The paintings were all off the walls. I carefully put away the last of the china and used a wrinkled lace handkerchief to wipe the sweat from my brow. The Victrola - a gift from the Aether Salon - was carefully stowed away. Only the furniture remained in place, and the movers were scheduled to cart everything away tomorrow.
As residents of the Steamlands well know, the entire area - and especially Caledon and its nearby environs - is subject to wide-scale tectonic changes. Most of those occur very quickly and unexpectedly, as the revelers on Mondserrat (or, more recently, the residents of Cala Mondrago) can attest. Fortunately, we residents of Caledon Downs had ample warning of the impending change and could pack and move in an orderly manner.
Still, as I locked the house door behind me, I felt a pang of nostalgia. This was my first home in the Steamlands - and, until this point, my only home. Were I selling it to a happy newcomer, or perhaps a couple expecting their first child, any regrets would be tempered with the happiness of seeing someone else take pleasure in the house. Neighbors came and went with regularity, but all were good people.
For the moment, I was homeless. However, the Guvnah takes care of his people, and kindly helped me negotiate for a property on Aether Isle, in the shadow of Steam Sky City. I engaged my trusty airship, the Hangover Two, placed the china, Victrola, and other mementos in the cargo hold, and set a course due west.
In another possible telling of this story, the Guv has decided that the weak land market and low occupancy rate in the Downs requires him to close Caledon Downs. I will indeed be residing on Aether Isle. Mrs. Volare has kindly suggested a metal roof to better repel debris falling from Steam Sky City; given the mischief that goes on up there, I might need something even stronger.
In all seriousness, I'd like to thank Des for how incredibly easy he made the process. I know shrinking Caledon's size can't be easy for him, the decision being made palatable only because the alternative - continuing to lose money on a sim that's not close to being full - is even worse. While he has every right to be grumpy about the situation, he was his usual incredible going-out-of-his-way self in getting me (and the others) out of the Downs and settled elsewhere.