Episode 3

Don't know how I survived. The crew all was chewed alive. I must have slipped between the teeth of: COGS!

Michael Harrel: EXT. St. Petersburg. Night. The city has changed quite a bit since the old flashbacks. Whereas the city was once a dirty and festering hole of crime and excrement, it's now a dirty and festering hole of crime and excrement with a bunch of steam pipes and clockwork sticking out from everywhere.

There are dozens of airships hanging like fruit flies above the steaming pile of buildings below, and on the streets below the wealthier denizens travel by hansome cabs wandering on clacking spider-like legs.

The Aether swings in from above and joins the other airships hovering above the town.

They circle about for a bit, and then land in Decembrist's Square in front of the ruins of St. Isaac's Cathedral.

The crew disembarks.

Newton Falk: "Everyone remember where we parked."

Luka Arlexi: Luka raises an eyebrow.

Captain Genevieve Sparling: Sparling glances about the square, comparing it with her memories of the area. She's clearly not sure how to feel about being here again. "Felix, you're with me. The rest of you, try not to attract attention. If you feel like doing some research, stick to the taverns. The Enlightenment keeps a close watch on the libraries and archives."

Luka Arlexi: "Very well, Captain."

Michael Harrel: "Captain," says Felix. "I'm forgetful after my recent brain surgery. Why do you think your friend is here, again?"

Captain Genevieve Sparling: "He's not," Sparling replies. "At least, it's incredibly unlikely, as convenient as that would be. But I have other friends in this city, and they might be able to help me." She doesn't voice an opinion as to whether those other friends might still be on her side after ten years.

Captain Genevieve Sparling: She looks for a moment in one direction down a main avenue leading away from the square, and then the opposite direction, and after a moment's hesitationnot at all due to geographical uncertaintyshe sets off the way she was looking originally.

Luka Arlexi: After thinking for a moment, Luka heads off towards the factory district.

Newton Falk: Newton looks about, sees the nearest bar, and walks in.

Michael Harrel: Newton steps into the bar. It's a fairly typical bar for an enlightenment city: dim, musty, drably colored, with dim, musty, drably clothed people hunched over their chairs, drinking and not speaking.

Newton Falk: Playing up his English accent for all it's worth, "Wha'd ya got that'll put me on the floor my good man? Pip pip, cheerio, all that rot."

Michael Harrel: "I am thinking my fist will be the putting of you on floor," says a large russian man near the bar.

Newton Falk: "That didn't take long…" Newton turns around and decks him.

Michael Harrel: The man comes back up swinging a bottle, which Newton ducks. The bottle instead hits the man beside Newton.

CUT TO: Ext. Outside the bar. One yell turns into five shouts turns into crashing sounds, turns into someone gets fucking thrown out of the window.

Newton hugs the wall.

CUT TO: Luka arrives at the factory district.

Luka Arlexi: She wanders around a bit, seeming more comfortable here than she has in many places that the Aether has docked, before making her way over to a large building. The sign outside declares it to be Alastair's Salvage Co.

Michael Harrel: Inside the door is a veritable heaven for Luka: there are thousands of half-disassembled mechanical thingies everywhere. All for sale at a reasonable price!

Luka Arlexi: She smiles widely. She makes her way over to some half-assembled engines, and begins browsing.

Michael Harrel: Cut to: Evelyn's lab

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: Edouard and Evelyn are sitting at her desk, fully clothed, and fully focused on Chemistry and SCIENCE stuff.

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: "Now that the crew is gone, love, I have something I wanted to show you," she sets her beaker down. "Oh!" Edouard raises his eyebrows and sets his beaker down as well.

Evelyn rumages around the front of her dress, as she is wont to do a surprising amount, and pulls out a piece of paper.

"Oh," Edouard looks a tad disapponted, but is curious about the card.

The audience recognizes it as the paper from the fire

"Remeber when we first started courting," She says handing him the paper, "we were working on a silly formula. A chemical reaction that could produce enough energy to propel one into the sky at a very fast rate."

"Yes, I remember," he takes the card from her and looks at it. "Evie, you kept it?" He smiles.

"I destroyed everything but that the day before I left. I hid it in my dorm room and I had to wrestle it away from that horrible little person."

Edouard is fondly reading the formula.

Michael Harrel: "What person again?" he says.

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: "Well…I saw some plans for a sort of battle airship that could reach the stars and I couldn't help but think that perhaps, this formula is a key to that."

"Hmmm, you know, I never would have thought about it, but if I worked on this, if we both did, I think we could do this," he is studying the plans intently now and beginning to draw it out on some new paper.

"Why did you wait to show me this?" He looked up curiously.

