This is a collection of old, short stories that take place prior to Tabula Rasa

 

Back to the drawing boards

The sun began to peak its head above the horizon. The light winding its way in to every nook and cranny it could find, including the yet completed roof of the lab just on the outskirts of London. Inside sat a sleeping scientist, leaning back on two legs of a chair that had been waging a constant battle with gravity since just after he’d fallen asleep. With sketches on the table, a tool in his hand, and an access panel open on the propulsion pod of the majestic air ship close behind him, it was pretty obvious that he hasn’t planned this onslaught of sleep.  It had been months since the accident that destroyed the lab, most of the ship and nearly London itself and he’s been working nonstop since.

The sun made his way to the face of the sleeping inventor; the light glistened off the drool on the side of his face. As he began to squirm, the battle that had been waging since the early hours of the morning came to an end as he toppled over in the chair and was forced to consciousness, flailing to the ground.

“Gahh” he squeaked out as he tumbled to the ground… “Newton….you son of a bitch….” He groaned rubbing his head.

Slowly, but surly getting up, Os brushed himself off and made an attempt to button his grey tweed vest but soon threw that idea to the wind and walked over and leaned on his desk.

“The mark III…you look like trouble…I could use some good trouble…” he said as he stood and turned to the Archimedes, rubbing the sleep from his eyes. Walking to the access panel, he leaned in and reconnected a few cables, closed the panel and patted the ship on the side.

“I think you are finally back to 100%, good lookin…now….what to do with you…”

He paused for a moment, looked up at the gaping hole in the roof and the at his fob watch and was taken back for a moment. “It’s too damned early..” He said shaking his head, walking back to the table looking at the design sketches and smirked.

“I guess it’s about time to change things up a bit. I’ve been keeping quiet too long, I think it’s time to make some noise.. I’m sure Nik would love that..Hah…” he cackled to himself “I hope the old man is doing alright”

He walked over to the broken remains of the mirror he had hanging in the back and fixed his sleep torn hair, back to the table and replaced his tie and buttoned his vest. Looking over to the back wall, next to a pile of rubble, lay a black chest, sporting a maniacal grin, he walked over and opened it.

“Archy has been getting all the attention lately, hasn’t she? You guys need to stretch your legs”

He reached in and removed his black leather gun belt , having a few tricks of its own,  the holster holding his trademark mk2 rig and reactor.  Brushing off some dust, he slid the power control pod on to his left hand and placed the belt around his waist, he pulled out a black leather shoulder holster,  the held what looked to be two small weapons.

“Now let’s see if I can work the bugs out of these little bastards”, he said as he put on the holster.

He walked back to the table and put the remote control unit for Archy on his right wrist, doing a quick system check as the ship roared to life. Grabbing his top coat, hat, gloves and finally the GSRMD, he suited up, wearing it over his coat and attaching the leads. Putting on his hat and cocking it just to the perfect angle, he pulled a cigar and lit it with a smirk. Taking a few puffs and cracking his neck, the brim of the hat hid everything but his grin, the bellowing smoke and the cherry of the cigar as he hopped up to the deck of the Archimedes.

Flipping a switch on the remote, the remaining parts of the roof began to creak open, hanging a few times with a loud screech before finally completing the cycle.

“I need funds to fix that damn roof somehow. What do you say, old gal? How about we check out that bounty board, see if I’ve still got it.”

Smirking as he puffed on the cigar, he set the takeoff sequence and the ship rose out of the lab. With a spin of the wheel and a slap of the throttle, she was off to Scotland yard.

 

Back in the Habit 

“Will you just stop already??” Os yelled, running through the streets of White Chapel as he fired the MK2 about a foot over the man’s head he was chasing.

“Christ!!!” The man said in a thick accent, flailing about as he ran through the streets, “You’re going to kill me with that bloody voodoo rubbish you’re shooting at me, why the hell would I stop, you damn yank”

Peter O’Callahan was the man’s name, or better known Slippery Pete or The Salamander. The bounty wasn’t astronomical, but it wasn’t bad either. He earned the 1000 pound bounty by, what first started as, a simple peeping tom incident. He then would push his limits further and further by breaking in to the homes, then stealing items, and then actually wearing the items. He had a particularly odd habit of scaling walls and oiling his body and limbs as to not be easily grabbed. The combination of the two had only been tried once and he was lucky the ally was narrow enough as to catch himself on the other wall. He wasn’t a particularly smart individual.

