It's big. I really ought to turn around and be polite. As soon as I've recovered a pulse.
And checked the condition of my my small clothes.
It did offer tea nicely....mayhaps it will have biscuits too?
I turn to face the Beast from the Deep. It appears at first--well, second---glance on this moonlit night, to be, indeed, a whale. Rather whaley shaped, all sausage like and that.
Rather odd about the greenish glowing lights ringing the top of its body, though.
And the railing, on which the lights are set. Yes, it's a railing...perhaps it's a narwal.
And I've just observed that where there ought to be a blowhole---there's a damned (pardon) big blowhole.
Frankly it seems to have a round lid or top that has been pushed off, more green glowing light coming out of it, and I dare say it's big enough to allow two people to climb through.
Actually, I'm positive it's big enough to allow two people to climb through because there ARE two people standing up there, and I'm starting to suspect it was one of them offered me tea.
My suspicions are correct--I think its a narwhal.
Hmmm. The shorter of the two people has just dropped something....and it make a big metally noise. Nope, narwhals are not metal. This is not an creature...it's a vessel of some kind.
The shorter of the two people sets up a plaintive wail...sounding like a fussy little old woman, someone's aunt. She is "oh dear"ing and "drat there goes the kettle"ing.
And if that is her kettle that she just dropped....it is now down the side of the metal ship. I call for the Ambassador to come over from the boxes and bails and witness this. And I wonder if Cook let the hard tack get moldy in that special way and if I need a lie down.
I hold up a lantern. There is indeed a kettle shaped thing. Basically kettle shaped. It seems to be encircled, like the globe in Father's study, by a series of criss crossing metal bands. Each of these little bands has many tiny "foot" (I cannot truly see what they are in this light) all around their rims of the bands.
And as the bands rotate, with a quiet hum and steady clickings, somehow, around the kettle, the little feet touch the ship with a "sluck-pop" sound, and the kettle comes strolling vertically back up the side of the ship, to its owner on the topside.
"There's a dear," the Auntie croons. She looks up and sees us, straightens her self and her uniform, (a Royal navy uniform, with an apron and lace cap), and announces:
"Ahem. You must prepare to be boarded. Yes, this is the Clockwork Caledonian, and you are being commandeered by our Captain, Mistress Sophia Von Strumpf D'Azure McCharraigin. Your ship has something she needs in her Nefarious Plot (copyright pending) toward World Dominance (that's pending too) through Modern Science, Logical Reason, Steam, Gears, Scots and....and tidiness!" The tall cloaked woman standing next to her clipped her on the ear with the back of her hand.
"All right, no need for that. I still say even World Domination looks better with doilies, that's all."
Those of us on the deck of the Queen of Tortuga, and peered into the green lamp light for a view of this "Mistress Sophia". Let's see this nursery maid who thinks she can sway the cool mind of the Master Johnny Tar, let's see what temperance-toothed granny is under that cloak and tricorn..
oh my. That was more than I expected to see.
I've seen some amazing garb in the Ambassadors trunks, but...really.
I didn't know they could make garments out of braided leather.
If that is a garment.
I'm not sure a belt counts as an outfit.
No matter how much you wrap it around.
Someone better keep the Ship's Master below deck. And the ship's surgeon. Maybe even that cabin boy.