Imagine…it is the Victorian Era, a time when girls wore corsets and boys wore tailcoats. When clockwork devices reigned supreme and the world was giving way to a new era, the era of fantastic machines and, most importantly, steam. Imagine…steampunk! This is the story of what happened in London during the reign of Victoria. The real story. It may interest you to know that the history books have been telling it wrong and none of what follows will you find anywhere else. Haven’t you ever wondered how in the reign of a single ruler the landscape of modern Europe, and indeed the world, could change so completely? Coincidence? Maybe…or is there something more? To know this we must imagine…back to over a hundred years ago in the heat of a battle. The battle of London.
Now this was no ordinary battle fought with soldiers and guns and swords and tanks or anything else of the sort. The Battle of London is unique in that it was fought with clockwork animals. “What?” I hear you cry “clockwork animals? Well how scary can they be.” To answer your question, very. And I would also like to add that if you wish me to continue the story it would be mindful of you to not interrupt. Now to know the true source of this battle we must follow a young boy by the name of Oskar.
At the time the alarm bell sounded and the city was being invaded by some of the most powerful armies in the world, Oskar was far enough away to not get caught in the storm, but close enough to witness his handy-work, and thinking smugly to himself just how smart he was.
With one strategically placed clockwork bird the whole of London was in turmoil. Allow me to explain, you see London was just about considered the centre of the world. It was rich, plentiful and the capital of the most powerful nation in the world so, naturally, people became jealous. Jealousy, as everyone knows, leads to suspicion and so London was constantly watched by spies, and attackers of the other major powers in the world were never far off. All of them waiting for some sort of signal and just the right moment to attack, too early their attempt would be cut down before it could begin, too late and the others would be ahead. This bird was the signal as, not being a real bird, it did not act in the normal way a bird should, but rather circling a swooping directly over Buckingham palace.
Usually not much notice would be taken of something so trivial but a particularly keen spy, on his very first day mind you, thought something of it and sent the word backwards. As it went through the chain of people it steadily became more distorted and exaggerated and by the time it reached the army officials it was a message of war and this camp of a certain country, never mind which one, was ready and off with all the clockwork they had in their artillery and sending back for more. Slowly all the other army stations heard word of this and, not wanting to be the ones left behind, launched their attack as well.
Oskar, meanwhile, watched with a certain cruel satisfaction at the drama unfolding. Large mechanical lions wrestled with even larger mechanical bears, birds of prey grappled in the sky, creatures of unknown status tore through the city, all while Oskar watched, thoroughly enjoying himself. (Why would he do this? Well he was a child prodigy, tragically under stimulated and utterly bored with all the waiting and watching. Then again maybe he was a spy of even smarter and more powerful force or even, dare I say it, a pawn in the great chess game that the queen was playing, which ever you think is most likely)
As for Queen Victoria she was snuggled up in bed through the whole affair and recovering from an illness that had her subdued for a week. She woke up at the end of it all to find her city destroyed. You think something like this would phase a queen, wouldn’t you, but no. She had London rebuilt and this time it was all to her own designs, everything would be perfect and would lead England into the 20th century. (It was so magnificent that soon everyone was copying it and the world was never the same again) Then she wiped the entire episode from the history books and with no information on the era, the historians made up all the nonsensical drivel that you are used to and published it as fact. Gone was the era of clockwork and what ensued was the industrial revolution.
Wars would be fought differently and any trace of these clockwork devices and great machines of steams can only be found in works such as this or if you just imagine… you never know, maybe Queen Victoria was, in fact, just a juggling clown travelling with the French court who landed in lucky circumstances and just happened to change the world.
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Short Story / Mystery and Crime
Short Story / Historical Fiction
Short Story / Historical Fiction
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