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 Post Posted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 2:11 pm 
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"Very well. You should arrive at the observation station in about ten minutes. Docking will be handled by the autopilot. I would strongly recommend against a direct physical altercation with Radcliffe; he is a potent fighter. Good luck."

--------------

Docking is, indeed, properly handled by the autopilot. The observation station is manned by a somewhat overweight lady with a definite fondness for cheap cigars; given that the observation station has very limited air supplies, being in geostationary orbit, this has led to the station having a very distinctive scent.

"You're the idiot who wants to go down to the surface?" the lady asks Wilshire, without particularly bothering to introduce herself. "You know your little robot won't work down there, right?" She shrugs. "Hey, your funeral. Will you be wanting to come up again, or are you another person looking for some mythical luddite paradise? You won't find it down there, I can tell you that much for free."

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 Post Posted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 7:08 pm 
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A weary Wilshire answers, "Woman, I am the king who wants to go down on the surface. My witch-box here will work because... magic. We're going down, destroying more magic, and coming back up, and if it'll stop you from being an uncouth cur to my royal person, yes, I am a raving madman." Wilshire proceeds to observe at this observation station.

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 Post Posted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 7:30 am 
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Spot adds: "If you want, I can overhaul your air recycling system when we return."

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 Post Posted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 2:30 pm 
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"Yeah? Well, if your royal madness wants to come back up again afterwards, then your royal insanity will need one of these." The lady picks out one of a set of polished stainless steel mirrors, about half a metre square, and hands it to Wilshire. "Three short flashes, an' then three long flashes, an' I'll send the elevator back down to pick you up."

She nods at Spot. "I won't deny it's been clogging up a bit lately," she says, "but if you're going to be doing anything about it, do you think you could do it before you go down? It's just that any robot that goes down there comes back up a useless hunk of metal, if anyone bothers to send it back up at all."

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 Post Posted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 7:34 pm 
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Spot addresses Wilshire: "Now or afterwards, your highness?"

If he says now, Spot attends to it. Otherwise he apologizes and waits to ride down.

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 Post Posted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 5:06 pm 
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"Do what you must now," answers Wilshire, "For there is never a guarantee of return."

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 Post Posted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 6:07 pm 
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Spot unslings it's tool bag and gets to work.

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 Post Posted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 2:08 pm 
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The filters, while clogged, are a straightforward enough job to repair; they're simply clogged up with enough tar and tobacco to seriously mess up their efficiency. Once the filters are cleaned out and replaced, the overburdened fans immediately settle to a more sustainable setting. The lady thanks Spot politely.

--------------

Some two hours later, Spot and Wilshire find themselves in a small metal box at ground level. The ticking of the clockwork door mechanism, which has been their constant companion for much of those two hours' travel down in the elevator, suddenly stops with a *click*.

The door opens, revealing a view of mainly trees. Civilisation is, firstly, visible in the shape of smoke arising in the distance; and secondly in the shape of a couple of dozen small children, who are surrounding the elevator and staring. With them is one fairly tall man with a bureaucratic air and a clipboard.

"Your reasons for entering the country of Celestia?" he asks Wilshire, in a bored tone of voice.

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 Post Posted: Sun Dec 30, 2012 10:06 pm 
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Spot examines the people in the crowd and makes what it can of the local air while waiting for the humans to get through the formalities.

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 Post Posted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 3:35 am 
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As soon as Spot moves - even just slightly, there's an immediate reaction from the crowd; largely consisting of surprise. Several of the children take a step back, but one or two move a little forward, smiling. The man with the clipboard is also suprised; he reaches reflexively to the pendant he wears about his neck (a silver-coloured pendant, sort of blocky and rectangular).

Their clothing appears to be woven - probably with the aid of a loom of some sort - from a local fibre much like cotton (or possibly a local descendant of cotton). None of the children wear any sort of jewellery, but the man with the clipboard is also wearing two rings (simple bands of metal with no inset jewels) along with his pendant (on a leather cord). Some of the children are barefoot, generally the younger ones, while others wear simple leather sandals. The man with the clipboard wears leather shoes, with socks. Though the clothing is dyed, it is dyed only in simple colours; no pattern, logos, or funny slogans are visible.

The children's hair tends to long; more so in the case of females than males. The man with the clipboard has neither beard nor moustache, and has his long hair tied in a ponytail.

The air tastes clear; high in oxygen, with traces of smoke (both woodsmoke and coal smoke).

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 Post Posted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:03 pm 
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Fond of children as it is, Spot forms some tendrils into a hand/arm shape and waves at one of the kids who stepped forward.

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 Post Posted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 1:25 am 
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The child, a little girl of maybe six years old, smiles and steps forward; but the man wth the clipboard lets go of his amulet and, with an adult wariness of strangers, pushes her back again.

"They haven't been through the formalities." he tells her, before turning back to address Spot and Wilshire - collectively this time. "Your reasons for entering the country of Celestia?"

"It's one of those metal balls!" volunteers one of the older children; a boy of about fourteen or so. "Bet you it's here to build stuff!"

"We're looking for a friend of ours." says Steve, stepping forward from where he'd been standing behind King Wilshire. "He would have landed near here some time back, big shuttle screaming down through the sky and slamming into the ground, may have had some other people with him?"

"Oh." snorts the man with the clipboard. "Him. So I'll put you down as just passing through, then, I take it?"

"Is he not in the kingdom of Celestia?" asks Steve.

"No, he landed and set up in Domina." says the clipboard man, making some notes on said clipboard.

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 Post Posted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 6:58 pm 
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"Metal balls?" queries Spot.

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 Post Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 3:05 am 
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"It is not my position," says the man with the clipboard primly, "to educate you on local history."

"My mommy says you come for little girls who don't eat their vegetables." volunteers one little girl. "But I ate all of mine." she adds, quickly.

"They say that the Demon that landed in Dominia has metal ball things with tentacles that help him build stuff." volunteers one of the older boys. "My uncle said his half-brother met a traveller who'd actually seen them with his own two eyes, drinking in a bar."

"I bet travelers see all kinds of things drinking in bars." volunteers another boy. "I bet your uncle's half-brother -"

He stops in the face of the glare from the man with the clipboard. "You will need," he says firmly, "to present yourseves before His Majesty's court before leaving the country. I am sure that King Edward wil be able to answer all your questions, and I hope that you will be willing to answer all his questions. This way, please. Move along, children."

Gesturing for the group to follow, and trying with only partial success to herd the children along in front of him, the clipboard man heads down the path.

Steve gances at the path, which extends in two directions; he glances at the unguarded, unwatched route that the clipboard man is not taking, then turns back to Wilshire and Spot, raising his eyebrows in an unspoken question - whether they are to follow the official, or attempt to disappear from official notice.

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 Post Posted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 12:29 am 
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Spot does like kids, and it doesn't think much of Steve's way of doing things. So though it's rather hesitant to decide for the group, it soon starts off after the official and the children.

As it does, it considers how it could possibly know if various immature human females were or were not eating vegetables...

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