Okay, it’s not up to my normal standards
May 28, 2012
But here’s the beginning of what I’m working on for my Victorian superhero team.
I don’t know what it is but I just can’t string words together today.
At 15 Baker Street, London sits a tall and stately building that houses the remains of a science club almost forgotten among the eugenicists, the poets, the rakes, and the various mathematical and physical science clubs in London. Through the entrance hallway, down a sloping ramp (built so that Charles and Isembard in their later years could easily get to the work area), down another hallway and inside a large room beneath the street sat a workroom housing a matronly woman and the last, great work of Charles and herself. Ticking away softly, the machine in the middle of the large wooden table and she watched. Her notes were out before her, scrawled with modifications to her algorithm. When the buzzing of the machine’s many switches and gears stopped, she snapped her attention toward a mechanical printer next to her and looked through the scrolled output.
After several moments of reading, the woman rose from her chair and stormed down the hallway, up the sloping ramp, and out onto Baker Street, locked the door, and hurried to the nearest telegraph office. Held tightly in her hand was a list of addresses and names carefully noted with a simple message.
“Danger in London. Need Assistance. Come to Lovelace Estate Post-Haste”
Charles Babbage sighed softly as he settled into his wheelchair and looked over the engineering plans on his wall. He was not sure he would be able to see the Analytical Engine advance this far but, due to the lucky intervention of a brilliant doctor, he still had the assistance of Ada Lovelace and, now, the brilliant mind of Isambard Kingdom Brunel to assist him on the issues of information storage. Now, though, he felt like he was getting old and this was getting too difficult. Today he was hoping to meet a new engineer, though, who may help him fix the problem for good. He was a young man from Slovenia, a brilliant electromagnetic and electrical engineer. Perhaps he could keep the young man from being swallowed by the growing empire of the young upstart Thomas Edison. Before his thoughts could turn dark, though, a serving man burst into his study.
“Sir! A telegraph from Lady Ada Lovelace has arrived for you! You’re needed at the club!”
Percy Florence Shelley looked longingly at a small portrait of his mother and sighed softly. She inspired him to become a doctor and, eventually, to pursue the surgical sciences. While he couldn’t save his mother from the tumor that plagued the end of her life, he was able to save many others that have become important to the modern world, such as the Lady Ada Lovelace. Now, though, he was at work on his greatest accomplishment – the realization of the possibilities hinted at in his mother’s novel. He has resurrected formally dead flesh. Turning away from his desk and back to his surgical slab, his Creature laid quietly there. “It saddens me, Mr. Shelley, that we shan’t be able to hear your voice. I have yet to find a vocal box that will fit within your throat.” His hands worked slowly at removing the now-unnecessary threads that had stitched the Creature together and examined the healed limbs. When the body had returned to life, once the Creature had grown used to movement again, the body had knitted itself and those differences in skin color and musculature had blended into a uniform presentation. He turned back to his notes about life extension and flipped through what he would need to do for Lady Lovelace on their next visit when his door chime rang. One of his medical assistants entered with an envelope in one hand and a telegram in the other.
“Sir, the Lady Lovelace has requested us to join her at her club in London. It seems we are needed, as well as the Creature.”