fires of venus

~~~ Fires of Venus ~~~


A high pitch humming droned on, only interrupted by the sound of electronic contraptions releasing a spray of sparks. Only a single figure stood in the central control room of the vessel, gazing at the monitors and flipping switches in a flurry. The room was Mostly blue, LED's all along the exposed circuits of the great machines systems. They didn't have much function past looking futuristic and making things impressive.

Robbed in a green inverness coat, was the 14th Lord. Don't think to ask him what happened to the other 13. If you hadn't heard of a inverness coat before, it's not anything too fancy. Just think of a coat with a cape that went over their shoulders, akin to depictions of Civil War soldiers, or even Sherlock Holmes.

Around the 14th Lords neck was a green and blue tripped scarf, though which was the stripping seemed to change depending on the section of the scarf you looked at. It wasn't just a thick scarf for heavy cold weather, no, it was long. If you'd ask him though, he'd give a smile and look your way before informing you it was exactly 14 feet long. At least, that's what he'd proclaim at first before muttering something under his breath and looking away. If you listened just carefully enough, you'll hear that his words were something along the lines 'Well, at least at one point it was.'

As 14th Lord fiddled with the controls of his fantastic machine, he made a grab for a monitor overhead, bringing it before him. Upon the dead center of the otherwise black screen was 3 words, and a line of numbers under it. These 3 words though was all that was needed to bring a frown upon his eyes before he quickly returned the monitor back to its overhead location.

"Come to Utopia.” These words flickered as the 14th Lord switched the monitor off, ignoring the co-ordinates written under it. Keeping himself active, his hands worked on what appeared to be a typewriter, which was one of the many things that seemed out of place in the console surrounding a central spire. With a expression of remembering something he had foolishly forgotten, he quickly reached under the console to grab a cable. Giving the cable a strong yank, he pulled it from under his work station, but not without protest. Sparks flew everywhere, electricity surging out of the torn end of the cable. It wasn't just the cable that let out a cry of objection though, as it appeared some systems in his Time Capsule was effected as well. Sparks of electricity surged out of the thick cables that lined the ceiling, but only for a moment before it seemed what ever fail safe system was in place, rerouted the power.

"Where's the towels!?" a sharp scream rang out from one of the corridors. The 14th Lord raised a eyebrow in acknowledgment of the remark, but paid little attention. The controls upon the console was what garnered his utmost attention. Still though, he gave the girl a passive gesture and reply, sloppily pointing in the general location of the hallway the yell had originated from.

"The closet of course Ellena! Two doors down on the opposite side, the blue room!" he called back to her as he circled the controls. As he made his steps round the column filled with controls, his hands worked feverishly. Hitting buttons and pulling levers, all the while with a severed cable in his hold. It seems his flourish of manipulating the controls wasn't for nothing though, as the entire console room began to shake something horrid. The shaking was enough to cause the Lord to stumble about before he managed to rebalanced himself, repeatedly. Yet, despite that, the girl down the corridor was never the wiser, not feeling even a single shake. Only the gentle hum of the Time Capsule, did she notice.

The girl let out a groan that could be heard from across the corridor, along with mumblings of discontent. She let out several huffings and puffings, not that the 14th Lord paid any heed to any of it. The Lord only wiggled his brow as the girl quickly made a dash across the corridor. It wasn't long though before he decided to make his way down the very same corridor she was in, not that he remembered she was there to begin with. No, his thoughts were preoccupied with a theory he was mulling along his head. He needed a generator though, a particular one which was down the end of the very same corridor. As he made his approach, a shriek radiated from the girl, causing him to flinch in surprise. There the girl was, hastily and desperately attempting to cover herself, still wet and dripping from her shower.

“I'M NAKED!” Ellena cried out, on her toes and crouched in a manner that made it evident she was attempting to cover as much of herself as she could.

“You can turn around if it embarrasses you.” The 14th Lord replied with a slightly confused tone and a raised brow. He didn't give her a second glance before once more making his way down the corridor. He could hear her hastily making her way across the corridor and opening a door to what he assumed was the closet,when another shriek came out from behind him. Wrong room, he supposed, as he heard the door slam shut just as quickly as it had opened.

