Sipping my tea and staring into the fire, I ignore the engineers report covering the floor.
“Ignoring the problem will do me no good… ”
“Nope” says Victor from the depths of the armchair.
“It wasn’t just the dancers making the floor shake yesterday was it?”
“Nope” says Victor.
“How can this be possible-is the Palaeozoic Museum really that old?”
“Yep” says Victor.
“I mean, I know having a glass house in the extremes of the New Babbage climate is foolish. So expensive to heat in the winter, and the soot eats away at the iron window frames… but I thought when they built it, they would have taken that into consideration. What was Professor Nishi thinking? Though I suppose really it’s not all her fault.. the City Hall explosion must have weakened some of the bedrock, the site itself is unstable they say.”
“Yep” says Victor.
“Well, it’s going to cost thousands. The engineers say that there’s really no saving what’s there; it has to have new foundations, over seventy eight percent of the framework is in need of replacement, and the site has to be stabilized before they can do any of that. I’m not even sure how they would go about stabilizing the site! But the patron support at the dance yesterday was incredible, I MUST keep the museum open… or is that just me being too sentimental?”
“Don’t know” says Victor.
“Well… I get a steady income from the Mechanix Arms, but that’s not really enough to rebuild the museum. If I sold the Arms… that might be enough to pay for most of the museum repairs, but I’m really not sure that would cover the site improvements.Excavation, new footings, something about reinforced piers because of the weight of the dinosaur “statues”, which the man said were exceptionally heavy in his experience. Isn’t that strange? Can you imagine why they’d be so heavy?”
“Nope” mumbles Victor.
“It’s really too bad I just paid Mr Cleanslate so much for the insurance policy on the White Rabbit. It’s just, having Doc O’s giant tower of doom looming up out of the Vernian, I felt the restaurant was so exposed. I should have taken out some sort of maintenance insurance on the museum instead.”
“Seems so” says Victor.
“Well, that’s all I can do then, I’ll put the Arms up for sale, and hope someone else will take it over. It really has been a wonderful jumping off place for new people in Babbage. I mean, those that don’t really need a fancy place like the Brunel-all the bells and whistles and pub and sauna and all. I’ll put up a sign tomorrow, it’s the slow period so there aren’t any tenants in at the moment.”
“Good” says Victor.