A package arrives.
Here is the next part of the serialized tale from our role play group "The Messdeck".
You can start from the beginning here.
Previously Lt Cmdr Maxwell MacDonald-Smythe (Max) and his crew aboard the aged HMAS Doris have arrived at Davaar, the manor of their shipmate Doctor Christine Pearse, the Duchess of Argylle. They are on their way to the remote Naval Airship base at Scapa Flow in the dead of Winter. After their icy flight Max and the crew were enjoying the warm hospitality of the good Doctor when they discover they are being tracked by small mechanical spy bugs.
After scrambling to catch as many of the bugs as they can, Corporal Cooke has succeeded in blocking the bug's transmissions and has disabled them with his signals gear. He has determined that the controller for the bugs cannot be very far away in the darkening Winter sky.
What follows is a slightly edited transcript of the role playing we did for our visit to the Manor at Davaar.
Max says, "He were an old mate of mine actually. Works for Admiral Chicheley now and just happened to be at York when we was. To much of a coincidence that is!"
Christine's eyes narrow. "I agree, but not above the Admiral, it seems just like her style. And they've got a bloody lot of nerve even thinking of coming here after what happened last time!"
Max calls to Iveta who is looking along the edge of the book case for any bugs that might have settled there, "Lt Baleva, go and see if you can spot anything nearby."
"Aye Sir." As Iveta goes outside she sees Fraser walking around the airship, rifle ready. She stops and scans the sky. With eyes accustomed to reading shifting horizons, she hopes she can spot any anomalies on the ground or in the air. There is a faint buzzing sound in the cold darkness.
Simpson checking the underside of the cargo car stops and listens. "Eer! I know that sound!" and he sprints off towards the manor door.
Sgt Fraser sees Iveta as he comes around the Doris' control car. "I can hear something Ma'am but can't see anything, we all good inside?"
"They've disabled all the bugs but the spies are still waiting for us." Iveta says still watching the sky. "They're here somewhere, and close, likely aloft."
Simpson runs up to the Marine and Iveta. Touching his cap to the Lt he says, "You're unlikely to see anything Ma'am that be a Navy cloaked ship by its sound."
"Navy ship?" asks Iveta.
Simpson looking up into the sky at the faint sound says, "Aye Ma'am. I recognize it, only heard it twice before, at the EAD and here during the Battle!"
Fraser stiffens and says, "A cloaked ship? Blast! Need something special for this!" He heads over to the trunk he and Cooke left by the door.
Miss BB has opened the parlour window and is watching the sky intently when she suddenly points over the dark mass of the Doris. "Look, over there. It's one of those weird cloud things that we saw before."
Iveta follows where Miss BB is pointing and spots the faint shimmer in the darkness. "Ah, good work Miss BB. I believe you're right, Simpson."
*Miss BB turns back from the window.*
"What did you see Lt?" asks Max.
Miss BB says, "A cloud ship... Sir, like we saw last time."
"Doctor, do you have a ray gun? I would shoot it if you have one." she asks Christine hopefully.
"I'm afraid I don't Miss BB or I'd be using it to probe a certain Mr. Barbesley as we speak." says Christine with a growl.
Miss BB says, "Ya, that would be a good use for a probe."
Christine turns to Max and says, "Do we have another battle on our hands, Commander?"
Max says "I bloody well hope not Ma'am. The problem is these fellows are supposedly on our side!"
*They join the rest of the crew in the courtyard.*
Simpson touches his cap to Max. "Cloaked Navy Ship Sir, moving slowly from the sound of it."
Miss BB mutters, "Maybe they are bad guys who stole a navy ship?"
Iveta says "The ship is moving slowly North East by East Sir, maybe 100' altitude no more, just lost sight of it over the other wall."
Fraser comes back from the trunk holding what looks like a chunk of pipe. "This will give them something to think about Sir. Will need to get outside the gate to get a clear shot"
"Carry on Sgt." says Max.
"Aye Sir." Sgt Fraser with his Pipe heads out the Courtyard gate followed by Miss BB.
Christine says, "Ladies and gentlemen, for what it's worth, Davaar does have suitable armaments for you, should you require them. After our last uninvited guests, I thought it would be a suitable precaution to take."
Aboard the creeping cloaked Airship Lt. Barbesley orders, "Release cargo." A crate, heather-painted to match its landing site, drifts to the earth beneath a small parachute no more visible than a wisp of fog.
Below looking at the shimmering spot from just outside the gate Miss BB says, "They are dropping something!"
"I see it Ma'am" and Sgt Fraser raises the tube to his shoulder.
Fraser fires the "Pipe" and with a whoosh a small rocket takes off towards where the ship is, when it gets close it explodes into a bright ball, a miniature sun at night.
Miss BB claps her hands with delight. "Ray gun! Yay!", then blinking in the flash says, "Bright ray gun, must remember not to look next time."
As the intense brightness in the control car fades enough for them to see again, Lt Barbesly orders "Helm forward 1/4 speed. Cargo pod, prepare second release." Creeping along closer to the ground, ever further from the bounds of Davaar, a second tiny package drifts down. The airship, quickly speeds up, rising over a low hill, and is lost to view.
*Fraser drops the empty pipe and grabs his rifle. He and Miss BB head back in through the gate.*
"It dropped something Sir. That flare shot was only meant to scare it off, don't want to get hung for shooting down one of our own eh?"
Max laughs "Ha! Serve them right to run afoul of one of Briggs' toys!"
"I'd like to go see if I can find the thing they dropped Sir."
"Carry on Sgt. but be damn careful with anything you find!" says Max.
"Aye Aye Sir! Briggs would have me head if I went and did something stupid now." says Fraser with a laugh.
Miss BB says "I'll go."
"I shall join you as well." says Iveta. "Where are the weapons, Doctor? I'd like to go prepared. One takes a different sort of weapon to tea than on a scouting mission."
Christine says "They are in the Library...follow me."
As Miss BB starts to follow the Navigator and the Doctor back into the Manor, Fraser points to the open trunk, "There is a rifle or pistol in there you can use Ma'am."
BB grabs what looks like a shotgun. "Ah, this should do."
Cpl Cooke looks out the window. "Sir, I'll stay here and keep monitoring for anything else."
"Thank you Corporal." Max says.
"Do you think we will have to run Sgt?" asks Miss BB. "If we have to run then I have to take off my skirt. That should be OK right? It's a horrible heavy warm skirt. I hate it."
"I don't know Ma'am." says Fraser, suppressing a smile, "but it is best to be prepared just in case."
*Shouldering his rifle the Marine Sgt heads out the gate.*
"OK" says Miss BB and neatly steps out of her horrible heavy hateful hot skirt. Her bloomers are grey wool, and quite ugly.
The Doctor returning to the courtyard with Iveta spots Miss BB standing in her bloomers. "We really need to see about getting Mr. Worth to design some uniforms." she says with a smile.
The airship, having risen into a low cloud bank, keeps moving, but its cloaking begins to flicker, revealing the black underneath. "Good thing we got clear when we did, sir," says the cloaking tech. "That idiot's flare singed our whiskers something fierce. I'll have to swap out some resistors in flight, if you can keep us out of line of sight long enough."
"Very well. Helm, course for Carlyle base," orders the Lt. "We'll set down there for the night and pick them up when they move on."
Part IX is here.
 Sgt Major Briggs has a fondness for experimental weapons.