Saturday, January 30

Underby Addresses Corruption Scandal

The New Babbage Free Press received this statement today:

As should come as no surprise, I am the owner of many companies throughout our fair city.  For this reason, it would be near impossible for any business to transpire in this city, without my being involved to some capacity.  This is not corruption, this is the burden of being overly philanthropic.  The newspaper needs to sell paper and charges of corruption move units, that does not make a charge true.
Mr Osgoode Underby, Personal Assistant and Advisor to the Mayor

Thursday, January 28

Construction Corruption at the Top




New Babbage, NB — After an extended investigation, which lasted close to twenty-eight days, Town Hall has finally been officially designated as condemned by the city investigators, and scheduled for demolition.

"It is, indeed, a true shame that Town Hall could not officially open before it was scheduled for demolition."said Mr O Undorby to a representative of the Free Press earlier today, referring to the constant construction of the current Town Hall, which has been ongoing for the last two years, for unknown reasons.  When asked to comment on the unfinished state of the soon-to-be-demolished Town Hall, the assistant to the mayor chose to refrain from answering.

A source close to Town Hall, who asked to go unnamed, told a reporter from the Free Press that "the whole operation stinks" and that we should "follow the money trail".  Following this lead, the Free Press investigated the scheduled demolition company for Town Hall, Angry Eris Demolition of the Babbage Canals.  Ownership of the demolition company is recorded in city records as Thunderclap Holding Company.  Curiously enough, the principle shareholder of Thunderclap Holding Company is Mr O Undorby, the assistant to the mayor, Mosefano Tenk.

The Free Press decided to dig farther back and looked into O'Moloch Construction, the company responsible for the ubiquitous construction of the current soon-to-be demolished Town Hall, and found that the company was owned by a Maurice O'Moloch until five years ago, when O'Moloch mysteriously disappeared.  Ownership then transferred to the benefactor of O'Moloch's estate, curiously one Mr O Undorby, the assistant to the mayor, Mosefano Tenk.

Requests for comment have thus far been ignored by the office of the assistant to the mayor.

Wednesday, January 27

Wealthy Socialite Disappears in Bump




New Babbage, NB — Wealthy socialite Aldous Steamweaver, of the Palisade District, disappeared yesterday in the remote northern town of Bump.  He had allegedly travelled to the small town as an "elephant hunting" expedition, as the wealthy apparently refer to what is colloquially known as "slumming".

Steamweaver was traveling with his golfing partner, Efram Tripsa, who reported him missing after entering Bump Central Hotel, yet never exiting.  "[Aldous] went in to rent some suites for the two of us, and never returned.  After two hours or so I entered, enquiring as to his whereabouts.  The owners of the hotel fairly pretended he had never met Aldous!  I fear I am lucky to have escaped with my life!"

Rumors that unspeakable horrors take place  in the town of Bump have run rampant for years, though authorities have never officially investigated any disappearances.

Mrs E Crinkle of Babbage Square, of the New Babbage League of Social Welfare and Reform, claims this is another example of the jarringly different classes of our sooty city, "Many of our citizens have gone missing in Bump over the years, this is no secret... but not until a Steamweaver disappeared did it make the papers."

The New Babbage Militia is sending representatives to Bump to investigate the disappearance of Aldous Steamweaver further.  Captain Hienrix could not be reached for comment, as she is currently on an expedition to the far north.

Sunday, January 24

Frigid Temperatures Plunge Further



NEW BABBAGE, NB — The mercury all around the city has dipped well below average temperatures for this time of the year, reaching a record low late in the afternoon today, causing worry to some citizens.

Both young unfortunate urchins, who wildly roam the city streets in surprising droves, and the perpetually confused, are particularly susceptible to plummeting temperatures at this time of the year, according to an official at City Hall.  The official also added that the best solution to combating the weather is to simply stay indoors, and citizens should 'take extra care bundling and not move from the extremes of fireside temperatures to outdoors too quickly to reduce shock and stress.'

A local doctor, however, suggests an alternate method: imbibing of strong liquors.  Dr S Thornly, originally of Coney Island NY, suggests 'alcoholic liquor is scientifically proven to raise body temperature and sharpen senses', both which, he claims, are useful tools against the biting cold.

