Challenge #02183-E354: Zeerusted SymphoniumsteemCreated with Sketch.

in fiction •  6 months ago 

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Second Bohemian Rhapsody Prompt.
This video. The person who built this machine has (at time of prompting) 97 other classic songs 'sung' and 'played' by the amalgamation of repurposed obsolete computer parts, but for their celebration of their 100th video, they chose Bohemian Rhapsody (it is two videos 'early' because the final necessary component for Bohemian Rhapsody to be successfully done by the machine was obtained recently, and it dates from the Windows 98 days. The fact that this machine, which has done all the other songs on this playlist, needed an extra component specifically to be capable of Bohemian Rhapsody speaks volumes in and of itself, but that Paweł Zadrożniak of Poland, which at the time this song came out and for many years afterwards was behind the Iron Curtain, assuming Paweł was even BORN yet, chose it as the 100-song celebration certainly says something about how well it has propagated in the collective human unconsciousness, and how much that collection of seeming nonsense lyrics that was panned by critics on release and yet has gone on to become one of the most well-known and well-regarded songs of the last century moved us all. -- RecklessPrudence

[AN: Warning for flashing lights in the video]

It was technology from the dawn of the Information Age. Frankly, it was amazing that it didn't still contain valves. It did still contain transistors, though. Rael had checked. As far as he was concerned, it was barely three steps away from being made out of clockwork.

"I thought the -er- 'rig' in your offices was sufficient for your nostalgic whims," he began. "Was I in error?" Translation: How big will the crater be from this assumed flakk-up?

Shayde, in the middle of a creative mess of plastic, wires, and circuitboards, looked up from her latest soldering join. "Aw, nah. This ain't for me office. This is art."

Oh. Well. That just made everything potentially worse. "It won't explode, will it?"

"No sudden noises or smoke, because of station regulations," she intoned. "This is just straight up proof of concept, here. Nowt but me showin' off that I can, ye ken."

Knowing Shayde as he did, this did nothing to assuage his fears. "So what kind of art is this?"

Shayde grinned in that disturbing way that meant she was proud of herself, and reached over to tap a few keys on an ancient-style plastic keyboard. There was a slightly ominous building whine and then... Motors whirred into action.

Wheep. Ity-wheep. Ity-wheep-ip-ip-ip-ip-ip-ip-ip. Wheep. Ity-wheep...

"Is that the William Tell Overture?"

"YES! Test piece, o'course. When I'm done it'll be a motor-driven flakkin' wurlitzer. Fifty or more well-known tunes. Dependin' on how well I can compress t' algorithms."

Rael was stunned for many reasons. Primarily, of course, because this pre-Shattering barbarian of a Deathworlder had made something out of Deathworlder technology that was actually harmless. The size of the technology on display might be alarming, but people understood what antiques were. There were even muting panels for the operating lights so that any flashes would not harm anyone at all.

Humans really were adaptive creatures who could consider the needs of those frailer than themselves. Even ones who came from the Decade of Greed.

"That's amazingly considerate of you," he blurted. He realised that he may have put his foot in his mouth and added, "Considering your history." Oh no, that was worse. "I mean--"

"I know what ye meant. Pretty good fer a pre-Shatterin' Terran wi' a reputation fer hittin' first an' thinkin' later." She rose from her work, stretching the kinks out of her muscles and massaging her derriere back into shape. "I'm no' stupid. I can learn. This here is part proof, part peace offerin', and part o' me showin' off fer th' next Ambassadorial Meet."

Rael pondered this. "That's more than four Standard Years away."

"Aye," she grinned. "Plenty o' time tae tune the dot matrix printers I'm addin' tae this mess."

[Image (c) Can Stock Photo / RCarner]

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