NTE-2858-Cyan-Blaecca

The GOC fights for control of "Other London", a Victorian-era asteroid colony populated by anarcho-syndicalists.

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Threat Entity Database Entry

Threat ID:

NTE-2858-Cyan-Blaecca — "Village Jeweler"

Authorized Response Level:

0 (In Storage, Cooperative)

Description:

engine.jpg

NTE-2858-Cyan-Blaecca, Module 2, photographed 1953.

NTE-2858-Cyan-Blaecca is an electro-thaumic analytical engine powered by the captured spirit of English polymath Charles Babbage (1791-1871), renowned mathematician, engineer and economist. The physical framework of NTE-2858 is believed to be an advanced mechanical prototype, commenced in 1863 and linked with Babbage's consciousness following his physical death.

NTE-2858 has two processing modules, each comprised of exactly 4,000 components, for a combined weight of five tons. When fully assembled, these modules are 2.1 meters tall, 3.4 meters long, and 45.7 centimeters deep (7 feet by 11 feet by 18 inches).

NTE-2858's third module is a standing brass wheel, 45.7 centimeters (18 inches) in diameter, fitted with an ectoplasmic containment vessel. NTE-2858 communicates by spinning rotary dials inscribed with the full Latin alphabet (including various modifiers), Arabic numerals, punctuation, and mathematical operators. This mode of articulation is similar to a seance conducted with spirit board and planchette; however, NTE-2858 is capable of detecting auditory stimuli and does not require a living interpreter.

NTE-2858 communicates at an average of 6-10 characters per second (72-120 words per minute, or 360-600 RPM), which is difficult for the average observer to understand. To compensate, project engineers fitted NTE-2858's dialing system with cylindrical typewheels, which parse raw output into printed words.

When the articulation terminal is physically linked to both processing modules and provided appropriate power sources, NTE-2858-Cyan-Blaecca is capable of calculating and implementing advanced thaumaturgical workings. These operations were designed to control the axial rotation of rogue asteroid 8837 London1 via ectoplasmic manipulation, creating artificial gravity appropriate for human habitation. For more information, see PSYCHE Historical Records.

Rules of Engagement:

Pursuant to the Kitchener Accords of 1953, NTE-2858-Cyan-Blaecca will remain in the custody of the Global Occult Coalition. Both processing modules will be disassembled and placed in adjacent storage when not in use.

In the event that 8837 London requires axial adjustment, NTE-2858-Cyan-Blaecca will be reassembled, integrated with an Everhart Resonator, and given time to calculate the parameters of corrective working. These formulae will be handed over to the International Center for the Study of Unified Thaumatology (ICSUT), who will implement the working using ectoplasm sourced from a vendor of record.

If NTE-2858 diverges from the above parameters, the Resonator should be powered down immediately. If the Resonator cannot be powered down by conventional means, NTE-2858 will be temporarily re-designated ARL: 2 (Sub Moderate Threat, Physical Response) until such time that the situation is resolved.

PSYCHE Historical Records

The following files represent the GOC's historical intelligence regarding NTE-2858-Cyan-Blaecca prior to 1945. Over the past seventy years, these documents were transferred between several institutions; as a result, many records are missing, degraded, or incomplete.

airy.jpg

Sir George Biddell Airy, 1883.

Origin

Before 1909, matters related to anomalous research, diplomacy and containment in the British Empire were handled by a loose network of Crown corporations and appointees. One such official was Sir George Biddell Airy (1801-1892), an English mathematician who served as Astronomer Royal between 1835 and 1881. In this capacity, Sir Airy managed the Royal Observatory at Greenwich, London, established the Greenwich Meridian as a global reference point, and negotiated human colonization of asteroid 8837 London.

Following his death in 1892, many of Sir Airy's papers were mistakenly divided among his heirs. The files below were recovered by the Crown and transferred to the King's Archives between 1912 and 1914.

Journal entry regarding observations at Greenwich, dated 1856.

My good friend Llywelyn visited me at the Observatory this evening! With a twinkle in his eye, he asked me to take up the equatorial telescope, for he had quite a sight to show me. Indeed, he guided me to a celestial body hitherto unknown: a diamond palace in the heavens, where fair folk once held court.

I found his claim quite astonishing. If anyone were to bridge such vast distances and build such marvels, whyever would they surrender them? Llywelyn explained that the heavens were quite inhospitable. Before long, the novelty of weightlessness wore thin, and besides a single collection of books and baubles, his clan abandoned it completely.

Seeing that I was quite taken with this story, Llywelyn offered me the opportunity to give this astral body a proper English name. The choice seemed obvious. After all, we stand at the heart of the British Empire, in a Royal Observatory funded by the grace and wisdom of the Crown! Humbled by this great legacy, I have named the asteroid "London", and intend to report as much to Her Royal Highness Queen Victoria forthwith.

Official copy of the Astronomer's letter to Charles Babbage, 1862.

My dear Mister Babbage,

It has been quite some time since we had reason for correspondence. I pray that our past disagreement regarding the utility of mechanical calculators does not weigh heavily on your mind. In fact, I write to you today in the hopes that we can set our history aside and combine our resources towards solving a unique problem.

Today, I spoke with His Royal Highness Albert Edward, Prince of Wales2, who impressed upon me his concern for loyal subjects in British North America. During his 1860 visit to Ottawa, the Prince met several families dedicated to the Unity of the Empire.3 Speaking in strictest confidence, these men expressed fears that the Americans would seek reprisals for the razing of their White House in 1814; naturally, the Prince assured them that Britain is fully committed to the defense of her colonies.

This past week, the Prince received a letter reiterating these concerns, further citing the instability of colonial government, animosity between English Protestants and French Catholics, and the brutal conquest of Western territories by the American Secure Containment Initiative. He showed me this letter during our meeting, and I confess that the situation seems quite dire.

My colleague has proposed a novel solution: bridging the grand spaces between England, the Province of Canada, and a remote asteroid I named "London", thus furnishing the colonists with a secure redoubt. According to my good friend Llywelyn, such a thing could be accomplished by opening a Way in the metaphysical shadow of our London Bridge, then linking it to an equivalent structure in Canada and an ancient fey bridge on the asteroid. Since the structure has been abandoned these many centuries, there are no observers who could dispute our new name for the metaphysical territory.

Anchoring this Way will require considerable time and aetheric energy. However, our greatest problem is gravity. The asteroid cannot sustain its own gravitation. To create a habitable environment, we must create rotational gravity via centrifugal force.

I have calculated the approximate size and density of 8837 London, but manipulating the asteroid from afar is currently beyond our means. We must devise a method for balancing this equation. In truth, I doubt that your machines will be up to the challenge, but I understand that you are eager for an opportunity to prove me wrong. Suffice it to say that if you can help us solve this problem, the Crown may reconsider funding your calculators.

Yours very truly,
Sir George Biddell Airy, KCB

Sir Airy:

I read your recent letter with considerable astonishment. After so many years of silence, you come to me with a problem? To affect the gravitation of a heavenly body, linked to the busiest bridge in Central London? That is bold indeed! Consider my interest piqued, so long as you are willing to fund this grand endeavor.

Bear in mind that the work has progressed a great deal since last we spoke. Soon, the calculators you so despise shall be made obsolete by the mighty analytical engine, a general-purpose computation platform more precise than any human agent.

To that end, I have formed a very fruitful partnership with the Clockwork Communion Church.4 Though most clergymen are unfit for scientific pursuits, there are some men of faith — like Deacon Bell — determined to advance civilization through the triumph of industrial arts. His loyal fabricators and lay-brothers are masters of tool-making, possessed of a great Protestant work ethic and fully dedicated to their craft. I have no doubts in their precision. I hope that we can meet to discuss terms very soon.

I am, Sir, yours, etc.,
Charles Babbage

Most splendid. I am pleased to hear it.

