Tales To Be Told, Volume II

by The Mechanisms

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Nausicaä Enriquez
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Nausicaä Enriquez This album spins together a collection of all the things I love about the Mechanisms -- cyberpunk mythology, musician personas, folk tunes and tales, and rhythms that make me dance myself breathless.
(also it fought a bear) Favorite track: Pieces.
transmordred
transmordred thumbnail
transmordred Another amazing album from the Mechanisms! This perfect mix of new stories and familiar tales satisfies my dueling desires for fresh content and expansions on existing canon simultaneously. Favorite track: Swan Song.
alintime
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alintime Just back from Steampunk HQ back in Oamaru, and well pleased to have a new fix of The Mechanisms. Bring on the live shows.
SleepingD
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SleepingD Absolutely lovely additions to The Mechanisms' signature twists on mythology and folklore, and an excellent expansion of the overall lore. I just wish Alice was expanded into a full album. Favorite track: Alice.
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credits

released January 28, 2018

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The Mechanisms Oxford, UK

The Mechanisms: a band of immortal space pirates roaming the universe in the starship Aurora. Some say they’re from a steampunk future, others claim they’re from a cyberpunk past, a few even whisper that they may be from a dieselpunk alternate now. They are all correct. ... more

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Track Name: Drop Dead
Cadence

My name is Cadence. I chartered a ship to find my father. They told me I was too young. They told me I needed more training. I told them to drop dead. How ironic.
I don’t know how I survived the crash - something strange must have happened. My blood is cold, but my heart is beating like a drum. I’m not sure what’s going on, but I came here with a question, and I’m going to find the answer if it kills me.

-- Instrumental --

I found my father. And what was driving him. A lute. Some kind of instrument - not of plastic - no wires, no speakers. It was cold and hard to the touch, but seemed almost alive. I asked him what it was, where it came from. He said he’d show me.

-- Lute Instrumental --

Melody

They brought me back.
Using the power of the lute - the one living relic in this world of bioarchives and digital graves.
But we quickly learned that the lute was not all it seemed - there are vast sections of my memories I can’t reach, and we found that I can’t leave the planetoid alive. But I know something about this place that they don’t. They’ll wait in orbit while I make my way to the center of the institute. Now I need answers.

-- Instrumental --

In the center of the facility I found a man - Octavian - he’d been the administrator here back when it had been manned. But they’d closed the project years ago, shortly after his death.
“I’d hoped not to find you here, Octavian”
“You have the lute?”
“Yes”
“Then we’re both in its clutches”

-- Lute Instrumental --

Aria

I worked with Octavian in the institute - we were working towards a better future, one where we could use the memories in the digital graves to return people to their families.
But it turned out he had bigger plans. He sought to exploit them, using them for free, unregulated labour.
We fought, and Octavian died - but the threat remained. While the lute exists, we’re in danger. Everyone is in danger. But I know what we need to do.

-- Electro Cèilidh Instrumental --
Track Name: Hereward The Wake
Verse 1

Born amongst the asteroids, Hereward by name
A child he of noble stock, a belter born and raised
Held up a holy man who chose to flash his wealth around
But for his crime was exiled, sent out into the wild


Chorus

Watch out into the black, Hereward is coming through
All his hounds at his back, ruin in his wake
He'll spare you from his attack, if you're belt born and bred
But those born planetside should all fear for their lives

Watch out into the shade, Hereward is coming through
Fire up the barricades and sleep by your knife
No one comes to your aid when you're stood to face to face with
Hereward the wake


Verse 2

Along his way he came across a princess duty bound
And saved her from betrothal to the master of the hounds
She asked that he would stay a while and she would be his bride
But he loved his servant Martin, so they left her far behind

Chorus

Verse 3

On every station, men and dogs they rallied to his band
They joined him on an asteroid, where they could make a stand
Outside a treacherous minefield, inside his savage hounds
They staked their independence from the tyrants planet bound

Quiet Verse

Before too long they were besieged but firmly held their ground
Until at last a holy man betrayed the safe way down
Both man and beast fought bravely, though they knew the fight was lost
They say that Hereward escaped, his corpse was never found

Chorus x 2

(Also he fought a bear)
Track Name: Twisted Threads
When you run a place like the City, there’s a lot needs spinning: schemes, smears and a web of lies to keep the family strong. And if, like Arachne, you got a golden tongue and a mind weaves deceit like fine thread, Athena might pay you a call.

