From the Top Secret Interdimensional Time Travel Police files:
Big Machine: Keyboardist, sound engineer, intelligent walking computer and several other self contained electronic instruments for the Steampunk band Victor Sierra, which is his daytime cover for her secret career as Chief Engineer and Weapons Master of The Hydrogen Queen (interdimensional time traveling armed and armored mercenary zeppelin).... Big Machine is fairly unique in that he is a self-made cyborg, constructed from parts of unknown origin, and a long time trans-humanist member of the Difference Engine League. He is the master of interpreting the future and past in any available time anomaly. Talks loud or shuts the fuck up -- nothing in between. Enjoys analogical lullabies and coffee black as night. Highly unsociable.
This week's installment arrives a little later - conversations with the Commander and a bottle of JD but be sure this episode has a twist mwahahaha!
8-Wide Open Anomaly (The Boys from Potemkine-01)
by Commander Bob
Victor Sierra Official Facebook page
Marshall Trepper shows Morgan to the door saying:
"My advice: don't get lost in the maze of this huge post-soviet administrative mess because there's no way out. Actually nobody is commanding anymore but a bunch of schmucks and they keep it secret to the people…"
Peering at the empty corridor from the open door and seeing nobody, he resumed:
"… remember… I haven't told you anything. If asked, just answer that you came to visit me because you're crazy about airships, they will then think you're as a fool as I am. We are still running useless experiments here because no one in Staliningrad asked us to stop. They've just forgotten about us! (he shackles) And if you finally find this bloke "Big Machine" ask him about Colonel Gagarine, I would be glad to know what happened to the old rascal.
A glickekhe rayze." (*)
Outside the building, the night has fallen and temperature has lowered, Morgan thinks about the fact that some hundred kilometers to the north people have to stay at home six months oaf the year because the cold can freeze the tears in their eyes. There still are airships and aircrafts in the sky and he's stricken by the beauty of these ageless flying vehicles training to protect an empire that doesn't exist anymore. "It's like a movie set, you can be lured by what you see but there is nothing behind the fake walls." he thinks bracing himself as he makes his way back to the control tower in the wind because it's obvious the shuttle service is now closed.
Half-way from the huge grey building he hears car tires screeching on the road and turning back he sees a Gaz-12 Zim speeding towards him. Even in such a cursed place Morgan thinks the car seems incredibly out of time - It was your typical official vehicle back in the Red Empire glory days - as it screeches to a halt right beside him in a terrible brakes noise. The passenger door opens and a man with a grinning face leans and yells at him in thick russian-accented English:
"You're the reporter?"
"Yes" replies Morgan, worried it could be someone from the NKVD (the powerful political police totally out of control these days, he's been told).
"Get in the car, me and some friends want to talk to you!"
The reporter hesitates.
"Who are you?"
The driver lowers his tone and whispers:
"We are the Boys from Potemkine! Come on, I don't want any opposition here."
Leaving fear behind him, Morgan jumps in the car and slumps in the sagging passenger seat while the man immediately revs up on the road. He firmly grips the door handle to keep balance and looks at the driver: young, blonde hair under a typical soviet cap, sharp features and apparently his permanent grin. The airport quickly fades away behind them in the night as they rushed in the middle of the cold desert.
The car heater has clearly become a memory of the past, Morgan reflects, as almost every buttons, commands or whatever can be found on a dashboard is missing.
"Where are we going to?" asks the reporter.
"To the ship" replies the driver.
"What ship?" asks Morgan aghast.
"Ba…ttle…ship Potemkine…". The reporter is completely lost. "What the hell for? and does it still exist in the first place"
The blonde guy doesn't bother to answer about the ship.
"My friends and I have information for you. We heard you look for people. And we've used to work with one of them a long time ago. Marshall Trepper told you about Big machine…" He laughs. "He thinks nobody knows his secrets the poor old guy! But ourselves, we've known another one we called Com… Чёрт! Дерьмо (f*ck) !"
He cursed loudly for the car had swerved on the icy road but his hands firmly gripping the wheel he succeeds in controlling the skid and goes back to normal as far as normal driving on a road - probably unknown to any roadmap of the region - can be. Arthur Morgan is terrified.
"What… what n… name were you saying?
"Commander! Commander Bob! Ha ha ha!" the man bursts out laughing and the car swerves again.
(*): "Travel safe!"