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Ed's Tales - "The Wrench"

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posted on Aug, 12 2007 @ 07:51 PM
"The Wrench"

The short and stocky figure stood before the room and the chalky inscription of “Cultural History 101” hovered above his head on the chalkboard behind him.

“My name is Eddie. I’m a Maker.”

The class sat silent for a moment.

Makers rarely ventured above ground these days, and much of their ways were lost in the age of information and technology. The advent of the new design models had rendered them an archaic reminder of the Old Times, and the ideologies of the Makers were almost universally reviled among the newer generations.

“Fossil.” someone in the back row muttered contemptuously.

Ed didn’t show any sign of having heard the insult, and instead, reached under his desk and pulled out a heavy metal case with one large calloused hand.

Opening the kit slowly, with an air of solemn ritual almost, he took one of the heavy worn iron pieces and laid it on the cloth covered table.

A girl in the front row gasped almost imperceptibly at the forbidden object. A few students in the back row shifted their desks slightly to get a better view of the presentation.

“This,” said Eddie calmly, “is one of the primary tools of my Trade.”

“It looks like a weapon to me.” sneered one young man.

Ed sighed. This was, sadly a true statement. The Makers were sometimes known for their unorthodox habit of constructing tools with a dual function and design. The Old Times had mandated such measures.

“This one is what was known in my circle as a “wrench” or in some circles, a “spanner“. It was used to help fasten various components together so the machine could function smoothly. “

“Not to mention deliver a blow to the head if need be.” commented the affronted young man with a sneer.

“Kids these days - always obsessed with the bloody truth and slanted bias.” Ed muttered to himself.

Ed picked up the wrench and laughed inwardly - good thing he had left his pipe wrenches at home, those would be must more difficult to explain than one simple and average sized spanner. Gaining his composure, he continued on.

“While it remains a fact that such tools were used in the Old Wars as weapons, I assure you they were primarily made with the function of creation and sustainability of machinery in mind.”

“Yeah, well - you guys also built war machines with them.”

Ed hesitated. He had not expected one of the young ones to have such a grasp of Old History.

“I believe they were called “tanks”,” the young man continued arrogantly “and their sole function was to crush whatever was in their way. If they couldn’t roll over it, they had cannons on the tops that would blow to smithereens any viable target.”

Ed nodded silently before continuing his presentation, there was no sense in lying to these kids.

“While that was an unfortunate truth of those times, these devices made possible much of your underground sewer systems and waste disposal, your factory machines, fuel refineries and even the precursors to your modern civilian transports.”

“Yeah, well - we’ve moved beyond that now. Free energy sources and modern tech have freed us from the burden of those damned need for tools of that nature and size.” retorted the young man, and he pulled a modern wrench out of his pocket, approximately one fifth the size of the heavy iron cast on the table and constructed of solid lightweight aluminum, and laid it on his desk in an act of defiance.

Ah, that explains it then, thought Ed. The kid must be an Engineer in training. No one has tools these days unless they’re predestined for that particular trade since the mandatory caste system asserted itself several generations prior.

A few of the students looked in awe at their classmate, who had never before given sign that he was in possession of such an object.

The young man looked arrogantly around and folded his arms defensively.

“I build robots.” he sneered “You built war machines. You abused the sanctity of the tools you were given. You blatantly violated the Universal Code of Ethics.” he puffed.

Ed felt anger rising up at this ( not entirely untrue ) accusation. He had come here to share his generations history and techniques, not engage in some ethical debate with a mere child.

Calming himself as best he could, Ed replaced the worn and battered spanner to the box, shutting the case with the same considerations given when opening.

He stretched, and cracked his knuckles before approaching the young mans desk, and a few of the more sensitive students cringed at the sound of the popping joints.

Ed knelt next to the young Engineer in the front row, and held out his large, calloused and aged hands.

“Let me see your hands, boy.”

The young man looked unnerved for a moment.

“Why? Going to break my fingers?” he snorted rudely.

“No. I wouldn’t do such a thing. The hands are the greatest tools given us, and cannot be replaced as easily as bit of metal.” Ed said calmly, and looked deep into the eyes of the young Engineer before him, who was in the process of putting his own small hands into those of his elder.

Ed looked at the new set of hands. Soft, smooth and delicate - a bit of strength, good hands - but never in a million years would they be able to fasten the nuts and bolts of the Makers on their own, or even with a proper sized iron spanner.

The same time Ed was marveling at the young Engineers perfect manicure, the boy was staring intensely at the deep grooves of Ed’s fingerprints. The Makers were known not only for their brute strength and heavy machinery, but also the ability to construct machines by hand if necessary - the deep ridges of the finger pads acting as a natural friction aid.

Ed’s hands had left many fingerprints forever pressed into the iron components of his most beloved machines, most of which he still made entirely by hand, without aid of tools, but he was a humble man and never mentioned this.

“You’re hands are dirty,” scoffed the Engineer.

Ed gingerly picked up the small aluminum wrench the Engineer had so casually and rudely placed on the desk prior and closed his thick hand around it.

“And your tools are weak.” He said as he unfolded his large palm to reveal a crumpled mass of twisted metal.

The Engineer sat silently, blinking incomprehensibly at what he had just witnessed, and timidly took the former tool from Ed’s open palm and frowned. It would not doubt take some explaining to his parents as to why an Elder Maker had relieved him of his most prized possession.

“You…you can’t do that!” the young man stuttered, completely unnerved.

“I just did.” Ed calmly replied before returning to the front of the class.

Ed loved his job. He also loved knowing that no one would dare accuse a Master Maker of unconstitutionally relieving an Modern Engineer of such a easily replaced aluminum tool.

Ed broke into a wide grin.

“So,” beamed Eddie “Any more questions?”

The class sat in stunned silence, and one girl fainted.

Ed just smiled, and made a mental note to lecture at Universities more often.

[edit on 12-8-2007 by GENERAL EYES]

posted on Aug, 12 2014 @ 03:28 PM
Very good story

posted on Aug, 12 2014 @ 06:46 PM
a reply to: GENERAL EYES

ah! i never wanted it to end...

posted on Aug, 31 2014 @ 04:04 AM
Aw, shucks - thanks guys!
I'm deeply honored by your kind words.

I'm glad you enjoyed it despite it's flaws.
Hoping to have new installments down the road.

posted on Aug, 31 2014 @ 04:37 AM
a reply to: GENERAL EYES

you have the makings of a great story teller....there is a resemblance of a time when this story could be reality and in my view is what makes a great story......

brilliant S&F

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