Wednesday, January 30

Second Open-Skulled Corpse Discovered




NEW BABBAGE, NB — The second body with its skull sawn open to reveal exposed brain matter has been discovered in as many weeks.

The body was discovered by young Miss Z Thibido, late yesterday afternoon near Santos Dumont Park in the Babbage Square District.  As with the first open-skulled corpse, scientific experiments seem to have been inflicted on the corpse whilst still living.

'The experimentation on this corpse is much more pronounced and extensive.' stated city coroner Dr M Miggins, to a representative of the Free Press, and further stated, 'It appears whomever is performing these operations was interrupted the first time, but was able to finish whatever they were attempting this time.'

The coroner stated that he did not wish to harbor a guess on potential suspects, but suggested it would likely be 'someone noted to have taken a peculiar interest in the human brain.'

Announcement From Acting Mayor Underby

NEW BABBAGE, NB — Acting mayor Mr O Underby — in lieu of Clockwinder Tenk — issued a statement to the press, earlier today:

Citizens of New Babbage,
It is with a heavy heart that I must now divulge priveleged information which I had promised myself I would never reveal.  Though my reputation is, to my utter sorrow, apparently permanently tarnished in the eyes of many in this community, I have always considered myself a man of honor.  As such, I intended to take the information I am about to impart to my grave with me.  However, the recent actions of Mr Mornington, have left me little choice: the very reason for Mayor Tenk's prolonged absense is Mr Mornington himself.
As can come as no surprise to those who have recently been following Mr Mornington's climb from popular and wealthy hotelier to deranged despot, much has been weighing on the man's mind.  It would weigh on anyone's mind to know within your very soul to be the cause of the misery you claim to alleviate.
Those who know well our hardworking mayor understand he entertains certain quirks of character.  Most overlook these quirks, since the pros so obviously outweigh the cons, when it comes to Clockwinder Tenk.  Mr Mornington, in his zeal for power, took his recent Christmas Buffet as an excuse to direly insult the mayor, sending the small man into a powerful rage.  As his trusted assistant, I attempted to console and alleviate the insult, but it could not be undone.
Tenk fled the city, fit to be tied.  I was left with the responsibilty of acting mayor, which no doubt caused great umbrage to the assistant mace holder of the city.
Despite what many claim, I take my responsibility as acting mayor with utmost seriousness.  I understand that there are several who consider my methods heavy-handed, draconian, and dictatorial.  Sadly, after much reflection, I must agree with them.
It is with maximum humility that I must acknowledge that my curfew plan was met with widespread derision, and not without good reason. It was a plan drawn up under diress, after receiving a mountain of correspondence from disparate citizens demanding something be done about the recent horrors which have afflicted our fine city.  Plans created under such circumstances are rarely successful, this one least of all. 
The initial plan was for a brief curfew, which would give time to investigate these heinous crimes, and hopefully keep the population safe whilst doing so.  However, Mornington took the opportunity to use his underworld connexions (which had been rumored, though never confirmed) to attempt to cripple an already delicate situation, by demanding citywide labor strikes which caused much strife and prolonged the curfew efforts.  These are clearly not the actions of someone with the best interests of the city at heart.
 Mr Mornington discovered that the city of New Babbage is not crushed so easily, however, as most public houses around the city made the best of the situation, setting up cots and caring for citizens through the long winter nights.  Mr Mornington's reaction to this solidarity and ingenuity? To pronounce himself Prime Minister of his own sovereign land.
For my part, I now realize how sloppily put together the initial curfew Night Patrol was, and wish to rectify the situation, whilst it may still be possible.  I have dissolved the original Night Patrol effective immediately, and already sworn in a plethora of new peace officers, young bright-eyed and optimistic officers who wish nothing but to aid and assist this city, to get it back on its feet so that it may be in better condition than it was left by Mayor Tenk, when he ultimately arrives back.  With the cooperation of the citizens, I am certain this investigation can be cleared up in next to no time.
Mornington will pay for his actions when Tenk returns, so I urge citizens to not attempt to take the law into their own hands, and to indulge the assistant mace holder in his delusions until he can be safely dealt with.
Humbly, and with great Humility,
Mr Osgoode Underby, Acting Mayor of the City-State of New Babbage

Tuesday, January 29

Hotelier Claims Academy As Independent State




NEW BABBAGE, NB — Local prominent hotelier Mr V Mornington has declared the Academy of Industry as an independent township, having effectively seceded from the City-State of New Babbage.

The surprising move came as a reaction to the Acting Mayor's refusal to bend to the demands recently proposed by the Assistant Mace-Holder of the city, a move made possible through intricate bureaucratic manipulation of municipal bylaws.

'Mornington owns thirty precent of the area, there is precious little the acting mayor can do to counter such an act.  It is, technically, legal.' stated Mr E Pendergust of the New Babbage Department of Land and Holdings, to a representative of the Free Press.

Mr Underby was unavailable for comment, however his assistant Mr R Dorchester stated 'We shall see how long this farce can continue.  By Mr Mornington's own admission, his township is no longer part of the city of New Babbage, so the law implemented after the Obolenskydonia - which is, of course, a New Babbage bylaw - means nothing in the alleged township of Morningtown.'

Mr Dorchester did not wish to venture a guess as to how the acting mayor would react to Mr Mornington's move, but stated that if it were up to him, he 'would invade with extreme prejudice.'

Friday, January 25

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

Night Watch Valiantly Protects Citizens




NEW BABBAGE, NB — Wild and varying reports of attacks by a wild beast in the Babbage Square area inundated the office of the Free Press this morning.  According to sources, at least one large and terrifying animal rampaged, for an undisclosed amount of time, on city streets last evening during curfew.

