Ok, it’s the starting idea of a story, but I liked it, so you get to read it…
* * * New World Orders (Working Title)
The billowing clouds of steam from the locomotive mingled with the mists rising off the Emery River at the rail station in New Galway. She watched as the playful breezes tossed streamers of the mists back and forth across the platform, making the gas lights flicker and dance in whimsy.
This is it, she thought to herself. Half a world away, out from under my father’s thumb, making my own life in the large world. She reminisced, almost tearfully on what she had left behind, but the final thought of Blake’s expression as she gave her parting farewells, the big whiney twit actually had the gall to cry as she stepped onto the ship.
There’s one person I won’t miss. How could father actually think that Blake would be a good match for me? The though still managed to twist her normally delicate smile into a grimace.
She watched appreciatively as one of the big airships drifted to a stop at the rooftop docks in the same station as the trains. To have such freedom, to fly with the winds and drift where fate takes me.
“I used to look at them myself the same way.” A mellow voice behind Selena spoke out, as if to her.
Turning her head to see the speaker, she was stunned speechless. There was nothing spectacular about the man that caused her to look at him thus. But he wasn’t staring at her, in fact aside from nothing that she was there, he didn’t seem to be interested in her at all.
The sheer affront of it! Selena had no idea how to react to a man who did not trip over himself trying to impress her.
“Aye, they look mighty fine floating clear, at the whims of fate and the skilled hands of their pilots, them airships are majestic enough for royalty.” The man spoke again, finally turning to face Selena directly.
He extended his right hand, palm up, head bowing forward at the neck. “Jeremy at your service ma’am. Engineer Third Class, currently assigned to the Dragon Valley Express.” He gestured to the locomotive behind her as he said this.
“Jeremy.” Selena held out one gloved hand carefully, daintily. “Selena MacNaultry, daughter of the Baron of Galway.”
Jeremy stood up straight, stepping back and looking carefully at Selena’s manners and brass bound baggage, “Galway, hey? The old Galway that’d be?”
“Yes, Galway of Eire.”
“An’ you’re here all of yourself?” Jeremy seemed to have trouble processing this, judging by the expression on his face.
“Yes. I’m here on my own. My family will be along shortly but I wanted to see new land for myself first.”
“Aye, and that makes a heap o’ sense.” Jeremy turned away at this, talking back over his shoulder as he moved towards the passenger carriages of the locomotive, “Well, an I was a pleased to meet you. Just call if you need anything. I’d best be getting back to my duties.” With that, Jeremy started inspecting the brakes and connections of the carriages, evidently makign sure all was ready for the next run.
Selena, stunned at such a casual dismissal, stood speechless.
“Help you with your luggage ma’am?” A couple of young ruffians stood at each end of her brass bound chest. After a moment they hefted it up and started walking towards the luggage car.
As they picked up speed and veered away, heading for the departure gate, Selena called out for them to stop, “Where are you going? The baggage care is that way!” She squeaked in frustration and pulled a long carriage whip from under her traveling cloak. As her hand curled back, readying the leather for a good flail, Jeremy stepped up beside her and leveled a revolver in the direction of the fleeing ruffians. Firing twice he sparked the cobbles in front of the young both of who dropped the chest where they stood. Just as they were about to flee however, the leather carriage whip curled around the slower boys ankle.
Jeremy, seeing the opportunity, took the four steps to close the gap and picked the young man up by the scruff of his neck. “And what was that streetrat?”
With his free hand Jeremy lifted Selena’s clothes chest off the ground, and dragging the young man, he carried the chest one handed over to the luggage car. “This is where you were taking the good lady’s belongings, right?”
The young man’s eyes travelled up and down Jeremey’s uniform, taking in the goggles and toolbelt, the leather apron and the rock hard muscles that held all this up, and nodded quickly. “Yes sir, this is where we were heading.”
“Good, we need some help on this train, report to the First Engineer for your duties, you’ll get paid seven coppers a day for working dawn to night, with a bonus at the end of each week you finish.”
Turning back to Selena with a small smile, “Beggin’ your pardon ma’am. We’re not quite a civilized as you might be expecting. New territory and all that, all the usual problems.”
Selena discretely coiled the whip back into her traveling cloak, “I don’t know about that, men still stand up for women in this new territory.”
“Aye, good men do, but there’s not so many of us good men around. Most are closer to the type that you just caught with your fancy whip work.”
“What might a lady do to thank one of these good men?”
Jeremy seemed flustered at the qestion. “Oh, no thanks are necessary. Your smile was reward enough.”
“Nonsense. I insist you join me when you can, I’ll be in carriage three I believe.” Selena briefly captured the hand of her new hero and lightly brushed her lips across his cheek, whispering “Please and thank-you!” breathily in his ear before letting him free.***
So, what do you think? I can see this being an interesting exercise in lunacy… should I continue?