The Daedalus Project

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Cammytrice, May 7, 2012.

  1. The early spring sun rose gently and gradually over the top of the manor house, the gentle sounds of the morning belying the tempestuous night that had preceded it. The long winter had ended in a final, vigorous storm, and now the world seemed refreshed and hopeful. The mild air and clean-smelling breeze failed to prevent the sun from removing the final traces of rain from the ground, while the gardeners cleaned and trimmed the gardens. On this fresh canvas, boys lingered outside, lounging on benches and against trees, a few chasing each other about the grounds, savoring the long-absent sun before heading inside for their lessons.

    The idyllic setting was very suddenly interrupted by the sound of heavy hooves and iron wheels, a whirlwind of sound and activity that raced its way through the gardens and up to the door of the manor. Several boys jumped back to avoid being trampled, while others barely caused a glimpsed the carriage through the cloud of dust as it flew past. No sooner had the dust begun to settle that there was a pounding on the manor door, and a voice calling for the master of the house. A few of the boys ventured closer in curiosity as the master opened the door. There was a very heated, one-sided argument, interrupted only by stern, quiet responses before a sealed letter was roughly pushed across the small distance from one owner to another.

    Then, just as violently as it had arrived, the carriage departed; the driver whipping just as much at the horses as he did the boys who'd gotten in the way. They scrambled away until the storm of activity was over, and quiet rushed back into the vacuum it had left behind. But the peace seemed, forced somehow. The boys drew close once more, hoping for reassurance and answers from the master, who remained in the entrance, reading the letter which had been so forcefully pressed upon him. Suddenly folding it, he quietly informed his students that there would be no lessons that day, and were dismissed. Bartolomeo di Rossi closed his front door and hurried up to his study, calling for his apprentice as he went. He rushed to his shelves and began gathering up rolls of paper, spreading them out on his work table. There wasn't a moment to lose.
  2. Tik tik. "And...," Tik tik. "...done." Adalfieri De Luca removed the piece of paper from the press and read over the small font carefully. He nodded approvingly to himself before setting the paper down on top of a stack of an upcoming newsletter. Adalfieri ran a small printing press for the newsletter, and this month was the biggest month of the year, as of yet. Many exciting things were happening, and he too, was also excited. And if he did his job well, more income would come his way, and it could easily be put to good use by himself and his mentor.

    He set down his spectacles and combed his hair back with his fingers. Just then, he heard the sound of metal and hooves on ground. He looked out of the window and saw someone ride up in a carriage. He watched as the man threw something into his master's hand and then watched as the carriage drew away.

    Adalfieri wondered for a moment of what that might could have been. Pressing Bartolomeo for answers wasn't a choice he had in mind, though. Some things were meant to be left alone. He looked at the fine press that stood in the middle of the room of which he was in and, after smiling to himself for several seconds, turned the power to it off. He stretched his arms over his head, popping joints along his back in the process. The man thought for a moment to perhaps venture outside when he heard his name being called in a haste. Bartolomeo's voice was urgent and almost demanding. Adalfieri turned to the door in alarm, his thoughts caught on hold, and for a moment he felt suddenly paralyzed. His heart jumped in his chest before he could bring himself to move to the door, throwing it open, and falling into a run to Bartolomeo's study.

    He saw as the room grew closer to him as he ran. Adalfieri had to force himself to a stop mid-run in order to catch his breath and proceed on casually to Bortolomeo's door. Stepping into the already open doorway, he looked to his mentor.
    "You called for me, sir?" Adalfieri asked, stepping farther into the room and crossing over to Bartolomeo di Rossi's desk.
  3. Di Rossi was scrawling out a list on a clean sheet of paper, measuring, calculating, mumbling. They were going to need gears, and leather, and wood. They had to move carefully. He would require help from his friends as well as his apprentice.

    "Enough with the press machine for now," he told his young apprentice. "We have been given a monumental task; two tasks to be precise, but only one that you require knowing at this point in our existence. We have been commissioned by the church to create a clockwork for St. Augustine's feast day in the late summer. You will need to take the horse and cart today and tell all the masters of the shops that we are in need of setting up an account. The money will be paid upon completion of the project and payment by the reverent Bishop. Take this list as well as this order from the Bishop. Show it to anyone who asks. Now be quick! I shall expect you to return by the afternoon. Tell the masters that we will need whatever stock they have available if they do not have sufficient stock to cover the amount on the list."

    Getting up, Di Rossi thrust the relevant papers in Adalfieri's hands and dismissed him, pulling on his own cloak to head down to his workshop.