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GM

 

London, 1850

 

'Twas a most chilly London night. The Yuletide season had kicked off with a dusty snow that was already becoming black from the machinations of London. A frost in the air, an ice on the roads. The sun was lost in grey clouds and all in all it was a cold, bleak day. 

 

Such grim and grime as there was (and verily, it was plentiful) was soon interrupted by a crashing sound at Leicester square, followed by a splashing sound. 

 

Victim of the Darwin-XC virus (a chronologically infused variant of that most potent viral agent), the massive hulk of Dreadnought came crashing through time itself, slap bang (yay, a bullseye in this matter) in the middle of the nineteenth century without warning or preamble. 

 

There was a crunch as he collided with Nelson's column to most ruinous effect, and a splash as he cut through ice into the fountains and pond beneath. 

 

Whatever disorientation such violent motion may (or may not) have caused, 'twas nought but a second until all could see the mighty column of Nelson crack and start to fall, breaking at midpoint. And screams from those about to be crushed my the mighty masonry!

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It was a funny thing indeed to feel the material of the universe around you beginning to bend and distort as you passed through it uncontrollably as if being consumed in quicksand that made up physical existence and fell through into another time and space entirely.

 

Joseph had only felt it happen once before and then he'd only traveled back a few weeks into his immediate past, it was curious that he didn't meet himself considering he retraced his steps but from what he'd been told, extremely fortunate given the effect paradoxes tended to have.

 

it was none the less bloody annoying; having to walk around as if the whole world might give way to oneself, more than usual in his case but just another change he'd need to aclimate to, much like his rapid change in altitude and position, namely in the ruins of a fountain staring up wide-eyed and grabbing for the breath he'd expelled in disorientated yelling as he fell as he beheld the crumbling pillar

 

throwing himself onto his clumsy feet with further ground shattering force he moved with a lumbering scramble to grasp the stone structure in his meaty hands. attempting to halt its descent before it fell onto the heads of people whom he was beginning to notice were dressed awfully funny.

 

Not that he was one to talk, a nine and a half foot tall bloke as wide as a carridge, clad in some what ornamental, as it was less resilient than his mutated flesh, metal armour that did little to hide the powerful muscles beneath and between the gaps. and the heavy domed helmet atop his head.

 

"Sorry, Sorry; My bad!" He bellowed as he applied his great strength to  manoeuvring the mighty column to rest over his shoulder like a hefted cricket bat "anywhere you want this thing putting?" he asked, dumbly to people who he knew probably had no answers for him.

 

Now i just need to figure out where and When i am. he thought to himself, stunningly unaware of the landmark he had resting against him or the antiquated visage of the capital.

Edited by Exaccus

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GM

 

There were screams and gasps, and gasps and screams, for this was quite beyond the normal experience, even in London town. What was this? Giants falling from the skies and smashing up national monuments. 

 

'Twas no surprise when half the crowds of tourists and locals and gentry and riff raff turned heel and ran. Some praised God, and ran too. Some praised the Queen of England, the Empress of India, Victoria! but ran too. 

 

Many just stood aghast, not knowing what to do in such exceptional circumstance. A few scattered applause broke out, but did not catch on. 

 

Peep peep! went the whistle, as a small number of Coppers rushed to the scene and blew shrilling whistles to announce their arrival. 

 

"Whats going on here then? Defacing a national monument?" asked one bold, portly, and senior copper, twirling his baton. 

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Seemed like a fairly decent crowd all things given, nobody threw anything, pointless though that would've been, not a terrible first impression, though some screamed and ran it didn't bother him too much, healthy survival instincts were not to be jeered at after all, not where and when he came from!

 

His eye'd just begin to wander over his shoulder to stare at what exactly he was holding when he heard the shrill peeping of a whistle and turned to face the small but highly professional bobby "You wot mate?" he boomed curiously "defaced? nah guv', his face is still on, i just...knocked it over on me way back to old blighty's blessed Terra firma." he explained " As ye can tell by me dainty outline in t'street; by the way, Boss where d'ya want me ta put this?." he drawls nonchalantly careful not to move it much as he gestured to it "tis awful heavy after all."

