Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Tragic adventure on Saint Kitt Islands (a delayed report)

It is long past due to document the events of the destruction of the Saint Kitt Islands, but I am pressed to now because of the disturbing seismic activity in Steeltopia -- in fact, threatening the Consulate itself there. As Steeltopia is more of a business area than a holiday spot, and has never been declared Perfectly Safe, it may be more of an economic tragedy for the business-owners and less of the human tragedy which characterises Saint Kitt.

On August 18th (a Monday), I had arrived on the main island, delayed due to office issues, at 13.29, dressed appropriately for the 'beach party' to which all Caledon was invited. The photographic documentation is in our image files here at the Society, but I associate them with the timeline below.

13.29: Arrival; find Herr Enigma wearing a sea urchin on his nose.
13.40: Large amounts of rock collapse from the volcano's crater walls and are thrown with great force for some distance.
13.41: Red-hot rocks are now being thrown into the midst of the party
13.44: A high view of the party area
13.45: Her Grace's yacht suffers a bouyancy problem. Hot ash fills the air.
13.50: (approximate time) Herr Nix Sands, burned by flying lava.
13.55: Wary observations of flying rock are interrupted by upthrusts of strata from the channel.
13.55: New landmasses start to arise; I am bitten by a vorpal rabbit.
13.55: The land drops beneath us by at least two Caledonian fathoms.
13.55: The effect the submersion has had on the party site.
13.55: One clever Caledonian has already converted their Chitty Chitty Bang Bang into flotation mode.
13.56: I move to the west for a better view...
13.57: Duke Otenth and some of the others struggle to find stable footing...
13.58: A flying camera's view of the changes over only 10 minutes.
14.04: Another high view, with details
14.05: Only a minute later, and the water levels have changed even more drastically
14.06: And nearly all is promptly submerged, including the volcano.
14.07: Scrambling for some sort of secure footing, or at least hovering.
14.09: Once again, the former beach site arises from the water, at least briefly.
14.09: Quickly enough, shallow waves broke over the 'dry land'. Duchess Diamanda's bar continues a brisk business.
14.11: A view from further west.
14.12: Sudden darkness.
14.14: Still in ash-induced darkness.
14.17: The bar, still intact. This may be one of the last images of Herr Miles before his presumed death and reappearance on the shores of Cavendish 21 August.
14.18: Lady Amber, the Baroness Bauerhoff, attempts to evacuate those remaining.
14.21: Alas, this was all that was left of Duchess CoyoteAngel Dimsum.
14.22: Evacuation airships, since boats were obviously useless
14.23: Was? Firefly class? Here?
14.33: A small (10 minute) patch of stability...
14.35: Fraulein Saffia Widdershins (by reports) and the Etheric Travel Cabinet crowd pick up a few passengers in the Rossini Dreamliner.
14.47: The land finally stops heaving under our feet.

We had no idea that only 30-odd hours later, Saint Kitt would sink beneath the waves, completely and finally, just before Cavendish arose with great peace and serenity in NE Caledon.

Other related accounts: Frau Duchess Gabrielle Riel, on receiving the geological report; Laird Brideswell, on the then-upcoming social event; Fraulein Boyarina Kate Nicholas for the Royal Society for the Advancement of Knowledge in the Natural Sciences; A letter from Fraulein Duchess Eva Bellambi to Boyarina Kate, on her reactions to the invitation; Fraulein Emilly Orr, first on the invitation, then her account of the event itself, illustrated; Duchess Diamanda Gustafson; Port Captain O'Toole on the fleet's rescue attempts; A five-page report recovered from the Spirit of Caledon, by Captain Tom Foster; Fraulein Rhianon Jameson reports in absentia; Prim Perfect magazine reports on the activity

(Surprisingly, I found no account in the archives for Herr Duke Otenth Paderborn.)

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