Making his way into one of the many utility closets, he paid little attention to the assortment of tools of various shapes and sizes. No, what he wanted was safely tucked in the corner. He took hold of the handle of what one might assume to be a steampunk vacuum cleaner, before returning back towards the console room. As he turned around though, another sight caught his attention, but only for a moment. Waddling past him down the hall was a dripping wet penguin, holding a towel along its waist. The penguin didn't stay in sight for long though, and simply made its way into another linking corridor, one that he doesn't recall having been down for awhile. Approximately 600 years by his estimate. At last though, he had returned to the main console room, steampunk vacuum cleaner strapped to his back. Now two girls were standing my the console, the short young red-headed girl, and the tall bright brunette in the towel. Speaking of brunette, Ellena's thin curly hair was still flattened by the shower, thanks to only having a single towel to use The two were chatting as he made his approach.

“Ah good, you met Anne, saved me the introduction.” He smiled and waved at the tiny red haired girl who simply waved back. Ellena was near twice Anne's height. Quickly taking notice of the 14th Lords presence, Ellena glared at him and let out a growl. She tapped her bare foot across the grated floor, only managing quite wet slapping that added to her frustration.

“Lord!” She was stomping her foot exaggeratedly along the grated floors. The manner she stomped her foot produced pain, but actually brought up noise, which satisfied her. “Clothing?!”

“I'm already wearing some.” The 14th Lord remarked back at her. He crouched down the grating and flung it open, revealing a ladder leading somewhere out of sight. Letting the gratting clang across the floor, he leaped down and out of sight. His overly long green and blue scarf flew in the air as he vanished from view.

“I meant for me!” The tall girl once more shrieked. “What did you do to my clothes while I was in the shower?!” She peaked over the edge of opened grating. Ellena pulled the towel tightly along her excessively slim body, and made extra sure to to keep her legs together, in case he took a peak back up at her. Glancing her eyes down below what appeared to be a service corridor, she caught no sight of him.

Another grate flew open behind her, along with a large puff of black smoke. Throwing a arm over, was the 14th Lord, who quickly pulled himself out. His goggles covered his eyes as he let out several coughs, before spraying the fire extinguisher back down from where he had came from. Ellena took note that the 14th Lord didn't have the fire extinguisher when he went down, and now the steampunk vacuum cleaner was no longer with him.

“It's in the wash.” The 14th Lord reassured her. “It shouldn't be long before it's done. I find conventional technology from your era seems to just make everything feel and smell so much fresher. I think you'd agree had you ever tried a Hydrosonic Garment Sterilization Unit before. “ He kicked the grating he had just opened closed with the toe of his boot as he finished speaking. Ellena's eyes fixated on his boots.

'Steel toe,' She observed with her keen eye for detail. She had noticed the shape of the boots end, and could easily tell. 'How tacky' she thought to herself as the 14th Lord kicked the grated door he had originally opened closed.

“There's plenty of clothing in the wardrobe room that are very similar to what you were wearing. Why don't you go take a look?” The 14th Lord paused for a moment in thought. He placed a finger upon his lips as his eyes glanced to the side in thought. “It was a EGL dress wasn't it? Angelic Bitty I believe. I inherited rather a large collection after that pineapple-” He didn't get to finish as Ellena suddenly made steps towards him. She appeared ready to grab him, hadn't the towel around her waist began to unravel from the sudden movements, causing her to recoil and grip it instead. Her eyes grew wide, staring right into his.

“You have EGL dresses?! In your Wardrobe? SHOW ME!” Ellena demanded with a tone that was near hysterical. Her eyes were wide and joyous, yet at the same time those eyes could be perceived as demented. She made a grab for his scarf that was fastened around his neck.

“Oh yes, I believe there was quite a few brands in that collection. I added a few rooms to the wardrobe, oh, what seems to of been a life time ago. I was a bit lacking in the ladies clothing department I had come to discover, and decided to rectify it.” He began to make his way down yet another of the many corridors that linked to the console room, making a gesture with his hand over his shoulder for Ellena to follow. The quite red had all the while swung from one of the safety railings, a smile upon her face. Noticing Ellena and the 14th Lord leaving, the small girl began prancing after them.

All the while that the 14th Lord led the two girls down the corridors of the Time Capsule, he kept on a one sided conversation. Ellena assumed it was geared towards her, but when her mind was set upon something, everything else was drowned out. Only a couple words made it to her, something about the alleged Pineapple incident he had mentioned earlier, and how the selection came from a distant planet in Alpha Centuri. Ellena's interest was purely upon the wardrobe room, growing increasingly excited with each step. Everything else was just background noise to her. Ellena was almost dancing with each step from excitement.

Arriving, Ellena's jaw dropped. When the 14th Lord had mentioned having a wardrobe room, she couldn't of expected what she saw. Looking over the ledge of the balcony they were on, she gazed wide eyed at the selection of clothing. A wardrobe stadium perhaps was more accurate. Stairs spiraled the corners of the balcony, leading down into the main chamber. There were many doors as well to the sides, leading to even further chambers. As Ellena's attention was occupied by the countless rows of clothing, the young Anne leaned over the edge. She began to play with the balcony railing, and attempted to climb over it before the 14th Lord prevented her by grabbing her by her oversized sweater.

