Alaric’s Story

 

Lord Alaric is a younger son of a well established noble family. Not inheriting the family estates frees Lord Alaric to pursue his main passions, inventing, history, and exploring. His first marriage was arranged by his family but was an unhappy one. His wife was uninspired, uneducated, and not interested in any kind of intellectual pursuit. She dies in an unfortunate pig stampede, leaving Lord Alaric alone with his daughter, Javelyn.

Lord Alaric throws himself into his work. His daughter  is looked after by the nanny, Honor, who Lord Alaric was rescued from a bar fight by. She teaches Javelyn more about fighting than being a lady, but Alaric is deep into his lab and doesn’t pay too much attention.

One day, Lord Alaric is researching some of the recent advancements with difference engines by Babbage and he meets a young lady in the library who is carrying the same research he’s looking for. He at first thinks she’s an assistant at the library, but finds that she’s actually working as an assistant to Babbage himself, and that’s what she’s doing with the research.

Their love of science brings them together. Wilhelmina  has four children and is a widower…whose husband also died in an unfortunate pig stampede. They get married and combine their families. They also have another child, of their own, Joscelyn.

In too short of time, tragedy struck this happy little family. Their son Nicolas was killed in a freak fall from a horse and not 6 months later, their baby began to have extreme convulsions. The parents were distraught. Lord Alaric’s connections to the scientific and medical communities proved fruitless, no one had answers and their ideas were barbaric to even contemplate.

Lord Alaric had been working with a writer friend of his, Hubert Wells. They had worked through concepts in time travel and Lord Alaric believed such a thing was possible. Driven almost to madness by loss and fear for his baby, Lord Alaric locks himself in his stables/workroom. If the present did not hold an answer to save his baby, he would search in the Future!

Months later, he emerges from his workroom to usher his family in to see what he had created. It was a large cylindrical metal object, as big as three carriages, with a metal hatch and several portholes. Lord Alaric explains to his family what he had built: the world’s first T.I.L.L.Y., Towable Interdimensional Luxury Land Yacht. This vehicle was designed to hold the whole family (one of the things he had learned by working with Wells was that you had to be prepared to be stranded in the future or the past, so he wanted the whole family to travel together…a time traveling Swiss Family Robinson). The roof opened to deploy a hydrogen balloon for air travel, it could be hooked to a train for land travel, it could deploy flotation devices for water travel…and best of all, it created a interdimensional portal for time travel…or so Lord Alaric thought.

The family moved in, bringing some of their favorite Victorian furnishings with them, because even if you are traveling in time, you should still travel in true Victorian style! Once everyone was loaded, Lord Alaric set the machine for a hundred years in the future, deciding that the chance was good that medicine would have found an answer by then, and less chance that the world would have ended and humanity replaced by Morlocks!.

Anyone watching from the outside would have seen the Tilly begin to glow, occasional electrical discharges like lightening coming off the skin of the craft and then…nothing. The Tilly simply ceased to exist, only a slight pop was heard as the air collapsed into the vacuum left by the sudden displacement of the Tilly’s mass from this universe.

But the Tilly didn’t work exactly as Lord Alaric thought it would. It certainly opened a rift between universes but this wasn’t time travel, but dimensional travel. In actuality, he had created a way to displace the Tilly from our universe. In his earlier experiments, using smaller objects, enough power was being used to punch a hole not only out of our universe but also into a new one. When he retrieved the object, with a clock attached to it, the time difference between the clock on the test object and his clock in his lab was substantial, making him believe he had found time travel. Time acts differently between universes though, so it was that which caused the time difference. For the Tilly, the shear size of her required more power to punch through two universes, instead they merely were ejected from  their universe into a void between realities.

Knowing that they should have arrived already, Lord Alaric went to work to try to get more power to push through to the next universe. Luckily, though, they were not alone in the void. With a jarring crash, the Tilly landed and when they emerged, it was to an amazing medieval city which was like a patchwork of cultures, times, and creatures from out of the imagination.

Being British, the family took these things in stride. Their arrival was noted and they were brought before the city’s council. Their King had disappeared and Lord Alaric was a dead ringer for him, so they wanted him to stand in and lead them. They had scientific advances of their own, pulled from a myriad of times and realities. A team of somewhat mad scientists were brought in to look at Joscelyn. They determined that her brain was malformed, half of it at least, and it was this half that was destroying the other half.

In desperation, the family agreed with the doctors that the only course of action would be to surgically remove the bad brain, and they would replace it with a miniature difference engine.

After numerous surgeries and months of recovery and training, their baby began to shows signs of progress. The only downside was the ticking sound she made and the need to wind up her brain every morning!

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