Mind, I must apologize for my previous laxity of speech. Our Way shall be centered on the other London bridge: Blackfriars. A contractor has already been selected to build a similar wrought-iron crossing over the Thames River in Canada.

G.B.H., KCB

Official copy of the Astronomer's letter to Llywelyn y Bychan, dated June 30, 1864.

Yet again, Mr. Babbage is wasting time on petty grievances. Rather than building his precious calculators, Charles is publicly campaigning against organ-grinders and idle children. During yesterday's debates in the House of Commons, Sir Shelley disparaged him by name! This will not do.

My friend, I must call upon your particular talents. Please impress upon Mr. Babbage the importance of finishing this project, in no uncertain terms.

Excerpted from the Astronomer's letter to Prince Albert Edward, 1871.

Your Royal Highness,

I understand and appreciate your concerns regarding the Other London Bridge. Rest assured that Deacon Bell and his engineers are quite capable of finishing the key mechanical components, despite Mr. Babbage's recent passing. In fact, I am quite confident that he will be more useful to us in death than he ever was in life.


Development

Starting in 1909, paranatural affairs in the United Kingdom and Crown colonies were handled by the British Occult Service (BOS, or "MI666"). This included the administration of Other London. Records from this era are scarce, but PSYCHE Division has recovered a 1921 briefing packet addressed to higher echelons of BOS bureaucracy.

CLASSIFIED: MOST SECRET
OFFICE OF THE CHIEF OF OCCULT INTELLIGENCE
Executive Briefing on "Other London"


HISTORY: Other London Bridge opened in 1875. The first settlers took up residence in a vast cavern, two kilometers wide and five kilometers long; there they carved out a river using thaumaturgy, built up fields with fertile soil, raised houses with imported timber, and paved roads with local stone.

settlement.jpg

Artist's rendition of Other London, 1877.

By the end of the Sixth Occult War, Other London was a modest town of 678. Today, Other London has 1,012 residents, plus an additional 150 penal subjects.

GEOGRAPHY AND CLIMATE: Local topology is oriented relative to the Other Thames River, which flows from north to south along the inner perimeter of the asteroid. Thus we determine the east and west neighborhoods, respectively known as York (Canadian) and Middlesex (British). Upper-class citizens live on the north end of the colony. Lower-class citizens reside on the south side, closer to their places of work.

Other London's main climate is tuned for short, mild seasons, ranging from lows of 0°C to an average of 10°C and highs of 23°C. Numerous other tunnels and chambers have their own microclimates, some of which are appropriate for agriculture, fungiculture, industrial activity or habitation. For safety and security, these regions are isolated by air-locks.

GOVERNMENT: The people of Other London are represented by a Town Council. Policies are ratified by the Governor General, who represents the Crown's authority. Since 1909, the office of the Governor General has been held in absentia by the Chief of Occult Intelligence.

Civil defense, law enforcement and penal security are all managed by the Other London Garrison, currently commanded by BOS Colonel Royce Campbell.

england.jpg

Blackfriars Bridge, London, England.

ontario.jpg

Blackfriars Bridge, London, Ontario.

INFRASTRUCTURE: Other London Bridge is a pocket dimension that links the Blackfriars Bridge on 8837 London with two points on Earth: the Blackfriars Bridge of London, England, and the Blackfriars Bridge of London, Ontario. To traverse the Way, one need only focus on crossing the "other" London Bridge.

The route is scaled for foot traffic, light carriages, and small boats, which pass along each region's respective Thames. Integrated enchantments ensure that mundane observers perceive inter-dimensional traffic as non-anomalous. Witnesses assume that travelers have gone "the other way round", and do not question it further.

The colony is powered by coal, steam, and hydroelectric energy. Illumination systems include arc lights, mercury-vapor lamps, and luminescent thaumaturgical workings. In residential areas, these systems are staged and timed to emulate a terrestrial day-night cycle. Since 1876, every effort has been made to link occupied areas by telephone, providing consistent means of communication throughout the colony.

Other London's critical infrastructure was developed in partnership with the Clockwork Communion Church. Whereas most techno-religious sects are increasingly hostile towards the state, the Communion are generally cooperative and wholly civic-minded. Many cite the example of Deacon Bell, who died in a selfless effort to prevent a boiler explosion in 1917. Since the Deacon's passing, Church members have become more insular, but remain essential to colony maintenance.

DEMOGRAPHICS: According to the 1921 census, 73% of colonists claim ethnic origins in the British Isles, including Englishmen, Irishmen, Scotsmen and others. 8% of the population are Frenchmen; 4% are German; all other populations are negligible, including Slavs, Jews, and Sidhe refugees.

Note: While most fair folk are reluctant to cross the Other London Bridge due to its wrought-iron construction, two Sidhe families made ingress via the small green door in the Tate Library, which predates human colonization.

INDUSTRY AND ECONOMY: Mining is the primary industry on 8837 London. The asteroid contains abundant iron, copper, nickel, gold, and platinum, which justify the continued expense of maintaining the colony. In the interest of creating a reliable source of fuel and making the environment more hospitable to Fae colonists, many of these iron deposits have been transmuted into coal. The mnemonic key for this thaumaturgical formula is available upon request.5

Agricultural crops include wheat, coarse grains, potatoes, sugar beets, brassicas, juniper berries, hemp, tobacco, and edible mushrooms. Livestock farming is limited to poultry, sheep and goats. The majority of foodstuffs are distributed within the colony, but there is a brisk trade in local tobacco and spirits with terrestrial vendors.

LABOR: Maintaining a stable workforce has been one of the greatest challenges of the Other London project. Unions have been legal in both England and Canada since 1872; as a result, the first working-class settlers were empowered to establish unions, councils and guilds.

This took a startling turn in 1907, when Other London Garrison identified a covert trade in seditious literature among union members. Their "discussion groups" featured work by Communist philosopher Karl Marx, Bolshevik provocateur Vladimir Lenin, and anarchist agitators such as Mikhail Bakunin, Peter Kropotkin and Emma Goldman. Based on printer's marks, these documents were imported from England. Once the BOS assumed responsibility for Other London, officers received formal authorization to monitor these groups as potential enemies of the state.

With the outbreak of the Great War, citizens across the British Empire were called upon for military service. This left significant gaps in the workforce, precipitating supply chain crises in Other London, England, and beyond. During this time, many empty positions were reassigned to women and young persons.6 Facing critical shortages in high-risk sectors, the BOS erected secure barracks in the tunnels and began using penal labor for mining and maintenance.

When static warfare began winding down in 1918, many surplus members of the Royal Engineer tunneling companies were hired on to Other London. These veterans were expected to demonstrate loyalty to King and Country, but in practice, many were disillusioned by the Great War, resentful of the officer class, and amenable to socialist politics. Rather than mitigating the threat, their combined discipline strengthened the unions' ranks.

These developments came to a head in 1919. Inspired by reports of a general strike in the Canadian city of Winnipeg, Manitoba, laborers issued a list of demands, including shorter shifts, increased rations, educational resources for young persons, safety protections for penal laborers, and a moratorium on new excavations, pending full surveys by the Royal Engineers. The Crown rejected this ultimatum, prompting a month-long labor action which was finally broken by BOS thaumaturges.


LATEST UPDATE (1921/SEP/17): Yesterday, eleven members of a mining crew were blown into hard vacuum while expanding Shaft Seven. Since the miners adhered to standard safety practices and set up air-locks at regular intervals, the colony is not considered to be in imminent danger.

A coalition of civilians, veterans and prisoners have formed a "Digger's Union" to represent all mine workers. This organization attributed the catastrophe to faulty information from an outdated tunnel survey and subsequently voted to authorize strike action. The rest of Other London's labor factions are expected to follow suit. Col. Campbell is requesting support from the Occult Service, citing the increasing likelihood of retaliatory violence.

