The Falling Machine
Hearts of Smoke & Steam
Sir Dennis Darby has been murdered, the Automaton has been destroyed, and Sarah Stanton has turned her back on a life of privilege and comfort to try and find her way in the unforgiving streets of New York. But Lord Eschaton, the villain behind all these events, isn’t finished with her yet. His plans to bring his apocalyptic vision of the future to the world are moving forward, but to complete his scheme he needs the clockwork heart that Sarah still holds. But she has her own plans for the Automaton’s clockwork heart-Sarah is trying to rebuild her mechanical friend, and when she is attacked by the Children of Eschaton, the man who comes to her rescue may be the one to make her dreams come true.
Power Under Pressure
The Society of Paragons is gone-destroyed from within by traitors and enemies. With the death of The Industrialist and the rebirth the Iron-Clad as a monstrous half-human creature known as “The Shell,” Lord Eschaton now has almost everything he needs to cover the world in fortified smoke and rebuild it in his image-everything except for the mechanical heart of the Automaton. The device is nearer than he knows. Just across the East River, hiding in a Brooklyn Junkyard, Sarah Stanton is trying to come to restore the mechanical man to life. But before she can rebuild her friend, she must first discover the indomitable power of her own heart and save herself. Only then will she be able to forge a ragtag group of repentant villains, damaged Paragons, and love-mad geniuses into the team of heroes known as “The Society of Steam.”
Book I : The Falling Machine
Chapter 1 – Wonders of the World
“Life is short, yet it is the nature of man to make it move faster all the time.” Sir Dennis Darby punctuated his pronouncement with a ﬁrm smack of the silver tip of his cane against the concrete underneath his feet.
Sarah and Nathaniel stood nearby, looking up at the old man, quietly and respectfully waiting for him to continue, but before he could say another word his intended dramatic pause was broken by a long, throaty groan rising up from behind them.
Just below them, the Automaton had begun to slowly and methodically spin the massive wooden spool with his left hand. The wheel was ﬁve feet across, with a thick iron post running up through the center of it. Viscous black grease oozed up from where the pole made contact with a metal collar that held it in place, and the noise vanished.
Book II : Hearts of Smoke & Steam
Sarah was flung up against the “wall” of the airship—a series of metal struts laid out against a treated canvas. The wall rose up and held onto the bag with a series of rope hooks which were laced through by grommets stitched into the canvas.
She looked up at the man who had thrown her and saw a familiar smile. “Look what we have here—it’s a flying rat.” The Bomb Lance had removed his frame, and was holding some kind of gun in his hand. The weapon looked complicated, but the shining metal barb that stuck out of the business end of it sent a simple enough message. He smiled when he noticed Sarah looking at it. “Did you bring yer special gun as well, girlie?”
Sarah could feel the weight of the useless weapon in the pocket of her coat. “Yes,” she said meekly. She had come all the way up here to try and stop this man, only to be taken prisoner by him within minutes of her arrival.
Book III : Power Under Pressure
“Stay back! Damn you, heathens!” If the reverend had intended it as a warning, it wasn’t a very good one. A second later Anubis heard the sound of the shotgun’s discharge. At least the man had been smart enough to only shoot off one barrel.
Before he could think, Anubis found himself heading back up the stairs and into the kitchen. As he passed by the sink he grabbed a wooden rolling pin off of the drying rack. As weapons went it was hardly the most elegant, or the most stylish, but at the very least it was reliable, and close enough to his missing staff that he was hopeful he might get some use out of it.
The main church was just beyond the living room, and as he opened the door to the sanctuary Anubis could see four men surrounding the reverend. Two of them were dressed in costume.