The mayor's office asks citizens to be on the lookout for His Imperial Majesty Ezra II during the cold snap, as he has a tendency to fall asleep in snow drifts whilst inspecting local gutters.

Friday, January 22


I saw you place the flowers on mother's grave. I told you you were NEVER to visit! the canal still counts.  Stay away, cad. —Eugenia
L.- The pies are not human flesh, but they taste just the same.
Tinies! Tiny furballs everywhere! They want our waffles.
"Wretch" - come take me. — LV
CROSSEYES - will be in the park with friend on Saturday afternoon.  Bring money, or all will go south.
Ezra, we can't live forever. Why waste the time we have left? —A
P-I hate lying to you, but you are my only friend. You can't read this anyway. —C
Thank you for that mark at the Bucket, they would have broken my legs. —RD
All is forgiven; I will explain
Deer-how about the sacredness of your marriage vows now? I see your marriage announced. signed, JEERS
RB get out of town —everyone
This Sunday afternoon at the Sparrow? Same as usual.
Thou shall not steal —Bloom
Those dogs must go! I can't stand them any longer!
I enjoyed your visit on Friday afternoon.  Let me know if you enjoyed my short visit. Write same place you know.  NAUGHTY BOY.
Count Bologna- Where are your peers, the Viscount Salami and the Baron of Beef-Dip?
F.M. should be strung up by his heels in the Market Square. All the church fathers should be.  I believe in the Builder, level be thy plane, but the church is corrupt.
Eyebrows, hoping to see hide or hair of you soon — Hair Dye
Call and see the doctor at 999
EJ: i got new rope, bring me the ______—KF

Thursday, January 21


WANTED:   Landscape gardener for extensive installation and maintenance of hotel grounds.  Apply noon to 2pm to Lady J. Moldylocks at Essex House Hotel, Wheatstone Waterways.  References required.

Orderlies needed for Murgam Asylum.  Must be strong and able to follow instruction.  Contact Dr Vartarian, Murgam Asylum, 33 New Street, Wheatstone Waterways.

WANTED:  Young strapping lads willing to perform strenuous manual labor, no questions asked.  Must be discrete.  Contact Dr M Miggins, Jefferson Way Mortuary, Babbage Square.

NEED: Bottle of Chateau d'Yquem Sauternes wine 1787, unopened.  Willing to pay a princely sum!  Contact R Bologna at Essex House Hotel, Wheatstone.

From AZ to LK

Wednesday, January 20

Kidnapping Cannibal Stalks Street Unfortunates

Artist's rendition of the fiend, based upon eye-witness accounts - illustration by Myron Bleek




New Babbage, NB — The frigid and bleak streets of New Babbage have been perpetually jeopardous for the throngs of youths who make their homes there, but recently the dangers have increased tenfold, as news of a kidnapping fiend stalking the city's unfortunates hit the streets.

"He's huge and he stuffs them in a sack." said a youth named Petra Flack, earlier today.  "His face is all corpsey, and he's got weird green eyes, he smells like woobaloo's backside."

Most recently a street youth known as "Unlucky Emily" was snatched in public, from amongst a group of approximately twenty of the unfortunates.  Weeks earlier, a sea-faring lad named  Swift Will was snatched from the Gangplank Public House in Clockhaven, this time amongst adult witnesses who put up little fight, though their senses were no doubt muddled some by the drink.

Most public speculation seems to agree that the fiend consumes the children he kidnaps.  "Oh, he eats them for sure.  One time he kidnapped a kid . . . then his bones were found in the tunnels." commented a young unfortunate named Marteel, earlier today.  "He is very open about it." said Mr J Wreet to the Free Press.  "He's a monster.  I tried to stop him [at the Gangplank Public House] but he threw me aside like a toy."

Others in the city have different ideas of what the fiend does with the children.  "It is clear to me that this gentleman is using the filthy little scamps as slave labor." said Father O Moonwoll of the Church of the Builder.  "They would be much more valuable in that capacity, than as sustenance.  Have you seen any of them?  Most are skin and bones, yet one little porker waddles these streets daily, seemingly unmolested.  If dinner was the cad's intention, that round one would have been first on the menu."

