Timeline

A Word of Caution to the Peoples of London

 
 

To the Citizenry of London,

        Laborers, industrialists, aesthetics, royalists, theologists; you need not look far to see that the struggle between these differing worldviews has disturbed many lives. Indeed, the distrust between us still simmers, even as a demon-fog threatens to choke us all to death. Therefore, my friends, I ask you: would it not be perfection if, in our hour of struggle, we cast aside all of this inane debate? Wouldn't everyone prosper if one faction took the helm and pushed our society forward?  Would you not weep tears of joy if one man unified the nation and led us out of our endless winter? I argue, in all honesty, that you shouldn't.

         In truth, my friends, ideological battle is what sustains and safeguards England. Our different classes, different ideals, different theories, and different worlds ensure that nothing can destroy us! Do you remember the potato famine of Ireland?

If a Kingdom relies entirely upon a single crop, a blight that infests that crop will force the Kingdom to its knees. It is no different with people. Whenever the diseased thoughts of a madman infect a class of people who hold absolute power over an empire, that empire suffers and eventually collapses. Such was the case with Rome, such will be the case with England. That is, unless we stop it now.

          Fellows, listen closely: power-hungry men from each group will come to you. They will tell you that their enemies are keeping England engulfed in fog. They will demand you help free England from its current, tragic imprisonment by stabbing your brother in the back. Should you listen, should you give in, you are tying the noose by which our Queen and country will hang.

God Save the Queen,

Charles Vendelli 

 

"Greatest City in The World On Its Knees"

Oi Up Broms,

I've just gotten the letter you've sent in response to mine. Glad to hear that you and the boys are still breathin'. My beloved Annie's well also, thanks for askin', though her mum's beginnin' to show a sign or two of not bein' able to fight the fog much longer. Annie's a nurse, as you know, though, so she's got the best chance of anyone with me sweetheart lookin' after 'er.

Now onto graver matters, bruv. Just after I sent you that first letter, the boys and I got word of a nasty attack on an airship. Desperate men takin' to desperate raidin' in the hopes of findin' some sort of spoils that'll keep 'em alive. Me personally, I thinks a lot of them are in it for the excitement, a bit of a thrill to make life worth livin'. I'd also wager a few are in it just to have something to do. Anyways, as you'd guess, it's not quite the number of ships runnin' today as it was back in the days when the sun was to be seen. What ships do take to flyin' got a good chance of bein' raided.

Lots of bad things happenin' to lots of innocent people, and it turns me stomach to see what was once the greatest city in the world, populated by the greatest of peoples, bein' brought down to this.

It turns me stomach even more, however, to see what it's made of me. The handful of us that's still got any heart and wits about us have been gettin' steady work repairin' the ships that's salvagable after the attacks. Union boys, profiting at the expense of the innocent, just like our Industrialist overlords.

My personal demons aside, this nasty attack I've just told you about seems to 'ave been particularly brutal, and I hear had some pretty high name people on it. Suppose you'd have to be a higher-up to be flyin' these days though. Most of us ain't got money to be takin' to the skies. Which begs the question, what are those that 'ave got the money doin' comin' into the Capitol? If you 'ave the pounds the spare, the smart way of spendin' 'em would be on gettin' out, not on comin' in. Like I said last time, bruv, something's on, it's big, and I ain't got any specifics for ya just yet, but I've got some ideas. Strange things been happenin' in the old East End, and our situation's gettin' worse.

Some of our boys have been lost to the air. Been mostly the older gents, a lifetime full o' 'ard work left 'em without enough to fight lungfuls of acid. But some of the younger boys have taken to wheezin' now as well. I don't know if the air's gettin' worse, or if the debauchery they've been tryin' to pass off as day to day livin' has weakened them. Whatever it is, there's still a lot of us not showin' any signs of failin' health, and thank God for that.

But we're losin' the lads to animalism mate. Just the other day, not long after the nasty airship raid, we was 'avin' a meet-up in the backroom of the old Boots and Hammer. When I say we, I means that core group of us that's still good men just tryin' to get back to what was once a good life.

