Blackwood Gazette #208- Outbreak of Chicken Pox On Board Waystation Bravo Reignites Superstitious Fears

By Chester Seaton, News

20/1/282- It would seem that Waystation Bravo’s renaissance has come to an end, as an outbreak of chicken pox has torn its way through the population this month.

Nearly ten percent of the station’s new population succumbed to the disease before Triumvirate medical teams were able to respond. While the team has managed to stem the spread of the virus for now, team leader Doctor Cornelius Despardu warns that the outbreak is far from over.

“Chicken pox is a common disease, and new treatments have helped greatly to dull the devastation it can cause in populations with established medical support,” Despardu said. “But on an isolated outpost such as this, once the disease takes root as it has done hear, the battle against it can be a long, drawn out thing, with many casualties.”

Haversham LLC, the company that initialized the Waystation system and controls much of its promotion, is scrambling to salvage the image of Waystation Bravo.

“People are still wary of the station after it went down two years ago and all those people vanished,” said a spokesperson for the company. “We’d finally gotten to a point where people were willing to set aside their superstitions and travel to the station. This latest incident is going to be disastrous. We’ve already got people outside of our offices in Monteddor City, chanting and praying and trying to ‘exorcise’ us. It’s embarrassing.”

Meanwhile, on the mainland and in the colonies, Triumvirate Authority officials are strictly monitoring airships traveling from and among the Waystations.

“Obviously, an outbreak on the mainland would be a horrible thing,” Doctor Despardu said. “But my main concern is the other stations and colonial settlements. We’ve already sent teams to Alpha, Charlie and Echo. With those teams ever vigilant in there screenings, we should be able to prevent any further outbreaks.”

Blackwood Gazette #208- Outbreak of Chicken Pox On Board Waystation Bravo Reignites Superstitious Fears

Blackwood Gazette #170- Racing Fever Overshadows Fear as Thousands Flock to Waystation Bravo for Pandion Event

By Huxley Pruitt, Sports

3/8- Many people voiced concern over the fledgling Pandion Racing League’s decision to stage its latest event on the newly relaunched Waystation Bravo, given its grim history over the last year. Even more expressed the idea that the government sponsored event was no more than a ploy to get people onto the station to see that everything is running smoothly.

Despite all of this, the event’s turnout proved to be the League’s best yet. This of course brought out concerns that the station was over capacity, with many over nighters forced to either bunk on ships or camp in common areas. The station suffered no failures over the weekend and it seems that the event’s secondary objective, to sway public perception of the station, has succeeded as well.

“This isn’t so bad,” one attendee, standing in line at a job recruitment booth said. “The place is pretty clean, you can still smell the paint, and I haven’t seen a single trace of ghosts nor heard any whispers in the dark since I got here an hour ago. Figure I might as well apply since I lost my job at Klankenvroot last year.”

As for the races themselves, opinions weren’t as warm as they have been in the past. Many cite the fact that the open air of the barrier ocean wasn’t nearly exciting as the wild twists and turns of the Serpent’s Tongue canyon event two weeks ago. Nevertheless, the races brought some stunning upsets, the most notable of which was Horizon League racer Marcy Quail’s victory over both Lakenheath twins in subsequent head to head events, knocking them off the winner’s podium and taking second place overall, after Perys Kerby, reclaiming first place after his defeat at Serpent’s Tongue.

The Legacy League saw no such upsets, with the winner’s podium remaining static over last week. Gargary Dobbs remained in the top slot, followed by “Bonzo” Doosly in second and Hardisty Pender in third.

The next event will return to Walsh once again, where Mathis Galland promises a course reworked to take into consideration feedback from fans and racers alike, as well as data collected during the Serpent’s Tongue race.

“My course designers are committed to delivering a wide range of ever changing events and course layouts,” Galland said. “Things will only get more exciting and complex with time, so stay tuned!”

Blackwood Gazette #170- Racing Fever Overshadows Fear as Thousands Flock to Waystation Bravo for Pandion Event

Blackwood Gazette #137: Waystation Bravo Relaunches with Skeleton Crew; Let Necessity Sort Out People’s Superstitions

By Chester Seaton, News

9/6- When the Waystation system first launched a little over decade ago, the launch of the stations brought forth a crowd of thousands to celebrate the beginnings of one of our Empire’s greatest technological achievements. Memories of that event stand in stark contrast to the reactivation of Waystation Bravo, which was put back into service late last week.

No one stood on the docks of Walsh where the station was moored for repairs as its boilers were stoked and the rotors were engaged. It lifted into the air, taking with it a meager crew of 150, just enough to maintain the station and monitor its performance.

