Joined: 29 Jun 2018
|Posted: Wed Jul 03, 2019 11:34 pm Post subject: A New Skull For Babbage
|The skull was some sort of metal very similar to steal in appearance with two red crystals for eyes and a third larger blue crystal in its forehead. When looked at from there side there was an exposed area where you could see crystals peeking out hinting at the inner workings. Right now the skull was sat atop a desk. The desk itself resided within the Institute of Curiosities and was currently locked. Its single occupant Dr Cyril Babbage was gazing at the item that had come in to his position through curious circumstances. It seemed as if Babbage was waiting for something to happen. Maybe something much like what happened that fateful night.
It was a night a few years ago after finish off working on a rather boring device. Oh, it would probably be wondrous to anyone who knew nothing of Crystal Tuning, a light that tuned on if someone walked passed. Babbage needed a drink, so he found himself a few hours later with a glass of port in his hands that wasn’t close to being his first. It was then when a woman caught his eye. Dressed reasonable well but furtive somehow she was sitting at a table playing a game with several others. A pillar by the table seemed to hide whoever it was she seemed to be talking with. It wasn’t long before she caught Babbage’s eye, with the look of a gambler who’s seen an easy mark (something clearly missed by Babbage at the time, yet he clearly recalled it later) the woman approached.
‘So what’s your game?’ She asked
‘Why sit at the bar drinking you’re worries away friend, come join me in a game. Cheer yourself up?’
‘I’m not a gambler’ Babbage persisted.
‘Nonsense, maybe you haven’t placed a wager before but I bet you’ve taken plenty of risks, what are those but gabling of a different kind’
Maybe it was the drink, maybe the monotony of the day, or both but Babbage found himself agreeing and talking a place at the table. Once sat down he saw no sign of the person the woman had been talking with, maybe they had left. As Babbage had said he wasn’t really one to gamble and so started out loosing badly. But then after a while just as he was about to cut his losses his luck changed. Over the next hour or so he won a fair few times until it was himself and Imia, the woman who had originally approached him. By then Babbage was very drunk and engrossed in the game. It came down to a final hand of cards, the pile in was out of anything to bet.
‘I’ve got nothing left to bet, I’m going to have to fold’ Babbage announced
Imia was about to agree when her attention went to a small box beside her that she had open to her and had been looking at off and on all game. Her expression suddenly changed to a sly grin.
‘Oh I’m sure you have something, doesn’t have to be money we play for.’
Babbage started to go through his pockets, trying to find something he put his house keys on the table.
‘That’ll do’ Imia said pulling the keys in to a pile ‘now don’t think of grabbing them back, you’ll disappoint the crowd’
She was right, Babbage noticed the large group of onlookers waiting to see the outcome of the game. I was her turn too and with the confidence of someone who’s done it before matched his bet with her box.
Saying ‘what’s in this box is ten times your home’ as she reveals what’s inside. A metal skull with gems for eyes.
‘Let’s see that hand’ of yours she finishes.
However when the cards are revealed it’s Babbage who has the winning hand. Imia gives out a nervous lough then as the crowd around the table erupts with applause. As Babbage reaches over for the box Imia grabs his arm
"It gives you an edge. It knows things no one else knows." though she then added "you have to be very careful because... it lies. Not all the time. Just enough."
Later that night at home and alone Babbage brought the skull and examined it. It seemed to be crystal tech of some kind but old, very old. After a shot while he tentatively asked it a simple question.
‘Did you help me win tonight’ ‘Yes’ was the only reply he got.
After that Babbage would often consult the skull. The replies where always the same, words in his mind in a voice that had echoes of hundreds of others. Despite the warning he tended to trust it more than he came should.
On an unrelated note, Imia was stabbed in a mugging later the same night Babbage acquired the skull.
IC: Dr Cyril Babbage; Scientist & Psychologist.
OOC: Ian S