“Now how the hell am I supposed to collect a bounty with no body to show? You stupid son of a bitch” He said as he fired at the ground to his front right, blowing a crater in the road. Pete tripped but caught himself, only slowing a little.

“Christ” he said slowing to a stop. “I’m done with this nonsense.”

Turning to look at his purser, Pete laughed in what he thought was victory, see that Os has stopped and slowed his pace. Looking ahead of him, Os fired a few shots, blocking off the next few cross streets from Pete’s path. Startled at the shots, he quickened to his original pace, fell, rolled, stood back up and continued.

Os let out a sigh at the sight as he took out a small pocket notebook and out of that a small folded map of London. Opening it revealed sets of coordinates and altitude markings on various areas.

“Now where the hell am I”, he said looking at the map and then to his surroundings “ Ahh, there we go”

He took a quick look at Pete again and folded the map and place it and the book back in his coat as he turned around. He twisted a few dials on the GSRMD, took a quick look over his shoulder “Ehh, few more for good measure” and made an adjustment then flipped the knife switch located to its rear.

The air spun and cracked with static electricity and with a blinding flash and thunder crack, Os disappeared from his current location with a plume of smoke and reappeared about 6 inches off the ground and a yard in front of Pete, stopping him with a swift right cross to the jaw.

“Idiot”, he said as the air settled around him, Pete’s eyes rolling to the back of his head as he fell to the paved road.

“These damn runners. I need to do something about that”.

Os squatted, lifted his pant leg and pulled a cigar out of the silver case in his boot, put it in his mouth and lit it. Leaning up on the wall he stood for a few moments, puffing on the cigar before pulling out a pair of handcuffs from his pouch and clasping them the Slippery Pete’s wrist.

He stood the unconscious miscreant and leaned him against the ally wall, entering a new set of coordinates on his wrist, “Shall we?” He rhetorically asked hugging him close and adjusting a black dial on his wrist

“Awww…wha…what the hell? Peanut oil? Really??? Awww” he moaned, flipping the knife switch and disappearing with Pete and a chunk of the wall, as he did before.

With a loud crack and a blinding flash, Os, Pete and the chunk of brick rubble, appeared in Scotland Yard. Os pushed Pete off him, exposing the slight glaze he acquired from the peanut oil and the man fell to the ground with the ruble.

“Ahh, Mr Harrison, another one I see” said an officer in the Yard, walking over.

With a disgusted look on his face, trying to shake off some of the oil “Captain Oliver, a pleasure as always. Slippery Pete…I should screen the nicknames a little better”, wiping his glove on his pant and shaking the Captains hand.

With a chuckle, “Aye, probably not a bad idea. I will take him from here. I’ll let the clerks know and have them get the bounty ready.”

“Sounds good, mate. Now what do you have for the next one?” Os said with a smirk and a puff of the cigar.

Stand Off

“You don’t have to do this”, Os yelled.

The two men stood, roughly twenty paces apart. The afternoon sun glimmered off of Os’s sunglasses as the crowd of the town dispersed. With Westminster Abby to his back, the bearded man yelled, “This is the only way that it shall happen, comrade, dragging my carcass through the streets.” In a thick Russian accent.

All was silent aside from the shrieks of the few still dispersing town members. The wind gently blew through the streets, rustling about the grey topcoat Os wore. The man stood on the steps, two revolvers drawn, clenching the grips. Ready, Os still with the MK2 drawn, armed and at his side and his thumb resting on the same side of his gun belt. In the back, members of Scotland Yard held off the few members of the crowd that hadn’t dispersed.

The seconds’ past as the minute hand on Big Ben ticked ahead, the air stiff with tension. At the blink of an eye, then man yelled and fired. At the sound of the yell, Os flicked his thumb down as he raised his side arm. The high pitch wine of the macro steam turbines filled the air as the high compression steam canister was engaged. A quick shimmer of light floated around Os’s body as the protection barrier density supplied by his gun belt increased. Steam exhaust from the turbines escaping the coat as he fired at the man on the steps. The beam of energy escaped the tip of Os’s weapon and flew through the air, a bullet collided with the outer edge of the barrier at the same fell to the ground as the inertia was dispersed through the barrier.

The man at the top of the stairs fell to his knees and the pistols clanged to the ground. A haze emanated from the cauterized hole in the man’s torso as the area around it turned to ash. The large wooden doors of Westminster Abby smoked as the ash cloud dissipated with the sound of the shock stricken crowd.

Os dipped his head as he holstered his side arm and tapped his belt buckle to power down the protection barrier, letting out a sigh.

“You didn’t have to do that”

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