Chapter 1: Calm Before The Storm

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Re: Chapter I

Post Thu Nov 20, 2008 5:15 pm

rredmond wrote:"Yes I am Will Thornton," and returning the handshake w/o hesitation, "my pleasure to make the acquaintance of both of you. How came you to be on this wondrous ride?"
"Wondrous! Indeed, that's the word!" cried Dr. Burton. "Now, as to our presence here... we are just now returning from a very successful dig in the heart of Africa."

"We're archeologists," said Catherine, "in case you haven't figured that out already."

"Oh, dear girl, Will here is a sharp-looking fellow, I'm sure he knew before he even saw us. Now, as I say, we are returning to the Smithsonian with the results of a very successful dig in Africa. We excavated the tombs of some truly ancient kings."

Just then came a slight lurch. "We're moving, Father," said Catherine. "Hurry forward, we don't want to miss the takeoff!"

"Come along with us, dear boy!" said Dr. Burton as he stepped through the doorway into the Lounge. "We'll save you a seat!"
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Re: Chapter I

Post Thu Nov 20, 2008 5:31 pm

The lurch of the dirigible preparing for take-off woke Artie from his nap. He sat up quickly, spilling the typescript pages onto the floor. Feels like we're finally moving... this is something I've got to see, thought Artie. He grabbed his jacket and slipped out the door, heading back to the lounge.
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Re: Chapter I

Post Thu Nov 20, 2008 5:42 pm

Mak wrote:The lurch of the dirigible preparing for take-off woke Artie from his nap. He sat up quickly, spilling the typescript pages onto the floor. Feels like we're finally moving... this is something I've got to see, thought Artie. He grabbed his jacket and slipped out the door, heading back to the lounge.
Artie found the lounge quite full; there were very few chairs left unfilled. He stood there a moment, looking around; everyone was involved in their own conversations, and nobody seemed to notice him.

As he looked to starboard, he noticed the chair next to Lily (and thus opposite Cesar) was empty. As he looked, Lily waved at him. "Come sit here, Artie, the view should be grand!" Cesar looked less than happy at this, but Lily was turned away and couldn't see him.
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Re: Chapter I

Post Thu Nov 20, 2008 8:03 pm

Solomoriah wrote:Lily waved at him. "Come sit here, Artie, the view should be grand!" Cesar looked less than happy at this, but Lily was turned away and couldn't see him.
Artie's in that chair faster'n Art Tatum on a cadenza. He flashes Lily a winning smile in thanks. Nodding toward Falco, he says, "I hear Mr. Falco here is one of the reasons Italy enjoys the reputation it has today. Wouldn't you agree, signor?"
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Re: Chapter I

Post Thu Nov 20, 2008 11:45 pm

Mak wrote:Artie's in that chair faster'n Art Tatum on a cadenza. He flashes Lily a winning smile in thanks. Nodding toward Falco, he says, "I hear Mr. Falco here is one of the reasons Italy enjoys the reputation it has today. Wouldn't you agree, signor?"
For just a moment, Artie thought that Cesar would hit him; but instead, Cesar smiled broadly and said, "You have a rare wit, for an American. Very rare indeed."

Artie nearly fell from his chair when another man leaned across the table between them. Apparently, Artie had been so intent on taking Lily up on her offer that he failed to notice the fourth chair was also filled. The other man had dark curly hair and icy blue eyes, and was dressed in a rather reserved grey suit, and he spoke with a distinct upper-class New York accent.

"You don't like Americans, chum?" he asked.

"No, no, amico, you have taken me wrong," Cesar said, looking as wronged as he knew how. "I was complimenting my friend Artie here." Then he smiled broadly. "It is a beautiful day, no? And we are in the company of a beautiful woman. Let us enjoy it." Lily blushed again, and smiled shyly at Cesar.

Feeling awkward once again, Artie looked away, toward the bow of the ship, and just then the Morgana came completely out from under the hangar. The loudspeaker crackled, and everyone in the lounge fell silent as Captain Pelton's voice rang out clearly from it. "Ladies and gentlemen, we have cleared the hangar, as you can see, and the tow cable has been disengaged. We will turn to the northeast, into the wind, and begin to ascend very shortly. Enjoy the view of Portsmouth and the surrounding area, and I'll join you shortly for brunch, which will be served starting now."

With that, the stewards began walking among the tables, handing out menus and taking drink orders. The menu featured a mixture of American breakfast fare and proper British teatime items.