"Well, we're alone now and," she leans in closer and whispers, "the captain hears much better than she plans…"

Michael Harrel:
CUT TO: Genevieve, wandering the streets of St. Petersburg, experiences a sudden and inexplicable chill.

Captain Genevieve Sparling:
Sparling enters a small, dank tavern full of Russians. At the sight of her, half the patrons draw their weapons. The other half shout some variation of "Comrade!" and buy her drinks.

She can't help but smile as she makes her way through the bar's customers. The ones who produced firearms grudgingly return them to their holsters and ignore her since they can't try anything now. Sparling goes to the bar, Felix in tow, and orders a vodka, hoping the bartender likes her well enough to give her some that isn't distilled from petroleum.

Michael Harrel: The bar tender doesn't really even glance at her as he hands her a drink. As she's about to take a swig, the man sitting next to her slaps the glass out of her hand, and it goes skittering across the floor. "You idiot!" he says to the bartender in Russian. "You can't give her that slop! Bring out the best drink in the house. Don't you know who this is?"

The bartender glances at Sparling. "Um…no. Who is it?"

(Still in russian) "It's an attractive woman that I'm trying to impress by buying a better drink in the hopes of eventual seduction!"

He turns to Genevieve and says, in broken English, "So…you to the speaking russian, honey?"

Captain Genevieve Sparling: (Also in Russian) "I'm flattered, comrade, but you'd have better luck trying that with my navigator here."

Captain Genevieve Sparling: She smiles reassuringly at Felix and hopes he doesn't also secretly speak Russian.

Michael Harrel: Felix is staring distractedly into the distance, and also coincidentally and quite of accident at the bartender's crotch.

Captain Genevieve Sparling:
Sparling turns back to her now-refilled glass and takes a swig. Finding it satisfactory, she looks at the flirtatious patron and says, "You might be able to help me, though."

Michael Harrel:
"Oh?" says the man.

Captain Genevieve Sparling: "There was a building just up the street," she says, lowering her voice though she's reasonably certain no Enlightenment agents are lurking here. "It's rubble now, but about ten years ago it was quite… active. People coming and going at all hours from the cellar, with appointments all over the city and beyond. I'm sure you knew of these people if you were around then. I want to know if any of them are still active." She sets down her glass, and a modest wad of bolts appears next to it like magic—far more than would be necessary to pay for her drink and tip the bartender.

Michael Harrel: "No, please to allowing me to pay of the bill," says the man. He scraps the wad of cash off the table and pockets it, then slaps enough money to cover her drink on the bar.

Michael Harrel: "Miss honey, I believe I am being able to help for you," he says. "Please to follow."

Captain Genevieve Sparling: Sparling elbows Felix to get his attention and follows the man out of the bar.

CUT TO: The other bar. Newton is standing out front, looking quite satisfied, as the tavern is engulfed in a raging fire.

Newton Falk: "Could have done without the oil, but when you have a lantern… you swing it."

Michael Harrel: The fight is continuing around him, mostly drunken and tired people sluggishly beating the shit out of each other.

The wail of an automatic hydrodynamic firetruck siren is heard in the distance.

Newton Falk: "Ah, time to find a new bar. Somewhere less prone to violence I think. Makes the whole city look bad…" Newton wanders off.

CUT TO: The Factory side of town. Luka is happily browsing through the vast catalogue of spiffy gizmo-oids.

Michael Harrel: "Can I help you, young lady?" says a clerk, walking up the aisle.

Luka Arlexi:
"That depends." She holds up an exhaust valve. "Do you carry any of these compatible with a Proctor Vulcan?"

Michael Harrel: "Oh yes, in three varieties." He leads the way.

Luka Arlexi: She follows happily.

Michael Harrel: As she examines the three varieties, the clerk studies her face. "You seem familiar. Have we met before, miss…?

Luka Arlexi: "Yuriy," she replies without looking up.

Michael Harrel: Yuriy…no, that doesn't ring a bell. Ah well."

Luka Arlexi: "I had a great-aunt from around here, though," she muses. Her unusually good mood is making her chatty, if not completely honest. "Amelia Alderidge. I've been told I resemble her."

Michael Harrel: "You're Old Lady Alderidge's niece?"

Luka Arlexi: Luka looks up, blinking a few times. "My grandmother was her twin sister."

Luka Arlexi: "Did you know her?"

Michael Harrel: "I knew her granddaughter."

Luka Arlexi: Luka blinks some more. "Granddaughter?"

Michael Harrel: "Yes, Sophie was her name I believe."

Luka Arlexi: "I never knew she had a… Is she still alive?"

Michael Harrel: "I'm not sure…I believe there was some sort of incident, but no one talks about that. I wasn't there when it happened."

