Clang! Clash! Alex dug about through her mess of shrapnel and flickering devices straining for life, her hair all a’fuzzed in flurrious unruliness, having looked zapped at the ends, and she tossed and rummaged greedily as her friend William stood by far behind her, watching in a sort of nonchalant interest.
“You know,” he said, turning his attention to Alex’s table of, oh, what did she call it? Invention. “A little organization wouldn’t hurt. What is all this rabble? Is this an EYEBALL?”
He picked up a strange, brass-ish ball that upon it’s front-center clearly had the makings of an iris and pupil, glaring beadily into him. He grimaced in disgust and quickly dropped it back onto the table, it clanking upon a well-worn wrench.
“William!” Alex called, hustling over and banging a heavy chunk of whizzing metal upon the tabletop, making all the odd bobbles and ends bounce. “Don’t you know that the key to discovery is disorganization? How would anybody be able to discover anything new if they knew where everything was!”
“Well, that’s a train heading off track if I ever did hear one.” he muttered quite aloud.
“Besides!” chimed Alex, “This is sure to impress!” and with a flourish of her arms she motioned to the ugly, blocky slab of machine she had clunkily ba-lammed in front of him.
Mute before it, he wandered around the table, his gaze glossing over it’s features; square, whizzing, some sort of fan was running inside of it, and wires sprouted seemingly randomized all throughout it, some even lazily jutting out the top, and in the front (was it the front?) was a large, round indent, a deep socket in the middle. He gazed some more, ran his fingers upon the top, brushed them off upon his coat and spoke.
“I see. Well then, I have no idea what this is.”
“William, it’s an engine!” Alex raved.
“Oh! Of course! I should have known that! Especially since I have no idea what that is.”
Alex flopped her arms to her side, frustrated like. “Didn’t you read Darcy’s Mechanisms of the Eastern Hands?”
“Should I have?”
“Well, yes. It’s required reading.”
“Oh. Course I read it then.”
“Engines were used for many things,” said Alex, as she quickly headed over to a large, towering bookshelf, musty and creaking in the cold and enclosed murk of the dank basement, “mostly for war, unfortunately, but sometimes an engine was used for something much – more -” Alex slammed an enormous book upon the counter, “Adventurous.”
William looked at the book, “This isn’t Darcy.”
“No, this is Malloroy. I nipped it from the restricted section a few weeks back.”
“How on earth did you pull that off?” William asked genuinely, eyes scanning over the cover of the massive book.
“I have my ways.”
“Alex,” began William, not quite sure where to start, “first off, Dresden Malloroy isn’t a real person, he’s a mythos who’s always being used to sell ponzi schemes and con people out of their time and money. Secondly, you bloody stole from the library?”
“If Malloroy isn’t real than why bother holding his books in the restricted section?” Alex affronted, her arm crossed over her chest.
“Look.” William backed, waving his hand, “I don’t want to start this argument up with you. I’m just saying it’s very likely your being -”
“I’m being what!” she barked.
“Alright! Fine! Open the damn book and show me the thing.”
Alex gave William a sneer, though dashed with a slight, sly smile, putting him at ease. She knew he was just looking out for her, but she also knew, like her, that his curiosity would always win out. And with that, Alex shuffled her fingers along the side of the enormous, dusty book, and threw it open to a marked page in the center. There, upon the thick, yellowing pages was an inked sketch, detailed to the utmost degree, a contraption unlike any William had ever seen, and his eyes bugged out of his head at the very sight of it.
He looked up at Alex from the other side of the table, her smile so bright that it was beyond capturing.
“That’s right, William.” she whispered, beaming, “I’m going to fly.”