A.R.C.H.I.E.

[Keystone’s Study – Newark Factory Late 1800’s ]

You have to listen to me Keystone,
Westing is coming with a flying weapon
to put down Gatsby’s thinking machine and stop
a dangerous future happen.

That machine of which you speak now has a name!

Gatsby!

And it is well aware of Westing’s deadly game.
It is a marvel to behold and a miracle of thought itself,
A new steam powered body and an Aether brain.
Who could have thought that the Aether held such miraculous power?
Behold! Mr Keystone, Mr Lovat, I present The Aether Robot of Creative Intelligence!
ARCHIE!

And from behind Keystone’s study door, walks a mechanical man,
pistons working, motivating it across the study floor.
It’s face a metal mask, its eyes a window to the Aether mind behind.
To me at least, it does seem,
well, I swear, it does seem alive.

Keystone simply stares and Gatsby’s triumphant eyes
soak in the look on his face as he presents his prize.
For my part, I have seen many things I cannot explain,
ghosts and demons, floating cities and Congo magic,
but even I stand in awe of this metal man with an Aether brain.

Pleased to meet you all.
It’s voice a deep timbre through steam and hiss.
I have drawn up the plans for our own Aether flyer’s
that will take down Westing’s ships.
I predict he will strike within the week,
the factory must be retasked to this purpose fast.
We only need one,
but it must carry this gun!

And with that Archie presents a blueprint and unfolds it,
and while I am no engineer,
I recognise a gun of some sort when I see it.
I am a man of action,
and love a bit of danger, it gives me satisfaction,
but war is a horror that none on either side ever truly wins,
and in this room, right now, I sense it begins.

Copyright Faramond Frie © 2015

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