A Matter of Respect

The Fionswood Cemetery was a thoroughly modern solution to a truly ancient problem. As the City of Tarnhaven ballooned ever larger from the influx of people drawn across the nation by the industrial revolution, the graveyards and burial grounds quickly ran out of space. But the dead care not for the tribulations of mortals, and kept piling up without end. Eventually, the problem became so great action was required. After careful consideration a site outside the village of Fionswood, to the south of the city and much further from the coast, was chosen and a grand necropolis was constructed. Deceased Tarnhavenites of every species, culture and creed were accommodated in the carefully landscaped vistas, and their living loved ones were afforded every modern convenience, from heated chapels to gas lighting, there was even an ironroad connection direct to the city. Every day a steady stream of hundreds made the journey south, whether it was to their final rest or simply to visit those who had already departed. 

The cemetery represented something very different for Moren Galag, however, to him it had become an opportunity. The ragged canid watched the rest of his crew as they skulked around one of the lanes of gravestones as if none of them had actually listened to the plan. Like him, they had all once been disgruntled dockers who had drifted towards the petty criminal life, but he was the only one that had any ambition. He had been the only one to get fully behind old Tevar when he had got them the job fetching and carrying for the smugglers, and after the old bastard had… disappeared he was the natural choice for new leader. Now it was clear he was the only one of them who saw the deal they had been getting was skewed heavily against them, and naturally he had a plan to fix that.

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The fluorescent lights in the cell ceiling hummed into life and once again the routine began. As he heaved himself up from the hard slab that pretended to be a bed, he stared at the seamless white walls. ”Today”, he thought to himself, ”maybe today will be different.” He let out a sigh and tried to shake himself into some semblance of being awake. Soon enough, like every other day since he’d been imprisoned here, they’d force a tray of barely edible food through the slot next to the door and give him almost enough time to eat it before the guards would turn up to drag him away. Every day was the same, and everything was deliberately disorientating, the smallest event choreographed to place him on the back foot. The sad thing was, it had been working. Wherever this was, how long he had been here, even why he was being held had long ago faded away and become meaningless. All he had left was the blind hatred for his captors, and even that was beginning to wear thin. He was tired, tired of the routine, tired of what life had become, everything.

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The Aeolotropic Deduction

The Clerk edged his way through the double doors into the workshop. He would be the first to admit he had little knowledge of such things, but the heat and noise certainly met the stoat’s limited expectations of such a place. At first it seemed unoccupied, but hairy legs either side of a bushy foxtail poked out from underneath a large frame filled with brass gears and cogs. The Clerk politely cleared his throat.

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