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Letters and ink

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Letters and ink

Post  Keiju on Sun Nov 25, 2012 1:50 pm

The strange trough had been full nearly to overflowing when Mayden had discovered it. There were spotless white towels hanging from shining racks on the wall near it, matching the soft white floor coverings - rugs? - near the trough and in front of the long counter and odd-looking chair. A cautious test of the water in the trough revealed it to be warm, which surprised him. But, he knew well enough what to do in water-filled troughs like this.

Stripping out of his uniform was quickly managed and he emptied the trough a little by using the little bin near the odd chair to bale water into the bowl set into the counter. To his further surprise, the water he poured into the bowl quickly vanished, leading him to check beneath the counter for any leaks. That they were none only confused him, but he was not about to question the situation. Instead, he slipped into the trough and relished the luxury of having heated water for a wash.

The water didn't stay warm for long, though. Not that it really mattered. Mayden had cleaned himself up tolerably well. He levered himself out of the trough and grabbed for one of the towels hanging from the wall. Drying off took only a moment, then after a brief consideration, he wrapped the long towel about himself. He'd wash his clothes next, maybe. But first he felt game for a little exploring, before any of the officers turned up again.

The room nearest the one with the trough was only a sitting room, of sorts, so he ignored it. The next, however, had a desk and what looked like a writing slope. That was a good sign. Mayden padded across the carpeted floor for a closer look. On the desk was a weird block of metal with dozens of round pegs sticking up from it, and something near the top that reminded him vaguely of a printer's ink roller. A clean sheet of paper was stuck into the top of the metal block, curling under the ink roller piece.

"The bloody hell...?" Mayden dragged the desk chair over and nearly cursed when it did not drag but rolled along. He hesitated a moment, realising the chair was made from leather, then shook off his towel and folded it carefully to use as a cushion. Now having suitably protected the chair, he sat down, still a trifle warily, and poked at the metal block. The block's pegs had letters marked on each one, he noticed. What sort of devilry was it?

He pushed at one and nearly leapt out of his skin at the loud clack that erupted from inside the block. Maybe it was best to get out of here - but there was now a mark on the paper, he saw. The same letter as was on the peg he'd pushed at. Now that was interesting. Curious now, Mayden pushed at another peg, and again started at the sudden, sharp clack. There was a second mark now, right after the first, again the same letter as on the peg.

"Corr!" This was damned peculiar!

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