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I stepped off the stoop into the filthy rain. This world was some kind of version of old London, complete with coal smog that would make the worst metropolitan air seem clean by comparison. I didn't have an umbrella but at least the hat on my head would keep some of the rain off, and the long coat I was wearing was well oiled and repelled much of the wet. A carriage trundled by as I took in my bearings.
I looked to my left, making sure nobody was watching me, before heading right, a strange feeling of deja vu guiding me as I made my way toward the outskirts. I didn't bother looking where I was going. I was guided by instinct and familiarity with the real world. What little light was coming from the sky faded as I swiftly walked through the rain. At first gas lamps were spaced frequently enough to push the darkness back, but as I went the working lights become less frequent until soon they formed isolated pools of light and falling stars in the night.
The streets began to narrow as I hurried on, becoming crowded between the rough buildings, and narrow alleys, rivers of darkness untouched by the lamps, became more frequent. I was already walking briskly, but a glance at the watch in my pocket told me I needed to hurry. I broke into a full run, splashing through the puddles, and stumbling on uneven cobbles. Ahead in the night I heard a scream, bloodcurdling in the darkness, that then cut off. I was too late.
The scream had come from ahead of me, only a short distance, if I was quick I might be able to catch the man responsible and complete my mission. I redoubled my speed, and skidded around a corner. The narrow way between buildings was nearly pitch black, only the opposite end was lit, a rectangle of light into which the shadow of a man fled. I cursed even as I jumped over the Ripper's latest victim. My feet pounding in the filth as I strove for the light.
It was raining. I stepped off the stoop into the filthy rain. This world was some kind of version of old London, complete with coal smog that would make the worst metropolitan air seem clean by comparison. I needed to catch the Ripper and take his blade. Deja vu gripped me, this all felt so familiar. I tugged my hat down a bit and turned right ...