Augusta King (part two)

shambhala-sFerdy was beginning to wonder if his kindly nature had allowed him to be dragged into some bizarre fantasy. The mother superior lent her voice to his doubts.

“And exactly how long ago was all this, dear?”

“Oh ages ago. After I’d had a spell in rehab Master Dorje here turned up again and announced the Merovingian Lizard Kings wanted to build my… Charlie’s machine.”

“Slow down there. You can’t be more than forty yet you talk of sailing clippers and a mechanical thinking machine when we’ve had electronic computers for decades. The Merovingian Lizard Kings have flying saucers and who knows what else.”

“Ah… I was hoping to skip over some of this. It was all a VERY long time ago. Great Britain’s Queen Empress was still young. In Sambhala the aging process experienced by living tissue slows exponentially with time. It’s something to do with the dimensional shift in space-time.”

“Hmm… And if I believe any of this nonsense why in this age of smart phones, iPads and Pokemon Go would the Lizard Kings still be interested in your machine of gears and levers?’

“They explain it this way. Multinational Corporations are on the brink of achieving a Global Neoliberal Dictatorship. Through GCHQ, Langley, le Brigade de Renseignement et de Guerre Électronique etc they have unfettered access to Web and Cloud. Regardless of your conspiracy nerds’ Faraday cages and tin-foil hats, they know who you are, where you are and what you are about, every moment of the day or night. The Merovingian Lizard Kings deem it wise to be totally off the grid – thus their requisitioning of the entirely independent unelectronic steam powered Analytical Engine.”

“And is the thinking machine not excruciatingly slow by current standards? I ask as a technophobe and novice in such matters.”

“It would be. But the Dark Lords have lodged my machine in a bubble universe. Regardless of the time a calculation takes we can re enter this parallel world at a carefully calculated later point in space-time, years later if necessary, but after only seconds in our world, to extract the answer. Metal fatigue, frequent maintenance of worn components and the need for regular dusting are more of a hindrance. The bubble universe solves the portability problem too. You wouldn’t believe how vast the Analytical Engine is.”

“So this machine is going to win the war for us?”

“Well… it will calculate probabilities, plan strategies, compose a rousing marching song.”

“We were hoping for something somewhat more decisive.” The mother superior sounded a tad exasperated. “People are being shot at.”

“There is always the Tesla Death Ray of course,” replied Augusta, “ but the Merovingian Lizard Kings don’t want to resort to anything that could be construed as direct intervention.”

Ferdy jumped down from his chair.

“Great. Well. If you think of anything useful you can contribute let me know. I’d better be getting back to my autogyro, there’s an invasion to be countered and Boz will have organised a real response by now.” He turned to Augusta, “we’ll postpone that chinwag about aviation till after you’ve won the war for us. And keep an eye on those Chats. They will have their own agenda, trust me.”

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