Archivist note: This article is from an older recovered archive and might be obsolete or in need of updating.
Most recent revision is shown below, by Galactic Baroque.
Professor Phineas J. Frakture
Where to begin? I come from an alternate reality. Well, alternate to you, at least. In my world, steam power came into use just after the American Revolution and was built upon by the scientists and laymen of America to further protect itself from the threat of British, French and Spanish dominance. Of course, technologies did not stay with the United States for long and our enemies quickly adapted through industrial espionage and spies in general. Only twenty years after our independence, it was decided that individual states were open to the temptation of foreign monies and it was decided to declare the U.S. of A. a single imperial state. Thus began the reign of the American Empire.
The First Steam War began in 1836 and lasted until 1851. It began after President General Santa Ana attacked the Alamo Mission outpost with over 1,000 troops. The outpost had a mere 100 troops and two steam trekker mobile assault scouts. The battle lasted twenty minutes and not a single Mexican breathed after the two scouts decimated that army. Then Emperor, Andrew Jackson, offended by this incursion, declared war on Mexico and the bulk of the American Army marched, rolled and flew into South America and wiped out all resistance as far south as the Yucatan Peninsula. Seeing an opportunity to attack a diverted America, Britain and France forced an attack through the Canadian territories. Resistance met their onslaught until the northernmost forces could return from Mexico to join the melee. A cease fire was finally agreed upon on June 16th, 1851, leaving occupied territories of both Mexico and Canada in American hands. An unsteady truce has lasted until now as the world begins to prepare for the inevitable Second Steam War. Rumblings of alliances between Victoria and Wilhelm of Germany have given way to suspicions that an imminent attack is near. Meanwhile, Emperor Bonaparte of France who has been America’s staunchest ally, is nearing death and his son Napolean II may be in league with the axis powers.
But, enough about where I’m from. I had a rather humble beginning. My parents were of somewhat modest means. My father a clockmaker and my mother a seamstress. We did well for ourselves, until a fateful night in October when I was five. Below the surface of New York dwelled a conglomeration of beings called Dolonites. Hulking, lumbering creatures wearing atmospheric suits who raided the surface for odd items and, on occasion, human males. No one knew who they were or what they looked like, only that if you were taken by them…you were never seen again. It was on that night that they entered our home. My sister, Isabel, and I were shoved into a crawlspace above the upper hall, where we watched in horror as they took my father. We listened to our mother’s screams as they dragged him away and waited for someone to help…yet no one ever helped when the Dolonites came. There was nothing anyone could do. My mother was never the same after that and had to be institutionalized. My sister and I stayed with her brother in the upper regions of New York after that, sending us to school and allowing us to run our own lives as he was busy with his own.
I was something of a prodigy as a child, more so than the average child of that day. I had a keen interest in mechanics and by the age of ten, had constructed my first steam automaton. Most children create one by fifteen. I flew through the school systems and my thirst for knowledge was not halted by others’ lack of it. What they couldn’t teach me, I found out for myself and soon, I was teaching that to others. I began instructing the physical and mechanical sciences at Upstate Imperial University in the New York Provence when I was twenty and have been there since.
I had been perfectly content at teaching and working in my lab until a another dreadful day came around. My trusted assistant, William Patterson, while in the city looking for a coil I needed for an engine I was working on, had been taken by the Dolonites. Persuaded by my companion, Abigail Bentley, we managed a rescue…but that is a story for another memoir. After that, it seemed that life was intent on keeping me from my work with tragedy followed by emergency…as if I had time to adventure off from my studies.
It was a short time ago, when I finally finished the revolutionary engine that I had worked so long upon. It ran on a principle of magnetism, though it did not run as intended. Instead, it created a slip through reality and on its maiden test, I found myself in another world, though almost the same as my own. Through a series of trials, I discovered that I could tune the engine to other realities which I traveled to and explored until I reached the final setting on the device. It was then that fate stepped in once again in the form of a bolt of lightning. I was struck at the moment of activation and thrown through reality to land in a strange place called New Babbage. The Magnetronic Reality Tuner was obliterated and I was trapped in this reality…for good, it seems.
Since then, I have taken up residence in this town…though by residence I mean alleyway, park bench and abandoned storefronts…and have traveled the locale, searching for a way home…if there is one. Without my original notes and schematics, creating a new MRT has proven almost impossible, as I am missing something key to its operation. Until I do succeed, I have decided to stay in this hodgepodge world where most everyone drinks tea and eats scones…uggh, at least the Cocoa Java has coffee the way I like it.