Luka Arlexi: "Do you know anyone I could ask about it? I try to… hang onto what little family I have left."

Michael Harrel: CUT TO: Luka, leaving and looking troubled.

Luka Arlexi: She does have a small package with her.

Michael Harrel: CUT TO: Genevieve and Felix following that one guy. "Before I take you any further," says the man in russian, "I would like some proof of where your loyalties lie, miss honey."

Captain Genevieve Sparling: "It's Sparling," she corrects him, exasperated at last with this nickname. "And I fought alongside my comrades in the resistance for the better part of two years." She draws her pistol, but rather than menace the guide with it, she holds it by the barrel and shows him the grip, where an ivory inlay of a stalk of wheat is embedded in the dark wood. "I expect you recognize this," she says.

Michael Harrel: "Excellent, comrade. I will take you to Tasha, see if she recognizes you."

Captain Genevieve Sparling: Sparling brightens noticeably. "Tasha's alive?"

Michael Harrel: The man gives a curt nod, "Not officially, you understand," he says.

Captain Genevieve Sparling: "Of course, comrade."

CUT TO: Commercial

FADE IN. A dark and musty basement is lit by a single kerosene lantern. There is a door to the north and east of the room, and stairs to the west side. With a creak, the door at the top of the stairs opens, casting more light on the floor. We hear footsteps coming down the stairs, and then Sparling emerges, led by that one guy, whom we shall refer to as Kirill.

Michael Harrel: "Please to wait here, miss honey Sparling," says Kirill. "I will be the announcing to Tasha of your arrival."

Captain Genevieve Sparling: Sparling complies, leaning against the nearest wall with her pistol still in her hand, just in case. She has told Felix to wait outside and keep his ears open for trouble.

Michael Harrel: Kirill exits through the north doorway. A few moments pass. Moths buzz around the kerosene lamp. The throb of a hydrodynamic engine starts up somewhere in the distance. Finally, the eastern door opens and three men with guns enter, followed by an older version of the actress that played Tasha in the pilot episode.

Captain Genevieve Sparling: Sparling peers past the bodyguards, trying to get a good look at Tasha's face, particularly her forehead.

Michael Harrel: The three men hve their guns…not exactly*aimed* at Sparling, but not exactly *not* aimed at her, either. Tasha has changed considerably since Sparling last saw her. She now has a long scar from the top left of her face to the bottom right, and wears an eyepatch. The sides of her head are shaved, with no visible tattoos. Her left hand is a mechanikal augment. She wears a double-holster. Her eye recognizes Sparling immediately, but she is suspicious. Before anything is said, she motions to Sparling's hairline, indicating that she wants to see her temples and forehead.

Captain Genevieve Sparling:
Sparling leans farther into the light and pulls back her hair. Tentatively she says, "Comrade?

Michael Harrel:
Tasha doesn't smile, exactly, but she nods, satisfied.

CUT TO: A hallway. Sparling and Tasha enter through the door at the end of the hallway, which, as it opens, we see is the door on the eastern side of the basement. The hallway has various holes in the wall, which we realize are there so that anyone coming down the hallway can be shot by people beyond the wall.

An automated turret is hanging on the ceiling. It zeroes in on Sparling, but Tasha makes a quick gesture and it deactivates.

Tasha is talking as they walk along the hallway. "It's been a rough time," she says. "Ten years of running, and fighting. Famine, plague, war, death. We've caused quite a lot of trouble for those bastards."

Captain Genevieve Sparling: "The fact that you're still here at all is a testament to your skill. Sergei would be proud. And he'd want to know where you bought that turret."

Michael Harrel: "'Bought', comrade?" Now Tasha does smile slightly. "We subscribe more to the outlaw-philosopher-bandit Karl Marx's vision. From each according to his ability, to each according to his need. The Enlightenment had the *ability* to lose their entire weapon's caravan to us two winters past, and we had a need to kill any intruders to our little den of fugitives. Socialism in action, comrade."

They reach the end of the hall, where there is a portal leading downward. Tasha unscrews the hatch and it swings open, revealing a pit and a ladder. "Here we are, comrade, down the hatch." She leads the way.

CUT TO: Evelyn's laboratory.

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: Edouard is sitting on Humphrey and Evelyn is sitting on his lap. They both have notebooks in their hands and are furiously scrabbling in them. There is only the sound of writing and then a rustle of cloth as Evelyn leans back to rest against him. Edouard shifts his arms around her and continues writing. Evelyn chews her pencil some and makes a few scratches. Both are entirely focused on their work.

