BTW, when I did my first couple recs, I had a 13-hour drive ahead of me and was remiss in neglecting my own gift story. I offered folks a choice of Lovelace and Babbage, Empowered, Mike Hammer, and Doc Savage. And I got Lovelace and Babbage! In fact, I got Lovelace and Babbage vs. The Christmas Death Spider from Beyond the Atlantic, which is EXACTLY as awesome and perfect as that title sounds. It is -- well, here is an excerpt:
"Lovelace!" Babbage cries into the receiver. "Lovelace! Come here! I need you!"
Lovelace doesn't respond. Probably all tangled up in some nonsense with the Royal Wing, trying to make it apply to the latest developments out of Germany in Gauss' ridiculous games with -- although... He yanks himself out of mathematical reverie before he can fall off the side of the Engine. "Lovelace!" he bellows. "Now come on, algebraic consistency can wait! ... Oh, hullo."
She's standing behind and a hundred feet below him, looking up at him with an expression that could as easily be 'curiosity' or 'apathy' but is at least not one of her many and subtle variants in the 'loathing' family. "I was working on our accounts," she says.
That is sobering news, but he climbs down to better beam at her anyway. "Lady Ada von Lovelace--"
"That is not my title--"
"Lady Ada du von Countess Baron the Queen of Lovelace," Babbage continues, because what is he supposed to do, remember all her different forms of address? That would take up areas of his brain that could easily be used for brilliant calculations, "we are facing a terrible crisis."
She moves an eyebrow. That's probably 'interest' or 'nausea.' "Well, quickly, Babbage."
"It is about Christmas," Babbage says.
Lovelace's face darkens to unmistakable 'ire.'
That is to say, it is PERFECT. Babbage being Babbage, Lovelace being Lovelace, and Isambard Kingdom Brunel in ALL CAPITALS. 100% Paduaverse, gloriously done, and funny as hell. Do check it out!