"The Hope Configuration"

Art and written research by Steelgohst

Magdalenes Salvation - "The Hope Configuration" has long been assumed to be a LeMarchand Box constructed at the same time as Magdalenes Undoing.  A photograph (above) with a few pages of written documentation has recently arrived at Pyramid-Gallery from an anonymous source, which suggests that this was the very first creation of Captain Nathan Green, made in 1976.  Strange, as a recent time line reported by Brandon Joseph, former head of new acquisitions at N.G. Industries, makes no mention of "The Hope Configuration."  
Crafted from ancient mastodon ivory, apparently acquired from an unscrupulous source within the British Natural History Museum’s vaults, and inlaid with an alloy of osmium and iron.  Notably, Magdalene's Salvation is almost a visual negative of LeMarchand's Magdalene's Undoing, not only in colour but also in the way that the metal sections of the original are now ivory, and the wood sections now metal.  The osmium is safely contained in the alloy, meaning that the box is not dangerous to handle and has no pungent odor, unlike the osmium based box Enigme created by Lemarchand for David Brown in the mid 1700’s.

Indeed, rumour has it that the box gives off a faint perfume that cannot quite be described, but always seems to trigger good memories in those lucky enough to come into contact with it.  In the letter accompanying the photograph, our source put it this way:

"I first held the box in 1987.  I have a terrible memory for dates, but I will never forget that one.  October 3rd 1987.  Mr. Green saved my life that day.  My wife had been with me since I was little more than a child, I was 17 years old when we met.  With the usual interest in girls at that age, seeing them as little more than bodies to be toyed with, she changed all that.  She was my first, and last, true love of my life.  I went from a boy with no interest in family, to married and vigorously creating children within the space of just a couple of years.  Those years were the happiest of my life, and I never thought they would end.  Strange the tricks fate has up its sleeves.

One day I returned home from work to find the street filled with flashing lights and uniforms.  I remember how my initial curiosity was turning to ice in my chest as I got closer to home and saw the tape across the doorway, and the ambulances on the driveway.  They told me it was a fault on the water heater that was to blame.  They told me that my family would have simply felt tired and gone to sleep when the carbon monoxide started to affect them.  I stopped hearing them then.  I remember looking at their mouths move, but hearing nothing.  It was as if they were very far away, and it was getting dark and cold and I needed to rest.  I just wanted to go to my bed and sleep, and wake to find her there with the children who would be making far too much noise in the other room - then the whole world receded and the darkness came in.

The darkness stayed with me every day after that.  Friends tried to help, but were all gradually pushed away by my indifference.  When my mother died 2 years later and was buried with my father, I barely noticed.  I remember being jealous of her, and wondering why I couldn't do the same.  I had always told my wife that if she died, I'd die too of a broken heart, but here I was.  When I look back now, I realize that I was dead.  Walking and breathing, but still dead.

October 3rd was a particularly cold night.  I remember that there were hard cold tiny particles of snow in the air when I started walking across the bridge.  I don't think I had given any real thought to why I was there, it just was the natural place to be.  This was my time, and this place was to be the last I'd see.  In my mind's eye I could see her there.  It was warm, and she was smiling at me, and our whole lives together lay ahead.  Then I was standing on the rail, and the water looked so inviting, when I felt a presence and turned to see a man standing behind me.  He didn't say anything, but the wave of compassion I felt from him made me climb down from the rail.   We stood looking at each other before he appeared to reach a decision.
Silently, he crouched down, and opened the case he carried.  He took from it a small parcel, wrapped in red velvet.  He opened the velvet, and held out the object it contained.

It seemed to me that when I touched the box I was home, and I knew that my family were always with me.  I carried them with me always, and one day I would see them again, but now was not the time.  I remember the perfume rising from the box on the frigid air.  It was the smell of my wifes perfume as I held her, it was the smell of my children's heads when they were newly born, it was the smell of home and happiness and all that was once good in my life and could be again.

Yes, he saved my life that day.  I have seen him use the box to save many since." 

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