This fiend has kidnapped several of the youths over the years, seemingly without any resistance from the powers that be in the city.  "T'is a class problem, plain and simple.' said Miss P Prim, of the New Babbage League of Social Welfare and Reform to a reporter of the Free Press.  She continued: "Had these children been the offspring of the city's wealthy and elite, there would be a public outcry, but since these children are orphans, and often seen as a nuisance by the populace, it is swiftly brushed under the rug."  When asked whether she thought city officials were secretly in favor of the fiend, Miss Prim chose not to comment.

Iron Staircase Stolen




New Babbage, NB — The spiral iron staircase leading up to the Iron Bay Terminal tram stop, at the end of the Brunel line in Coronet Gardens, was absconded with recently.

Nobody seems sure when exactly the staircase went missing.  "I noticed it about a week ago." said a gentleman who wished to be known by the non de plum of Count Ballona.  "I use that staircase to come and go from the Bucket [of Blood] across the way there.  One day it was just, poof, gone."

Mr T Stanhope from the New Babbage Department of Transportation said to a reporter from the Free Press earlier today: "It'd be a [REDACTED] job getting one of them staircases off, especially with nobody seeing.  I mean, it was right across from your newspaper's office, did you see anything? Impressive."

Some citizens see this as an indication of a growing trend in municipal affairs.  "Ever since that fire at the Town Hall, and Mr Undrby moved his office to a tavern, all of a sudden there's corpses on the canals, staircases are disappearing, what's next?" said a citizen of Coronet Gardens who wished to remain nameless.  Mr Undrby was unavailable for comment at the time of publishing.

That the staircase was being melted down for ammunition in a looming gang war is still unconfirmed by the New Babbage Militia at this point, but the Free Press will continue to monitor the situation.

Sunday, January 17

Letters To The Editor:

To whom this may concern,

I was reading through some recent editions when I noticed you spelled the same man's name in two different ways. In the article about the giant spiders, you mentioned a "Mr. O Unterby," while the article concerning City Hall spelled it as "Mr. Undorby." 

How did you manage that? 

Sincerely, Rigby H. Copperhead

P.s. For the record, I believe the gentleman's name is actually spelled "Mr. Underbite." 

—  —  —  —  —

Dear “Free Press Boob”,

Your humble letter writer was an eye witness to the recent New Years Day City Hall Affair, as the plebs on the streets are referring to it, and would wish to correct whomever “wrote” said article, if such a piece can be said to be written.  The two masked heroes called their names to the throngs below, quite clearly from their window of danger: BLUE BLOOD AVENGER.  Not “Blood Avenger” as you erroneously reported, making that hero of our times, a bright beacon to the rather wretched urchin population, into something akin to a grave-dwelling ghoul.

Bad form, sir!

Count Rex Maximilian von Bologna

—  —  —  —  —

Dear Free Press,

All these horrid stories lately of fire bombings, giant spiders, sea monsters in the harbor… What about a pleasant story now and then?  Does nobody save cats from trees anymore?  Does the Emperor not save children anymore?  Does the Church only perform exorcisms and funerals?  Are there no weddings?  Or does that not sell newspapers?

Mrs Edwina Gleet
Babbage Canals

—  —  —  —  —

Hey dumb[REDACTED] editor,

I saw you there when you were reporting about that sea monster in the harbor. Who the [REDACTED] said anything about it eating human flesh?! The [REDACTED] kept stealing kelp off that [REDACTED] oriental food place. AND your pencil. I guess that's the reason for the human flesh [REDACTED], the you must be [REDACTED] off about the loss of your precious [REDACTED] pencil.
Oh, and don't publish my name in the papers, or ELSE.

(name withheld upon request)

Photograph Taken of Clockhaven Harbor Horse




CLOCKHAVEN, NB — A photograph was recently taken by an anonymous source which allegedly depicts what has been dubbed the Clockhaven 'Harbor Horse' by eye witnesses.

The photograph, which is now known as 'the Doctor's photograph', is rather grainy and blurry, yet distinctly shews a dark object seemingly moving through the frigid murky waters of Clockhaven Harbor in broad daylight.  Two appendages can be made out on top of what is purported to be the creature's head—the 'ears' or 'horns', those who have spotted the mysterious creature have marveled at how the beast resembles a land horse, resulting in its moniker of the 'Harbor Horse'.

