Personal Turnsheet 1878

Henri Giffard (Earth)


To Thomas Edison, Mo12 for House Taurus: "As Elemental I have been
furnished with some information which has greatly concerned me. Firstly,
that a member of the Scientific House and more importantly a Mo12 Dr
Schreck is planning on destroying the world in a few years. I was wondering
whether you have had any contact with this individual and if so do you know
anything about him and his plans? Secondly, the weakness of House Taurus.
It seems to me that house Taurus is but a doll which is played with by many
houses but never gains any real power, we supply weapons when people want
weapons, we improve the lot of the common man, but in the end we never gain
power, do you have any thoughts on this? Why should all the other houses
gain glory out of our hard work? Finally, I have information that there are
Martians on planet earth, who are working with the Pope, a member of the
Twelve and are formulating a plan, have you heard any information about
this? I thank you for your time, and hope that if you need any help with
anything you will contact me ASAP. Best Wishes, Henri Giffard, Earth

To Mr Giffard, from Mr Edison: "My dear fellow, you raise some interesting
questions. Dr Schreck is a mysterious individual whom I have never met in
person and rarely corresponded with, but being a Capricorn he is inherently
mad and untrustworthy (remember this with respect to your own Cell's
Capricorns). His attempts to destroy the world, whatever they entail, must
be thwarted with maximum vigour. Be wary that your own Cell's Capricorns
may have similar plans in train, it is very much the nature of the beast.
As for our House, you make a fair point: it has been rare in the past for
Taureans to show any real ambition for power or aptitude at controlling it,
but if you judge the current generation any different from their
predecessors, then by all means encourage them to take as much power as
they may (without harming the other Houses of course, we must be wary of
the Charter) and use it to strengthen and benefit the House. You speak of
Martians, to whom I have just this month been introduced: they have been in
contact with the American government for some time. They are remarkable
creatures who used to live on Earth, so they say. More to the point is that
they have a truly remarkable technology unlike any of our own, which
involves the design and breeding of very specialized animal and plant forms
to fill many of the purposes to which we put machines. They have offered
our House access to this technology in exchange for our support against the
Pisceans, who are their enemies. It seems that in the past the Pisceans
massacred them. I am wary of antagonizing the powerful and vindictive
Pisceans, but there would be great benefit to our House from allying with
the Martians, Geminis, Leos, Cancers, Scorpians and Sagittarians, who are
apparently as one on this matter. I would ask you to discuss this, and the
other points I have made above, with your House colleagues, and inform me
of your conclusions. Yours, Edison."

Message to the Council, from the Vizier: "Members of the Council. You've
seen the case against the Pope as delivered by the new inquisitor last
year. Somehow not all Council members did understand the importance of
these matters so I put it on the agenda again for next year. You have to
vote on this question: "Is the Pope guilty?" and I quote from Mr. Fieldings
statement. "If found guilty, the Pope will be removed from his station and
expelled from the Inferno Club under the Law of Infernal Retribution.
Moreover it will be the duty of each of you to ensure that all efforts are
taken to destroy him by any and all means necessary." End of quote... Thank
you for listening."


Council affairs: the Vizier's motion to change the Charter I.IV was
carried, with the support of Count von Essen, Miss Valiente, Mr Giffard, La
Donna and Miss Wells. Mr Laing, Mr Darkenford and Mr Fielding abstained. Mr
Fielding clarified that he did not want the Council to vote on the matter
of the Pope's trial until the actual trial had taken place, but a straw
poll suggested that if the vote had taken place this year then His Holiness
would have been found guilty nem con, with Miss Valiente and Mr Darkenford

Research - you travel to Sir Derek's secret base once more, and meet with
'General Perisson'. He shows you and Ross the rituals and so on that he
uses to summon demons, and although you are rather disgusted by some of
them you swiftly get the hang of it and are able to reproduce his results.
You are confident that given a bit more time you could analyse the process
fully and work out which bits of the rituals are unnecessary and could be
stripped away - the aim being to be able to summon and control more
powerful entities for the same expenditure of spiritual effort. See
enclosed briefing.

