Thursday, August 30, 2007

Editor's Appendix C: Additional Evidence in the Eliot Case

The following images all have obvious relevance to Professor Nishi's role in the case of the "Eliot device." They are followed by a transcription of the letter discovered on the corpse of Mr. Giles Canning, based on a copy of the letter found in the Professor's predictably disorganized files:

Figure 1:

Detail of the magistrate's warrant nailed to the front and rear doors of Professor Nishi's Abney Park laboratory by Mayor Shaunathan Sprocket (20 August); this photograph is noted as having come from the front door of the blockhouse.

Figure 2:

It is believed that this is the only extant photograph of Professor Nishi's reproduction of the "Porta Terrarum" or "Eliot" device, the one for which her Abney Park property was sealed. Note the Professor in the background, right, near one of her plesiosaurs.

Figure 3:

The infamous "death list" found affixed (14 August) to Giles Canning's spine with the murder weapon and widely thereafter circulated throughout New Babbage. Note that the names of the Imperial Theatre orphans are separated from those of Jason Moriarty and Professor Nishi. The reader will recall, it was Dr. Nishi's belief that these names were not a list of intended victims, but rather a list of people Mr. Canning hoped to question regarding the whereabouts of the device's three components.

Figure 4:

The painting by Jason Moriarty that appeared among numerous others on 24 August at Loki Absinthe. Much of the symbology and imagery already seen inside the Imperial (see Appendix A) is repeated here. More importantly than the garish painting itself, is the letter inadvertently discovered attached to the back of the canvas by a Miss Indigo Li.

Figure 5:

The letter from Professor Alexander Eliot to Jason Moriarty, found on the back of Moriarty's painting.

Figure 6:

A curious document. According to Professor Nishi's notes, this records the loan of a considerable sum of money to Professor Eliot by Sir Edler Reifsnider, the man who would later try to destroy the Imperial Theatre. It was given to Professor Nishi during a meeting with Reifsnider at Abney Park, prior to her showdown with him at the theatre two days later (28 August). Reifsnider presented this loan agreement as proof of his authority to seal the theatre, evict the orphans, and have the building demolished.

Figure 7:

This painting was installed at Loki Absinthe on 29 August, the work of another orphan, Jimmy Branagh. Much more will be written on this image in a subsequent appendix. For now, I would note that young Branagh reported having painted this following a dream he had after the gathering at the absinthe house on 24 August. The child seen from the back appears to be Branagh himself. Note also Lewis Carroll's Cheshire cat on what appears to be a stone altar, dominated by a sickly green monstrosity, something that seems a hybrid of octopoid and arthropod. According to Professor Nishi's notes, the painting was described to her in detail by Artemisia Paine. Later, the Professor questioned the artist about it, and later still, she asked Mr. Leon Susenko, Miss Gloriana Maertens (of Caledon Eyre), and Miss Beq Janus to render opinions. There was a general consensus that the woman's face, repeated many times in the upper left-hand corner, was meant to be the that of Professor Nishi.

What follows is a transcript, by Artemisia Paine, of the letter found with the "death list" and the "Sunrise cylinder" at the scene of Canning's murder:

Mr. Canning,

We have just heard grave news that Professor Eliot has been killed. It looks as though he had been living above his son[']s absinthe factory all this time.

We were fools to assume he would hide far from the theatre. It is our belief that even though he hid from the rest of us, he would not trust any other to his work and as you were the closest to him on the project I feel he will have sent a way to contact you.

The murder has brought attention to us. Even the mayor of New Babbage is involved now, so be careful. Be on your very best guard when it comes to Professor Eliot's first assistant and do please destroy any evidence in your possession of the Sunrise experiment.

It is imperative that we find the device before any of the others.

God speed

Your friends,

The Thirteen

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


As transcribed by Bellatrix S. Bracken from an Edison cylinder found among the disheveled effects of Prof. Nareth E. Nishi, probably recorded during the morning of 29 August:

Times passes, and I lose track. [pause] I have been practicing humour, but that is not a jest. So many events, they slip through my fingers, through my mind's fingers. This journal, its purpose, if ever it was known to me, eludes me now.

Yesterday, the grim visage of Mr. Edler Reifsnider returned once again to the Imperial Theatre in the Canal District, despite Mayor Sprocket's refusal to permit its demolition. Miss Paine first noticed the commotion, and called for me. When I arrived, he was shouting profanities at the urchins, and, likewise, they were shouting back at him. I asked the man what business he thought he had being there, given the Mayor's decision, and I shooed the orphans outside. He seemed quite flustered, and refused to give me a straight answer, in part, I believe, because I am a women. I told him to leave immediately, before things grew any uglier than they already had. But as he exited the theatre, some of the bolder of the urchins, rightfully outraged at how this vile man has treated them, advanced upon Mr. Reifsnider. Before I could intervene, he had begun throttling them most cruelly with his cane. At once, I dragged the bastard back into the theatre [pause] We soon found ourselves in the moldering auditorium, and he began to make threats against my person. Moments later, and much to my relief, Mr. Lucius Sin arrived, and if I was not capable of intimidating Mr. Reifsnider, Dear Lucius was. Sometimes, I have found, there is great need of a reanimated soul trapped in the form of a Titantic steam-driven automaton. Lucius chased the bastard from the theatre, and I only just managed to catch up with him before he began firing off blue-white volleys of electricity at the man. It all sounds like some absurd penny dreadful.


I will say [pause] I should say [longer pause] blasted Reifsnider did not leave without first laying upon my head what I fear may prove a terrible curse, or perhaps what would more fairly be named a threat. "You have a choice. Continue down this road and perhaps you will end up with more than you can understand," and then later, "But I will tell you this...when it happens, and oh, by god, it will happen, there will be no one capable of stopping it." I will not now [pause] I will not dwell upon the meaning of these words, as I think I understand them all too clearly.


My mind is so cloded, and it is sometimes hard to place events in proper order by chronology. I had meant to begin with an account of my latest [pause] my latest episode [loudly exhales] and that was [pause] day before yesterday, I believe. Yes. In my garret above the Museum...the Museum has been so neglected [pause] There was another episode, as though the Whole fears I will forget how near she presses in upon this world.

