Daftwager Twitter: Day 58 – Part 2: Brunel’s Hidden Kingdom

Day 58:

 

07:00; Standing on a bridge over ice-cold waters now. Bag in hand, containing the brain of a dead man wired with the soul of an unborn machine. Certainly hell bound heresies, all of them. I step off –

08:00; *sleepy*

09:00; …

10:00; …

11:00; …

12:00; …

13:00; I join my ragamuffin band of Water-Travellers, as they demand to be called these days, for dinner. Call them what you will, River-Gypsy Rat-Stew is as exquisite a dish as it is accidentally poisonous …

13:10; … which a test-taste declare this to be neither. Still, this was the only steady transport out of London, with the trains down, & my SteamGear inspector’s credentials won me temporary succour aboard.

13:20; True, descending slowly, from the bridge above, onto their house barge, was an unorthodox way for an SteamGear inspector to arrive. Surprising what shouting ‘Surprise Inspection!’ will explain away.

13:30; They offered me a bed on their load non-perishable processed textiles. I accepted, bedded down, became invisible & bedded in the bed of the barge’s widow-owner. Quilt: had a tog value of eighteen.

13:40; Oh, she wasn’t in it at the time. She was hurriedly concealing all those smuggled drugs that haven’t seen the light of day since docking in London stuffed in 3 purple donkeys & a raffia-working of Christ.

13:50; Should SteamGear inspectors like myself discover she is disseminating drugs through the country’s canal system, its industrial veins, she would be disconnected from the Central Chain Haul Hall. Scary.

14:00; Yes. Disconnected from the chain, the clean means of motion provided by the infinite torque of the London’s only Singing Gear, she would be adrift without trade or profit in a sea of economic troubles.

14:10; Slower than the road, yes. But the road would be far slower, without such canals. Imagine a world that didn’t transport raw & finished non-perishable materials, by canal – the traffic jams – outrageous!

14:20; Air transport is expensive. Water-Travellers, in lines of barges, along chains, linked to a gear of infinite torque at the city centre, is cheap, clean & a smuggling network. Always – a reassuring dark side.

14:30; Singing Gears have been harnessed to more sinister engines. Of the five the Germans posseses, one is wedded to the Meinschaftworks; everything from rooftop mills where they make the wind, to the –

14:40; – mine-deep shafts, where they quake the earth. The mass production of over half the world’s weapons goes on there, Ratman’s chiefmost designs amongst them. That is a well-purposed Singing Gear.

14:50; Of course the Germans have the most Gears. They salvaged the most power sources during the War & Fall. Britain’s biological sciences leapt forward after what it found. America – got the computers.

15:00; Rare good it did them in the Crash & Depression. Quite the Achilles heel. The current Steal Gear going on at length about his ancestor’s attributes in that era, informs emphatically that this was the case.

15:10; But enough of interplanetary invasions & interdimensional intrigues: back to drug-smuggling-widow & mother-of-8, Minya Teche. What fault her fall? She would certainly lose this express lane location.

15:20; Very fast lane; excellent time. The reward for reporting her would be fiscal fun. But she is a mother of 8: all full grown men, steeped in murder. Still, it is 1/2 day until Whitby: won’t report her, until then.

15:30; She is low hanging fruit for a man about to be inducted into a shadowy organisation whose credit control girdles the globe. Which is exactly why I should act. Devil, deception & death are in the details.

15:40; Far too many of my patrons & employers forgot such details. Once does that, one adds an epithet of “The Invidious …” to one’s name, dresses in excessive & impractical leather – & falls in a snake pit.

15:50; One must have dignity in death to the degree that it wasn’t accidental. I cannot sufficiently insist upon this. Such existentialist vaudeville is the fatal step, turning the art of villainy into the fare of music hall.

16:00; Now a prank is a different matter. Always has an element of a con’s profitability, but also a con’s anonymity. To commit a killing joke known only by oneself is to entertain the only one worth the effort.

17:00; We stopped: Teche to unload stock, & I to make a telephone call.

18:00; Curiouser Gentlemen of Custom, Duty & Excise formed in the furnace of The Fall – co-ordinating with by-royal-appointment physicians of House Rigour & the brilliant young Doctor William Bedlamb.

18:10; Both of these had records from the end times of the English elves in the Elizabethan era. As I approach Whitby, I think not of the Fall, or the Crash, but of when, 200 years after leaving the elves return.

18:20; Returned, of course, boasts somewhat more consent on their part than was forthcoming. More precise: the beasts, driven out 200 years previous, were dragged back to England, kicking & screaming.

