Book the Second, Chapter the Eleventh: A Lengthy Trek

Romantic Horror, London, circa 1800

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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Eleventh: A Lengthy Trek

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"I've met him, a long time ago," says Henry. "He is a brilliant scientist, though not like me. He favours death, whereas I favour life. It makes sense that he or one of his descendants would want to drastically reduce the world's population. He must subscribe to that fool Malthus's philosophy. Malthus thought the population was growing too quickly, at an exponential rate, but that needed resources to sustain such a population would only increase arithmetically. He did not consider, however, that advances in technology could allow the increase in resources to keep pace and allow the population to grow exponentially and still be sustained. I do not think Redstone had anything to do with what happened at our previous locale, but the man is the enemy of mankind and my archrival. In my last encounter with him, I managed to outwit him, but he did escape." He types "WHAT CAUSED THE WAR TO BEGIN?" on the keyboard as he speaks.
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Eleventh: A Lengthy Trek

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REFERENCE <THIRD WORLD WAR, CAUSES OF> SUMMARY
<HISTORICAL BACKGROUND> VICTORY OF NAPOLEON I BATTLE OF WATERLOO <6/18/1815> DUE TO FORCES ARMED BY ENTREPRISE TONROUGE LEADS TO WORLDWIDE EMPIRE BY 1875. PAN-AFRICAN REBELLION AIDED BY NORTH AMERICAN/AUSTRALASIAN FORCES LEADS TO DISSOLUTION EMPIRE BY 1956. LUNAR BASES ESTABLISHED BY RIVAL EUROPEAN AND PAN-AFRICAN SPACE FORCES BY 2001. PERIOD OF SO-CALLED COOL WAR REDUCES OPEN HOSTILITIES UNTIL 2093 WHEN ATTACKS UPON BOTH BASES INITITATES ESCALATION INTO WORLDWIDE WARFARE.
<SOURCE OF LUNAR BASE ATTACKS> UNKNOWN. EACH SIDE BLAMES OTHER. POSSIBLE INTERVENTION BY THIRD PARTY SUSPECTED.
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Eleventh: A Lengthy Trek

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“Tonrouge… This villain Redstone is in league with that ogre Napoleon! Methinks there be more work to be done afore we can return to Highdark.”

Lepus is about to rush back to the stones, when a thought meanders to the fore of his mind.

“Lord Henry, ask yon oracle box about the missing folk from Kurnow and the red-eyed smoke snake things as took them. Mayhap it kens of their fate.”

He also looks enquiringly at Doctor Hong, in case she knows of such creatures.
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Eleventh: A Lengthy Trek

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"I knew Napoleon would be trouble," says Henry. "And, yes, Enterprise Tonrouge is the French equivalent of Redstone Enterprises. He was operating in France before too, in 1788. He helped Madame Dupree try to assassinate King Louis XVI and start a revolution. The revolution happened anyway the following year, and the king was guillotined. Redstone seemed to want mainly to spread chaos and death rather than a political ideology, but he may have had a hand in the events of 1789 and onward. It seems he is backing Napoleon. I'll need to ask for details about the Battle of Waterloo, but first I'll ask your question." He types his next inquiry: "WHAT IS KNOWN ABOUT THE DISAPPEARANCE OF THE PEOPLE OF A VILLAGE IN CORNWALL IN 1802?"
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Eleventh: A Lengthy Trek

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The reply is even quicker, and more concise than usual.

