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Tom Fleet’s Machine

Tom Fleet’s Machine

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Tom Fleet’s Machine

Length:
54 pages
48 minutes
Publisher:
Released:
Mar 9, 2019
ISBN:
9781634869270
Format:
Book

Description

Tom Fleet was a bit of a misfit as the second son of a minor English noble in the 1880s. Once he finished his schooling he had little to do. His grandfathers had left him adequate finances for his needs and with his elder brother set to take the title, he gave in to his fascination with gadgets and began to tinker and invent. His goal was to create a sky craft to go to the moon. Surely if Jules Verne’s characters could go there and many other places, he could do as well.

Rowan Farrell followed in his Uncle Gordon’s footsteps, joining the UniFleet, but went a step farther and became an officer. Assigned to his first command level post, he takes a small patrol ship out to scout a region of interest to the Council and report if any signs of the enemy Angevirian Empire in the area. When one of his crew spots a strange, tiny craft, he decides to capture and study it. After all it could be an Angevirian Trojan horse. But the odd cylindrical vessel holds only one man, unconscious and suffering from hypothermia and lack of oxygen. When the man comes to, he claims to come from the earth ... five centuries in the past!
Publisher:
Released:
Mar 9, 2019
ISBN:
9781634869270
Format:
Book

About the author

Deirdre writes gay romance channeling a prior life’s gay male twin she calls Danny. Fascinated by love’s diverse shades and guises, she explores and experiences a range of attachments. She still believes in happily ever after, that Love is the One True Thing and genuine Love is never wrong. For more information, visit deirdredares.blogspot.com.


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5

Chapter 1

Out of breath from his frantic dash across the grounds, Tom slid into his seat at the family dinner table. Four pairs of eyes swiveled to regard him, three laden with dismay, disdain, and disgust. Only one face, that of his younger brother Jack, held interest and admiration. At ten, Jack was still excited about Tom’s inventions and incessant tinkering. When he could escape his tutor, Jack visited Tom’s workrooms in the old gatehouse and asked endless questions.

Despite the obvious parental disapproval and sisterly scorn, for he was too excited to contain his enthusiasm, Tom blurted out his latest news. Today I almost did it…so close. My rocketing sky-ship machine began to move. Then a belt snapped and it settled again. Tomorrow, or if not then, surely the day after, I will depart this prosaic place for a real adventure.

Mr. Fleet fixed his second son with a stern gaze. "I’m well aware of your projects. Still, can you not arrange to be at the table on time, at least now and then? Is that truly too much to ask? Common courtesy demands you honor your mother with your presence at the start of dinner."

Actually, we’d all be better off if you abandoned these ridiculous matters entirely, Tom’s sister Eleanor added with an indignant sniff. People are talking of little else all over the village. The strange noises, the disgusting odors, the weird contraptions you trundle about. It’s just a matter of time until word spreads to the city and to court. Then I shall find it near impossible to make a good marriage. Who wants a mad scientist for a brother-in-law?

When my sky-ship zooms off to the moon and beyond, I will not seem mad at all, Tom began, his voice rising above the polite level of dinnertime conversation.

Children… Mrs. Fleet interrupted. Please! It’s most crude and ill-mannered to lift voices in dispute at dinner. Pray calm yourselves. Ellie, I’m sure when the time comes there will be an ample crop of suitable young men from among whom you may choose your future spouse. No one will be too concerned with Tom’s minor eccentricities. After all, it’s Edmund who will inherit the title and he’s most respectable.

As a second son, Tom knew himself to be disposable and of little importance to anyone. Perhaps that was one reason he’d taken up the hobby of invention at a young age. Once done with his schooling, there was little else to occupy his time. He had no calling for the church or the military, and few other professions were open to the younger sons of minor nobility.

Indeed, he had no need to do anything so mundane as seeking employment. The trust funds established by his grandfathers would see to his needs and extend to some frivolities for all his days, even if he lived a very long time.

Truth be told, he caused no one great concern. He did not gamble or drink in excess and no amorous scandals had attached to his name. Thus far he had kept his few liaisons very discreet, so much so that he felt sure his parents had no notion he preferred other lads to the foolish, flouncing young ladies of their circle. Immersing himself in his laboratory cum workshop in the old gatehouse gave him work for his hands and mind and caused harm to no one—at least so far. True, a strange noise or a peculiar stench might escape now and then, but nothing to injure anyone or bring out the constable.

At nineteen, he’d become almost a recluse, socially inept and far too immersed in his wild notions to arouse anyone’s interest or attention. He preferred things that way. Once he got a few of his machines to function, he’d soon be far away, long gone and shortly all but forgotten. Other than his mother, he doubted anyone would miss him.

So far, his perpetual motion steam engine was doing famously. He could make a few gallons of water last

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