Viscount Vernal opened his eyes.

“I don’t think that worked, mister,” said the lead puppet. “We’re all still here.”

“What the…?” said the Viscount.

“I don’t think it was quite enough power,” said Phlebotomous. “Maybe it was only 1.2 gigawatts.”

Viscount Vernal looked peeved. 

“I can wait,” he said. “I have all the time in the world.”

There was a commotion from the door.

“I thought I said…” started Viscount Vernal before his jaw dropped. His security staff were running, shouting and apparently fighting…

“Clowns?” said the lead puppet.

“Not just clowns,” said Sir John. “These are the conjuror’s friends, a whole circus of them.”

“There’s too many of them!” shouted one of the servants, covered in flour. “We couldn’t stop them.”

A lion walked into the room, followed by a man with a chair. Another woman entered, doing back flips and kicking people in the head as she went.

“Use the electric sticks,” shouted Viscount Vernal. “Repel them at once!”

Some of the servants grabbed sticks attached to the walls and pointed them at the circus crew. Sparks shot out the end viciously and the circus members backed away.

“You are no match for the power of Viscount Victor Vernal!” shouted the Viscount. “Kill them all!”

One of the maids who had been cleaning up turned around.

ARRETER!” she shouted, and everyone froze.

“Well, well, well,” said the Viscount, “another magical creature for my machine. How fortunate I will be indeed to consume the power of the famous Marie Jennings.”

Marie looked puzzled.

“This is shielded you see,” he said. “I am perfectly safe from harm here and… oh what’s that?”

There was a blinding flash and a terrible crack as 1.21 Gigawatts of electricity struck the spire. Like a snake it began coiling down the machinery on the walls, heading toward Viscount’s throne. The viscount began to laugh.

“When that surge reaches this throne,” said the Viscount, “I will be powerful beyond belief.”

Mon dieu, mon dieu,” said Marie, watching the slow progress of the electricity. She grabbed the inert forms of Sir John and Phlebotomous. 

Réveiller!” she said to them.”Quick, we have to stop this machine.”

The two were briefly flustered before looking around as Marie went to wake the others.

“We could re-route the main core power into the ground,” said Sir John.

“No that won’t work,” said Phlebotomous, “the recalibration device would reflect it back up again. What if we boost the upper dampener? Might that hold it for a while?”

“That could work,” said Sir John, “but there’s a risk the flow diodes might not hold it. Maybe we can use the time to boost them with some shielding for the differentiator.”

There was the sound of blood thirsty screaming and the two turned to see a maid rushing toward them with a katana. They dived out the way as she sliced through the wiring just above the throne.

“You can’t do that!” shouted Viscount Vernal. “How dare you!”

“Consider this my resignation,” said Miss Henderson.

“How did you know to do that?’ said Sir John.

“Oh these so-called geniuses can’t help but explain how their toys work. I was at the talk earlier when he explained it. I worked out I just needed to cut the wire.”

“Good work Miss Henderson,” he said. “We’ve got you now Vernal.”

“Oh I didn’t explain everything,” said the Viscount. 

He pressed a button on the chair and it began to rise majestically on a pulley system.

“He’s getting away!” cried Sir John.

One of the acrobats from the circus grabbed a descending wire and climbed rapidly hand over hand. When he got to the Viscounts chair, he grabbed the Viscount and pulled him out. The movement caused a swaying and the pair descended in a spiral. As they landed at the bottom, a clown rushed forward and threw a custard pie into the Viscount’s face.

“Ta-da!” said the puppets in unison.

“Now that’s show business,” said Miss Henderson and punched the Viscount very hard in the face. He fell to the ground.

The Clockwork Conjuror rushed into the room.

“Where are they? Where are they?” he said. “Oh there they are, safe and sound, my little guys.”

“Are we glad to see you boss!” said Danny.

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