The Machine Has Stopped

In 1830 No one believed the man when he said that the entire world functioned on clockwork machinery. No one believed him because he was a homeless man who had squandered every opportunity that was handed to him. The homeless man died shortly after making the statement from dysentery and the potential of the general population discovering the truth was ended. Now, close to 200 years after that, a man going by the name of Left Foot Jones discovered the truth denied to the world for so long.

He found the entrance to facility in an old abandoned building. Left Foot Jones, called so because he only had one foot, noted that even though the building was abandoned it didn’t seem to belong to any particular time period. He entered the building to seek shelter from the impending storm that could be seen building on the horizon.

The building was warm unlike outside, kept warm by some currently unknown power source. He took shelter in a darker corner of the building. With his shopping cart of old salvaged goods and his makeshift crutch, he set up his stuff close to him. He typically slept sitting and leaning against the wall from the fear that if he were to lay down his brain would fall out of his ears. Once again, he slept comforted with all of his possessions surrounded by him.

He woke suddenly as he saw a group of rats coming up from the stairwell. Out of curiosity, and with out his shopping cart, he went down into the stairwell. The stairwell was dark and smelled quite distinctly of mold. Although it was dark he was able to just make out the stone cut of the walls, “Seems out of place” he thought momentarily before deciding to descend the stairwell.

The stairway seemed to go on for ever, and indeed it did, he descended for hours with his crutch and his good left foot. “I must have come hundreds of feet by now,” he thought. He reached a platform and saw that there was still a long way to go and so he decided to rest. He slept for what felt like hours and it was the deepest sleep he had in years. He descended the stairs for a few more hours and realized the steps had changed from a cold stone to a neutral but rickety wood.

Finally he saw some light and he back to descend quicker. His thoughts raced wondering what type of marvels he’ll see. There was a large wooden door that read “Engine Room”. On the wooden door were magnificent carving of the Earth. He opened the door and was greeted by a dim but warm light. The room was filled with what seemed like Victorian Era machinery but Left Foot Jones was convinced that this technology was older than that and perhaps since the dawn of time.

He was greeted by an odd machine rolling around on a singular stone ball. The anatomy of the the machine seemed almost human but the proportions were just slightly different. At the area of what could be called a face was a darkened glass, and from that glass came a voice. “Hello, I am Defender II, I am the protector of this machine.”

“What is this machine for?” Left Foot Jones asked in his raspy slightly high baritone voice. Defender II rocked around slightly on his marble roller and responded, “It is the engine room for the planetary body you call Earth. The engine room and the Earth as you know it was designed by the ones that designed me. And the engine room’s entire purpose is to rotate the Earth in a very precise manner. Left Foot Jones looked around at the machinery, not knowing what to believe, and noticed that none of the machinery was operating. “So why is none of it working?” He asked. Defender II rocked around a bit again and responded, “The last maintainer died just a few weeks ago and with out him, all operations were suspended. And thus the rotation of the Earth will stop soon and all life on Earth will end as you know it.”

As surprised as he was and as afraid as he was, he knew exactly what he had to do. “Show me what I have to do, I’ll make sure this machine runs right again”, Left Foot Jones said as confidently as he had ever sounded.

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