 

a White lie but hopefully one that would diffuse hostilities even if it did nothing to make the situation less complicated all in all.

Edited by Exaccus

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GM

 

"I should reckon you should put it down, Sir. That right there is a national monument. Lord Nelson himself Sir!" said the captain, puffing out his chest. "Now I daresay this is a most irregular business, Sir. What with the destruction of a landmark and you, being person most involved in such an incident, would be a person of great interest into our inquiries of so mentioned incident, so on and soforth and what not!" he said, with growing indignation. 

 

"Cut it out sarge! Look at him! Like a bloomon' battleship he is!" whispered a private. 

 

"nonsense lad! That there him is my promotion, so he is!" hissed back the captain. 

 

"So sir, I would like you accompany back to the yard. Scotland yard that is. To answer a few questions on national security and so on!" said the Captain to Dreadnought. "And be so kind as to place that national treasure on the ground. All peaceful like. Can't be having his Nelsonship, Lord disbeing respected!" he babbled, confidence quite inappropriately growing in the face of the giant. 

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Oh great one of those coppers dreadnought thought to himself beneath his helmet as he shifted his stance a little to get more comfortable in his boots as he watched the little man rant and rave in front of him even as his more level headed subordinate attempted to reason with him.

 

"right you are boss." he said with a ho-hum sorta tone as he lowered the pillar to rest in the old "ill put old nelly down." and with taking it into his hands he simply thrust it down into the street , deeply enough that it was supported and prevented from falling, sans something of sufficient force impacted it as he had moments ago. "That should sort him till ye can get him back on his plinth."

 

"And why'd you wanna do that fer boss? i already told ye everything, ask them thats still around and they'll tell ya." he says gesturing to the crowd that remains, particularly towards the areas he'd heard the applause from, not sure he trusted her majesty's goverment in his own era, let alone this one.

 

"I don't want no troubles sir, i gots plenty enough finding clothes for me back and ale for me mug and I been nothing but helpful since I stotted off the cobbles." he says, getting a little bit annoyed in Ernest as he maybe vents a little bit of misplaced anger slip through.

 

"Besides, i probably don't fit through the door." he adds in a matter of fact way.

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GM

 

"Well you have a point" conceded the Captain. "Never seen a man as tall as you! What are you, Norwegian?" he asked, tugging at his rather splendid moustache as he contemplated the giant in front of you. "Make em tall as houses in Norway, me old Nan used to say"

 

"They drink blood of of skulls, too!" said his white faced second in a hushed and frightened voice. 

 

This gave the captain pause for thought. A promotion he wanted, but not at the cost of his cranium being used as a drinking vessel. Maybe a bit of caution was, after all, called for. It would not be long, he reasoned, before the press arrived, if they had not done so already. 

 

"Speak up then, Sir! Your name, occupation, and nationality, if you will! I have a job to do. Most irregular this is, sir! And I aim to find out just the why and the whenceforth of it, or my names not Arthur Cobblespring! Which, as it so happened" he added, in a suspiciously loud voice addressing the crowd. "It so happens to be. Arthur Cobblespring. With two 'b''s"!

 

 

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Well at least he wasn't too unreasonable, all in all it could've been worse but it also could've been better, he didn't mind answering questions though, even if he didn't give straight or honest answers.

 

"Name's Joseph, Joseph walker and I'm english from down liverpools way." he answers "Where i work as a shipwright." he adds "I do odd jobs when there's no work at the yard, like volunteering for some crackpots flying contraption." he laughed, not at the idea of something he knew only to well would litterally take off but at the looks of utter obsurdity that crossed the officers faces when he said so.

 

"I know, I know, madness, but it paid well and im tough as t' foundations of the empire. so it sounded like a easy job." he mused to himself "Should've asked for payment upfront though...take me a long while to walk home." he adds "too 'eavy for carridge or canal boat, be a burden on the horses as well, gentle creatures they are."

Edited by Exaccus

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GM

 

"On a flying machine? Never heard such poppy cock!" answered the Captain, fiddling with his truncheon. "What was it, a weather balloon?" he asked, suspiciously. 

