Author Topic: Victoria Regina, Prologue 1: The Fifth Element  (Read 1600 times)

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Offline Konisforce

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Victoria Regina, Prologue 1: The Fifth Element
« on: August 27, 2012, 09:35:14 AM »
It is one of the Inevitable Truths of life that a man, upon reaching a certain age - having spent his life in some industrious pursuit, having raised a fine crop of sons and daughters for the continuance of the species, and having secured for his family a reasonable future - finds himself suddenly able to retire to the pursuit of what might charitably be called 'tinkering' but would more truthfully be categorized as 'puttering'.  This can take many forms: sawing upon the violin, hammering away in a woodshop, or participating in the local shadow government down at the pub.  For one whose industrious occupation in life was in fact tinkering of the highest order, such pursuits of mature life often take on a more complex nature altogether.

So it was that James Watt, perfecter of the modern steam engine and herald of the Industrial Revolution itself, having handed off the control of his partnership to his son, busied himself in the garrett room of his home on Handsworth Heath, doing this and that and, inevitably, 'puttering'.  His contributions to the British Empire and to the world were already considered momentous to the point of peerlessness, and a man with such laud and honor could be excused for wishing to spend the remainder of his life in whatever way pleased him.

So it was that James Watt found himself with a steam engine in his workshop, applying various tests and hypotheses to its functions.  The air was sparsely plied with coal dust, and the steam engine sputtered and spat its hissing namesake out the door.  Unbeknownst to the retired inventor, a certain seal was lacking in structure, giving over a bit of the firebox to the space of the boiler; an inefficient situation, but not a dangerous one.  In went the air, laden with coal dust, to be pushed into the boiler, heavy with steam.  Coal of the earth, heat of the fire, winds of the air, and clouds of the water.  The four elements.  In a conjunction that had been proposed and sought after from the beginnings of time.

So it was that Plato's aether and Aristotle's fifth element found their life in Mr. Watt's workshop.  The conjunction of elements, their configuration and comingling, suddenly produced a wide sphere of pulsing, silent, blue fluid.  It hung in Mr. Watt's workshop like a songbird in the ocean, suddenly and inexplicably out of place.  The steam engine itself seemed most perplexed, hissing and buckling and warping about this new intruder into its shape.  A half a breath after it had come, it was gone.

And so it was that James Watt discovered the Aether of the Heavens and, in so doing, changed forever the world he had already forever changed.

The story continues in Prologue 2: The Empire War
« Last Edit: March 14, 2013, 03:42:15 PM by Konisforce »
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