A Tall Ship Tale #70: Simon Says

Another punish episode from Paul DeAnguera.

Anxious to learn more about Brotherhood technology, Captain Quid, Professor Peabody and the First Mate were investigating the captured pinnace. The spy Cilantro had stolen it from the captain in Chapter 3. Then the Brotherhood, a secretive revolutionary cult whose members were all named Isaac, had modified it for use in their forays into time. What was their purpose? What damage had they done to history? The H.M.S. Legume’s officers were about to find out.

Cautiously they approached a mysterious device in the bow of the little ship, recalling that they had seen the enemy monks activate it in Chapter 64 just before the pinnace dematerialized. Peabody pulled away its tarp to reveal a heavy rectangular frame. It proved to be a louver whose array of slats could be adjusted in unison. “I think this may be their chronomotor,” he reported. “Each slat has a narrow strip of a picture on each side, and they are arranged to display either of two composite portraits when properly aligned. The Brotherhood attracts the past to their ship with an image of Jean Auel. For future attractions, they’ve been using Arthur C. Clarke.”

“Why, that’s very similar to how the GAG levitation system works,” Quid mused. “A portrait of James G. Watt* repels the entire planet!”

“You can set the slat alignment very precisely,” the First Mate noted admiringly as he examined the mechanism. The slats were ganged together to a master lever; it could be finely adjusted or simply thrown in one direction or the other for a quick escape into time. He looked up and concluded,

“There must be fifty ways to heave your louver!”

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