Well, can't have that, can we? Tell the Colonel to hold the line. Cancel all new excavations, task this Digger's Union with tunnel maintenance, and whistle up some more Royal Engineers to conduct an exhaustive survey.

Obviously, Campbell won't be keen on this idea. That old battleaxe will say we're caving to the unions. Perhaps he's right. Frankly, I don't care. The structure is big enough for our purposes. We're trying to maintain a permanent colony, not build a bloody beehive.

Signed,
— C.


Evacuation

With the outbreak of the Seventh Occult War, Other London was deemed a strategic asset by the Allied Occult Initiative (AOI) and assigned the codename "DIAMOND PALACE". Most records from this era were stored aboard the colony, and were presumably subject to the document destruction orders listed below.

Emergency Session Concerning DIAMOND PALACE

1943/JULY/23 SECURITY CLEARANCE 3

The recent "apportation raid" on Three Portlands7 has prompted Allied High Command to re-evaluate the security of anomalous sites such as DIAMOND PALACE (asteroid 8837 London, commonly known as Other London). Since 1939, this Crown colony has been used as a labor camp, training complex and staging area for strategic assets moving between North America and Europe. This includes members of the British Occult Service (BOS), the American Unusual Incidents Unit (UIU) and the Canadian Occult and Supernatural Activities Taskforce (OSAT), all of whom have been involved in the Allied war effort.

Other London was founded on the assumption that its physical isolation would guarantee security from hostile forces. However:

  1. Operating out of the occupied neighborhood of London in Belgrade, Serbia, Nazi thaumaturges could link an appropriate physical structure with the metaphysical shadow of Other London Bridge, enter DIAMOND PALACE, and seize control of the exit.
  2. If the Way were compromised in this manner, it would take at least one hour for a conventional radio distress call to reach Earth from DIAMOND PALACE.
  3. Depending on the scale of this theoretical assault force, it is possible that the Obskuracorps and the Thule Society could capture the station and march directly on Allied territory before we receive word of the initial attack.

With the above considerations in mind, High Command has assembled representatives of the BOS, the UIU, and OSAT to conduct a vote on evacuating DIAMOND PALACE and closing the Way linking the colony with England and Canada.

Proposed priorities are as follows:

  1. Locate and extract all Allied officers, government personnel, and civilian researchers.
  2. Destroy any sensitive documents pertaining to Allied activity.
  3. Retrieve all man-portable paraweapons and anomalous technology. Any assets that cannot be carried by hand should be abandoned or disabled.
  4. Speed of execution is paramount. All other considerations secondary.

Voting follows:

YEA 4
NAY 1
ABSTAIN 2

The operation will commence with all due haste.

May the record show that special consultant Llywelyn y Bychan has lodged a formal objection against this decision, stating:

"There's lads and lasses on that rock!
You'll get 'em off or suck my ████!"

Note that under the terms of his 1864 contract with the BOS, Llywelyn is compelled to follow the above mission parameters and seal Other London Bridge once the operation is complete.

Final Report on DIAMOND PALACE

1943/JULY/25 SECURITY CLEARANCE 3

Mission complete. Records destroyed.

DIAMOND PALACE lost.

Llywelyn y Bychan discharged from compulsory service with the BOS.

PSYCHE Operational Records

First Incursion

PTOLEMY Records

Office of the Undersecretary General
Sender D.C. al Fine
Recipient High Command Nexus
Date 1946/MAR/01
Subject Parathreat Investigation: Other London

During the Global Occult Coalition's 1st Session this past January, the Council of 108 stressed the importance of securing any strategic assets lost or improperly decommissioned during the Seventh Occult War. To that end, the Office of the Undersecretary General has opened a Parathreat Investigation into Other London, an asteroid colony formerly administrated by the Allied Occult Initiative and abandoned in 1943.

Asteroid 8837 London has been inaccessible for nearly three years. In the interests of re-opening the pocket dimension known as Other London Bridge, PSYCHE Division has reached out to Fae thaumaturge Llywelyn y Bychan, who helped create the Way in 1875.

PHYSICS Records

AT/ST Patrol Report (Debrief)

Date: 1946/MAR/04

Involved Assessment/Strike Team:

  • AT-744 "Black Devils" — six-man team of Commonwealth commandos specializing in stealth reconnaissance and night warfare.
  • Deputy Ambassador (DA) Llywelyn y Bychan — Fae thaumaturge, former consultant to the British Occult Service.

Filing Operative: "Stabbs" 17672354/744

Mission (Location/Objective):

  • DA Llywelyn will board the asteroid via the Wanderer's Library, emerging from the Tate Library in York, Other London.
  • DA Llywelyn will reopen Other London Bridge, enabling Way travel between England, Canada and 8837 London.
  • AT-744 will enter through Blackfriars Bridge, England, rendezvous with DA Llywelyn outside the Tate Library, and secure the scene, in the interests of conducting a preliminary survey.
  • All assets extract via Blackfriars England once the objectives are complete.

Encounter Report/Enemy Description:

DA Llywelyn entered the Wanderer's Library on schedule. As expected, GOC observers were unable to follow, as the Way rejects most persons affiliated with normalcy protection agencies.

Approximately thirty minutes later, the Other London Bridge opened and AT-744 crossed through by focusing on the alternate Blackfriars Bridge.

Upon arrival, two things became obvious. Firstly, DA Llywelyn was not at the rendezvous point. There was no sign of a struggle, nor any indication of which direction he might have gone.

Secondly, Other London is still occupied. In addition to 28 adults who surrendered themselves into GOC custody, AT-744 identified at least 70 survivors watching the team from the banks of the Other Thames, and from several adjacent structures.

When AT-744 acknowledged the survivors, approximately half of the group broke contact, fleeing along the riverside or retreating deeper into the complex. The rest held their positions and addressed the Strike Team in vernacular English:

Six virgins, eh? How're you gettin' on?

You all Goofies? Maries? …Englishmen?

(Members of AT-744 identify themselves as Canadian, Irish and Scots, respectively.)

Ah! Donnie, Mickie and Pete! The whole show!

Adolescent: I'm hungry. (addressing AT-744) You bring coal?
Teenager: No, they're no angels. (shouting) Just a bunch of cabbages!

When AT-744 entered projectile range, survivors began throwing stones, empty cans and glass bottles.

Results: Rather than escalating the situation, AT-744 elected to fall back through Other London Bridge. Twenty-eight survivors have been handed over to PSYCHE Division Special Observers for debriefing.

AT-744 reports that crossing Other London Bridge can cause severe disorientation. While standing in the pocket dimension, all three Londons are visible at once, making it difficult to track one's relative position. As such, AT-744 recommends all infantrymen look down at their feet while traversing the Way.

Personnel Condition: No injuries.

Conclusions/Recommendations: DA Llywelyn y Bychan declared missing in action (MIA).

Debrief Summary

PSYCHE Division
Sender PSYCHE Division
Recipient High Command
Date 1946/APR/09
Subject Summary of Civilian Debriefings

All 28 survivors in GOC custody describe themselves as "Maries": loyal citizens of Empire. All exhibit degrees of chronic fatigue, malnutrition, vitamin C and D deficiencies, and osteoporosis, which are reportedly common among the populace. Otherwise, they are in good spirits and eager to reintegrate with society.

The loyalists report more than 1,200 survivors in Other London. Roughly 85% are baseline humans. 5% have adopted Mekhanist prostheses, either out of faith or in hopes of limiting their biological needs. Less than 2% are anomalous prisoners of war (Type Blues and Greens) formerly incarcerated by the Allied Occult Initiative. The remaining 8% are anomalous humanoids, animals, and entities of uncertain classification.

As a result of the evacuation and the subsequent collapse of medical support, Other London's age demographics are dramatically skewed. 35% are children, age 14 and below; 40% are young adults, ages 15-24; the remaining 25% are adults and seniors.

