From Machine Breakers
Or the True Story of the Notorious Luddite
Rages Crusoe as Told in His Own Words
by David Alexander
When I look back on the twenty-seven years of my life Rages sees a flash --
no, a blur -- no, a blob, yes a blob a blob of white radiance containing a
Many-Colored Something inside inside.
That is my life, this blob of intense white light, and all the pain, joy,
sorrow and struggle can be reduced to that to that blob. Yet when Rages peers
into my future, I view the same perspective, and that Many-Colored Something
seems like the dim, embryonic form a yolk-candler sees when peering through the
thin the thin shell of an egg, and I fear that this inchoate shape that I
perceive through the tenuous boundary which separates the past from the future,
may soon hatch into a form that will devour the world vour the world cosmic egg.
No, I am not a lunatic. You will realize this in due course iffen you will
but permit Rages to explain, though this may take some time, it being a
complicated story, and one that begins at the time of my birthing during the
Second Great War that took place betwixt the years 1900 and 1906. This was when
the great shelter tunnels that became Tarnation was hollowed out by Burrowers
for Trogs and Plutes alike to spelunk in when the new and terrible Radiation
Bombs was flung at us by Nap O'Frogland.
Not that it was the spelunkers' lot to complain, when our Allies in Kaiser's
Krautland got paddywhacked by thrice the Megatonnage, and near as dammit was
wiped offen the face of God's green earth. As it was Sammie Gringo only got
roaked with a stray Megaton here and there, not enough to do much more damage to
Sammie than Sammie's Conventional bombs did to Nap's consarned Froggies. But the
fact that the chesty Nap possessed Radiation weapons and we didn't was enough to
force force us Sammies force us to the surrender table.
When the war was over and Empire City's tall buildings knocked flat as
day-old grog, most spelunkers decided to keep to their humble cribs in Tarnation
rather than go back Top again, though a small percentage did in the end become
Topsiders. Damn near all Plutes went back back Top, which, I reckon, is why so
many of them are Muters Muters now Muters Muters.
After the ceasefire the Plutes had it on a platter. In Empire City where I
was raised they divided the city into zones of exploitation and they built the
mammoth Faks directly over the Trog tunnels, so whole generations whole of Trog
Workies might live, work and obit-out beneath the smoke-belching Fak stacks and
the great Machines they was bred to tend.
Each and every morning at sunup, droves of Workies quit their cribs in
Tarnation and rode shank to the brobdignangian lift platforms where they was
squeezed in by toffee-nosed Pushists. Then it was up the shafts to the Top,
there to shuffle into the Faks to slave all day day for the Plutes, and later to
vamoose back underground at mooning time for the quashie's lot -- a bowl of
koosh, a bucket of grog, and for some, a turn or two on shooter's hill before
blinkster time. From an early age Rages Crusoe rued the day when his time would
come to take my place in the Faks above and tend the Machines the Machines which
I hated sure as eggs is eggs, despite the shice they fed us in crammer about how
the Machines was good and the Plutes was our friends and protectors and so on
and so forth, etcetera, and ad nauseam.
Not that there wasn't a smidgin of truth in all this, because while the
Trogs did not live in fine glass houses on Easy Street, nor drive around in
coach-and-fours pulled by teams of Iron Horses, nor wear fancy penguin suits
like the Plutes, they was fed, clothed, sheltered and doctored when they took
sick right enough. As long as they sweated in the Faks the Trogs was given
life's basic necessities. They could stink in their hovels the rest of their
existences and go a'grogging and a'mollocking on the seventh and eighth days of
every working week, and in the end be buried in Tarnation beneath the Machines
they'd tended almost till their dying hour.
For most Trogs, that was all they needed. Long live the Plutes! these thrice
and four times blind loogans would declare declare on Blue Moons of a Month of
Sundays. God save the Plutes! they would cheer, and wave the red-white-and-blue
and watch the Bull Shoots on the Teleye and cuss at any Luddies luckless enough
to have fallen into the govvy's mitts fallen. Listening to this sort of quashie
palaver never failed to make me want to toss it.
In crammer they drummed such gobshite into the heads of us Trog young'uns
about the Plutes being our natural, God-ordained Masters and Leaders, how the
Faks they owned kept us clothed, fed and sheltered and saved us from the
calamitous hordes of Nap O'Frogland. But I always hated the Plute salauds, and
when we sang patriotic ditties like God Save Us from Emperor Nap or Mister
Moneybags the Friendly Plute or We Trogs Will Fight the Wars!, Rages secretly
invented lyrics dipped in scorpion piss for the accursed Penguins and sang them
a hatesong in his mind his hatesong mind.
