Monthly Archives: February 2014


Historians Note; unless you are familiar with the document “Horizons of Deceit Book I” you should not read any further. Said document can be purchased by following the link to the right. The following takes place shortly after the climax of “Horizons of Deceit Book I”.

Saturday October 11th 1890

Dear Professor Stone

It has been several months since I last saw you, and I confess I have been putting off writing this missive, however I am about to return to active duty and I feel I am honour bound to write this to you. Not least to thank you and Captain Folkard for the good word you offered in my favour at the hearing. I do not deserve such support—especially not from you.

I need to offer my most sincere apologies for the events of June last. I know you showed understanding when you discovered my culpability, but you did not turn up at my hearing and so I can only assume that, now the dust has settled, that you find yourself less forgiving. I was given a singular honour when Captain Folkard assigned me to be the engineer on Esmeralda 2, to aid you in the secret mission for the Admiralty. I failed you, and I failed Captain Folkard. For the captain it was, one suspects, more a sense of professional failure—I am aware of the pride he took in his crew on Sovereign, one of whom I was proud to be. But for you it must have been a sense of personal failure, for in those months on Esmeralda 2 we fostered a friendship. Even now I can still recall the particulars of our first meeting in the engine room of Sovereign—you walking into me, disorientated by the steam. At the time I never considered I would become a friend of the man who designed the aether propeller governor (yes, I know you will insist you co-designed it with Doctor Grant, but the governor used on Sovereign owed more to your design than his original version). Further I never considered I would be assisting you in developing a more refined version of the propeller for a much smaller flyer like Esmeralda 2.

I have never discussed with any other those events during my final journey on Esmeralda 2, as we neared Mars and encountered that aether tear. My betrayal of you sat heavily on my shoulders, but in those last moments, before Esmeralda was destroyed—and I, like all of us on that flyer, know it was destroyed—my only thought was that I failed my grandfather, the late Admiral Nicholas Fenn. I was, am, the first member of my family to serve in Her Majesty’s Royal Navy since his death; indeed, it was the stories he would tell me as a child that inspired me to seek a career in service of the British Empire. It has always been important for me to succeed, to become an officer and honour my grandfather’s name, be his legacy. I failed him—betrayed my oath to the Navy and my friendship to you. But in that place I was visited by my grandfather and he told me to face the consequences of my actions, and hold to the truth that I only failed myself. My family was threatened, including my mother, his daughter. And so I had to protect them. What good is duty to one’s country if one is unwilling to protect those he loves above all others?

I hope that I can earn your forgiveness, and prove myself once more a loyal subject of the empire. I have, once more, been returned to active duty, although as punishment for my weakness of character, I have been held back one year and will not attain my position as able seaman for another year. It is a small price to pay—I believe I should be in irons now, or at least court martialled. That I am neither I must look on as a second chance. An opportunity to prove myself once more.

I have been reassigned to Sovereign for the long voyage ahead. This is good, for it allows me to work with the one engineer in the Navy who will not hold my indiscretion against me, and further it means I will be in a position to earn your respect and forgiveness. I will also be able to play my own small part in helping find Captain Folkard. Despite the scuttlebutt, I do not for a moment believe he would betray the Navy. He is ten times the man I am, and he would rather die than betray his duty.

Yours, in hope.

 Jack Fenn, Ordinary Seaman, HMAS Sovereign



Historians Note; unless you are familiar with the document “Horizons of Deceit Book I” you should not read any further. Said document can be purchased by following the link to the right. The following takes place shortly after the climax of “Horizons of Deceit Book I”.

From: Commander Jeremiah Armstrong

To: Commander George Bedford

Friday September 26th 1890

I have reviewed your request for the transfer of Ordinary Seaman Erasmus Stevenson from HMAS Endeavour to HMAS Sovereign. It is, I must confess, an odd request since Mister Stevenson has only served with Endeavour for six months after a period of convalescence following his harrowing experiences on Luna. I have made myself fully versant with your reports regarding your mission to Luna in December 1889 and am aware of your commendation for Mister Stevenson. I have also studied his service file, and am somewhat concerned regarding your request considering the nature of Sovereign’s forthcoming mission. I consulted with our medical officer and he assures me that Mister Stevenson is of sound mind, but is still recovering from his incarceration and torture at the hands of the Drobates of Luna. However, he is uncertain if further exposure to the Drobates will help in his recovery, and could, indeed, undo all Stevenson has been through.

Nonetheless, I have also received orders from Rear Admiral Cavor to meet your request. But I would be remiss in my duties as Mister Stevenson’s commanding officer if I failed to raise my concerns.

Mister Stevenson is, in the opinion of my boatswain and I, officer material and has a fine naval career ahead of him. Despite his experiences, he continues to throw himself into duties and performs above the expectations of this officer. We hope that his tour of duty on Sovereign will aid in his path to becoming a fine officer, and to aid this Captain Ferguson and I have agreed to promote Stevenson to the rank of able seaman, effective immediately.

My compliments to Captain Theobald and her crew. Endeavour will rendezvous with Sovereign at Mars on the fourth day of October.

A Happy Occasion

Historians Note; this immediately proceeds the document “Horizons of Deceit Book I”  which can be purchased by following the link to the right…

*from the journal of Professor Nathaniel Stone

Tuesday September 16th 1890.

Whoever thought this day would come? Certainly not I. We have been back on Earth only a short time, barely a few weeks and I found myself immediately put to work. Arnaud joined Doctor Boltzmann and his team in their efforts to refine the minerals we returned with. While I assisted Professor Thomson with his new, rather revolutionary, idea. He is designing a new type of mirror–a reflective surface that can capture the heat of the sun even from a distance beyond the asteroid belt. It is a new photovoltaic process based on the observations first made by Alexandre-Edmond Becquerel in 1839;  a method by which we hope to harness the power of the sun and convert it into an electrical current. If Thomson can achieve such a thing it will, once again, push the British Empire to the forefront of aether travel–and that is not to mention the potential for domestic use.

I have not seen much of Grant, who seems to be buzzing around as much as ever, barely at the research rooms for any real length of time. I have tried to talk to him, but he remains evasive, unwilling to discuss his latest communications with the Heart.

But those are the things of the past few weeks. A much happier occasion now lies before me. It is something I never truly believed would come–we spend so much time in the aether I was beginning to doubt we would ever return to Earth at the same time as Sovereign, but I happy to say that finally our return has coincided. And thus Annabelle and Commander Bedford have been able to reunite once more and further, knowing full well they may not be on Earth at the same time for a while, have arranged for their wedding. I am certain plans were afoot for longer than anyone knew–that Annabelle sent out invitations and made preparations each time we returned to Earth. It seems to be just the kind of thing she would do. Why wait, when she can arrange it herself?

And so today. It is only a few hours away, and soon they shall be Mr and Mrs Bedford. I should probably prepare myself, too, for it would not do if I were to arrive after Annabelle. Besides which, of course, there is the small matter of Arnaud. He tells me he gets quite emotional at weddings, and had already taken to the brandy that our housekeeper kindly procured for us to celebrate the happy occasion. Whatever am I to do with him?

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