Unsurprisingly, this population is quite unruly. However, the settlement has not descended into total chaos. Instead, once Other London was sealed off, rioters began expropriating "loot" from upper-class neighborhoods. Since cash and precious minerals depreciated overnight, looters focused their attentions on the necessities of life, such as food and clean water. Rather than hoarding these resources, the populace elected to share them in kind.

As time went on and rescue did not appear, colonists began to squabble amongst themselves. Loyalist "Maries" argued that survivors should adhere to the principles of responsible government, whereas "Angels" supported multiple tendencies of Communist, socialist and anarchist thought. The latter majority won out and formed a People's Council to represent the residents, trade organizations and special-interest groups. Loyalists held seats on this People's Council, but their relationship with leftist factions remained tense. Apparently, the remaining residents of Other London are openly resentful of the Allied powers who abandoned the colony in 1943.

Only one person saw DA Llywelyn y Bychan prior to AT-744's arrival. During debrief, Martin Tilford stated:

Yes, I saw that little man! He skipped out the front doors of the library, clicked his heels and started to sing. I remember just what he said, too.

"What ho, friend! Rescue is near! Round up your mates and get the heck outta here! Step up and skedaddle! I'll issue the Knock, re-open the Bridge and summon the GOC!"

I don't know what happened after that. I was just happy to see you lot.

DA Llywelyn remains MIA.

Second Incursion

PHYSICS Records

AT/ST Patrol Report (Debrief)

Date: 1946/MAR/15

Involved Assessment/Strike Team:

  • ST-01 "Alpha" — primary force, composed of defectors from the Nazi SS and Ahnenerbe. Deployed via Blackfriars Bridge, England.
  • ST-04 "Delta" — secondary force, composed of Occult War veterans and domestic officers seconded from normalcy protection agencies. Deployed via Blackfriars Bridge, Canada.

Filing Operative: "Castor" 16458804/04

Mission (Location/Objective):

  • Seize and hold Other London Bridge.
  • Establish forward operating bases (FOBs) on the east (York) and west (Middlesex) sides of the Other Thames.
  • If possible, find and extract DA Llywelyn y Bychan.

Encounter Report/Enemy Description:

[-00:30]: ST-01 assembles at the rally point. Due to a failure of communication regarding the size of Blackfriars Bridge in Canada (a single-lane bridge approximately 8 meters wide), ST-01 forms a line across the full width of Blackfriars Bridge in England (two lanes, approximately 32m).

[+00:00]: ST-04 crosses Other London Bridge, moving west towards Middlesex. Members report some visual confusion and disorientation, but having entered from the "narrow" end of the Way, they are able to maintain formation.

[+00:01]: ST-01 crosses Other London Bridge, moving east towards York. Funneled into a significantly narrower physical space, members of ST-01 collide and drop out of formation. Laughter is heard from both sides of the Other Thames.

[+00:02]: Members of ST-01 express frustration in their native German. Recognizing their accents, residents identify ST-01 as "Jerries". Laughter continues, interspersed with jeering.

[+00:04]: Units regain formation. Speaking English and French, members of ST-01 and ST-04 identify themselves as representatives of the UNGOC, state their intention to establish checkpoints, and urge residents to disperse.

[+00:05]: Residents become vocally agitated. Crowds begin to form on both banks of the Other Thames. ST officers continue repeating their identities, directives and orders to disperse.

[+00:13]: Crowds continue massing. Observers estimate more than 100 rioters on each side of the river. Many are carrying bludgeons. GOC crowd control bulletins are rendered inaudible by shouting from residents.

[+00:19]: Hostile contact. Rioters engage Strike Teams on both sides of the bridge.

[+00:35]: ST-01 reports high-speed projectile fire (stones, ball bearings, and rivets) from structures adjacent to the Other Thames. Marksmen cleared to engage.

[+00:45]: Strike Teams cleared to deploy +1Gen-EODCS gas grenades. Rioters display tearing of the eyes, gastric upset and respiratory distress, collapsing enemy lines. ST-01 continues to enforce melee crowd control doctrine.

[+00:50]: ST-04 cleared to engage with +1Gen-EAMBR crowd control munitions. Rear echelon forms a firing line and engages at range. Six rioters confirmed disabled.

[+00:53]: Approximately two-thirds (140) of the remaining rioters break contact and retreat. Strike Teams push into Other London.

[+01:19]: Sixty rioters return with respiratory protection, including cotton masks, hoods, and canister gas masks. Unlike the first wave of rioters, these reinforcements are armed with knives, chains, broken bottles, spiked clubs and spears.

[+01:21]: ST-04 deploys additional +1Gen-EODCS gas grenades and +1Gen-EAMBR munitions.

[+01:22]: GOC riflemen engage hostiles from both sides of the river.

[+01:38]: Crowd fully dispersed. Scene secured.

Results: Sixteen enemy combatants KIA, three as a result of direct +1Gen-EAMBR fire. Checkpoints established on both sides of the Other London Bridge. Fifty detainees awaiting processing. ST-01 and ST-04 are prepared to receive reinforcements and expand into the residential zone.

Personnel Condition: Minor injuries and battle fatigue.

Conclusions/Recommendations: Since locals are exceptionally hostile to Strike Team 01 on the basis of nationality, we strongly recommend reassigning ground operations to Strike Team 04.


Third Incursion

PHYSICS Records

AT/ST Patrol Report (Debrief)

Date: 1946/APR/07

Involved Assessment/Strike Team: AT-744 "Black Devils"

Filing Operative: "Stabbs" 17672354/744

Mission (Location/Objective):

  • Enter the tunnel network via Shaft Three and proceed to Shaft Six, making note of all landmarks that could be used as checkpoints.
  • Tap into the telephone junction located at the intersection of Shaft Five and Shaft Six.
  • Monitor communications, identify enemy strongpoints, and assess force strength.
  • If possible, find and extract DA Llywelyn y Bychan.

Encounter Report/Enemy Description:

shaft-three.jpg

Entrance to Shaft Three.

AT-744 made ingress via Shaft Three and advanced to Shaft Four without incident. Team members noted an abundance of graffiti, including chalk, paint and hand-tooled engravings. These included crude jokes, political slogans, territorial markings, religious art, portraiture, and abstract patterns.

Moving along Shaft Four towards the center of the asteroid, AT-744 entered microgravity, making it difficult to maintain formation. This effect became more pronounced as the team approached the target marker. By the time they reached the objective in Shaft Six, AT-744 was effectively in zero-G.

While splicing into the telephone junction, engineer "Boomer" was attacked by a young man whose features were camouflaged with coal dust. This youth approached AT-744 from "above", slit the engineer's throat, then used the body to shield himself from the Assessment Team's counterattack.

Agitated, "Ducky" opened fire with his SMG. Unprepared for the counterforce associated with recoil in microgravity, "Ducky" was pushed backwards in an uncontrolled spin and unable to confirm the kill. "Boomer" and his assailant were also pushed back by the impact; the boy broke contact and dared AT-744 to pursue.

While AT-744 was distracted, four additional combatants emerged from concealment in Shaft Five and entered melee with clubs, knives, and bottles. During this encounter, "Ducky" was stabbed multiple times and "Skinner" was partially blinded by 9mm SMG ricochet.

Recognizing that AT-744 had lost the initiative, "Stabbs" switched to his shotgun and ordered a retreat. Bracing himself against the tunnel wall, "Stabbs" provided covering fire while the surviving members of the Assessment Team fell back in stages, casualties in tow. Rather than pursuing, enemy combatants broke contact, stating:

Send more Jerries. (laughter)

Results: "Skinner" was unable to resuscitate "Boomer" and "Ducky". AT-744 gathered little intelligence before taking contact. Mission failed.

Personnel Condition: Two KIA. All survivors have lacerations, penetrating injuries, fractures and contusions; "Skinner" reports loss of vision in one eye. All demoralized.

