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Chapter 2 - Official Business


At The Victorian Compound

Midshipman calliaphone approaches the house, clocking the heavy-duty defenses all around. Her swagger falters somewhat, despite the rum. But she remembers her mission. For the Admiralty, she will not fail.

Midshipman calliaphone steps up to the door and . . . hesitates. Then lifts a hand and taps, tentatively. Her hand does not shake well nossir maybe just a little bit but who's watching? gulp.

Midshipman calliaphone waits. Her knees knock. She tells them to stop it. She manages a full minute of dry-mouthed waiting. And then that's it, she's off, scampering as fast as she can, tripping over her dress-sword. Gone.

Midshipman calliaphone is almost gone, at any rate. Except . . . that something catches her eye. Just a flicker of brown fur and beady eye, in an empty plot of land alongside. She pauses, mid-flight. Gopher?

Midshipman calliaphone can't resist. She tiptoes, to investigate.


On an empty Victorian Plot

Midshipman calliaphone really really shouldn't be here. Of course she knows that, she's not an idiot. And so, of course, she won't be here. Soon. Just as soon as she's caught that gopher, she'll be gone. Honest!

Midshipman calliaphone stalks. Inexpertly. Tripping over her dress-sword, and cussing under her breath. But the wind favours hunter not prey, today, and the gopher is blissfully unawares, grubbing in the dirt with its paw

Midshipman calliaphone halts. Just a few more feet and she'll be close enough to. . . oh, waitaminute. Sharp teeth, no gloves. She thinksthinks. Then quietly strips off - accordion, and uniform coat.

Midshipman calliaphone sets the accordion down, and gathers her coat around her hands. Thus protected, she continues, in waistcoat and shirtsleeves. Step . . . by. . . step . . . aaaaaand. . ..

Midshipman calliaphone pounces! The gopher squeaks! and BITES. Callia yelps and lets it go. "Oh bugger." and then, looking at her hand,"Ouch. bugger. little sharp-toothed bleeder."

Midshipman calliaphone unties her neckerchief, tears off a strip, and binds up the bite. She'll have to go get that cleaned now. No more gophering today.

Midshipman calliaphone gathers up her belongings, and struggles out, tripping over her dress-sword and muttering under her breath."little bleeder, i'm comin' back f'r you, see if i don't."


* * * some time later * * *

Kai apparently doesn't tolerate gophers, let alone trespassing gophers. A sharp crack from a heavy caliber rifle and the little creatureexplodes in a cloud of Red blood.

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