After the nasty bit of business with the orphans yesterday, a sudden exhaustion overtook me, the sort of spell which often presages my, my episodes. I retreated to the Abney Park lab, where I found Miss Beq Janus waiting for me. We had planned to discuss the plight of the orphans, I believe. And has been happening again...I slipped. And she was there to see my vanishing and my returning, though fortunately Miss Maertens had arrived, and Miss Paine shortly thereafter. I am too weary now for this account, so I must condense. Soon, I slipped a second time, into that blackness between moments and stars, and this time, and this is most extraordinary and unsettling, Miss Paine was apparently dragged along in my wake. When we once again found ourselves in the laboratory, after maybe only thirty seconds or so [long pause] she described the experience as being smothered or suffocated [pause] she was quite pale and grew increasingly ill. And, of course, Miss Janus had seen the whole affair, after having witnessed the episode the day before, and she had too, too many questions to ever easily be set aside. I considered, for a moment, simply killing her. It would have been the wisest course of action, the most expedient. Instead, clinging [long pause] clinging to the shreds of my humanity, and after she had promised to keep any secrets revealed upon pain of death. And after both Miss Paine and Gloriana had agreed [pause] I showed her my truer face, that truer form, the navigator the Whole would retrieve, that thing Captain Susenko calls "the pilot." I showed it to her, and so Beq Janus has joined our odd fellowship. We are eight now.

My work on a new time cabinet continues. The field stabilizer is finally functional.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Meeting with the Orphans

As transcribed by Bellatrix S. Bracken from an Edison cylinder found among the surviving effects of Prof. Nareth E. Nishi, probably recorded during the late evening of 25 August:

There are too many things I have never learned of life. Even blind, how does one look into the face of an orphaned child who has just asked whether or not his grandfather was a bad man and not lie? How does one tell the truth, when the boy's grandfather has visited so much grief and horror upon the world? I can not endure much more of this, Father. If I believed in any sort of god, I would swear upon that deity that I have come to the end of my tether. [long pause; static]

Miss Paine and I met with the orphans this evening in the Imperial, Loki Eliot and almost twenty of his fellow urchins. I learned almost nothing, and in truth I'd not expected to. I know that Victor Wunderlich is once again in hiding, and that he did indeed carry one third of the Eliot device to Caledon, but was too frightened to deliver it to Mr. Canning, which likely explains why Canning came to New Babbage. And I know that a notice has been posted on the Imperial Theatre where the orphans live, placed there by a Mr. Sir Edler Reifsnider, announcing that the theatre is closed pending demolition. Someone attached to this affair wishes, I believe, to destroy the evidence writ upon the walls of that place. Loki appealed to me to stop the demolition, but I am a loss as to how I might prevent such a thing. Supposedly, all the late Professor Eliot's effects have passed to this Edler fellow, and I have yet to discern anything illegal at work. I will see the Mayor and ask that he attempt to halt the demolition, and I will try to find alternate lodgings for the orphans, but beyond that [pause] beyond that, I do not know.

Loki asked another thing of me, and I wish that he had not. He told me that I am the only one in New Bababge asking the right questions, and to please not cease my questioning. What is the boy hiding that he can declare such a thing? What does he know that he and his comrades yet keeps to themselves? And how can I proceed with this investigation when I am blind and my mind buckles beneath the weight of so much [pause; loud crackle] Old gods. That is what the letter from Moriarty spoke of, the letter discovered on the back of his painting in the absinthe house. Old gods. How many terrors did Eliot's device unleash upon this unsuspecting world? From what black voids between the worlds have these atrocities come? And if the children knew, if they knew that they ask the aid of a monster [pause] a monster called forth by children to slay their nightmares, a being in back of me who will burn this whole universe to a smoldering husk if it must to be whole again. How can I be both damnation and salvation, Father? [pause] No, I did not expect an answer.

Friday, August 24, 2007

The Pact

As transcribed by Bellatrix S. Bracken from an Edison cylinder found among the various effects of Prof. Nareth E. Nishi, presumably recorded during the early morning of 25 August:

Exhaustion. [long pause] Since the affair with the Mayor and his inspector on Monday, all has been turmoil. Indeed, tumult has come to define me. It seems to follow me like a mist I cannot shake off. I will not attempt a summation of all that has transpired since my last recording. I am too tired. I have not even half the energy needed for that. [long pause] There was an affair at the absinthe house this evening, and an accompanying art instillation. And one of the paintings was the work of Jason Moriarty. The image itself is only a grotesque rehash of the graffiti I found more than a month ago inside the old Imperial. But, discovered on the back of the canvas was another letter. Breadcrumbs, that's what these are. Goddamned bread crumbs. Moriarty means to be found, or he only wishes to taunt Babbage, or he has yet some other purpose. Frankly, since I seem to have been cleared of suspicion of murder, I do not care how Babbage deals with Mr. Moriarty. I am sick of playing at detective. I am sick of the suspicion of men and women who cannot consider the fullness of this problem. They think it some macabre tale, something from Mr. Poe, possibly. Did they not listen to the cylinder found on Canning's body? Did they not hear what I have heard?


I believe I know who entered my lab and discovered Commodore's reproduction of the Eliot device, some woman named Chernov, a photographer who styles herself a sleuth. I confronted her and told her that if, in the future, she should wish a tour of my work place I gladly will indulge her utterly. She has only to ask. I am talking in futile circles. Oh [pause] also, Miss Paine has seen the copy of the Eliot device that has been placed on exhibit at Bow Street and purported to be genuine. It is only the copy which Commodore gave to Sprocket on Monday. Nothing more. But, as I say, this is not my problem. And, too, I should mention that, though still blinded, I accompanied Miss Paine on another search of the theatre. She located in the area where the orphans sleep, inscribed upon a tabletop, what she has described to me as a flaming X. I can say I felt the heat of it myself. We summarily scoured the place, above and below it, and found naught.

Captain Susenko and Miss Maertens have returned, and with their aid and that of Lucuis Sin, Miss Paine, and perhaps Bellatrix Bracken, I shall try to return to the problem of my own condition, to that solution which I have devised. This evening, I outlined my plan to the Captain and Miss Maertens. I showed them the sub-aetheric scanner and some of my computations and diagrams. They have agreed to help me find the others and to do what the laws of this universe will not ever permit me to do. They will [sudden burst of static, indecipherable speech] though I confess am loathe to have anyone else bloody their hands on my account.


