Timeline

What To Do With All The Clocks

 

Several years since the introduction of Clockwork domestic labour the government has yet to come up with a convincing solution as to how it plans to manage what some now believe is a problem of epidemic proportions.

'Clocks' now roam the streets aimlessly, with many being illegally 'jailbroken' from their original safety programming, while irrepairable units piled high in junkyards across the country.

 The emergence of a group called the Machine Liberation Front calling for Clock civil rights has pitched government on a collision with the Church, while industrialists who were once championing the benefits of Clockwork labour, now face the propsect negotiating working practices with sentient machines.

Lady Frobisher Pilbeam, Queen's Emissary to Science, believes that new laws are needed to help regulate the use of clockwork automata.

In a statement released yesterday she mentioned that the government was drafting a new legislation to regulate the disposal of Clocks and ensure the survival of those that were repairable, while penalising owners who damage their clocks through illegal jailbreaking.

Lady Frobisher said she had met with representatives of the Machine Liberation Front, and that discussions to find a solution to the current impasse were continuing.

 

 

 

Clink Tock:
Police Issue First Clockwork Arrest Warrant

 

The police have issued arrest warrants for the prime suspects in the murder of a man last month at The Den, in London's East End.

The suspects have been named as Mei Mei, and Ming Cho, both Clocks working at the establishment, and belonging to its proprietor Christopher Hargreaves.

This is the first arrest of its kind, and police are appealing to members of the public for assistance in apprehending the suspects who have no fixed address, or paperwork. The investigation has also been plagued by delays over procedure, with Clockwork Watch claiming the case was their jurtisdiction.

It's not sure how the police will locate and identify the two suspects, as many of the Clockworks were imported into the country before the government's new registration laws came into effect.

A growing black market in Clockwork 're-skinning' techniques which changes the appearance of the devices, could also make it hard to apprehend Mei Mei, and Ming Cho. The process alters the appearance of Clockwork beyond recognition, while a program jailbreak would make them a different machine altogether.

 

Reader's Letter
A New Employee

 
 

Dear James,

I am writing to tell you the company hired its first clock last week? On your recommendation I got in touch with that Factory owner you said had an older model clock he considered defective. He turned up on Monday answering to the name of Gerald. I decided to employ him in bookeeping rather than manual labour as clocks seem to have something of a natural affinity for numbers, although that may be a gross generalisation, and I have no shortage of burly young men to do the loading and unloading for me.

I was a little surprised when he came to me at the end of the first day as we were closing up the office and asked if he might depart for the day, I hadn't expected him to remain working all night but at the same time I hadn't really considered where he might go at the end of the day. Of course I said he could do as he wished provided he turned up regularly and punctually.

The following day at the end of the work day he came to see me again and asked if he might be paid a wage, he said he didn't expect to be paid as much as a flesh worker but that he did have certain expenses to take care of and in return he would see to his own maintenance. He is able to concentrate harder for longer than any of my human workers, he calculates at a speed I find astonishing and he is always well polished and polite. I told him I would not pay him any less than any other junior clerk at the business and have had contract written up for him to sign.

I suspect I will get some stick about this in business circles but I say as long as he continues to turn up in the morning and put in a days work I shall be happy. He has already exposed an error in our accounting and saved us a run in with The Board of Custom's Commissioner's.

My thanks for the tip off.

Elizabeth

 

" ... and if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?"

Ella Mayhem

 
 

To be truthful, I sympathise with the Clockwork Twins, I do. Had I been subject to Zachary’s perpetual torment then I would have most likely found a much messier and nastier way to end him than dragging him to The Thames.

After all, what creature with a mind of its own would not retaliate when sufficiently provoked? The lad knew exactly what he was doing and deserved what he got. Locking Clocks in boxes! What was he thinking? Even if they weren’t jailbroken it’s a publicity minefield. If there was ever a more fitting illustration of the word cretin then I do not know of it. Unfortunately upon opening The Den one of the conditions of limiting Hargreaves’ operations within the East End was appointing his odious nephew as manager.

Good Riddance.

However this does rather open up a troubling can of worms. Hargreaves is now an inferno of anti clock rage. Not only could this be bad for business but will draw even more attention from the MLF, the Watch, the Police and, oddly, cronies of a dubious back-street scientists reported to operate with in the area. Then there’s the bigger question:

If they were certified by The Watch, who jail-broke the Twins?

My temper got the better of me when questioning Hargreaves, so much so that I had to be restrained by two of my Mayhems. Perhaps I did go a little far though one can always be certain that a man with a sgein dubh held to his groin is going to be pretty keen to answer succinctly. He assured me that he had no knowledge of Mei Mei nor Ming Cho “being mucked about with” and if he is to be believed I am obliged to entertain the following hypotheses:

Zach arranged for the jailbreak himself. If he did so then he reaped what he sowed and if he hadn’t had met his watery fate at the hands of the Twins that night then it would have been at the hands of some of the human staff at The Den or members of The Network.

The Twins were targeted by the MLF. I know little of the MLF however I was led to believe that to allow such a backlash exerted by the Twins would do little to further their cause nor win support. I could be mistaken of course. Such a stunt would draw much attention to their campaign and, if anything is to be learned from these events, it is indeed true that “Clocks are People Too”.

Lastly, it is possible that the Twines were jailbroken by ‘freelancers’, perhaps by the same ghouls connected with whispers concerning experimental ‘hacking’. I am unsure about what motives this questionable party could have, unless they hope purely to plummet the East End in to chaos, just as things were calming down, to divert attention away from their alleyway ‘chop-shops’, should they exist. I hear that distress hasn’t been this rife since the Ripper was active all those years ago.

I blame myself. I shouldn't have left for my rounds so early. Granted, what I experienced at the Red Lion that evening was invaluable and unforgettable. After all, it is not every night that one gets taken on a backstreet adventure by one of the brilliants mind behind the Clockwork Project, albeit an intoxicated one. Nonetheless, I feel I may have been able to have done something.

We now have two frightened, lost and deadly children roaming the city. God help them.

 

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