Episode 10

Episode 10 – A Night at the Palace

March 28th

Next morning, Archdeacon Abbott mentioned to Annie that he had an invitation to go to a ball at Buckingham Palace on Sunday and asked if she would like to go. She said that she would, but she would need to head back home to get clean clothes. The Archdeacon took her back in his carriage and when she got home she found the Chancellor of the University, Malcolm Granger waiting for her. After expressing his sympathies, the Archchancellor told her that there would be a reading of the will of her Guardian’s tomorrow morning at 10am and that she would need to be here for that.

In addition he took Annie aside and asked a favour of her. The University had been invited to take part in an exhibition of Aetheric Technology on Sunday at the Royal Ball and the Professor was due to be exhibiting his work there. Unfortunately no one else at the university knew much about his work, so he was forced to ask her to represent the University. He wanted to put on a good show and not be upstaged by the toffs at Oxford and Cambridge. Slightly nervous Annie agreed and went back at told the Archdeacon that she could not accompany him as she would be representing the University at the party.

Archdeacon Abbot went back to Lambeth Palace and decided to ask George Smythington to the Ball as his guest. He told George that he would need to get some smart clothes and sent him to a tailor to get measured. He then went to see the Archbishop of Canterbury in the palace and warned him that Arthur’s uprising in Wales was seeking to unseat Queen Victoria as the head of the church and as such was a danger. The Archbishop said that he understood the danger and would think on what he needed to do about it. The Archbishop told him that the Prussian King Wilhelm I and his Chancellor Bismarck would be in attendance at the party.

After getting his invite in the mail, Samhain went to see the Actress Helen Barry and asked if she would accompany him to the Ball. She gratefully accepted but told him that she would need to go in disguise as the man who was Gawain might still be alive and try to kill her. Samhain agreed and said that he would meet her on Sunday night at 6pm and take her to the Ball.

March 29th

Archdeacon Abbott took Annie to the house of her former Guardian for the will reading. The Chancellor of the University was there as well as Sir Reginald’s austere and devout brother Jebediah Havelock. The will was read by a solicitor which gave everything to Annie (given that Sir Reginald’s wife was now dead), but until she came of age made Jebediah her legal guardian. It also requested that the house be maintained until Annie’s 21st birthday and requested that she change her name to Havelock. Annie asked the solicitor to draw up the documents to make this legal. He then gave her a letter to read in private from Sir Reginald that gave her the names of her real parents.

Jebediah told her that she would need to be more ladylike and study her bible more to be a good demure young lady. He told her that Sir Reginald had been too soft on her and that she would need a firmer hand in the future and that he would need to seek a match for her. Archdeacon Abbott stepped in and told Jebediah that he took a person interest in her spiritual future and said that he would talk to Jebediah about the arrangements. On the way to taking Annie’s stuff to Jebediah’s house Archdeacon Abbott and Annie had a frank discussion about religion and Annie found out that in the past the Archdeacon had been one of her heroes (Thomas Payne).

George picked up his new clothes from the tailor and headed back to Lambeth Palace to tend to his horse.

March 30th

The morning papers headlined the Battle of Prestatyn whereby the 1st Chester regiment were beaten and retreated from the forces of Arthur. The paper claimed that the Arthurian forces used strange abilities that could be demonic. Before the morning service Archdeacon Abbott went to see the Archbishop of Canterbury and asked what he was going to do about the situation. The Archbishop said that his sermon this morning would denounce demonic practices and warn the parishiners about it. After the sermon Archdeacon Abbott went to some off to see some of his contacts in the press and gave them the details of the Archbishop’s sermon.

Samhain picked up Helen Barry who wore a flowing blue gown and had long golden locks instead of her normal red hair. Samhain was introduced, naming his date as Francesca Dewsbury to the announcer as they went into the party and he scanned the room to see if there were any other non humans at the party. He spotted three other Awakened at the party. Bismarck (who they were already aware was awakened) was there, a young man that he’d never seen before and Lady Anne Blunt.

George and the Archdeacon were announced and Samhain pointed out to them Lady Anne Blunt. George went over to talk to them as Archdeacon Abbott spotted Bishop Nicholas Cartwright-Jones whom had long hated his brand of “mutable theology”. George spoke to Lady Blunt but after a while Archdeacon Abbott took him aside and pointed out that Lady Blunt was acting strangely, a bit like Christian Cooper was. Samhain looked more closely at her aura and noted that her awakened self had green flecks in it. George spoke to her some more and she suggested that they go back to her hotel after the party. George suggested they go for a ride and she said that they could do that in her room. Eventually George agreed to that after dancing with Lady Blunt (with her leading him around the dance floor).

Meanwhile in the back room Annie was introducing herself to the other Aetheric engineers. In particular she took a shine to a young man from Oxford called Orville Hammersley who had invented a homing spider. Annie did not notice that Orville was chatting her up as she was trying to chat him up. Orville enquired if that perhaps he could call upon her uncle and ask his permission to see her.