At last, Ellena's eyes fixated as she noticed a patch to the distance that appeared excessively colorful and frilly. Letting out a yelp in excitement, she quickly grabbed the 14th Lord by the hand, catching him by surprise as she began to drag him along with her. Anne found herself joining them down the spiral steps, and across the wardrobe, as the 14th Lord happened to forget to let go of her sweater as Ellena dragged him off. Little Anne wasn't the most comfortable as she was being forced to run backwards after them, thanks to the 14th Lord having had grabbed her shirt from behind.

Reaching the EGL section of the wardrobe brought a squeal of joy to Ellena, who quickly left the two behind and began trying on anything she could get her hands on, only using line of sight to hide her modesty between changes. With Ellena running around and grabbing dresses wildly to try on, the 14th Lord and Anne were left to merely watch and wait. Every once and awhile Ellena would come by for their opinion, but would again run off before they could share it.

The 14th Lord pulled his pocket watch from his vest pocket by its silver chain. The Silver of the chain contrasted against the dim gold pocket watch. Taking out a napkin, he gave the pocket watch a quick polish before winding it and at last opening it. There on the face, one could see the gears of the contraption behind its seven hands. Pulling up his goggles that laid limp on his scarf, he adorned them over his eyes in a manner as if they were reading glasses. Despite the black tint of the goggles covering his eyes, he looked up from his watch to see Ellena still frantically searching the wardrobe. Only now, the dark red and blue patterned carpet was hidden under rows of clothing.

Dresses littered the ground, which amused Anne greatly. Anne entertained herself, hopping between the few clearings across the carpet. Every time Ellena took a dress out to look at, it ended up on the ground. It didn't matter if she even wore it or not, they all ended on the ground instead of the hangar she had taken it from. Every so often, Ellena would present a frilly outfit to the 14th Lord, only to have him make passive remarks.

“I suppose” was one such response to Ellena's inquiry on whether he liked the dress or not. Another such response went along the lines of “I can see why someone might like that.” Not that it frustrated Ellena as she wouldn't of listened to his remarks either way. It wasn't until the 14th Lord called her “Handsome” that Ellena responded with a fury of blows his way.

Alas after only a hour Ellena found a dress that satisfied her. That is, if you were to believe the 14th Lords seven handed pocket watch, and trusted the smallest hand. Ellena bounced over a discarded dress, showing her choice to Anne and the 14th Lord.

“Well, what do you think?” She beamed. Her dress was beige, with a floral pattern all along it. There were white frills at the bottom end and along the dresses shoulder straps. The pale white button up shirt had long sleeves with frilly cuffs. Under her dress was matching white leggings. Riding her hairwas a massive bow, bigger than her head. Ellena wiggled around happily, hands in little excited fists at her chest. Spotting a mirror, she quickly jumped before it and gave a few spins, admiring the outfit.

Ellena didn't wait long for a response. Now that she was decided on her outfit, she gave the 14th Lord a disapproving look. She eyed his outfit, and the goggles he still adorned over his eyes. The goggles straps were below his ears, which irritated her. Quickly she made a grab for each strap, and flipped it over his ears, at last catching his attention.

“What the blazes are you doing?” The 14th Lord raised a brow under a goggle.

A “Nyeh!” escaped Ellena's lips as she tugged open the bottom button of his navy blue vest. That done with, Ellena's hands reached under the 14th Lords scarf, quickly working to fix his sloppily tied tie. Of course, as anyone would do once someone started grabbing at them, the 14th Lord began to resist. Ellena paid little heed to his resistance though, and began an attempt to remove his scarf.

“It doesn”t match!” Ellena protested. The 14th Lord let out a annoyed sigh, resisting her grabs. “It's okay, we can fix this!”

Having had enough of Ellena's antics, the 14th Lord decided to make his leave. Ellena continued her protest though, clinging to his scarf, feet dug into the floor. Not that it even slowed him down any. As they made their way out, the dragging Ellena let out a painful wail. “Noooo!”

“Venusia!” The 14th Lord cheerfully proclaimed. Having returned to the primary control room of the 14th Lord's vessel, he hadn't wasted any time before returning to the controls. “Otherwise known as Venus, the shining planet of the Milky Way!” He danced along the central column, flipping switches and pulling levers. It didn't seem an accident when some of those levers broke off, nor when he stumbled over a cable and happened to kick one or two from their plugs.