“The station will take its place along the circuit shortly,” said Treacher Burwell, foreman of the Walsh Port Authority and overseer of Waystation operations. “We expect traffic to the station in the first few months to be light, due to apprehensions about its reputation amongst ship captains and others upon whom the waystation system’s success are dependent. I have no doubt, however, that necessity will sort out people’s superstitions, however. After a few months of successful operations, travelers and traders between the Triumvirate and her colonies will once again flock to it as though nothing happened. Within a couple years, the whole affair will be forgotten.”

In the meantime, recruitment drives for station personnel continue, with a 25% bonus being offered to early takers. A special gala is also in the early planning stages, with hope that positive word of mouth from those who attend will alleviate fears of a repeat incident.

Blackwood Gazette #137: Waystation Bravo Relaunches with Skeleton Crew; Let Necessity Sort Out People’s Superstitions

Blackwood Gazette #118: Waystation Bravo Prepares for Relaunch Nearly One Year After The Disappearance of its Personnel

By Chester Seaton, News

12/5- Nearly a year has passed since the mystery of what happened aboard Waystation Bravo gripped the Triumvirate. After months of debate concerning what should be done with the derelict station, the Triumvirate Authority has decreed that Waystation Bravo will return to active service at the beginning of next month.

“There were several reservations about re-launching the station after its denizens mysteriously disappeared,” said Admiral Percival Dunbarrow Pillsbury III. “But the extent of the damage, or lack thereof, simply did not mandate the construction of an entirely new station. Bravo has been repaired, and we have installed new fail safes and updated safety specifications to ensure this never happens again. It is, without a doubt, the safest of the four Waystations.”

Despite the assurances of the Imperial Authority, however, enrollment to serve aboard the repaired Station has been low.

“They’re afraid of ghosts,” an enrollment hopeful told us, one of only fifteen others we found in line at the Authority offices in Crowndon on Mursday. “They don’t like the idea of not knowing what happened. And then there was the bodies. People with revolvers. They’re all whisperin’ about Cartographers this and Scarlet Circle that and conspiracies all around. Me, I think it’s a bunch of nonsense. But some people, that’s enough to keep ‘em away from a sure thing.”

As for what really happened aboard the station, the Authority is remaining tight lipped.

“Everything we found is a matter of public record,” Admiral Pillsbury said. “As for those special investigators that showed up, anything they found is being kept under wraps. They only cleared the station for repairs at the beginning of the year, then took off. And our only other lead, that Klaudhopper fellow, well he’s off running around with Von Grimm and his gang in the colonies. The Marshals will probably send him swinging before we ever get ahold of him.”

***

Read more about Waystation Bravo:

#24: The Station Goes Missing

#29: Search for the Station Begins

#33: Waystation Bravo Found!

#36: Bodies Found on Bravo

#40: New Clues Emerge

#51: Salvage Teams Evacuate

#77: Klaudhopper Captured; Promptly Escapes

Novella Excerpt: Klaus Klaudhopper and Arufina Villanova in Mystery of the Missing Waystation

 

Blackwood Gazette #118: Waystation Bravo Prepares for Relaunch Nearly One Year After The Disappearance of its Personnel

Blackwood Gazette #83- Imperial Edict for the 281st Year of the Triumvirate

By Sir Alaric Wolstenholme McAndrew V, Crowndon Minister of Propaganda

8/1-Greetings, citizens of Crowndon, and citizens of our neighbors in Nor Easter. Also, Monteddor. We see you. We just aren’t very happy with you at the moment.

Many of you may be wondering why I, the Honorable Sir Alaric Wolstenholme McAndrew V, am writing an article for the Gazette. It is part of an arrangement, the details of which I am sure would be much too complex and boring for the layman to understand, that Mister Merchant’s father made with the Crown to keep his little newspaper afloat when it nearly went under three years ago. This deal allows the Crowndon military to post a representative, in this case myself, as a member of the Gazette’s staff in times of great national crisis.

And make no mistake, we are in crisis.

Monteddor finds itself embroiled in an internal ‘family dispute’ that has all but stopped shipments of our lifeblood from flowing into Crowndon, and Nor Easter as well. The Empress of Nor Easter, meanwhile, finds it more imperative to gallivant with artists and amuse herself with gossip than address the growing number of protests and myriad groups of political dissenters in her ranks.

Meanwhile, across the Barrier Ocean, our colonies face hardships of their own. A group, nay, and ARMY of bandits terrorizes the western frontier, and grows larger by the day. Too large for the Colonial Marshals to combat on their own. Disease runs rampant in the south, and an entire township has disappeared, along with anyone sent to investigate, including the Gazette’s own Adella Chatelaine.

That’s to say nothing about the disappearance and reappearance of Waystation Bravo, or the various mad men such as Sir Rigel Rinkenbach and the traitorous Ivan Klankenvroot shoveling money and Blackwood into the furnaces of quite frankly insane projects that will likely never see the light of day.