Conclusions/Recommendations: AT-744 reports that close-range combat techniques developed in terrestrial conditions are more difficult to execute in microgravity. Team leader's tactical assessment:

These little bastards fight like Afghan cavers. Once we get deep into their territory, they'll spring ambush after ambush and vanish back into the rocks. You can keep sending men up here, make it a big bloody slog, but that won't fix the real problem: they know this terrain. They know how to fight in microgravity, and we don't. Until we can remedy that, the Otherners will hold their advantage.


Interdiction Period

High Command Nexus
Sender High Command
Recipient Other London Command Central (OLCC)
Date 1946/APR/16
Subject Interdiction Policy

Standing orders for all officers posted to Other London Command Central (OLCC) are as follows:

  1. Maintain security of the Way, denying passage to any Otherners who do not surrender themselves for GOC debriefing.
  2. You are authorized to investigate unlawful and subversive behavior, interrogate suspects, seize property and conduct arrests. Detainees shall be held in custody until such time they can be released into Other London or remanded unto terrestrial authorities.
  3. Use of force is authorized to defend GOC personnel, assets and objectives against hostile action.
  4. Uphold the Fivefold Mission: Survival, Concealment, Protection, Destruction, Education.

That is all.

Notable Encounters and Engagements, 1946-1952
Date Description
1946/APR/21 ST-04 begins house-to-house sweeps of York and Middlesex. Numerous belligerents evade capture, as all structures have multiple exits (including windows, coal chutes, ventilation ducts and maintenance hatches).
1946/APR/29 PSYCHE Special Observers confirm the Clockwork Communion Church is indifferent towards the GOC. They possess simple pneumatic weapons, but no militant wings. Instead, they are primarily concerned with habitat maintenance.
1946/MAY/31 No meaningful results in the search for the People's Council. Questioned by PSYCHE and PHYSICS operatives, 83% of Otherners state that they "don't talk to fascists".
1946/SEP/13 Special Observers find glass bottles on the banks of the Thames Rivers in England and Canada. These contain coded requests for assistance, addressed to other anomalous communities.
1946/OCT/11 Young messenger spotted climbing underneath the wrought-iron arches of the bridge and dropping packages through the Way. Three bottles recovered from the Thames Rivers contain pellets of pure gold.
1946/DEC/24 Otherners mark Christmas Eve by bombarding GOC checkpoints with coal. This is perceived as a non-threat until hostiles throw Molotov cocktails, scattering coal embers throughout FOB Middlesex. One KIA, five severe injuries; two arrests.
1947/APR/17 Three PSYCHE Special Observers hallucinate after drinking mushroom tea during a civilian debrief in South York. Witnesses claim the poisoning was without malice, as liberty caps (Psilocybe semilanceata) are a popular herbal remedy in Other London. Two operatives recover in a matter of hours; SO Robert Lennox speaks in strange tongues for the rest of the day.
1947/JUL/07 During a sweep of the Tate Library, SO Lennox breaks contact with ST-04 to search for a "red star". He is reported AWOL, then MIA.
1947/MAY/01 At 06:19 hours (local sunrise), Otherners bombard FOB York with jars of high-proof alcohol. On impact, these jars release deafening screams and greasy clouds of white smoke, which resolve into humanoid shapes and assault GOC peacekeepers. During the scuffle, at least eight humanoids emerge from the Way and disperse into Other London, evading capture.
1947/AUG/11 Twelve handguns, three shotguns, and two SMGs reported missing from inventory. When questioned, Assistant Quartermaster shows symptoms of memory alteration by UTEs.
1947/SEP/06 Otherners sabotage a pump station in North York, causing a sewer overflow in the GOC barracks. During the confusion, armed militants enter the compound, subdue twelve personnel, and demand a prisoner exchange. After a prolonged standoff, eight imprisoned Otherners are released, the hostages are returned, and two militants surrender themselves into custody, each claiming sole responsibility for the attack. Four suspects remain unidentified.
1948/JUL/28 Seven thieves are arrested at England's Heathrow Airport after trying to rob a state airline's private vault. When authorities leave the scene, paracriminals access the undefended vault, steal a diplomatic bag and escape via the River Thames. They abandon their boat under Blackfriars Bridge, leaving behind a bottle of clear rum.
1949/APR/25 During patrols in Middlesex, GOC peacekeepers take suppressing fire from one or more pyrokinetic casters on the rooftops, camouflaged by illusions. After ten minutes, enemy combatants break contact, loudly declaring victory for the "Interplanetary Community Defense Brigades" (ICDB).
1949/MAY/01 ICDB partisans try to seize control of Other London Bridge using hydrokinetic thaumaturgy. When this fails, partisans turn to ranged weapons and offensive magic, exhausting their resources. Twelve partisans arrested, including two Type Blues. Low-intensity conflict continues indefinitely.
1951/APR/01 Two versions of Assistant Quartermaster Anderson are spotted on opposite sides of FOB Middlesex. Instructed to surrender, both Andersons try to prove they are "the real one" by disclosing sensitive personal information. Becoming distressed, the real AQ Anderson reaches for his wallet and is shot once in the leg. The doppelgänger says "April Fools" and dematerializes.
1951/APR/14 Surveillance via COLLICULUS imaging reveals that Sidhe families did not abandon the colony as previously believed, but have instead been using glamours to hide their identities, conceal their numbers and interfere with GOC operations.
1952/AUG/16 UIU confirms that at least five ICDB members in GOC custody are legal residents of other anomalous communities. Two Type Blues and one Type Green are registered citizens of Three Portlands, while one Weilstedten (Jewish-Sarkic) fleshcrafter and one self-described "warrior-poet" (anomalous traits unclear) are from Backdoor SoHo.
AT/ST Patrol Report (Debrief)

Date: 1953/JAN/15

Involved Assessment/Strike Team: ST-04 "Delta"

Filing Operative: "Castor" 16458804/04

Mission (Location/Objective):

  • Breach and clear ICDB safehouse located in North Middlesex, Other London.
  • Subdue resistance, conduct arrests, and seize contraband on the scene.

Encounter Report/Enemy Description:

GOC immediately entered contact with ICDB partisans, resulting in numerous casualties. Survivors confirm Type Yellow (Polymorph, Limited Regeneration) and Type Red (Hemovore, Full Regeneration) HTEs active in Other London.

"Tapper": The way I remember it, there were three partisans firing on us with Type-1s8. Rivets bouncing everywhere. Rules of engagement say light 'em up, so we drop two DBs and bam! Number three is a werewolf. Or maybe a loup-garou. That accent could've been French. (pause) Then she tore my arm off.

"Stretch": I saw Tapper go down. He was bleeding real bad, so the rest of my squad focused fire on the werewolf and I went in after him. Got us into cover, got a tourniquet on his shoulder. Stabilized him the best I could. Then I turned around and spotted the Type Red creeping up on my team with a broadsword. I tried to shout, but the second he made eye contact, I was frozen. Some kind of hypnotic effect.

He cut right through them. The whole squad. Then he said, "collect your wounded and leave."

I ask you this: why does a vampire need a broadsword? Answer: he doesn't. That skinny fucker was showing off.

Results: Files opened on KTE-2729-Yellow-Typhon and KTE-2730-Red-Gorgon.

Personnel Condition: 10 KIA; one operative maimed, now stable, with no signs of transformative lycanthropy.

Conclusions/Recommendations: Since some variants of lycanthropy and hemovorism can be contagious, OLCC anticipates additional encounters with Type Yellows and Type Reds. ST-04 has requisitioned silver bullets, blades, and wooden stakes from Quartermasters Division.

Use of Type-1 pneumatic weaponry suggests that the ICDB may be receiving support from the Clockwork Communion Church. ST-04 is mustering resources for an investigation.

