seal the Med-Bay observation window."
"Med-Bay observation window, sealed."
"These words, this place..." Fritswick muttered to himself.
"Are you alright?" said Sophie, her face growing with concern. "You might want to sit down."
"I'll be fine," he said, regaining his balance with his cane. "I... I just don't quite understand why I'm here."
Sophie sighed, her disappointment now visible.
"A shame that you don't know, because we don't really know. Does the term 'Temporal Conscript' mean anything to you?"
Fritswick shook his head.
"I feel like I should sit down for this explanation," he said, making his way to a nearby stool.
"Alright," Sophie began, twisting her fingers together. "I'm not sure how much you know in your era... do you understand time?"
Fritswick looked at her blankly.
"I mentioned having two watches. I have- rather I had, twelve watches in total, and spent hours of my time getting them into exact synchronous. Of course I understand time, my lady, and how it works forwards and backwards and all sorts - why, I remember having this theory explained to me about travelling through time itself, how the present might not be the only present."
Sophie blinked twice, slightly dumbstruck.
"I-alright-okay then. You have a grasp of time travel already, that's-that helps a lot."
Sophie cleared her throat, regaining her composure.
"While it isn't exactly an every-day occurrence, by this point in time we are aware of an organisation known at the 'Temporal Guild'. I'm not sure why myself, but on occasion they have taken people out of history in order to resolve a situation. These situations are... vastly different, and often kept secret, but we do know they happen."
"I see," nodded Fritswick. "And, for some reason, they have called upon me to assist them?"
"Indeed," said Sophie. "And, apparently, our ship as well - they must have a purpose for us if they went out of their way to bring you to us."
Fritswick nodded in continual understanding.
"I can follow what you say," he said. "Though this place - rather, this time - frightens me, I can say that I know almost as much about the situation as you do now."
"Indeed," said Sophie. "Though, I have to ask something important; do you know what a Computer is?"
Fritswick thought for a moment, then nodded.
"Yes, I do; I have had two computers myself."
"Really?" said Sophie, slightly taken aback.
"Indeed," continued Fritswick. "Both of them were excellent at what they did - I needed them to handle the complicated side of business matters, you see. The first was John - he was a bit of a grump, to be honest - and the second, whom should still be hired by me, is named Austin - "
"Hang on, hang on," Sophie fumbled, waving her hands. "You think computer means... a person who does calculations?"
"Indeed - why, what else could it mean?"
Sophie felt her whole body go stiff. After a few moments of panic, she let herself relax.
"Alright," she said. "I was right then; from your perspective, computers are nowhere near close to being invented yet, so I'm not allowed to tell you a lot."
Sophie walked over, and then pointed at, her computer setup at her desk.
"This is a computer; it does many things, all of them at a much faster rate than a human."
Sophie lowered her hand.
"That's basically all I can tell you; I'm not allowed to let you see any internal components, and I can't let you use one unless absolutely necessary."
Fritswick finally seemed to be confused.
"I must admit, I am confused by what you're trying to tell me," he said. "If you want me to avoid your metal Computers, I shall."
"Alright, thanks, just had to clear that up," Sophie said. "Your time period was so long ago, I just needed to establish what technology level you're currently at."
Fritswick stood up slowly, using his cane properly now that the pain killing medicine was wearing off.
"I have a question of my own." Fritswick said, a look of absolute importance on his face.
"Alright, go ahead." said Sophie, readying her best speech about preserving the timeline.
"Could you perhaps point me in the direction of the lavatory?"
"I- oh." said Sophie, physically deflating at her lack of opportunity. "I can lead you to it."