"What have you got?" Edouard asks Evelyn, pausing for a moment. He absently kisses the back of her head. She hands him the notebook and closes her eyes, thinking. He makes a few notations in his, copying some of her equations and formulae. Suddenly,he jumps up, spilling Evelyn to the floor.
"That's it!"

He begins pacing and writing while Evelyn picks herself up.

"If I can," he pauses to scribble more, "then…"

He begins mumbling not unlike Evelyn.

Evelyn begins to follow him as he paces. She tries to read over his shoulder, standing on her tip toes. He whirls around suddenly, notebooks hitting her on the nose. "This is it, Evie!..oh sorry," he says as she rubs her nose.

"What is it?" she asks through her hands.

He hands her his notebook. "Oh," she says sitting down, "Oh!"

"Uhhuh," he says happily.

CUT TO: Luka has a piece of paper and a small package. She's standing in front of the metal gate of an abandoned building, the sign on which reads, in russian, 'St. Petersburg Asylum for the Mentally and Criminally Deranged."

Luka Arlexi: She stares at the sign for a moment before pushing her way through the gate.

Michael Harrel: The doors to the asylum creak open rustily, casting dim light on the rubbish strewn across the floor of the lobby. Luka enters and glances around: there's a nurse's desk in the corner of the lobby, some rotting chairs near a table, and three doors; one leading to the offices, one to the main wards, and a couple more to other parts of the asylum that won't come into the episode much.

Luka Arlexi: "Hmm." Luka steps carefully over the debris-strewn floor, making her way over to the offices. She pauses a moment, looking left and right as though she heard something, and then continues on.

Michael Harrel: Most of the offices have either been ransacked or were cleared out in a hurry. There is ample evidence of vagrants having used the building; old remnants of fires, the stink of ancient human or animal waste. She walks to the end of the hall, where a sign hanging crookedly from one nail informs her that the records department is through the stairway to her left.

Luka Arlexi: "запах…" Luka wrinkles her nose, covering it and her mouth with the back of a gloved hand. She follows the signage to the records department in this fashion, holding her package close.

Michael Harrel: The filing room has remained relatively untouched; Luka has to break the lock on the cabinet she was looking for, but that's a relatively simple exercise and it actually calms her nerves a bit. She opens the drawer and pulls out a file marked "Alderidge, Sophie."

As she begins to open the file, she hears the creak of the door opening and looks up: there's a man at the doorway. He's holding an axe.

Newton emerges from his third barfight of the evening, with a black eye and a smile on his face, holding a half-full (or is it half-empty?) beer mug in one hand and a keg in the other.

Newton Falk: "Half full!" He says to a passing street person.

"Bullshit." The man replies.

Newton Falk: Undetered, Newton wanders about, and ponders if he's been down this alleyway yet…

Michael Harrel: As he enters the dark and ominous alleyway, we see, over his shoulder, several rough looking vagrants following him.

CUT TO: Sparling and Tasha walk past rows and rows of weapons and explosives. "Our recruitment efforts have certainly been less fruitfull these last few years," Tasha is explaining. "We have firepower, but not enough people to utilize them. After ten years, the Enlightenment still has a strong hold over the city, despite our constant opposition. We've hit them hard, but they just keep coming back. We've done things…things I'm not particularly proud of, comrade. You understand. And they've responded by doing things far worse. One year they began sending technicians to the schools, under the pretext of vaccinations for the small pox, which had struck the city the year before; the children began to come home with scars on their temples."

Captain Genevieve Sparling: Sparling grimaces. "Considering the fact that Sergei and Pavel started sabotaging factories before they could grow beards, it follows that the Enlightenment would want to re-educate any possible insurrectionists as young as possible."

Michael Harrel: "So we blew up a few schools and executed a few technicians, and left their horribly mangled bodies in public places for the authorities to find. But the people grew frightened; we haven't had many new recruits since then; and our numbers are always dwindling, as they will in this line of work, comrade. We have enough weapons for an army, but no army to utilize them."

Captain Genevieve Sparling: "I wish I had the resources to help you, comrade, but it seems every time I set foot on soil, I've lost another contact." Sparling bites her lip, trying to discern whether it's wise to mention Pavel given Tasha's own troubles.

Captain Genevieve Sparling: Roll(4d6)+0:

Michael Harrel:

Michael Harrel: After reflection, she decides that the time isn't right to ask.

Captain Genevieve Sparling: "I was happy to see that wasn't the case here, after all these years. My ship and my crew are at your service, Tasha, for whatever that's worth."

Michael Harrel: "My gratitude to you, old comrade. We may need it."

CUT TO: Evelyn's lab, for more Evelyn and Edouard hijinks!

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: 22:11:14
Evelyn and Edouard are sitting on Evelyn's cot, staring at the wall.

