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05 April 2010

Clive's Persons of Note, Issue #1

Herr Doktor Professor Otto Maton
Mechanickal Genius
Aspiring Autocrat

Early Life
Little is known of Otto Maton's childhood. It is a matter of public records that Otto Maton was born to Franz Maton and Louise (Bissell) Maton, in the town of Bressoux, near Liege, in the Wallon region of Belgium in 1831. He is recorded as having attended the University of Liege and scoring excellent marks in mathematics and the sciences.

Adult Life
Maton continued his education in Paris, London and Berlin. He worked briefly in Great Britain, developing more powerful steam engines and efficient pistons, and perfecting his galvanic ray projector. He then moved to Berlin, supposedly becoming a professor at the university, but actually working as a project director for the KFG.

While at the KFG, Maton developed a larger version of his galvanic ray projector. He also became interested in automatons, and developed his first small spider-styled devices then. The "professor"also used his fiendish genius to provide the Kaiser with flying troops, thanks to his clockwork-driven personal rotary flight apparatus. However, it was during his stay at the KFG that Maton began his descent into megalomania and the desire to dominate other humans as he did his mindless mechanickal servants.

Otto Maton, with a few mechanickal spiders, on the floor of the KFG main production facility
One of very few existing photostats of the Mad Belgian

After several busy years at the KFG, Doctor Maton was discovered developing an army of mechanickal devices programmed to be loyal only to the Doctor and not to the Kaiser's officers. This, of course, could not be permitted! With three battalions of Prussian infantry closing in, Maton was forced to flee. Before departing, Maton destroyed his laboratory and all of his diagrams and schematics - those he did not take with him, that is! Several of Maton's human followers went into exile with him, including a mysterious Egyptian man and two women. The women are as different as night and day: one a German hausfrau, and the other a Nipponese geisha.

Bribing the unscrupulous captain of a tramp steamer, Maton was able to make his way to the colony of Bongolesia, in Africa. Once there, the Mad Belgian used his mechanickal servants to secretly mine for a sufficient supply of handwavium. Burrowing suits of armor piloted by a race of pygmies were used to raid the British aetherfield in Suffolk, making off with several hundredweight of unobtainite from the Royal Airshipyards. These two minerals, along with Maton's proven genius for mechanickal devices, allowed him to construct a small aethercraft and leave Earth altogether.

Weeks later, the Royal Navy's HMAS Duke of York sighted Maton's pirate vessel (dubbed the Belgian Runner by the Press) as it approached Mars. When the Runner failed to heave to when ordered to do so by the mighty aetherdreadnought, the Duke fired upon her with a barrage of Cavorite torpedoes. Heavily damaged by the deadly barrage, Maton's craft crashed deep in the Outback, well away from any known source of life-giving water. Maton and his followers were presumed dead, either in the crash or in the unforgiving wastes of the Outback.

Current Activities

Professor Maton's survival was announced suddenly when he launched an attack on a heavily protected caravan of unobtainite in the mountainous Gwan District of the Crown Colony, nine months ago. His attack was beaten back, and no one has heard from him recently, but it is only a matter of time before he and his minions strike again...


Eli Arndt said...

Ah, the evil genius himself. No sane man would make robot spiders, ICK!

J Womack, Esq. said...

Bit of an arachnophobe there, Eli? I so know what to send your way if we ever play D&D... Driders and phase spiders and tarantellas oh my!

Don't expect too many issues of Clive's... I haven't got that many important personages in my VSF Universe. But I thought it would be fun.