"Oh, it all looks so good," said Lily, looking over the menu.
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Re: Chapter I

Post Fri Nov 21, 2008 10:53 am

Solomoriah wrote:For just a moment, Artie thought that Cesar would hit him; but instead, Cesar smiled broadly and said, "You have a rare wit, for an American. Very rare indeed."
Artie felt a glimmer of remorse for baiting Falco like he had, but he'd already decided that he didn't like the man. Not just because he might become a rival, but because he didn't believe his intentions toward Lily were honourable. And yours are? an interior voice asked him. Artie smiled inwardly. Yes. Mostly. Mostly, I just can't wait to get to that piano, feel the beat coursing through me, shaping notes and textures delicately around the melodies that Lily'll sing, losing myself in that magic. His fingers tapped on the table top as he thought this, almost uncontrollably.
Solomoriah wrote:Artie nearly fell from his chair when another man leaned across the table between them. Apparently, Artie had been so intent on taking Lily up on her offer that he failed to notice the fourth chair was also filled. The other man had dark curly hair and icy blue eyes, and was dressed in a rather reserved grey suit, and he spoke with a distinct upper-class New York accent.
Artie smiled at the stranger, silently grateful that someone else had called Falco out. He held out his hand. "Do I detect a Yankee accent there? Name's Artie Evans. I'm along to provide ballast, and to keep that piano on the wall from getting dusty."
Solomoriah wrote:the stewards began walking among the tables, handing out menus and taking drink orders. The menu featured a mixture of American breakfast fare and proper British teatime items.

"Oh, it all looks so good," said Lily, looking over the menu.
"We should have champagne," suggests Artie to his tablemates. "This is a moment to remember."
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Re: Chapter I

Post Fri Nov 21, 2008 11:22 am

Solomoriah wrote: "We're archeologists," said Catherine, "in case you haven't figured that out already."

"Oh, dear girl, Will here is a sharp-looking fellow, I'm sure he knew before he even saw us. Now, as I say, we are returning to the Smithsonian with the results of a very successful dig in Africa. We excavated the tombs of some truly ancient kings."

Just then came a slight lurch. "We're moving, Father," said Catherine. "Hurry forward, we don't want to miss the takeoff!"

"Come along with us, dear boy!" said Dr. Burton as he stepped through the doorway into the Lounge. "We'll save you a seat!"
"Archeology is an amazing science, I'd love to join you to watch the takeoff, wouldn't miss it. Perhaps later we can talk more of your dig and what you found there?" Will joins the two, and responds completely amicably to Catherine, and tries to add just the right amount of enthusiasm to his questions about archaeology. I've got to get back in practice... and just in case, always good to know about museum pieces that private buyers might like, he thinks to himself. Will smiles almost whistling as he moves quickly with the other two. Everyone should be there, millionaires will have to mingle with the rabble. His smile gets wider the closer they get, "this is exciting yes?"
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Re: Chapter I

Post Fri Nov 21, 2008 5:43 pm

Mak wrote:Artie smiled at the stranger, silently grateful that someone else had called Falco out. He held out his hand. "Do I detect a Yankee accent there? Name's Artie Evans. I'm along to provide ballast, and to keep that piano on the wall from getting dusty."
"Pleased to meet you, Art. I'm Steve Vance, with the U.S. Consulate in London. I'm heading home 'on holiday' as the Brits say, to see my folks."
Mak wrote:"We should have champagne," suggests Artie to his tablemates. "This is a moment to remember."
"Champagne!" said Cesar, smiling. "Perhaps we do have something in common, amico. Steward! A bottle of champagne, por favore!"
rredmond wrote:Will smiles almost whistling as he moves quickly with the other two. Everyone should be there, millionaires will have to mingle with the rabble. His smile gets wider the closer they get, "this is exciting yes?"
Late again, Will thought, scanning the room; but at a half-filled table for six near the back wall, someone recognized Dr. Burton and hailed him. The people seated at the table hastily rearranged themselves, and Will, Dr. Burton, and Catherine were at last seated. Will found himself at the starboard end of the table, almost back to back with a slightly built, dark haired man; he seemed rather ordinary, but at the same table Will noted a blonde bombshell, obviously taken with the Italian playboy seated beside her, and a third man in a high-quality yet rather staid gray suit. The Italian playboy had just ordered champagne.

Of course, meals were provided with the price of passage, Will remembered, but alcoholic beverages were always extra. He turned his attention to the menu, considering his options, while also taking in the others at the table.

...

The stately vessel was fully underway very shortly, and with little sensation of movement. The Captain said, "Good show, Mister Chapman, bloody good. When you reach a thousand feet, set your heading due west, and full speed ahead. I must go see to the passengers."

Turning, Captain Pelton found that the entire crew, save only for the stewards, was lining the back wall of the bridge as well as filling the corridor beyond. "Well, boys, show's over. I'll remind you, first watch sleeps third watch, second watch sleeps first, and third watch sleeps second. If you're supposed to be in bed right now, I'm sorry." He smiled briefly, then continued, "Remember, if you are on A deck for any reason, you must be in your whites. No work coveralls in the passenger area. Now, carry on!"
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Re: Chapter I

Post Tue Nov 25, 2008 12:15 am

GM Note: People mentioned in this post are marked with numbers corresponding to the chair numbers given on the Lounge Deck Plan picture, on the regular web page http://basicfantasy.org/tsgs . These numbers do not appear on the chairs themselves, and are only given here to assist you all in envisioning the scene.