"We did it," Edouard says astonished.

"It'll take a few tweaks, I'm sure," Evelyn says looking down at a notebook in her lap.

"And a place to experiment." He and Evelyn look at each other.

"Where?" She asks, swallowing.

"I don't know," He says rubbing a hand through his hair, "Someplace with readily available chemicals where I could be safe to work without interruptions."

"Barlow," Evelyn says simply.


"Barlow. My parents' house," she elaborates.

Edouard blinks.

"There are always enough chemicals. My father had a lab built for me underground… a "tree house" for genious children. You could work there. And if the enlightenment hasn't bothered them since after I left, I doubt they'd bother them now."

Edouard thinks about this, rubbing his cheek which has accumulated some stubble.

"Are you sure about this, Evie?" he asks uncertainly.

"Of course I'm sure, " she smiles.

Evelyn throws her arms around Edouard's neck without warning. He lets out a startled laugh and holds her as well.
"I shouldn't tell your father about us, should I?"
"No," she says simply.

CUT TO: Luka. The asylum basement. The man with the axe.

Luka Arlexi: Luka looks as though she may want to cry out of frustration. Or murder someone. Or both.

Michael Harrel: The man raises the axe and shouts something that sounds like a mix between arabic and russian; but the russian words (which Luka understands) seem to have been chosen at random.

Luka Arlexi: Luka backs away slowly. "I… what?" She switches the package and file to the same hand, and grips them tightly.

Luka Arlexi:
(Sum: 11)3xD6: 5 2 4

Michael Harrel: 22:30:53

Luka Arlexi: Luka glances around the room for some way of escape beside the door with the axe-crazy man, and finds none. She takes another step back as he swings the axe wide and smashes it through part of the wall's crumbling plaster. "Еще мало одного," she murmers, trying to keep her voice level. "Это безопасно." The man pauses, looking at her strangely. "آمنة؟" he murmurs, and shakes his head. Luka blinks a few times, perplexed. "لا الآمنة. لقد أخذوها. الحكمة ذهابه." He sniffles a llittle, before leaning against the door and slumping to the ground, now cradling the axe as if it were a doll. Luka begins rather tentatively singing what sounds like a Russian lullaby. The man nods approvingly, looking very forlorn, and Luka pats him gently on the shoulder while stepping gingerly over him to get through the doorway. She makes her way slowly down the hallway, frequently looking over her shoulder, still singing.

And looking profoundly disturbed, incidentally.

CUT TO: Commercial break.



Michael Harrel: The Aether zooms out of the enormous explosion, leaving St. Petersburg a gigantic ball of fire and wind.

Newton Falk: "I think it improves the place. The smell is gone."

Luka Arlexi: "Why is the hold full of hobos?"

Newton Falk: "They made me thier king!"

Captain Genevieve Sparling: Sparling appears to be considering looking nostalgic for her flaming once-home, but then she thinks about her flaming once-home and disposes of the notion quickly.

Michael Harrel: Felix, "So, which city shall we liberate next, Captain?"

Newton Falk: "Somewhere close. My subjects are beinging to reek."

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: "We could just…open the cargo hold…" Evelyn suggests.

Michael Harrel: From the hold comes the faint sound of chanting: "One of us! One of us!"

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: "1,000 feet in the air…"

Captain Genevieve Sparling: "I have some very important items in that cargo hold, Doctor Higgenbotham."

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: "If they're not nailed down, I'm sure they've been hoboed."

Captain Genevieve Sparling: Sparling ignores this. "If any of you have allies on the ground who might still be alive and not reeducated, now's the time to speak up."

Newton Falk: "They mean well. But they did have to make some room to setup the fighting ring. Big pit fighting fans, my subjects."

Luka Arlexi: Luka, in the engine room, glances over the contents of the envelope. There are only snippets visible, but it seems to be detailing a series of experiments done on Sofia. "Terminated" is stamped in big red letters on a photograph. "No, Captain," she says into the speaking tube. "At least, I do not."

Luka Arlexi: She sets it into her hiding place in the floor.

Michael Harrel: The next photograph has the word "Reterminated"

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: "I do. We need to go back to England."

Captain Genevieve Sparling: "Yes, Doctor, but will they be *our* allies too?"

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: "Well, as long as you don't turn on me….They're my parents."

Captain Genevieve Sparling: "Oh brilliant, your parents. I enjoyed the first visit so very much. Plot a damned course, Felix."

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: Evelyn goes to help him.

EXT. BARLOW. The Aether closes in for a landing, dropping anchors and tethering lines.

Michael Harrel: "So, why do we need to visit Evelyn's family again?" says Felix. "I realize it's a bit late to be asking this, but…"

Captain Genevieve Sparling: "I didn't bother to ask. But it got us away from what's left of St. Petersburg, and they're mostly harmless."

