Doctor Obolensky eyed the interior of his observatory.
“Hmmmph…looks like the mice have been having a party while I was away. Have this cleaned up.”
The nearest Smashington nodded and whirred, and began to slowly toss various bits of debris out into the Vernian.
“A lot of work to build that platform to stage the Instigator for this operation, but I believe it was worth it. Which reminds me….”, the wizened genius turned to a person of indeterminable size and gender, swathed in a black cloak, who, unsurprisingly, was lurking in the shadows.
“The rockets are in place, and booby-trapped to ensure they aren’t going to be bothered. Actually, I’d be surprised if any of the rabble even notice them. But, when we were installing them last night, I did some calculations….really, couldn’t you have picked a *better* psuedonym, Obfuscatio?”.
The cloaked figure shrugged, and spoke, which at least revealed it was a man….or perhaps just a woman with the gravelly voice of a retired tobacco quality control agent. “All the good ones were already taken. What of your calculations, Doctor?”.
Obolensky nodded, and pulled a sheet of paper from his cloak. “I had intended to launch Piermont, with all of Babbage’s so-called finest, to the moon….or at least into orbit. But I had underestimated the density of the marble. The extra weight will mean they will, at best, end up going half-way around the world, and smashing into some rather impressive mountains in the Far East.”
“Well, they’ll still be dead.”, noted Obfuscatio.
“It’s the principle of the thing.”, answered the doctor. “Anyone could launch them that far, even Parx or that snake-man. I want them at least up somewhere where their atrocious music and attempts at fashion never touch the Earth again!”
“I see…and how are you going to manage that, now that you’ve already got the rockets in place?”, the cloaked figure moved closer and bent over the calculations.
“Well, I just need a kicker…something incredibly potent to spike the fuel with….and I know just the thing…”, the old man rolled a wheel of cheese aside, revealing a dusty bookcase. He plucked a small worn tome from it. “This is a collection of tales and legends about Pierre O’Toole, a former resident of New Toulouse. Apparently, he was well known as a both a distiller and aviator. Listen to this….”
“…but no matter how they pleaded, Pierre refused to return to brewing up his famous Iron Keg Mash, saying his whole distillery was busy making fuel for some sort of ship he was going to take to the Moon. He was nigh onto three months making a stash of the stuff, and no one has ever found where he hid it.”, the doctor closed the book and raised his eyebrow.
Obfuscatio shrugged again. “A legend, and even if it was true, how do you know it’s better than the fuel you already have?”.
“Because of this!”, replied Obolensky with a grin, pulling a large, battered rusty can from behind him. “This is a can of his fuel…or rather it was, as it’s empty now….you can see the label clearly says -O’Toole’s Moon Juice-…..well, it does if you can read the drunken scribblings of a franco-celt genius. And I can. Note that the can is completely dry…if there’s any of the mixture left, it’s just a few tiny particles.” The Doctor placed the can on the floor, and pulled out a match.
A rumble shook the Port, the ground shaking, and mortar loosened. Several less-sturdy buildings of nondescript nature collapsed!
Smoke billowed briefly, but profusely, from every door, window, and crack in the observatory.
Doctor Obolensky and Obfuscatio stumbled from the door, and out onto the observatory’s dock, waving away the smoke.
“Just what I need! And I know *just* who would know where to find this secret cache… and where she’ll be this coming Saturday evening! Mwa-ha-ha-hack…ahugh…..ha-ha!”.