Descriptions of the beast, by eye witnesses to the event, conflict drastically.  Some have described to reporters from the Free Press a man-shaped aquatic monstrosity, others a large mechanical rhinoceros, while still others depict the animal as a large creature of the lupine persuasion.

By all accounts, the lusus naturae was closely pursued through the dark quiet streets by members of the Night Watch, organized recently by upstanding acting mayor Mr O Onderby.  Several vollies of ammunition were discharged at the creature to keep it moving, resulting in some minor fires in the extreme — and potentially hazardous — clutter of the Port area.

'Couldn't help it, boxes and crates were everywhere.  We had to keep the monster moving toward the city gates.' stated Mr K Hoolihan, a member of the Night Watch.  Miss N Nimly, another member of the Night Watch, stated, 'Just goes to show that the Night Watch is necessary.  And those dock workers will get someone killed, if they keep this up.'

The dock workers went on illegal strike earlier this week, at the behest of wealthy citizen Mr V Morningtown, crippling the local economy and putting citizens at dangerous risk, should they choose to stroll through the increasingly congested area.  Mr Morningtown was unavailable for comment at the time of printing.

Thursday, January 24

Curfew Strife Cripples City




NEW BABBAGE, NB — Heeding the ultimatum issued on Tuesday by prominent hotelier, Mr V Mornington, the dock workers at the New Babbage Port have officially gone on strike, bottlenecking all shipments in and out via the Vernian Sea.

Barrels bobbing in the frigid waters of the Port indicate the dire levels this strike has already reached, as the entire Port District is in utter and complete disarray with mountains of crates, barrels, boxes, and trunks having clogged up what is already a thoroughly congested area of the city. 'This will only get worse as time crawls on, believe me.  Think about it, this has only been one day.' stated Mr R Douglas of Clockhaven, a dock worker in the 'Swing Shift' division of labor.

Miss N Nymlet, a member of the ad hoc New Babbage Night Watch scoffed at the labor dispute, stating, 'There's no way to please the working man, it seems.  Either they complain that they have to work nights, or that they are not allowed to.'  When asked by a reporter from the Free Press how this matter might be cleared up, she suggested, 'It could be easily rectified if they would only hire more day labor.'

When questioned on rumors of members of the Night Watch taking bribes from citizens to be allowed passage on the streets after dark, Miss Nymlet responded, 'No comment.'

Mr O Underby, acting mayor — in lieu of Clockwinder Tenk — has still refused to comment to the Free Press, but in what some believe to be a form of response to the strike has closed down Cuffs Public House at the corner of Savory Street and Abney Parkway, a well-known social meeting place for the dock workers of the area.  The reason for the closing has not been made public, however a source within City Hall has suggested tax evasion may be a cause.

Wednesday, January 23

Anarchist Group Hoax




NEW BABBAGE, NB — The supposed anarchist organization known as 'The Tiny Scallion Group' — which claimed responsibility for the bombing of the train tracks in the Fells, north of the city of New Babbage, earlier this month — has been discovered by agents from Terranova Investigations to be a total and consummate fabrication.

Mrs J Daggar — owner, proprietor, and chief agent of Terranova Investigations — has stated that the confessed bomber of the tracks, one Mr E O'Grady of Phaeton's Landing, confirmed after a thorough interrogation, that he was not, nor had he ever been, a member of any anarchist organization.

The guilty man further claimed that the name 'Tiny Scallions Group' meant nothing to him.  Mrs Daggar, after painstaking investigation has discovered that the name had formerly, and still currently, belongs to a women's cooking group, which focuses primarily on dishes containing green onions in some form.

'I had indeed wondered why my grandchildren should suddenly become so interested in Granny's omelet recipes.' stated Mrs E Gleet of the Canal District, Treasurer of the authentic Tiny Scallion Group, to a representative of the Free Press earlier today.

Mrs Daggar confirmed that Mr O'Grady admitted to having performed the heinous act at the behest of another individual, for active remuneration, but declined to offer a name to the press, stating that anything she said could possibly 'jeopardize the investigation, which is ongoing.'

City Rife With Political Insubordination




NEW BABBAGE, NB — Following the statement calling for citywide curfew made by acting mayor Mr O Underby — in lieu of Clockwinder Tenk, who is still unaccounted for — the city has erupted into outrage and indignation.

Citizens responded to the statement in a myriad of disparate manners, many by boldly marching en masse into the streets after dark, some by painting incendiary graffito on the walls of City Hall, and prominent hotelier Mr V Mornington issuing a stern ultimatum to the acting mayor.

Several arrests for curfew breaking were made, including a report that Her Royal Highness, Queen Victoria, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Empress of India, and Defender of the Faith, was amongst those incarcerated in makeshift holding cells.

Assaults and beatings by the ad hoc night patrols were also reported.  A feline, who identified himself only as Joojoo, described the scene he witnessed thusly, 'Sticking to rooftops I got a grand view of the chaos. Watched a gang of the night watch beat up a drunk until he spewed across the cobbles.  Jolly good fun.'  When asked what he thought the final outcome of this misery might be, the feline responded, 'If Underby is fired when Tenk returns perhaps he can apply with that Tiny Scallion Group, he created some right proper anarchy last night.'

Reports of the monarch of England currently residing in New Babbage, in custody of city workers or otherwise, have as yet been unconfirmed by the Free Press, at the time of printing.  Mr O Underby was unavailable for comment.

