Inventive Imps Preview Chapter

Welcome to this preview of a chapter from part two of book one. Here, we meet one of the wily inventive imps. Who are they? A strange bunch of imps who love inventing stuff and getting into trouble!

Without any further ado, here is your preview chapter. I hope you enjoy.

Quixaslot stepped back and examined the dimension-traveling tea dispenser with an authentic and charming personality to amaze all.

He set his screwdriver down on the ebony desk beside the automatic pencil holder with dual-action steam-powered pencil sharpening action and beside the short-range teleportation coffee mug with fusion-powered heating elements and mood lighting.

Those are not descriptions of devices; those are names. Imps are extremely long-winded with the names of their creations. The distinction between a name and a description never crosses their minds.

The device was complete. It was a large copper kettle on awkward chicken legs, spindly arms, a long mechanical face, and a giant clock protruding from its back and well over its head. It appeared to be a bizarre metallic turkey-man hybrid contrived in some nightmarish fever state. However, it was the work of a sober and somewhat sane designer.

Quixaslot moved to stand at the desk where the designs lay. His thin fingers inched proudly over the deftly drawn pencil lines. Another masterpiece! He leaned over and pinned it next to hundreds of pencil sketches of bizarre inventions.

Design work never ended. What if the machine worked as intended? It was always possible to amend designs. The machine only had 1,012.5 processing cores. Its fusion core was anemic. It couldn’t see infrared. His eyes flashed yellow as he grinned.

Like most imps, Quixaslot was thin and gangly and had a forward hunch of his back and neck to make it easier to hunch for hours over his desk with his pencils clutched in long, thin fingers.

He wore the heavy leather studded apron of the imp. Underneath the apron, he wore the heavy leather of one who works with exploding chemicals and randomly exploding equipment. Chipped and ravaged red scales were underneath the apron. Fortunately, imps possessed a regenerative healing power. Evolution would be cruel to deny such an ability to a species subject to explosions as often as several times a week.

His long, agile, pointed tail served as a third arm. It twitched as he pulled free the eraser attachment secured to its pointed tip. There was no further need for that! He attached a screwdriver attachment to his tail for later.

The imps live in extreme seclusion. They showed little interest in the affairs of others. Both facts are fortunate, given how dangerous they are to everyone around them. Their lack of interest was not because of ill intentions. Most imps focused on their driving obsession: inventing new machines.

The imps lived for the pleasure of creation. If they conceived of it, they would make it. It did not matter whether their latest conception was practical. The imps would attempt to create it. Many an imp had spent several years on impossible inventions.

Imps spent decades failing to create armored, flame-throwing ice cream scoopers, only to fail and move on to the next thing. Several imps spent years on devices like the mobile, automated, message-taking battle-suspension bridge. Several imps wasted their lives trying to create devices to get politicians to see reality as it is.

Although they live far apart, imps communicate using various devices. One such device was the letter writing via a telepathy circuit equipped chalk-writing machine. They did this because they liked to share news of each other’s latest efforts.

Quixaslot was more popular than most imps. He had thousands of devoted followers. He shared regular updates on his inventions. His followers took it all at face value, even the least credible updates where he offered more than he could deliver. His followers became highly excited about the impossible updates.

Quixaslot boasted about his flying robot pig and its upcoming trip to the Moon (a trip described as “upcoming” for decades). He bragged about his self-driving electric cart (alleged as coming “next year” for many years). They believed him, even though the facts were not on his side. They expected his eventual success.

His constant lack of success did not diminish his reputation. Imps never let a petty thing like repeated failure diminish their enthusiasm. Failure was not a reason for doubt. Failure was an expectation! Imps were supposed to fail all the time. Imps who were frequently successful were uncreative. They were failing to press their boundaries and were wasting their potential!

Most imp machines are useless for their intended purpose. However, they do not consider repeated failure a reason to quit. They had conceived of the machine and created something. The design existed. That was a success. It made no difference whether the invention served its intended purpose.

Consider the exploding peanut-peeling machine. Or the indestructible money-counting machine buried thousands of feet beneath Mount Eserveris. It believes that its owner is wealthy enough to purchase several large galaxies.

Nonfunctional machines did not reflect poorly on their creators. It did not matter whether they functioned as intended. Their creation had a different purpose. They existed for the pleasure of creation. Their creator did not need to prove that the inventions worked as intended.

They felt no need to prove that their designs worked. They knew that when they drew them! The idea of a “proof of concept” was alien to the imps. For an imp, the design was proof of concept. If they could conceive of it, that proved it was possible! The design was never flawed. How is it their fault if reality stubbornly refuses to conform to specifications?

Should the peanut-counting machine count rocks and not peanuts, he was not to blame. He built it according to a perfect design. If reality refused to comply with the design? That was not his fault!

The mobile tea-drinking machine squatted before him, its body and arm tilted downwards as though it was enjoying a snooze.

Should I turn the thing on? The fusion drive is experiencing significant trouble. If it explodes, it won’t leave a crater on the lawn. It will leave a crater in spacetime. It would be as if everything within one hundred feet never existed. Quixaslot thought to himself as he rubbed his chin.

If it happened in the future, the temporal ripple would travel to the past and destroy me. But I exist now. Therefore, I will not explode in the future. So I can safely turn it on. Quixaslot clutched his right hand to his head. He was giving himself a headache.

Time travel is messy. What if I become my grandfather? What if some time traveler had to worry about their large blue time machine squashing the wrong amphibian as it crawled from the water? Quixaslot shook his head.

Quixaslot reached forward and switched it on…

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