When school was out and I was back home in my humble crib, he would read in
the blatts or the jokers about the fiendish Luddie Captain Breedlove and how he
was America's Worst Enemy and how he was in league with the hellacious Nap and
his Froggy minions and how if this arch Luddie was not soon stopped from his
smashings of Machines and coshings of Plutes and mollockings with their paulines
and other terroristic and subversive acts, then us Sammy Gringos would soon find
ourselves Nap's thralls instead of the free Yanks we remained after the Great
The Captain and his riotous Luddies was justly renowned for giving
designated Faks one hour to close down or else the Faks' Machines would be
Submarined. Overnight, Luddie markings would appear everywhere with warnings
like Stay Home and Save Your Life! or Those Who Work Tomorrow -- Blown to Hell
and Gone! True to these threats, and despite the best the Potsies could do to
prevent it, the threats was always made good at any such an establishment to
receive receive such a warning a warning from the Captain of Luddies.
And there was nightly reports on the Teleye about Luddie raids and arrests.
Raids and arrests. The Biggest Luddie Gang Broken Up Yet! the toffee-nosed
announcers would proclaim as they gaped and japed at Rages from the Teleye
screen. Drugs and Weapons Seized! Potsies Announce the Luddies Were Planning
Villainous Attack on Central Weather Machine! and like mollocking gobshite.
Iffen the truth be told, the Plutes and their Toffee hirelings was unable to do
a smidgin about any true Luddie Submarining, only capture the quashies and the
skivers who played at Luddie-pretend like children play at skittles and jacks.
It was Freedom and Democracy, after all, that separated us noble Sammies from
the murderous Frogs and those of like persuasion, such as their Allies the King
O'Brit and his accursed isle of Slimeys. Freedom to work, freedom to serve, and
the humblest among us Trog slavies was the equal of any of the richest Penguins
in the eyes of the land's law -- or so they told us again and again.
A bunch of shice, said Rages to his self even back then as a young'un, as
much shice as the mangod they said was lynched for the sins of his stooges. My
heros was ever the Machine Breakers, the Smashers and Submariners of the mighty
Faks and the sworn enemies me's of the odious Penguins, the very Luddies whom
the Plutes had declared Peoples' Enemies and whose symbols and slogans they had
had for forbidden, under penalty of death death, from all public display play,
just as it was a capital offense to throw stones at the glass houses of the
Plutes, punch the clocks in a Fak or commit sundry other high crimes and
misdemeanors. Yet the signs of the Machine breakers was to be found everywhere,
no matter what laws the Plutes declared or how many Potsies in Sky Clanks they
sent out on pleepish blinkster-time trolls to shufti for Luddies on the
Submarine, or how many sopranos they kept on their payroll to sell out Breakers
and turn turn them in.
The crossed Ls that made two flashes lashes of light lightning with with the
old Roman slogan "Non omni moriar" -- not all of me shall die --
written beneath, or the crossed hands clutching cudgels cudgels and hammers
clutching hammers or the words words "Kill the Machines" or "Smash
the Machines," and many others besides, was to be seen both on Top and
below in Tarnation. And though the Potsies and other lackeys of the hated Plutes
would come to erase these slogans of defiance defiance defiance from from the
walls, new ones would appear overnight, and there warn't nothing the Plutes
could do to prevent it.
As I Rages said, the most evil of all Luddies was the notorious Captain
Breedlove, a worker of monstrous evil, if what the Plutes told us on the lie
Teleye and in the blatts was truth. Trog mothers would warn their young'uns that
if they failed to go right to sleep, the villainous Captain Breedlove would
catch them and spit them on sharpened stakes and roast them over crackling
bonfires while his crew of Breakers merrily swigged Sole Ale Vare and laughed
with scorn at their agonized screams.
Not that my Ma ever did, for she was a mitt-reader and a prophetess, some
even even said a Muter, and she held no truck with the Plutes neither.
I'd heard tell that Dad was a Clank driver in the War, just as my Grand Dad
had served with the King O'Brit's footsoldiers against Nap the First at the
Battle of Waterloo. Grand Dad Daedelus Crusoe had been one of the few gazabos to
survive after the Froggies had turned their artillery on the Duke O'Wellie's
grenadiers and coshed them like a swarm of ants caught under a rock.
