Stories tagged “coal-powered”

  • The Neurophages

    Miles R. Merryweather could feel the steam pipes creak and groan under his slippered feet. The noise was almost, but not entirely drowned out by the squeaking of the gears and it drove him nearly insane but the heat emanating from the pipes was comfort...

  • The Neurophages II

    The door opened fully, hissing and squeaking slightly. As the cryogenic vapour dissipated, Miles slunk closer. No klaxon had sounded, no warning lights blinked, only the fizzing gasses slowly sublimed around him. Dim red light illuminated a frosted cry...

  • The Neurophages III (Mature)

    “Hey Lou” he shouted above the clanging hammers, rasping files and clinking metallic noises in her workshop. “Hey Lou, you have to see this!” he stepped over a skeleton of a metallic cat, rounded a large claw that still shuddere...

  • The Neurophages IV

    Miles and Lou approached the boiler room. Miles at a dead run, with Lou loping along easily beside him. She had exchanged her welding apron for a cloth one that read “Kiss the cook”, but he still did not seem to get the message. Crunching t...

  • The Neurophages V

    The angel’s words were truer than any of them could have imagined. For, even though no warning sirens has sounded or lights had blinked on the space-carriage itself, there was someone who had been notified. Tiny hairs had registered the opening o...

  • The Neurophages VI

    They were seated on the bunks in his cabin. With Lou to his left, and the angel Alba to his right, Miles felt afraid to move either way in case he touched one or the other and couldn’t let go. Taking a deep breath (and distracting Miles), Alba to...

  • The Neurophages VII

    “Infected with a neurophage?” “An angel is powering this carriage?” said Lou and Miles simultaneously. “Yes Lou, the neurophages are attached to their lymbic system and direct their thoughts and actions. For the most part ...

  • The Neurophages VIII

    A battleswarm of 1,024 automata crouched on the vast grey hull of the ship. Each creature was perched ant-like on the hull, attached via a spiral drill bit which was screwed into the hull like a corkscrew in your favourite before-dinner vintage. They l...

  • The Neurophages IX

    Pilot Ada Lovelace the twenty-second – it had taken a while to perfect the cellular propagation – pulled the throttle back, powering down the steam thrusters and stood to attention as the controller automaton interfaced with her neurophage....

  • The Neurophages X

    Miles helped a staggering Alba into the ball-bearing shaped escape pod. They pushed past its inward-opening door, and sat down on one of the plush velour benches inside. Lou barged in breathlessly, and strained against the enormous wedge-shaped door to...

  • The Neurophages XI

    “By the beard of Archimedes, where did that come from?” exclaimed Lou. “Oh, it was just this monkey-wrench that was destined for bigger things.” explained Alba non-committally and dropped the sword, which changed back to a wrenc...

  • The Neurophages XII

    Ada was thoughtful as the automata pushed the Lincoln and the escape pod towards the Babbage. At an intellectual level, she understood that she should feel terrible about the suffering that she was subjecting the angel to. However, she also understood ...

  • The Neurophages XIII

    When Miles eventually tore loose from Lou’s embrace he stammered “You? I never suspected …” “You can be such a dimwit sometimes, didn’t you notice my aprons?” Lou retorted smilingly. “Yes, but I thought t...

  • The Neurophages XIV

    Alba told them her story: “After being rocked by the pain that my people felt, I was trance-linked to the quorum, which is the manifestation of my entire species’ collective conciousness. It instructed me to make contact with the Babbage, a...

  • The Neurophages XV

    Alba’s monkey-wrench sword blazed, Marie-Louise’s tool belt clinked as she searched for a suitable weapon and Mile’s knuckles cracked. They were prepared for battle. The hatch swung silently outward. Three pairs of eyes adjusted to th...

  • The Neurophages XVI

    Lou and Miles looked on helplessly as angel and enormous battle-engine squared off. The huge machine was clutching a pitch-black sword in one of its vast three-fingered pincers, and it was apparent that it was able to move much faster than such a huge ...

  • The Neurophages XVII

    When Miles and Lou awoke Alba was not with them, Babbage and Ada however were. They stood hand in hand in front of an enormous difference engine. The machine clicked and clacked as it’s crank turned and tiny pins pushed against oddly shaped rods....

  • The Neurophages XVIII

    The last instruction ran through the punch tape inside the battle-engine’s chest. It clanked back into its cast-iron vault and docked to a programming niche to await further instruction. Unbeknownst to it, the crystal chamber imprisoning the ange...