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A Quick Diversion

Archivist note: This post is from an older recovered archive.

==Initial Post==

((Posted by Armand Foehammer on May 15, 2010))

My good friend Michael contacted me just after I had arrived back in New Babbage after returning from my excavations in Egypt. His voice was calm, but never-the-less urgent, so I immediately queried him as to the purpose of his call.

“You’re aware of the machine in the new Steamweaver building?” he asked.

“Yes,” I replied. “The Athenaeum.” I had been into the building and gotten a good look at the mechanical contraption Mr. Steamweaver was so proud of. To be honest, I was rather impressed that he had managed to accomplish what he had with the technology at hand. But for me to admire it would be like admiring the use of a flat rock to smash grapes, when one had a perfectly servicable wine press at the ready.

“So what of it?” I asked.

“We need to disable it.” Michael responded.

“Disable it?” I asked. “Why? And who is ‘WE’?”.

Michael had gone on to quickly explain that the Steamweaver company was in the process of converting books into the compact medium used by that technology. And that they were in the process of burning the books recently converted, and that the Steamweaver company had plans to become the sole proprietor and source for the information stored in the new medium. I quickly saw the implications of the situation, and knew what Michael was getting at…

“You do realize that this will only slow them down for a time?” I asked rhetorically.

“Yes, but perhaps it will give us a little time to come up with something else, something more permanent. Converting the information from the books, as they are doing, is fine. But destroying the books afterwards, and depriving people of an alternate source of information …”

“Yes, I see. Have you a plan?” I asked.

“Well, we thought about going in and altering the machine so that it looked like the design still had some previously undiscovered design flaw.” Michael said. “Perhaps that might slow them down enough looking for the fault”.

“And I surmise you need someone to handle the technical aspect of this operation?” I asked.

“I can think of no one better qualified.” he replied.

“Flattery, sir… Whom shall I speak with concerning this matter?”.

“Bookworm Hienrichs. I told her one of us would contact her about the details”.

“Might as well be me then…”. I found out where to meet Miss Hienrichs, and proceeded with all due haste.


I had gone to meet with Miss Hienrichs, a charming young woman, if somewhat subdued. (…although I do remember Michael mentioning how impressed he was with her knees…{?} )

She explained to me the specifics of what needed to be done, and I told her what I could do and how quickly. We agreed that the “operation” would take place at 18:00 (6pm) the following evening. I would have the “faulty” parts ready, gain entrance to the building via the sewer, make the substitution of the faulty parts, and depart via the sewer after I had finished. Others would stand as ‘look-outs’ around the building, and Michael was to keep an eye on things at Militia HQ.

After my meeting with Miss Hienrichs, I went over to the Steamweaver building to (take measurements) innocently marvel at the Steamweaver machine. I identified the target components, and left to return to my lab to manufacture appropriate substitute parts.


At 17:45 the following evening, I met Miss Hienrichs at her apartment. After confirming that all was still to go according to the original plan, I gave her a wireless communication device of my own design, showed her how to use it, and we parted company to continue on with the plan.

I made my way back to my laboratory, retrieved the needed parts, as well as the specialized tools I would need for the mission, and awaited Miss Hienrich’s word to begin the mission. Once I got the signal to “GO”, I made my way deftly through the sewers to the access point to the Steamweaver basement. Traversing the sewers of New Babbage is not for the faint of heart, but my time in the Army Covert Operations Corps. had prepared me for such activities, and I made my way expertly through the subterranean tunnels of the city.

Having arrived at the Steamweaver basement, I carefully made my way around the piles of ash from the books already burned by the Steamweaver corporation. Although I had people watching out for me, I still did not want to disturb anything anymore than need be. I reached the location for the first part substitution.

This is a delicate mechanical device, with delicate parts, so it is essential that I make use of the most advanced and sophisticated tools at my disposal. This is precision work, and requires a sensitive touch.

The people who designed the steamweaver building did not allow much room for people of greater than average height. Moving through the tiny cramped basement, around the machine and the the pillars, as well as the piles of book-ash was a challenge in and of itself.

There were a few mishaps during the operation, this is to be expected. As Michael often says, “No plan survives first contact with the enemy”. The key to these mishaps is to keep your cool and maintain a calm demeanor throughout, so that you may better deal with such unexpected problems.

After having completed my task, I informed Miss Hienrichs over my portable wireless of my success. I then made my way calmly to the sewer entrance, deftly entered the sewer waters and made my way swimmingly back to my laboratory. Things could not have gone more smoothly.


*Comment by Bookworm Hienrichs on May 15, 2010 at 1:35pm
Excellent work, sir!

And yes, a delicate touch and calm demeanor, indeed. *chuckle*

*Comment by Ilianexsi Sojourner on May 15, 2010 at 3:13pm
Well done! And I’m enjoying these photos. The combination of lab coat and goggles remind me of someone… :D

*Comment by Armand Foehammer on May 15, 2010 at 3:45pm
Can’t imagine who, Miss Sojourner…

*Comment by Ilianexsi Sojourner on May 15, 2010 at 3:54pm
I can’t either! Surely there can’t be *two* men with such a dashing-yet-distinctive appearance? ;D

*Comment by Arconus Arkright on May 15, 2010 at 7:52pm
The words “Big Red Cheese” keep popping into my head.

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