Or at least we thought we was all good.

Johnny boy was out back, most of us thought 'avin' a smoke, bein' as a lot of the boys are still daft enough to be mixin' tobacco smoke with the acid in the air. Then old Harris goes over the back door and calls out to Johnny that he's wanted inside for the meetup when he's done with 'er.

Mate I haven't jumped up and dashed so quickly since we was lads havin' punchups to get the lasses to kiss us. Me heart was poundin' and me blood boilin' with the questions of who is she, and what's Johnny doin' with 'er to get done with? My worst fears were confirmed mate; outside, we found Johnny knifed up pretty good, and no trace of anyone else.

As you can guess mate, this has caused a bit of a hullabaloo in our ranks. Some o' the boys we thought was still good has now taken to attackin' lasses. And them's that ain't doin' it, know about it, and are playin' right along.

With the old boys dyin' off from yellow air, and the young ones losin' all trace of humanity, our little core group is all we've got left in the old neighborhood. We know where the other Union boys are meetin' up though, and we're reachin' out to them now to establish a unity through this madness. We plan to elect a new leadership, and do a bit of self-policin', and we hopes to spend the money we've got between us a bit more usefully.

Also, Annie and me 'ave been talkin', and me to some of the boys whose girls are nurses as well. In the old tunnels and cellars beneath our parts, we're lookin' at settin' up a few makeshift hospice centers. God willing the air underground ain't nearly as polluted, and with not much else to do, keepin' our countrymen and our class alive seems the best way to spend the time.

But right now, we're in a bit of a shambles. And worse, those strange faces I was tellin' ya of before, ain't just strange faces now. They're strange faces with knives, that show up as most of the money in Britain starts flying back into a Capitol that no one with any common sense would want to be anywhere near.

The big money's here, brother, and they wouldn't be here unless they thought they had a way to make their money bigger. I don't think they've quite figured it out yet, maybe they've just got a hunch. Knowin' them, if they had a sure thing, it'd already be in motion. But whatever it is, when they figure it out, they'll need their workers back. Trouble is mate, the shape we're in right now, the working class of London has nearly been completely broken. Most'd work for pittance just to have work to go to and somethin' shiny in their pockets.

The inter-Union meetups'll be startin' soon bruv, and you and your lot'll be hearin' from us. For the good of every man makes his livin' with his hands, we'd better get this ship righted sharpish.

Keep your hair short and your boots shinin' mate.

To Better Years and More Beers,

Haytham Ashdown

 

Coded Telegraph:
Paranoia Rules When Everthing's Shhhh...

 

I continue to be both awestruck and humbled by the dedication and efficiency of this city's developing Network Proxies though I do wonder whether such an elaborate cipher is really all that neccessary.

 I suppose I had best use my Sunday name for this Shaun Hardie chap; chemists can be such slippery characters when not handled correctly.

Ella Mayhem

 

 

Conditions Worsen: "People Are Choking To Death!"
Letter To A Best Mate

 
 

To Me Old Mate Bromley,

Proud as I am to be a working man, methinks now that we'd have been proper to have chosen a different life. This bleedin' fog coverin' the city has shut down all the work that was to be had, meanin' we Union boys haven't got toss-all to do with ourselves.

Thems that ain't dyin' from starvin' are chokin' to death on the yellow air!

Families are going hungry, and thems that ain't dyin' from starvin' are chokin' to death on the yellow air. It's pure acid this, and it'll kill every Brit in London before it's done. You'd think that things bein' what they are, our dearly beloved Industralist friends'd be sufferin' just as badly as we, but that ain't the bleedin' case, and that's got me suspicious mate.

Birdhouses and pubs and card games in our parts are boomin'

The Caledonian's just made a big move up the Scots way, and they'll have more pounds pourin' into their greedy pockets than you and I could ever count, you can bet. And they don't seem to be bothered by the state of the dear old Capitol. Something's on, me old mate, something big, and I aim to find out what it is.