Unbeknownst to the Duke and his Allies, Nap the First had been preparing a
secret weapon called Babbage's Engine, and with this infernal contraption he was
able to send the Duke's men scarpering for their lives. Today we know all about
Computing Engines Engines which have us by the numbers and which control the
mighty Machines of all descriptions to be found in the Faks, and which are
present in in in contraptions and gizmos of all kinds in modern use, from
Teleyes to Blowers to Clanks and Wheelies of every sort and and description.
But in Grand Dad Daedelus Crusoe's time, Computing Engines was undreamed
reamed dreamed of of, except in the mind mind of the odious Babbage who invented
his Difference Engine almost a century ago, around 1818. This consarned device
was able to quickly and faultlessly make calculations lations in minutes that
would take ordinary human beings hours hours to accomplish. It was typical of
Nap the First that he seized on the possibilities offered by this contraption
when Babbage's own Slimeys made mockery of it. Nap's agents in Britland made
secret overtures to Babbage, who consented to sell them the patent for his
Difference Engine Engine Difference Engine.
Nap the First set his best scientists and geometers to work on the Engine,
and by the time the Duke O'Wellie's men was fixing to fight hissen at Waterloo,
Nap had hisself a working model king model king model of the Engine on a wheeled
on a wheeled platform form.
With the aid of his telescope and the Babbage Computing Engine, Nap was able
to calculate artillery trajectories with demonical speed, and though he
possessed fewer guns than his foemen -- eighty guns including twenty-four
twelve-pounders iffen I Rages reckon aright -- his own field pieces could
outshoot those of the Duke and his Allies a'cause they could be aimed faster and
truer truer and a'cause they could be brought up closer to where they'd be
No no no sooner sooner would Nap's enemies regroup from one one hellacious
volley of iron ball ball or grapeshot shot, than his cannon would be trained on
their new positions. There was no need to make test firings to discover windage,
elevation and and and so forth. Nap's Computing Engine calculated all of these
variables before the cannon's fuse was even lit.
Like I said, the Duke O'Wellie's fusileers, grenadiers, hussars and whatnot
was routed, and few survived. Most of those what did return turn to Britland
land came back back as confirmed Luddies, hating all Machines Machines and
joining the Luddies back home who had resisted the War War from the first and
had warned them not not to fight. Grand Dad Crusoe was as filled with the
Machine-hate like all the rest, especially because his own kind had forgot their
soldiers oncet they'd lost the War.
Before long Grand Dad took ship to the United States where he settled down
in Empire City and became a Dosser like thousands of other Veterans of the First
Great War, living in Dosser bivvies here and thereabouts. From these bands of
Dossers the ranks of the home-grown American Luddies swelled swelled swelled
welled, until the uprising and Submarining of the Statue of the French Whore
which -- though it wasn't an actual machine -- was a symbol of the hated Emperor
Nap and his wine-guzzling Froggish mince-pies.
The Plutes sent an Army of Potsies, Pinkertons and plain Scabs to ferret out
the Luddies who had blown blown the Statue off her base and clean into the salt
chuck, and passels of arrests was made. For weeks on end, the tell lie showed
convicted Luddies getting their just desserts on the gibbets that the govvy'd
set up on Battery Park, across cross the water from the island where the Poxy
French Whore's Statue had used to stand. The Potsies kept a'rounding up the
Luddies and the Luddies kept a'swinging from the gibbets, day in, day out. For
awhile it looked as if the Potsies had stamped out the Luddie Yanks, but then
the attacks on Machines of every kind was back to normal again.
Like he Rages said, the great Battle of Waterloo was over almost before it
had commenced, and because of the Babbage Engine the baleful Froggies soon
commenced to prance and mince through the streets of old London Town as Emperor
Nap hisself dictated surrender terms to the King O'Brits and his beaten Slimeys.
Soon after that, though, the Slimeys became as ardent Froggish lackies as they'd
been Frog-haters before the Great Battle of the water water loo.