 

"Besides which, I doubt any balloon could carry a man of your size, Mr Walker" he added, pondering the matter. "And come to think of it, I would imagine a man of your height and frame would be a wonder of the world! Ten feet by the looks of you! Never heard of a man so tall! Leastways, not in Liverpool" he added, pulling at his moustache again trying to fathom the truth of the matter. 

 

"Something smells fishy here, Mr. Walker, I daresay you are not telling me the complete truth!" he concluded, growing in boldness. 

 

A brave little urchin ram up to Dreadnought, all tatters and scurvy, and looked straight up. 

 

"Cor blimey, mister! I ain't seen a man so tall, so I haven't! Must be you I'm meant to give this too!" he squeaked, offering Dreadnought an unlabelled and sealed envelope containing some document or another inside. 

 

"What's this? What's this?" yelled the Captain, pointing his truncheon at the urchin. "That there is evidence! I'll be taking that, sir! And you, you little scamp...you'll be needed for questioning!" he said. He was clearly more at home intimidating ten year old urchins of rag and bone that ten foot goliath's. 

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"You ever think, Guv that maybe the 10ft tall bloke wants to be left alone and most folks got sense enough to not antagonize him?" he asks, his sudden focus breaking through his slang as he rumbles forwards "Rather than try and force him inta freak shows and profit from his public humiliation?" he poses, as he turns the envelope over in his hands.

 

"That he'd been jeered and bullied enough already, to afraid to hit back because of what he might do to someone if he let it get the better of him...." he asks as he places a large meaty hand on the officers shoulder " just letting it rest there weightily against him, 

 

the man was a bit on the thick side of things so he makes sure he states the next part plainly "If you continue to harass me sir I am Liable to become upset and it is often advisable, sir, to pick on someone one's own size." something of a double entandre threat and chiding.

 

takes to a knee and gently slides the officer away from the urchin so as to talk to him uninterrupted and on a more even level.

 

"Thank you, young man for delivering this to me, you'd best be running along now though, its getting dreadfully chilly." he says kindly. with a smile "I an' the Sargent here have things to discuss and i don't want you to be getting caught up in them."

 

as he stands back up to his full height and tucks the letter away for now, he could read it once this rather unpleasant business was concluded.

Edited by Exaccus

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GM

 

"I would suppose so" said the captain. "He might want to be left alone, of accountin' of being a freak of nature and so on and so forth, but his wishes might not be respected, Mr. Walker. I daresay that despite his best efforts to avoid undue attention, plenty of attention would, in fact, and so forth, be due!"

 

"I'm off mister!" said the urchin, giving a jaunty wink and smile. He made a dash for the crowds. 

 

Peep peep! Came the whistle of the captiain. "Come back here you rapscallion! I want words with you!" he shouted at the boy who had clearly no intention of listening and besides was most light on his feet. A few chuckles came from the crowd at the blustering face of the captain, and not one impeded the dash of the urchin. 

 

"After him lads!" pointed the captain, as three or four burly coppers made to catch the boy. Whilst there endeavours looked unlikely to bear fruit, one would judge the urchin was not garuanteed of escape. 

 

"I am afraid, Mr. Walker, I must invite you to the Yard. To take a statement and thuslike" said the captain, hands on his belt in a self satisfied stance. 

 

The envelope was blank, but Dreadnought could feel a letter of some manner inside. 

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Rising to his feet, Dreadnought says nothing and simply opens the letter with a ho-hum and examines the contents.

 

Ebeneezer eh? interesting name to be certain; How'd he find out so quickly....must be in the know...

 

"Very well Mr Cobblers." he says intentionally mispronouncing the mans name "It would appear i am bound that way anyway.." he says with a wide grin before turning to the remaining folks in the crowd "Good evening folks, Sorry bout yer pillar...and yer pillock." he says with a nod of his head towards the comical copper.

 

"Lay on, mac duffer."

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GM

 

"I understand you may be in some legal difficulty. Please allow me offer my services free of charge. My source informs me that your arrival is of considerable import, both the cause and solution to matters of considerable gravity. 

 

Of course, my source may be wrong. But I remain at your service. 

