Monday, 28 January 2013

The Greek Camera (part 2)

I and Lodders carried with our investigation under much protest from Robin. A few clues sprang from this occasion and these are they, if you pardon my Roman.
1. There were no trapdoors, secret passages or hidden weapons.
2. There was carpet in the cupboard yet none in the rest of the porter cabin.
3. And the broken vial which the poison was originaly in didn't show any glass stuck in the carpet.
Lodders went outside to report back to his commanding officer and I followed him leaving Robin with the pictures and the room to herself. We spoke over the phone and were arranging to speak to the builders to see if they saw anything when Robin burst out and shouted, "The dimensions are wrong!"

That afternoon we went to see the Crime Scene photographer who showed us his qualifications proving he was an official photographer. Half way through our interview he had to leave the room to answer a call giving I and Robin the time to have a proper look at the camera. I put down my pencil case, which contained all my tools, and started to take it apart.
"You see Robin," half muttered with a screw driver in my jaw. "When I first started on the paper it was taking photos and researching which, hand me the spanner will you, means I can strip a camera in three minuets flat."
"And I," replied Robin. "Can build a toaster in one and a half minuets."
"Well anyway if memory serves this lens is wrong."
"Yes, it should be a 33' spec ordinary but by the looks of things," peering closer to it. "It's an acropolis lens which magnify things so a four foot high body could fit into a two foot cupboard because it reidrects the view."
"We need to know the people who had access to the camera and can work out who swapped lenses!" cried Robin who realised she had worked out the main lead for this baffling case! 

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

The Greek Camera

I and Robin sat in the waiting room outside my bosses, Lawrence Brooks, office. He had summoned us straight from the train, most likely to give Robin her welcoming speech. The reading material was rubbish, just old editions of the Pavilion Paper. After an hour I got bored and unlocked the door with the spare key I kept just at the point Lawrence walked in. He sighed and beckoned us in, to which we followed. He sat down and threw a portfolio at me. I opened it and saw many photos of a lady who looked as if she had been poisoned lying in a small walk in cupboard. The door had been disconnected and a few things had been pointed out, I handed the portfolio to Robin who scanned through it. Brooks got to business, "Right then, the picture as you've presumably noticed shows a women lying dead in a walk in cupboard which suggests she's committed suicide. However she couldn't have got in as there wasn't any sign of entry on the security cameras or the alarm system. We want to know how she got in there."
"Right and which officer will I be working with?" Said I.
"Sergeant Lodsbury, is that ok?"
"Sure I'll work with old Lodders!"
Robin looked bemused.

We went to the building site, where the porter-cabin the lady had been in, later that afternoon. The porter cabin was in line with the road on the other side of the fence that marked out the building site so the road was to the left side.  Directly to the right of the porter cabin was an old manhole that I noticed was covered in rust that had spread off it however I noticed a break in the rust probably because of the building work. We walked in and saw Lodders peering into the cupboard, for those who don't know me and Lodders went to university together to study law and was crucial in the solving of one of my first cases. He pointed at the door and sent a man out. The sergeant was pleased to see and it was only Robin who didn't seem happy, muttering something about if only we were Scotland and then she could have the old connections.

Monday, 14 January 2013

Gravity Chasers (part 4)

Ark laid the first automaton down on the oak table as Will pulled out his toolbox. Liz and Quintus were flying the ship which was evident as they were rocking all over the place. Ark took a can opener from the toolbox and stripped the panels away from the armature. They then pulled out all the cogs and automated sections so all was left was the armature and the head. They pulled everything out of the head and put another layer on the glass to make it more secure, then a rubber sealing on the bottom only just big eough to fit a head through. The armature was adapted to hold a body and cylinder holding oxygen was put inside the helmet. Then they arrived at the entrance of the triangle.
They put the suit around Liz and then screwed it tight, next they applied each panel seperately and melted the gaps over to stop any air getting in. Then they put the helmet on and bolted it down. Connecting a chain to hold it on they let her out of the airlock and she was falling!

Will ran to the control panel and started the engines again as it flew through the cloud covered skies making it impossible for Will to see. Slowly the message started to come through the system that Quintus designed and Ark plotted in the co-ordinates. The propellers, surprisingly, propelled the vessel towards a small island in the middle of the triangle and the ship began to land. the landing pads came out with some advanced shock absorbers on. The team jumped out with there flashlights and started to explore. First however they released Liz from the suit which she described as the most fun thing she's done since being chased by all the marketers back at the old Port. For many hours they roamed through marshes, swamps, forests and grasslands until they found a cave. Inside the cave was a shining mechanism and the secrets it held were amazing but it told Ark something he needed to know. And the results of this fact led him on an amazing journey to a distant place with a penguin who thought he was a parrot and involved being chased by the nine iron lords of the tanklor district. But that is a story for another time!

