We were all once, every one of us — well, with the exception of the Toy Soldier, we were all once mortal and boring like your good selves. Until something within each of us broke. Shattered, beyond repair. And it was replaced by a fascinating individual by the name of Dr. Carmilla who, unfortunately, has since fallen out an airlock.
The Mechanisms are a (currently) 9-piece band operating largely out of Oxford, UK. Offering retrospective futurist storytelling in the form of musical cabaret, they are a concept band consisting of immortal space pirates
originally created by Dr. Carmilla
as her backup band/companions. They've yet to shake their drive to perform, and have opted to embrace it by telling the tales of the things they've seen over the course of their long, long lives.The current performing roster is:
- Jonny d'Ville: Carmilla's first Mechanism (that he knows of) and also the crew's first mate. He and his mechanical heart don't offer much in the way of say, friendliness or leadership skills, but he is the chief storyteller.
- Ashes O'Reilly: Former mobster, enthusiastic arsonist and the crew's Quartermaster. Ashes and their mechanical lungs provide the band with bass guitar and occasional vocals.
- Drumbot Brian: Despite his designation as Drumbot, Brian is more frequently seen playing the banjo and the accordion. A scientist who was launched into space and left to die, his entire body save his heart was replaced by Carmilla. Once could describe him as the moral centre of the crew, but that would be foolish.
- The Toy Soldier: The Toy Soldier was never really mortal like the others, instead being a collectors item from a set of Toy Xs, but that didn't stop the Doc from fixing it up and installing it in the crew. Nobody really understands it or what it does, but it still happily provides mandolin, glockenspiel and vocals where required.
- Gunpowder Tim : The first Mechanism created by the crew in the absence of their Captain. He is a veteran of the war against the Moon Kaiser and is largely responsible for the destruction of the moon 3,000 years in the future ago. Assuming the role of gunner after the crew kindly replaced his eyes, he is well known for playing the guitar and singing some things. Though he is rumoured to be handy with a violin too.
- Marius von Raum: Ship's medic (not that they need one) and psychiatrist (not that they want one). He was found by the crew having already been mechanised by a mysterious stranger...
- Raphaella la Cognizi: Science officer who may or may not have cheated her way onto the ship after becoming a little too interested. Also she has wings. Brings gorgeous piano and vocals to the table.
- Anastasia Nikolaevna Romanova: better known as Nastya Rasputina; princess from the Empire of Cyberia. Ship's engenieer who largely favours machines over people, Nastya is most often seen playing the viola and violin.
- Ivy Alexandria: Ship's Archivist and Navigator whose positronic brain provides her with an impressive memory of facts and statistics at the expense of most of her memory of her life before joining the Aurora. She could be described as a one person woodwind section, having been spotted playing the recorder, oboe, flute, euphonium and the penny whistle at various shows.
Tropes featured by The Mechanisms as a whole:
- Audience Participation: The audience are invited to sing along with certain songs. See also Running Gag below.
- Awesome McCoolname: The whole crew.
- Ax-Crazy: Most of the crew at some point or another, especially Jonny if he gets bored. Also particularly true of Tim in his origin story, after his best friend is killed.
- Beard of Evil: Jonny d'Ville. Just look at him.
- Bittersweet Ending: See all their albums
- Concept Album: Concept Band, more like.
- Diesel Punk
- Detonation Moon: Tim's backstory
- Even Evil Has Standards: Jonny happily murders, robs and commits just about any crime you can imagine for fun, but never rape or any other sexual misdeed.
- Evil Feels Good: Regardless of the individual members' personal moralities, after so many years all of their ideas of "fun" vs "good" seems to have become a bit skewed.
- Heavy Meta
- I Am Becoming Song: All of the crew's origin songs to one degree or another.
- I Hate You, Vampire Dad: All of the Mechanisms who travelled with Carmilla seem to be pretty glad she's out of the picture (for now.) Jonny especially seems to have a lot of vitriol for her.
- IN SPACE!
- Johnny McCoolname: Who do you think?
- Living Ship: The Aurora is a biomechanical vessel given sentience in the form of whatever the mechanising process is.
- The crew's engineer is also in a relationship with said ship.
- Murder Ballad: One-Eyed Jacks,
- Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: Why have one musical genre when you can have them all?
- Kill 'em All: Jonny killed his dad and everyone else. Tim blew up the moon. Ashes set their entire homeworld on fire.
- Just don't get attched to any characters in the story sets.
- Post Modernism
- Robosexual: Nastya, who is in a relationship with the Aurora.
- Robot or Spaceman Alter Ego
- Rule of Cool: Cyborg pirates created by their vampire captain on a biomechanical ship. In space.
- Running Gag: At the start of each live performance, Jonny introduces himself as the Captain. This is the cue for the audience (or, failing that, another Mechanism) to reply, "First Mate!"
- Space Pirates
- Spoken Word In Music: Par for the course when combining storytelling and song.
- Time Travel Tense Trouble: the war against the Moon Kaiser happened/will happen "three thousand years in the future ago".
- Thrown Out the Airlock: the fate of their creator Dr. Carmilla (allegedly - Jonny says it was an accident).
Tropes featured in their story sets:
Once Upon a Time (In Space)
Ulysses Dies at Dawn
High Noon Over Camelot