1 August 1937
Capt. Alastair Hawkesworth
HMAS Richard Lemon Lander
My Dearest Alastair,
For the first time in far too long, I write with confidence that you will actually receive this letter relatively soon after I put pen to paper. I am sending it, along with my previous missives, in the care of Mr. Jamison, who as you know is Lord Tybalt’s man and an Britannic officer in his own right. He is taking command of the regrettably named Snargle’s Revenge, as well as a newly captured airship of similar design which my companions have sadly chosen to rechristen as Snargle’s Fury. I shall relate the tale of that brave deed presently.
After our difficulties on Mars Aetheria, we made the reacquaintance of a former companion, Dr. Celeste Oceana. She assisted in the removal of a plague of “ether worms” (I suspect you know of these creatures; in case you have not, I shall not describe them, so as to spare your dreams from the images I cannot remove from my mind).
In addition, we captured a significant quantity of Spanish weapons, including several handheld energy weapons (“rayguns” as some of my comrades called them. While there are few who can compare to my good companions in courage, loyalty or skill, it must be said that their vocabularies are at times regrettably lacking). Also, we captured two examples of a weapon that I believe is quite familiar to you: a surface-to-air missile. I have been experimenting on one of the missiles. I believe I can modify it from a heat-seeking weapon to instead seek out the telltale etheric disturbances of a Tesla Drive. This would make it a fearsome weapon against enemy airships.
In my spare time, of which there is never enough, I also continue to sketch out designs of a new weapon for which I have high hopes: radium-enhanced explosive Tesla Ray grenades. I can promise you that they will be quite spectacular in effect once I have perfected them.
In any event, after that incident, and once our two vessels were fully resupplied, and repaired as best they could be given the time and facilities available, we again set off on the Marinaris Path. However, we were very quickly grounded by a massive dust storm. AS our repairs were hasty and incomplete, our ships were far from airtight, and the dust quickly covered every available surface. It was most unpleasant, as I am sure you can imagine.
While we were taking shelter from the storm (Marcus proved an able pilot; the usual pilot of the Lady Blackbird, Iris, has been training him and he performed excellently to both find adequate cover from the storm and maneuver us into it) we spotted, during a lull in the storm, a Spanish raider, of similar lines to the Snargle’s Revenge.
As they were not under cover from the storm, they could not see us, and we pressed our advantage. Marcus maneuvered us into range for Lord Tybalt to teleport to the enemy ship, and from there he performed his usual brilliant job of sowing confusion and destruction among the enemy. Once he had dispatched the lookouts aboard the enemy ship, Marcus piloted the Lady Blackbird directly above it, and then he, General Pickton and Elspeth transferred down.
As we were on the Path rather than normal space, there was a danger of my companions falling outside of the Tesla Field and thus being dropped back into normal space – and likely to their deaths. I went to Engineering and maintained the Tesla Field to ensure that my companions would not be lost, and indeed no one of them were, although Elspeth did have some difficulty boarding the enemy ship, and required the assistance of Marcus.
I then took position in the lower turret and prepared to use my weapon if the need arose, but it did not. The ship was captured, in large part due to the efforts of Lord Tybalt. General Pickton was shot and wounded, fighting bravely as befits a General in his Queen’s service, but he will make a full recovery. And Marcus performed the final act that ended the battle, cutting off the hand of a red-robed sorcerer who had attempted to use his magic to repel our attack.
We then had two prisoners to interrogate; the aforementioned red-robed sorcerer, and the ship’s Captain, a man named Reyes. Captain Reyes proved to be relatively honorable, and his logs and other correspondence was of great value to us. It came out during his questioning that he has no love for the red-robed sorcerers who now control the Spanish Empire, and who are responsible for the destruction of our homeworld.
This was confirmed when Lord Tybalt and Marcus questioned the sorcerer, who gave his name as Del Toro. He, and his fellows, are not Spanish, but in fact are Hyperborian – a people dating from pre-history; from the same era as Atlantis, to be precise. Their goal is the reestablishment of their civilization, and the destruction of any potential rivals; hence their attack on homeworld.
Much was learned from him, including the actual location of the Spanish homeworld. A wide variety of magical books and objects were captured as well – including a powerstone with which I plan to experiment. I have great hopes on that front.
Del Toro did not survive his interrogation; he willed his own death, but not before providing us with more intelligence in one day than we have learned in the entire war thus far. This information provoked great debate amongst us; there is now some question whether we can defeat the Hyperborians without having to fight a final war of extermination against the full Spanish Empire. I feel somewhat vindicated by all we learned; you may recall my words immediately after our escape from homeworld as it died:
“Equally, though, the powers to commit such an act must rest in the hands of a few; such powers can only be obtainable at frightful personal cost, and any who would seek and use such powers must be fearful of everyone they see, and must live in terror that their powers might be turned against them.
All this is to say that our enemy is likely not the entire population and men-at-arms of the Spanish Empire, but the handful of men at its heart. We cannot hope to conquer an entire world or defeat navies with ten thousand ships and armies with a million men; but we can certainly identify and defeat a cabal of madmen who must sleep with eyes open and who can ultimately trust no one.”
Mr. Jamison is leaving now, headed back to Tudor with all possible haste. He carries copes of the Spanish logs as well as all the information we learned from Captain Reyes and Del Toro. I cannot for obvious reasons discuss anything further in this letter, but I imagine you will learn for yourself soon enough.
As for myself and my companions, we now head to the Cloudlands to complete our mission, after which we shall return to Tudor – and perhaps thence on to the Spanish homeworld to take the fight to our enemy.
I shall look forward to our return to Tudor, to my reunion with you, and, perhaps, to us fighting together for our Queen and our Empire.
Until then, I remain your loyal friend,
Genevieve Chantal Therese de Lisieux Lamballe, La Reine du Le Cour d’Automne