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EDIT: Edited for place name accuracy and re-posted to the HMA Badger community.

From the personal journal of Nora Hester Moberly

February 9, 1900
Port Chicago

My former bunkmate aboard the Endymion, Beatrice Scarbury, is under the impression that what we are doing here in the Royal Air Service will one day be historically significant. As it is, I find that I cannot disagree with her. She has, for some time, kept a personal journal of her day-to-day life in the Air Service as she is able and I have decided to follow suit. I have no idea what significance my writings may one day hold, but I am strangely compelled by this idea and so I write.

I have been transferred from the Endymion to a ship in the American colonies called the HMA Badger, based at an airstrip in Daneshire in the Colony of Wisconsin.

Being so near the boarder with the FRAN, just over the Mississippi River, I suspect the Badger's duties will be largely concerned with guarding the Empire's boarders. I have been assigned as the ship's Navigator, which is a step up from my previous posting as Navigator's Staff.

It is rather cold here, which is a change from the warmer climates around Hong Kong, where the Endymion is based. Instead of winter rains, there is a near mountain of snow everywhere I look. Here in Port Chicago, I have a clear view of Lake Michigan, the southernmost of the Great Lakes, and it is actually frozen solid as far as I can see!

Well, I say "as far as I can see," but today that is not very far at all. There is a raging blizzard outside. It has delayed a number of departures and arrivals at the base here. In fact, I was to have boarded a train earlier that was to take me to my new posting. However, this storm has delayed it. So, I find myself with an unexpected layover. I have wired ahead to the XO of the Badger word of my delay with my apologies. I am anxious to begin my new posting, so I hope that this storm will not delay me overlong.

The other officers here, the ones who have been in the American Colonies for some time, have told me a little about what the area is like. I find it hard to imagine a land that can be so frigidly cold as this in the winter would be as beastly hot as they describe in the summer. I suspect they are holding a bit of a candle to the devil. I will simply have to wait to see for myself how things shake out.

HMA Badger Garrison Cap Pattern

Hello all,

I have been informed that there are a few people looking for the garrison cap pattern that we are using for the HMA Badger crew uniforms.  A rough draft of the pattern in a pdf format is available here:

http://www.hmabadger.com/images/garrisoncap.pdf

To use it you will need to print it out in tiles at 100% size and then tape together.  If you have questions on sewing it up shoot me a message here or go to www.hmabadger.com and email me there.

Bob

aka Charles Roberts - HMA Badger Weapons Officer.

Tags:

First impressions of the new Captain

     Well, I've now had a few weeks to get a feel for the Captain of the Badger. I must say that I've never served under a woman before but I like to think of myself as open minded. I am sure the Admiralty would not have given her command if they did not have utmost confidence in her. In the initial turn over I made myself scarce as Captain Marks filled her in on the ship and crew. She seems to be a quick study with names and such and had the Officers down pat the first day and the rest of the crew in only another day. Once Captain Marks had completed his turnover and we had the official ceremony she asked to see me alone in her cabin and I braced myself for my first private meeting with her. From what I can tell she is extremely bright, tactical and capable. Pretty much everything she will need to be a fine Captain. I could not however judge her people skills on just this short meeting.

     Over the next couple weeks following the meeting I found the answers to my questions of her people skills. At first she was a bit standoffish and kept herself apart. I learned from the XO that the long periods of time in her cabin were due to her studying the ship top to bottom and learning every technical detail she could. I did see her about the ship at almost all times of day or night. She familiarized herself with the layout and also talked with the crew about the little quirks that all ships have. And, as a lot of the crew noted, the Ships cat Edward took a liking to her and that s a recommendation not lightly dismissed by the crew.

     I've now met with her several times and I think that she may take a while to develop the closeness that Captain Marks had with the crew. But that closeness is something strange to a lot of officers who are used to the very staid and aloof nature of the fleet at large. I myself was surprised when I first arrived out here on the edge of Her Majesty's Colonies at the looseness of relations between enlisted and officers. But with such a small crew and no other ships of the fleet nearby we have to rely on ourselves and that reliance creates strong bonds and close ties.

     So things are moving along now and the Captain is settled in. Captain Marks left the ship a week ago and is now enjoying a leisurely trip back east with his family and belongings. We have received orders from Chicago to perform a circular patrol around the Great Lakes and then west before coming south along the Mississippi. We will see how the Captain performs under way and maybe catch a French ship in the air to test her metal and give the crew a bit of prize money for their families. I will write again soon with an update as to how things are going on board.

    Jonas Moritaine, COB H.M.A. Badger
 
January 27th, 1858

Out of the harem and into the fire, it seems. Not only was I rescued by the excellent timing of the Embassy, but also man-handled and thrown onto the back of a grumpy camel by Sissy. As much as I had hoped for a quiet ride across the desert, Sissy very cheerily informed me that our cousin's ship, the "HMAS Nike" would be our escort to Istanbul Skyport and back, as well as our escort in the city and into the heart of the Convent of the Holy Wisdom. I almost fell off my saddle in a swoon at the thought of having to gallop along with Figchen, Sissy, and Adela, after heaven knows what.

At least, now, my poor, abused Galatea and I are aboard the Sweet Violet, which is finally airborne. It's easier to forgive my sisters their lunacy when clean, warm, dry and comfortable. Adelaide, who loves the fact that Mother calls her "dear niece Captain Adelaide", is telegraphing madly to us about some adventure in Asia where she rescued some jeweled idol from a cult of Azathoth-worshippers.