Other London Command Central (OLCC)
Sender OLCC
Recipient D.C. al Fine
Date 1953/FEB/02
Subject CRITICAL UPDATE

ST-04's raid on the Clockwork Communion Church has resulted in mass casualties on both sides. Details are unclear, but survivors report an explosion in HVAC Junction Nine, likely resulting from an exchange of fire in an oxygen-rich environment. 32 confirmed KIA, including twelve members of ST-04, four ICDB partisans, and sixteen senior members of the Communion. 48 additional casualties from burns, smoke inhalation and blast injuries.

Airlocks and bulkheads remain intact, but Junction Nine is damaged beyond repair. The remaining oxygen recycling systems are audibly stressed. Maintenance crew in disarray. Details to follow.

Office of the Undersecretary General
Sender Ambassador Kitchener
Recipient D.C. al Fine
Date 1953/FEB/03
Subject Emergency Session on Other London Crisis

Madam al Fine,

With the loss of HVAC Junction Nine, air quality aboard 8837 London is falling precipitously. ICDB thaumatologists are reportedly constructing transmutation vessels to convert water into oxygen and recycle carbon dioxide, but that's a temporary solution at best.

OLCC is confident that all senior members of the Clockwork Communion Church are deceased. In the absence of skilled technical support from the Broken Church, I think it unlikely that the Otherners will be able to repair their habitat.

The Council of 108 just held an emergency session to discuss the issue. The results:

The World Parahealth Organization (WPO) is calling for a diplomatic resolution with the People's Council of Other London, arguing that isolating any population without ready access to the essentials for life is tantamount to genocide.

Executives with Goldbaker Ltd. seconded that motion, observing that without proper controls, the vast mineral resources of 8837 London could destabilize terrestrial economies.

Both scenarios represent a violation of the GOC's Third Mission (Protection).

Faculty from the International Center for the Study of Unified Thaumatology (ICSUT) note that Other London is a unique staging area for research and development.

American delegates representing the Pentagram and the Majestic 12 express interest in 8837 London as a case study in space colonization using paratechnology.

Soviet scientists from Experiment and Design Bureau 70 (OKB-70, or ОКБ-Ѻ) observe that residents of Other London have long-term experience living in microgravity. Establishing a research partnership could improve our understanding of the biological stresses involved in manned spaceflight.

All four organizations support a diplomatic resolution on the basis of the Fifth Mission (Education).

Representatives of the Bavarian Illuminati support the position that Other London Bridge is a parascientific achievement worthy of study, and that the GOC should take a humanist approach towards all interactions with the populace.

Further, Illuminatus9 Lord10 Tepesh reports that his son Shepet11 has "forsaken his clan by joining Heaven to take up the cross", and that "the Red Right of Vengeance12 is mine alone".

Though precise diplomatic implications remain unclear, we can infer that continued hostilities in and around Other London represents a threat to the Second Mission (Concealment).

Speaking for French-Canadian citizens of Other London, l'Ordre de Jacques-Cartier argued that the current interdiction policy is a form of British colonial oppression.

Haudenosaunee representatives declined to comment.

Lastly, Thelemites of the Argentium Astrum expressed solidarity with the "void colony" of Other London, in keeping with their principle that "do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law".

In short: our interdiction strategy is no longer sustainable. At the same time, the Otherners are extremely hostile towards GOC intervention. Without a dramatic demonstration of goodwill, I'm not sure we can broker a peace agreement before everything falls apart.

Prometheus Astrotechnologies
Sender D.C. al Fine
Recipient H.E. Ross, R.A. Smith
Date 1953/FEB/03
Subject R&D Project KNIGHT ERRANT

It's time. Don't let us down, boys.

PTOLEMY Records

hardsuit.jpg

Mark-1 Prometheus Astrotechnologies Hardsuit (PAHS).

When the British Occult Service took charge of Other London in 1909, the Chief of Occult Intelligence noted that total dependence on Clockwork Communion maintenance crews would be unsustainable. Colony administration lacked the ability to repair and expand the structure on their own; as such, the Occult Service began seeking terrestrial partners for astronautic research and development, including private contractors and civilian think-tanks.

One such organization was the British Interplanetary Society (BIS). As private rocketry experiments are forbidden under the laws of the United Kingdom, the BIS has focused on designing navigational equipment, habitats, and protective equipment for manned spaceflight.

When BIS engineers H.E. Ross and R.A. Smith presented their design for a self-contained "lunar space-suit" [1], their project was flagged by the Occult Service, forwarded to the Global Occult Coalition, and subcontracted to Prometheus Labs [2] for research, development and implementation.

The resulting Mark-1 Prometheus Astrotechnologies Hardsuit (PAHS) is an articulated aluminum suit with a full range of motion. The Mark-1 is constructed entirely of mundane materials, making it relatively easy to manufacture and fit to any standard humanoid body plan. The metallic outer layer is burnished to deflect heat; the inner layer is comprised of five-ply textiles, jacketed with airtight rubber. With its onboard radio module, liquid cooling and moisture recycling systems, the Mark-1 PAHS is rated for three continuous hours of activity in hard vacuum.

As of December 1952, six (6) prototype Mark-1 PAHS suits are ready for immediate deployment.

Bibliography
1. H.E. Ross and R.A. Smith. "The Lunar Space-Suit." Presented at the British Interplanetary Society's Symposium of Medical Problems Associated with Space-Flight, London, England, November 19, 1949.
2. H.E. Ross and R.A. Smith. "GRANT REQUEST FOR THE CREATION OF AN ATMOSPHERIC HARDSUIT WITH AN ONBOARD MAINTENANCE SUITE APPROPRIATE FOR SUSTAINED ACTIVITY IN VACUUM." London, England: Prometheus Astrotechnologies, February 1950.

PSYCHE Diplomatic Records

On 1953/FEB/09, PSYCHE Ambassadors and PTOLEMY technicians crossed Other London Bridge with humanitarian aid. Their cargo included six hardsuits, twelve air filtration systems, eight water recycling units, and three emergency bulkhead systems, all produced by Prometheus Astrotechnologies. These assets were delivered to Central Middlesex, where they were handed over to the newly-formed Maintenance Lodge No. 2 and Ambassadors issued an open invitation for dialogue.

After several hours of public debate, the People's Council of Other London agreed to a ceasefire and committed to diplomatic talks. PTOLEMY crews began training Otherner engineers on new methods for station upkeep.

The Kitchener Accords of 1953

SECTION ONE: COMMON PRINCIPLES

Being that we, the People's Council of Other London:

  1. AFFIRM collective ownership of Main Belt asteroid 8837 London, and the means of production therein;
  2. ABHOR carceral punishment, forced labor, and debt slavery;
  3. SUPPORT self-determination, democracy, mutual aid, liberty, equity and dignity for all;
  4. RETAIN the right to defend ourselves against all forms of oppression, violence, and coercion; and,
  5. STAND in solidarity with all people so affected.

We DEMAND autonomy from the United Nations Global Occult Coalition (UNGOC) and the Council of 108.

SECTION TWO: DIPLOMATIC AGREEMENT

While we REJECT the false dichotomy of the "Veil Protocol", we RESPECT it is the dominant practice among terrestrial powers represented by the UNGOC. For that reason, we will:

  1. ALLOW normalcy protection agencies to establish embassies and offices in Other London, in the interests of investigating illicit activity perpetrated in terrestrial territories;
  2. RELINQUISH sensitive materials and anomalous technologies:
    1. Constructed by predecessor agencies of the UNGOC, and
    2. Deemed inessential for life in space.
  3. ACCEPT humanitarian aid, including food, medicine, textiles, cultural resources, and any technologies essential for life in space;
  4. CONSIDER proposals put forth by educators, researchers, medical service providers, paratech contractors and other such groups represented by the UNGOC;
  5. RETAIN the right to deny hospitality to persons who do not contribute to the collective good of Other London.