Athena:

We don't deceive
We just twist the way that they perceive
Just think of all the things you could achieve
The truth is here for you and I to weave
In this world where reputation is king
Can't you see the change our talents could bring
If you let me take you under my wing
I'll teach you to be an artist of spin

Money flows easy when you’re in the shadow of Athena. Power, freedom, and the promise of more. But if you’re like Arachne, the taste of sunlight is never enough, and ambition bites harder than any drug. But ambition can turn to pride, can turn to hubris.

Arachne:

Thank you for all the chances you brought
But I've surpassed all the lessons you taught
I'm too good to just be part of your plot
To trap me in your web I will not be caught

Athena:

You turn down my generosity
When I'm the one who put you on your feet
Leave now and crawl back on your knees
Because you are nothing without me

Maybe, like Arachne, you’re sick of the shadows. You want your day in the sun. But politics in the city is dirtier than the rain, and if you’re running for office against Zeus’ chosen, the mud you sling has to burn, and maybe you’re not careful enough where you throw it.

Arachne:

With the sexual indiscretion Zeus has bought
I'll cast Olympian name into the dirt
Paint a lurid print for all to see
Of all your pretty lies and your deceit
And the victory that I have earned
A claim to power I have always yearned
I will no longer stay behind the scenes
I'll weave my dream reality

Athena:

Bring you to heel. Soon you shall kneel

Your death is just bad luck, of course. The streets are so dangerous, and random violence happens all the time, even to someone like Arachne. But don’t worry: nothing goes to waste in the city, and they left your brain in perfect shape. The Acheron has a special place for minds like yours, especially if you’ve got a voice the people trust. You still get to spin, in a way, but it just goes to show: it doesn’t matter what you weave if you’re caught in a web before you even begin.

Athena/Arachne:

The Olympians have your best interests at heart
Recent smears against Zeus have proven to be fraudulent
Remember to be grateful for the benevolence of Olympus
Have you considered applying for Acheron pre-selection?
Track Name: Actaea and Lyssa
Breathe in the air
The last of its kind
The sun on your skin
Let it sink in
We don't have much time

Into the wild
We'll bring something back
Something real
This is our chance

Sister I'm scared
It's Olympian land we roam
Their rage is well-known
But we don't hunt alone
Beside you I stand

Into the wild
Stay true of aim
Beat the hunter
At her own game

We chanced on a glade
And there in the shade she stood
With beautiful eyes
And beautiful hair
We we ensnared

Watching her bathing
We could not look away
If you saw her
You’d be the same

Fawning, panting
Wondering when this will end
Starving, hunting
Can’t tell my prey from my friend

Tearing, rending,
Feasting, hunting

Don't you know me sister don't you know me…
Track Name: Pieces
Set

What I did to him was justified
My brother done me wrong
I'm not the kind / ain't in my nature to live and let live
I cut him down, cut him up, dead and gone

CHORUS

Blood is thicker than water but flows just as free
Down, down to the sea
Taking pieces of you, and pieces of me
From the edges of what we might be

Osiris

I was betrayed and left in tatters
I should have known it couldn't last
They pieced me together but I'm falling apart
No future, no route to the past

CHORUS

Set/Osiris

Here I stand
And here I lay
The ties of our family can't mend those we broke
though we know that we both made mistakes

Isis

Osiris, I hope you can hear this. The readings are there, but, you're not. After what set did to you I found at much as I could of what was jettisoned. I hoped we could put you right. Your body is together, but the doctors say you'll never use it again. We've uploaded what we can - it should be pleasant for you, but I miss you. Set’s no longer an issue. After we found out what he did we had him punished. Not dead - worse. You have a son now. He's lined up to take over when he's old enough. I think it's what you would have wanted. Goodbye.

I make my pilgrimage to see you
I change but you stay the same
Every year, I'm older in despair
But my tears never change

CHORUS (Isis)
Track Name: Stranger
Oh my love, what madness can this be?
In your place a monster I do see

I only hoped to understand this work that drains you so
But I find this metal demon, spinning falsehoods into gold

Oh my love, what madness can this be?
(Why did you come here?)
In your place a monster I do see
(I warned you not to look)

You don't understand, I had to keep my nature secret
This was never planned, you were never meant to know

Oh my love, what madness can this be?
(My love)
In your place a monster I do see
(I only meant to please)
All this time, I've lived with your deceit
(I meant no deceit)
Oh my love, we know this cannot be
(My love, this cannot be)
Track Name: Lost In The Cosmos
There was a man both good and true.
All alone and a-lowly.
Branded a witch for what he could do.
Lost in the cosmos lonely.