It is such a comfort to have them back, no matter what black work lies ahead. The dreams are growing stronger again. She is so near. She, the Whole, all that has been reassembled of the Whole. I must work fast, and my hands must be sure in their endeavors.

One last thing. Tomorrow, I meet with Loki Eliot and the orphans. It will be, I think, my last involvement in the affairs of the late Professor Eliot. If these street urchins have any answers, well, we shall see.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Surviving Bow Street

As transcribed by Bellatrix S. Bracken from an Edison cylinder found among the effects of Prof. Nareth E. Nishi, presumably recorded on the afternoon of 22 August:

For better or for worse, the dreaded confrontation with Mayor Sprocket and Bow Street is done. They came late yesterday, as I was taking the evening air just outside the Museum. Sprocket, accompanied by some nervous gentleman name of Steinbeck [pause] his first name eludes me. Again, I was asked to yield the device. Again, I asked that the issue be discussed beforehand, calmly and rationally, and that such discussion might best be undertaken at the Abney Park laboratory, then still barred to by the magistrate's order and seal. At this juncture, the Mayor grew greatly agitated. We walked the distance west to Abney Park, and once there, I was again ordered to hand over the device, and all my requests for explanation and discussion were summarily swept aside. Finally, I confessed to Sprocket and the inspector that my device was only a counterfeit, a clever copy of Eliot's made from the schematic I found at Sunrise. At first, he refused to believe me. He instructed Steinbeck to restrain Miss Paine and myself [pause] to shoot us if we made to enter the laboratory! I do not exaggerate! I fear I was not at my most articulate, as his manner had so angered me. While we waited outside, he once again, presumably, examined the device. At this point, I should say, that Mr. Steinbeck confessed he would not have handled the matter with such unwarranted force, that he would have preferred to listen to what I had to say, to hear me out. Shortly thereafter, Sprocket exited the lab and announced that these girls — his words — were not involved, that we were to be released as he had determined we were not involved. Indeed! He also said that he had learnt the location of the genuine device [pause; cough] He seemed confused as to whether the model at Abney Park represented the whole or a single element of the Sunrise contraption, and I suspect the man had not even made to review the evidence at his disposal. He and Steinbeck then proceeded towards the railway, and Mr. Commodore's factory, though I had not at any point mentioned Luciean's name in connextion with the counterfeit, choosing, rather, to let the men believe I had built it alone. [long pause] I was so angry. So furious. To be traeted with such disrespect, to have my life and Miss Paine's threatened at gunpoint, then to be summarily dismissed, still with no explanation and certainly no apology. When I tried to demand an accounting of his behaviour, I was told by Sprocket that I was in no position to make demands, and that he was aware I hailed from the Colonies, that he was not burdened with such liberal notions of justice or some such twaddle. I assume this is a reference to my previous residence in a mirror-image America, which Sprocket believes is the America of his world and time.

I was outraged and disgusted, that Bow Street seems to have no genuine interest in solving this mystery, but only in exerting brute force towards its own ends, an agenda I can only guess at.

Mr. Commodore was questioned immediately after me, and he confessed he had made the device. Sprocket was apparently reluctant to believe he had been duped, but Mr. Commodore provided him with a copy for Bow Street, at which point the Mayor took his leave. I gather his attitude was somewhat less [pause] We remained at Commodore's factory by the stockyards until sometime after dawn. There was another visit by the reincarnated Lucius Sin, and perhaps this is the strangest part of that awful evening. He has returned to us as a great mechanical thing, an iron automaton fully twenty feet tall, if Miss Paine does not overestimate, and I can not begin to guess what dark sciences and arts lay behind that survival of the grave. But, I confess, I rejoice at the presence of the man, despite his role in Miss Paine's death, and in spite of my earlier comments. Having him near, to my surprise, was almost as great a comfort as if Capt. Susenko was among us again.

Oh, the Beck child also found me while I was at the factory. A meeting with Loki Eliot and his gang has been arranged, though I know not yet when nor where.

Well, regardless, I have my laboratory again, and everything seems to be in order here. There is no evidence it was even searched and nothing was removed, not even my copy of the device. From here on, I shall trust in my own investigations and not in those of Bow Street, for these men seem inept, at best. I shall steer clear of them, as much as I may, though I suspect they watch my movements still.

Monday, August 20, 2007


As transcribed by Bellatrix S. Bracken from an Edison cylinder found among the effects of Prof. Nareth E. Nishi, presumably recorded on the evening of 20 August:

This morning, just after dawn, I arrived at the Abney Park laboratory, and almost at once, before I could approach the blockhouse, I was waylaid by a Mr. Titanas Vella, who seemed only to want to engage me in small talk. When I finally freed myself of the man's attentions and turned from the train depot towards the lab, Miss Paine and I discovered that Mayor Sprocket was at the front entrance, boarding the door shut against us. The presence of the counterfeit of Prof. Eliot's device had been discovered within [pause] I will not bother to wonder who broke into my work space to make this find. I was told that, pending a warrant from the magistrate of New Babbage, the property was being seized. I was asked by the Mayor to turn the device over and refused, at which point I was informed that the conversation was being recorded and that I would be questioned later by Bow Street inspectors. I will assume, then, that I am now a suspect in the murder of Giles Canning, and perhaps also that of Prof. Eliot. By the sheerest luck, I had not yet transported the Edison recorder to Abney Park, though all of my journal, on paper and cylinder, save this entry, is now locked up there.

When the Mayor had done with me, as I was readying to return home to the Museum, I was once again confronted by Mr. Terry Collins of Caledon. I indulged him, as he did have the letter he had promised to show me. But, even if it is genuine, I can only say that it is proof that he is the son of one of Eliot's wealthy financiers. I refused to allow him into my confidence, which seemed to anger and confound him greatly. However, I did lead him to those dreadful paintings on the walls of the Imperial. I offered virtually no interpretation of the images, but merely showed them to him. He seemed grateful for that much, yet persisted in the claim that if I cared for the fate of mankind I would aid him, and that Prof. Eliot's device, reassembled and in the right hands, is capable of bestowing tremendous benefits upon humanity. I told him, in no uncertain terms, that such was not the case, and I left him alone in the Imperial.

Miss Paine had stood watch outside, and a small crowd had gathered, one or two inquiring about me, and at least one mentioning whatever events transpired in the absinthe house the other night. Some speculation of daemonic possession was made. I remain ignorant of those lost hours.

