Monday, November 19, 2007

Various and Sundry, and Elenore

As of my last entry in this journal, I had every sincere intention of forcing myself back into the habit of keeping it current. But the world has other plans, always, and too many dire matters vie for my attention, and the days slip so quickly by.

It is with tremendous relief that I report my attempt to restore Miss Paine to her proper age has met with success. Though I still only partly understand the forces at work in her unfortunate transformation, I suspected, after long hours of calculation, that I might reverse the process by sending Artemisia through the TTC, after having carefully placed one of the temporal "needles" where the mysterious carousel so recently stood, inside the auditorium of the dread Imperial Theatre. I think the greatest difficulty lay in persuading Miss Paine that this was, indeed, the correct course of action. I confess that I waited too long to try to reverse the effect, being delayed and distracted by other pressing things, and her mind had begun a regression in tune with that suffered by her physiology. But, afraid and doubtful and, I think, resentful, she passed through the cabinet at Abney Park and rematerialised but an instant later in the Imperial. I found her there, sitting alone in the theatre's front row, close to tears, but an adult once more. She continues to be afflicted by a melancholy which I attribute to these travails, and which I can only hope will pass with time. As for the tales of a spectre or phantasm named "Angry Jenkins" and the possibility that such a being played a role in Miss Paine's transmutation, I dismiss these rumours out of hand and the basest superstition.

Alas, I cannot dimiss the matter of the alien "cuckoos" who have come to New Babbage, but more on this problem later.

My pregnancy seems to be proceeding as expected, based upon what little I could discover about the reproductive anatomy of this body. I suspect the developing ovum will be expelled in less than another week, and we are making provisions for its safe keeping at Abney Park, as I cannot hope to attend it until it is mature enough to attend itself. Itself, I say, and see the callousness in my words. Some part of me still wishes to view this whole affair as completely apart from me, another experiment or problem requiring only the requisite consideration to solve. Which proves my resurrection in September did not entirely rid me of all my foolish ways. I have met this child, grown into a woman, more than a hundred years into the future of this timeline and across an unimaginable gulf on space. I have spoken with her in another time and on another world. Elenore Darwin. My daughter, and as I begin to understand, my mother, as well. I do not try too hard to comprehend this paradox. I am trying simply to accept it. That, long ago, a Gallifreyan woman made provisions for her eventual rebirth, once the weapon created by her master had been undone...but I get so far ahead of myself. I have stood with her, hand in hand, and looked into her eyes, and we have talked of so very many things. She be...a beautiful woman, and sane, and for that last part I am supremely grateful. The horrors of this past year have not been in vain! Ah, but there was fear on her face as well, and many things she would not or could not tell me. One paradox is too much a danger, and I must weather the rough waters ahead without the foreknowledge she might have given me. Above all things, I must keep this child safe.

She moves inside me. It is the most extraordinary feeling. I have existed in so many incarnations down the millennia leading me to this place, and I have witnessed such miracles and wonders. And though many are your equal, dear Elenore, not one yet ever has exceeded this sensation inside me, or the fact of so frail a life existing in the hostile, unforgiving, and more often than not simply indifferent void of this and every universe.

1 comment:

Skusting Dagger said...

Do not dismiss this Angry Jenkins fellow so lightly. I myself have encountered the dastard not once, but thrice.
The first, I espied him surveying Babbage from atop the bell tower in the Canal District.
The second, I was forced, rooted to the spot, encased in one of his devious aetheral snowglobes.
The third, he attempted to bring to surface my childhood fears. Quite unsuccessfully, though, being that my past is too far beind me to be unearthed fully.
But I do not think it was his doing in the case of Miss Paine, for his predilection is to steal youth, not to grant it. I think it may have been hoped by Miss Paine that he would be able to reverse the carousel's effects. Alas, a few wiggly fingers to his ribs seems to have disipated him before we could know. Time will tell. I do know that she is better off having waited for your attentions in the matter than to have risked much more by trying to deal with Jenkins.
As for your progeny, do know that your neighbors in New Babbage will also keep a sharp protective eye on the Abney Park lab once this wonder has arrived!