They took him and threw him into the sky.
Whence he came and where he would die.

In the cold of space his eyes did bleed.
With crystals glimm’ring his body did freeze.

Slowly, slowly the frost crept through.
Stopping his blood as on he flew.

Sinews fixed for ever more.
His bones encased in a screaming form.

At last his heart, its beating slowed.
But it did not cease, his tale was not o’er.

Metal-bound his heart beats still.
He’s not for heaven nor yet for hell.
Track Name: Alice
N: It is a truth often forgotten that The End is very rarely the end. Tyrants may fall and galaxies may burn and life goes on. But, as Alice is about to discover, sometimes there are places fall that through the cracks.
A: “Come in, Comsat Cheshire, please respond. This is Scout Captain Alice Liddel
requesting confirmation, over.”
CC: “Hello! Fantastic to meet you, Alice! What can I do for you?”
A: “I’m picking up the signal of an old RABIT beacon circling your planet.”
CC: “Correct. I have refused it landing and broadcast permissions as its contents have been deemed detrimental to the war effort”
A: “What? But it’s the ceasefire declaration. The war is over.”
CC: “Which I’m sure you’ll agree is very detrimental to King Cole’s war effort!”
A: “It’s been sixty years! Who’s in charge of your protocols?”
CC: “All sufficiently ranking Crown officers are dead.”
A: “Override code 473-GR1N...”
CC: “Code refused. You have been deemed detrimental to the war effort. Needle drones DE and DM have been dispatched to assist you. Have a great day!”

N: Now it would take a lot more than being shot down to put an end to someone like Alice. Climbing from the wreckage, she saw something she had only read about in storybooks: a rebel encampment. Screams and gunfire drifted faintly on the breeze as she moved down the hill, past the corpses in hand-me-down uniforms, and into the base, where a young general stared at her with hazy, unfocused eyes.
A: Are you in command here?
I’ve been forced to land near your base.
C: Well then relax, don’t be so tense...
A: The war that was raging
is now only waged in this place.
C: I’m sorry, you’re not making sense.
A: Since the drones brought me down
Both the rebels and crown tried to shoot me.
C: Of course they did, that’s what they’re for.
A: Whoever is leading you
Needs to be freed of that duty.
C: I’m general, like my father before.
C: “War is all there is, Rookie. Killing and dying. You want to escape? Just take a hit of this.”
[INSTRUMENTAL]
C: This world is a wonderland
Once you can understand death
A: There must be someone here still sane
C: Drink from this tincture
And think about your final breath
A: Not broken by the death and pain
C: Drink me and Eat me
Are orders so sweetly obeyed
A: Are there Crown bases still in range?
C: Just open your mind
To the colours you’ll find if you stay.
A: The air in here makes me feel strange...
C: “You want to find the Red Queen, just head north a day. But if you want to leave, you’ll
have to drink this...”
A: “Fine”
C: “Now take a deep breath open your eyes...”

N: When Alice finally came back to herself, she was absolutely covered in blood. Luckily, none of it was hers, and she shook her head, trying to get rid of the feeling that she was forty feet tall. Nearby, she saw soldiers in all manner and colours of uniform, but to her surprise, instead of gunfire, Alice heard the clink of teacups.
Spoken
Alice: what's going on? Shouldn't you be fighting?
Hatter: we are fighting. There's just a ceasefire.
Alice: Who are you fighting?
Hatter: oh, come on, I'll introduce you.
Hare: Hello!
Verse 1
We fight for our lieges with loyalty unmatched,
That's not changed (we're consistent they say)
We shan't be deserters turn our backs on what we know,
That's insane (it's entirely deranged)
Spoken
A: so which of you is fighting for king cole?
Hat: oh, it's certainly not me.
Har: It's not me. Man's a monster.
Hat: I thought you were his colonel.
Har: pretty sure I'm a major.
Hat: Oh, well, I’m sure there's documentation somewhere...
Chorus
Raise your cups raise your cups
To this sordid affair
For today we drink tomorrow we fight.
Raise your cups raise your cups
Majors hatter and Hare
As we’re on the brink just not tonight
Verse 2
Our entrenchment entrenched til more orders emerge,
(while war’s borders diverge), here we stay.
So while we're on the bench bring more tea concierge,
(ooh some lapsing souchong) or Earl grey.
Spoken
A: forget the tea, you're fighting tomorrow?
Dormouse: well actually, I think you'll find, that if today's tomorrow is tomorrow, then surely tomorrow's tomorrow is today. Oh, no,wait a minute….
Chorus
Verse 3
They say keep your friends close and your enemies closer,
It's a tried and tested strategy that's work for us so far.
With war plans in pieces and peace talks disbarred
(both) we’re on the brink just not tonight!
*singing*
Spoken
Hat: oh she's leaving. Odd girl.
Har: probably an enemy spy.
Hat: almost definitely.
Har: hatter?
Hat: yes Hare?
Har: have you noticed there's a dormouse in the teapot?
Hat: I think it's always been there.

