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The Colossal
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#16
The Mystery of the Brass Vault: Entry 7
Nelso555
Dec 11, 2015
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No Plagiarism!wLDjsS7uHk0UvEfB5G7Tposted on PENANA

Elsie discovered that when following in her brother’s footsteps, another day simply meant another abandoned laboratory to examine. When she stepped off the Rosanne her first task was to perform Tilly’s errand, but in doing so she lost Floof. By this stage she couldn’t quite recall if she had brought him along in her backpack or if he had remained in her cabin. None of her companions seemed to know. Afterwards she met up with Professor Goodwin, who had failed to gain an audience with Mr. Backhaus, and instead begged Elsie and friends to accompany him to another one of the corporation’s labs. He explained that when RimTech was still active, they used a nearby warehouse to develop the bulk of their technology. From afar, above the entrance of the warehouse, Elsie read the block letters: Research Institute of Mechanical Technology.copyright protection85PENANAIh0D4uZdzO

The warehouse, much like the laboratory at Gamma Base, was abandoned and dusty. It was so huge, but so quiet, that all of Elsie’s footsteps sang echoes right through, and when Mr. Adams tossed an old spanner from a table the sound sent a dozen pigeons flying off from the rafters. The entire place had an eerie atmosphere. It seemed a graveyard for machines. Giant steel arms were craned upon the floor like dead spiders, and massive conveyor belts were stopped in motion, still littered upon with bolts and screws.copyright protection85PENANAe6zRp2Kxws

They split up again, in order to cover more ground; Doctor O’Donnell and Mr. Adams went down to the factory floor, while Elsie and Professor Goodwin examined the office, which was essentially just a square box that overlooked the entire factory, and just like Gamma Base, it was filled with paper, and a great deal of it was merely forgotten research notes. Then Elsie found something interesting upon the wall, and said, “Look, it’s a work roster, and it has Charles Vandenberg’s name on it, and his signature!”copyright protection85PENANARxnncCYii5

Professor Goodwin turned around quickly and glared at her. “What did you say?” he demanded, softly, as if he were in some sort of trance.copyright protection85PENANAb1nbFsGEFf

Elsie recalled the journal that she had left sitting on the desk in her cabin; she had read a great deal more of it on her way to Edith Post, mostly information about the progress of Vandenberg’s experiments. She looked timidly down at her feet. “Charles Vandenberg,” she said. “I saw his name when we were at Gamma Base. According to his journal he used to work for you.”copyright protection85PENANAsUm2ML4xiB

“Well, yes, he did, but that was a long time ago now.”copyright protection85PENANAZa9mxlYvEh

“Oh, do you stay in touch often?”copyright protection85PENANABPjY0ZqGD6

Goodwin became grim, as if that dark cloud had suddenly returned. “I’m afraid he died in a terrible accident. That was a sad day indeed. I’m sure if he were alive we would have been the best of friends.” He moved over to the main desk. “But enough about old ghosts. I’m certain your brother hasn’t visited this base yet. See these documents? They’re crucial to our investigation. If Jack had found these he would have taken them. That being said, I’m still certain he is somewhere in Edith Post, and I’m suspicious that Mr. John Backhaus knows where.”copyright protection85PENANAW60j8M4djm

“What makes you say that?”copyright protection85PENANAPjwYF3kEzY

“His secretary told us he was in a meeting, however I checked her book, and it told me otherwise. He knows me, you see. Backhaus was eager to delay our meeting – he’s up to something.”copyright protection85PENANAWaOf9OezvS

Elsie moved over to the table and began sifting through some of the papers. She gasped when she saw what they were. “Good God, professor! These are schematics for bio-tech! I’ve never seen anything like this; hearts, lungs, is this a part of the brain? Were you really working on replicating internal organs?”copyright protection85PENANAFsZGL7sQlM

The professor gave a sombre smile. “RimTech accomplished some amazing feats, but the technology was never developed enough for proper use, sad to say. Arms were the easiest of our many challenges,” he flexed his brass fingers, “as you can see.”copyright protection85PENANAda6J9MNuqn

It was mid-afternoon when the team finished up with the warehouse, and Elsie felt the need to follow up on a hunch that had suddenly occurred to her. Before the day came to an end, she visited a local animal shelter to inquire about any large shipments, and, well, the rest of that story has been told.copyright protection85PENANAsmygCH5RhB

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