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Eureka

 
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tommy_baby
Eruption
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2009 1:53 am    Post subject: Eureka Reply with quote

To the good people of Nickdisk,

It's been a while since I've posted in this section (I used to post here 24/7, how things change). Rest assured (or return to the bunker Sourire ) I have been working on storywriting and I believe I have improved since my...erm...hiatis.

This story was inspired by a real event - the Eureka Stockade. To avoid offense to the decendants of real people, I have decided to heavily fictionalize it, but the basic line of events is still the same. Anyway, I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

The Author.


Eureka

Chapter One: There’s Gold in Them Hills!

The Crown Colony of Nickelodeon, 1851.

The great explorer, James Isaac Neutron, walked through the trees. He had left the Town three days ago on his expedition, to open up the new land for the British Empire.

Personally, he’d rather be surveying for a free nation, but he enjoyed his job, so he didn’t complain.

Behind him, Carl Wheezer and Sheen Estevez, his companions, were arguing.

“…there’s no gold up here, Carl!” Sheen growled.

“Yes there is,” Carl replied, “There’s gold everywhere!”

“There is not,” Sheen cried, exasperated, “If there was gold everywhere, we’d be rich!”

“Actually, if gold was everywhere it would have absolutely no value,” Jimmy explained, “Everyone would have it, so no one would want more of it.”

“What did he say?” asked Carl.

“I had no idea,” replied Sheen.

“Wait guys, what’s that?”

Jimmy peered through the trees, making out a sparkle next to a dead trunk. He walked carefully over to it, and found the source of the glow. It took his breath away.

It was gold.

A reef of surface gold stretched around the area for several metres, up to a river, which ran at a medium pace. Deep below there must’ve been huge nuggets, just waiting to be found.

“G-guys,” he gasped, “We’ve struck gold.”



Governor Eugene Krabs sat in his office, reading a document. The colonies were in a bad state. Convict transportation had ended, and there were now few free workers left to keep the economy going. There were few profitable goods, recent rains had destroyed much of the crops, and a strange illness was killing livestock. It was also killing the government’s income.

Governor Krabs was getting very sweaty.

The door creaked open. Governor Krabs’ aide, a boy with a giant boil on his left cheek, walked into the room.

“Sir, a guy with weird hair’s here to see you,” he explained.

“Bring him in, Elmer.”

Elmer nodded, and left. He soon returned with Jimmy in tow.

“What is it?” Governor Krabs asked, “I’m very busy!”

“I under stand, Mr. Governor,” Jimmy replied, grinning, “But I’ve got good news.”

“This better be about money,” Governor Krabs growled.

Jimmy’s smile grew larger.

“I’ve discovered gold.”

Governor Krabs’ eyes expanded in surprise. He let out a creaky whisper.

“G-gold?”

Then he fainted.



Colonial Decree Twelve, in the name of Her Majesty Queen Victoria, VR.

All potential gold miners must pay ₤4 to receive a mining licence, which will be regularly inspected. It must be renewed every three months, repeating the ₤4 payment each time. Payment can be made no earlier then the ninetieth day of issue. Failure to present a licence will result in one month’s incarceration, two weeks of that hard labour. On third offence, the punishment is a one years hard labour and no chance of a new licence. Attacking a licence inspector will result in the punishment your magistrate feels appropriate, and repeated offences of abuse to police and soldiers will result in deportation from the colony.

Hereby signed on the date of twelfth of May, Eighteen-Fifty-One,

Eugene H. Krabs, Governor.

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tommy_baby
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2009 1:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chapter Two: Shantytown

Officially, the mining region was called the Western Ranges, but everyone called it the hills. This particular mining camp was officially called Bendithurst, but everyone called it Shantytown.

Why was it nicknamed Shantytown? Because it was exactly that. A wooden tavern, a bank and a police station were the only constructed buildings. Everything else was either a very badly constructed hut or a tent. They were uncomfortable, but the miners weren’t here for comfort. They were here for gold, but to be honest they weren’t having much luck. Such is life, in the words of Ned Kelly.

Trooper AJ Ibrehim stood outside the Police Station, pouting.

“Why do you get the horse?” he grumbled.

His comrade, Special Constable Walker, chuckled.

“I’m in charge,” he replied, sneering, “It’s my rule. Now get moving, I have a feeling we’re gonna catch someone without a licence today.”

Walker grinned menacingly, before galloping off down the dirt track to the western mines. AJ sighed, before walking on the eastern track.



Nathan Lester thought he might be doing something wrong.

He had filled the pan with dirt – check. He had taken the pan to the river – check. He had placed the pan in the river – check. Unfortunately for him he had missed a vital instruction…you actually had to hold onto the pan, otherwise it would sink.

Nathan was now reaching into the river, hoping to locate his pan, when Walker galloped up to him.

“Licence, Lester,” he growled.

“Y-yes, Special Constable Walker sir,” Nathan gulped, bringing his licence out of his pocket.

Walker inwardly cursed. Another one would go free. Unless…

The trooper pretended to be examining the authenticity of the licence. Then, without warning, he ripped it in two.

“No licence,” he chuckled, ignoring Nathan’s mortified look, “That’s against the rules. You’re coming with me.”

“But-“ Nathan began.

It was too late. He was under arrest for a crime he had not committed.



Timmy sighed. The river claims had gone like…well, places with easy gold, he supposed. He had been given a choice; claim jump, in which case he’d be thrashed within an inch of his life by the miner he stole the claim from, or dig for gold.