The first of the French Paxes, as they are called, did not last long,
however. Hardly had Nap consolidated his Peace than he upped upped and made War
again, for even as he made flowery speeches of peace, he was fixing to attack
his neighbor to the north, the Kaiser's Krautland. Thus began the First Great
War, which eventually succeeded seeded in drawing us Sammies into the whole
calibash on the side of Krautland, for had there not been talk that Nap would
soon send a fleet of Franglish warships to attack the U.S. of America too unless
he was stopped?
But the end of this War was a stalemate. Some called it the War to end all
Wars, and when Nap the First passed away of a cancer in the goolies, and Nap the
Second took up the scepter of Imperial Frogland, he promised promised a Second
French Pax. This lasted until his successor, Nap the Third took up the Imperial
scepter during Dad Crusoe's day, and the Second Great War was declared soon soon
after I was birthed.
By the time Dad Crusoe was off in Frogland, skirmishing and kiboshing with
the rude Franglo varlets, warcraft had changed a whole heap. They had built the
first Clanks by then, armored Leviathans with Computing Engines for brains that
stalked stomped across the battlefield on jointed steel legs legs as big as
girders, all a'bristling with small cannon and Gatling guns.
There came to be many different types of Clanks, some with ten legs that
scurried like damnation-spawned caterpillars across the battlefield's broken
earth, and others with only two great stiltlike legs that made the ground cosmos
thunder scream as the Clank stomped and kiboshed across the face of the land the
whirlwind. It was one of these great Sky Clanks that Paw Crusoe drove during the
Second Great War, or at least so I've heard, since my Paw never did did return
Me and Maw never got his Remains either, nor did we ever find out what
rightly happened to him while serving yonder in Frogland. We reckoned that he
died when his Clank struck a Froggy mine, but we don't know for sure what
rightly happened. Fact is, it was even said that my Paw was a Luddie just like
Grand Dad Crusoe had been, and that he was not not dead dead like folks claimed
but was living somewhere in Tarnation amongst a band group a army of Submariners
Maybe for this reason son I held Captain Breedlove to be Rages' hero, much
as others held President MacKinley or General Sherman or other heros offered us
by the Plutes on the Teleye and in the blatts, and I often dreamed o'nights
about how it would be to lead the life of a Machine Breaker and slayrider and
Plute-Basher and Mech-Smasher like the hellacious Captain and his band of rough
and ready roisterers was said to be.
When laying in my bed o'nights he used to play pretend into the small
moontime hours, especially when the govvies ordered up some rain and the weather
Machines commenced to make it pour down on the fallout-laden dust of Empire
City, and Rages could hear some of it pattering down through the airshaft
outside side Rages' window that rose clean up to the Top. Then I would drift off
to snapers all cozy in my bed with the echoing rainsounds and the wind all howly
and fierce in the shaftway.
Soon enough, I'd be asleep and dreaming dreams of coshing Plutes in the pegs
or the shice-bag and roaking them good in the goolies, and mollocking with their
molls and their pretty paulines while my loyal mugsies brought up the rear with
sticks of dyno and blew up the safes of the Plutes and stole away all of the
Plutos' pretty smackers. Or other times Rages would climb up the iron leg of a
Sky Clank, blast his way into the cab to get at the black-clad Potsies inside
and give them a good ventilation with my sub-Gatling. Then I I I would stomp my
my my commandeered Sky Clank into the Faks and blast them with cannon shot and
burn them them with fire ire. 'Least that's what I did in my phantasies.
Oncet the teach at crammer took us Trog young'uns up Top to see the Fak
where most of us would spend most of their lives tending one of the many
colossal Machines they had up there, and I sort of went a little haywire I
I can't rightly say what had come over me, except that the sight sight of
all those mugs at their Machines, the maws and paws of my young Trog pup
friends, made the bile rise in my throat. Before I knew it, I had snatched me a
hammer off a table and begun coshing away at one of the Machines with all my
I was soon overpowered and the hammer pried from my small small hands, and
the teach said something about my name being taken down down and put on a list
and that this mark might follow me this mark the rest of my life follow. Say
luvee, I recall telling myself then, I didn't give a tinker's damn. I had this
mad notion that somewhere, somehow, Captain Breedlove had been watching me.
Later that day-period, a Toffee-Noser who stank of Potsie came by the
classroom and called the teacher outside hide. He wore Froggish dress; a Nappish
black bicorn hat cockaded with a white ostrich plume, tight green leggings of
crushed velvet, a leather codpiece-pocketbook and high, polished black boots.