Tuesday, January 22

Curfew Ultimatum Posed




NEW BABBAGE, NB — The New Babbage Free Press was wired the following missive only moments ago, and immediately began to print a special edition:

Dear Citizens of New Babbage,
As some of you may know, our esteemed ACTING Mayor, Mr Underby, has put in motion a city wide curfew which starts at fall of night and ends upon daybreak.
As we all know, New Babbage is currently in the mid winter period, a season when the nights are extremley long, and the days very short.  I have been talking with the Port Authority gang workers and their foremen and they have assured me that if this curfew keeps going, the Port Authority will end up being held liable for spoiled good which are not able to make landfall due to this curfew our ACTING mayor has implemented.
Not only this, but the pubs, bars and restaurants of the city have now seen on average a 70% drop in takings over the past 2 days of this curfew as all of our nighttime revelers, employees, caterers and delivery gangs are not able to make their rounds.  This curfew is bankrupting the city!
As a concerned citizen of this city, and the owner of the largest bar and restaurant, i have sent out this missive to let the good township know that if ACTING Mayor Underby does not withdraw his Curfew by the evening of Tuesday the 22nd, that myself, and the patrons and restaurant visitors will purposefully break his curfew.   The port workers gangs have also shown an interest to go on strike as from Wednesday the 23rd and the workers at Hawksley Water Pump Station have also followed suit.
I will not have my bar go bankrupt due to the misguided attempts of a politician to wield his ACTING mayor powers!
Victor Mornington
Brunel Hall Hotel
The Hawksley Water Pumping Station

Acting mayor Mr O Underby — in lieu of Clockwinder Tenk — was unavailable for comment at the time of printing, however, his assistant Mr R Dorchester stated, 'The mayor's office will not be held responsible for any injuries incurred by seditious citizens.'

Anarchist Bomber Arrested




NEW BABBAGE, NB — A man was arrested at Doyle Place, in the Canal District, yesterday in connexion with the bombing of the tracks in the Fells, north of the City of New Babbage, on January 5.

The New Babbage Milita has not officially released the name of the suspect at the time of printing, but unnamed sources within the organization have unofficially named the bomber as one Mr E Grady, aged 29, of Phaeton's Landing.

Grady was arrested by Commodore Dagger of the New Babbage Militia at Ruby's Public House in the early evening yesterday, after some minor altercation.  Mr M Cutbush, bartender at Ruby's, was quoted as stating, 'He been in and out of here for two weeks near, get his self drunk and start heavily hinting about bombing the tracks. T'was no secret here.  Miss Dagger gave me a sawbuck to keep the drinks pouring into him, and he soon enough confessed outright to her. It were quite a show for the rest of us.'

Mr R Bladderstick, of no fixed address, who has imbibed with the accused on several occasions in the past, claims that Grady does not live permanently in New Babbage, stating, 'He got a room he stays in.  [He] works fer summan, [and] bragged 'bout how much he made for some job was mentioned in da papers and kep' hintin he was only waiting 'round for his next job.'

Mr Grady's connexion to the Tiny Scallion Group anarchist organization, if indeed there is one, has yet to be ascertained.  The Tiny Scallion Group claimed responsibility for the bombing earlier this month, in a statement addressed to acting mayor Mr O Underby, at City Hall.  Mr Underby was unavailable for comment at the time of printing.

Monday, January 21

Citywide Curfew In Effect




NEW BABBAGE, NB — After the recent slew of abominable murders within the city, acting mayor Mr O Underby — in lieu of Clockwinder Tenk — issued a statement to the press, earlier today:

Effective immediately, and until further notice is announced, a citywide curfew is to be put into effect.  Persons of all ages are to remain indoors after sundown, and remain so until sun up - no exceptions.  Any person, or persons, found roaming city streets without authorized permission (of which none will be granted) will be subject to immediate arrest and detention at Militia Headquarters until they can be tried for their crime, or the curfew is lifted - whichever occurs first.  It is for the protection of the citizens that this extreme measure has been taken, and we hope you will do your part to conform and protect one another in this abysmal period of the city's history.  —Mr O Underby

Mr Underby refused to answer any further questions for the Free Press at the time of announcing the curfew.

Saturday, January 19

Open-Skulled Corpse Abandoned




NEW BABBAGE, NB — A fresh corpse was discovered in the deep cold of late last evening, beneath the Tomahna Hall Bridge in the neighborhood of Coronet Gardens, the top of its skull lacerated with the brain beneath left exposed.

The body has been identified as one Mr D Stone, of Falun — a miner recently struck rich, taking in the pleasures of the big city — according to a source within the New Babbage Militia.

Robbery is not thought to be a motive, as the pocket book of the victim was found still upon his person, apparently unmolested; according to the source, the current suspected motive is medical testing, as the skull was expertly sawed open, and a syringe was found penetrating the bared organ.

'It would seem that whomever perpetrated this heinous crime was interrupted before they could finish whatever it was they started.' stated the source, who wished to remain nameless.

Dr M Miggins, New Babbage City Coroner says this body does not seem related to the recent string of unsolved murders in the city, 'Those bodies were mauled by some manner of beast, this act was performed with surgical precision.' he stated earlier today, to a member of the Free Press.

Friday, January 18

Rabid Wolf Slain In Wheatstone




NEW BABBAGE, NB — Shortly after the midnight hour, exceedingly early on Friday morning, a behemothic wolf — which was thought, by doctors, to be suffering from acute hydrophobia — was shot down by bullets on Fae Way, in West Wheatstone Waterways.

As the midnight hour loomed closer, clocks across the city began chiming independently one by one, when they once had chimed in unison as the clock struck twelve; the queer absence of the clockwinder felt keenly on the hour, made queerer in Wheatstone when the quiet following the chiming was shattered by the howling of a wolf at the blood red half moon peering down through the soot.

According to city records, the last time a wild wolf was spotted in Wheatstone was 78 years earlier, during the 'Ice Wolves Massacre' when, during a particularly long and cold winter, a large pack of wolves from the Fells stormed the city gates and ravaged the entire city.

Young Master C Rayna was up, outrageously late, reading to an infirm and bedridden friend at the time.  'Miss Book and I heard a blood-curdling howling just outside her house.'  The two, using perhaps questionable judgement, ventured outdoors to investigate the sound. 'Since there had been numerous attacks recently, Miss Book brought her gun.' Master Rayna confided.

