1873, Cottingley City, Great Britain
Faeries. Pixies. Elves. Nymphs. Sprites. These are all names that us humans gave to the creatures of the other side. Some names are more derogatory than others, but our human tendencies tend to lead us to be either afraid of or hostile towards things with which we do not understand; this was certainly the case with the discovery of the Faeries.
A year ago, a scientist named Herbert Moreau invented a device that could rip open portals in physical space, in order to reach other dimensions. The first time he tried it, a large portal opened that led to a world very similar to ours, but overcome by nature. The creatures that inhabited this world looked somewhat like us, but with some very distinct differences. Their skin has a purplish-pinkish hue on it; different faeries have different shades. The biggest difference, obviously, would have to be their wings. They all have different types of wings and the type you have indicates what family/tribe you belong to.
Dr. Herbert Moreau was able to discover all of this in peace because the faeries welcomed him as a fellow intellectual and explorer (of course, they were curious themselves, as they have never seen a creature as strange and interesting as human beings; they wondered if there were more like him).
Soon, the government learned about his project. Dr. Moreau tried to close the portal, but it can never be permanently closed, only temporarily. Tensions grew between human governments and faerie governments. That brings us to today. Humans and faeries are trying to find a compromise, but nothing is happening and the world is sitting on pins and needles. This problem became so big, even the mundane were having spirited debates on what we should do with this new world, and one of these people was a young airship worker named Julius Fields. His normal life was about to become very strange, very strange indeed.
Chapter 1: Mundane Worries, Mundane World
Julius Fields was working hard on a faulty engine belonging to an airship called "Old Valerie" docked into the ship-port. It had just finished bringing human tourists to and from the Faerie World. Ever since that fateful day when Dr. Herbert Moreau opened the portal to the Faerie World, many more have been opened (especially near ship-ports), allowing humans and faeries to pass between them freely, so to speak. Discrimination was still so ever-present.
"Almost done," said Julius to himself, "just gotta fix this piston, then
There, done." A loud steam whistle was heard along with the chattering of tired mechanics and pilots. "Well done, Julius, just in time for lunch. You are an amazing mechanic, sir" he said to himself while wiping his forehead with a dirty towel. "Hey, Fields! Hold there!" cried Julius's friend, Bennet Langley. Bennet Langley was a fine, strong chap, with fierce loyalty in his heart. "Good evening, Bennet, my dear friend," said Julius with a joyful spirit, "how's your new life up in the cabin?"
"Oh, you know, all the pilots like to make fun of the 'nickey' new ones. There's not much to be done about that."
"Oh, I'm sorry to hear that Ben, but you know what they say
"'Everyone has a bitch'"
"Oh, shut up, won't you?"
"No, I don't think I shall!" he laughed, followed by Bennet's laughter.
Lunch was always busy at the Cottingley Air Travels Ship-port. Julius and Bennet left their brick- wall workplace and walked down the crowded, polluted streets. Clouds of steam from various buildings lingered in people's faces; most people wore goggles to avoid discomfort to the eyes. The sky was orange with steam and smoke. Julius looked up to his left at a large brick-wall factory with an active chimney and two large, golden gears that took up two sides of the building, supplying power. Most buildings looked like this.
"You know, I heard they're still making kids work in that metal factory." said Julius. "They're always making kids do things, you know? Everywhere;" replied Bennet, "they're cheaper to hire and there's a lot of 'em. Not saying I agree with it, no sir, it's just how it is in Cottingley." A large airship hovered overhead, coming out of a portal being held up by strange electrical coils on the top two buildings. The loudness of its engines nearly drowned out the whole city, yet people continued to talk, of all kinds of things really. Politics, religion, what people had for dinner last night or even the newest way to wear a corset (but really, how many ways can one wear a corset?). The streets are often chaotic organization. Complete disregard of neatness, yet everyone knows where they're going, what they're doing.