Archdeacon Abbott and George spotted the Prince of Wales disappearing from the ballroom with a young lady as a mad Scottish poet called Ezra McTavish came and started insulting Samhain’s poetry. After some banter the Scottish poet slapped Samhain’s face and called him out. Samhain accepted the duel in Hyde Park on the following morning.

They spotted Lady Chastity Lamont come into the room and Archdeacon Abbott went over to talk to her. It seemed that Lord Lamont was not coping well without his wife and the fop Horatio Vickers was not doing much with the Society for the Betterment of Mankind. Lady Lamont wondered if the church would have an interest in running it. Just as she did so an army officer behind them pulled a gun and before anyone could reach him shot Bismarck. The guards shot him and two more pounced on him as he denounced the German imperialism. Samhain and George arrived just after and the Colonel was lead away. The palace security man Benedict Cauldfield announced that they would need to search everyone in the room before the party would continue and the Aetheric Engineering demonstrate would begin in half an hour.

First of all Orville Hammersley from Oxford demonstrated his spider moving towards a homing beacon in a web. Next John Wesley Reed from Cambridge demonstrated his Aetheric Organ with a composition of his own. Next Annie demonstrated her Aetheric radiophonic device with a Navy Admiral. After that a young man from Aston University called Eldon Tyler demonstrated his Aetheric Pegasus wings on a horse. However the noise of the Aetheric machine floating the horse just above the ground frightened the horse and it started kicking out. George stepped forward and calmed the hose down and gave the young lad a piece of his mind. The German engineer Markkus Weirgeld demonstrated his Aetheic Pressure sensor in a bell jar. The jar however imploded due to the pressure difference before he could really show the device off. Finally a man in his forties from Durham University called Clarence Prenderghast demonstrated an Aetheric gas mask that looked very similar to the ones that Christian Cooper had used some weeks ago.

After the demonstration Annie had a Captain from the Royal Engineers called Wilfred Tucker talk to her about the usage they could make of the device on the current campaign against Arthur, though there was concern over the range at which it could be used. Then Sir Robert Lions, who runs the Lionsgate Glass Company, suggested that if she needs Aetheric glass to produce her device then they would be glad to quote for it. He said that Sir Derek Strand from Aetherglass would try and make a bid at the party but Lord Hubert Whyte was not at the party as he was rarely seen in public these days. Annie said that she would consider bids from all three companies when the time came.

Archdeacon Abbott spotted the Prince of Wales coming back with the mysterious lady. He went over and talked to her. She pretended that she had gone to the toilet and had missed the display. Samhain soon identified her as the actress Lily Langtry, though the Archdeacon asked the lady her name.

Late on at the ball one of the Queen’s guards in the corner of the room screamed. Samhain turned and spotted a number of otherworld entities coming from the corner of the room where Lady Anne Blunt was located. Samhain and the Archdeacon headed over to Lady Blunt and George headed over to protect the Queen. Annie meanwhile headed out the nearest exit which was at the back of the ballroom. In the scuffle the Archdeacon was shot as a number of other guards got taken over by the entity. As the guards were shooting both them and each other Samhain knocked out Lady Blunt. Before he knocked her out she said that they would soon join her working for the master. Samhain flipped his coin and summoned the Count who demanded to know what was going on.

Archdeacon Abbot cast several sleep spells to knock out some of the possessed guards, but the Bishop of Bath and Wells spotted him. He then exorcised the entity from the closest guard but once it left it went into a civilian who went to attack Lady Lamont. Samhain ran over and killed the man and then chopped the entity into bits with his sword. Lady Blunt tried to get up but Samhain and Archdeacon Abbott went over and knocked her out again. They got a guard to watch over her.

George meanwhile escorted the royals in the room towards the exit, but the Queen was shot as she went. George turned and fought the possessed guard who was trying to get to them. He disarmed the guard and eventually used the pistol butt to hit the guard. The Count popped over to that side of the room and began fighting the possessed guards. One of them that he killed, the entity went inside the next room and possessed the Prince of Wales. He took a sword from the wall and began hacking at the Queen. Eventually George dispatched the one he was attacking with a little help from Annie and he headed inside and got a sword from the wall. He attempted to knock out the Prince but failed but the Count popped in and killed him. The entity went into Princess Beatrice and George knocked her out.

The Duke of Edinburgh (Prince Alfred), Prince Arthur and Prince Leopold came down the stairs and the guard in the room proclaimed Alfred as King. When he wanted an explanation, George suggested they get the Archdeacon. He explained that a number of demons from the otherworld had possessed some of the guards who had assassinated the Queen and the Prince of Wales and that Lady Blunt was responsible. Also Princess Beatrice had been possessed. When asked if she could be cured the Archdeacon said that he could exorcise the demon on holy ground. The closest church was St Martins in the Field and the group was dispatched there together with 5 guards and Palace security man Benedict Cauldfield. Inside Archdeacon Abbott exorcised the entity and Samhain chopped it to pieces with his magic sword.

Benedict took the Princess back to the Palace and told the Archdeacon that they would need to talk to him again soon.

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