Those of you that have been paying attention to this journal will recall that some months ago I was awaiting a package from home. I have not commented before now, because it did not contain what I expected, and I was not sure how I felt about it. I mention it now, only to clarify the events of the last few days.
Instead of serum, it contained a set of laboratory journals. I suspected that my shape shifting was the result of an experiment, and in that I was correct. Almost from the moment I arrived at TPU, Herr Rotwang began working on me. With the help of several associates, I was periodically drugged and smuggled into a disused operating theatre where Rotwang proceeded to replace various parts of my anatomy with parts from several different specimens brought back from who knows where by an undisclosed scientific expedition.
A careful reading suggests that slightly less than half of my original form remains. The chimera serum was apparently just the means used to speed healing and ensure that all my unrelated parts would knit into a single functional being.
Now, as has been mentioned elsewhere, my friend Eugenia has lost her magical abilities due to exposure to a device created to "enforce reality". Several attempts have been made to cure her, but without success. Since it was a device that harmed her, it seemed to me that a device might provide the cure, so I began work on the Improbability Actualizer.
I'll leave the theoretical underpinnings for another time, but the device has shown considerable promise. I was able to adjust the probability of a goose laying a golden egg to one hundred percent. I'm still not entirely sure why it exploded. That would be the egg, not the goose.
This past Tuesday I had the Actualizer at full power for a test of the containment rings, when I slipped and my hand entered the field for a moment. I was surprised when someone grabbed hold of me, and frightened when they began to pull me in. My first impulse was to step off the scaffold, thinking that my dead weight would be harder to pull in, and that I could then take a firm grip of the support post.
I didn't need to take hold, I fell straight to the ground. The unknown grabber tumbled out of the machine and landed on top of me. I realized the new arrival was a woman as she let out a soft moan and rolled onto her back. I thought at first she was a Jager, due to the green skin, and long curved horns. Then I noticed the torn clothes and the cuts and bruises on her arms and legs.
I brought her aboard the airship, and began to tend to her injuries which, fortunately were already beginning to heal. Once I had her settled in my cabin I was able to take a closer look, and received my second surprise of the day. She was me.
The new Searra slept for several hours, and woke hungry. Sitting across from her as she ate was as surreal an experience as I've ever had. Despite the differences in appearance, I recognized every gesture and expression as my own. I'll spare you the conversation, and just mention the relevant details.
She has no shape shifting powers, but does have a growing magical gift, and some basic training in it's use. The past few years have been difficult for her. She has been consistently mistaken for a Jager, but has none of their strength and physical resilience. Without her rapid healing, it is unlikely she would have survived as long as she has.
To avoid confusion, she has decided to take the name Tamsyn. Before anyone raises the "Evil alternate" question, apart from Tamsyn's mother re-marrying, we could find no meaningful differences in our experiences prior to the experiment and departing TPU. In any case, there is no question of sending her back. I trust my friends will make her welcome.
I saw this item in Herr Jagermonster's journal some time ago. I post my own results here for whatever illumination they may provide.
You are The Hermit
Prudence, Caution, Deliberation.
The Hermit points to all things hidden, such as knowledge and inspiration,hidden enemies. The illumination is from within, and retirement from participation in current events.
The Hermit is a card of introspection, analysis and, well, virginity. You do not desire to socialize; the card indicates, instead, a desire for peace and solitude. You prefer to take the time to think, organize, ruminate, take stock. There may be feelings of frustration and discontent but these feelings eventually lead to enlightenment, illumination, clarity.
The Hermit represents a wise, inspirational person, friend, teacher, therapist. This a person who can shine a light on things that were previously mysterious and confusing.
What Tarot Card are You?
Fancy that, one year exactly since I last wrote. Those that know me are probably not surprised. I have never been the talkative sort, and my arrival in this new world has not changed that. The question then, is whether to continue, or not.
I had good reasons to begin this journal, and those reasons are still good, and since I am also somewhat stubborn by nature, I will not be giving up without making a genuine effort. I'll never be one to post every day, or delve into the minutiae of my daily life. I don't have the skill to make such things interesting to any one else, in any case. From now on I will try to post on a more regular timetable.
As the man says, that is enough to be going on with.
It's one thing to resolve to post more, and quite another to have something to say. This past weekend will provide fodder for many entries to come.
The Steelhead dance was entertaining as always, until I noticed that Frau Lowey spent the entire event sitting in the corner with Steelead's resident demon. I don't know what really happened, and in any event, that story is Frau Lowey's to tell or not. But it was a catalyst for what came after.
Several of Frau Lowey's friends, myself included, confronted the demon to ensure her safety. I realized at that moment, that apart from a blast from my howdah pistol I had nothing to offer. Even though I wore a demon's shape myself, I had no supernatural power to support the image. It was no more real than a masquerade costume. This point was brought home yet again Sunday evening. Myself, Frau Lowey, Herr Maximus, and Baron Wulfenbach traveled to Loch Avie for a few rounds in the combat arena. I was in Jager shape at the time, but again I realized I was Jager in appearance only. Herr Maximus dispatched me easily three times running, and I'm not sure I landed a single blow.
This world may be safer than Europa, but that doesn't mean safe. I must be able to give a better account of myself than I have up to now.
