The Pride and the Passion: Counter Revolution in the state formerly known as New Babbage

7/2/09  at 8:29 PM
Since the start of the Recent Unpleasantness in New Babbage (now known as Obolenskidonia, our correspondent, Beq Janus, has been sending dispatches from the front line. In addition, Miss Saffia Widdershins has managed to obtain interviews with an individual known only as T, a leading member of the Resistance, and with the de facto ruler, Doctor Obolenski himself. Photographs by PJ Trenton

Part 2: The Overlord
Having spoken with the Resistance, we were eager to speak with the man (or perhaps we should say 'overlord') behind the takeover of Doctor Obolenskki himself. Perhaps it is the reputation of The Primgraph as a journal of record throughout the vintage and steampunk sims, or perhaps it is a taste for self-aggrandisement that the octor shares with other significant overlords, but he agreed to the request with great willingness, and promptly transported me to his lair ... I mean his Observatory.

However, it was clear that his intentions were benign, for he made no objection to my inviting the trusty Primgraph photographer, PJ Trenton, to join us.

Nor did he make any secret of his reasons for seeking power in the city formerly known as New Babbage. He sought amusement - and declared the takeover of the city had afforded him a great deal of amusement although (he said) he rather regretted that no hero worthy to oppose him had arisen from among the citizenry.

Having recently met members of the Resistance who had made every effort to oppose him, I forbore from comment.

"I've found the best way to divide my enemies is to introduce them to each other," he said with a chuckle.

His views on the children who have brought such unexpected terror to the streets of Babbage is one of calm satisifaction. He claimed that his motives in founding the Youth Corps were to keep the ragamuffins occupied - but they embraced the roles of spies and informers with an enthusiasm that surprised even him. He remained undisturbed by the news that they were turning feral and shooting citizens.

"Of course ... you see, their indolence and tomfoolery is, at it's root, due to the fact that they're not working," he said, displaying a perhaps unexpectedly socially progressive view of the situation, "Once they've all been trained in some form of skill, and put to work, I suspect that sort of thing will die down. For instance, next week I'm going to turn the former City Hall into a large training bakery. The shiftless children will be gathered up, given a bed and food, and taught the essential skills."

This will, of course, have the advantage of keeping the children fed and employed at the same time.

"And out of my hair, so to speak," he added.

His closest henchman is Mr Merricks, who. he says, has been with him for years. The Doctor scorns any closer ties.

"I have my work, and my minions," he said. "Frankly, family are nothing but trouble. They tend to be just as dull and uninteresting as the general populace, but for some reason, you're supposed to be nice to them. A man with a workshop and a few loyal henchmen, hardly needs that sort of thing."

It was as I was saying my goodbyes and leaving that a rather startling occurrence took place. As he was speaking to me, the Doctor was startled by seeing what appeared to be a giant mushroom flying around the perimeter of the Observatory. For a momment the urbane mask he had presented slipped - and I had a glimpse of the strain the overlord is under, striving to maintain control over the city - a city that increasing opposes his rule. For just one more it was there - and perhaps a certain alarm. Then the mask slipped back into place.

Bulleted List
"There's some new residents in the boat slips ... I suspect they're fiddling about," he said. "One of our newer residents displaying something he had built, to another one of our newer residents."

For Babbage, that seemed a wholly understandable and acceptable explanation. And yet ... I felt that for a moment I had seen the ovelord glance up ... and above his head seen the sword of Damocles suspended ...

Is the hand that grasps it none other than Mosseveno Tenk?

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