 

Mister Ebenezer Fiddle, Lawyer. 17 Goodge Street. "

 

The handwriting was elegant and resplendent. A few cheers at Dreadnoughts witticism came up much to the vexation of the Captain. A few people came up to get Dreadnought to sign something. "The Giant from Liverpool!" was an oft made request, but many bystanders wanted "Joe Walker" on their sheets of this and that. 

 

"Can you sign me %$%£ies?" asked one brazen strumpet, pulling down her blouse to the whoops and cheers of many a man. And the tsks of disgust from many a woman. 

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"anything for a fan, darlin'" he says with a wink as he gingerly applies his pen

 

Nice.

 

after seeing her on his way and signing everything that was given to him by man, woman and child as well as advising some of the younger folks that eating their greens was the way to get "big like him" he bids his farewells

 

"Thank ye folks, its nice to see people with so much fire in em, don't go letting anyone take it from ya now iffin one of ye could send for a Mr Ebeneezer Fiddler to come meet me at the yard i'd be eternally grateful to ye, iffin not, its no bother, im sure the police have a runner for such things." a hint of sincerity in his voice, he knew what would be coming to their world in a few short years, all the horror and devastation, he could stop it, just walk into the ocean over to Germany and rip out the heart of darkness whilst it was still nascent whilst he waited for time to tick on and return him to the modern day.

 

Fortunately he knew better; the world had worked out just fine and any meddling jeopardized that

 

Better the devils you know ya can beat than the ones you don't see coming for ya.

 

"Ready when you are shortcake." he says turning to face the copper and his cronies with a board tone "step lively now, ive a big stride and i'd rather not be shuffling around behind you little blue gnomes."

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GM

 

And later, at Scotland Yard

 

It had proved quite impossible to realistically get Dreadnought navigated through the tunnels and doors of Scotland Yard. At least, without major structural damage to the building, or Dreadnought engaging in complicated and possibly dangerous contortions. 

 

The captain had been dismissed, much to his protestations, and Detective William Hart had been assigned to the case. Detective Hart was a young, enthusiastic man, prematurely grey, sharp as a whistle that had been particularly well sharpened by a professor of sharpening, and possessed of some ill fitting spectacles he kept pushing up his nose to keep them from falling off. 

 

"Good lord Jesus and Christ!" he swore. "You are without doubt the tallest and largest man ever to walk this earth, Sir! Have you a condition, Gigantism, perhaps?" he asked, wide eyed. Unlike the Captain, Detective Hart seemed more interested in what the blasted hell was going on than making his career or throwing his weight around. 

 

He licked his pen and started taking notes in a rather speedy and illegible scrawl. 

 

"Can you tell me Sir, in your own words, what happened?"

 

Ebeneezer Fiddle, he had been assured, was on his way, but Detective Hart seemed keen to start before Mr. Fiddle arrived. 

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"well detective, I can tell ye what i know." he says "much of it is lost to me you see." he explained ernestly, the man had been respectful and straight with him so far so surely it wouldn't be damaging to show a little bit of curtesy now would it?

 

"I was minding my own business, in Liverpool at the time, working with some crackpot or other who wanted me to test his machine, being that i am tough as old leather." he explained "Easy money me thought, i am a good deal stronger and tougher than most folks, not to be braggin." he said "got given this stuff as protective gear and he set it off." he stated simply gesturing to his armour like costume.

 

"now here's where it gets a little hard to swallow, specially for captain cobblers." he said "I finds myself flat on me back looking up at none other than nelsons column!" he says with emphasis "thats london that is sir!" he says aghast "anyway i see that its not as steady as it probably should be so i leaps into action sir and stops it from fallin on any t'good folks in the square."

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GM

 

Detective Hart kept pace with Dreadnoughts words, nodding and tutting and humming.

 

"Leather...gear....swallow....column.....action...." he noted down, underlining each word several times and pondering there meaning with some interest. 

 

"Yes yes, I see, Mr. Walker. Very interesting. I shall have to cross reference your account, such as it is, with those of the witnesses, you see. But, and here I am somewhat perplexed by your account, Mr. Walker, no witness saw any balloon or suchlike in the sky. Now, mayhap they were not looking, but this was a major tourist attraction, sir...mmmm...mmmm...." he pondered, chewing his pen. 