At this point, I await a summons from Bow Street. If I am arrested, this will likely be my last entry. [pause] Honestly, I cannot say how I will answer their questions. By proving the device a forgery, I can clear my name, but also shall I lose the attentions of those others, the Vangreed and the 13 Club, who seek the damned thing for their own ends. I have assured Mr. Commodore that I will not bring him into this affair. I mean to keep that promise, if at all possible.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Missing Time

As transcribed by Bellatrix S. Bracken from an Edison cylinder found among the effects of Prof. Nareth E. Nishi, presumably recorded on 18 August:

I think yesterday might almost have been the end of me. The end of everything. The end. And there is little of it I can now recall. In the early evening, I was taking the air alone, even though Miss Paine frowns on my going out unescorted. I remember walking along the canal south towards the absinthe house [pause] What do I remember? What can I say now that is not now a lie? [longer pause; loud sigh] I heard a sound like bells. And then the queerest sensation, as though the very ground beneath me were sliding away. [very long pause] Then it was morning, early morning, and I was watching the sunrise from my old balcony above Ruby Flanagan's. Miss Paine and Mr. Commodore were with me. I gather I was the cause of some terrible occurrence in the absinthe house, and that there were several witnesses. I have no recollection of all those hours. She came again, that fraction of her capable of manifesting in this world, asking after the code. I won't say anything more than that. I can't. [pause] I can't. [pause] We left Ruby's and retreated to Mr. Commodore's airship, where I made some attempt at an explanation, as he evidently came to Miss Paine's aid, and I supposed he was owed that much. My secrets are possibly no longer secrets, and I wonder if it would be best if I simply left New Babbage forever. Not that it would save anyone. It wouldn't. Standing on the airship, I remember saying how peaceful the square seemed from that lofty vantage. That, from there, you'd never suspect the truth, that there were monsters in the streets. [long pause] I fear most for Miss Paine. Whatever is coming, I wish she had never crossed my path. I have cost her dearly. [pause] I have begun to think of nothing but revenge, against the memory of Eliot and all his associates. Against this 13 Club, who I guess to be his former financiers, against the Vangreed Society, and most of all, against the Gallifreyan bastard who started this nightmare ages and ages ago. [sound of breaking glass; end of recording]

Friday, August 17, 2007

Friends of Mr. Eliot

As transcribed by Bella S. Bracken from an Edison cylinder found among the effects of Prof. Nareth E. Nishi, presumably recorded in the wee hours of the morning of 17 August:

It's late, and I will keep this brief. This afternoon, walking back towards the Museum from the Canals [pause] I have become quite self-sufficient and capable of long walks alone, yes [longer pause] Just before the stairs leading up to the Square, I was approached by a young man by the name of Terrance Collins. He knew me, knew of my name on the list [pause] Mr. Collins claimed to be the son, or possibly the grandson, I can not now recall which, of a man* who had invested some considerable sum of money in Prof. Eliot's Sunrise experiment. Also, he said that, though he now resides somewhere in Caledon, as a child he lived with his mother in New Babbage. He seemed quite determined that we should talk at once. By chance, Miss Paine came along, and I agreed to speak with Mr. Collins, if he would accompany me back to the absinthe house, just across the canal. He did so. [pause] He repeated his claim, that he was the son or grandchild of one of Prof. Alexander Eliot's financiers, and, despite my vocal skepticism as to his claims, proposed that we enter into a pact. That was his word, a pact, whereby we would share information pertaining to the deaths and the lost device. Using a pre-arranged radio signal, I notified Mr. Luciean Commodore that I would greatly appreciate his company and would not be adverse to a show of force. Nothing of Mr. Collins' story seemed genuine, nor could he offer any proof of his identity or his purported relationship to Eliot and Sunrise. [pause; sound of clinking glass] He spoke repeatedly of a letter in his possession from Eliot to his father, or grandfather, whichever, but did not offer to produce it.

Finally, after motioning for Mr. Commodore to cover the door, I drew my pepperbox, and said such things to Mr. Collins as I thought necessary to impress upon him my doubt regarding the veracity of his story and the gravity of my situation. Mr. Commodore, armed with his Tesla rife, guarded the exit to the street, and Miss Paine, I believe, even drew her pistol. The man was evidently mortified, and quite surprised, as well. I myself was surprised by my behaviour, but [pause] what can I say. Times like these. How would I know who to trust? How, Father? [long pause] Mr. Terrance Collins claims that he will return to Babbage in four days time with the letter he claims to hold, a letter from Eliot, that I might believe his tale. It hardly matters. Even with such a letter, I shall not tell him what I know. It would be the height of folly. He spoke of the Vangreed Society repeatedly, swearing they must not be allowed to gain possession of the
Porta Terrarum device and laying the murders [pause; sound of door closing] Well, we shall see. We shall see what we shall see. Isn't that what you always said, Father? Mr. Collins seemed to believe that this world might yet benefit from the work of Prof. Eliot. I don't believe that. I don't believe that for a moment. [pause] Goddamn it.

Later in the day, Mr. Commodore led Miss Paine and I down to the chambers far below the town hall, where resides the Mayor's enormous difference engine. The air was close and hot and sooty. I wish I could have seen the thing for myself.

And later still, as I worked in my lab, I was interrupted by the arrival of some friend of Miss Paine's, come around for a social call. Some silly girl. I believe she said her name was Holly Underwear**. That can't be right, can it? She said she was an artist, so perhaps the name is some bizarre Bohemian affectation. I can not say. She seemed skittish in my presence [pause] muttered several times to Miss Paine that perhaps she should leave. At any rate, no matter. It is good that Miss Paine have friends. After all she has endured and seen, and having to serve as my nursemaid and caretaker, I worry for her well-being. That's all. That's all for now.

* Stanislas Collins, whom Mr. Collins claimed to be his adoptive father.

