All was quiet on the morning of the ball at the Steampunk Festival. Resplendent in their top hats, bowlers with goggles, bustled dresses and robot arms, the festival goers crowded the venue. Lord Stiletto stalked the halls of the Railway Museum looking for The Rabbit.
It was The Rabbit, whiskers twitching, who watched Stiletto from the shadows. He knew the man with the fabled book collection and the new robotic steam arm meant trouble.
The Girl with the Red Hair was speaking to author and adventurer, Gregory Cobblestone, sizing up the situation. To the world of Gavle, in 21st century Sweden, she was a maker and seller of unique Steampunk artefacts, but really, she was working for The Rabbit.
Surrounded by the huge steam trains like behemoths, waiting for the events to take place, Gregory sighed. Where was Stiletto?
Lord Stiletto was working his way around the halls, looking for books for his collection, but really keeping all his senses alert for The Rabbit.
The Rabbit was a multi-dimensional being of pure evil. It amused itself to take the form of a regular sized white rabbit, so beloved of young Earth children. Still, its manic pink eyes were said to drag you to insanity if you were to become locked into their gaze. It was looking for recruits for its intergalactic organisation. In each world it visited it found suitable adherents, and on Earth it was the world of Steampunk that threw up the best agents.
As well as looking for recruits, The Rabbit had other problems. It needed a source of plutonium for his ship’s batteries and it knew that Sweden had hidden stores secreted in underground bunkers in the Gavle region. Far enough away from Stockholm, in case of leaks, but well protected by hundreds of metres of rock and lead shielding.
Unbeknownst to all except the Girl with the Red Hair, there was a secret entrance to the plutonium store hidden somewhere within the Railway Museum.
A young man, Henrik, dapperly dressed in a fine burgundy woolen frock coat, and silk top hat, was engaging Gregory in a long conversation, obviously trying to divert him from the machinations of The Rabbit. He asked if Gregory would read from his new book, but then grabbed the text from the surprised author, and began to read it out loud himself, modulating his powerful voice to scramble the auditory neural signals of anybody within a ten metre radius.
Returning through the halls, Lord Stiletto felt a sudden warm, wet sensation at the back of his neck, that filled him with horror. Someone had slipped a squid into the gap between his collar and his neck. Stiletto felt the bite of hundreds of sharp suckers as they cut into his skin, crushing and choking him as he gasped for air.
The concealed blade in the rim of his pale grey top hat was in his sturdy grip as he sliced calmly through the grasping suckered arms, feeling cool copper-based blood mixing with his warm iron blood as it soaked into his spotless white shirt.
Stiletto returned to his suite. Showered and re-suited, with a carefully arranged cravat to cover his bruised throat, he was back down in good time for the evening’s banquet.
Gregory and Stiletto were seated with Sarah, also known as Lady Bane, and Duke Magnus and Lady Susanna of Sweden. On Lady Bane’s finger was a large silver ring in the form of a rabbit. The silver beast curled around her finger, its ears and feet standing proud. The significance was not lost on the two observant adventurers.
Next day, in the quiet of the morning, Lord Stiletto was up to his mind reading tricks. He had caught the thoughts of the Girl with the Red Hair in an unguarded moment, and discovered the entrance to the plutonium cache.
Unknown to Stiletto, The Rabbit, up to his own mind reading tricks, had caught Lord Stiletto in an unguarded moment and discovered the entrance to the plutonium.
### Star Alert, Inter Galactic News Flash. Star Date 346910-*3 ###
The promising planet, known to its inhabitants as Earth, blew up under mysterious circumstances. Breaking news suggests that terrorists initiated a chain reaction from a government plutonium storage facility which initiated a reaction that spread to the core of the planet.
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