N: Alice had had just about enough of this nonsense, and left the majors or colonels or whatever they were behind as she headed north. The general had said that’s where the Crown forces were to be found, and it seemed they were the last hope Alice had of talking to someone sensible. But after three days of travel through burned out cities and fields of barbed wire, she was just about at the end of her tether. But just as she was about to collapse in complete despair, she saw something on the horizon. Alice couldn’t believe her eyes. Even sixty years later, everyone knew what a Rose Red looked like, but as they got close, she realised they weren’t really Rose Reds, but just their skin, stretched over shuddering robot bodies. Behind them, they dragged a platform, upon which stood a real Rose Red, perhaps the last on the planet. Her uniform was stained black with old blood, and she dragged behind her a human, dressed as a Lieutenant. He didn’t look very happy.
Round
We will find them
We bind them
We will chop of their heads heads heads.
We'll replace them with the face of lots of lovely rose reds reds reds
Intro
Queen of hearts presiding! I call to the stand, the prosecution: The Queen of hearts!
Song
As I was a-marching
My troops to the fray
The Craven knave of hearts
Came retreating my way
He was quickly followed after
And brought back with speed
He was handcuffed and guarded
And brought before me
Court Marshall, court Marshal
Then swiftly was declared
And the sentence passed upon him off with head
My queen have mercy on him
In your sad cruelty
I know the queen’s duty
Lies heavy upon thee
My queen the war is over
Since decades long gone
No! Until my last bullet
My troops will be string
Then set him free from his irons
And let him go free
For He’ll make a good soldier
For his queen and country

N: What happened to Alice after that, no one really knows. Some say she was rescued, others that she lost her own head, and some say she’s on that strange planet to this day. All we know for sure, is if you’re ever in that sector of space, you can turn your receiver to pick up a very odd message indeed.
A/CC: Come in all friendly military forces, this is Scout Captain Alice Liddel, requesting reinforcements! Lots of reinforcements! There’s a lot of fighting down here, so you need to send more soldiers! Send lots more soldiers. I need them. I need them for the war.
Track Name: Swan Song
O = Odette
S = Siegfried

Empty black, the space between stars. A ship pushes on. Slowly, damaged engines leave a trail of glowing plasma, stark and brilliant against the dark. The Odette, marked as one of the Imperial fleet, a human mind trapped in the cold hull of a battleship. On the bridge sits Siegfried, her captain, her lover. They wear the uniform of the Confederation, and touch the broken screens and panels with tenderness. A single tear falls up the readouts.

Verse 1

O:

Do you remember when we first met?
You were wounded and took shelter
Little knowing I was still alive
You were so surprised

S:

Oh, do you remember when we first met?
I lost the chase against your former lords
And then you found me, and took me in
I wondered if you wore my stripes would they let me stay as yours

Chorus 1:
O: Fleet at 50,000 miles
S: There's nowhere that they cannot track
O: Navigation systems can't compile
S: But we won't let them take us back
O: Forward plasma banks offline
S: Then we die when they attack
O: Escape pods are working fine
S: ...

S:
oh, do you remember the way they lied?
they brought me a woman they claimed was you
and I believed them
I was a fool

O:

Do you remember, when you found them out
And tore through their deception
Then you found me, and broke me out
And you swore we'd never be apart again

Chorus 2
O: Fleet has target lock acquired
S: There's nothing left for me but you
O: Secondary engines still won't fire
S: Together we will see it through
O: Siegfried we don't have any time
S: Then we turn and we attack
O: Escape pods still working fine
S: “I won’t leave you”

The Odette is silent, but Siegfried knows she understands. That a ship and its captain go down together. There is nothing left to say as the engines turn them to face their pursuers. Before them, the combined forces of Imperium and Confederation stare them down, a thousand gun ports open and ready. Her engines fire for one last time, and they charge into their ending together, never to apart again.

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