** In fact, Miss Molly Underwood. This is the first evidence of Prof. Nishi's amnesia as regards Miss Underwood.

——— Bellatrix S. Bracken

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Eliot Device Redux

As transcribed by Bella S. Bracken from an Edison cylinder found among the effects of Prof. Nareth E. Nishi, presumably recorded on 16 August:

My hands can not but tremble when I touch it, even knowing it for what it is. Even knowing the deceit, it still seems somehow a wonder. As I make this recording, it sits on the worktable of my lab, Eliot's contrivance remade, the device that Mr. Giles Canning died for and which I believe Jason Moriarty and the Vangreed Society or 13 Club are searching. The very thing which dragged me into this universe. When Mr. Commodore delivered it to me, when first I laid my hands upon its terrible angles, I could scarcely keep my wits about me. I sit here and curse my blindness, for how much more amazing would it be to look upon this device, the very doppelgänger heart of the ill-fated Porta Terrarum Experiment. Now, I must decide how it will be utilised in the search for those who are perhaps searching for me. And I must not decide in haste, no matter how little time might remain. I must be sure, for I suspect there will be only the one opportunity. And I must hope that Mr. Commodore can be trusted, for if Bow Street learns of this...well, I must not allow that to happen. If I am correct, no one knows of this but Miss Paine, Mr. Commodore, and I, and that is how it must remain.

I would also say that I sought out this man's services having reached a point of uttermost need, and having little hope of Leon Susenko's imminent return to New Bababge. I know Commodore is a pirate, which is why I trust he will likely not go to Bow Street, but beyond that I can not say. I have also enlisted his services in a third expedition to the atoll that is all that now remains of what once was Sunrise Island. I must find at least two others to accompany me, two whom I can trust, or at least who will be predictable in their potential betrayals.

I met with Mr. Commodore yesterday in his airship, and I told him as much as I felt safe telling — really more than that. He works fast. If only I could know that in him I might have the sort of confidant and confederate I found in Captain Susenko! How I yearn for the comforts of that trust again. This Luciean Commodore, oh I know he is a rascal and a smuggler and the gods know only what else. But what am I, Father? What have I become? Surely, something far worse than a mere privateer. In the weeks ahead, I fear I will yet become something still more abominable to all the sensibilities that once defined me.

Oh, I almost forgot. Late yesterday, Miss Paine and I were accosted by a coterie of the local orphans, though Loki Eliot and Myrtil Igaly, both of whom also appeared on Mr. Giles' list, were notably not among them. One of these children, a boy named Alloy Brooks, fancied himself something of a detective. He asked me questions about the list, the murder, the whereabouts of one of their number — Mckay Beck — who seems to have gone missing. Near the end of my interrogation, young master Brooks asked why I hide my eyes. I admit I was taken aback. But then, to my own surprise, I told him the truth, swallowing my vanity and pride and realising that should word of my blindness spread, it might lead my pursuer — if I have such — to think me helpless. Perhaps I can be bait for Jason Moriarty or whoever killed Mr. Canning and seeks the Eliot device.

The nightmares continue. She is still there, waiting at the threshold of my perceptions.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Editor's Appendix B: The Eliot Documents

These four documents were first seen by Prof. Nishi on (or about) 31 July, more than two weeks before her name appeared on the list found affixed to the back of the murdered Mr. Giles Canning. Together with the "Sunrise cylinder," the provide some insight into the terrible experiments being conducted by Prof. Eliot before his murder. The papers here appear in the order in which they are presumed to have been written.

Figure 1:

This letter may be read as a parallel to the "Sunrise cylinder," as it surely was being written at the same time the recording was being made. It provides precise times for the development and failure of the experiment, though it is impossible to say whether these times are p.m. or a.m.

Figure 2:

Clearly written sometime after Figure 1, this document is notable for its mention of a "Jason," presumably the lycanthrope Jason Moriarty. I am uncertain how much time elapsed between its composition and the letter in Figure 1, and, likewise, it is not possible to say to whom it is addressed.

Figure 3:

Written shortly before Prof. Eliot's return to New Babbage, I presume that the case of lycanthropy mentioned herein is Jason Moriarty. This is the document discovered by Prof. Nishi, and later by the Bow St. investigators, at what remained of Sunrise Island.

Figure 4:

Finally, we have a facsimile of the incomplete letter found on Prof. Eliot's corpse. In this letter, we learn that one of the orphan's, Alley Wunderlich ("Wunder"; ?="Victor" Wunderlich), was to carry one-third of the Porta Terrarum device from Babbage to Caledon. We also have mention of the Caledonian contact and of a "Vangreed Society," which Prof Nishi's notes indicate she believed for a time to be synonymous with the "13 Club" to which the second murdered man, Canning, belonged.

——— Bellatrix S. Bracken

Looking for Jason Moriarty

As transcribed by Bella S. Bracken from an Edison cylinder found among the effects of Prof. Nareth E. Nishi, presumably recorded on 15 August:

As Plato writes in his Republic, a need or problem encourages creative efforts to meet the need or solve the problem. So it was that yesterday, after my interrogation by Inspector Kojima, after the discovery of the corpse of Giles Canning and the list pinned to his back, and after I'd heard the "Sunrise cylinder," I devised a solution to the problem of my blindness. However, I must admit that I remain at a loss to explain how I accomplished this, just as I continue to be baffled by the appearance of the sub-ætheric scanner in my laboratory. This body and mind, whatever they are becoming after the brief but willing opening of my thoughts to the Gallifreyan entity, to the "Whole," seems at times to function entirely beyond and independently of my consciousness. Regardless, by the contrivance of a small crystal or screen mounted at my right temple, I found myself able to see again, though only with my right eye and only in shades of black and white. And, besides, it seems to have been no more than a very temporary respite from the darkness.

Hearing my own name read from off of that bloodstained list, I could not simply sit here and await the arrival of my murder. So, at sunset, Miss Paine and I met with Miss Kaylee Frye and Mister Lucien Commodore, to keep watch for the lycanthrope Jason Moriarty. To my surprise, we were joined by Inspector Kojima. I must admit, I do not trust these Bow Street people, and I suspect that the Inspector was there mainly for the purpose of keeping watch over us and any evidence in these affairs which we might uncover. Alas, it was a fruitless night, and I realize now that it was only my anxiety and restlessness, my desire not to feel helpless, that led me to hastily organize the night watch. I did not ever believe we would be so lucky as to find Moriarty with such ease. We broke up before sunrise, and by then my "mechanical eye" had begun to fail. By dawn, I was all but blind once more and this horrendous headache had returned, leaving me good for little else save bed.