The setting changes from the-onyx to The Mayall Galaxy

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sir James Fritswick

0.00 INK

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sir James Fritswick

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The setting changes from the-mayall-galaxy to Unknown Location

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Commander Viridin Character Portrait: Sir James Fritswick Character Portrait: Lieutenant Sophie Victors

0.00 INK

#, as written by Lemunde

The setting changes from unknown-location to The Onyx


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Commander Viridin Character Portrait: Sir James Fritswick Character Portrait: Lieutenant Sophie Victors Character Portrait: Onyx-Soul Character Portrait: Lieutenant Idel Ritaly

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Fritswick was led around the Onyx by both Sophie, and a man wearing bulky attire, carrying a box-shaped item with intricate detail - Fritswick could tell that this had to be some sort of weapon, perhaps a gun, making him a guard. The guard seemed to be more focused on Fritswick than Sophie, who seemed lost in her own thoughts.
Fritswick had just under a minute to contemplate what he could need to see now; perhaps someone else had followed him to this place and time? Or perhaps they had found an explanation as to why he was here. In either case, he found himself less occupied with the details of his situation, and more concerned about what would be required of him.
At this point they passed the threshold to the bridge, no door separating it from the corridor, only another guard that nodded in affirmation to the other one.
The bridge was smaller than Fritswick had anticipated; he had imagined something like the deck of a ship, dozens of workers scurrying to and fro between sides, either manning the sails or shovelling coal to power engines. He was surprised by the room being around the same size as his living room, the captain's chair and desk taking up the centre of the room.
The walls at either side were occupied by similar desks, most of them equipped with a similar 'computer' to the one in the med bay, displaying information Fritswick had no chance of comprehending.
Above the captain's desk was some sort of glass pane hanging from the ceiling - occasionally, words and phrases would jump on and off the glass, all of them labelling different aspects of an image on-screen of what appeared to be a big, black box.

"Lieutenant Victors," said Viridin, looking at Fritswick. "Anything else unusual about our POI?"
"None, sir; he really is just a man pulled out of his time." she replied.
"Mister Fritswick," he began. "Could you please tell me what you think of this?"
Viridin tapped on the black cube in the centre of the glass screen; the text disappeared, and the image became much larger. Slowly, the cube began to rotate, making its three dimensional detail more apparent.
After a moment of contemplation, in which he intensely glared at the image, Fritswick gave up.
"I'm afraid I could tell you nothing about it," he said. "I've never seen a box quite like that. What size is it?"
"Several metres in every direction," Viridin replied. "Around 25 cubic metres of space. It's a cargo module - a basic one, at that. Tell me this; what do you think would be inside this container, out here in dead space?"
"It would be hard to say," Fritswick replied. "Perhaps... gems? Illegally obtained gems, or perhaps currency, that they want kept hidden until it's safe?"
"An astute guess," Viridin replied. "However, we have determined that it has a self-contained life support system. In simple terms, people could be living inside there. Why would people be inside a storage container?"
Fritswick hesitated to answer.
"...Slaves? Or perhaps traitorous crew deserving of eternal isolation."
The commander hesitated for a moment before responding.
"You're an intelligent man, Fritswick. Are you sure you have no idea what's inside?"
"None, sir. Couldn't tell you anything, only guessing."

"Commander, incoming message from Lieutenant Ritaly." a communications officer said.
"Put it through."
The image of a soldier wearing a face-concealing helmet appeared on-screen.
"Commander, our shuttle is currently attempting to lock on to the container, but we cannot find an accessible port. Should we proceed with procedure Oh-Five-Oh?"
"Go ahead; access it through any means necessary, even if it means cutting into it. Any unusual readings?"
"I was about to mention that, sir; we're having trouble getting a fixed reading on whatever is inside - some part of the life support seems to be deliberately interfering with the scanners."
"Continue regardless; remember to treat it as a potential biohazard."
"Understood sir."
The communication channel disappeared from view. Viridin spoke to the screen above him.
"Onyx, prepare the decontamination gas for their return. Also, give me minute-by-minute updates on the shuttle's status, including all crew and life forms therein."
Viridin turned on the spot, facing Fritswick directly. Fritswick had been silently observing, working out internally what all of the strange terms meant.
"Fritswick, are you sure you don't know anything?"
"Like I said, I know nothing here."
"Sir," Sophie interjected. "Are you sure that the container is related to Mr Fritswick?"
Viridin seemed taken aback briefly - he became aware of his increasing lack of composure.
"They have to be," he stated. "If the Guild is involved, we can't assume anything is a coincidence."
"Commander," the man sitting at the science station said. "We're... getting an unusual reading from... within the ship."