A Difference of Engines

Charles Babbage sat dazed among the remains of his Mobile Automated Intelligent Difference Engines. Their cogs and gears were strewn across the marble floor of Versailles. Space/Time Lincoln, Musashi Miyamoto, and Tesla’s Autoviathan had left his time and space, leaving the palace a wreck. Richard’s warhorse, with its rider dead, waited patiently nearby.

Babbage grinned as he pulled himself into the rider’s position of the horse, holstering the Computational Revolver, its stock connected to the giant computer he carried on his back. “With those three gone, France has no more defenders! Versailles has fallen! Rule Britannia!”

A beautiful form in a torn dress and with a magnificent hairdo stepped forward, raising the cannon that had become her arm. “Non,” she said in a throaty whisper, her vocal cords still recovering. “Vive le France.”

The gunshot echoed off the palace walls, and then Versailles was quiet once again, save for the sounds of small feet walking as Marie started cleaning up the mess.

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