Soon after Miss B Hinericks — a volunteer member of the New Babbage Militia — investigated the street   outside her home, the immense wolf emerged.  'The wolf charged at me,' Master Rayna excitedly recounted. 'But luckily Miss Book shot it down within inches of me.'  Miss Hinericks was unavailable for comment.

Local zoologist Dr R Millar stated to the Free Press: 'Wild wolves seldom pose a threat to people, though there are times when they will attack men, due to hunger or perceived threat.  Unfortunately, rabies is both the most common reason, and also the most deadly.'  The corpse of the wolf was taken to Militia Headquarters, where it is assumed the animal will be tested for rabies.

It is believed by some that this rogue lupine was to blame for some of the recent mauling deaths which have, as yet, gone unexplained.  Reports that the wolf was clothed at the time of the attack have not yet been confirmed at the time of printing.

Thursday, January 17

Evolution Too Slow, Claims Local Scientist




NEW BABBAGE, NB — If evolution can be likened to a perpetual motion machine, a local amateur scientist believes the device can be artificially accelerated.

Miss N Nymlet, of the Clockhaven district, has been experimenting with human brains, in the hope of enhancing them organically, thereby accelerating evolution.  'My hypothesis is that the brain works on electrical impulses.  If we can amplify these, then we can enhance the brain.' she stated, earlier today.

Two separate brains have already successfully communicated when flooded with electrical current, a result which she believes suggests human brains could be augmented permanently.

'Too long have we relied on nature for the evolution of the human brain.  We need to take charge of our evolution.  Nature is dirty, chaotic, and fickle.' she said to a reporter from the Free Press.

Impressionist artist, Mr E Placebo, agrees to an extent, 'The universe is chaotic.  It is dirty, cold, and indifferent to our wants and desires.'  He disagrees, however, that hastening evolution will improve the situation, 'Ultimately we die out and the world turns to dust.  In the end, what does any of it matter?'

Citizens may take heart that while nihilism is a thoroughly discredited school of philosophy, the advances of science continue to march on.

Doctor Cures Housewives Headaches




NEW BABBAGE, NB — A Coronet Gardens doctor, who recently opened practice, has been finding gargantuan success in the act of curing acute headaches suffered by many of the housewives of the city.

Dr S Thornley, originally of Coney Island NY, has discovered a method of relieving the pain frustration and anxiety that many of the fairer sex are commonly afflicted with in New Babbage.

Though he refuses to divulge the precise method by which these ailments are relieved — citing professional rivalry as the reason — he assures the Free Press that his tactics are both assured and beneficial.  Mrs P Hyperboria, a chronic patient, agrees, 'Dr Thornley's treatments are both vigorous and soothing, I near almost look forward to my next migraine.'

Dr Thornley, who is known in several nearby cities for his patented miracle elixer, states that the headache treatment is not the same, though he claims it is 'just as sweet'.  On the contrary, in fact, as Thornley continued, 'though my thoroughly fantastical elixer cures many ailments,  it is admittedly more likely to cause a headache, than cure it.  But, fear not, I fix that up in a jiffy!'

Though Dr Thornley's headache treatments have, thus far, been inflicted solely upon the women of the city, he says the men are also admissible.  'Their husbands are welcome to visit, of course, should they find themselves similarly afflicted.  It's quite possible, though scarcely probable, that the treatment would be just as gratifying for them.' he stated this morning to a reporter from the Free Press.

Repairs On Fells Bridge Commences




THE FELLS, NB — Commerce by rail will soon enough be rolling once again, as repairs begin on the tracks in the Fells, north of the walls of the city of New Babbage.

Construction began in the wee hours of Wednesday morning, and are expected to continue throughout the week.  Actual trains are expected to be running again shortly before the end of the month.

When asked why repairs have taken almost two weeks to begin, acting Mayor Mr O Underbee was quoted as stating, 'Despite what the plebeian might believe, these sorts of municipal matters do not take place over night.' He continued, 'There is a good deal of red tape one must snip through to even have a ribbon-cutting ceremony rubber nipple factory, believe me I like it less than anyone else.'

The tracks were damaged earlier in the month by explosion; an anarchist organization known as the Tiny Scallion Group has claimed responsibility for the heinous act.  Investigation into the group is ongoing, according to an unnamed member of the New Babbage Militia.

Wednesday, January 16


HOYT  — Street urchin, shot in the chest by bullets, in this city on Saturday 5 January.  Master Hoyt Namewitheld, aged unknown, aprox. 8-12.

D'ARCY  — In agony, after brief illness, in Coronet Gardens.  Mr Jacob D'Arcy succumbed to food poisoning after a week long illness, survived by his wife Martha, and daughter Evelyn.  Service will be held at Cathedral of the Builder on Friday.

LONGBOTTOM  Suddenly, in Clockhaven.  Mr Wilson Longbottom died unexpectedly due to complications from self abuse, aged 27.   No service.  Body will be cremated.  Family requests no flowers, or acknowledgement of any kind.

PATTERSON  — Drowned, in Wheatstone Waterways.  Mr Robert Patterson drowned in Peral Canal in Wheatstone, when his Go-Devil plunged through a hole in the ice, on Tuesday 15 January, aged 22.  Survived by fiancee Zelda Fitzbottom.  Body will be interred in Babbage Cemetery, sympathizers are discouraged from leaving flowers on the canal ice.

City Children Hunt Black Birds




NEW BABBAGE, NB — Tiny legs on tiny feet scamper to and fro across the cobbles of the city today, all sharing a single purpose: the systematic hunt of black birds.

