BOILERTOWN: Chapter Outlines

Photo by Larry Combs

Photo by Larry Combs

Here are the chapter outlines, the titles in bold are the finished ones. There a couple titles missing however for they are just to pivotal to the plot to divulge just yet.


Prologue: The Life, The Death, and The Shit
Chapter One: Dinosaurs in the Sewers
Chapter Two: “I Need More Guns”
Chapter Three: The Unexpected Houseguest
Chapter Four: In Absentia
Chapter Five: The Only Way Out is Down
Chapter Six: The Rats of Boilertown
Chapter Seven: Poltergeist
With the addition of Greta Scot to the household strange occurrences happen more frequently. Stuff goes missing-important stuff. Ms Marlybone looses touch with Mr. Talitee, goes on a rampage, and knocks everyone out- including herself. Shit gets really crazy. Greta Scot hates Orby and in a fit of rage she smashes Fenmore LeMerde’s friend and exposes a gooey surprise.

Chapter Nine: Greta Goes Home
Chapter Ten: Many Surprises
Chapter Eleven: A Cautionary Tale
Chapter Twelve: The Lost City of Caldera
Chapter Thirteen: IMMORTALITY

BOILERTOWN: Character Bios

Photo by Larry Combs

Photo by Larry Combs

Character Bios in Order of Appearance

Fenmore LeVie (P.E. Fenmore) – Inventor, eccentric, philanthropist, and humanist from the mid-nineteenth century who built himself a time machine out of a claw-foot bathtub. One of the first excursions he took was to the very end of the world to see how it all went down. The vision haunted him since and he vowed to do everything is his power to stop it. Through use of his time machine and an indeterminate amount of machinery and manpower he succeeded in capping the intense geothermal heat of a supervolcano before it’s eruption and by harnessing the hydroelectricity of the neighboring ocean he created an immense boiler system the likes of which the world had never seen before. Giant spires erected around the perimeter of the island power a force field to keep the air breathable and the encroaching atmosphere at bay. The remaining populace of the dying planet flocked to the last holdout of civilization and Boilertown was born. As his dreams of prolonging life on earth came into fruition he proclaimed himself leader and called himself Benevolent Dictator of Boilertown Fenmore LeVie, for he was indeed a giver of life. He was never really fond of first name anyway. Naturally with this new title he had taken to wearing white or beige tones. Fenmore LeVie could not have accomplished all of this on his own.

Willoughby– Willoughby is his assistant and a primary operator of the claw-foot time machine. It his duty to travel to the destination first and set the moment up to fall into its proper place in the future: Everything from mining the ore to form the pipes to decimating entire herds of dinosaurs to create more fossil fuels. The youngest in the Fenmore line referred to Willoughby as his butler, but he’s so much more than that he’s a time butler. Unfortunately traveling so much through time has done terrible things to Willoughby’s appearance. It has left him looking brittle, bedraggled, and sometimes barely corporeal. Most of his exposed skin is covered in sores from the onset of radiation poisoning. He is rarely seen in person, he usually flits about in and out of time sometimes in multiple places at once. Willoughby has been known to shove or body slam people to get them where they need to go. He has surprising strength for such an ethereal looking guy.

Fenmore LeMort- Conditions deteriorated considerably as Boilertown passed down from from one Fenmore to the next. LeVie’s progeny was everything the Benevolent Dictator was not. In fact he dropped the name Fenmore, for he was never really fond of his surname to begin with and just called himself LeMort. The Death. Systematically he destroys everything that Fenmore LeVie built. He starts by hijacking the time machine as well as its operator Willoughby. He travels throughout time harvesting people to help with the upkeep of Boilertown. Fraught with earthquakes, a failing shield, fireballs falling out of the sky, a whole ring of supervolcanoes about to explode, and time is about to fold in on itself these desperate times call for desperate measures. Through a grave new technology in the in the Fenmore family name these people undergo a shocking transformation and are reduced to soulless husks. Fleshy-byproducts that move about autonomously as if controlled by an outside force. Rumors circulated that these people were collected for a more sinister purpose other than indentured servitude. A handful of denizens that remained intact fled underground to the Boilertown’s expansive sewer system to escape the clutches of the lecherous LeMort. Their fate is a mystery. The last thing LeMort takes from Fenmore LeVie is his life and then he just disappears. Only one man remains in Boilertown with conscious thought and his body and soul intact.