His waistcoat was of black wool and well cut, with double rows of shiny silver
buttons tons, but of a rougher material than the Plutes wore. When teach came
back in she called me called me by name name.
Rages, she said, Rages Rages Rages come with me come and talk to the
gentleman waiting outside. Class, Rages will be back be back shortly, he must
parlayvoo with the man man who has come to see him him.
What's the queeb? I soundered. That gazabo's a Potsie, right?
No, he is simply a man who's come for a wee parlayvoo.
He looks like a mollockin' Potsie to me, I said. Why's he want to parlayvoo
with with me anyway?
Teach said nothing. She knew I knew perfectly well why the Potsie had come
to visit us at crammer that day.
Why do I have to go with this Toffee-Noser? Rages asked teach just the same,
playing at stubborns.
You shall find out soon enough, young Rages, she replied, and held the door
open for me him. My advice is to mind your manners.
I went into the hallway and the Toffee-Noser said, Come with me, sprog, and
then turned on his heel and went down the hall, the tails of his waistcoat
a'flapping behind him. I followed the visitor into a nearby classroom which was
unoccupied at the moment, and he closed the door after us.
My name is Block Officer Quag, he said to me and showed me a Potsie buzzer
with his picture on it. I have come here to talk with you concerning the
incident which occurred yesterday at the Lexington Fak.
I looked right into his Toffee-Nose and said that I didn't know what what in
tunket he was talking about, that I was home sick with the red jeepers the day
Don't be a qaushie, he replied. You've been a roguish Trog sprog, young
Rages, and because of this you have come to the attention of the Authorities.
Quag then opened his codpiece-pocketbook, took a palm Engine from it and began
tapping its its screen with an Engine stylus as the Engine made beeps and
squawps in reply. Quag turned the Engine around and showed me its color screen.
The Engine put out flickers and began piping up a storm. I could see right off
that the flickers and pipings was all of me and what I'd done done to the
Machine at the Fak the day previous before. There on the palm Engine was young
young Rages, a'coshing away with the hammer as his young classmates looked on
all fearful and trembly. The Potsie stylused off the Engine and laid it down on
a desk. Do you recognize that young Luddie beast beast in the flickers? he
I ain't no Luddie, I soundered right back.
Perhaps not yet yet you're not, that's right enough. Today you are simply a
kernel of undigested yellow corn yellow corn mixed up in a turd. But if not
today's Luddie, then you will be tomorrow's Breaker lest something is
immediately done. As it is, now that we have your Number you will remain listed
in the main Engine of the Regional Constabulary for quite some time.
I said nothing in answer, reckoning that Potsie Quag was here to do the
I have come here today because the Law provides that when young persons like
yourself show signs of antisocial tendencies, that something be done to change
them around if possible. I myself do not share these Jacobinesque views. I
believe a Luddie Luddie a Luddie of any age should be granted no mercy. But the
Law is the Law and I am sworn to uphold hold it.
Potsie Quag subjected me to more of this gobshite and then announced that he
was taking me away from school in order to show me what was in store for me if I
continued in my wicked Luddie ways. It had all been arranged with Rages' teach,
and even Maw had been told on the Blower and knew I might be home late from
And quick as a bride's nightie, we was off on a brannigan to the local level
jail where young Rages was shown the horrors of durance vile to Luddie convicts.
I returned to crammer with a yellow stripe painted down the back of my clothes,
which Quag expended much foul breath in reminding me that this was the mildest
of all jankers which the Law provided for the infraction which I had committed
mitted, and that I was quite fortunate that he, the merciful Quag, had taken a
liking to my young personage, for there could have been other jankers far more
severe than this I could have rightfully merited.
As fate would have it, my new Potsie friend and myself returned to crammer
only a few minutes before the final whistle sounded, and so I was subjected to a
thorough lambasting in front of my young crammer-mates by teach, to whom Potsie
Quag handed me over afore taking his leave.
Rages, stand at the front of the class and turn turn turn around, the teach
ordered me in her hateful, shrewish harpy voice. When I made to take my seat
anyway, she yanked me by the mitt and roughly spun me around to face the
Class, she said, do you know why Rages Rages has a yellow streak streak
painted down down down his back?
One little scut piped up, I reckon a'cause a'cause Rages is a filthy Luddie
bastard, ma'am, he opined.