Julius and Bennet climbed up a large flight of stairs leading to the boarding platform for the airships. There could not be a more crowded place in all of Cottingley. Naturally, they decided it was the best place to have lunch. They sat on a metal bench on the long platform, watching people pass by, humans and faeries alike. "I'm still not used to seeing them here, you know? It's too mad, all of it. Just, completely mad!" said Bennet. Julius said nothing, but generally agreed with him. It was only a year ago that the faeries never existed, now you see them boarding airships with humans. It's not always friendly between the two species either, Julius observed, but he wasn't going to delve into that, he had enough to worry about. Julius and Bennet pulled out their lunch. "What you got there, eh?" asked Bennet. "Just a loaf of bread and some soup, you?" replied Julius.
"Same. Boring as hell, these meals. I long for a turkey, or something of the like. Ah, one day Benny, one day."
"Just be glad we have food at all, mate, 'member what happened to Elias Halligan?"
"Oh right, conspiracy with a faerie, robbed of 'is food privileges for a week. Sucked for him, I reckon."
"Oh, it most certainly did, him being dead and all."
"Dead? Are you sure? Not just nearly dead? Almost dead, even?"
"Dead as much as I'm a British man."
"Christ, never got to say goodbye to that sorry old sod. Oh well, serves him right for trying to shag that faerie, despicable."
"Wasn't he kanurd?"
"Everyone's drunk nowadays, highly doubt it counts for anything anymore."
"Right. Hear, hear."
"Still, would've been nice to see him before he passed."
"Probably would've been drinking his last till his last breath, right?"
"That lushington, never heard anything more likely!"
"A judy on top of 'im, eh?"
"Ah, that's our Elias! What a cash-carrying bastard
They both were silent for a while. The jesting could only go on for so long. Elias was their friend, and all friends passed deserve their memories and legacies acknowledged (at least, that's what Julius and Bennet believed). "Hey, Benny," started Julius, finally breaking the silence, "you ever just sit back and watch people walk around?"
"Walk around? I'm not sure I know what you mean."
"You know, just watch 'em walk around, watch 'em interact. It can be quite amusing, sometimes. See? Look, over there," he pointed to a faerie trying to strike a deal with a human so that he could get a ticket, "pathetic, ainit?"
"Yeah, I'll say. Who does he think he is? Oh, hey, look over there," he pointed to a woman trying to get her daughter to get in an airship, "what do you think she's scared of? The ship? Or its passengers?" Julius looked and saw that the airship had mostly faeries in it. "Definitely the passengers!" he said with a sly, joking face.
Suddenly, in the middle of the crowd, came a voice screaming "GET OFF ME! I HAVE CONNECTIONS, YOU KNOW!" Julius and Bennet looked to their right and saw a faerie with butterfly-like wings; this means she lives in Ireland in the other world. They ran to the crowd surrounding her; she was being held down by two policemen holding clubs. "EXACTLY, NOW COME WITH US NATALIA, OR WE'LL HAVE TO FORCE YOU." said one of the policemen. Julius and Bennet looked on as they saw "Natalia" break free, and try to fly away.
"Whoa there, pretty little nymph," yelled out Julius as he grabbed her legs and pulled her down, "just where do you think you're going? Bennet, help me out over here" "LET GO OF ME, YOU DAFT IDIOTS!" she screamed, "I HAVE CONNECTIONS YOU KNOW! MY FATHER IS SIR MALADY FLOCKAHRT!" "Yes, yes, very interesting dear. Now come with us," said the other policeman, "good job boys." "Just doing our civic duty, sir." said Bennet. Natalia Flockhart let out one more threat before being shoved into the police-modified steam carriage, "I'LL GET YOU BOTH HANGED; I SWEAR!" The door shut on her before she could say anymore. "Jesus Benny," said Julius, "do we know a Sir Malady Flockhart?" "I don't know no Malady around here, do you?"
"I don't think she was referring to someone here, obviously."
"Hm, does sound familiar, now that I think of it, should we be worried?"