And we, Crowndon, have made the most grievous mistakes of all. We allowed Admiral Roderick Beauchamp La Pierre to walk away in exile when we should have taken his head. He has singlehandedly done more to destabilize not only Crowndon’s economy, but the economies of Nor Easter and Monteddor as well. What the newspapers called a ‘prank’ or a ‘heist’ in the beginning has quickly proven to be much more. It was a declaration of war.

We have inherited a particularly horrible hand as we enter the 281st year of the Imperial Triumvirate, and if we keep along this path, we will not make it to the 282nd. The purpose of the Triumvirate after the discovery of Blackwood was the uniting of the known world into one glorious power, shared between three powerful cultures. Lately, however, the Crown has begun to wonder if the Triumvirate should be a singularity? Who knows? That is a question for the philosophers (and Generals) of our time to consider, not a lowly political mouthpiece such as myself.

We, both as a nation and as a member of the Triumvirate, have faced dire circumstances before, and I am sure we can face these down as well. But we three must face them as one, and in order to do that we must focus our efforts on those problems that present the most direct threat.

As of this day, the eighth day of First Month of the 281st year of the Triumvirate, the Crown is recalling all military forces and fleets, excepting those stationed in the Colonies. And with this combined force, we will break the siege of the Monteddorian capital by Alejandro Julianos and Yolanda De Santana. Blackwood will once again flow north, and our cities and forges will be re-ignited. And I, the Honorable Sir Alaric Wolstenholme McAndrew V, will be right here, to ensure that the citizens of Crowndon, and everywhere else, receive the information that matters most.

Happy New Year!

Blackwood Gazette #83- Imperial Edict for the 281st Year of the Triumvirate

Blackwood Gazette #77: Prime Suspect in Waystation Bravo Incident Captured; Immediately Escapes

By Chester Seaton

22/10-As reported by our own Adella Chatelaine last week, Klaus Klaudhopper, one of the only known survivors of the Waystation Bravo incident, was taken into custody by Colonial Marshals. After he was captured, he was taken to a Marshall garrison, where he was held for one day.

The marshals claim to have questioned the man extensively, but say that he remained tight lipped except to spew insults and curses in Rommsbachian. At a loss, the garrison’s Chief began prepping Klaudhopper for transfer to a high security prison in New Crowndon.

The transport was still a day out when what appeared to be two separate forces attacked the garrison. Members of both attacking forces match details in Miss Chatelaine’s account, with one group identified as the bandit gang led by Doctor Argyle Von Grimm. The other group, well armed and well trained, is unidentified, though rumors have begun swirling that they might have been members of the secret society known as the Ephemeral Cartographers. If so, it would be the first confirmed sighting of Cartographers by reputable sources in over one hundred years.

Surviving Marshals also claimed that the battle ended in stalemate, with both sides retreating. When the Chief ordered Klaudhopper checked on, they found no more than an empty cell with a large hole blown in the back wall, likely with dynamite. It is unclear at this time which group ultimately ended up capturing Mr. Klaudhopper, or if the man effected his own escape with the help of an accomplice.

****

BONUS:

Hey look, everyone…it’s a real life Sir Rigel Rinkenbach! (photo courtesy of Kasey Walton @ kwaltonVFX.com

Kasey Walton as Sir Rigel Rinkenbach
Kasey Walton as Sir Rigel Rinkenbach

Rigel_Rinkenbach

Blackwood Gazette #77: Prime Suspect in Waystation Bravo Incident Captured; Immediately Escapes

Blackwood Gazette #51: Salvage Teams Evacuate Waystation Bravo

by Chester Seaton, News

4/8-The investigation and salvage operation aboard the remains of the derelict Waystation Bravo has come to a sudden halt today, as teams aboard the station were evacuated in the early morning hours. The evacuation was ordered after an inspection by Triumvirate Officials.

“It was really strange,” said Captain Lester Krietch. “They showed up yesterday evening, these men from some government office I’d never heard of before. I was skeptical of their credentials, but my commanding officer told me they checked out.”

The inspectors ordered the station’s boiler rooms cleared, and a few hours later ordered the evacuation.

“They didn’t state a specific reason,” Krietch said. “And when I asked I was completely ignored. Those of us on the salvage team are as in the dark as everyone else at this point. I can’t say much, but I will say this: we personally found nothing that would warrant such an evacuation, and everyone on my salvage team appears to be healthy.”

We reached out to Captain Krietch’s commanding Officer, Admiral Percival Dunbarrow Pillsbury III, for details concerning the inspection team, and received a brief reply.

“They represent the Triumvirate as a whole, and not a single particular member.  I have been around long enough to know when it comes to matters like this, it is best to simply look the other way and not ask too many questions. Trust me on that.”

According to Captain Krietch, the inspectors remained on board, and no ships have been reported leaving the site since.

Blackwood Gazette #51: Salvage Teams Evacuate Waystation Bravo