Friday, July 11, 2014

Wide Open Anomaly episode 4

Absence has only sought to make the heart grow fonder now Commander Bob is back with his tales of the adventures of his eponymous hero Arthur Morgan: how has our hero fared? read on dear reader prepare to be amazed!

Reprinted by permission of Commander Bob
Originally presented on
Victor Sierra Official Facebook page

9-Wide Open Anomaly (The Boys from Potemkine-02)
by Commander Bob

"He wasn't a commander at all but we called him that because of his behavior, ha ha ha! He was an apprentice sailor at the time as we all were but yet he wanted to direct everything deep down in the bowels of the big ship. Ha ha.."
The driver keeps on laughing and speeding in the night.
Trying to curb his panic, Arthur Morgan doesn't understand how he can keep the car on the glistening icy road at this insane pace and he could barely see through the windscreen.
"No more questions before we meet the boys, please Mr Morgan!"
All right, thinks the reporter, everything is fine, I live this kind of nightmare everyday…
"At least, can I know your name?"
"Yes, call me K, Joseph K."
"Okay, Mister K."
After half an hour of bumping and hopping in the Zim, they arrive at what Morgan makes out as a port because of the vague sound of waves hitting the wharf and the heavy smell of salt, when the young man stops and kills the engine and says: "Do you see it?"
The reporter strains to see something in the dark through the dirty frosted windscreen.
"What are you talking about?"
"Get out of the car and you'll see it."
He struggles with the door-handle and pushes the door with difficulty, suddenly he freezes at the echoing noise the grating has produced. Looking around he finally makes out the black painted side of an enormous ghost-like ship in the night.
"But… but it's…"
"Yes it's a ship!".
He shines the flashlight onto the ship's prow and big letters appear between patches of rust on the eroded black metal: "Потёмкин" (Potemkine).
"You're speechless Mr Morgan huh?"
"But is this the real battleship Potemkine?"
"What else? Yes it's the real one and Commander Bob was aboard with us when shit happened, believe me I wouldn't have risked bringing you here if it wasn't worth it. Come on, the boys are waiting for us."
They climbed a half-burned wooden ramp and Morgan moves forward very cautiously step by step for the creaks are amplified by the deafening reverberation on the side of the ship. Once on the deck, looking around him he realizes how the ship is decaying, boards are missing on the floor and he can't see any metal parts free of rust. There are still traces of harsh combats on walls and one of the chimney shows a big hole in its middle. No way this ship can sail, thinks the reporter, as he follows the man who leads him towards a metal door that clangs loudly open to a poorly lit gangway. Everything seems dirty and burned and he's overcome by the heavy smell of grease and petrol floating in the confined atmosphere. Morgan and K walk through several other gangways and security doors and as they pass by a cabin bearing a copper plate: "радиоприёмник"
("Radio"), he makes out the operator's back, headphones on his head in the feeble light, manipulating a model 1939 communication device's switch and rotary buttons saying: "Calling center… This is Battleship Potemkine calling center… requesting instructions please…over".
"Don't panic", K whispers, "some of us are partly living in parallel worlds!"
Morgan feels totally at lost wondering in which lunatic asylum he is, and after having stumbled one more time, he begins to hear shouts and laughs and the muffled sound of a radio… and someone singing:
"… Who do you think you are kidding Mr Hitler, if you think we're on the run…

Friday, July 4, 2014

Wide Open Anomaly episode 3

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

Reprinted by permission of Commander Bob
Originally presented on
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.
"Battleship Potemkine!"
"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!"