Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Haul Out

Now that the zombies were put in their graves again, I decided to have my ship hauled out for an overdue bottom scraping and repairs. My former rooms at Bolyai had been rented out a pair of priests, so Tenk invited me to stay in the the city hall clocktower with him until the job was done. I had my reservations about this, seeing the flimsy shack clinging precariously to the side of the tower, but Form required me to go up and make a show of it. I took my bedroll and a few essentials from the ship after I saw her securely into the cradles and made my way to City Hall.

Tenk was up in the clock, literally, wiping the soot from each gear with a freshly oiled rag. He was beside himself with pleasure over his beloved machine. That is to say, he was insufferable.

"I've finally fixed her," he said, beaming proudly. "I knew she just needed a little care. She hasn't missed a second for weeks."

I stood closer to the small stove and rummaged about for tea, something to take the chill off the morning, then settled in to watch Tenk work. He sat and wiped the groove of a bevel gear as each tooth became exposed from its brother gear, chattering aimlessly about his long battle with the clock.

"hrm," he muttered. "This shaft always walks itself out. Just tap it back into place..."

He gently put the head of his wrench on the shoulder of the bevel gear, and gave the butt of the handle a bump with the blade of his hand. The gear and shaft assembly nudged back into place with an audible click...

And then the clock stopped.

Tenk blinked. His face went pale for an instant, then livid red.

"IT WAS PERFECT!" he yelled.

Quickly he stomped over to the bench and took a oiled bundle down from the shelf. He unrolled his tools to the table and began working on the tempermental old clock. It was time to find better lodging.

"I'll bring back a sandwich," I said over my shoulder as the elevator arrived. If I was reading him right, it would be several days before he would be in a mood to talk again.


HeadBurro Antfarm said...

Thanks for the warning, I'll steer clear whilst he's... distracted. But I was rather hoping to read more of your night in a Zombie infested Babbage! How did you survive? What happened in the bar? My friend, Dr Beck of Steelhead, happened to be in Clockhaven that night and had the devil's own time in the sewers - he's telling the world at large about it here: