The scene is a fine Spring day in the Year of Our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-five. The Regent of the Eternal Empire has declared the day a Rest day, and in celebration of the holiday, people of all shapes and walks of life promenade through the sculpted gardens of Central Park. Two, in fine riding suits, are in the midst of a discussion that may be pertinent to the unfolding story. Let us listen in.
The mountain of a man walked through the forest. He stood over three yards tall, with legs thick as tree trunks. His long-eared companion's slender legs found difficulty in matching the pace of the long, slow strides. "Mahrem, wait a moment." The elf paused to catch his breath.
The soup was delicious. It was pretty much the only thing worth mentioning on his tray, but it almost made up for the rest of it. Oh, Elson ate everything, of course - no one on a Union Airship would survive a single tour as a picky eater - but the soup was especially good. It had sausages and cheese, and sausage was Elson's favorite. That - and the cheese too, actually - was one reason he'd come to Prussia in the first place.
Another was Templeton, of course, and he found himself staring the third right in the face as he lowered his bowl from his lips.
Templeton finally had the air intake under control, but it was tenuous. His best guess was that some important restraint or bolt on the outside had been knocked loose, so he'd have to go find and fix that later. Right now, though, he was three miles up and trying to outrun air-pirates, so his temporary solution would have to do.