“Yes sir. A leave of absence. To otherwise clear my head and learn from engineers greater than me, in hopes of becoming a more valuable asset to the company of J.P Graham.”
He lied through a polite smile, the words floating metallically in the air to meet the steel and skeptical eyes of his superior. Superior. What a laugh. The only thing this ruddy git was superior in was being related to an executive, but he was also the git that could fire him if he had a reason. So this wasn’t the first time that Edgar Strine had to get his nose all nice and brown.
Ed had been working this angle for a month now, ever since he had received that beautiful piece of equipment from a collector friend. A late birthday present it had been, the replaced Tesla coil-conductor of a rare Mark II Luftgeist Steam Turbine engine that was apparently still running somewhere in the sky. A week after he had received it Ed made the decision to take a vacation from J.P Graham to find that ship, no matter the cost.
The only problem was his employment. He had no idea how long it would take him to find the bloody ship, so the allotted vacation time might run out before his quest was successful. Edgar had spent every bit of his off-time to the present concocting this web of lies, making it air tight before ensnaring his prey in it. It all rode on his supervisor’s decision.
“Fine,” The man said gruffly after an eternity. “I want a report of where you are and what you’ve done every month. There’s a boat load of people who would kill for your job Strine. If I don’t think you’re using your time responsibly, I’ll cut your ties with the company faster than you can say ‘oi, bugger me mate’.”
Ed was too busy being euphoric to be too offended at the fake accent his boss put on for the last bit. The engineer turned more than a few heads as he danced down the hallway, out the door, and to his flat where his suitcase lay already packed and eager.
The docks at Singh were far busier than he could have ever expected, and far more dangerous a setting than he was used to. His left eye was bruised and his lip was torn, his first souvenir from the dark alleys of this insane city. But he held his money still, and the mugger looked worse than he did. Ed was no stranger to rough bastards in cowardly shadows, or a scrap for money. The lovely perks of being a lad among engineers.
But the ship was here. Had to be here. From methods as crude as bribing dock officials to calling in favors from well-connected folk, Ed had come so far and done so much that he finally felt like his journey was reaching an end. The steam turbine engine of the Auberon had to be here. He was so close he could practically hear the engine.
Wait a minute… he could hear something. He could pick out the specific type of an engine a mile away, but he had never heard this hum before. Edgar’s eyes lit up and his pace quickened into an excited jog, his belongings bouncing in his suitcase behind him.