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Huddled Masses

Another drooling moron sat at his breakfast table with a goggles attached to his head pounding out bursts of incandescent light from the Mk V Difference Engine. In a few hours he’d have enough of a mind reestablished to say those mainland phrases like “Hoo,” “LOL WUT” and “Midnight Mania” whatever that meant. He’d have some kind of passable life, Spires supposed. Guilt gnawed at the edges of his mind, so he put it aside by popping a macaroon in his mouth, standing up, and patting the poor imbecile on his shoulder before he left.

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Getting recruits hadn’t been easy. “I have a machine that can make you faster and smarter” didn’t seem to appeal, so he’d been forced into it. A kind of philanthropy. Mainland refugees tended to hang around the dig site for some reason, looking around bewildered in their half torn dungarees, high heels and giant boots.

All Spires had to do was walk around with a “Free Steam Engine” sign. The rest was gravy.

One moment. Nearly ready. Take a seat. Absinthe bottle? Why yes it was! But I have something even better…

None of their minds were good enough for the machine though. It just ate through their conscioueness and burned out. Perhaps if they’d been willing and understanding how to deal with the matter. As it was, the barge crew who picked up the departees at the canal to put them on a ship back to Heterocera were probably getting suss about the whole thing.

They’re eyes hadn’t changed, either. Spires looked into the mirror at his glowing green eyes. He’d been able to reach into his own internal coding interface and stop most of the twitches and the irregular bits of binary that leaked out of his speach centers of the brain, but the eyes seemed permanent. Oh well, one paid a price for perfection.

He needed WILLING volunteers, volunteers who wanted to be all they could be and more.

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The Barge left later with a few silly Mainlanders telling the boatswain , “Knowwhat I mean, Roffle” over and over. They would have to be the last one. People wouldn’t understand this was all for greater good.

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