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Ghosts of Xmas Past and Future (post-Dark Aether)

“Further Interrogation failed to produce supplementary data as a result of subject incapacity” 

Gadget frowned at the fearsome Counter-Clank Clank before him, “Unit#33!…surely….you didn’t?” 

Unit#33 paused as its analytical engine processed the inference in Gadget’s unfinished question, “release of the subject from the roof resulting in subject fatality was not necessary. Merely suggestion of such a release being imminent to the subject was sufficient to extract data. Subject incapacity was caused due to unconsciousness from prolonged inverted suspension and resultant excessive blood flow to the su……” 

“Yes, Yes, I get the picture” Gadget interrupted relieved that a murder was not on his books. Unit#33 had tracked down the delivery driver as he was returning home from his shift. The man had sung like a terrified canary about what little he knew about his parts delivery to the Van Creed warehouse a couple of weeks ago. The VC were clearly used to covering their tracks and this they had done with frustrating efficiency once again. Unit#33 had already scouted the deserted train siding where the man had made his pick-up and nothing useful had been found. The Clank, in full stealth mode, had gained entry to the railway marshals office and recovered any documents for the night in question. Only one document, scant of useful details or manifest had revealed anything except one especially troubling clue. The order for signals passage of a private cargo from unknown origin gave nothing away except the handwriting. Gadget was horrified to recognised it, and he was not about to reveal who it was to anyone. 

“Righto Unit#33, resume search mission, and try not to do any more ‘uman dangling……at least, don’t get caught….” 

“Compliance” replied the Clank as it swung over the roof top to the street below, landing almost silently from a drop that would have killed any human and scampering off into the shadows. 

Back down the sliding pole from the rooftop Unit#8 was still slumped in the corner. Gadget had given up attempting to order it out of its stupor. The Moriarty clank had started around christmas to get slow at responding to his orders until by new years eve it seemed to stop responding at all. Gadget had performed a full systems check and confirmed that all was still active and normal in the clank. Moriarty’s ‘guest’ brain was still functioning, but he had no idea what was going on in there and both mind and machine just sat in the corner doing nothing and not taking notice of anyone or anything. He had decided that he would seek Miss Bookworm’s advice on what to do in the morning and returned to his latest project on the bench for some welcome distraction. 

With only Unit#8 and Bill the sewer Rat for company, the lab had started to become a somewhat lonely place. He had noticed the sudden tail-off of visitors, both adult and urchin since he had bought Moriarty back and performed the procedure. Gadget was unaware if it was Moriarty they feared, or the boy who had imprisoned his brain in a machine. To rectify matters and cheer himself up he had turned to a trusted friend. Teddy had been a silent loyal companion for as long as he could remember. Worn and battered with only one eye left, Gadget had decided that he would bring his childhood toy to life with a brand new clockwork brain. 

As he worked Gadget slowly became aware of a presence in the room. He dropped his tools and spun around to see a glowing apperition in front of the prone Unit#8. As his eyes adjusted he could make out the figure of a woman in white. Her clothes floating as if she was hovering in an invisible water. Gadget opened his mouth to call out but no words came out, a strange feeling of calm pervading him as he watched her run her hand down the side of the brain’s glass chamber. Gadget let out a gasp and she turned towards him smiling warmly, as a small ball of light emerged from the clank. A strange sense of relief and joy overwhelmed the urchin as the Lady in white and the ball of light slowly rose up to the roof then vanished leaving Gadget in darkness and awe. 

He ran over to the clank and opened the maintenance panel to find no activity at all, the machine was devoid of power and the brain devoid of life. 

Moriarty, what was left of his mind and soul, was gone.


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  1. Mr. Arnold Mr. Arnold January 3, 2012

    I’d wish him luck with where he ends up…but I don’t think it would do any good.

  2. Avariel Falcon Avariel Falcon January 3, 2012

    Complete system failure? Oh dear…

    I guess I’ll put the unicorn body on hold…

  3. Rhianon Jameson Rhianon Jameson January 3, 2012

    Oh well…You can’t break an omelet without scrambling some eggs, isn’t that what they say? Science marches onward!

  4. Junie Ginsburg Junie Ginsburg January 4, 2012

    *is not mentioning Chucky*

  5. Bookworm Hienrichs Bookworm Hienrichs January 5, 2012

    Bookworm finishes reading the scrawled note from Gadget and sighs.  “Well, at least that’s one less loose end to worry about,” she mused.  “And Moriarty finally got what he wanted.”

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