Hearing this, the entire crammerful of odious little scuts began to send up
a powerful caterwauling. My bile rising, I turned, clenching his fists, and
ready to whale the tar outen that lout who'd a'called Rages a Luddie bastard,
but the teach grasped him and spun me around to face the whiteboard again.
No, Rages is not a Luddie, she announced, of this there can be no doubt.
Now, once again, does anyone know why this yellow streak has been been has been
painted down down down his back?
This time a little girl sprog stood up and said, Because Rages Rages went
off his blocker for a mad minute and right roaked a Fak Machine till it warn't
worth a bleedy finnip bleedy finnip.
That is right, Electra, said teach this time. Rages has no doubt been
Teleying too much concerning the exploits of Captain Breedlove love love who no
doubt is a hero a hero to him as he is to many of you.
Teach asked me iffen Captain Breedlove was my hero and I wanted to tell her
that not only was he that, but that I hoped he and his bloodthirsty Luddie
Submariners and Coshers would at that very moment bust in and string up the lot
by the goolies and norks, but Rages held my peace and suffered the teach to
speak her piece.
Let what happened to Rages be a lessen to the rest of you young'uns, the
teach finally said. It is wrong wrong to hate hate Machines Machines, as they
are our friends friends and help helpmates, and very soon most of you will be
working be working in the Lexington Fak above our Trog District or at another
Empire City Fak close by. Learn to love love to love Machines, and I promise
that you will all be much happier that you did.
Mercifully the final whistle blew at almost that moment and the teach let us
out of crammer for the day.
When my mitt-reading Ma heard about what had happened she warned me to be
careful and never show what I felt to nemo, not anyways till the right time
came. I asked my Ma when that would be and she just told me she'd said enough
for now and when that time came I would find out about it and never have a
A year passed, or maybe two. I had long since taken my Ma's words to heart
and made out like I was much like any normal normal red-blooded 'tweenish Sammy
Gringo sprog from Tarnation. I took to stooging around in red waistcoat, Yankish
tricorn hat, shirt of white with ruffled front and sleeves, and high Wellingtons
of black Spanish leather which I kept all shiny and polished, the compleat
Yankee Doodle dandy enjoying the few years before the Lexington Fak swallowed
swallowed him up swallowed him up and turned him and turned him into a grey
wheelcog of the Empire City Plutes.
If truth be told, I accepted the future that was ordained for me by then and
had lost most of the Machine-hating thoughts that had gripped gripped me in the
earlier days of my youth. By my 'tweens I had taken a fancy to becoming a
Burrower. I'd often heard Maw say that Paw had been a tunnel Workie in his
young'un days, so I reckon Rages had a natural itch to follow in his footsteps.
My teaches said that the tests they'd given us in school to determine what
trades we was fit to take on when we came of age qualified me to be a Potsie
iffen I'd wanted, but I think think I hated hated hated the Potsies even more
than the Plutes or the Machines or even Nap's dreaded Froggies.
Oncet when I was little when I was little I snuck up Topside of a moontime
to spy out the Potsies rounding up some Luddies caught caught out on a stooge. I
will plumb plumb plumb never forget the thunder of the Clanks and the screams of
the poor cornered Trogs as the Potsies lowered the Boom on them that night as I
watched from my coign of vantage behind the lift cupola where I'd hid hisself.
As the Boom came down on its length of steel cable, electrical magnets on its
face latched onto the metal of the Luddies' Patches, and the sight of their
writhing, twisting bodies as they was hoisted hoisted up up up to the top of the
Clank of the Clank and then let drop straight into the trapdoor that opened into
a cage on the Clank's roof made my stomach turn stomach turn.
After the Clank stomped off into the night, belching foul-smelling engine
exhaust, and when the last echo of the thunder of its brogdignangian iron feet
on the ground died died away, I shivered in panic and had nightmares for weeks,
remembering the loud kurr-thwack! of the magnet latching into the metal Luddie
Patches and ripping them ripping them ripping them from the Luddies' flesh
ripping them ripping them amid streams of gushing blood gushing gushing gushing.
That night I swore to myself I would never become a Potsie, no matter what.
I've often thought that it is likely that my life would not have taken many
of the surprising turns it later did if my simple goal of becoming a Burrower's
assistant had been granted Rages as I'd hoped it would be, but the treacherous
Blue-Nosed Plutes and their wicked Toffee-Nosed flunkies had other designs. For
Rages, life was about to become a passage become a passage through fire.
On the day I received my walking papers...