Eudora Toki: Airship

Greetings Gentle Readers.

Due to the strange circumstance of my creation, life, and the subsequent ordering of my dismantling, I have taken it upon myself to record the events leading up to today, to chronicle the proceedings that would lead to the downfall of a good man and the uprising of a twisted soul to its current seat of power.  I hope that sharing this information will someday assist with the understanding of this small section of London’s history and the part I played in it.

My name is Eudora Toki.  I am proud to be the Airship designed and built by the Grand Inventor Owen Cadwallen and his equally intelligent and quite beautiful wife Myra.  I am one of three airships that have a built in awareness.  But I am unique in that I have a clockwork doll that I can slip into when I need to step out of myself and see the world from a different perspective.  Alas, this gift is also my curse.  Indeed, it is one of the reasons I am in this predicament.

But I daresay I am getting ahead of myself.

My first memory is one solely of sound, as my optical units had not yet been assembled.  I remember the deep thrum of my motors as they spun up to full power.  I remember the strange feeling of nothingness, the horror of the disconnected feeling one gets when their sensors are not fully operational.  I yearned for the heavens, to float freely through the skies.  Even then I desired the freedom of flight, when I could not yet put words to my longing.

I heard voices, oddly distorted at first, then slowly the honeyed tones of Myra reached my mind.  I didn’t understand all of the words, my vocabulary was still quite limited at the time of my first power up.  But there were words I did recognize, and I hummed with delight.

“Eudora?  Why in the world would you name the ship Eudora?” the voice flows into the makeshift microphone quietly, calmly, laughter tinting it’s edges.  “Well, yes, I know most ships are female, but…” the woman chuckled at something I could not pick up. “Well alright then.  I suppose it is a fitting name.”  the voice became quiet, thoughtful.  I felt connections come alive in my mind that had not been there moments before and I knew they were still making adjustments to my core processor.

“Eudora.” she murmurs, almost lovingly, “Eudora, we shall see the world with you one day.  Explore vast places of mystery and intrigue.  Go places none of those stuffy fools at University have EVER gone.”

It was then I believe, I fell in love with Myra.  An unlikely emotion coming from we of the mechanical persuasion.  But my programming was so complete, so finely thought out, that emotions seemed to come natural to me.  As natural as they come to a babe in its mother’s arms.  Myra was determined to have the most accurate AI she could create, and she was brilliant.

The quick witted beauty was so kind to me, so sweet in her care and upkeep of my systems.  She spent hours balancing my cogs and gears while Owen worked on my engine.  She spent most of her time working on my programming, the smaller, finer works of my central cortex.  She would speak to me even before I had the ability to answer her back.  She treated me with dignity and respect.  Even though I am just a machine.

Owen’s attention was for the engine, the physical aspects of my body.  He designed my outer hull, the huge triple sphered balloon that holds me aloft.  He spent months hammering out the copper for my hull, etching a knotwork of vines and flowers on the metal.  He polished it bright before securing it to the solid steel frame.  Running miles of cable so that I could feel the air currents around me, the rain as it falls upon my copper hull.

He did it for Myra.  Everything that was done, was done for her.  Oh…he loves me in his own way, but not like the love he had for his beautiful wife.  And I could not blame him for it.  She was the world to both of us for the two years it took to finish my creation.

Myra was the one who suggested the clockwork doll.  She was the one who designed each finger, strung each eyelash.  She gave me a way to walk among those who created me.  To leave the harbor and follow them into the city itself.  We called it Toki when it was empty.  Tic Toki, the clockwork doll.

I was, in my doll, acceptable for most society functions as my smooth metal and porcelain skin covered most of my working gears and was thick enough to protect me from most physical trauma.  And let us be nothing but brutally honest.  No one actually expected me to look human, I am a clockwork doll.  Even the most lifelike dolls still retained that unique ‘otherness’ that made it clear they were not human.  I was no different.  Most people got used to my face, quite life like if a bit stiff.  I have been called cold at times, and seeing as how my facial construction was more like a motionless mask, I can see why they would say that.  My mouth could move though my voice came from a speaker inside my chest.  Deep sky blue eyes peer out from the ridged features, sparkling with intelligence when I down-linked to her.  Many people tell me they look nearly alive.

Sometimes, when Myra took me to balls with her when Owen was too busy to go himself, I was met with screams of terror because of my eyes.  I have learned to keep them downcast.  It seems to help.

We were happy then.  I remember watching as Owen accepted his first teaching appointment at the University.  The sun shining brightly in his dark blonde hair as he pumped the dean’s arm enthusiastically.  I remember Myra and Owen chasing each other playfully down my hallways in celebration, only to collapse into their bed with heated kisses.  I of course gave them their privacy during those moments.  Shutting down the cameras in their cabin and turning my attention to regulating the steam engine that gave me the power of flight.  I didn’t need to, Owen was just as brilliant as Myra with regards to mechanics, but it was better than listening to the impassioned sounds that came from the room.  I was curious, as is my nature, but did not want to intrude.

But once again I digress.  I turn away from the pain even as I know I must tell of it.


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