Michael Harrel: "I thought we were looking for Pavel still?"

Captain Genevieve Sparling: Sparling presses her lips into a thin line. "We are." She obviously doesn't want to discuss this any further.

Newton Falk: Newton flicks an instrument on his console marked 'Plot Compas', it doesn't move. "Must be broke…"

Michael Harrel: The crew disembarks, leaving Felix reading a Sherlock Holmes novel and sipping the captain's best brandy on the observation deck.

Michael Harrel: Edouard is nervous about meeting Evelyn's parents again.

Newton Falk: A few hobos steal around the ship. As the scenes go by there seems to be an increased transient population where ever the crew goes…

Michael Harrel: Edouard: "I'm kind of nervous about this."

Newton Falk: "Stand behind the hobos."

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: Evelyn motions to everyone, "Wait here. All of you. I haven't really told them I was coming."

Captain Genevieve Sparling: Sparling is happy to comply.

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: Evelyn walks up to the door, she's wearing a hood.

Luka Arlexi: Luka glances at Newton. "You aren't seriously going to bring them inside, are you?"

Newton Falk: "Of course not. I already had my covert team check the place out. See, he's giving me a thumbs up. Hi!"

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: Evelyn shakes out her nerves, takes a big breath, and knocks on the door.

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: There's a bark that comes from inside the mansion.

Newton Falk: The hobos scatter like mice. Newton waves a bit slower then stops.

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: She can hear footsteps. The door opens and two faces appear: A man in his late fourties/early fifties with sandy blonde hair and a woman about the same age with dark hair pulled back into a bun.

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: The took one look at her and their eyes grow wide.
"Surprise," Evelyn says lamely.

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: They pull her inside and shut the door behind her.

Captain Genevieve Sparling: Outside, Sparling harumphs. "Suppose I shouldn't have expected an offer of tea…"

Newton Falk: "Would you drink it?"

Captain Genevieve Sparling: "No, but the offer would be nice!"

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: Then a few minutes later, Mrs. Dr. Emily Higgenbotham opens it again and motions them all to come inside.

Everyone walks into the Higgenbotham mansion. It's very big. It is a mansion. The decor is very…normal. No wierd cannons or sculptures of non-euclydian origin. Just a nicely furnished house. Upon furthur inspection, Emily Higgentotham is about Evelyn's height and build and is quite pretty. The only thing odd you'd notice is that she is wearing gloves and holding gardening shears in one hand. She quickly places these on an entrance table to shake all of your hands. Nigel Higgenbotham, Sparling has met him before, is tall, thin and youthful looking, despite a few giveaway wrinkles. He also looks normal. He's not even wearing a lab coat. He shakes everyones hands, right behind his wife. "Hello, nice to meet you…Hello…Nice to meet you…" Then they both get to Edouard who has positioned himself at the end of the greeting line.

Emily stops, "Edouard?"

Nigel skips Newton to join his wife, "Brandon? Is that you?"

"It is indeed," He smiles and shakes his friend's hand.

"My god, man! It's been a long time," Nigel beams.

"It really has! It's good to see you," Emily clasps her hands together.

"What brings you here? I mean, last I heard you were in London! I'm glad to see you've survived the attack," Nigel lets go of his friend's hand.

"I wouldn't have if it wasn't for Evel-your daughter," he says quickly,

"She…happened upon me and I've been taking refuge in the Aether since then. I've felt it was about time I got out of their hair, they've been so generous."

"Father," Evelyn steps up and her mother places a hand on her shoulders, happy to see her daugher again, "I said Edouard could stay here with you. He's got to continue on with his work and since his lab was destroyed I was wondering if my old lab was still useable."

"Of course dear, of course, you can stay, Edouard," Emily smiled.

"Yes," if Nigel is a bit confused, he hides it well, "Anyways, all of you come further inside. We'll put the kettle on and you can tell us what's going on."

Captain Genevieve Sparling: Sparling takes this opportunity to excuse herself. "I'm afraid I can't stay—have to go purchase some antiscorbutics for Mr. Falk's guests. Can you point me in the direction of the nearest population center?"

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: "No, no, you must stay," Emily says, "if only for a little while."

Nigel has gone into the kitchen to start the tea.

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: "Tell us what Evelyn's been up to," She smiles.
Evelyn coughs, "Um, no, no. Mother, she's got to get the scrubbles, it's ok, really. Don't trouble the captain." She looks at Sparling, "Down the road a mile, take a left then a right. Derbyshire's Cleaning Supplies."