Digging was the safer option.

Timmy’s back was aching from shovelling. He wiped some sweat off his brow, turning to his fellow miners and fairy godparents, Cosmo and Wanda.

“How far down are we?” he gasped.

“One metre, sport,” Wanda replied, equally tired, “Not far enough.”

Cosmo gasped.

“You mean we have to do more digging?”

“Sorry Cosmo, but it’s for the gold,” Timmy sighed, picking up the shovel again.

Timmy heard footsteps walking up to him. He made a quick hand movement, and Cosmo and Wanda disguised as humans.

AJ was slogging through the bushland, obviously warn out. Timmy sighed as he pulled out his licence.

“I’ve got it, Constable,” he said in monotone.

“Thanks Timmy,” AJ replied, “Oh, don’t call me Constable. Walker’s the only one who’s allowed to be called that. Anyone else gets three weeks on the thumbscrews.”

Timmy chuckled as AJ went over his, Cosmo’s and Wanda’s licences.

“No. Seriously,” AJ stated.

“Ouch,” Wanda winced.

“Walker’s a cruel guy,” AJ shrugged.

“Too cruel.”

Another miner, with raven black hair and sky blue eyes, was approaching.

“I saw him earlier near Nathan Lester’s claim,” he sighed, “He tore up his licence and dragged him away.”

“Lester?” Timmy gasped, “What the heck did he do?”

“Nothing, as far as I know,” AJ mused.

“Wait a minute,” Wanda realized, “Danny, what were you doing near Lester’s claim?”

“Claim jumper!” Cosmo accused.

“I was meeting up with Dash Baxter,” Danny replied.

“Dash?” Timmy wondered, “The guy who owns the Empire Hotel? Why the heck would you meet with him?”

“He owes me and Sam money for some mining stuff he ‘borrowed’,” Danny replied darkly, “He claims he never heard of the stuff he took.”

“He’s friends with Walker,” sighed Wanda, “Not much you can do about it.”

“Wish there was,” sighed Danny.

“Maybe one day,” AJ mused, “Your licences are all in order, I’ll see you tomorrow.”

He walked away, a lot on his mind.

Dash was friends with the troopers, the gold licences were atrociously expensive and no one had a say in their issue. He himself was working for the very lot of people who oppressed them.

He had a lot to think about.

Back in town, a few people were going to give him even more.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2009 1:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chapter Three: The Nickelodeon Railway Company

Jimmy sat in his office, tinkering with his watch. He’d broken it on his latest expedition, and hoped to make a few improvements, like perhaps making it quartz. He was so preoccupied that he barley noticed a knock on his door, and only noticed the creak as it open.

“Excuse me, is this Jimmy Neutron’s office?” he heard someone ask.

A bespectacled man wearing a top hat and suit had stepped into the room.

“I am him,” Jimmy replied.

“Ah, yes,” the man replied, stuttering from slight nervousness, “I’m TB. I’ve just come from England…”

“TB?” Jimmy questioned, “Weren’t you the chairman of the Sheffield & Nottingham Railway?”

“Um, yes,” TB replied, “I was…then that blasted George Hudson bought me out…you know he’s a real croo-oh, wait, I was talking about something else. I realize that you have a little transportation problem in this colony.”

He was right. The roads from Shantytown to the Town were in complete shambles, where there were any. And as Shantytown and other goldmining townships grew, the roads would be under increasing stress.

“Well, I was hoping to build a railway line between here and the goldfields, and was hoping you, um, may be able to help.”

“What help d’you need?” Jimmy asked, intrigued.

“Well,” TB replied, “We need surveyors to inspect the land, so we can make tunnels and bridges and stuff, and we also need locomotive and rolling stock to be designed…”

“I’m in,” Jimmy replied, “I can do both, low salary. I get a lot from being Surveyor-General here anyway.”

“Good!” TB said, happily, “Look forward to working together. I’ll tell Roger Aske to start buying land!”



Thus, the grand private enterprise began. It was difficult to get going, as many landowners stood between the Town and the Goldfields. After lands had been bought, the railway company reached the hills.

As the line climbed the ranges, laying track grew more and more expensive. At last they reached a cliff-face that would not be crossed without a tunnel.

Several tons of dynamite later, a tunnel was in the process of being built. This was both dangerous and costly work, and by the time it was completed, thousands of pounds were gone.

Then they reached the Horowitz River, named after its discoverer, Eugene Horowitz, who also nearly drowned in it.

It was pretty clear that a bridge would be needed.

A very big bridge.

The company was nigh bankrupt, and asked Governor Krabs to help.
Governor Krabs wouldn’t pay from his own money, of course, but he knew exactly where to get the company funds from…



Colonial Decree Thirteen, in the name of Her Majesty Queen Victoria, VR.

As of today, the gold mining licence fee is being changed. It is now ₤4 a month, rather then every three months. All miners found without a licence will face the same penalty as previous with a fine of ₤10, ₤30 for repeated offences. Police officers reserve the right to hand out punishments for other crimes committed on the goldfields as they feel appropriate. Be reminded that anyone who informs on a licence evader will have his or her licence fee halved. All bartering for money by shopkeepers on the goldfields must give the proceeds (in money) the government, and all money collected by police on the goldfields will be given to the Nickelodeon Railway Company.

Hereby signed on the date of first of June, Eighteen-Fifty-One,

Eugene H. Krabs, Governor.

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