 

"Not another word, Sir!" came a voice. 

 

It was Ebenezer Fiddle, a tall thin rake of a man of about fifty (or mayhap more) years, with a splendid tall top hat, and elegant suit. He had a tall thin face to match his tall thin frame, and twirled his cane this way, and that, in manner that augmented his natural Etonian authority. He had intelligent eyes, but a rather warm smile despite all his bluster. 

 

"I must confer with my client!" he demanded, looking at Dreanought. 

 

"Gazooks man! I knew you where a tall fellow, but this beggars belief! Why, you must be Norwegian!" he said mouth agape. He shook himself back to self-possession in but an instant. "In any case, I take it you will accept my counsel and service?"

 

 

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He was about to mention that he'd never said nothing bout no balloon, it were a machine when ebeneezer appeared and he felt a little bit stupid all in all for talking out of the presence of his lawyer, he'd seen enough cop shows to know better...though in those cop shows the folks who did know better were often guilty as sin.

 

"Aye, I'd be glad too, like to get this whole affair bottled up nicely so i can be on me way, maybe do a bit of sight seeing whilst im here." he says simply and pleasently as he turns to the detective "Iffin you'll be excusing us sir, don't want to be giving you any information that ain't proper sir."

 

"Aye, I'm a big lad, though I'm from Liverpool."

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GM

 

"Liverpool, eh? Well, they must put something in the water up North, eh?" said Ebeneezer, blatantly not believing it. He wiggled his eyebrows and gave Dreadnought a wink. 

 

"Now then, Detective Hale, I must confer with my client in private! Chop chop!" he said, ushering the police out of the courtyard. 

 

Such was Mr. Fiddle's great bluster and air of upper class authority, buttressed no doubt by his formidable reputation and legal prowess, that there was barely a mutter of discontent from the police as they shuffled out. 

 

And once they had done so, he turned to face Dreadnought. "Now then sir, I do not know if you are a supersitious man. Or at least keep an open mind about the infinite mysteries of the universe. Perhaps theological considerations might bar such thought. Nevertheless, your arrival, sir, has been foretold!" he wiggled his eyebrows. 

 

"And, lamentably, your arrival has also created an opportunity for a rather dangerous villain. I daresay I know not much of the occult and so on. But I know enough to say that there is Eldritch force running through this world" he said, in hushed tones. 

 

"What say you sir? And what should I call you? On that matter, other than your arrival, I know nothing of you!"

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"I've tangled with the arcane before." he says evenly "Admittedly I'm a bit less invulnerable when faced with it, still pretty invulnerable though." he confesses as he turns these words over in his mind  "I say we put a stop to whatever's running amok and I address the mess I've made." a simple answer but an Ernest one all in all, he was nothing if not for his desire to help his fellow man, even if it was by encouraging them to challenge authority or punching wizards in the schnozz.

 

"Tell me more sir and once this matter is settled, one way or another, we can get down to the business. of stopping this villain in his tracks." he says, punching his fist into his palm with a soft thoom for emphasis., rattling the room ever so slightly.

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GM

 

"I think, Mr...Walker, is it?....that this discussion best be at my offices. It has a reasonably high door, although I think you may have to stoop a little" he said, still gazing up at Dreadnought. "And I doubt any chair of mine could accomodate you, to be frank. Nonetheless, I have some fine port and a most excellent selection of French cheeses, so it would not be all discomfort" he said, apologising and bowing deeply. 

 

"I can tie these fools at the Yard up with enough legal knots to make their intestines cartwheel" he said, proudly. "As I see it, they have nothing to arrest you for. Suspicious, no doubt. No doubt the intelligence services will be snooping around sooner or later. Let us pray it is later, for the government spies are of considerably keener intellect and will want to utilise you for some purpose or another. I would imagine you would be a formidable engine of war, for instance. But propoganda might also be on their mind..." he said, tapping his cane on the ground. 

