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An Accidental Visitor

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Welcome back! It's only been a bit over a month since my last update - I'm accelerating! I have made a few minor changes to the Hidden Valley, adding a few farms and a clinic.


Hidden Valley: City View - The A37 runs east-west, the A28 is north-south. In the town they become Marksborough and Templeton streets, respectively.


Region View - Hidden Valley Area. Hidden Valley is to the left, on the edge of the region.


Chapter 1: An Accidental Visitor

It was nearing midday, and Juliet was restocking the fridge.  Outside, a lone bird chirped in the distance and insects buzzed softly between the flowers. The wind had died down a little, but the clouds in the east were still slowly growing.

A faint rattle in the distance caused Juliet to look out the window to the west. It wasn’t an immediately familiar sound – she could identify most of the machinery around here by sound alone, and certainly all of the vehicles. No, this was certainly a car coming from across the desert. By the sounds of it, it had barely made it.

The noise continued to grow louder and developed a more serious tone. Grabbing her cap and the keys to the truck, Juliet walked outside and looked along the highway. Presently the car came into view. It was a battered station wagon, covered in red dust. As it approached the intersection it gave an almighty jolt. The front-right wheel came free. The sudden increase in friction dragged the car into a right turn, where its momentum pushed it up into a precarious two-wheel balance, a position it seemed to hold this position for an impossible time before crashing back down on its three remaining wheels. The fourth wheel, rolling along freely, caught the stop sign a glancing blow, wobbled slightly, and continued onwards.


Hidden Valley - Clinic is to the south, across the street from the service station.

Mark, the town’s medic, came running out of the clinic across the street, bag in hand. Juliet broke into a sprint as well, grabbing the traffic cones inside the door of the garage before heading towards the vehicle. As they reached the car, the driver’s door opened and a man staggered out, took two steps forward, and slowly collapsed. Mark caught him under the arms, bending his knees to soften the impact. Juliet hurriedly placed the cones around the car before meeting up with Mark.

“Do you need a hand?” she asked, as Mark gently laid the man down.

“Ah, Juliet! Could you get the stretcher from my surgery, please? It’s next to my desk. I’ll need some help carrying him indoors when you get back. Thank you.”

Juliet nodded, and then walked briskly over the street to the clinic. Tinkins, Mark’s cat, was asleep in her basket in the corner of the waiting room, but aside from her the clinic was empty. Fetching the stretcher, Juliet headed back outside. The man, while still dazed, had regained consciousness, and Mark had given him a bottle of water. He looked up from his patient as Juliet set the stretcher down on the ground.

“OK, we’re just going to take you into my office now. Juliet, could you lift his legs on to the stretcher? On the count of three, one, two, three, lift!”

Together they put him on the stretcher and carried him into the clinic. Tinkins opened an eyelid and watched them enter, then went back to sleep. After placing the man on the bed in the surgery, Juliet walked back over the street, got the truck, towed the car off the road, and put the traffic cones back in the garage. Today was shaping up to be more interesting than she expected.

Since it's not really that interesting looking at the same town for two updates in a row, I thought I might share a few pictures of one of the other cities in Halcyon. Today we'll have a look at Stewart Island.

Stewart Island in Halcyon's southwest. There are a few islands out around here, but this is the only one with significant developent on it so far. The island is named for Dr. James Stewart, a mathematician and one of the first residents of the island. Dr. Stewart's calculus textbooks are used around the world.


Stewart Island - downtown.


Stewart Island: East - Farmland and Industry.

I fear I may have gone slightly overboard with the contrast and brightness settings in these two pictures.

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Wow.  Call a mechanic while you're at it.  There's probably nothing that can be done for the car, but I'm sure I'd love to know what happened to it to cause all of the wheels to fly off.  Even in the most battered car, that shouldn't happen unless it's been through something really trumatic.  :P


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Only one reply this time, it seems.

Zelgadis: Juliet would be the mechanic, so there's no need to call one. And only one of the wheels fell off, the rest stayed on. But still, it's a bit convenient, it happening just outside the clinic and the service station. :P

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