The Airship Race by Lana Axe

The Airship Race by Lana Axe

Author:Lana Axe [Axe, Lana]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Tags: historical, Steampunk, victorian, Children & Teens, magic, cat
Publisher: AxeLord Publications
Published: 2016-09-17T22:00:00+00:00

The knocking at the rear door was barely audible over the tinker’s electric saw, but Cali still made it out above all the noise. She patted his leg with her paw, and he paused his work to see what she needed.

“Everything all right, Cali?” he asked. Then he heard the knocking for himself. Setting his tools aside, he hurried through the apartment to the rear door. “Coming, Flo!” he called.

When he opened the door, his sister jumped back, startled. Gadget barked and stood his ground. Laughing, Lionel removed the large metal hood covering his face.

“I suppose it does make me look like an undersea explorer,” he said.

Florence giggled nervously. “Yes, it does.” She held out a paper bag filled with pastries. “I brought some breakfast.”

She took one step inside and gasped. “What on earth happened in here?” The sitting room was a mess. Metal gears and workings cluttered nearly every inch, only a few small sections of the floor remaining visible.

“Morcroft,” Lionel answered.

“He was here?” she asked.

He shook his head and shoved a pastry into his mouth. “Mmm,” he said.

Florence placed her hands on her hips and pursed her lips.

“No, he didn’t come here himself,” he explained. “He sent his robotic goon to rough up my engine.”

She covered her mouth with her hands.

“Don’t worry,” he said, taking another bite. “Cali disabled it for me.”

Beaming with pride, Cali stood next to Lionel.

“Come and have a look,” Lionel said, motioning for his sister to follow. He led her to his workshop, where the rest of the automaton’s parts were strewn about.

“My goodness!” she said upon seeing the spiked ball. Summoning her courage, she placed her fingers on the weapon. For a moment she was speechless, the words sticking in her throat. Finally, the anger she was feeling boiled over. “He tried to kill you!”

Lionel waved his hands. “No, just the engine.”

“Lionel,” she said, “this metal beast could have crushed you like a grape. You have to go to the police!”

“Calm down,” he said.

She wasn’t having it. “No, Lionel, this has to stop. He’s going to kill you! This is way beyond an engine or a silly race.”

“Silly?” the tinker replied. “Hold on a minute…”

“I won’t,” she said, crossing her arms. “You mustn’t enter that race. It’s too dangerous.”

“Sit down,” he said, motioning to the chair next to his workbench. He sat down next to her and squeezed her hand. “I’ll be just fine, Flo.”

She took a deep breath and looked away.

“Morcroft is trying to destroy my engine because he knows he can’t beat me in the race,” the tinker went on. “That sentry he sent over here was clumsy and stupid. It was programmed to find the engine and smash it, nothing more.”

“Yes, but you could have been in the way,” she pointed out. “Or Cali.”

Lionel looked down at his feet. “That’s true,” he admitted, “but we weren’t. Cali was on alert, and the security system slowed it down.”

Florence’s demeanor softened. “What are you going to do?”

“I’m going to win that race,” he said, grinning.


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