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All throughout the next morning Nym had tried, with little success, to turn her mind away from the Celestial Heliograph and the mysterious ship she had seen in the storm the night before. Attempting to unearth new clues to the mystery of Marcel Ghostraven, she spoke with countless residents of Meiville with the same frustrating observation: no one knew anything about the man beyond their one personal memory or story that held no information whatsoever. She had begun to wonder if they were all under some strange sort of magic spell, or mental program.
Still, every few moments her eyes were called toward the heavenly apparatus floating over the city like an island in the sky. The vision she had seen in a momentary fash of lightning the night before- a sky vessel docked very near the machine -was burned on the back of her mind, and every effort to distract herself from it was in vain. If someone had ventured that close to it perhaps they had seem something – anything – that might help her to understand what was happening around her.
At 10 am she attempted to calm her thoughts by switching on the local broadcast, only to learn that the ship and a lone brigand had been hauled into custody that morning. Little was known of the passenger except that he had been found barely conscious, still slightly drunk, and that it was suspected that he was unaware of having moored his vessel to a national monument. His bail had been set, though it was not likely that he would be able to post as it was suspected that he was a pirate and a thief.
She clicked off the amature radio. The pirate’s story was little more than a comical bit of local chatter to which very few paid any mind. The report had made no mention of the Celestial Heliograph failing or of the events that she called the Pull. Yet, by her most recent count, the Pull was taking hold of her, and the world, at least once every four hours-and the frequency was continuing to escalate. As far as she could tell, the Heliograph which acted as a sort of light house and weather forecasting device, was having moments where it stopped working – moments that directly correlated with the Pull events. Though she was the only one who seemed at all aware of the anomaly.
Two weeks ago she had found a single golden cog that she believe to be part of the heavenly device, and ever since she had been held captive to its mystery. Strange things were happening in Meiville, things that were effecting everyone and that she feared were putting everything in danger. Yet, she was the only one who seemed at all aware of the changes. What was the Celestial Heliograph and how had it broken? What had happened to it’s enigmatic inventor, and how was it’s disrepair even altering time?
With the logical part of her mind screaming, Nym made a double check that the cog was safely in her pocket, collected together her notes and instruments, and made haste to the Meiville police station. If this pirate had been paying attention, even half conscious, he would know if the Celestial Heliograph was working. If he could answer that question then he might well be the only person alive who could help her.
Once and for all, she needed to know : Was something amiss in Meiville – or was she loosing her mind?
Nym stood wringing her hands, waiting for the man they called Amos DeVile. She had paid his sum but now found herself feeling very uneasy. She knew nothing of this man and yet she had just bonded his freedom. She was acting wrecklessly. People in town were already suspicious of her strange behavior and of her fascination with Dr. Ghostraven, though they counted it more or less an queer preoccupation . What would they say when they learned that she was posting bail for lackwit pirates?
She hadn’t thought this decision through very well, and she realized that she was now in a position of responsibility. She had allowed herself to be connected to this man and she had no choice but to face him and hope that he had a drop of decency in his blood. She was disheartened by the fact that men of his trade seldom concerned themselves with the issues of character and the common good.
Heavy footsteps echoed down the long hall of the jailers ward, and she could hear the Warden speaking to the man she had just arranged to have released:
“Good thing your girlfriend here come to bail you out,” the robust Warden said, and he smiled at her luridly through the holding cell door, his hand fishing through a massive ring of metal keys, “I’da left ya to rot.”
She paid little attention to the jeer, anxious to put eyes to the man on whom she had pinned her hopes so foolishly.
From behind the massive girth of the Warden, stepped Amos DeVile. He was younger than she had imagined- she guessed him to be in his mid-twenties and close to her own age and he was tall and well muscled with cool blue eyes. She might even have mistaken him for handsome if he hadn’t smelled something like wet dog and cheap rum. He looked her up and down, gave the warden a quizzical look as if reaffirming that she was in fact the person who had posted his bond. Then, suddenly realizing that not knowing her would cause suspicion (or perhaps just because he couldn’t pass the opportunity) he tossed his arms around Nym tightly. With a wide toothed grin and too much enthusiasm for anyone’s comfort, the unshaven and brusque Amos DeVile kissed Nym’s soft cheek and contrived, “Hello, Peach!”