It's odd to see how each of us has grown up so differently. Sophia, the youngest, is, at 17, certified for most combat and peacetime magical maneuvers and rituals and takes her apprenticeship as perfumer very seriously, even if she does run off seeking new components at a moment's notice. Elisabeth has just finished her first dig in some desert somewhere (or maybe it was a jungle, hard to say). Adelaide has her own ship. I was sort of looking forward to just making gowns for rich ladies until arthritis set in.

As Figchen says, "In a pig's eye."

You can't choose your kin, I suppose.
January 26th, 1858

I've got Galatea fixed. Mother was right, there are three things that no lady should be without: a parasol, a pistol, and a stout wrench. I'm not sure she was thinking of sewing machine repair when she said it, but the sentiment was there.

Sissy has sent me a message saying that the "Sweet Violet" is almost airworthy. If I'm forced to choose between hopping aboard an airship and heading to Turkey, land of mystery and mysticism, and remaining trapped in a harem until I either become boring or die? I think I shall learn to find veils quiet comfortable.

No, no, now, Erika, that's horrible of you. She IS your sister and heaven knows what's become of poor Figchen. Those assassins looked rather unsavory. While I don't think her honor is in any danger (Figchen mastered the fireball before she was thirteen), she can be a bit of a shrew when she's cornered. Also, there has been talk of the Grecian Airfleet building up to attack Alexandria. I suppose I shall have to escape after all.

It will be a miracle if I survive this.

Sissy, you'll never own a new shred of clothing again!
January 25th, 1858

I have had a vision.

I'm going to kill my sisters.

First, Sissy comes barging into my shop, demanding I come with her on a jaunt to Istanbul, because she needs my machinery expertise. Then, Figchen chimes in, saying she need to go to Turkey as well, in search of certain fragrance oils she can't get any other way. NOW, I'm sitting in an Egyptian harem, while strange people poke and prod my dear Galatea, and it turns out that Sissy's important mission is returning A LIBRARY BOOK!

Elisabeth Maria Rosenkavalier, darling elder sister, if you find this and are reading it, assume that I am dead and will haunt you into the grave.

My only consolation is that the ladies of the harem are well-educated and, chief among them, is an elderly technomancer named Soraia, who assures me that, as soon as my credentials are confirmed by the American Embassy, I may be permitted to leave and hunt Sissy down. Wherever she goes, she'll never buy another gown again!

Sophia Johanna, you aren't much better. If Mother hears you've been fraternizing with assassins, she'll die of shame! Vampires aren't magical, so whoever that woman was, you won't get any "blood lily oil" from her!

Oh, dear. That clang sounded like the speed control gear off of Galatea. The last time that happened, the machine devoured three yards of silk velvet in a matter of seconds.

Sissy, Figchen, I'll get you for this.

Home is where my airship is.

Greetings friends,

   My name is Jonas Moritaine and I will be keeping track of this journal as it develops. A little bit about myself first. I serve in the Air Service aboard Her Majesty's Airship the Badger (H.M.A. Badger hereafter.) On board this fine ship I am what is referred to as the Chief of the Boat or for those of you not versed in nautical terminology I am the senior enlisted man onboard, generally it is shortened to COB (pronounced just like the cob on corncob). I did not start my military career in the Air Service. Originally I was a young salt onboard various oceangoing ships of the line. I enlisted when I was 14 years of age and this year serves as my twentieth in service to Her Majesty. Eight years ago I elected to serve onboard some of the first commissioned airships. I learned the ways of the skies, which are not that different from the waves.

  The last two years I have been stationed onboard the Badger, and only a few weeks ago our new Captain arrived from out east. I spoke with Captain Marks about her before she arrived and he told me that she was very promising and that she should be doing well as soon as she got the lay of the land as it were. The new Captain is a Miss Evalyn Brennan and while she is young she does have a very strong presence and I believe that she will be able to keep the Badger a tight ship. I forsee her tenure aboard the Badger being very productive, at least it will be once she gets used to the cold up here in the Northwest. The Badger is a fine ship and that is why we have been stationed in the far northwest of the colonies here in America where the closest real naval station is in Chicago several hours away. We serve many functions here from Diplomatic undertakings to border patrols against those French dogs to the north. It would seem to some that we have been relegated to a backwater out of sight and out of mind. But this could not be further from the truth. We may not be fighting in the skies over the English Channel but what we do here is important and the Badger a ship of distinction.

  I hope to hear from you other intrepid adventurers here through the magic of the Aetheric telegraph. Please keep me updated as to how things fair both here in the colonies and across the ocean in Europe.

     Thank you,
          Jonas

((Purpose of this Community!  Hey folks, this community is going to be a place where people interested in our version of history (a very steampunk alternate history) can come and discuss things and ask questions about what we are doing. We will soon have a website up that will describe our world in more detail and allow us to flesh out things as we work on them. For now please be sure to read the user info on this community so you understand what we are and what we are trying to do.

  Right now this whole idea started from a group of friends who have a love of steampunk. We decided to make an airship up and we would be its crew. We are not pirates, we dislike pirates, unless they work for us that is because we serve the Crown. But that doesnt mean that out there in the wide world there would not be others who liked our ideas for an alternate history but did want to be pirates, or serve on naval ships or just be normal citizens of the world. So with that in mind we decided to open up our version of history to others so that we could share in the fun. So, if you find this interesting and want to join up in Steam Century please do so, we will be glad to have you.

       Thanks,
             Jeremy))