October 12th, 2009

Mama never said there'd be days like this

((Journal entry, but you can treat this as public knowledge.))

Goodness, I've slept the clock around, and then some! In fact, I could have slept longer, were it not that I became so hungry. I've a sandwich and some fruit to eat, and once I finish writing this, I'm off to bathe, and then sleep again. I don't think anyone can blame me for being slothful today...not after what happened yesterday. I'll try to set down all I can remember, but so much of it seems a blur.

The plague was spreading quickly. Much as I wanted to barricade myself in at home and let it all go on without me, I knew it was my responsibility to help in any way I could. So instead, I changed into something that would allow me freedom of movement, grabbed my militia rifle, and headed out to patrol. (As it turns out, that was likely a wise move. Miss Elleon had been infected, so, as Miss Sheryl pointed out, the apartments at the Mechanix Arms would not have been safe.)

I went to the area of City Hall first, as I thought that would give me an excellent vantage point to spy out the area. And indeed, I quickly saw two of the infected--Mr. Frakture and, to my horror, Dr. Watson. Somehow, they sensed me, and soon found the stairs that led up to my level. Once I saw that, I fled quickly and managed to lose them.

But seeing Dr. Watson like that made me very concerned for Mr. Holmes, so I worked my way around to approach their rooms. And, indeed, I saw Mr. Frakture and Dr. Watson there at the front. I slipped around and entered a courtyard at the back, and so determined that Mr. Holmes, Dr. Kaligawa, and Mr. Sixpence were trapped inside. Whether they heard or scented me, I don't know, but Mr. Frakture and Dr. Watson came after me again. I shot at Mr. Frakture, and I know the rifle shots hit at least a few times, but even that didn't stop him! I escaped the courtyard, and in so doing, drew them off enough that the others were able to escape the apartment.

However, they didn't flee far. They had something they wanted to test as a cure, and so they managed to trap Dr. Watson within a cabinet. When they tried to administer the cure, however, he reacted violently, and it was spilled. Then Mr. Frakture broke down the door, and all was chaos. Mr. Frakture came after me once again--my first narrow escape--but with the help of Mr. Sixpence and a Mr. Ironmask Landar, we maneuvered him to an open manhole cover and got him to fall down into the sewers.

It was during this time that I saw Mr. Baroque and Miss Elleon, both of whom were infected. At that point, I thought it best to withdraw for a time, so Mr. Sixpence, Mr. Landar, and I retreated into City Hall. I didn't want to be trapped anywhere that didn't have more than one exit, as Mr. Holmes and his companions had been. Mr. Landar and I rested there while Mr. Sixpence went to look for Dr. Kaligawa again. Unfortunately, we didn't have long to rest, as Gilhooly Skute came rushing in to tell us the infected were coming our way.

We fled north, and found Miss Ambrose Steampunk, who was also infected! The others came after us as well, and it was during this confusion that we were separated from Gilhooly, but picked up Miss Sheryl. She certainly was marvelous, flying about and running interference for us; her metallic body certainly gave her an advantage. After that was a great deal of running about, in the process of which we picked up Mr. Sixpence again, until we found ourselves in Mr. Landar's small room in the Academy area.

I didn't feel comfortable staying there long, though. There was only one exit, and the room was...rather small for me. (I bumped my head on things at least five or six times.) So Miss Sheryl, Mr. Sixpence, and I soon left again. Mr. Sixpence still wanted to test something on one of the infected--I never did understand what--so Miss Sheryl and I worked together to lure one to his place in Clockhaven. It was during this time that I had my second close call--I had to leap over, and several feet down, a wall! The one was soon joined by another, and whatever it was Mr. Sixpence had planned, I don't believe it worked. So it wasn't long before Miss Sheryl and I were fleeing back through Clockhaven, with those two infected still hot on our trail. In Port Babbage, though, I hit upon the idea of using the Fire Brigade fire boat to escape them, which, thankfully, worked. They wandered the docks for a bit, evidently trying to find a way to get to me, but then finally left.

Just after they had, we saw Mr. Mornington, and finally received our first piece of good news. Dr. Dayafter had compounded a cure, which he and Miss Jedburgh tested on Miss Elleon--and it worked! Elated, I left the fire boat and started back toward the Mechanix Arms...just in time to see Miss Jedburgh and Mr. Mornington administer the cure to Miss Gizmo Theas. Not the most pleasant of sights, at least at first, but it was wonderful to see her return to normal. Before she left, Miss Jedburgh gave me a spare vaccine gun.

With that, I knew I couldn't rest--not yet. It was my duty as a member of the militia to seek out more infected and cure them, before they infected others or were themselves destroyed completely. Miss Sheryl and I first checked the area around the Mechanix Arms, where we found Mr. Baroque. It was another close call, but I managed to shoot the cure into him, and it did indeed work. After that, Miss Sheryl went back to her rooms to rest.

And it was then that I made a very foolish decision. I can only attribute it to my state at the time, hovering between exhaustion and an adrenaline-fueled euphoria.

I went into the sewers. By myself.

Inching my way through the darkness, wading or even swimming through the foul water--that has to be ranked as one of the worst experiences of my life. And yet, in the end, it was a good thing I ventured down there. It wasn't too long before I heard the voices of Skyler and Gilhooly echoing down the tunnels, evidently yelling at an infected one. How I managed to follow their sounds, I don't know, but I found them, and shot the vaccine into her rabbit girl they had trapped, curing her. They said they'd take her to Miss Mara's place, and I left them to do that, while I went back into the Academy area. I eventually found Mr. Osterham there, and a newly-infected Mr. Wright, a friend of Mr. Osterham. For some reason, though, the cure didn't appear to work on him.

At this point, though, exhaustion was catching up with me with a vengeance. As much as I wanted to stay and try to assist more, I knew that my tiredness would lead to mistakes, which could endanger myself and others. And so, after a short side-trip into Loner's Lane, I staggered home. After stripping off my soggy clothes (and not putting on anything else--Mother would be scandalized!), I collapsed into bed.

And that bed is calling me again. Though I shall have to change the sheets first--I'm afraid what's on there now has picked up much of my sewer-tinged smell. I just pray that the rest of the infected will be found and cured soon.
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