But, for the record, I am no longer certain that the list found pinned to Canning's corpse is merely a killer's agenda. That answer seems too pat, too entirely convenient. Why warn the prospective victims? And if it is a list of marks, it must either absolve Moriarty of these crimes or point to a clumsy effort by him to draw attention away from himself, as his name appears on the list directly above my own! I have been playing this list over and over in my head, attempting to discover some cipher hidden there. There is but one thing I can say with any sort of certainty, that a single commonality is shared by all those persons: all of us have knowledge of or involvement with the
Porta Terrarum Experiment. Might the list have been a warning? Might it have been a document found on Mr. Canning before or after his death by his murderer? Had he perchance come to New Babbage from Caledon looking to find us? Was he the Caledon connextion to whom the Wunderlich orphan delivered one third of the device, the "man with a feather in his hat"? So many goddamned questions. If only Capt. Susenko were here to help me solve this puzzle.

Kojima mentioned the possibility of Bow Street obtaining a search warrant for my laboratory and the Museum. How will I explain the things they will find here? How can I hope to hide them?

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Editor's Note 4

What follows is a transcript of the "Sunrise cylinder" discovered on the corpse of Giles Canning on 14 August. This transcript was presumably made by Prof. Nishi and found among her notes:

[crackle] [something spoken, indecipherable]
It's recording. Recording.
Yes, I have the green light... okay, I think. Okay, alright.
um... cylinder recording of advanced stages of the Porta Terrarum Experiment.
For those (of) the 13 Club who [?as yet not know] the device constricted by Prof. Eliot is of [?immense] power. The Power is such that we hope it can puncture a hole between our world and beyond. What lies beyond is a new world of discoveries of possibility and perhaps energies we've never dreamed possible.
[various noises here]
Leading the experiment here at Sunrise Island is Prof Eliot himself, aided by new assistant Giles Canning. All systems are at prime functionality, and the steam is really starting to billow.
[shrill noise]
Well. We've just heard the go-ahead to open the main valve. It all starts here. History is about to be made.
[signal noise continues]
[long silence]
It would appear everything is in order.
Prof Eliot has already given the signal to push all pressure gauges to above the normal. And, oh.. wait a second... uh.. Master Canning is...[ ? ] something about the distance energy flux. Um...
But not to worry. I'm sure everything will perfec-[alarm sounds here]
Okay, wait. We have a warning. We have warning signal. I'm not sure what it's about. [rumble... horn whistle]
Wait... Professor Eliot is indeed signaling an evacuation of the complex. We are now moving towards the exits. um... there's a lot of confusion.
[terrible rumbling, roaring sound]
... what is that? Oh my god! [that?]

Total time elapsed: 2.40 minutes (end of transcript)

———Bellatrix S. Bracken

Another Murder

The following was transcribed from an Edison recording made by Prof. Nishi, and is believed to have been made on the evening of August 15th:

A second body has been found, near the factory on the canal. I was working in the Museum when Miss Paine brought to my attention the crowd gathering at the edge of the square. She led me to what we soon learned was the scene of the crime. Another stabbing, and another note pinned to the back of a slain man. This time, though, the note was a list, and there upon the list were the names of a number of the street urchins, including Loki Eliot, as well as Moriarty, whom I know to be the lycanthrope I pursued through the streets of New Babbage at the beginning of August. And the last name on the list was my own. As the crowd swelled, becoming a panicked and horrified mob, I felt myself falling under suspicion. They do not know I am blind, for I have learned well to conceal it. Mr. Lucien Commodore offered to help me, should the mob turn against me, and Mr. Oolon Sputnik, who appeared (much to my surprise), has left his time cabinet, his ETC, docked in Babbage should Miss Paine and I need to seek refuge therein.

Damn Alexander Eliot, and damn these fools who do not begin to guess what they are up against. They worry about murders, and do not see that their entire world is in peril! I swore to wash my hands of this matter, and I also planned no more entries in this journal. But now...

I declared I would not stand accused without some evidence, and shortly afterwards, spoke with young master Eliot in the absinthe house. My guess is that this list is of intended victims, and that some agent seeks to cover up all proof of the "Sunrise experiment." I have offered Loki and his fellow urchins sanctuary in the Museum, should it come to that. Afterwards, I was briefly questioned by an inspector from Bow Street, a Mr. Reitsuki Kojima. I fear I said too much, for, shaken by what had just transpired, I spoke of the experiments of Alexander Eliot and my own arrival in New Babbage (and in this time continuum). Kojima had not visited Sunrise, and I bade him do so. Nor did be know that Mr. Moriarty is a lycanthrope. Besides the note, there was a recording found lying very near to the corpse, and Kojima agreed to allow me to examine the cylinder. Back at the Museum, playing it, I will freely admit what I heard gave me chills. It seems to have been made at the moment that Eliot's experiment failed, the moment of the eruption at Sunrise, the moment my father's cabinet was steered of course and splintered. The moment of my own damnation, captured on the cylinder.

I can not say what suspicions Bow Street may habour regarding me, but it is clear that I know far more of the work of Prof. Eliot than they. And, unless I miss my guess, someone here means to murder me. Oh, if my part in this could only end that simply! I would welcome such a fate, by god.

I do not know what my next move shall possibly be. I fear this latest murder will draw unwanted attentions, and my purposes and true nature must remain secret. If I were not blinded, Christ, at least I might continue my own investigation into this matter.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Editor's Note 3

The following passage has been transcribed from a voice recording which Prof. Nishi made on an Edison cylinder, the first of many such recordings made during the protracted period of her blindness, this affliction having begun suddenly on the evening of August 6th:

I can not see. I can not see to use the typewriter, nor even to write these words by hand. I have terminated the experiment. Last night, all was almost lost, and it was only through my own impatience, arrogance, and miscalculation. I must find some other path by which to reach them. But it can't be done with my own hands, not the deletions. There was something I failed to understand about the nature of time, about these parallel existences. Worse still, I underestimated it, the Gallifreyan device, the greater part of the whole. Last night, I opened a window through which it almost entered. It filled me. It filled me utterly. I shudder to think at the horrors Miss Paine and Miss Underwood witnessed. Now that it is gone [extended pause] God, I have never known such profound emptiness. I have never known such complete loneliness, now that I am divided from it. I see what I am. I see what must be done. I must make an end of this, of it, of her. Would that I could make that end without the aid of others, and yet, this is a war, a secret war, and all of them are fighting for their lives.

My own comments on the events of August 6th-7th will be set down in a separate note, to follow shortly.