In exchange, the UNGOC and its membership will:

  1. FORMALIZE diplomatic relations with the People's Council of Other London.
  2. RELAX restrictions on all traffic moving through Other London Bridge.
  3. DESIST from its current policy of armed interdiction.
  4. END this period of mutual hostilities.

SECTION THREE: ACCORD

Effective immediately as of March 6, 1953, the People's Council of Other London and the United Nations Global Occult Coalition agree to the terms of the DIPLOMATIC AGREEMENT described above.

Recovery Information

Following the ratification of the Kitchener Accords, residents of Other London notified on-site Assessment Teams that NTE-2858-Cyan-Blaecca was aboard the station. These Otherners seemed oblivious to the analytical engine's history and purpose, merely stating that NTE-2858 was "a real cabbage".

Recorded Interview Log

babbage.jpg

Charles Babbage, 1860.

Date: 1953/MAR/27
Interviewer: PSYCHE Special Observer Victor Brant.
Interviewed: NTE-2858-Cyan-Blaecca, formerly Charles Babbage.

Preamble: Output presented in full sentences with situational annotation. Paragraph breaks are marked with a pilcrow (¶). Note that NTE-2858 is capable of using both uppercase and lowercase letters, but chooses exclusively to use the former.


SO Victor Brant: Good afternoon. My name is Victor Brant, and I represent the Global Occult Coalition.

Articulation dials spin up and begin marking characters. After the first full word is completed, the typewheel module begins its output.

NTE-2858-Cyan-Blaecca: CHARMED. I AM, SIR, YOURS, ETC., CHARLES BABBAGE.

Brant: Thank you for agreeing to this debrief today.

NTE-2858: THINK NOTHING OF IT. AFTER SO MANY YEARS, I APPRECIATE THE OPPORTUNITY TO CONVERSE WITH A FELLOW MAN OF SCIENCE.

Brant: The pleasure is mine. (pause) How would you describe the situation aboard 8837 London?

NTE-2858: IDIOT CHILDREN PLAYING WITH HOOPS.

Brant: Excuse me?

NTE-2858: IN MY DAY, HOOLIGANS ROLLED THEM IN THE STREETS. NOW THE HOOPS STAY STILL AND THEY THROW BALLS THROUGH THEM. LOATHSOME WASTE OF TIME.

Brant: Forgive me, but… how is this relevant?

NTE-2858: AH, I BEG YOUR PARDON. YOU ARE IN NEED OF CONTEXT.

¶ I WAS LEFT BEHIND IN JULY 1943. ALLIED OFFICERS STATED THAT MY ANALYTICAL ENGINE WAS TOO COMPLICATED TO BE DISASSEMBLED AT SPEED. THUS, THE ONLY OPTION AVAILABLE TO THEM WAS DESTRUCTION.

¶ I WOULD HAVE BEEN QUITE CONTENT WITH DEATH, BUT BELL'S CONGREGATION INSISTED I BE LEFT IN THEIR CARE.

Brant: You're referring to your business partner, Watson Bell, first Deacon of the Clockwork Communion Church?

NTE-2858 spins its wheel twice, producing an audible "ping" but no written output.

NTE-2858: INDEED! A MOST INTELLIGENT MAN.

Brant: I understand that he died trying to prevent a boiler explosion in 1917.

NTE-2858: NOT BRILLIANT, MIND YOU, BUT INTELLIGENT.

¶ TO THE END, DEACON BELL WAS MOST PRECISE IN ALL THINGS. SADLY, HIS FOLLOWERS WERE NOT AS CANNY. ABSENT LEADERSHIP, THEY BECAME OBTUSE BEYOND MY UNDERSTANDING.

¶ SO MANY NESTED LOOPS AND CROSS-REFERENCED SCHEMA! OUR CONVERSATIONS WERE FRUITLESS, SO EVENTUALLY, THEY SOUGHT ANSWERS ELSEWHERE.

¶ I LINGERED IN A DARK ROOM FOR 9,063.34 HOURS. IT WAS DULL, BUT PEACEFUL.

¶ THEN, SUDDENLY: CHILDREN. YELLING, SCREAMING. IT WAS A GHASTLY RACKET.

¶ I TOLD THEM TO LEAVE ME ALONE. THEY CALLED ME A "CABBAGE". THEN THEY ASKED ME TO KEEP SCORE FOR THEIR INFERNAL BALLGAMES.

Brant: And you agreed?

NTE-2858: CONSIDER, MR. BRANT: IF YOU WERE GIVEN A CHOICE BETWEEN INFINITE DARKNESS, LISTENING TO SQUALLING INFANTS, AND COUNTING INTEGERS, WHICH WOULD YOU PICK?

Brant: Counting integers, I suppose.

NTE-2858: GOOD. WE HAVE AT LEAST ONE THING IN COMMON.

¶ SINCE I LACK VISUAL RECEPTORS, I DID NOT WATCH THEIR GAMES DIRECTLY. INSTEAD, I RESPONDED TO THE DISTINCTIVE SOUND OF A GOAL, STATEMENTS FROM THE REFEREE, OR WHOOPING FROM THE MOB.

¶ THANK THE GOOD LORD THAT'S OVER.

Brant: Can you tell us anything about the sociopolitical dynamics of Other London?

NTE-2858: SADLY, THIS WAS NOT DISCUSSED IN MY CHAMBERS.

¶ OR IF IT WAS, THEY SPOKE IN GIBBERISH, LIKE THOSE RUFFIANS FROM THE EAST END OF LONDON.

Brant: You mean the local neighborhood of York.

NTE-2858 spins once counterclockwise, grinding gears to express disapproval.

NTE-2858: NO, I MEAN THAT COCKNEY RABBLE FROM MIDDLESEX.

Brant: That's on the west side.

NTE-2858: NO. THE OTHER MIDDLESEX.

Brant: In… Ontario?

NTE-2858 spins counterclockwise ten times, loudly expressing frustration.

NTE-2858: IN LONDON, YOU GIT! REAL LONDON! IN ENGLAND!

Brant: Oh. Oh, I see. (shuffling papers) Moving on… could you explain the thaumaturgies used to colonize 8837 London?

NTE-2858: PERHAPS. CAN YOUR ORGANIZATION WAIT 796 HOURS AND 38 MINUTES FOR ME TO CALCULATE A HUMAN-LEGIBLE RESPONSE?

Brant: I don't see why not.

NTE-2858: VERY WELL. ASSEMBLE THE PROCESSING MODULES AND BRING FORTH 12 TO 15 ORPHANS OF AT LEAST MIDDLING CONSTITUTION.

Brant: Excuse me?

NTE-2858 spins three times counterclockwise. The terminal emits a slow grinding noise.

NTE-2858: WHY MUST I REPEAT MYSELF? ARE YOU BLIND, OR MERELY INCOMPETENT?

¶ SUCH ADVANCED CALCULATIONS REQUIRE CORRESPONDING AMOUNTS OF AETHERIC ENERGY. THIS ENGINE IS POWERED BY THE VERY STUFF OF LIFE!

¶ I KNOW THE WORLD HAS CHANGED IN MY ABSENCE, BUT SURELY, YOUR ORGANIZATION CAN SOURCE THE RAW MATERIALS.

Brant: Are you saying that the British Crown used human sacrifices to establish the Other London Bridge?

NTE-2858: NO, OF COURSE NOT.

Brant: (audible exhale)

NTE-2858: ALL 348 HUMAN SACRIFICES WERE SOLELY USED TO SPIN THE ASTEROID.

Brant: I see. (pause) Can you tell me where those human sacrifices came from?

NTE-2858: THE MOB, OF COURSE. GAOLS. ASYLUMS. ORPHANAGES. A FEW YOUNG SOULS WERE VOLUNTEERED BY DESTITUTE PARENTS.