 

"Thus, whilst our situation is not critical, our time is limited. Lamentably interest will breed around you, like a fungus, and I am sure that the sorcerer, the man I spoke about, will be up to some plan of exploitation, one way or the other. As I understand it, your appearance created an Eldritch energy he would capitalize on. But enough of me wittering on about things outside my field of expertise. Shall we be on our way?"

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Joseph walker had to admit he was impressed and rather pleased, he could respect a man who had learned how to manipulate the bureaucratic bollocks to his advantage to better circumvent it, a useful skill indeed; one he'd need to pick up himself in the future.whilst insulting and demeaning captain cobblers had been entertaining it wouldn't work in his own time and he'd quickly be facing numerous charges if he so much as moved threateningly

 

 "Indeed Mr Fiddler, Sounds like a good idea to me, I shall follow your lead, time is of the essence it would seem." he says plainly even as he dwelled on the mention of the intelligence forces and how quickly he was approached by vanguard, mere weeks after his transformation.

 

Is this how the ministry found me, records from my future self's travels into the past?

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GM

 

And so, later, at 17 Goodge Street

 

For such a part of London, with high estate prizes, the offices of Fiddler Law were indeed spacious. A testament to the skill, energy and finesse of Mr. Ebeneezer Fiddler. The door was a good eight feet high, and the ceilings tall. 

 

There was, admittedly, no where to sit, however. 

 

There was a certain musky dusty quality to the air inside, and the windows were shuttered. It was dim and old, although in truth it suited the offices, full of tomes and books on law and various related disciplines. One could spy books on medicine, philosophy, theology and history within the endless shelves. 

 

"Tea?" offered Mr. Fiddler, indicating to his gobsmacked young assistant that he would like some. 

 

"If it suits you, sir, I would like my assistant and pupil, Mr. Murke to join us. He is a main of extraordinary perception, and irony given he is quite blind" he smiled. "A polyglot too. I have yet to find a language Mr. Murke cannot speak..."

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"I'll never refuse hospitality, Sir." he says humbly  with a gentle nod of acknowledgement to the gob smacked Assistant  as he finds an unobtrusive corner to stand in as he waits, admiring some of the finesse of the buildings baroque construction and grandeur and taking care to move as little as possible.

 

He didn't get tired any more, or sick and only the greatest of strains still faxed him physically any more so he'd found himself oddly comfortable when standing for long periods of time regardless of how it might looked from the outside to the observers.

 

"Ah of course, I would be glad to have him and his insights, Punching is all well and good after all but it is best to know what too punch for the desired effect after all." he joked "I imagine he is how you became aware of my arrival and location then?" turning to face mr fiddler fully as the time to discuss business arose even as his thoughts wondered a little.

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GM

 

Mr Erasmus Murke entered the room, with the tap of a cane. He looked like a thoroughly unremarkable man, of middle age, without unduly handsome or ugly features. He wore a neatly trimmed beard, a moderately expensive suit, and, despite being indoors, a bowler hat. His only defining features were blind milky white eyes, and the tapping of a cane. 

 

"I am pleased to meet you, Sir" he said, with a slight smile. Mr Murke knew his way around the carefully positioned furniture of the main office, and sat down in a comfortable leather chair as tea was served to all. 

 

Once the servant had left, Mr. Murke leaned forward to study Dreadnought; a curious thing, as the man was clearly blind but seemed to scrutinise the giant all the same. 

 

"Mr. Walker...is it?" he asked. 

 

Mr Fiddle gave a smile. "Perhaps it is his name, Mr. Murke. I suggest we proceed on that basis for know" he said, turning his attention back to Dreadnought. 

 

"I shall be honest with you, Mr. Walker. Mr. Murke here may be blind, but has an eldritch way about him. He is an oracle of sorts, able to see the future, albeit in an unreliable manner. He foresaw your arrival, and arranged for the letter to be delivered at precisely the right moment and location" he said, with a glimmer of self satisfaction. 

 

Mr. Murke did not change his neutral expression, but remained studious, listening carefully. 

 

"I would still hear your honest account of the matter, however. From whence you fell is a mystery to both of us" asked Mr. Fiddler, inviting Dreadnought to answer. 

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