———Bellatrix S. Bracken

Saturday, August 4, 2007

A Game of Chess

The short days rush past me and so quickly melt into the sallow, yellow-grey haze of the past, and I am become quite entirely certain that I must, indeed, be a sterling example of Dr. Kraepelin's dementia paranoides. Forgive my weakness of character, dear Father surrogate. But I have turned once more to the blessings of the pharmacopoeia, the unfailing tincture of opium — which is to say, the damned laudanum — in an effort to calm my nerves and pray forget now the things I saw in the Imperial and above the absinthe house and in that small shed upon Sunrise Island. Whatever such sights might or might not have meant, I know I want no more part of them. I would, rather, believe that I only imagine connextions where none exist. Let that be some other's nightmare, some other's drama, and none at all of mine. Whatever the late and unlamented Alexander Eliot did, whatever he did not do, I only want not to think upon it anymore. Let it be lost. Let it be forgotten. Let that corpse rot away to only bones and dust, and I will struggle not to think upon it ever again.

And as for the new lycanthrope, that is none of my concern, either. I push these things away. I am here, and what has been done has been done — fait accompli.

And then there is Miss Molly Underwood, a young woman from the Row, newly arrived in Babbage. She asked yesterday if ever I have known comfort, true comfort, and I would not lie (though I have lied so many times before). I told her no, I have not. I passed several hours in her company yesterday, and no doubt spoke many things which should have remained unspoken between us, if only so that I would not know that I have drawn another into the web of my madness and, perhaps, if there be more here than mere madness, fixed upon another the blistering, flensing gaze of the one who watches me. It is still there, she is still there, always, at the edges of my perception and waiting in my dreams, hardly even daunted by the laudanum and alcohol. She is still there, always, calling me home. I told Molly Underwood a fairy tale. I told her some dim shade of the truth, what only a lunatic would take for the truth. The sight of Miss Underwood raises inexplicable, conflicting emotions in me, and I feel my strength that much more diminished.

I have not seen Capt. Susenko and Miss Maertens in many days. He has fallen ill and is convalescing, and she is away, traveling. Miss Paine is here with me, and I know that it should soothe the white fire seething behind my eyes to have her so near. But, Father, I feel there is some vast blackness laid between us now, a bitter void, something I would place squarely at the feet of that bastard Lucius Sin.

I have removed the last of my belongs from the flat above Ruby Flanagan's, and we are installed now above the Gallery.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Editor's Appendix A: Evidence in the Case of Alexander Eliot

Among the personal effects and papers of Prof. Nishi, I found the following photographs, which must have been taken on 31 July. I will here treat each one in turn, as they have direct bearing on her discovery of Alexander Eliot's corpse and the existence of his device. Also, their visual impact may help the reader to understand why she began drinking again:

Figure 1:

This photograph reveals the corpse of Alexander Loki, the body the orphans of New Babbage referred to as "The Sleeping Man." The location is in the attic of Loki's Absinthe. The scene is much as Prof. Nishi described. I assume this photograph was taken by Artemisia Paine, as Prof. Nishi is plainly visible in the foreground. Also visible here is a spectral image in the glass of the cabinet on the corpse's left, a face, which is not mentioned in the Nishi typescript until several days after her discovery of the dead man.

Figure 2:

Possibly the most horrific of these photographs is this one of graffiti on an interior wall of the Imperial. I have examined these images myself and can attest to their authenticity. Here we see a young boy on his knees, with some monstrous being crouched above him. The boy holds something bloody is his cupped hands. Was this image painted by one of the orphans? Does it depict one of their number making an offering? Note also the symbol that appears above the boy's head: a circle enclosing a triangle, which, in turn, surrounds an open palm bearing an eye. My own tests indicate that much of the reddish pigment, especially that to the right, is human blood.

Figure 3:

Detail of the symbol from Figure 2.

Figure 4:

This image shows writing on the same wall, located above and to the right of the image of the kneeling boy and the monstrous being. I believe this script was placed upon the masonry long before the more gruesome images. Most of it was obliterated by the later graffiti. The quote is from George Washington, and in full would read:

"Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence. True friendship is a plant of slow growth, and must undergo and withstand the shocks of adversity before it is entitled to the appellation."

I have placed in bold red those letters and words that may be easily discerned.

Figure 5:

Another grotesque and enigmatic image, which was located to the right (south) of the kneeling boy and the above quotation. The body of a man lies half in view, and half in, half out of a circle. The style here is markedly more realistic than that of the kneeling boy and the creature, and so I conclude it might have been painted by another hand. From Prof. Nishi's notes, I have learned that it put her in mind of the Ouroboros, if one sees the man's right hand as the head of the serpent swallowing its tail. More blood stains are present, as well. The man appears to be sleeping or deceased. Note, also, the peculiar dark shaft which enters or exits the circle's center. In her writings, the Prof. seemed to associate this aspect of the image with the Greek omphalos, or "world navel," and believed it a "symbolic interpretation of Alexander Loki's Porta Terrarum Device." Additionally, she writes: "Omphalos stones were said to allow direct communication with the gods."

Figure 6:

A mural inside the Imperial, located west of the Figs. 2-5, of obvious Masonic origin. I will return to this image in a later appendix.

Figure 7:

In Prof. Nishi's estimation, this was the most important image of these seven. Her notes indicate that it was taken on the nearby island of Sunrise, near Nemo Beach, in a lab that had belonged to Mr. Alexander Loki. Here we see his schematics for the "Porta Terrarum Device," and a list of its three components. The significance of the two images tacked upon the drafting table to the left of the schematic remain a mystery to me. The letter, visible below them, I will treat in Appendix B.

A Visitor in the Night

The orphans spoke true. There is a second werewolf, and it roams the streets of New Babbage. Last night, from my attic workshop above the Gallery, I heard a horrific sort of growl or roar. Looking outside, I saw the creature, standing upright before the Museum doors. I pursued it, with the aid of Miss Paine, but it eluded us. It was also seen by Miss Molly Underwood of the Canal District, who seemed quite shaken by her experience. I have taken steps to insure that Miss Paine will not ever be in Babbage after sunset. I will not risk her a second time. And, by god, I know the beast's human name — Jason Moriarty.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

The Sleeping Man

Have I become that species of lunatic who believes herself the center of creation, and so all matters — fortuitous or grim — must perforce exist in direct relation to me? I have read a book I found in Caledon, Lehrbuch der Psychiatrie, by a Dr. Emil Kraepelin. I will not dwell on the inexplicable fact of it's being here, in this world, or its publication in the year 1893 — six years after my departure from Providence a scant two months ago. In this book, Dr. Kraepelin, an alienist, describes a degenerative mental condition that he labels dementia paranoides. I fear the diagnosis might well be applied to the woman I have become.

