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While the Cat’s Away. . .: Messages in this topic - RSS

Posts: 1456

7 days ago
OOC: (Fanny’s first introduction is in Flags in the Neathy Wind thread.)

In the wilds around London, where hunters and mushrooms roam, many secrets lurk. One of these secrets is the Kingsfield Plantation. If one was to sneak by the mushroom farms, and guards with ratwork rifles, they could glimpse the heart of the plantation: three buildings, one in heavy black iron, where workers only enter when clad in all-consuming night-trimmed protective suits. A stack of them are strung along the side letting the dark out in the Neathy air. If one was to sneak close, they would catch a bright glimpse of actual sunlight through the rows of locked doors as workers enter and leave. The other two are actual greenhouses. One with just plain glass, letting the false star light fall upon plants from all over the zee, jungle plants from the Southern Elder Continent, frigid moss from the North, ferns from the close by islands to London, dust covered leaves from the tomb-colonies, even a few plants from Polythreme writhing with unnatural vigor. . .

But the true treasure is in the middle building, where the glass is warped, hiding what lurked inside while ringing out every single speck of light.

This is the building that Fanny is standing near, as vines slowly crawl out, bearing strawberries the size of human heads.

She knew something like this was going to happen. She knew as soon as Dirae Erinyes and Evensong announced their plans on a belated honeymoon, and that the household was to be left in her care, as their daughter. They had ignored her dropped teacup and continued packing, reassuring her that it would be easy, she just needed to keep everything running smoothly and as is.

Fanny wasn’t reassured. Despite her frequent frustrations with her unasked for adopted mother and adopted. . .parental unit, she had to admit a few things about them. Mostly that their insanities (or eccentricities as polite society labeled them) were tolerated due to them actually succeeding, often despite themselves. Watching them at work was breathtaking, as they discussed strategy over breakfast of tea and candles, cutting a swath through high class balls, and racing down the streets, shooting at the gangs chasing them on bicycles. Fanny had learned her skills well, scrapping by with what little she was given and what she could take, thus she couldn’t claim that that she was without accomplishment, but they were intimidating shoes to fill even for a short time.

Especially as she stood in front of those sprawling vines, stretching beyond the broken glass of the greenhouse. Tightening the strap on the hat, she turned to Scarred Groundskeeper.

“When was this reported?”

“11:00 last night was when the plant first broke through. However. . .” He lifted his heavy cane that he had been leaning against, pointing at the mess of footprints in the muddy ground. His cane passed the heavy footprints of the sunken boots of the plantation workers, hovering over lighter footprints, nearly obscured underneath the chaos. “Those were made probably an hour before then – I believe we have a saboteur who broke in.”

“Has anyone been in?” Fanny asked.

The Scarred Groundskeeper shook his head. “Given all the b-----y trouble it took to subdue just what’s lying around outside, we’ve been waiting for the big boyos to show up.” He gestured with his staff to Fanny and her two companions: Screwtape, a devil with sunglasses, holding a cold thermos to his head, and Princess of the Burning Bright Palace, Hunter of Devils, Explorer of the West, who was a tigeress admiring her tiara in the muddy pools from the daily rains. (The others in the household just called her Burning Bright when they didn’t have time for her full name and titles.) Fanny had brought Burning Bright due to her knowledge of plants, being one of the lead advisers on this project: of creating plants capable of surviving in the Neath but still producing desired surface produce. She had brought Screwtape because he had annoyed her by flirting with a man that she was sweet on and also for drunkenly playing the piano late at night. If she was lucky, she might get to see him get chased around by an angry mushroom.

Burning Bright made a show of sitting down, licking her paw as if this was a picnic. “I suspect the saboteur is no more. The plant that has rather rudely left its plot is our Heart-Taker/strawberry hybrid.” The growling of Fanny’s stomach from just looking at the red and juicy fruit suddenly twisted into something else. “I suspect they didn’t take the proper precautions and awakened the plant from its dormant slumber. However, they probably left an impact on the personality of the plant – such growth is extreme, even for Heart-Takers. It would be useful to know a thing or two before going in.”
“Going in?” Fanny asked, bewildered.

“Of course,” Burning Bright, continued, nonplussed. “Unless you want to tell our benefactors when they get back why the greenhouse is still broken and why the workers need to take hourly breaks just to beat a plant.”

“Screwtape, what do you think? Who is our mostly likely suspect?” If there is one thing he knew, it was people.

Screwtape lifted the thermos from his head. “From just footprints? Could be anybody. Could be revolutionaries upset that we aren’t supporting their particularly cause, overzealous special constables, deranged priests that believe this sort of thing is against ‘God’s’ plan, politicking devils, inscrutable spies, bored urchins, paranoid academics. . .Should I keep going?”

“No, I get the idea.” Fanny sighed as she looked at the greenhouse again. All of her instincts told her to run. Instead she turned to the Scarred Groundskeeper. “Prepare the supplies. We are going in.”
edited by Shadowcthuhlu on 7/13/2018

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