The Question of the Brass Faced Automaton [Part 6]

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(Books by Authors Who Never Existed:  A Steampunk Hybrid story)

By the author of BARD: Owner of the Gemstone

Concept artwork

Chief Shabuni sniffs the air.  There’s a faint burnt rubber smell. 

“Toklo and Avonlea won’t be happy when they get back.  Oh, I hope they are safe,” he hears Mrs. Claws says, as she heads back up the stairs.

He sees Mr. TLC’s eyelids open wider.  The giant Maine Coon darts off into another room.  He hunches down and follows.

Sunlight shines through, where trap doors used to be.  There’re cracks in the bricks of the foundation.  He bends over and brushes dust away from a shiny object.  A silver gear wheel.  The ninjas used a steam concussion explosive to open the trap doors.  He looks around again and sees a piece of thick cast iron banding.  Mr. Toklo Claws, was determined to keep people out of the basement.  He would have to call the Square Nail Hardware store and have the trap doors replaced.  Right now, he needs to figure out what to do with the brass faced automaton.

Upstairs, he can hear the confident, clear voice of Inspector Harper, and the crasser sounding voice of Inspector Campbell, talking to a still very upset Mrs. Claws.  Chief Shabuni glances at Mr. TLC, whose ears are now perked.  In an instant the Maine Coon cat is bounding up the stairs.

As he ducks down to get up the stairs himself, he hears Inspector Harper making contemplative, “Hmm, hmm, hmmm,” sounds over and over again.

He walks down the hall, to where the automaton with the bronze face is standing.  Now surrounded by Mr. TLC, who sits with his tail wagging on the Silas desk, while Mrs. Claws speaks rapidly to the inspectors, while emphasizing her words by moving her hands around in a flourish.

He notices that the inspectors have removed the automaton’s hat and goggles, and unclasped the top of the automaton’s head.  Inside the head he seas tiny gears, a lit lighter with a rubber tube that leads to a fuel bladder, and pistons to pump water into the lighter to make steam.  However, the pistons are not moving.  Both the inspectors look up at him.

“Time to call the Clock Maker on Tic Tock Street,” he pronounces.

*** One of the goals for these writing experiments is to include makers, and models of Steampunk.  Ben Lanzenstein of Switzerland creates Steampunk vehicles, weapons, and more.  I will be posting a short interview with Ben in very near future.  Meanwhile, you can see his work at:  ben_lanzenstein

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