<UNKNOWN INQUIRY>

"I'm gonna go work with this stuff," Doctor Hong remarks. She takes the vial of Eliza's blood and the amulet and moves to a small room, heretofore not worthy of notice, which is shut off from the main area. She opens the door in some manner not involving the usual movements of the hands, enters, and repeats the trick by having it shut behind her.
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Eleventh: A Lengthy Trek

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"Ask about the four deaths at the... what was it, 'rock concert' in California," suggests Eliza. "That we were sent to both times may mean there is a connection between that event and the course of the war."
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Eleventh: A Lengthy Trek

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“Mayhap if the spirit be pleased with what we’ve done here, she will give us leave to return to yon place of rocks in California and finish what was required of us,” Lepus suggests.
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Eleventh: A Lengthy Trek

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"I shall ask that," says Henry, "but I expect the same response. It appears that this device does not know about events that it considers to be minor. We don't even know what year the concert took place. Let me ask about the Battle of Waterloo first. That changed the world, so it will have information on that. When we return to our own time, we will have 13 years to stop Napoleon from winning the battle using Redstone's support. If we succeed, the future will have changed, and the tragedy at the concert may not happen at all." As he speaks, he types "WHAT IS KNOWN ABOUT THE BATTLE OF WATERLOO AND HOW NAPOLEON WON IT?"
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Eleventh: A Lengthy Trek

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REFERENCE <BATTLE OF WATERLOO> SUMMARY
FRENCH FORCES UNDER NAPOLEON I NEARLY DEFEATED BY ALLIED FORCES UNTIL ARRIVAL OF AIRSHIPS EQUIPPED WITH ETHERIC RAYS. ALLIED FORCES DESTROYED. NAPOLEON I ENTERS PARIS IN TRIUMPH, EMPIRE RESTORED. CONTINUING ADVANCES IN MILITARY TECHNOLOGY STRENGTHENS NAPOLEON'S GRIP ON THE WORLD FOR THREE-QUARTERS OF A CENTURY, UNTIL ENTREPRISE TONROGUE DISAPPEARS, WHEREABOUTS UNKNOWN.

Inquiry being made to the selfsame oracular device as to the four deaths, once the question is worded in such a way as to allow the spirit of the machine to understand what is being asked, the following message appears.

REFERENCE <ALTAMONT CONCERT DISASTER 12/6/1969> SUMMARY
FREE CONCERT FEATURING ROLLING STONES AND OTHERS LEADS TO VIOLENCE. MULTIPLE FACTORS INVOLVED INCLUDING PRESENCE OF HELLS' ANGELS AS SO-CALLED SECURITY. FINAL RESULTS FOUR DEATHS, THREE ACCIDENTAL, ONE HOMICIDE.
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Eleventh: A Lengthy Trek

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“Let us hope all this can be changed,” Lepus muses.

“Be there more to do in this place, or shall we return to the stones?”
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Eleventh: A Lengthy Trek

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"They sought to employ beings of Hell to protect them?" Eliza asks in confusion. "This 'homicide' must refer to a deliberate act if the others are contrasted as accidental. Perhaps it will help us to know the poor victim's name, if we able to revisit that year. I can think of nothing more to ask."
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Eleventh: A Lengthy Trek

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"This is truly an amazing device!" says Henry. "It has so much knowledge, and I still have a few questions to ask it. Once we return whence we came, we will no longer have access to this information, so we had better learn it now while we have the opportunity. Now we have the exact date and location of both the battle in 1815 and the concert in 1969. We shall have to deal with the former, and if I eventually lose my battle with death, my descendants shall deal with the latter. And you, Eliza, may outlive us all. I see no reason why your existence could not exist indefinitely. The so-called Hell's Angels are no doubt the men we saw riding those fascinating wheeled conveyances. The fact that they have named themselves such shows their evil nature, but they are still men." He inquires about the names of the four victims, and then he types the following query: "WHAT IS KNOWN ABOUT ENTERPRISE TONROUGE?"
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Eleventh: A Lengthy Trek

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REFERENCE <VICTIMS OF ALTAMONT CONCERT 12/6/1969>
MEREDITH HUNTER, 18 YEAR OLD MALE, HOMICIDE BY STABBING
RICHARD SALOV, 22 YEAR OLD MALE, AND MARK FEIGER, 19 YEAR OLD MALE, STRUCK BY AUTOMOBILE
UNIDENTIFIED YOUNG MALE, DROWNED IN IRRIGATION DITCH