It's time for me to accept what I've known all along. My shape-shifting does have a source. And really, it's no surprise. I'm not the first Minion to be experimented on when it suits her employer. I've sent to Glasgow for the unopened box I left in Morag's keeping. Herr Rotwang's final bequest. I have no doubt it contains the key component of his Chimera serum. Once I've taken it, I will assume the substance along with the shape.
Will I have the nerve to use it when it arrives?
This past Sunday was the first Wulfenbach Consulate social, and I have to say that I think it went quite well. A bit immodest, I suppose, considering the event was my Idea, and I did have assistance. Fraulein Tanarian offered the use of her Brigadoon property and provided an excellent music stream, and Frau Lowey provided the dances and invaluable guidance on locating the refreshments. Frau Davies was also instrumental. Her New Years eve party inspired me to create a portable dance floor which I put to good use. Attendance was higher than I dared hope, and space on the hilltop grew scarce, requiring the deployment of several portable floors. Despite a particularly bad crash, during which many of the guests made their farewells, I am left with the feeling that everyone had a good time, which is of course the point.
My only regrets are that I didn't make additional posts to the Consulate chat, I fear I may have missed some of the newer staff; and that as the party progressed I didn't invite the citizens of Steelhead. I know many of them also follow events at home in Europa. I must be more active about such things in the future as it is now my responsibility. I am honored that Herr Baron has chosen me to serve as Consular Liaison for Steelead.
It's a pity none of my pictures turned out, but I will still recall this evening with great pleasure.
I've never been one for making New Years resolutions. As I see it, if you want to change, don't wait, and if you aren't ready to change you're just setting yourself up to fail.
Having said that, here are my Resolutions for the coming year:
Post more often, and make better use of the camera. Having settled in Steelhead Harborside for the past week, I find every day brings something new that demands documentation. I failed to take pictures of the dog sled races, and Frau Davies wonderful, impromptu New Years party, and despite my new resolve, I have no shot of Fraulein Tanarian in her cetacean mermaid form as she visited briefly this morning.
But I do have this:
(L to R: Herr Hassanov, Herr Knight, Frl. Burton, Frl. Laval, and myself)
I love this town!
Perhaps I have some hidden exhibitionist tendencies, but I was not at all distressed to find I've been tagged by Frau Lowey in the Eight Random Facts meme. I won't bother to post the rules again here, if Frau Lowey had to pick me, I can be certain there is no one I can pass the joy onto from here.
Eight random facts about me:
I've lived near water my entire life, and never learned to swim.
I'm sorry it's taken me so long to write, but things have been a bit hectic. I will omit the travel details to concentrate on the amazing things that have befallen me. My arrival on the mainland was uneventful, and I have seen the most amazing things, but it wasn't entirely as I had pictured. You know that it has always been my nature to jump in with both feet, and often curse myself for a fool if things don't turn out as I expect. That does not mean I was about to give up and come home, but it was starting to feel like Polygnostic University all over again. Quite ironic in light of what happened next.
As at home, people here form groups based on shared interests. One day I sent my compliments to a Miss Karas, whom I thought was simply a Heterodyne stories enthusiast. Shortly after, I found myself summoned into the presence of none other than Herr Baron Wulfenbach himself. I don't think I've ever been so nervous. I was still dressed in the mainland fashion (Mother would have skinned me if she saw the tiny dress I was wearing) Herr Baron took it in stride however, and sent me off with his Vice Consul, Frau Lowey, to get properly attired. Once I was dressed Frau Lowey oversaw the administration of a brief history examination. I was sure I failed miserably, but after we rejoined Herr Baron, I was accepted onto the consular staff.
I can see you so clearly in my mind, wearing the expression you always get when you think I'm being reckless. With perhaps one or two exceptions, the Baron's enemies are far from here, and unlikely to notice me anyway. The Baron himself has been unfailingly kind, and as thoughtful as one would expect with the pressures he is under. Frau Lowey has been most kind as well, she even conducted me on a shopping excursion through Steelhead. They have both helped me to feel at home here, and I hope to get to know them better.
Which brings me to to my new home. The office where I first met Herr Baron, is in Steelhead, in the Oregon Territories. If any dime novelist has ever written about a place like Steelhead, I've never seen it. The town manager Mr. Totallunar Eclipse is an Elf, his wife, a Spark, quite volatile apparently but I've not seen that side of her. The local Sheriff is a werewolf. The town Doctor is under some demonic curse as I understand. It's all quite uncanny, and even though I've only just met them, and all the other locals. It feels, in the best way, like being with family.
I'll trust you not to breathe a word of what follows to anyone else in the family, but I feel I must tell someone. You know I've never believed the family stories that some distant branch of the Weatherwaxes were powerful magic users. Now, I'm no longer so sure. Since coming to Steelhead I've discovered in myself the power to change my shape. As I write to you now I'm wearing the form of a Drowess, (The sight of my dark skinned hand moving across the page has been quite distracting.) I've also been a cat-girl with a tiger striped skin, and a mare. Trying to do anything with hooves instead of hands is no picnic, I can tell you. Fortunately my changeling nature hasn't interfered with my consular duties, as I am very eager to explore this ability more fully.
I will write more when I can, but I must get to work on building a house for my newly purchased land.