Captain Genevieve Sparling: Sparling is appropriately relieved at Higgenbotham's intervention, unrefined as her proper Victorian social protocol has become after years on an airship (or maybe they've always been that bad). "Right. Cheers then. Meet you all back at the ship before sunset."

"Eh, except you," she says to Edouard. "Have a… nice life."

Captain Genevieve Sparling: And with that she's out the door.

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: "Charming," he mutters wryly.

CUT TO: The Higgenbotham home.

Captain Genevieve Sparling: Sparling leans over the chart table, idly consulting a map of the Isle of Man, which bears her own annotations from their last visit.

Michael Harrel: "Where to next, Captain?" says Felix, untying himself from the last of the ropes.

Captain Genevieve Sparling: She rolls up the map and drums it on the tabletop, eyes fixed somewhere distant, showing no sign that she heard Felix at all.

Captain Genevieve Sparling:
"We need someone with connections," she ruminates, mostly to herself.

Captain Genevieve Sparling:
She goes to the bank of speaking tubes and selects the one that leads to the engine room. "Luka, approximately how often does the Fox relocate her base of operations?"

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham:

Luka Arlexi: There is a pause, as Luka thinks. "Not terribly often. The authorities are easy to bribe in Dublin."

Captain Genevieve Sparling: "Fantastic." To Felix: "Get us to Dublin, and you and Mr. Falk are both staying on the ship this time."

Michael Harrel: "Aye, cap'n."

CUT TO: Dublin. The Fox's headquarters. Daniel and the Fox meet the Aether as the crew exits the ship (except for Felix and Newton and a few hobos).

Michael Harrel: Small text pops up at the bottom of the screen: "Watch an all new episode of Fox and Wolf, next on TV Free Mechanus!"

Luka Arlexi: "Danny!" Luka greets her second-cousin warmly. "You're looking well." She nods to Fox. "How's business?"

Michael Harrel: "It's quiet. The authorities have better things to do than hunt for us, what with the war on again and everything."

"But," says Daniel, "that doesn't mean that Hattie and I don't get up to some cah-raaaaazy adventures on a relatively regular basis. Isn't that right, Hattie?"

"Oh man. It's hard to describe how adventuresome our lives are! I'm sure everyone would love to vicariously experience what we do."

"There may even be boobs occasionally!" says Daniel. Hattie glares at him slightly. Everyone laughs, slightly nervous and awkward.

Luka Arlexi:
"Danny, have you been dipping into your medical supplies again?"

Newton Falk:
"What a plug!" Newton looks around. "I mean, the plug for the Aether's batteries. It's big. A shameless."

Captain Genevieve Sparling:
Sparling's gaze ping-pongs between the two of them during this exchange, and finally she clears her throat. "I hope you two aren't too… busy… to spare us some advice. We're trying to find someone, and unfortunately the person we're trying to find is the one I'd go to first when I'm trying to find someone."

Michael Harrel: "Well, I can try and find someone for you," says Hattie.
"Say, maybe finding out that information could be the source of a great adventure for us, Hattie; do you think—" says Daniel.

Michael Harrel: "Stop it, Danny," says the Fox.

Newton Falk: "Yeah, no cross-overs." Newton looks back, "The battery plug is a straight through connection."

Captain Genevieve Sparling: "Right. In a nutshell, my closest friend was a Russian resistance leader for two decades, and the Enlightenment finally caught up with them. I need to know where they've secreted him away."

Michael Harrel: "He was in Russia when they got him?"

Captain Genevieve Sparling: "Mechanus. He was running a supply business for the last several years. They razed it to the ground."

Michael Harrel: "Mechanus," says Hattie. "I'll see what I can do, spread the word around. In the meantime, maybe you could do me a favor? A little reconnaissance for the resistance?"

Captain Genevieve Sparling: "Name it," Sparling agrees eagerly.

Michael Harrel: Hattie glances around. "Inside me office," she says, and leads the way.

Cut to: INT. HATTIE'S OFFICE. DAY. Hattie's got a map and a couple tintypes on her desk.

"This is a map of the Isles of Scilly," she says. "And these tintypes were taken by a spy dirigible over the islands. They're a bit blurry but you can see the mystery here."

The tintypes are of some sort of base or factory on the Isles, where something large and metal is being constructed.

"A war factory's nothing to be too concerned about; not any more than usual, but look from a little closer…"

The next photograph shows about twenty gentlemen in black at the site.

One of them is looking into the camera.

Captain Genevieve Sparling: Sparling's blood runs cold, but she maintains a calm exterior.

"That's the last of the pictures. The crew of the dirigible managed to jettison the film cannister before…well. We haven't been able to get any more pictures lately. I figured maybe you, with your experience and ability to get out of the tightest of pickles…we need to learn what it is they're building there, and why it's so important."

