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. A continuous stream of punch-cards fed the engine on one side. On the other, the results were transcribed onto another stream of cards which could only be seen briefly before disappearing into a hole in the wall. Babbage’s sneering voice could hardly be heard over the din of the apparatus:
“See where your actions have brought you. You will make perfect slaves. Prepare to be implanted.”
Disembodied arms deliberately hauled Miles and Lou to their feet. Miles stared groggily at the implantation devices but Lou quickly slipped a miniature stiletto from a hidden compartment in her boot and hurled it at Babbage. He ducked. Augmented reflexes had saved him but the knife embedded itself in the difference engine where it immediately became part of the computation process.