By Timothy Petit, Science and Technology
21/7/282- After months of preparation and navigating the increasingly murky waters of Triumvirate bureaucracy, Veronica Trenum’s expedition into the Deadlands is officially underway. The goal of the expedition is to follow along the trail of Professor Uriah Farringdon Oke, who went missing in the region years ago and was recently discovered wandering around the colonies.
“I have no doubts that this will prove to be the most important, and most exciting, scientific expedition of the last hundred years,” Doctor Trenum told me before her departure. “The mysteries of the Deadlands have long baffled the Triumvirate, and should the tales Professor Oke told of an ancient, mechanical city deep within its forests prove true, its discovery would revolutionary discoveries about Pre-Rift culture.”
Doctor Trenum has already overcome many obstacles to even getting the expedition running, and she is sure to face many more to come. Among them is a rival expedition, led by Doctor Alex Congate, which will be leaving shortly after the Trenum Party.
“You media types keep calling this a race,” Doctor Congate said. “That’s nonsense. I prefer to think of my party less as an expedition, and more as a system of checks and balances. It is not our intention to find this mythic city, or any such evidence of so called ‘Pre Rift’ culture. It is my objective to keep Miss Trenum in check, to make sure that her investments in this venture do not overshadow the sanctity of the scientific process.”
Besides having a skeptic hot on her heels, Doctor Trenum faces another party interested in the region, Alejandro Julianos, who has been sending expeditions into the region for over a year.
“I’m not worried about Julianos,” Doctor Trenum said. “Whatever it is he’s doing in the Deadlands, I doubt it has anything to do with Oke’s lost city. There was some worry early on that he was barring our efforts to get funded, crewed, and supplied, but those setback proved to be more about TA incompetence than anything. In any case, anything the Julianos expeditions have discovered have been kept secret. Anything I find, I intend to share with world. And I am convinced that anything I find will prove to have monumental effects.
“Remember the discovery of the Blackwood Grove? In the nearly three hundred years since we’ve gone from disparate feudalist territories tearing at each other’s throats and groveling in the mud to a worldwide Imperial power unified by steam engines. I believe the Deadlands conceal a similar world changing discovery. We’ll never know until we get over our fears of the region and press inward. With the Grove beginning to dwindle, and no solution to its eventual depletion in sight, we can’t afford not taking risks.”
Timothy Petit is the new science and technology writer for the Nor Eastern branch of the Blackwood Gazette. He has taken the position with the utmost reluctance, and fears greatly for the well being of his Crowndonian counterpart, Ada Herschel, who remains in government custody. He graduated from Sau Anoit University, with honors, holds three patents, has fathered 2 children, twin daughters, and has a dog named Chip (formerly Block-Head…he was named by the aforementioned daughters when they were three; they have since grown older and changed their minds).