To follow the adventure from the beginning click here!
Pulling herself from Amos’ unwelcome embrace, Nym took him by the arm and hurried him from the police station as quickly and as quietly as was possible. As it turns out this was not very quickly or very quietly as the pirate seemed to take relish in any and every bit of available attention. Every woman he passed was treated with a florish and a bow, every gentleman was given a kindly salute. If Nym had any hope of escaping this bad idea without becoming the subject of every wishwife’s afternoon gossip – it had disappeared without the slightest discretion.
In an alley behind the grocery, which was as much privacy as she would be able to find in the center of downtown Meiville in the middle of the day, she stopped and turned to him, “Must you go on so?” She demanded.
With a grin he ceased his peacocking, and said “Forgive me! I have not even taken a moment to thank the sweet peach who has set me free! Please, my Lady, may I not know your name?”
Nym cringed at the false pageantry of it all, but gave into the realization that they had indeed not been formally introduced.
“My name is Trixie Nymphea, but you may call me Nym.”
“I rather like Peach,” he grinned. “Anyway, Ms. Nymphea, I thank you most generously for freeing me, and now as a free man I shall embark on this beautiful day unfettered.” With that, Amos DeVile turned on his heel and swaggered his way into the stream of people in the square.
Nym’s heart sank. What was the meaning of this? How could he… She raced after him, trying not to shout but feeling a toxic mix of anger and embarrassment at having to be seen chasing such a man. Grabbing his arm again, she attempted to halt him.
“Wait! You can’t just leave. I need your help…”
“I’m sorry, my lady,” He said partly through his teeth and quickly losing his pretentious niceties, “but I ain’t exactly the helping sort of man. I didn’t ask you to bail me and I don’t owe you nothing for it. ” They kept a quick pace through the crowd and Nym took advantage of her knowledge of the district to steer him again into a less crowded spot.
“Look,” she said, catching her breath and realizing that it was no small task keeping pace with his long stride, “I don’t need much. I just need to ask you about what you saw up there. Please.”
Amos stopped for a moment and looked Nym up and down with a wide smile. His attentions were vulgar at best and she felt a heat rise into her cheeks. With a swift and calculated motion he had her backed against a wall with a hand on either side of her head. She was caged by his body which was against her in an uncomfortable lean. ” Look, Peach. You ain’t half bad, I mean if you stopped with the uptown snob routine, you might even be kind of fetch. But I am a free man and I ain’t looking for some hobnob noose. So find yourself another charity project, eh?”
“Wait, what?” Nym was exasperated, “you think that I… With you? Oh for heavens sake. I assure you I am as eager to be gone with you as you are of me, so just tell me – was the Heliograph spinning? ” She immediately regretted the words as they came from her lips.
Amos’ gave her an incredulous look, “Wow. Lady. I liked you better when you weren’t nuts.” Amos turned and began to walk away. Nym felt her heart sink, her back against the wall she started to accept that this entire expedition had been born of folly and would end in folly – until the heated pulse of the cog began to rage inside the pocket of her skirts.
Without knowing why she pulled the cog from her pocked and raced to catch the unwilling pirate.Once close enough she grabbed his arm and pressed the cog into his hand.
Amos DeVile felt the hot metal of the cog against his skin and suddenly the world around him ground to a halt. The busy street full of people was abruptly frozen in time: grocers with their arms full of produce, women holding their crying babes- Everything was suspended in the moment. His own arms struggled against the weight of something that seemed to pull them. Like being forced to move through sand, every motion was arduous and exhausting. Unable to speak or to scream, his eyes shifted slowly to the sky where he thought, for a moment he saw something moving like tentacles across the clouds. The Celestial Heliograph was indeed still, it’s usual carousel of mirrors and gears motionless. Lightning surrounded the silent device menacingly. Next to him he could see the woman called Nym holding his arm and he could see the terror in her face. In that moment he was shocked and powerless.
The amount of time that passed was irrelevant. When the world returned to normal, it was all too obvious that only he and Nym were aware of whatever it was that had happened. Nym was silent and shaken and with some trepidation she put the cog back into her pocket. It was Amos then that took Nym’s arm and pulled her under a nearby bridge.
“What are you? Some sort of witch?” He shouted, “What do you want from me?” Amos’ eyes belied his courage. He had felt the Pull. He knew what Nym had been experiencing and she felt both relief at not being alone in the experience and guilt for having put him through it. Amos was caught somewhere between terror and rage.
“I’m going to tell you this once,” he warned. “Don’t follow me. Don’t touch me. Don’t – the next time I’ll…” And with that Amos walked away as fast as his long legs could array him.
“I’m no witch. It’s … I don’t know what it is… But it’s happening to us all. ” She called after him, helpless to explain anything more, “It has something to do with this cog and with Dr Ghostraven …”
Amos DeVile didn’t react to her words. He didn’t turn around. He didn’t feign to care. He simply disappeared into the unknowing streets of Meiville.