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Gravity Chasers (part 3)

It was obvious that Ark was revelling with this news. It was hard not to be if you had been in his shoes but what really suprised Liz was how Will reacted. She almost collapsed when he sprang from his silent pose and leaped to the big leather chair on the curved track behind the computer and pirate ship like turing wheel. Liz ran to her position and turned the pressure valve. You could hear the air squeak and then rush into the balloon. The rubber squeaked as it expanded and then the rickety rack of the propeller moving back and fourth on the track, as it spun. The tickering of the wings as they started to flap was first tiny and slow but then imense and fast. The vessel flew with speed as Ark sat down at the table. Quintus brought over the charts and map and Ark started calculating. With the lighter that Quintus had given her she lit all the candles. It was a strange lighter. You inserted the match in to the the small hole after lifting the lid up. Then you pull down the lever a few times like striking a match. Once lit you raise the handle up, the match comes up and you take it out and light things. Will continued to fly the ship to a random place. And then Ark said something,
"Acording to Quintus we need to find the randomiser contraption. A device that makes things of imagination actually happen. This being what my father was apparently testing when he went misssing. However the device is on island in the centre of a triangle of stormy weather. Navigating will be impossible."
"Unless.." Said Liz.
"Unless we had someone out there relaying information to us about what's going on."
"I guess that'll be me won't it," said Liz.
"That's what I was thinking."
"But how?" Asked Will.
"Ah that's where Quintus comes in, you see as we already know there were six designs and Quintus is number five. So if you can rebuild number one, the biggest, to some designs Quintus just drew we can convert it into an air suit which we will use as a device that'll keep you alive in high altitude."
"Right, let's do this," said Will.

And with that they invented the air suit, a genius contraption for keeping people alive in high altitude. And then they carried on their adventure.

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Gravity Chasers (part 2)

"A what-omaton?" cried Liz.
"An automaton!" said Ark.
"What's an automaton?"
"It's a posh word for an automated robot," replied Will, " And by the looks of things it's broken."
"Reckon you can fix it, Will?" Asked Ark.
"Think so but I'll need the tools we have on board.

With that the crew and the robot made their way to their flying vessel, where the trapdoors were pulled closed and the engines turned to extended hover. The tools clanked as Will worked them into his strange system. He replaced some of the chipped broken cogs and the pistons that operated it's jaws and arms, he pulled out and cleaned. The legs were the hardest to fix, powered by hydraulic pumps it was confusing but fixed soon after. Then came the head. First he detached the bucket and polished the glass. Next he replaced the valves on the bunsen burners that lit the eyes up. He repaired a clever device that he had found in the robots head and observed the device starting to send pulses through electrodes to it's mouth. Then he screwed the bucket back on, riveted the plates back on and it was done. The others gathered round and it was Ark who broke the silence. "Five."
"Five?" asked Liz
"Yes, father invented six robots and this I'm very sure is number five."
"Well," interrupted Will, "That would explain why it's vertabrae features the five from a die. Now if we can fill all these sockets which I believe may bring it to life."
"With what?" asked Liz.
"Inside his chamber I saw devices which would do the job and using broken peices I've made a small replica," which he produced from his pocket, "all I need to do is connect an actual version to the ships power supply."
"Simples," said Liz.

A few hours later and a a lot of arguing the main table had a automaton power amplyfier connected to it. So now the device was ready. It made sense that the ship would fall rapidly when the process began so it was landed on the sea. Like a mad professer revelling over the creation of a monster, Will activated the engine. The lights blinked, the engines slowed and the propeller, which was slowly revolving, stopped dead. And then he sat up. A tinkering noise reverbrerated from the chest and a clicking noise started to grow and then the bunsen burners exploded in flame and the automaton rose. It fell to the floor and stood up, clicking. The plugs fell off and the lights and engines came back on. The automatons mouth started to clunk up and down and then the scratch of pin on vinel made it's sound. The voice that came out was soul rebuilding for Ark for it wwas that of his fathers.
"Ark if you are hearing this then something has gone wrong, either that or you've been very naughty snooping around where you've been told not to. I doubt that but you never know. Well anyway, I've been doing an experiment into a device that could bring our great city back but it all depends on a human test. It may be dangerous so I'm doing it far far away. Quintus, the automaton, will breif you on everything. And Ark, son, you are to recruit two other members, a captain and  a skipper, you are to be the navigator. To the captain you must give my hunting rifle, it holds all he could need. To the skipper your mothers lighter, it will light the worst darkness and you can have my sexton, maps and charts. Good look."
The children looked at each other, the robot looked at the children and they had a feeling that said, "Welcome to the greatest adventure of all."