Wednesday, 20 June 2007

Lists Are Good

Checksheet for regeneration:

1. Old Timelord


2. Cast of thousands


3. White Lady


4. Fireworks


5. Nice Effects Shots

6. New Timelord
Blimey. Check

7. Star Vampire


8. Power Source

Power source? Oh bugger.........

9. Dancing


10. Bananas

Oh yes. Bananas are good.

Friday, 15 June 2007

I love the smell of steam in the morning

From the journal of Alfonso Avalanche

What an evening last night turned out to be: regenerations, star vampires, stolen power sources, possessed Time Lords – I definitely needed time to get out of the circus workshop and clear my head. At least Oolon seems to have come through it all largely intact. Let’s just hope the gamble hasn’t caused more problems than it’s solved…

I decided to go take the air in Primverness and check that all was well at the Steampunk exhibition. It’s amazing the technological feats the engineers of Caledon can accomplish.

As I was passing, I thought I’d better check that my own pieces of engineering were still in good working order.

Thankfully, the alignment on the space gun appeared to be fine, and Miss Paris’ steam elephant still showed stable boiler pressure.

The strangely soothing sound of steam trains (thanks to Dr Burton Newall), steam engines (courtesy of Mr Denver Hax), hissing baked potatoes (provided by Captain Lapin Paris), ticking clockwork limbs (built by Sir Edward Pearse), the odd boing of the cavorite repulsion chamber (envisioned by Mr Greggan) and humming laser piggy eyes (by, who else, but Miss Virrginia Tombola), made a most unusual dawn chorus.

Thursday, 14 June 2007

A dream? Really, Doctor, you'll be consulting the entrails of a sheep next

I found it difficult to sleep last night. It was a night of odd dreams.

I dreamt of an old friend sitting in a bright white-marble room, weaving a giant tapestry. He wore colourful robes with a high collar, looking almost incongruous on his small frame. It was a tapestry full of strange images – silver robots, domed automatons, black suns, blue boxes, piano lounges, beaches, planets, stars and so many people. The small man smiled up at me as the last thread fell into place, his robe gone and replaced by a more familiar tuxedo. He’d found a martini from somewhere and finished it off with one gulp. He winked at me with one of his large eyes, reached out and in one sudden move tore the tapestry from the loom.

The room filled with a blinding blue light, and I shielded my eyes. When I reopened them I was elsewhere. It was dark and I was in his photographic studio. He sat at his workbench, looking more like he does now, a flickering light playing across his face. He was surrounded by unspooled kinematic film. It spilled from the desk and covered almost the entire stone floor. He turned and beckoned me over to see what he was doing. He was winding through a reel of film on his home made editing equipment. The images on the small screen whirled along, too fast to follow as his hand spun the feed wheel. With no receiving reel fitted, the film continually cascaded onto the floor. It was impossible - that small reel couldn’t possibly have held all that film. He must have read my thoughts as he tapped the side of his his nose and whispered “it’s bigger on the inside”.

I don’t know how long I stood transfixed, catching a glimpse of familiar scenes, people and faces in the hypnotic glow of the screen, when suddenly it stopped on a single image…an empty white room with a circular motif repeated across the walls. Had we come to the end of the reel? I glanced over to see it still had plenty more to go. His hand slowly, carefully moved up to the guillotine he used for cutting his movie footage. His hand hovered there, almost as if he dared not touch it. His gaze wasn’t on the, film or the guillotine, it was out through the glass windowed walls of the studio.

On the lawn, beneath the bright starry sky, stood his Cabinet. A warm light spilled from the open doors and the blue beacon atop the device pulsed reassuringly. The silhouette of a figure appeared in the doorway, and as I heard the sound of the guillotine slicing through film, the figure stepped out onto the grass…

…and I awoke.

Tuesday, 12 June 2007

Play Misty

Dear Virrginia,

Its been a long time since I've been off for a wander, so I thought I really ought to. What with Oolon doing daft things and putting himself out of commission I don't suppose we'll get to do any more ETD jaunts (not that we have for a while anyway, but you know what I mean). Anyways, I kept hearing people talking about a place called Avillion and it sort of sounded a bit like home. Not that I really miss home all that much (there's too many kind and wonderful people and exciting and interesting things here to make me want to abandon Caledon; oh yes, and Alfonso) but every now and again a Pixie needs cool water and shade and the feel of magic between her toes.

I arrived in a castle keep of some sort, in the midst of a thriving market. Burt resolutely refused to come out in case I made him carry something (lazy little oik), but it was all big person stuff and you know the problems I have with proper capes. Some sort of creature gave me a little note on the etiquette of the land and some very nice clothes to wear, so I was quite happy (at least I was then). They're very nice clothes, too; comfy and soft and a lovely colour. Still, poor mite can't have had much room in that sign. I pointed out to Burt how there were Brownies far worse off than him, but he only grumbled.

