London Gazette


A Letter To India

October 18, 1906 ·

Dearest Uncle,

I trust that this finds you in robust health and spirits, and that life as a diplomatic delegate has not been too taxing.  Perish the thought you should leave the lavish court of your bosom friend, the Most Noble and Glorious Padishah, and get some real work done gathering information and resources.  Or was the IPA theft something to do with you after all?  The Family all send their best, as does Mr Stirling, that is, he would do if he ever spoke a civil word.

I do not know where father found him, but ever since that raving Lord’s daughter and grandchild went missing I haven’t been able to draw breath without being under Stirling’s watchful and disapproving gaze…  It most difficult to go about Mayhem general business, monitor The Harvest Initiative and play the role of dutiful (and noticeably unwed) Industrialist daughter without having a gruff behemoth with a highly misplaced sense of honour following me around day and night. It is most difficult indeed but I thank God for Stirling every day now.

The Fog has mostly cleared and daytime air traffic is slowly increasing providing precious airborne acids dutifully collected by The Reaper and her crew, now a public service provided by CBS (and heavily subsidised by the Government).  It would seem that the Midsummer Incident was a blessing in disguise; even if it did mean making public the designs for the Liquid Rocket.

In this respect, the London you left behind is much changed, but there is more.

The country is in uproar.  No doubt you are aware of the Clock situation. Anti-Clock violence is positively encouraged in some parts now while the infamous Herakles publicly attempts to appeal to humanity’s better nature while ordering high profile lynchings on the quiet.  Just like a flesh-and-blood politician.

If only that were all we had to contend with, in our little corner of the world.

More people are going missing. Their captors care little for class or background either it would seem.  News filtering up through The Network suggests that the only link between the victims is that they were breaking curfew; a curfew that the Powers That Be refuse to lift, I may add.

With the sudden appearance of men with mechanical arms and Clocks that look so human you would swear they had blood coursing through them, I am compelled to believe that sinister forces are plucking curfew breakers from the street and experimenting on them.   I would not put it past someone somewhere to chase the dream of immortality regardless of cost or consequence.

We edge ever closer to war, and I cannot shake the notion that the real fight will not be over Clockwork Emancipation.

Ever since That Night I have been plagued by nightmares of nefarious scientists attempting to harness and subjugate the greatest of all machines: the human mind.

I imagine uncountable lost souls prevented from dying a true death; their brains placed in clockwork chambers and sustained by Ranbir’s Clock Battery

Tormented and tortured, they do nothing more than pave the way for the rich, the unscrupulous, and the already too powerful to live past their time while as a collective, thousands of silent voices scream in fear and in pain while the world turns, and more and more are sent to this hell… presided over by a Queen living on time that does not belong to her.

It chills me to the bone, Uncle. Not least because before That Night, I would have pondered on whether such technology were possible and appraised the potential profit.

I realise I may sound like I am unfit for anywhere other than Bedlam, but you taught me to peer into the darkness that surrounds chaos and I am not the only Mayhem to have such grotesque suspicions.  I cannot explain why yet, but I am convinced that gaining an audience with the Prince of Wales, wherever he may be, is a more pressing matter than ever.

Take care Uncle, and enjoy India. You may be needed at home sooner than you think.


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