View character profile for: Enoch Solomon Fordham (P)
Posted: Sep 21, 2022, 5:14pm
First Posted by : Winteroak on Mar 6, 2018, 12:46am
Dusk - 18th August - The Steamworks - Late evening
Enoch Solomon walked over the South Bridge near Fog Bend as the always dim light of the day changed into darkness. Another day under the maelstrom. Another day in this fetid, bleak city they called home. The Last Bastion of Mankind. His shift had finished, not long ago, at the Cobalt Sextant, one of the largest metalwork factories in Dusk. He had joined its ranks a few weeks ago. It was not hard to secure menial labour at the workhouses.
Rodbusters were in high demand. Everyday someone died at the great iron mongering institutions. Every day someone got fired for simply displeasing a foreman. Most factory owners put profits above the health and safety of their workers. Even children and young women were employed in terrible conditions in textile mills and flagslag refineries. Furnaces were operated without proper safety checks. Workers in factories and mills were deafened by steam hammers and machinery. The hours were long and the daily grind soon took its tool on you. Still people had to eat. Eat whatever scraps the The City in the Sky deemed they could feast on.
He had joined the Cobalt Sextant to spread the word and tenets of the Red Crew. He needed to do so in secret, as most unions were outlawed and the ones that existed were simply puppets to the First Families and the Council. They did not care about the people of Dusk.
Dusk was relentlessly squalid city, a nightmarish place, with a brutal government and a grim industrial environment. It is was vast pollutant, a stench. Fat chimneys retched dirt into the sky, a city that never truly slept. Faint shouts, here and there, the calls of beasts, the obscene clash and pounding from the factories as huge machines rutted. The atmosphere of violence and corruption that followed you never relented; torture, madness, and death pervade the city, dark and foreboding.
Smokestacks punctured the membrane between the land and the air and disgorged tons of poisonous smog into that upper world as if out of spite ever feeding the Maelstrom. In a thicker, stinking haze just above the rooftops, the detritus from a million low chimneys eddied together. Crematoria vented into the airborne ashes of wills burnt by jealous executors, which mixed with Flagesium dust, burnt to keep dying lovers warm. Thousands of sordid smoke-ghosts wrapped Dusk in a stench that suffocated like guilt.
Dusk was full of alienated individuals, social groups, and social strata. People like Enoch lived on the margins of society, either by choice, or social pressure, or both. Identities were fluid, allegiances shift suddenly, the need to feed your loved one more night, a weight only the masses know of. Betrayal was commonplace, and trust was at a premium. Making existence in this already hazardous society even more precarious. Thus why no one knew his last name. No one knew he was a Fordham. Younger brother to the Butcher of Orphans.
To his mind and since an early age Dusk displayed an intriguing thematic dualism, between social structures, between the City itself, the Delve below and Elesium above. Awareness and reality intertwined at every junction of your daily live. That always struck him as the crux of the situation they found themselves in. Why would those with power ever release it unless they were forced to?
Revolution. That was what Dusk needed. And the secret to a successful revolution, in his mind, lay in The Steamworks.
Dusk - 18th August - The Sprawl - Late Evening
Enoch Solomon stood in the shadows of the unnamed cellar, listening to the orator preach to those men and women that had been invited to attend the gathering of one of the Red Crew cells. There were around 30 people in attendance. Men and women of all ages. Workers. Tonight's group focused on those toiling at the textile mills of Councilman David Corbet under brutal conditions.
"Why do we keep toiling away to feed the greed of Highholm, of The Twins?" the speaker asked. "Why do we keep sacrificing our sons and daughters to the bloody machines of this city, day after day, after day?" Solomon saw some people murmuring agreement. "And for what? For a handful of coins and scraps off their tables? Why do we keep toiling to keep them fat and safe while our children go hungry every night? Us, the blood force of Dusk. Clothing people that discard us like trash when we loose limbs, when our bodies break down and we can no longer work. People that would not piss on us if we were burning. For what brothers and sisters?" Shouts of agreement rose loudly mixed with laughter at the crude language used.
Five years ago when he joined the Red Crew, the group was yet another small underground movement you could find in any District of Dusk. The only thing that set them apart were the teachings and political views of their Founder, Ezekiel Tinker. His speeches on social equality and communal distribution of resources and power had a profound impact on young Solomon, who at the time was looking for a cause. And a cause he found.
Slowly but surely the Red Crew grew from a small group of factory metal workers into a ideology that was rapidly gaining traction among The Steamworks proletariat and many denizens of The Sprawl. They were not as big or popular as the Rising Star, the anarcho-revolutionist group yet, but that suited them fine. So far they had managed to avoid drawing attention to their final cause and ultimate objectives. So far the militia and the Council had tolerated them. Their rise was in no small measure due to Enoch Solomon's influence on Ezekiel. He had shown the older man the need to organize themselves and bring others under their umbrella. To become a force to be reckoned with.
He helped cultivate connections with the Dockers and Railway guilds. He encouraged talks and deals with the Glassblowers from the Foundries, made pacts with other Rodbusters groups and Spinners from the textile mills. Slowly but surely he masterminded a network of engaged cells friendly to the cause but acting independently from one another. Spreading the word. Building to the Red Dawn.
The day would come when First Citizen Josiah Hazard would turn his attention to them and they needed to ensure any attempt to dismantle their Crew would failed. Some would die, and die gladly they would, but the vision had to survive. It was a testament to his work and careful planning, that he could stand her among his brothers and sisters of the proletariat and no one knew he belonged to the inner circle of the Red Crew. Enoch took a sip of aguardente from his silver ornate flask and winced as the burning liquid slid down his throat. Yes, Revolution was coming to Dusk. And when it did, the Maelstrom would pale in comparison to what the Red Dawn would bring.