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The Queen of Engines

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Samantha’s voice was filled with a concern evident even through the static crackling of the etheric resonator. “John, is Mr. Finch still with you?”

Reese felt a cold weight of fear, concern and rising panic settle in his vitals as he responded “No, Finch is posing as a hackney driver, and will take Miss Gerard to safety while the Pinkertons continue to follow me.”

“Oh, dear - it’s just - John, she’s not Sybil Gerard. Sybil Gerard is a character in the works of popular novelist Benjamin Disraeli.” The buzzing hum worsened. “We’ve had a telegram from Lady Morgan in response to the daguerreotype I sent her. It seems that our mystery woman is one Augusta King, known in clacker circles as the ‘Queen of Engines,’ although she also commonly uses her middle name, which might be more familiar…”

The signal cut out, but Reese was already running.

***

From the box of the carriage, Finch regarded the pretty young woman before him in horror. The derringer she pointed at him was still smoking, as the Pinkerton agent – Miss Corwin, had it been? – slumped to the ground.

“Mr. Harold Finch, is it not?” She nudged the body delicately to the side with her foot. “I’m delighted to meet you at last. I always knew that Lord Ingram had relied on someone else in the creation of the Modus, but he refused to tell me, and then those small minded fools destroyed him, and tried to take his work. Our work.”

Still holding the gun in one hand, she gathered her skirts in the other and hopped up onto the box next to him. “But now that I’ve found you, we’re going to have such fun together! And I promise you, Harry, that I will be the perfect assistant – the best friend, the best support and the best partner you will ever have.” She smiled charmingly and extended her other gloved hand to him. “I can call you Harry, can’t I? And you can call me Ada.”