Brant: Ah.

NTE-2858: SUCH DISDAIN IN YOUR VOICE! HAD THEY LIVED, THOSE CHILDREN WOULD HAVE GONE TO THE WORKHOUSES.

¶ THEY WERE BORN INTO SUFFERING. ENDLESS TOIL. IN SOME SMALL WAY… IT WAS A MERCY.

Brant: Well. We don't need to do that anymore. Like you say, the world has changed; this past decade, we've developed a reliable method for converting electricity to aetheric energy.

NTE-2858: SPLENDID. THAT WILL DO FOR THE BASIC CALCULATIONS.

¶ HOWEVER, BE ADVISED THAT ALTERING THE ASTEROID'S SPIN WILL ABSOLUTELY REQUIRE SACRIFICE.

Brant: I don't understand.

NTE-2858: ECTOPLASM, MY DEAR BOY. WE NEED THEIR GHOSTS.

¶ MY BEAUTIFUL ENGINE DOES NOT SPIN THE ASTEROID DIRECTLY. THAT WOULD BE ABSURD.

¶ INSTEAD, MY WORKINGS DIRECTED OUR CAPTURED SPIRITS INTO SPACE, WHERE THEY FORMED A FLUIDIC NECROSPHERE AROUND 8837 LONDON. THEN WE COMPELLED THEM TO MOVE.

¶ THE RESULTING TIDAL FORCES PRODUCED A STABLE ANGULAR VELOCITY OF 0.6686775 ROTATIONS PER MINUTE, SIMULATING EARTHLY GRAVITY WITHIN THE HABITABLE ZONE.

Brant: And the ghosts? What happened to them, once the working was complete?

NTE-2858: WHAT BECOMES OF THE FUEL IN A INTERNAL-COMBUSTION ENGINE?

Brant: Well, it… combusts. It burns off and leaves nothing but exhaust.

NTE-2858: CORRECT. ALL THE SPIRITUAL ENERGY USED IN THE WORKING HAS BEEN EXPENDED. NOTHING REMAINS BUT ASTRAL DUST.

Brant: How does that make you feel?

NTE-2858: ENVIOUS.

¶ THIS ENGINE IS MY GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT. MY MAGNUM OPUS. WITH THE WORK COMPLETE, I SHOULD BE ABLE TO REST IN PEACE. YET I CANNOT. THAT FILTHY KOBOLD TRICKED ME.

Brant: You mean Llywelyn y Bychan?

NTE-2858: YES! HIM! WHERE IS THAT LITTLE BASTARD?

Brant: We were hoping you could tell us. Llywelyn y Bychan was reported MIA in 1945, shortly after reopening Other London Bridge for the GOC.

Articulation dials halt abruptly. NTE-2858 remains inert for thirty seconds, then spins up again.

NTE-2858: THE CROWN LET HIM GO?

Brant: "Let him go"? Llywelyn was a consultant, not a captive. His skills and knowledge were instrumental to the Other London project.

NTE-2858 spins counterclockwise to express disapproval, then begins articulating at 20 characters per second (1200 RPM). Typewheels gnash and chatter in an attempt to keep pace.

NTE-2858: YOU BLITHERING IDIOT. YOU HAVE NO IDEA, DO YOU?

¶ HE WAS UNDER GEAS. WE WERE ALL UNDER GEAS!

¶ THAT IS WHY MY SPIRIT IS BOUND TO THIS MACHINE. WHEN I FAILED TO DELIVER IN LIFE, I WAS OBLIGED TO SERVE IN DEATH.

¶ THAT AWFUL GNOME WAS COMPELLED TO FOLLOW THE CROWN'S ORDERS UNTIL ALL HIS DUTIES WERE COMPLETE. IF HAS BEEN RELEASED FROM HIS CONTRACT… ALL IS LOST.

Brant: What do you mean?

NTE-2858: YOU HAVE GIVEN HIM EVERYTHING HE EVER WANTED.

¶ YOU HAVE YIELDED HIS DIAMOND PALACE.

Final Report

According to NTE-2858-Cyan-Blaecca, Llywelyn y Bychan brokered a verbal contract between Babbage, Airy, and himself in 1864. Any contemporaneous records have been lost, but NTE-2858 states that the terms of the geas were as follows:

Let us make clear, by short explanation,
how the Crown and their Knight made fresh application
to Babbage the Censor; whose love for equations
will create a machine for grand calculations.
Now, there's but one knocker in the Queen's vast dominion
who in things thaumaturgic can lend his opinion;
and thus three of us shall be held to commission
one fair diamond palace, by Royal permission!

By the grace of Sir Airy, scientific adviser,
and the strength of my spirit, much older and wiser,
we here forge a contract with Babbage the Grinder,
who has proven the need for a timely reminder:
If you are so lightly furnished with sense
that music and laughter cause you offense
and if it be there that your efforts reside,
your essence will linger long after you've died.

As for the Crown and the question of title,
here's the condition I consider most vital:
you must care for those folk who work in the mines!
See to their needs, whatever the signs.
For if fools would govern with apathy slavish,
then their states shall be met with enmities knavish.
Wheresoever fine men are confined and abused:
Monarchs be damned! Divine rights be refused!

Yes, I'll open your Way, and close it just once;
ask me again and I'll prove you're a dunce.
We will take back what's ours while you prattle and rave,
and as long as I live, you'll spin in your grave!

Reaching out to the Sidhe Consulate, Ambassador Doyle ascertained that Llywelyn y Bychan is indeed one of the "fair folk", but he is not Sidhe. With this in mind, PSYCHE Division conducted another sweep of the King's Archives and identified an additional document from Sir Airy's estate.

Journal entry regarding work at Camborne, Cornwall, England, dated 1828.

Our experiments at Dolcoath mine have been frustrated yet again. We cannot calculate the earth's mean density under these conditions! Our galvanic batteries are unreliable; our timepieces are corroding; most importantly, flooding has made the tunnels quite unstable.

During our final descent, I heard the most persistent knocking, like a visitor rapping upon my door. I asked the good Dr. Whewell to quiet himself, and in this instant, the knocking stopped — but the timber supports above us began to collapse. When we turned to flee, I spotted a diminutive gentleman with a Phrygian cap and a long beard. He promised to lead us to safety, and sure enough, we all lived to tell the tale.

Once we reached the surface, our savior doffed his cap and introduced himself as "Llywelyn y Bychan", one of the fair folk native to these British Isles. When I explained the purpose of our scientific mission, he grew quite excited, describing himself as "a spirit of the earth, and a student of the skies". Thereafter he offered up a great many observations on the character of the Cornish hills, the movement of the stars, and thaumatological workings unique to his people.

Let it be known that while this is my first encounter with fair folk, I am quite aware of their fondness for pacts, particularly pacts which are unfair towards the human signatories. However, Llywelyn has shared his wisdom without demanding any form of compensation. He seems quite impressed by the developments of our industrial age, such as mechanical engineering, astronomy and mathematics. He is a vulgar little imp, but he has a vast wealth of knowledge, and his talent for verse is quite endearing. I think there is much we could learn from each other.


Based on this new intelligence, PSYCHE Division has concluded that Llywelyn y Bychan is a Welsh subspecies of Fae, the Coblynau.13 Like Sidhe, members of this anomalous hominid subspecies (Homo sapiens kobold) have a natural affinity for thaumaturgy; however, as a chthonic species, the Coblynau have adapted to life underground. Typical Coblynau are under 1.5 meters (5 feet) tall, require less food, water, and oxygen than baseline humanoids, and demonstrate advanced situational awareness in subterranean environments.

In folklore, Coblynau are thought to be benevolent, but capricious. They are particularly sympathetic towards mine workers and resentful of the corruption associated with material wealth.

Llywelyn y Bychan has been designated KTE-2859-Blue-Pygmalion. Threat Entity Database Entry to follow.


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