Fenmore LeMerde– He is the unfortunate heir to Boilertown. Unfortunate in the purest sense of the word for LeMort gave him the title meaning “The Shit,” for not only was he left with the bitter end of of a thriving empire but it also means unwanted. There is a certain resilience his character and he even came to referring to himself as “THE Shit” As a child when things started to go downhill Fenmore LeVie packed him up in the claw-foot time machine and spirited him away to the Fenmore Manor in the mid-nineteenth century. Years later he was bludgeoned by his beloved butler Willoughby and brought back home. His grandfather may very well be dead, his father LeMort missing, and most likely guilty of the foul crime. Boilertown is in utter collapse and time is in ruin. Due to the indeterminate amount of time spent alone in his new home his age is unknown. Though he says he’s been there fifteen years with no one to talk to other than what he refers to as the Peons and they don’t respond to speech or violence. As time passes he grows to hate these beings more than anything for they exist as a constant reminder that he is truly alone. He has committed unspeakable acts as a means of survival. His only friend is a rescued robotic orb he named Orby. Despite seemingly insurmountable odds he is bound and determined to escape and look good while doing it. Somehow through all of this he acquired an impressive wardrobe -some say a time machine was involved. He is brash and when he first encounters Ms Marlybone he’s downright boorish. He is incredibly agile and never falls. Guns and gadgets are his reason for living.

Ms Marlybone – Magdalene Angelica Marlybone would like to think of herself as a right and proper Victorian lady but there is something rather otherworldly about her. For starters she’s always carrying around with her an antique oak box. It’s contents are very similar to that of Fenmore LeMerde friend Orby. Except her constant companion actually answers back. It’s a glowing red ruby with powerful capabilities. It came from a fallen meteorite when the earth was in its infancy. It used to be much larger but over the years its shiny sheer surface has been chipped away and passed through many hands, used for scientific breakthroughs and experiments and so on. In search of a new handler, the ruby was on a traveling exhibit that passed through little Maggie’s town. When she first saw the gem in person it spoke to her saying IMMORTALITY. MR. TALITEE is how her child mind registered it and her friend now had a name. As she grew older, her link with Mr.Talitee appeared to give her preternatural abilities such as sharpened intuition and heightened dexterity, sometimes it seems that her brain isn’t even on this plane but tuned into something far larger than what any of us on earth could imagine. She’s immune to most illness and has an increased threshold for pain. Perhaps Mr. Taltiee was right after all with that very first word he spoke to her and Ms Marlybone was on her way to becoming immortal. In the meantime she’s not particularly dying to find out. Protecting the special space rock became her sole purpose in life, she was trained in every manner of self defense and martial arts and a whole manner of weapons. Though mostly she is her own weapon. She was hired to work with P.E. Fenmore on a new life prolonging technology, unfortunately Willoughby got in the way and she was forcefully spirited away into Boilertown. She may very well be a skillfully trained killing machine with a veritable space alien living in her head but nothing prepares her for what she encounters in her horrible new home. She takes to wearing a Victorian Mourning dress as she grieves her loss of civility.

Greta Scot- Her past is a mystery and her name is made up. She was born in the sewers among the survivors that fled underground. She never saw the light of day. As a child a great tragedy befell her fellow sewer dwellers. Orphaned at an early age a pair of giant sewer rats took her in and raised her as one of their own. As she grew up she lost any semblance of humanity, relying solely on her animalistic instincts to survive. As far as morals are concerned, she’s fairly certain that they are some form of mushroom. She eats whatever creature she can find for there is a surprising amount of life underground being so close to a supervolcano. Rats grow to the size of dimetrodons and there are also dinosaurs down there too. Much like her diet she is an opportunist with her weapons as well, using whatever tools and bones left behind in her childhood home.  She lives in a well fortified sewer den with a stockpile of belongings from her former life. Her skin and hair would have have been pale almost translucent for spending her entire life underground except for the layer of decades worth of  reddish- brown sewer grime. Bathing is out of the question for she has to mask her scent. Greta Scot dresses in the  hide of her fellow giant sewer rats that she lovingly called her parents and sports one of their skulls as a helmet when she goes out hunting. Greta Scot’s life revolves around finding her next meal. In the wake of the death of her parents, they left behind two baby giant sewer rats. Being a good mother and raising them in a good home has taken up most of her time. Life was good in the sewer until Ms Marlybone and Fenmore LeMerde came traipsing in there with their big guns and tranquilizers and dragged her up to the surface. She sorely lacks communication skills but obviously knows a lot more about the current situation than what she is letting on to her new housemates. But then there would not be much of a story.

Boilertown: Blood and Shit.

(Photo by Larry Combs)

(Photo by Larry Combs)

In my perilous quest to finish The Boilertown Saga here is an excerpt from the chapter called “The Rats of Boilertown,” in which Fenmore LeMerde engages Greta Scot in hand to hand combat in order to extract his much needed answers from her. He gets more than what he bargains for.