Captain Genevieve Sparling: Sparling nods. "Absolutely." She doesn't add that she already knows what they're building, that after removing the last Gentlemen from the Aether in the season one finale she turned her quarters upside down and never found the plans to the doomsday device—neither the encrypted sheet she carried for ten years nor the translated sheaf of papers she never had a chance to incinerate.

She is naturally quite hesitant to mention any of this in mixed company. Or any company. She doesn't particularly enjoy so much as thinking about it in her own company.

She clears her throat. "This shouldn't take long. Expect us back within a week. If we're not back in two, execute another daring rescue like you did at the Isle of Man."

Michael Harrel: "Fair enough."

Luka Arlexi: Luka lingers after everyone else files out. "Fox? Erm. There was something else I'd like you to look into. For me." She pulls out a small document, which she unfolds. It's from the (you guessed it) folder from the asylum. "If you can find this man," she taps the seal at the bottom of the page, "you can name your price." In neat, if spiderlike lettering, is written: "Overseen by Karl Luitpold, Director of Theoretical Eugenics and Head of the Ministry for the Improvement of Genetic Data through Mandatory Proceation." Luka turns to go. "Oh, and… Well, I'm sure you know, but the less Danny hears about this, the better." She takes a deep breath, and hurries out to join the rest of the crew.

Michael Harrel:
CUT TO: The Aether soars on the hell out of there.

Michael Harrel: "So," says Felix. "Do we have a better strategy this time than 'fly straight into the mouth of certain doom, nearly get shot down half a dozen times, and somehow manage to blow everything but ourselves up?'"

Captain Genevieve Sparling: "… Not really, no. But I genuinely doubt there will be any reason to get off the ship this time. Unless the ship crashes."

Luka Arlexi: "Please don't jinx us, Captain."

Captain Genevieve Sparling: "Well, now that I've said the ship might crash, it probably won't. That's how these things work, right?" She's talkative, even amiable, because she's scared shitless.

Newton Falk: "Umm, my sources say 'Maybe'."

Luka Arlexi: In the engine room, Luka is looking for some bit of wood to knock on.

Newton Falk: "Capt., you sound like me. And that makes me scared."

Captain Genevieve Sparling: Sparling gets a grip. "Sorry, Mr. Falk. Won't happen again."

Michael Harrel:
CUT TO: The Isles of Scilly.


The Aether approaches from a high altitude.

Captain Genevieve Sparling: Sparling peers at the Isles through a downward-facing spyglass. Or pretends to peer. Mostly she's just making sure they haven't been spotted. "One pass should do, Mr. Falk."

Michael Harrel: As she is peering, several war-nithopters take flight from the isles.

Captain Genevieve Sparling: "Hell."

Newton Falk: "Can that be 'no passes', Capt.?"

Luka Arlexi: "That doesn't sound good, Captain." Luka, over the speaking tubes.

Newton Falk: "Can I just go real fast the other way? I just gotta turn the wheel, it's real easy."

Captain Genevieve Sparling: "I think I've seen enough. Full ahead in the direction of your choice, Mr. Falk."

Newton Falk: "Aye aye!" Newton has rarely seemed happier.

Michael Harrel: The Aether zooms off in the random direction of Newton's choice. (This so happens to be the direction of the nearest pub, but probably not even Newton is consciously aware of this fact.) Behind them, the war-nithopters close in.

Michael Harrel: ((Question for the group: Describe a warnithopter in twelve words or less. Go.))

Captain Genevieve Sparling: ((Gangly pointy flying thing flocking this way.))

Newton Falk: ((Much like a duck, full of armor and guns, a generally bad idea.))

Wings straining to flap
Why did they make them again?
They creep through the air

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: Evelyn is sleeping on her cot.

Luka Arlexi: "What is that infernal flapping? It sounds like a hundred drunken bats."

Michael Harrel: "So did you get the information we needed, captain?" says Felix.

Captain Genevieve Sparling: "Yes," she lies. "We're all fucked. Think that answer will satisfy the Fox?"

Newton Falk: Newton waves his hand in the air.

Captain Genevieve Sparling: "Yes, Mr. Falk?"

Newton Falk: "No?"

Captain Genevieve Sparling: "Well, too bad."

Newton Falk: "So what's the plan for not being crushed under the heel of the Enlightenment, again?"

Captain Genevieve Sparling: "Same as always: fly away. Quickly."

Newton Falk: "What happens when we run out of sky?"

Michael Harrel: "They can't take the sky from us," says Felix.

Captain Genevieve Sparling: "Well, that'll be an interesting day, won't it?"

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