Children in every district have been witnessed tossing stones at corvids awing, greasing ledges, constructing wooden cages, marking maps, and strategically ambushing — all in the hopes of catching birds.  The ire of the street urchins seems to be chiefly aimed at ravens, crows, magpies, and starlings.

The reason for this pursuance is still largely nebulous at the time of printing, though suggestions have run the gamut from some sort of gambling sport to the belief that the birds are stealing souls.

'It could be related to the bounty Mayor Tenk placed on ravens a few years ago.' suggested prominent citizen Mr G Baroche of Clockhaven.

Young Master C Raynah, of the Academy district, stated to a member of the Free Press just before printing, 'We have a plan, but that is all I can say.'

It is currently unknown if a reward is being offered.

Monday, January 14

Art Museum Opens In Clockhaven




NEW BABBAGE, NB — If a city's worth is measured by its devotion to the arts, let it be known that New Babbage is this day rather corpulent indeed, as hotelier Mr V Morningtea of Brunel Hall inaugurates the New Babbage Gallery of Art in the Clockhaven district.

The opening of the museum — which is situated on the waterfront of Clockhaven Port, on Harrison Street at Temple Lane — will give aspiring and established artists a chance to display their works to the public.

Mr Morningtea believes this to be an important aspect of the museum, stating, 'As we all know, artists are scraping by day to day, which is why citizens who are invited to show their work in the museum will be able to sell them... so everyone can enjoy their fine work.'

Not all citizens, however, share the wealthy hotelier's excitement over the opening.  Mr R Bohns, owner and proprietor of RB Meats Butcher Shop in Coronet Gardens, was quoted as stating, 'Only art [which] gets my hackles up is wanted posters. So long as I'm not on them, I don't have to worry none.'

Mr Morningtea is confident Babbagers will respond enthusiastically to the gallery, and vehemently denies the gallery is any way a tax dodge.

Sunday, January 13

Vice On The Rise in West End




NEW BABBAGE, NB — Despite concerted efforts to weed out vice in the increasing derelict west end of New Babbage, the crime rate continues to ascend.  In the last year several entire blocks have been razed in the neighborhood of Coronet Gardens — an area known colloquially as 'The Gut' to citizens of the city — in an effort to force the criminal element out of the area.

Muggings and pickpocketing have been on an increasing rise in the neighborhood, which is known to be brutalized by vicious gangs like The Pennyfarthing Boys and The Brass Knuckle Bunch, for over twenty years.

Longterm Coronet Gardens business owner Mr T Eaton, of Eaton and Drynkin Grocers, stated that he was 'dismayed at the' amount of 'crime in the area', and feels that something must be done 'in order to protect the upstanding citizens of [New] Babbage, as well as their property'.

Another neighborhood business owner, who wished to remain nameless, believes he knows exactly what must be done, stating: 'It is all these urchins; rebuild the workhouses and get them off the streets!'

A single block torn down last year, known in the area as 'the Devil's Closet' — which housed, amongst its plethora of immoral activities, a crudely built shanty bar built by, and for, street urchins — held a higher annual crime record then the entire nearby townships of Falun, Lobo, or Phaeton's Landing.

Saturday, January 12

Hoodoo Man Practices Medicine Without License




NEW BABBAGE, NB — An aged octogenarian, who practices the ostensibly mystical craft known as 'hoodoo', has begun to take patients in the Coronet Gardens neighborhood of west New Babbage, despite lacking a medical license, or any traditional training.

Mr L Laurent, aged 82, recently achieved neighborhood notoriety after successfully treating several serious cases of food poisonings.  He claims to have learned the ancient folk techniques from his mother and grandmother.

Dr S Thornly however, who shares the adjoining office, is not as enthusiastic about the hoodoo techniques.  'It's hocum. Malarky.  Humbug.' he stated, earlier today.  'I've seen how he treats food poisonings... some boiled weeds in a mason jar, rubbed on a black cat, then sipped by the patient.  It's madness, I say.'

'I can treat food poisonings as well.' he continued, agitated.  'Dr Thornly's fantastical elixer treats ailments of all types, including diarrhea measles mumps chicken pox and hangovers.'

Dr M Moggins, formerly a practicing physician and now New Babbage City Coroner, stated to the Free Press, 'This sort of reaction is not uncommon.  It is known as the placebo effect.  The likelihood is that these patients recovered on their own, and would have without visiting this quack.' He further stated,  'The genuine danger is that, in future, these patients may visit the charlatan when ailing with something serious, which could well prove disastrous.'

The Free Press had received no response from officials at City Hall at time of printing, regarding the legality of Mr Laurent's practice.

Friday, January 11

Anarchist Suspicions Run Rampant




NEW BABBAGE, NB — Several citizens have become the target of suspicion from disparate directions as of late, with murderers and bombers admittedly on the loose in public.

Two unruly gatherings of citizens - one just north of Central Station, and another near City Hall - were spotted pursuing a male in his mid 30s, allegedly under the belief he had admitted to anarchistic sympathies.  It is currently unknown if the congruent incidents are related.

A young woman in the Gangplank Public House, on East Prince Dakkar in Clockhaven, also raised suspicious ire amongst her fellow patrons last evening whilst lecturing at length as to how she would have performed the bombing of the tracks in the Fells, north of the New Babbage walls.

When pressed to identify her political beliefs the woman politely refused, but denied a steadfast belief in anarchists and their craft.

An anarchist organization known as the Tiny Scallion Group has taken credit for the bombing of the tracks in the Fells.  An source within the New Babbage Milita assures the Free Press that an arrest is imminent.

Queer Localized Fog In Canal District




NEW BABBAGE, NB — A queerly small and highly localized fog was reported in the Canal District of New Babbage last night, according to sources.

The small fog cloud — which was highly dense, and approximately eight feet in diameter at its widest point — was first noticed around 8 o' clock PM at Doyle Place, directly in front of Ruby's Public House, by a Mr R Bladderstick.