 

I'll admit to feeling a bit happy at seein' all the rich folks' fancy little cafes and shops and whatnot strugglin' for a penny even with their respirators that they ain't quite willin' to share with our kind, while the birdhouses and pubs and card games in our parts are boomin'. I've been down every day with the boys at the Boots and Hammer. Time was when we was all thinkin' this'd pass soon, and we was talkin' our way through what we'd take to doin' once we was back to work. Now all the talk that's left to be had is about where we're going to get our next bit of food.

Half a King's ransom changes hands every night over dice and cards

Lot of the boys have given up on things like food though, and just worry about makin' sure there's still pints to be had. Half a King's ransom changes hands every night over dice and cards and the like. You'd think as Unionists in times like these we'd be poolin' what little we had left together to keep us all alive. But the boys seem to have given up, and taken to thinkin' only about going out having a good time.


But here's the thing mate, strange faces been showin' up in our parts lately. And you know as well as me that our parts ain't the type where strange faces dare to venture. Most of the boys can't notice 'em through the booze and the gamblin' and the birds, but there's a few of us that have, and we've been talkin' it over in the back room at the Boots. We're going to go dark-like, and see who these knobs are, and what it is that they want.

I got one of me old feelin's that these Industrialist sods have got it in their heads that there's profit to be made from this hell we're livin' through, and as usual, they plan to do it at our expense. But I've gotta be off mate, time to head to see my dear, sweet Annie. I'll keep in touch bruv, and let you know what the boys and I find. Until then, keep your boots shinin'.

Yours in Blood, Sweat, and Beers,

Haytham Ashdown

 

A Letter to Rathbone Mayhem
To London!

 
 

Sir,

My warmest congratulations on the Snowdonian Project. I knew it was simply a matter of time before the mighty Caledonian Bronze and Steam extended across the border and proved itself as one of the big players. How I wish I could have been present for your coup de grace but, as you know it simply would not have been the done thing, I had to be publicly present at the merger as part of my apprenticeship.

I cannot begin to tell you how much of a stir we caused, the Edinburgh coffee houses were set all a twitter over the aquisition, after all its not everyday a promising mining operation falls into one's folio for a song. I daresay now perhaps the idea of Alisdair Stevenson naming his daughter as successor to the CBS chair will not seem as abhorrent.

Now onto more exciting and profitable horizons.

You may have already learned that I have been in conversation with Father for quite sometime now over the Long Dark Winter, the Fog and, naturally, his obsession with carrying out his own Clock research. I believe infact that he has tasked Division M with an Errand Run to the capital with a view to gathering intelligence pertaining to the latter. It is my happy duty to inform you that Father dearest has finally indulged my instinct that The Fog is worthy of equal investigation.

For some time I have not been able to shake the notion, that those yellow billowing clouds above are begging to be farmed, their acid rains harnessed in some way though

 

I have yet to discover how and to what purpose; I have some thoughts on the matter so far but I would need to engage a chemist or two, preferably without many scruples before I set them before Father. Long story short I am back with Division M and The Network, naturally, for the forseeable future.

Unfortunately I jokingly mentioned to Father that perhaps a well placed fiance would be a useful asset in circumstances such as this. Infact I felt so sure of myself that I offered to be married off should our endoeavours prove fruitless. Well blow me if the Old Boy didn't let slip to Ma that I might be ready for marriage... she's written to the family of every eligible bachelor south of Watford. Nothing like being put to the test by the man who made you.

Looming courstship and Killer Fog not withstanding, I have to say I'm rather looking forward to London. I hear that most of the shops, theatres, galleries and coffee houses are still crippled and struggling, even after the introduction of portable respirators. And yet.... the brothels, bordellos, supper clubs and card dens are busier than ever. The Network is going to positively thrive, setting ears and eyes in every dark place and we shall wreak merry hell from the bottom up.

I can't wait.

In Anticipation.

Ella Mayhem