18:30; The symbiotic dryad-woods on the verge of destruction, the insect elves of Titania & the lizard elves of Oberon performed their ‘magic’: the high-energy mathematical quantum transformation, in elohim.

18:40; Elf minds, like that of Library Ann, are geared to autistic super-calculation & mega-computation. Of sufficient number & age, they can manipulate & integrate the ‘data’ we commonly refer to as: reality.

18:50; It aligns with legends of their powers: weather & probability manipulation, matter transmission & restructuring and interdimensional perception. Quite like angels, only: less righteous, very more physical.

19:00; By this mastery of angles, in the manner of the angels, they always know where they are, always know they can go anywhere else. Smug buggers – whom the Industrial Revolution was revolting against.

19:10; Like most second-hand master-bastards of the angle method, they didn’t like iron – magnetic fields – or the rest of the unified field litany. Also: the double right-angle of a cross – disrupts the symbolism.

19:20; Angels are entirely metaphysical – true perception of their form resembles more architectural diagrams than form. They loves crosses & atomically-perfect gold. Elves, half way there, get torn to shreds.

19:30; If this sounds like certain breeds of vampires: bat elves, symbiotic with humans. These ‘haemovore-elves’ constitute the more ‘magical’ vampire breeds, the common vamp depictions & 8 of 108 Santas.

19:40; Thankfully the Red Lady is the ‘interesting-blood-disease’ type of vampire – they make better doctors. Bat elves, as with the other elf varieties, have no place in a hospital except as patients: contagious.

19:50; House Rigour: surgeon to monarchs since providing a male heir (albeit short-lived) to Henry VIII, later, confirming Queen Elizabeth’s virginia intacta. Royalty-loyalty: possibly lied on both occassions.

20:00; Lied for/to the crown; kept mum on secret mummy, vampire, werewolf & lizard-elven monarchs secret. True loyalty. Alternate spellings in antiquity: House Rigor, House Rigore, House Wright-Guerre.

20:10; Dr William Bedlamb: collated, categorised, & analysed 200 years of the New Bethleham Sanitorium & Madhouse’s ‘files’; the warden’s ledgers, written about patients, with an eye to stand-up comedy.

20:20; Bedlamb formed new theories of the mind. I steadfastly call those theories the foundations of neurochemistry & psychiatry. Quite incorrect, but it does allow Britain to wrest that title from the Germans.

20:30; For 200 years the elves were the subject of plays, ballads & raunchy bodice-rippers. Then the Curiouser Gentlemen of Custom, Duty & Excise found elf colonies – in South Africa & in South America.

20:40; Britain, moving beyond its coastal trade colonies in South Africa for no better reason than because everyone else was doing it, had discovered British elves – lording it over the native, elven populations.

20:50; Similarly, after the Spaniards opened up South America, the Curiouser Gentlemen of Custom, Duty & Excise were in there faster than one could say ‘Alexander Von Humboldt’ – yes, after the French.

21:00; Both elf colonies, having teleported to their respective Hy Brazils 200 years previous, had learned the human-devised methods to control elfkind & imposed them upon a vastly superior native number.

21:10; In the interim, the British had an evolutionary leap, in their biological technology, courtesy of their retro-engineered Fall technology: specifically interspecies, Britain being the invasion’s hybridisation hub.

21:20; Hybridisation was exactly the matter – the elves, in a succubus-incubus manner, had in the past overcome lacklustre reproduction by human breeding. Now they had a quicker method – a viral elf STD.

21:30; Curiouser Gentlemen of Custom, Duty & Excise were designated to investigate contamination claims & decontaminate, aggressively. I think of this, naturally, because: I approach their 1st battleground.

21:40; Why Whitby of course. 1st city in Europe whose demimondains contracted syphillis from voyagers returning from the new world. Syphillis, known then as the PsyPhylum: the virus of the mind, you see.

21:50; PsyPhylum, when under constant exposure to elven pheromones, alters brain chemistry & physical appearance, reducing the infected to a fairy attendant. Without pheromones, brain & body rots away.

22:00; Under the auspices of destroying the rarer, man-eating-plant variety of elves, a massive purge of these infectious fiends was conducted. Afterwards, the dangerous disease was dealt with, wisely: profit!

22:10; Curiouser Gentlemen of Custom, Duty & Excise – seized equipment & personnel from Rigour & Bedlamb & infected bordello girls & boys from Whitby & London, under General Surgeon martial law.