Sightings of the creature have reportedly gone back decades.  The earliest recorded sighting being in 1792, when the creature was alleged to have leapt from the brine of the harbor and lumbered up Doagrun Road on paddled legs, where it reportedly battled a clockwork bear in Market Square.  The end results of that battle are hotly disputed by historians.

Dr T Frang, New Babbage zoologist, denies the existence of the Harbor Horse.  "If such a creature existed, I would know about it.  Believe me, I would love for it to exist.  My granny used to keep me awake at night with stories of the Harbor Horse, but it's sadly a myth." he stated to the Free Press earlier today.  When asked for an opinion on the photograph, he responded: "It's a submersible of some sort.  They are all the rage these days."

Citizens have been besieging the harbor with harpoons since news of the photograph broke on the streets days ago.  None agree on exactly what the creature may be, but all seem to agree it will probably be delicious.  "Anything's an improvement on wiggyfish." said Horace Franklin, of Coronet Gardens, to the Free Press.

Reports that the alleged creature feasts solely on human flesh have remained unconfirmed at the time of printing.



  • The Bucket of Blood is looking for bartenders - all shifts.  Must be able to handle themselves, and keep unruly crowds in check.  Bringing your own club is a benefit.  Contact Miss Medusa Jones at 5 West Abney Parkway
  • VOLUNTEERS NEEDED URGENTLY FOR SAFE MEDICAL TESTING - money to be made, no danger whatsoever.  Contact Dr S Thornley, #12 Fairbairn Street
  • Young and attractive ladies are needed to work as entertainers in private events for gentlemen of means.  If you are skilled in one of the fine entertainment arts (dancing, singing, etc) and are not one to fade, Mr. Nicholas Herding would like to meet you to discuss further your opportunities for his upcoming season of popular shows.  Send inquiries directly to Mr. Herding.
  • FROM BR 2 SM: 20.8.5 — — — 23.1.19 — 19.21.16/ — 20.15 — —

Friday, January 15

Cemetery Heartlessly Emptied Onto Canal




Babbage Square, NB — It is not easy to rest in peace when your terminal resting spot is being dug up and place out to cool on ice, as the many permanent residents of the Babbage Square Cemetery recently found out.

"Pretty routine operation, actually." said Mr R Feldman, of the New Babbage Parks Department to a reporter from the Free Press earlier today.  "It's tougher to get the ground open at this time of year, but that's offset by the benefit of being able to use the Grand Canal as a holding area."  When asked the reason for the removal of the bodies, he refrained from commenting.

Many citizens, however, have their own theories.  "I have no doubt that the magical properties of the grave dirt are being exploited on the black market." said a Mrs P Foxhouse, of Coronet Gardens, while a Mr T Grapehead of Babbage Canals believes, "It's got something to do with zombies, I bet.  They likely found out the ground was poisoned with something, and if they didn't change the first people would rise as zombies.  Oldest story in the world."

A representative from Town Hall has informed the Free Press that the reburials will begin presently, and should be finished before thaw.

Thursday, January 14

Letters to the Editor Welcome!

The New Babbage Free Press will feature a 'Letters to the Editor' section, should the volume of mail received prove necessary.

Please send any comments, letters, statements, advertisements, and/or briefs to The New Babbage Free Press, #5 Abney Parkway West, New Babbage NB, or to

Killed By Spiders!




New Babbage, NB — Some heed is now being paid toward Mad-Tongued Moe, who regularly accosts sightseers along the Port area with his often bizarre predictions of doom and plague.  For, recently, with yet another wave of vermin infestation ravaging the city, his rantings are seeming to take on a decidedly more realistic tone.

Readers, this reporter is certain, do not need to be informed that the new threat is of an arachnid nature; the city is fairly abuzz with rampant rumor concerning recent events.  The New Babbage Free Press has struggled valiantly to separate fact from fancy, amongst all the hyperbole.

Dr M Muggins, New Babbage City Coroner, has confirmed that the recent deaths were due to a combination of arachnid venom poisoning, and acute blood loss.  'I will agree that these deaths were due to what appear to be spider bites, but I refuse to speculate on the alleged size of these [redacted] spiders.' Dr Muggins was quoted as saying, earlier today.

