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 of the EXILE vault and the subsequent destruction of the sarcophagus and transmitted the news via subspace disharmonics to the clock-tower of the artifex Charles Babbage the thirteenth.

Charles – even though nobody would dare call him by that name – frowned when the tiny silver bell chimed. But when he read the perforated cards his frown deepened into a scowl. Annoyed he fell into a upholstered chair and kicked against the table so that he spun in a wide arc. Springs wound up, gears whirled, pendulums swung and minuscule pins were inserted into clock-work automatons, which immediately quivered waiting for instructions. “Intercept space-vehicle Lincoln, bearing 115, 234, 27 speed 77000 fpf” he intoned into a megaphone and his armada launched itself into the black void.

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