22:20; The CGCDE: are as to any crown’s biological exigency, what the Heartless Fellows of Alternation, Ignition & Engine are to mechanical extremity. They bury the bodies: those they don’t freeze, or burn.

22:30; Usually have some body modification – never showily so. Black suit & tie, white shirt & blood of some ill-defined colour. Congenitally bald. Excellent surgeons; can keep people alive, through anything.

22:40; The elf-struck humans were transported to underground laboratories. The virus was sampled from them – then they were totally sterilised. Their brains were vivisected first for study, then for “business”.

22:50; Thus CGCDE possessed humans of extreme attractiveness (pheromone) & extreme mindlessness (brainwashing). They were sold en masse to brothels; no risk of infection, pregnancy or disobedience.

23:00; The risk of infection was paramount at the time. Apart from the psyphylum panic, various venereal diseases, influenzas – & cholera having claimed Prince Albert – were never far from the Queen’s mind.

23:10; The CGCDE began producing ‘designer-demimondains’. Perfecting a rudimentary vat-grown-clone technology, (lifespan from 3 months to 3 years) they pioneered a post-prostitution London of 1800s.

23:20; Not true clones – used human genetic material, but primarily salamander or insect stock. Quite bald, no larynx &, according to Bedlamb, never displayed any intelligence besides his training them tricks.

23:30; E.g. : “Birdlike. An ebony swan. Her nose: long, narrow & elegantly curved. The eyes were large brown almonds, the pupils glowing from within. She smiled, her wide mouth exposing wonderful teeth.”

23:40; “Although slender almost to the point of emaciation, there was a fierceness about her which I could not wholly understand.”-R. Rankin. Moralists: ‘the animal urge of men’ best to be relieved by animals.

23:50; Religious: ordered bird-winged ones to worship as angels & scale-skinned ones to kill as demons. Scientists: saw wonderful opportunity to study the human anatomy without turning to ‘resurrectionists’.

23:00; Darwin: moralist, religious & scientist and whose theories of evolution were fundamentally proven by the creation & speciation evolution of these ‘clones’; fiercely disliked the whole clone-elf entreprise.

23:10; But that was but social element of the scheme. Soon Isambard Brunel’s ‘Hidden Kingdom’ of water, waste, purification & power was populated with brainless blue otherwise-albino bull-elf clone work.

23:20; They dug shafts, turned wheels & maintained tunnels. Brunel headed up the joint CGCDE & HFAIE operation to harness the Singing Gear, disperse the Great Miasma & purify the city water & waste.

23:30; When asked what the bull-elves were building, Brunel said: ‘Locks & More Locks’. The MoreLocks became their name, as the Eloi Polloi – Elf-people – became that of their overground counterparts.

23:40; Dicken’s commentary piece on this second class citizenry – Edwin Drood & The Blue Elementals – went unfinished due to the author’s death. Suspicions of assassination prompt outcry against elf work.

23:50; By the end, the royals resided in the Crystal Palace, a great glass castle, hovering unsuspended/supported over London by means of a Singing Sword resonance of a ‘rediscovered’ Excalibur pretender.

00:00; Star of India, recut, served as a vibrating heart, that kept it aloft. The Houses of Lords & Commons were attached, to opposing sides, lesser nobility’s houses dis/as/cending at the Queen’s dis/pleasure.

00:10; London’s grey miasma had been replaced by a purifying, yellow gas, Londoners crossing from sealed house to sealed house with oxygenated nosegays, on the orders of hypochondriac Queen Victoria.

00:20; Most felt that this madness served the public, better than the Kaiser’s love of Meinschaft’s wind-up Europans or Doc Von Quatloo’s clockwork cyborgs, or the Tsar’s Iron Serfs’ & haemophile wizard.

00:30; The Clock Doctor’s 1st return from the future was the jarring shock needed to rally the Dickensians. He narrated his tales of ‘fast’ (Time Traveller) & ‘slow’ (Sleeper Awakes) time travel to H.G. Wells.

00:40; Wilberforce worked on the ‘More Locks’ & Gladstone worked on the ‘Eloi Polloi’; by 1900, Babbage tech had replaced bull manual labour, & the superior madams had seduced back their old clients.

00:50; Far more complicated than that, but: the immediate practical upshot of it – bordelloes were required to be extremely secure, sanitary & possess basic degrees of intellectual, & physical accomplishment.

01:00; By ‘secure’ & ‘sanitary’, I am unsure if that covers Whitby’s new La Pantalon Rouge being designed to turn into a giant drill-mech in emergency, & possessing sanitary standards of my own laboratories.

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