Dr. Burton 15 turned to the elderly woman next to him. "I'm sorry, we haven't been properly introduced. I'm Doctor Henry Burton, and seated across from me here is my daughter Catherine. 17 This chap at the end of the table is Mister Will Thornton." 16

"Charmed, I'm sure," she replied. "I'm Emily Rowlandson, 14 of London. This chap," she said, indicating the man across the table from her, "is Baron Klaust Von Malum, 18 also residing in London."

The latter man wore a monocle and a dark suit decorated with a few medals in the German style. "Pleased to meet you gentlemen," he said, with a noticeable but not particularly thick German accent. He extended a hand to Dr. Burton and then to Will. "So tell me, Henry," he continued, "what precisely are you a Doctor of?"

"I'm an archaeologist," replied Doctor Burton. "I've just come back from a very successful dig in the heart of Africa. Have you heard of the Mondabe (pronounced "mun-daw-bee") tribe?" The Baron shook his head, and Dr. Burton continued, "Well, it's in 'darkest Africa' as they say, far out into the jungle. We found a mound, or perhaps a badly eroded pyramid, and we did what archaeologists do... we dug into it. What we found was astounding... evidence of a heretofore unsuspected civilization that may have existed thousands of years before the first pyramid was built in Egypt. Even better, we found several previously undisturbed tombs."

As Dr. Burton continued droning on, Will took the opportunity to look around the room a bit. He had already studied the people sitting at the table beside him, of course, so now he looked a bit further.

The table nearest the bow of the ship was evidently the Captain's table. Will could see that each place had a name-card for an invited guest; he didn't see any similar cards at any of the other tables. The chair at the portside-end of the table was empty (awaiting the Captain, Will presumed), but the other chairs were all filled. On the Captain's right hand Will noted an elderly gentleman 8 who obviously purchased his clothing in the same store frequented by Dr. Burton... he looked entirely professorial. His unruly shock of white hair and thick glasses set him apart from the less distinctive archaeologist.

Beside the white-haired gentleman sat a man and woman, 7, 6 forty-ish, the man wearing a staid business suit while his wife (for Will was certain she must be his wife) was dressed in a fashionable yet plain dress. Both were dignified, but neither was particularly striking. The man at the starboard end of the table, on the other hand, was tall (even sitting Will could see that), athletic but not overly muscular, dark haired and handsome. His suit was tailored and he sat as if ready to spring into action at a moment's notice.

At the handsome man's right hand sat a woman, 4 in her thirties perhaps, modestly attractive and wearing the most fashionable hair and clothing in the room. Though she seemed very attentive to the fellow at the foot of the table, Will was certain she was actually the wife of the Frenchman 3 seated on her right.

In the chair at the Captain's left sat a man of middle years, 2 ruggedly handsome, with a full head of gray hair. He was wearing a suit, Italian it appeared, and perfectly tailored, but something about him indicated to Will that he was, in fact, American.

With the chair at the other end of the table empty, Will could easily see the young couple seated at the table opposite. 21, 22 They were speaking to each other, leaning in close and smiling a lot; Will felt sure they were a couple, perhaps honeymooning, and from their gestures he decided they must be Italian.

At the other small table, Will saw a strikingly beautiful young brunette, 26 wearing a dress that sparkled perhaps a bit too much for morning wear. He was certain he had seen her face somewhere before, but just as certain that he had never seen her in person. The man sitting beside her 25 was dressed in a khaki outfit with a red ascot; though the beautiful woman beside him was speaking, he seemed more interested in the occupants of the Captain's table than in her.

All this Will took in while Dr. Burton droned on about his archaeological dig; he had just begun to say something about the artifacts he had found when the Captain strode purposefully into the lounge. Following the Captain were three of his officers, and all four were dressed in their immaculate white uniforms.

The other officers took seats at those tables where space was still available, 14, 19, 23 while the Captain went to his seat. 1 He did not sit, though, instead turning so that he faced the room. Everyone fell silent, and he began to speak.

"Welcome, ladies and gentlemen! This is an historic occasion, as you all well know, but I'm told you will swiftly become used to cruising high above the land and sea. Feel free to visit the lounge any time; the kitchen is open from five thirty AM to eight PM, and a steward is on duty to fulfill your every need twenty-four hours a day. We have a small but select collection of wine and spirits available for purchase, and I'm told we'll have music and singing later. Now, everyone, let me invite you to tuck in!"

With that, the stewards began to serve the food and drinks that had been ordered, and the Captain sat down and turned his attention to his guests.

"I'm Leftenant Briggs," said the crewman who was now sitting beside Dr. Burton, 14 "second watch command officer."

Dr. Burton offered his hand, introducing himself, and then Lt. Briggs turned and extended his hand toward Will.

GM Note: Even if you aren't in this "scene," feel free to let me know what you are doing now. Mansel has been relieved, while Lars is technically still supposed to be inspecting the dirigible.
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Re: Chapter I

Post Tue Nov 25, 2008 1:21 am

Artie gladly accepts the champagne ordered by Falco. He lifts the glass and suggests Falco propose a toast.

Image

Before he quaffs the drink, he turns to Lily and says, "Here's lookin' at you, kid."
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