The Venusians have always had the best parties in the 9 galaxies!” The 14th Lord stopped for a moment and began to count his fingers for a moment, as if he realized a error somewhere. He quickly shook his head though and continued on. “Sad your people would never get to meet them. They never did master space travel. They would always put it off, saying that the space program wasn't important enough to allocate funds. No, the resources was better spent to improve the economy. The space program could just wait until technology made it more practical.” The 14th Lord stared at Ellena with a smile. “Ha, as if humans would ever wait until something was practical to try.”

“Alas,” The 14th Lord continued, his tone becoming somber. “Thanks to that philosophy, they never left Venus. Their atmosphere became thick as the pollution of their factories flooded the air. In time, Venus became completely uninhabitable. The Venusians resigned to being forgotten in time.” He pulled down the final lever, causing the Time Capsule to shake violently.

Ellena let out a yelp as she grabbed a safety rail for dear life. Anne meanwhile just happily strolled along the console room, whichever way the was heaving towards at the time. Anne's face was that of quiet excitement, whereas Ellena was mortified that the ship could explode any moment. Somehow, having seen levers break upon touch, did not fill Ellena with faith.

“You can't push off space exploration and the care for the planet for years and years, in the name of technology and economy!” The 14th Lord yelled over the Time Capsules engines. He had grabbed tightly along the control panels, as instruments began exploding left and right of them. Ellena meanwhile let out a sigh. She cared little for the 14th Lord's holier than thou rants, let alone while death could be moments away.

Ellena's worry proved to be for naught as the ship began to settle down. The shaking and explosions ceased, and a loud Thud could be heard. They had landed. The 14th Lord wasted little time. In a blink, he had made his way to the main doors. He gestured for them to follow.

“Come on now then! No sense sticking around forever. There's adventure afoot!” The 14th Lord proclaimed. Ellena was unsure whether or not she wanted to let go of the safety railings just yet, though Anne merrily skipped towards the 14th Lord. With a sigh, Ellena reluctantly relinquished her grip on the railing, and followed. Her steps were uneasy as she seemed to expect that any moment the Time Capsule might decide to go under another shaking fit.

The 14th Lord waited until they were at his side before opening the doors. In his excitement, he flung the double doors open and stepped out before taking a look. Ellena's eyes widened, and a brow raised in disgust. She grabbed Anne's hand quickly and prevented the young girl from following the 14th Lord out, bringing a confused stare her way.

“Uh Lord, is that exactly...” She paused, her mind rummaging for a delicate word. “You know, not toxic?” Outside the doors, the air was thick with a black smog. Brushing a hand along his cheek, the 14th Lord stepped back inside, and besides the girls.

“Alright, maybe I got the time a taaaaad way off. Only a few hundred... thousand... “ The 14th Lord mumbled 'thousand' in a near whisper. “years off of the planets prime. But still, Venusia!” He gestured out the doors in a grand manner. Come along Vanet!” With that, he was once more out of the main doors and on the Venusian soil.

The 14th Lord didn't go unprepared into the thick smog. He flipped his goggles back over his eyes, and refastened his scarf so that it would shield his mouth and nose. It was when she watched the 14th Lord leave the ship, that Ellena noticed something peculiar. The thick smog never breached the ship. The smog stopped immediately outside the doors, as if a invisible wall prevented its entry.

A look of confusion and disgust was cemented upon Ellena's face. It was only when she felt a tugging at her skirt, did she look away from where the 14th Lord had disapeared off into. It was little Anne, who was robbed in what appeared to be a rain cape and a gas mask that covered the entirety of her head. A mildly frightening sight that appealed to Ellena.

“Here you go.” Anne said simply, her voice not being muffled in the least by the mask. In her hand was another cape and gas mask. Anne handed the protective gear to Ellena.

“Oh, thank you.” Ellena muttered out, trying to be proper and composed. Taking the gear from Anne, she slipped the cape over her clothing. Her entire body to her ankles was covered in the dark blue synthetic material. It took a sigh first before Ellena at last placed the gas mask over her face, her hair safely tucked under it. She did not want to spend a month getting the planets smell out of it.

Exiting the Time Capsule, Ellena entered the thick smog covered planet of Venus. A heavy blanket of heat and humidity engulfed her. The most humid weather in the peak of Texas summer paled to this. Not that Ellena ever been to Texas.