Greta Scot’s eyes darted this way and that scanning to see if Ms Marlybone was out there somewhere armed with the tranquilizer gun. Then she crouched down low and tilted her head sideways sizing up her sparring partner. Fenmore LeMerde was a formidable opponent exceedingly agile and efficient. Proficient in causing the greatest amount of damage with the least amount of effort. He said so himself he never falls. All those years Greta Scot spent alone in the sewer had left her lean yet sturdily built. She relied on the pure animal instinct to survive. Her fighting style mimicked that of her adoptive parents the Giant Sewer Rats with gnashing teeth and slashing claws. She was grounded soundly on sturdy legs and was somehow capable of taking down monsters much larger than herself. Fenmore LeMerde remembered his first chance encounter with the sewerling and how he and Ms Marlybone interrupted her dinnertime. He hoped she understood this was only a game. Simply speaking to her was getting him absolutely nowhere. So he tried to communicate with her through something she was bound to understand: violence. No guns and no orbs. This is hand to hand combat, he told himself and hoped the look in his eyes conveyed the fact that he wasn’t about to kill her. For a brief second he wondered if he was in over his head. This is Boilertown everything is over my head. Fenmore LeMerde exhaled slowly and took the first swing proving he wasn’t opposed to hitting a girl. She dodged the blow and ducked down low, put all of her weight on the balls of her feet, tilted sideways and aimed her shoulder at his ribcage with the full intention to knock him off kilter. But he recovered too quickly from his misplaced punch, took a swift step back, and put his shoulder to hers to counteract the blow. The impact jarred them both but what he didn’t expect was a sound kick to the Steam Baron’s shin by the sewerling’s heel. He must have lost his touch he thought as the sharp pain shot up to his knee. He vowed to never let that happened again. Taking a step back to regain his momentum, he landed a hard punch to her nose in hopes to remind her of the scratches she previously inflicted to his cheek. Hard enough to make her take him seriously. She growled baring her teeth and shook away the pain. The sewerling flexed her forearms as if preparing to rip him apart. No guns, no orbs, hand to hand combat. No guns- He wished he had a weapon for at that moment she lunged forward and brought all of her weight down hard on Fenmore LeMerde’s boot. Half punching half clawing she then landed a couple powerful swipes, gripped her opponent by the lapels of his waistcoat, and brought his head down to meet hers in a vicious headbutt. Their foreheads smacked together. His brain rattled. He stepped back for a slight reprieve, surely she could not have gone unscathed by such a blow. He blinked away the pain and sized the sewerling up. She fights like a – whats that thing called again? A bison. He thought in a moment of clarity and neatly dodged her following swings. Greta Scot fought dirty and did not know when to quit. She used all of her weight and momentum for the majority of her blows and this he knew he could use against her. He took a step back and expertly blocked the next swipe of her raking claws. He then grabbed her by the wrist and forced her hand back  towards her. Unfortunately, her other hand landed hard at his jaw. He bit his lip tasting blood and somehow managed ignore his impulse to incur further damage. Her got her right where he wanted her. Holding her own arm bent tightly at the elbow with her forearm pressed against her windpipe. Fenmore LeMerde had both of her arms this time as he shoved her bodily up against the wall. “Tell me, Greta,” He said breathlessly and slowly for clarity. “What is happening here?” he asked. “How is this all going to end?” After all the effort, he wasn’t sure if the sewerling was even going to answer. It surprised him greatly that she did. Greta Scot spit the blood out her mouth as it ran down from her broken nose. The sewerling swallowed hard and manged to mutter one coherent word. “Shit,” she said.
“Shit?” Fenmore LeMerde was momentarily taken aback at her utterance. He moved his head to wipe away the blood from his busted lip onto his lapels unwilling to take his eyes or arms off of the rat girl. “What did you call me?” his voice dipped dangerously low as he pressed harder on her arm.
Greta Scot grinned toothily and let out a stifled giggle. “Shit,” she said again and snapped her teeth close to Fenmore LeMerde’s nose.
Before matters could escalate further Ms Marlybone entered the room pausing in the doorway and cleared her throat. The sewerling’s face fell at the thought of going back to sleep. Sure enough the next words out of the Spiritualist’s mouth were, “do I have to knock the two of you out?”
Fenmore LeMerde sighed and let go of Greta Scot who both sneered and looked guilty at the same time. “No.” he added brusquely as they both turned to face her, bloodied and bruised from putting up a good fight. “I was questioning her- it seems she learned new word.”
“Shit,” Greta Scot said again under her breath and smirked.
Ms Marlybone crossed her arms and raised her eyebrows cautiously regarding the sewerling. “Well,” she said at last. “She didn’t learn it from me.”