****************************************************************************

REFERENCE <ENTREPRISE TONROUGE> SUMMARY
FOUNDED CIRCA 1800 IN VICINITY OF MARSEILLES. MANUFACTURER OF CHEMICAL SUBSTANCES, POISONS, BLADED WEAPONS AND FIREARMS. SUPPLIER OF TECHNOLOGICALLY ADVANCED ARMAMENTS TO ALL SIDES DURING THE NAPOLEONIC WARS (1803-1815) WITH APPARENT INTENTION OF EXTENDING CONFLICT INDEFINITELY. EVENTUALLY SIDED WITH FRANCE DURING LATE STAGES OF THE WAR. CONTINUED TO SUPPLY THE NAPOLEONIC LINE UNTIL ALL FACILITIES ABANDONED CIRCA 1900, LEADING TO SLOW DISSOLUTION OF THE EMPIRE OVER MORE THAN HALF A CENTURY. REASON FOR ABANDONMENT UNKNOWN.
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Eleventh: A Lengthy Trek

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Lepus kicks his heels while the other two talk to the strange box. All this talk of angels from hell and infernal flying ships makes him nervous, and yet eager to get to grips with this varlet Tonrouge.
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Eleventh: A Lengthy Trek

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Henry makes another inquiry: WHAT MAJOR EVENTS OCCURRED FROM 1802 TO 1815?
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Eleventh: A Lengthy Trek

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REFERENCE <EVENTS 1802-1815> SUMMARY
1803 LOUSIANA PURCHASE DOUBLES SIZE OF UNITED STATES. PAYMENT TO NAPOLEON I ALLOWS FOR FINANCING OF NASCENT ENTREPRISE TONROUGE
1804-1814 FRENCH VICTORIES THROUGHOUT EUROPE AND NORTH AFRICA
1805 DECISIVE DEFEAT OF BRITISH NAVY IN BATTLE OF TRAFALGAR <10/21/1805> DUE TO FRENCH SUBMERSIBLES
1812 TSAR ALEXANDER SURRENDERS TO NAPOLEON AFTER AERIAL BOMBING OF MOSCOW AND SAINT PETERSBERG
1815 ALLIED FORCES DESTROYED BATTLE OF WATERLOO <6/18/1815>
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Eleventh: A Lengthy Trek

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Lepus huffs with impatience. Constantly living in the here-and-now, he has little concept of time. Consequently the possible events of a putative future are of little interest to him.

“Ask yon box for everything it knows about this Tonrouge, so that we may drub the scoundrel forearmed with such wit. Then let us be on our way.”
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Eleventh: A Lengthy Trek

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"We have less time than we had thought," says Henry. "We must stop him before he can supply Napoleon with submersibles, and preferably before France sells Louisiana to the Americans." As he speaks, he types: "WHAT INFORMATION IS KNOWN ABOUT THE CONTROLLER OF ENTERPRISE TONROUGE AND ITS ORIGINS?"
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Eleventh: A Lengthy Trek

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Eliza keeps her eyes on the door through which Dr Hong departed (siezed with a sudden suspicion that if her blood is so remarkable, the doctor may not be satisfied with the sample she has given).
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Re: Book the Second, Chapter the Eleventh: A Lengthy Trek

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The response from the mechanical oracle is of a quite different nature than expected. Instead of replying, in its own strange fashion, with seemingly accurate, albeit laconic, information, it emits a piercing whine, as of many whistles being blown at once. The words that appear in the empty air are now written in scarlet letters.

REFERENCE <CONTROL OF ENTREPRISE TONROUGE> FORBIDDEN
SECURITY ALERT <INTRUDERS>
TERMINATE


Simultaneously, several of the automata that have, heretofore, been going about their mysterious business while no seeming interest in the new arrivals, approach them on their wheeled bases, their metallic imitations of limbs held out in their direction.
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