Studying the Statue

After his soup was warmed, Edmund walked up the servants stairs to the dining room.

It was empty, save for Ung, and Edmund settled down with his large bowl of chunky red soup. The soup had floating bits that looked and possibly tasted like pork.
Staring at the soup, Edmund realized that no one was going to eat in the dining hall that evening either, so he informed Ung that he had decided to have his dinner in his room.

Ung agreed that Edmund had arrived punctually and properly dressed, and Matron had made no proclamation about how long he had to stay. After Ung fetched him a tray, he returned to the elevator, intending to take his chunky red soup back to the library. He was fervently resolved not to leave until he had discovered exactly how to power the statue, no matter how long it took.

As it turned out, it took Edmund almost two full days of doing little more than staring into the base of the statue, and pouring over the diagrams in the study, tracing lines of force with his eyes, and putting all the different pieces together in his mind. Gears and belts floated in his vision, shifting and rearranging themselves like puzzle pieces, connecting to axles and pulleys. The description of the Mechanus Vitae tickled the back of his memory, and he felt like if he stared at the blueprints long enough, an answer might appear in his mind.

Of course, he still had to keep up appearances, so he continued to meet with Mr. Shobbinton for lessons, though he found it quite hard to focus. He also met with Pinsnip, as promised, where he learned the finer points of keeping still and breathing silently.

Then, on the third day, the images snapped into clarity. Within an instant, Edmund had run back to the stacks, hunting for books on Physiology. It was simple, now that he could see it. Machines were so very much like a human body, built from brass and steel, instead of flesh and bone. Gears and belts became the joints and tendons, while bellows took the place of lungs, and levers the muscles.

On the second floor, Edmund found a copy of ‘The Symphonic Physicium,’ and threw it off the shelf and onto the nearest table. He tore it open and flipped as quickly as he could to the tenth chapter, desperately trying to remember where he had read about the resuscitation of the comatose.

Finally, he found the page. He read as quickly as he dared, desperately searching for the information he knew was there.

The chapter was filled with cures for the blood. Droughts for increasing the healthy flow of blood to the organs, powders for chilling the body when the blood became too choleric, even a device designed to increase the amount of blood in the body through some reverse leeching process. Edmund read through them all, searching for the one that would have what he needed.


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