'It were like noffink I ever seen!' he stated later.  '[It] sat in place for near ten minutes, it were already there when I came out [of Ruby's Public House] ter take, er... take de fresh air, yes.  Dat's de ticket.  Still there when I came back in.  It were a long, er... breathe.'

The fog cloud was soon after observed to float slowly and meanderingly to the north west, where it was next spotted on Bow Street by a Miss Velma Forgrave, a local spinster.

'I have never in all my years witnessed something so utterly sinister.' she stated, from within her home, refusing to step outside to speak to a reporter from the Free Press.  'It would sit in one spot for minutes at a time, and then float somewhere else, only to remain immobile again for an ungodly amount of time.  It's reasons such as this that I stay indoors near always now.  I tell my nephew Cyrus constantly about how vile, how utterly and horribly vile, this world is.'

The fog cloud was last spotted floating toward the Shipworks on Canal Street around half 11 o' clock PM, where it is reported to have finally floated away into the sky over the Vernian Sea.

Reports that the fog cloud was chartreuse in hue, or emitted a faint phosphorescence in certain circumstances, have been unverified at the time of printing.

Wednesday, January 9

Asylum Administrator's Health Declines




NEW BABBAGE, NB — It has been reported to the Free Press that Murgam Asylum Administrator Dr T Solson's condition has steadily declined, since being shot in the shoulder on Saturday afternoon.

Solson, aged 62, is currently unable to rise from bed of his own accord, and has become repeatedly, though occasionally, confused, according to those tending to his care.

He was struck by a bullet on Saturday 5 January, by one Mr H Cortmon.  His condition shortly after the shooting was considered serious, though not life threatening, and expected to improve.

The news has come as a blow to sanitarium morale, already low since the shooting.  'We lost two patients in that horror, Dr Solson and Mr Arnold were shot, now this.' stated an employee, who wished to remain nameless.

The condition of Mr Arnold, the feline orderly also injured in the incident at Murgam Asylum in south Wheatstone, is unchanged.

Public House Looks For New Cook




NEW BABBAGE, NB — The Bucket of Blood Public House on Abney Parkway West, in the neighborhood of Coronet Gardens, is looking for a new cook for their establishment.

Owner, Mr B Heed, claims that the recent bouts of acute food poisoning emanating from the public house are unrelated to the current search for a new culinarian, stating, 'Miss Jones, the current cook, refuses to touch octopus, which I adore.'

It is currently unknown if the recent death of a Mr R Griswold, of food poisoning, is related to the spate of poisonings in the Bucket of Blood.

The public house, which opened in 1822 under the original name of The Coronet, has long been a den of vice, crime, and general immoral behavior, earning its epithet of 'the bucket of blood' long before officially changing the name in 1855.  Social crusader, Miss E Prim, successfully campaigned to have the establishment permanently closed 1869, remaining so until three years ago, when the public house was re-opened, under the new ownership of Mr O Underby.  Miss Prim was lynched by an unruly mob in 1870.

Applicants are asked to prepare an octopus dish before visiting the establishment for employment.

Mayor Still Missing



NEW BABBAGE, NB — Nearly four full days after scheduled arrival, Mayor Clockwinder Tenk is still missing, with telegraph messages to the city of Falun confirming he had departed on Saturday 5 January.

Length of time for travel between the two cities varies widely in extreme weather conditions, but rarely takes longer than a half day.  Weather on Saturday 5 was extremely cold on the Fells, but conditions were mostly visible.

Passage through the Fells on the Bump Line was made impossible when the tracks were demolished just north of the New Babbage city walls.  An anarchist organization known as the Tiny Scallions Group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Two trains were halted, en route to New Babbage from Falun at the time of the disaster, though the mayor was discovered to have not been accounted for on either train.

Tenk was visiting family in Falun for the holidays, an annual excursion for him.  The New Babbage Free Press has learned from reliable sources in Falun that the mayor's family had hoped to secure matrimonial bonds between their family and another prominent mining family.  It is unknown at this time what the mayor's reaction to the proposal was.

Acting mayor, Mr O Underby, when asked for a comment whilst having his head shaved at the Clockwork Close Barber Shop in the Palisades, opined that 'finding a suitable bride is the most exceedingly difficult of any endeavor ever embarked upon by man', and that Mr Tenk may be encountering more trouble than most in this regard as 'there seems to be a stunning lack of bearded ladies in this world.  More's the pity.'

It has been suggested by some that the mayor is presently attempting air travel over the Fells, and his arrival is imminent.

Tuesday, January 8


COURTMAN  — Villain, shot down by Militia bullets, in this city on Saturday 5 January.  Henry Courtman, aged 55.

DOE  — Suddenly, by bullet, in Wheatstone.  John Doe [name unknown] aged aprox. 36 - 44.

DORCHESTER  — In her residence, after prolonged illness.  Venetta Dorchester succumbed to consumption on Monday 7 January, aged 52.  Survived by son, Roland.  Body was interred in Babbage Cemetery.

FLYNT — Suddenly, by bullet, in Wheatstone.  Marcus Flynt perished whilst consumed by brain fever, aged approx. 26 - 28.  Body held at Jefferson Way Mortuary

GRISWOLD  — In his residence in Clockhaven.  Russel Griswold died in agony, surrounded by his wife, Moon; and his two daughters, Catherine and Victoria, aged 38.  Cause of death was food poisoning.  Funeral service was held at the Cathedral of the Builder, and body will be interred at Babbage Cemetery.

HARPER  In this city, due to illness.  Rhodolite Harper died of pleurisy and inflammation of the chest, aged 48.  It is requested that no flowers be sent.