Martian artifacts - the space projectile is just made of ordinary carbon
steel, very similar to Earthly metal, with some bits of brass (the
instrumentation and detailed castings such as the airlock threads). It is
not related at all to the anti-demon metal. Kirlian images show the
ambassador's spirit to be basically pretty similar to a human one, the same
sort of strength and range of colours, although with a slight alien tinge
to it. There is no sign of any demonic taint. She knows nothing of the
Selenites, she was not aware the Moon was inhabited. You and Baron von
Poelzig examine the gun and determine it to be a dead animal of some sort,
presumably Martian. It has died from lack of nourishment, von Poelzig
thinks, although this is far from his area of expertise. The way it works
is that when startled it turns part of its bodily chemical energy into an
electrical bolt, rather like an electric eel or electric ray does. It ha no
components and cannot be mechanically reproduced: presumably the Martians
breed them. The Baron tries to take a Kirlian image of it, but
unsurprisingly nothing comes out: he then feeds it to a rat, which seems to
remain healthy.

Portal - you recreate the Dimensional Mercury Mirror (a very unpleasant
experience which involves the inhalation of large amounts of toxic mercury
vapour), but rather to your surprise it does not work: when you climb
through you just get covered with mercury. There must be some extra
ingredient or component to the process beyond those visible, you think.

Space: the final frontier - Comte Bertrand busies himself about a private
initiative, conducting a series of Moon launches taking pieces of
prefabricated building material to Earth's lonely satellite so as to
construct a habitation, to be named Moonbase Alpha. What he purposes with
it, none can say, save perhaps Mr Dawson who is working alongside him
constructing further spacecraft. The Pioneer undertakes another mission,
with a crew of Mr Giffard, Mr Stone, Dr Bang, Mr Darwin, Mr Goddard, Mr
Swift, Colonel Maguire and Dr John Braine (a protégé of Baron von Poelzig).
Mr Stone has brought along a StoneWave transmitter, but is rather
disappointed to find that it does not work at all once the ship is beyond
low Earth orbit. Colonel Maguire launches himself off into space in his
adapted probe, the Mary Alice, early in the journey, and is seen no more.
Once at the Sea of Tranquillity once more, Mr Giffard seeks out an
underground city of the Selenites, and attempts to tell them by way of hand
signals that he has travelled from Earth to Moon in the Pioneer. He hands
over a number of exciting gifts, including samples of Earth lichen, moss
and algae, and in return is presented with some Lunar fungus, and also some
Selenite excrement, a substance they prize very highly. Mr Darwin
hypothesizes that they live in closed symbiosis with the fungus: that they
farm it and subsist on it, and in turn it is nourished by their excreta.
All the evidence he gathers seems to bear this out, and further suggests to
him that their society is not much more complex than that of an anthill.
They do have a primitive language, and are able to communicate simple
concepts to the Earth team, but they seem to have no real understanding of
the nature of the solar system. He would like to be able to dissect one,
but the expedition guidelines militate strongly against this course of
action. Mr Darwin believes that Selenites and fungus could perhaps have
originated here on the Moon, given the complete absence of any other kind
of lifeform, but without a proper palaeontological survey it is difficult
to say what their life here has been. They seem to bear little relationship
to Earthly lifeforms either. But that said, no-one has yet been down into
the depths of their community, the cities seem to go on for miles
underground: it might all be quite different down there. Dr Bang takes a
range of geological samples: later analysis shows these to be not
significantly different from Earth rocks, with no particularly exciting
minerals, although there is a better supply of meteoric material than is
readily available on Earth. On the way back, Mr Giffard carries out some
astronomical observations, and is surprised and alarmed to see that Mars is
much closer to Earth than it should be. It seems to have spiralled inwards
somewhat since Mr Dawson's observations of the previous year. On return to
Earth, Mr Giffard and Mr Darwin present their findings at the Stone Science
Fair, to much general amazement and wonder.

You give Graaf some diving suits, and supply blueprint copies to the new
Prussian Institute [without the revealing note attached - Mo]. Count von
Essen invites you to become a Director of it, and gives you a 15% share.