Sunday, October 21, 2007

Murder in Babbage

I’m wondering if Halloween will be as revered in Second Life as it was at Hampshire College…With everyone in a perpetual costume change in-world, Halloween will offer total freedom from the remaining shackle of real life.

I spent the afternoon in Babbage, sipping absinthe with Colleen. We were in a bit of a stupor when we were approached by Mr. Skusting Dagger, an industrial photographer (and graphic artist in real life) who lives in his studio in Babbage He was a handsome fellow, and wore a fantastic top hat armed with a steam powered headlamp. H e was adorned in brass and gold. He made himself comfortable at our table and drank a healthy glass of the green muse.

I asked him if he had heard anything about the recent murder nearby and he said, in fact, there had been three…He mentioned a contraption called the Eliot Device and that the murder suspect was named Jason Moriarty, who, we learned, “hasn’t been seen since he tried to use the device to release the old gods into Babbage…” Oh, and Jason is also a known lycan.

I asked if we could see this device and Mr. Dagger said he’d show us its location, hidden somewhere in the Imperial Theatre next door. I had read about the theatre, and thought it was in ruins. Though I was hazy and headachy, I didn’t want to pass up an opportunity to explore. Mr. Dagger kindly offered to escort us to the theatre. He armed himself with another glass and then I encouraged him out the door. I followed quickly as we made our way along the canal and into the theatre. We passed through a set of curtains and plunged into the dark. A gray toned carousel spun on stage, casting ominous black shadows over the red velvet seats. I didn’t see Colleen any where so I sent her a message. “I don’t think you should go with him.” she said too late. “Do you know him?” I’d seen Mr. Dagger at a ball in Caledon, [or was it Steelhead?] a while back but had never made his acquaintance. As impulsive as ever, here I was, alone in a dark theatre, with a stranger more familiar with the territory than I…

He relit his head lamp and began poking at the floor with his cane. “There’s a trap door around here somewhere…” I dropped to my knees and peered into the dark. My hands pressed onto nails studding the floor and with one touch, I found it. A worn wooden plank lifted suddenly and revealed the ramp into a subterranean room.

The mysterious device churned and filled the narrow room. Two well-oiled gears spun on either side of a small dusty metal box. The dials and needles looked lifeless. “I suppose I oughtn’t to touch it.” I wondered aloud, wanting very much to activate the thing. “It’s very private down here.” said Mr. Dagger…The hairs stood on the back of my neck and I twittered “Please don’t stab me…”

[After some sleuthing on the intrǽnet I’ve found some interesting back-story from Professor Nishi’s blog, as well as that of Loki Eliot [yes, related to the Eliot of the device].].