Note: for a capsule summary of my A To Z, see the sidebar. Or, if there is no sidebar displayed on your device, try underneath the Comments section. The summary is right below my 2018 April A To Z Blogging Challenge badge.
If you are like me, the thing you’ll be looking forward to most about time travel is the clothing. You picture yourself in ruffles and lace, or swaggering about with The Biggest Codpiece bulging forth from between your shapely legs. Well, chickadees, I have good news and bad news. The good news is that, wherever you are sent, we will have something suitable for you to wear. The bad news is that it probably won’t be fabulous. In fact, we are absolutely forbidden from making you look anything approaching dashing, unless your mission makes dash imperative. Then, of course, we can spread ourselves, and you’ll look a picture. But as a general rule, what we’ll be going for is inconspicuous. Too sick-making, isn’t it?
And it’s not even as if The Past wasn’t fairly colourful, taken by and large. It was. I am often privy to visuals from your iDictaBrain feeds, and I am frequently both dazzled and depressed by the splendor of certain eras. I would give my little finger (which I value) to be able to do a really splendid Victorian gown (not, my sweets, that there is such a thing as a “Victorian” gown; the haute couture of the 1840s will absolutely not do for the 1890s– but I digress).
Alas! Persons in really splendid gowns tend to be noticed, and people even sometimes fall in love with them or gossip about them, and that won’t do for you, my dears. The Victorian gentleman who falls in love with you may be a Victorian gentleman who ought to fall in love with someone else. If you look terribly sweet in your confection of ruffles and bows, and turn his head, you may yourself create the sort of problem The Lighthouse exists to correct.
Yes, dearies, you will probably be disappointed by the outfit you are issued. Please remember that this un-fabulousness is not my fault.
I suppose that is all I wanted to say, really, except about the tables. I ought to mention the tables, in case you come calling on me in my little corner of The Lighthouse. Otherwise, you’ll probably have an attack of The Vapours or something when you see them.
Yes yes yes. We do grow our own wool and fur and skin, and we do grow them on tables. Really, where do you people think we get that sort of thing? Have you ever noticed an enormous flock of sheep wandering The Lighthouse’s echoing halls? Or, for that matter, anywhere?
“But Mr. Kale,” Agents ask me at this point. “What about synth stuff?”
I laugh my silvery laugh, and roguishly slap my fair interrogator where I think it will do most good. “Oh you silly!” I cry, my eyes sparkling with merriment. “Think before you speak, lovey. Consider. Imagine your corpse, lying in a ditch somewhere, all dressed up in synth. Down the road comes a pack of Residents. They have found your body. They inspect it. One of them reaches out a grubby hand and touches your shirt. It feels strange. Not like the shirts he knows. What happens next?”
The Agent generally gapes at me for a moment and then confesses that he does not know. With Low Cunning, he has generally moved out of slapping range by this point. I sigh.
“Nothing good,” I say. “He might want a shirt like yours, which he may presume is from Foreign Parts. This might mean the opening up of a new trade route, which will also mean the opening up of a new vector for plagues. He might examine the shirt more closely and see that the fibers are all wrong and conclude that you are the vanguard of a force of invading aliens. He might steal your shirt, and wear an Oopart on his back for the rest of his life.”
I sigh wearily. “Out Of Place Artifact, dearie.”
And now I really do think I’ve had my little say. Ta-ta, my loves! And remember: cold water removes bloodstains; hot water sets them.