And, I will mention, in the interest of avoiding lies of omission, that I have begun drinking again. I have not yet gone back to the laudanum, though.

There is a corpse in the attic of Loki Absinthe. Last night, Miss Paine and I came upon it after we discovered a makeshift bridge of planks connecting the Imperial, where the orphans live, with the absinthe house. But already I have gotten ahead of myself.

Why am I even bothering to write these things down? Who will ever read them?

Late in the afternoon, Miss Paine and I were standing near the western canal, by Ginsberg's Dept. Store, when we noticed one of the street urchins exiting the front of the Imperial. He approached us, and I expected no more than another request for monies from a hungry child. But then I noticed that he wore a heavy rucksack upon his shoulders. We spoke briefly, and during our talk he did not once ask for coin. However, he said that his name was Victor Wunderlich — known to friends as "Wunder" — and he was leaving New Babbage for Caledon, and that there was a "monster," a "wolfman," prowling Babbage that had the orphans afraid to go about by night. I gave him a few bills, as did Miss Paine, and he left us wondering if the nightmare of Lucius Sin was about to be revisited upon us. Miss Paine, understandably, grew taciturn and frightened.

So it was that later, after sunset, we searched the streets of the town together for any evidence of this wolfman. In time, we made our way to the attic of the Imperial, and from there to the attic of the absinthe house, and it was here we discovered the body of a man slumped over a drafting table. A dagger protruded from out his back, and there was great quantity of dried blood all about, including bloody handprints. There were also three pages in longhand, one of which was afixed to the man's back with the dagger. I have seen dead men before, and have studied human anatomy at University. But coming upon this body, and the foul stink of rot that pervaded the attic, it was not the same as looking upon the corpse on the dissection table, or even the broken body of my father. I rushed up a set of stairs onto the roof, fearing I would be ill. Fortunately, Miss Paine had the presence of mind to examine closely the papers, which had been written by a Mr. Alexander Eliot, a scientist of some sort, and presumably the dead man.

What dark secrets were hinted in these is hopeless to try to explain it all now. But they led us to other secrets and other papers, and evidence that Mr. Eliot, Mr. Alexander Eliot, who I take to have been Loki Eliot's grandfather, carried out extensive and terrible experiments. And that he built some device which I have seen referred to in his notes as the "Porta Terrarum Device." This mechanism, composed of three elements — the "Babbage Mark 6," a "sprogmagnatic" ball, and a stabilizer — was ultimately responsible for some catacylsm. Thereafter, Mr. Eliot had it broken into three parts and, according to the evidence we have seen, one of those parts was sent away from New Babbage to Caledon, where it would be delivered to a "contact," in the care of one of the orphans, referred to as "Ally Wunder" in the writings of the dead man. Also, Eliot names his murderers as members of a certain Vangreed Society, who had come for the component of his invention.

In his writings, Alexander Eliot bemoans the damage done by his contraption, and states that he fears by his experimentations that a hole has been torn open in space and time! I quote: "After studying the data collected from the failed experiment I feel we may have caused something so catastrophic to perhaps tear our world apart." A few lines later, "Instruments reveal a lasting residue of the energy created by the device. This I fear could in fact be a scare [?scar] in time and space and is our doing." When did this event occur? Surely not long distant, as Loki Eliot is still a boy. Could this "scare" have been the signal that waylaid my father's time cabinet from its course? How am I to conclude otherwise?

Also, I know that Loki Eliot was given the second component, the "sprogmagnatic" ball, for safekeeping. And the orphans refer to the body as "the sleeping man," and seem ignorant of the fact that it is a corpse, which seems patently absurd, that these streetwise children do not know death when they look upon it!

I must speak with Captain Susenko as soon as I may. Is it possible that I have at least uncovered the cause of my arrival here, or do I suffer from Kraepelin's dementia paranoides? And is it possible that the experimentation of Alexander Eliot upon certain of the orphans of New Babbage (an act mentioned in his writing), has spawned a second lycanthrope, as he seems to have feared? I feel now as though so many of these horrors can be shown to lie one against the other, interconnected, as I have feared all along. More I will not now say, except that I have learned that Miss Paine has cabled Bellatrix Bracken in Steelhead and that even now she is bound for New Babbage. I understand Miss Paine's connextion to this metaphysician, who effected her resurrection when I failed, but it makes me no happier to learn that soon she shall be among us once again.

Editor's Note 2

Sometime after midnight on the night of 1 August, Dr. Nishi dispatched the following note to Captain Leon Susenko of the New Babbage Canal district:

"Captain, this evening I have made very strange discoveries in New Babbage, which have led me to an island. Too much to explain now. But I think I know how my Father's cabinet was pulled off course. Does the name Alexander Eliott [sic] mean anything? I have spoken with one of the steamkids and he reports sightings of a were in New Babbage. They are afraid to leave the Imperial but by daylight. Pieces are fitting together. I know I should not try to write when I am so...please, when you may, contact me. I feel I may be near the crux of this thing."

Considering the entries to Dr. Nishi's typescript journal that follow this peculiar message, it seems most likely that she wrote this immediately after having discovered, with Artemisia Paine, the body of Alexander Eliot in the attic of Loki Absinthe (Loki Eliot, proprietor). This would have been the evening after she "chanced" to speak with the orphan Victor Wunderlich ("Wunder") outside the old Imperial theatre, as he was leaving New Babbage for Caledon. It was Victor Wunderlich, during this encounter, who first spoke to her of a "monster," a "werewolf" in New Babbage, and set her and Miss Paine on the trail that led them to the body of A. Eliott, and then to the Imperial, and finally to Nemo Beach. I believe this is the same night that Dr. Nishi resumed her drinking, though she might have remained sober until the following day. I was away from Caledon at the time, investigating a case in Steelhead, but I booked passage to New Babbage as soon as Miss Paine contacted me regarding these ominous developments and Dr. Nishi's increasingly erratic behaviour.

——— Bellatrix S. Bracken