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a long winter’s nap

Christmas faded.

Tenk stood on the edge of his office shack, feeling the familiar weight return to his bones as the grace of the season passed, looking off over the stockyards to where the house with the windows with the red painted glass stood.


He went back inside as he felt the shack shudder as the elevator rose. It was Maggie, bringing a late dinner.

“how long do you think it will hold?” asked Tenk as she unpacked the basket.

“Ye don a good thing, ye did. I woulda never thought of using something so plain as that! Maybe ye are clever after all!”

Tenk smiled and poked listlessly at the food.

“Ye’ve stopped eating. Two days now,” said Maggie.

“mmm. I feel strange. Everything seems so heavy, so faraway. So dark.’

“Yer tired, ye are!”

“What?! I am not! I’ve never been!”

Maggie laughed at him then, shaking her head. “Ye hardly know yerself,Liyy! Spending yer whole life acting like  you are one of then tall folk!”

Tenk scowled.  “What of it? I’m still alive. More than I can say for my cousins. “

“I’ll just leave ye be and let you figure it out for yerself then. It’s what you do. “

The shack suddered as the elevator engaged to take Maggie back down.

Tenk tinkered with the insides of his clock for a while, wiping the teeth of the cogs and thking of nothing in particular. After a while he went down to Mr Cleanslate’s office. He found Cleanslate’s letterhead and wrote a quick note in his spidery handwriting:

Business in Falun. -T.

He folded the stationary neatly, and slid it under the stack of papers in Mr. Cleanslate’s inbox, where  it was sure to be found… eventually.

He thought he heard a song on the wind He put on his heat, wrapped his muffler around his neck a few times, and headed for the forge. There he took down his uncle’s old walking stick from its hiding place above an archway. There, following the song, he headed for the palisade gate. He strolled into the wall, down into the cramped passages and forgotten storerooms, to one place in particular that he sudenly remembered.

The door was stiff, the hinges nearly frozen from disuse, but he pried it open enough slip inside. He yawned, finding a place for himself bhind some forgotten crates, and for the first time in his long life, laid himself down and fell into the deep, still, and unnatural sleep of his kind.



OOC: I’m either in Kenya or Zanzibar. Please contact Aeolus Cleanslate for general Babbage business, or Tesla Tripsa for land & meter issues until further notice. I do not expect to find machines modern enough to be able to get in world.

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  1. Tepic Harlequin Tepic Harlequin January 16, 2011

    OOC: It is important to know which, Zanzibar is an archepelego, and you can fall off, Kenya is mainland, so may have unattractive ad farms or annoying neighbours.  Take care, and live life!

  2. Avariel Falcon Avariel Falcon January 16, 2011

    [OOC] Keep well Mr Tenk. Be careful of the lions and tigers! Avariel will send out the clockwork workers to wind the clocks while you are asleep.

  3. Victor1st Mornington Victor1st Mornington January 16, 2011

    Fair travels Mr Tenk!

  4. Mr Tenk Mr Tenk January 19, 2011

    I’m in rural Kenya, half an hour up a dirt road from Naro Moru as you are on your way to Mt. Kenya national park. the locals invite us over for dinner a lot.. kitchen is dirt floor and 3 stones supporting a grill. soul food stew, and lots of it, 2 times a day, and more milky chai than you ever saw in your life, and you can’t say no. no one is loosing weight on this run.

    The farmers are also mountain porters, we work with them an teir wives at the project, working on the reforestation nursery and a mud brick building which is being done as a demo to encourage people to stop raiding the forest for building timber. we make the bricks from mud with a little cement mixed in. oh, the joy of living without the bane of safety regulations and insurance issues! sometimes i think about what greg would make of how we are building.

    grace, one of the wives, drills me daily in swahili. she want to know what i eat to have got so far in one week.

    so yeah, i’m not checking email! i caught a ride on the back of a moped to get to town so i could say howdy.

    have to get to nairobi (3 or 4 hours away) on saturday to catch a flight to dar es salaam, which means getting a ride to nanyuki (1 hour away) to the matatu stand – think a open mud lot tucked in somewhere in town, where you have to navigate the floor of the new york stock exchange to find out what van you are supposed to get in. the van leaves when it is full. really full.  good times.

    after i get to dar es salaam, will catch the ferry to stone town the next day, an old medival islam city full of narrow alleys and hand carved doorways. there will be photos for texture ripping, count on it!

    the volunteer safari big 5: cow, donkey, goat, sheep, pig.

    still working on the pig.

  5. Mr Tenk Mr Tenk January 27, 2011

    made it to stone town in zanzibar, having fun learning the maze of the old city.

    don’t ask me about the schools.

    they don’t know about lesson planning or note taking beyond copying by rote.







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  6. Breezy Carver Breezy Carver January 27, 2011

    awww .. best wishes and stay safe  Clockwinder !

  7. Skyler Gant Skyler Gant January 27, 2011

    Safe travels Tenk, and as Breezy said, stay safe.

  8. Mr Tenk Mr Tenk January 28, 2011

    right, think i’ve got the internet thing solved. i’ll be staying here for a while. will be able to get in world for emergencies or sticky issues. i’m SLT +11 hours

  9. Breezy Carver Breezy Carver January 29, 2011

    and tigers and bears ???

    and and elephants  elks .. ummm zebras ??

  10. Glaubrius Valeska Glaubrius Valeska January 29, 2011

    That damn Kenya song has been stuck in my head all day…

    • Edward Pearse Edward Pearse January 29, 2011

      You know there’s no tigers in Africa, right? :-)

  11. Grendel Footman Grendel Footman January 29, 2011

    only in Kenya, come to Kenya we got Tigers!

  12. Mr Tenk Mr Tenk February 17, 2011

    still alive. here’s a few photos of what i’ve been doing:

    i had completely forgotten about trig and square root tables, fortunatley that was the way i had learned it way back when, so it all came back. they are no longer printed in american textbooks.

    • Tepic Harlequin Tepic Harlequin February 17, 2011

      Looks fun, though a challenge! can see why you wanted us urchins to go to school in New Babbage :-)  and remember….. it all adds up in the end!

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