The size of the arachnids in question is the heart of much of the speculation running rampant in the saloons and public houses of the city.  

One alleged eye witness to the size of the arachnid described a bizarre encounter to the Free Press: 'Yes, I met the spider ... she was very very nice. She spoke to me, I was so honored to meet her.  She was big.  Real big.  Like big big.' said a young unfortunate named Petunia, to a reporter from the Free Press at an earlier date.  She recounted that another unfortunate, known only by his street name of Low Key, who dwelled in an ersatz dwelling in the sewers beneath Clockhaven, was driven from his home by the vermin.

Mrs U Flaxenbrass, of Prince Dakkar Blvd in Clockhaven was more appalled to discover young children were camping out beneath the streets, than she was to hear about the vermin. 'Think about it, eating down there, playing down there... good lord, have you seen how they play? That's city water down there, the very thought revolts and repulses me ... those spiders? No, I don't believe they exist at all.  It's all a false flag operation for the Unterby office at City Hall, that's how it works around here.'

Mr O Unterby of City Hall was not available for comment at the time of publishing.  There has been no indication as to when the arachnid infestation might be brought under control.  The Free Press will stay on top of this story as it continues.

City Hall Condemned




NEW BABBAGE, NB —  The new year rang in on a sour note in central New Babbage, as City Hall erupted into towering flames, choking the skies with pungent acrid black smoke.  Curiously, simultaneous with the fire, City Hall was likewise barraged by torrential flooding.  Officials seem at a loss as to explain what exactly happened.

Witnesses report seeing smoke bellowing from a third floor window, while some also reported an airship looming in the skies overhead.  Miss F Bucksimbodom, secretary to Mr O Undorby, assistant to the Mayor Mr M Tenk, was quoted by the Free Press as saying, 'I heard some odd sounds in Mr Undorby's office, some thumping ... [My Undorby] was already very agitated because he thought someone broke into his office earlier this week.'

Miss Bucksimbodom, and others, stated that a masked duo allegedly appeared to assist with the evacuation of the rapidly deteriorating building.  The two apparently went by the sobriquets of "The Night Crusader" and "The Blood Avenger", and opinions vary amongst eyewitnesses as to the authenticity of the pair's attempts at assistance.  A Mrs M Vanderklampt of Wheatstone said, 'The two seemed to be escaping the fire, not assisting with the evacuation.' while a Mr R Bladderstick of no fixed address said, 'Dey call down ter us all, waved real nice, said ev'rytin' would be dandy, made me feel lots better, it did.' [sic]

City Hall has, for the time being, been considered condemned.  All official business will be conducted at offsite locations.  Mr Undorby was unavailable for comment at the time of publishing.

Wednesday, January 6


BECKLES — after a most unfortunate accident.  Mrs Octavia Beckles, née Gloomp,  a member of the New Babbage League of Social Welfare and Reform, died earlier this week after slipping on ice on her way to a service call.  She is survived by her husband Waldo, her strange daughter Willow, and a cat named Irony.  Service will be held at the Cathedral of the Builder this Friday, officiated by Father V Vorpal.

BUNN — in agony, due to spider bite(s).  Benjamin Bunn, relatives unknown, was attacked by spiders and succumbed to either venom or blood loss.  Funeral will be held on Friday, officiated by Tepic Harlequin.

CONNER — death by misadventure.  Mr Conner, first name unknown, was found dead on an incoming train to New Babbage.  He is thought to have died by poisoning.  He will be buried in pauper's grave.  No funeral service.

DOE — in agony, due to spider bite(s).  Junior John Doe, birth name unknown, was attacked by spiders and succumbed to either venom or blood loss.  He will be buried in pauper's grave.  No funeral service.

FRANKLIN — suddenly, in Coronet Gardens.  Harland Franklin, pugilist, died earlier this week after ingesting seventeen glasses of Foggy Dew at the Bucket of Blood.  He is survived by his mother, Mildred Franklin, and a monkey named Waldo.  Funeral will be held on Monday at the Cathedral of the Builder, and will be officiated by Father V Vorpal.

WALLACE — death by misadventure.  Mr Wallace, first name unknown, was found dead on an incoming train to New Babbage.  He is thought to have died by poisoning.  He will be buried in pauper's grave.  No funeral service.