It wasn't long before the girls found a couple shadows at the edge of their vision. Leading Anne by hand, Ellena led the way towards them. Her assumption proved correct as they discovered the 14th Lord there, but he wasn't alone. Besides the 14th Lord was what appeared to be a human male, if not for a few details. One such detail was that he appeared near seven feet tall, was bone thin, and completely barren of hair. Still, if it wasn't for the large sunken in eyes, Ellena might of yet mistaken them from being in Detroit.

The alien creature wasn't bare. It wore a gas mask, bringing Ellena to the belief the atmosphere wasn't exactly habitable for these creatures either. Wrapped around its waist was dirty synthetic rags, and boots were around his feet. A cloak was draped around its shoulders, keeping its arms out of view. Still, its boney chest and sunken in belly was yet in plain view. It was while Ellena studied the creatures cloak, that she noticed something peculiar around the wrist of a hand that peaked out. Her eyes fixated upon the creatures exposed hand, until its voice captivated her attention.

“Greetings stranger. I am Vorvun” It spoke in a masculine tone. Its head tilted in a manner like a bird upon having its attention drawn. Its voice sounded synthetic, as if it was ran through a synthesizer.

“He sounds just like Darth Vader!” Anne giggled out. Ellena took a peak at the young girl.

'Well, she can't be too far from modern times.' Ellena took a mental note upon Anne. Her eyes followed the short girl as she skipped to the side of the 14th Lord. The 14th Lord stood not to far from Vorvan.

“Ah Vorvan, these two are my bestest friends that I mentioned to you. Now now girls, don't be rude. Introduce yourselves.” The 14th Lord paused as if to give Ellena a chance to speak. At last, he continued, interrupting her the moment she opened her mouth. “The short and sweet girl by my side here is little Miss Anne Plunket. Say hi Anne.”

“Hi.” Anne waved with a smile.

“And, “ The 14th Lord continued. “The tall lanky one there would be Miss Ellena Vanet.”

“Hey!” Ellena protested. “I'm not that tall!” She mumbled about, consciously bending her knees a slight to appear a tad shorter. “I just have really good posture.” she mumbled about and looked down. A dejected look was glued upon her face, not that it could be seen under the mask. She slowly shuffled her way towards the group, not feel absolutely comfortable being on a alien world, separated from the 14th Lord. Even if it was only by a few yards.

“Why hello there, Miss Ellena Vanet.” Vorvan greeted her, before moving its gaze to Anne and greeting her as well. It bowed a slight in courtesy.

“I was just telling Vorvan here about our travel from beyond the acid lakes,” The 14th Lord gestured into the distance. Ellena frowned and her eyes pinned upon the 14th Lord as he continued. “We apparently have great timing.”

“How isn't your voice being muffed by that scarf?” Ellena quickly asked. The 14th Lord though, didn't heed her question.

“Apparent the smog is lighter than its been in months. Not just that, the Peoples First party is throwing a festival!” The 14th Lord spoke merrily. Ellena with her brow still raised looked around. She could barely see 5 yards ahead of her, the silhouettes of what she could only assume to be warehouses were near all drowned out.

“Lucky us.” Ellena spoke with a hint of not so subtle sarcasm.

“The current Prime Minister is to pass yet another environmental law.” Vorvan explained. “He has even gone so bold as to declare this day Green Day, as the forecasts expect the smog clearance levels to make a record. The Peoples First party is throwing their own festival in protest of the Prime Ministers plan to open a recycling plant this day. “

“And Vorvan here was so kind as to invite us along. I told him we'd be glad to go!” the 14th Lord proclaimed.

Ellena sighed, bothered by the decision he made on her behalf. 'Well' she supposed, 'It's something to do.'

“We the People First believe funds wasted on such frivolous things should be better spent on additional clean burning coal plants. It's just not economical to waste valuable resources on recycling. “ Vorvan declared, his views adamant. “Trust me, it will be no bore though. We they will be lighting several oil wells, it will be gorgeous. There will be drinking, dancing, and games throughout the night!” He cheerily informed the three.

“You did mention something too about, what was it, fire juggles and smog benders?” the 14th Lord inquired.”

“Ah yes, Sir Lord. We may not be able to stop the opening of this recycling plant, but perhaps we'll gather the interest of enough so that we can stop the next.”

“Will there be ice cream or popcorn?” Anne asked, excitement in her tone. Vorvan nodded and Anne let out a excited squeal, bringing her balled hands to her chest and wiggling happily to each side. Ellena sighed, she didn't bother to ask how Anne planned to eat such things with their masks on. She didn't even want to consider what it could taste like, exposed to the thick smog of this planet.

“Well then,” the 14th Lord chimed in. “I think its unanimous. Lead the way, dear Vorvan.”