After I'd got changed behind some packing crates (being small does have some advantges), I left the keep and followed the path down to a little village. There were even more shops here, but I didn't tarry. There was also a considerable number of locals gathered in a clearing near by (I think they were having an argument so I tried not to intrude but you have to say hello, don't you?). They certainly weren't very polite and only one good gentleman responded to my greeting. In fact, the whole time I was there, he was the only soul who even acknowledged my existence. I did wonder if it was part of that strange effect we'd noticed when we did go out in the ETD, but someone could see and talk to me so I guess that the inhabitants of Avillion just aren't very friendly people.

Which is a terrible shame really, as its quite a pretty place (but not one I'd ever want to go back to). There were magnificent tree houses that you could only reach by fantastical stairways (my wings felt very sad and heavy there and I could barely manage a flutter). Many contained ballrooms and opulent furniture, but were oddly silent. Everybody seemed to be downstairs arguing or posing next to a tourney field. Give us that much ballroom space in Caledon and we'd be dancing non-stop, I'm sure of it.

Many more were open to the stars, affording a breathtaking view of the waterfalls all around. The music of the falls was thunderous and mighty and normally this would have filled me with joy. Sadly, although the earth was moving, it wasn't breathing; there was no heartbeat. The life I had expected to feel from all this foliage and force wasn't there; it was a hollow land, lost and empty. I could have wept.

And then I found out why the people here are probably so miserable: Drow. Don't have much of a sense of humour, your Drow. Its all "Oh the pain of existence! Woe is me, woe is me!". Pfffft. It certainly explained the swamp and the tunnel full of dismembered butterflies. They do tend to ruin a neighbourhood with all that misery and spikey nonsense. Can't be doing with them personally and thankfully I didn't run into any of the cheerless gloom-monkeys.

Unfortunately I did run into their sense of humour. Oh wait, that's right, they don't have one, which is why I ended up stuck in a graveyard arguing with a bunch of irritating wisps about how I was going to get home (booby traps, marvellous). Just capped off the trip perfectly, that did. To be utterly frank, I'd seen all I wanted to by that point and so I concentrated really hard and "popped" myself home to the Colony. Its hard work and I always need a good sit down and several cups of tea afterwards, but enough was mostly definitely more than enough.

I wouldn't go there Virrginia, it wasn't fun. I know it might seem frivolous, but I feel the need for fun in a world of gathering storm clouds; I crave sunshine and life, my dear friends and their warmth and companionship. I can safely say that never have I been so happy as to see my beloved Caledon as I was that day.

Your friend


Monday, 11 June 2007

Blue Box Recorder

Dear Oolon,

It’s been such a long time since I put pen to paper - way back when I was still exploring the mainland. Sadly as you know, all that exploration had to be put on hold when Master Grutt delivered my military reactivation papers and I was summoned back to Tanglewood HQ. Did I ever tell you about my time serving in the engine rooms of the circus dreadnaughts back in the Clown Wars? It’s been so busy since I got back, servicing the engines on the ornithopters and transport balloons for our brave boys and girls.

Anyway, I’m drifting off the point, as I often do. I’m writing because I had a bit of an odd experience and I was wondering if you can shed any light on it?

I was sitting having a nice mug of tea back at the colony a few days ago, when I heard what I took to be the familiar roaring, tearing noise of the ETC engines. However, the box that appeared was similar, but not quite the same as yours. It had the same basic shape but was bluer, squarer, different proportions, if that makes sense? I was wondering if you’d been doing some work on her, when suddenly the door opened and a complete stranger stuck his head out through the door.

Seeing my surprised look the white haired gent lifted an ornate pocket watch to his face, stared for a while as if trying to focus on the watch hands, muttered something about “crossing his own timestream”, vanished back into the box, and slammed the door.

I’d put down my tea by this point and had started to make my way over to this “other” Cabinet, but only got half way there before the roaring started again and the blue box was gone.

Didn't get a chance to get any pictures of the chap or his box, but thought I'd drop you a letter to see if he was one of your Gallifreyan friends? I don’t mind them dropping in, it’s just I didn’t recognise him and he seemed to have such an odd reaction to seeing me. I hope I didn’t offend any of them with that unfortunate mix-up with the pantomime zebra costume last time they were over visiting you in the ETC.

Right, must be off, I’m busy rifling a huge gun barrel at the moment, nothing to do with the war effort, just a personal project. Just out of interest, have you given any thought in trying to get to the moon?