MacTAVISH  Suddenly, in the Academy, by fall.  Donald MacTavish, steeplejack, died Sunday 6 January after falling from a great height while repairing the flues at Brunel Hall, aged 32.  Funeral service will be held at the Cathedral of the Builder when he lands.

QUICK  In her residence.  Elise Quick, found deceased due to unforseen complications.  She is survived by an infant daughter and several likely ex-husbands.

SANTANA  — Suddenly, by stray bullet, in Wheatstone.  Juan Santana was struck by a stray bullet from the sky in west Wheatstone and died instantly, aged 34.

Emergency Care Facility Erected Next To Asylum




NEW BABBAGE, NB — The owner of the Murgam Asylum, one Mr Z Carnagak, has been spurred by recent horrific events to commence construction on an emergency facility immediately beside his grim and imposing sanitarium.

The city has been without a full medical care facility since Wilde Hospital burned down under suspicious circumstances in July of last year, a situation which has not sat well with some citizens.

'It is altogether an appalling embarrassment that a city the size and [with the] reputation of New Babbage should go [for] so long without a proper hospital.' stated Mrs R Thistle of Wheatstone, to a representative of the New Babbage Free Press earlier today.

The new emergency care facility is being fully funded by Mr Carnagak.  When asked to confirm whether the construction was a response to the recent tragedy which occurred within his sanitarium, Carnagak merely stated that 'it would seem prudent, given the circumstances, to invest in an emergency care facility in this city.'

Several citizens still suffering from a spate of acute food poisonings originating from the Bucket of Blood Public House on Abney Parkway West have already lined up outside the construction site, in hopes of receiving medical aid.

Monday, January 7

Public House Food Poisoning




NEW BABBAGE, NB — Four men and two women were taken away gravely ill last evening from The Bucket of Blood Public House on Abney Parkway West, a notorious establishment in the neighborhood of Coronet Gardens.

All six of the afflicted had consumed a house dish known as srizzlesnake soup, prepared that day by manager of the establishment, Miss M Jones. 'Sure, all six of them ate the soup, so what.  So did twenty five others who didn't get sick.  People die every day.' she stated, when asked about the incident.

The Bucket of Blood has a notorious reputation for food poisoning, as well as many other crimes of vice: this past summer two died after 'Roadhouse Ribs Day' was celebrated, an entire class of schoolchildren suffered from severe diarrhea after a trip to the public house to find out how tripe pudding was made, and a rank batch of billybumbler steaks sent a large group to Wilde Hospital two years earlier.

Reports of the incident were laughed off by the owner of the establishment, Mr B Heed, who stated, 'People drink, people throw up, people drink more.  That is the business.'

Rumors of the undead working in the Bucket of Blood kitchens were met with no comment.

Missing Clockwork Unicorn




NEW BABBAGE, NB — An ornate clockwork unicorned horse went missing from AP & E Power Station in northern Clockhaven yesterday.  No intruders were reported, and nothing else has been noticed as missing.  Energy flow was not interrupted.

The Power Station derives energy directly from the aether, and powers a large portion of the city of New Babbage.  Some have speculated that the evanescence may, in fact, be related to the recent paroxysmal percussion of the train tracks in the Fells north of the city, an act credited to an anarchist organization named The Tiny Scallion Group.

Members of the New Babbage Militia were unavailable for comment at time of press.

The clockwork unicorn is considered valuable; it personally identifies as female and answers to 'Avarial'.  Citizens with information are asked to contact AP & E Power Station on Battery Street, Clockhaven.

Public Unrest Grows As Mayor's Absence Extends




NEW BABBAGE, NB — Clocks all across the city are running slightly slow today as Mayor Clockwinder M Tenk's extended leave to Falun continues, since all rail travel north of the city is indefinitely interrupted.  Telegraph communication has thus far been unable to confirm his current whereabouts.

The Mayor travelled north for his annual visit to relatives on December 24, and was expected back by the Twelfth Day of Christmas, January 5; the massive destruction caused to the tracks in the Fells north of the city made his immediate return impossible.   The Tiny Scallion Group, an anarchist organization, has claimed responsibility for the heinous act.

Mr O Underby, acting mayor in lieu of Clockwinder Tenk, was quoted as saying, 'these worries are of course understandable, if somewhat maudlin' and added that Mayor Tenk was 'in no danger whatsoever, he is merely delayed.  The clocks will be wound when he returns.'  The acting mayor suggested that, in the meantime, citizens might rely more heavily on their pocket watches.

At least one citizen, however, expressed some relief in the mayor's extended leave.  One Mr T Harkar was pleased at not having to 'relocate a tram line half a meter to the north, or [make] any other random changes for a while.'

It has been suggested by some that the mayor is presently attempting air travel over the Fells, and his arrival is imminent.

Fells Track Investigation On-Going




NEW BABBAGE, NB — Though the scree has barely settled, the investigation into the gargantuan cataclysm caused to the train tracks in the Fells north of the city of New Babbage has already commenced, according to Commander of the City Milita, Commodore J Daggar.

'We are pursuing all leads, but can offer no further comment at this time' as anything said might 'jeopardize the case.' she stated yesterday, to a reporter of the New Babbage Free Press.  Daggar added, 'in the meantime construction of a temporary timber bridge will begin immediately, so commerce is effected as little as possible.'

When asked about the public suspicion that someone exalted within New Babbage government might be censurable for the abject mayhem, she further added, 'No comment.'

Later in the day, however, the office of the mayor released a statement to the press stating that the Tiny Scallion Group, an anarchist organization, claimed responsibility for the heinous act, and further threatened future outrages.

Mr O Underby, acting mayor in lieu of Mayor Clockwinder Tenk, condemned the political philosophy of anarchism, thusly, 'Rules and regulations are the very bedrock of modern society, to abandon that in favor of self governing would be akin to volunteering to return to living in grass huts.'

