Timeline

" ... 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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Reader's Letter:
My Night With Saccadius

 
 

Dearest Sasha,

You will never guess who I met last night in town? Saccadius Cartwright, the government scientist who presented the first clock parts back some ten years ago, at the Department for the Advancement of Science's exposition Tomorrow's World Today.

Saccadius Cartwright
Saccadius Cartwright
Photo by Oliver Facey

I'm afraid Canada has not been kind to him. He seemed to be drinking heavily and was ranting and raving to anyone who would listen about this and that. He seemed most upset about how things are turning out with the clocks, the Clockwork Watch and all that.

He also warned me away from a fellow scientist, a sinister man. I have seen him around before. He wanders the docks looking for ladies of negotiable affection as far as I can tell. The queer thing is that I have seen him go away with several such ladies but I can't think that I have seen them since.

I think Mr Cartwright was quite right to warn me away from him. Poor man, I wish I had been able to think of something to do for him. He seemed full of melancholy, I don't think he regrets helping bring clockwork automata to the world but I think his sorrow is tied up with it.

Seeing him had me thinking back to the Tomorrow's World Today exposition. Did I ever tell you that I was there when a chracter known as the alchemist was arrested? Dragged away by plain clothes police officers he was, to chants of "long live the alchemist" from the crowd.

To this day I know not either what he was arrested for nor why the crowd supported him and I have not heard his name since. I wonder whatever became of him? Perhaps he was packed of to Canada also and was not lucky enough to be allowed to return like Mr Cartwright.

Another Rumour doing the rounds, and you will think this either quite scandalous or quite ludicrous, is that Her Majesty, our beloved and esteemed Queen Victoria, is no longer on the throne. That she has been replaced by an automata in her likelness. Can you imagine such a thing?

I could not at first countenance it, but on consideration it is true that Her Majesty must be quite a prodigous age. The question is how would one exchange the queen for an automaton and leave the country none the wiser? Moreover what would be the benefit of doing such a thing? I rather think that the presence of clocks in our midst has made us paranoid.

I hope this letter reaches you well.

Give my love to father.

Elizabeth

 

Jailbroken Clockworks Drown Man

By Staff Reporter

 
 

Life in the East End's "Clockwork Underworld" took a deadly turn over the weekend, when two jailbroken Clockwork Servants jumped into the River Thames and dragged a man to his death.

The man simply known as Zach, was a 22 year old employee at The Den, the notorious establishment owned by Christopher Hargreaves and Ella Mayhem. Several eye witnesses claim to have tried to prevent the incident, but were overpowered by the Clocks.

The culprits, Mei Mei, and Ming Cho (picture), who were Clockwork Servants at the venue, and had been inspected and certified as "safe" by officers from Clockwork Watch.

One eye witness claims that a group calling themselves 'scientists' attempted a procedure several times, and were eventually successful in jailbreaking the devices.

The person went on to say that both claimed they had not been treated well by Zach, and were intent on revenge. They became agitated when Zach revealed that both are locked up in crates when not in use.

Zach was then dragged, kicking and screaming, to his death. His body has still not been recovered.

A spokesperson for the Department for the Advancement of Sciences, said this highlights the dangers of tampering with Clockwork programming, and that Mei Mei and Ming Cho, had must have been reprogrammed poorly. "Each probably retained an element of awareness, but with limited functionality, and Zach's treatment probably did not help matters".

Records show that Mei Mei and Ming Cho, had been employed as personal protectors to a rich family, and were trained in deadly combat techniques. No one could tell us if they were still functional or if jumping into the river would eventually kill them.

With so many jailbroken Clocks on the streets, it was only a matter of time till an incident like this happened. 

Clockwork Watch are warning the public not to apprehend or approach Mei Mei or Ming Cho, and to contact them through the electronic telegram. They are said to be extremely dangerous and in a confused state.

 

Life in The Den: Business as Usual?

By Ella Mayhem

 
 

While on most given days I would be as inclined to trust that spiv, Hargreaves about as far as I could throw him; it does appear he has a rather apt imagination well suited to the world of hospitality and entertainment.

The Den has proved to be a hit, not only with the lowly ‘Forgotten’ of our Sanctuary of Whitechapel, but also several of my former esteemed colleagues on the Clean Air Committee, Fairfax in particular. Takings were so high on our first evening of business that my senior Mayhems and I have already had to take steps to rinse every ha’penny that has crossed our palms since.

Publicity conscious as ever, we’ve chosen to focus on local real estate and businesses; thus laundering our guineas and appearing to regenerate the East End.

While it is always nice to be popular, I have had to resort to wearing a veil whenever operating under the mantle of Mayhem. I do so partially because I simply cannot afford to be recognised by my father’s colleagues and peers but mostly because I have obviously been spending too much time in the Fog Research Laboratory and as a

result, vapours from Mr Hardie’s damned chemical concoctions have turned my hair a garish hue of blue! I had best get a suitable wig before Lady Dawson’s next mind numbing social affair...

I have always been used to lurking in the shadows for profit but the implementation of the veil seems to have added an essence of mystery and theatre.

When veiled, Hargreaves insists on following what little he has gleaned of Division M protocol and has every bar wench, card sharp and punter refer to me as ‘The Mistress’. When he’s feeling particularly grand he greets me as “Mistress of the Forgotten” loudly and boldly across the already over-subscribed Absinthe atomisers. I feel I am being made a spectacle of in my own blessed bordello.

What is that weasel up to?

Ella Mayhem
The Den, Clockwork Underworld