When asked about the public suspicion that someone exalted within New Babbage government might be censurable for the abject mayhem, he further added, 'No comment.'

Sunday, January 6

Brain Stolen From Corpse



NEW BABBAGE, NB — Obeisance for the bereft of life seems to be an antiquated conceit of yore, as the corpse of Penn NameWitheld might be able to confide to you.  The 19 year old was savagely murdered recently, but adding insult to eradication, the brain of the corpus delicti was recently discovered to be vanished completely.

The grisly discovery of Penn NameWitheld's body near Windmill Pond, north of the Palisade Wall, was the primogenial in a string of murders which has recently assaulted the city of New Babbage: in the pandemonium surrounding the rapidly multiplying corpses, his body was temporarily neglected and left to lay in the rapidly accumulating precipitation.  By the time authorities arrived to collect the body, the skull was discovered to have been in a state of acute trephanation.

There were no witnesses to this ghastly crime, and there are currently no named suspects.  Investigation is on-going.  The current whereabouts of the missing brain are unknown.

Citizens with information are asked to report promptly to Terranova Investigations on Merryman Way in New Babbage.  For funeral information, please contact Jefferson Way Mortuary.

Saturday, January 5

Tracks Destroyed North of the City




THE FELLS, NB — The city of New Babbage was stupefied on the evening of 5th January to discover that the tracks in the Fells, north of the city limits, had been completely destroyed.  A city messenger witnessed the destruction, calling it a 'terrific explosion'.

The cause of the abject ruination has yet to be ascertained by officials, but due to the complete destruction, foul play has been suspected.  It is unknown at this time if the destruction of the tracks is in any way related to the minor explosion in the New Babbage Train Station, earlier in the evening.

Coal shipments from Falun in the north have been put temporarily on hold until alternative routes may be made available; it is currently unknown whether Mayor Clockwinder Tenk was en route to New Babbage via rail when the destruction took place, and his whereabouts are still unknown as this goes to press.  Acting mayor Mr O Underbean was unavailable for comment, however a Mr R Dorchester from his office was quoted as saying 'citizens should not panic.'

Insignificant Explosion Detonates Within Train Station




NEW BABBAGE, NB — A small ineffective incendiary device was detonated this evening inside the New Babbage Train Station whilst a group of citizens awaited the imminent return of mayor Clockwinder Tenk.  Though three people were propelled by the blast, including prominent citizen Miss G Slattery, no citizens were unduly injured by the fulmination, and no damage of property was reported to be observed.

Immediately following the paroxysmal percussion some on-site witnesses claim to have observed an individual in Hussar uniform flee the scene, heading south-west.

A Miss D Wess, of Clockhaven, performed an impromptu investigation afterward, though official investigations are expected to commence overnight; no determinations were immediately forthcoming.

Though no suspects have been officially named, some concerned citizens -who preferred to remain anonymous- were solicitous that the incident was perpetrated by person or persons exalted within New Babbage government.  Mr Underbean, the current regent mayor whilst Mr Tenk is out of town, was unavailable for comment.

Tragic Scene in South Wheatstone




NEW BABBAGE, NB — The large, grim Murgam Asylum in the south Wheatstone area of New Babbage was the scene of a grisly crime earlier today, when a group of ill-tempered men forced their way inside of the institution and brutally assaulted the head administrator, a Dr. T Solson.

The gang of ruffians was apparently lead by a gentleman named Cortland, a former inmate and employee of the asylum, who dangerously and brazenly brandished a blade.  Cortland, an unpopular man in the neighborhood, is believed to have suffered a psychotic break due to an abrupt employment dismissal, in conjunction with several close associates recently falling victim to tragic and untimely deaths - a fate he himself was to succumb to before the affair was over.  Cortland was found laying inert in a pool of swiftly coagulating blood, apparently a victim of suicide by his own hand.

Following the suicide, the gang was brought under control by a Miss B Hineriks, a volunteer member of the New Babbage Milita, though unfortunately not before the geriatric Dr. Solson was already gravely injured.

A doctor at the asylum, one Dr. C Surtson, found his professional resolve shaken by the scene, and was found pacing agitatedly in a stupor outside, so graphic was the gore inside.  A witness on-site described the scene as 'gruesome'.

Dr. T Solson was considered to be in serious, but not life-threatening, condition; the man Cortland was pronounced dead on the scene.  A feline orderly was also injured.

Small Town Man Moves to the Big City

NEW BABBAGE, NB — The chief difference, it is immediately evident, between a small town and a large city, is a vertical one; whereas a small town moves slowly and horizontally across the landscape, a city stretches both across the landscape, and yet reaches also, up toward the heavens - just ask the man who only today landed in New Babbage, ready to begin life anew.

The moment the dirigible airship landed, the very height of the city astounded our small town man.  He was immediately greeted by a tall friendly man sporting an impressive stovepipe hat, he introduced himself as Mr O Underbean, chief advisor and assistant to the mayor, Clockwinder Tenk.  He seemed intent on individually meeting every person who exited the craft, perhaps due to his temporarily holding the mayor regent title in the absence of Mr Tenk, a fact he seemed intent on relaying, mentioning it several times in their short conversation.

Our small town man was pleasantly mystified by this personal treatment, expressing the opinion that this sort of behavior is generally believed to be the sole domain of smaller communities.  Mr Underbean scoffed at such a notion, describing the city of New Babbage thusly as 'a tight knit community, in fact one could accurately say many of its citizens are at one another's throats in perpetuity.' To prove the amiability of the city to newcomers, the advisor and assistant to the mayor offered to personally see to the placement of our small town man in a rental office, in one of the city's most popular areas, one known locally as 'the Gut'.

It would seem that the small town notion of the large metropolis swallowing not only individuality, but also morality and brotherhood, is an antiquated one.