Lorem’s Dampfwagen

Paris, France
Date: May 9, 1889
Location: Wuppertal Zeppelin & Hangar (Exposition Grounds)

Lorem's Dampfwagen

Lorem was hyper focused for the next hour in the attempt to complete the tasks on her daily agenda as soon as possible. No matter how hard she concentrated though, a part of her mind kept wondering off in search of answers to questions of what would happen at tea with Lady Elizabeth. Yet only the future would tell, so for the present the thoughts were purely multitasking. Lorem reminded herself that multitasking was birthed out of distraction itself and decided to will it from her mind to revisit later.

With permission from the Captain, she completed what was necessary and then handed it over to others to continue so that she could prepare. Upon finishing she had the customary disheveled and grease-monkey signs on her working dress with the special straps and buttons. Fortunately, she had a few more identical outfits in her quarters on the airship. Resolute to try and look presentable, she made her way to her room; all the while, thinking on the details of preparing herself.

Being a senior position aboard the airship, her room actually had its own shower system, while other members of the crew had to share. The shower itself was about the size of a small closest, just enough space for one full grown human to be in. It was more than double the spaciousness for a gnome; and Lorem was more on the petite side of female gnomes. With a turn of a few knobs and a pull of a lever that slowly returned back to its original state, controlling the duration, the warm steam shower turned on. It was easy to avoid cold showers due to the system utilizing the heat from the main boiler that powered the steam engines that kept the airship running. It was like getting a gentle power washing from multiple angles and at max setting would only last five minutes; more than enough time to get clean if bathing with urgency.

Lorem felt refreshed after the steam shower. After drying off, she took out clean undergarments and another work dress and put it on. She only owned one style of dress, it was the best she could do. One advantage of being a gnome was one could save on the cost of clothing because it was less material. One disadvantage was it was more commonplace to have to buy children’s clothing, whereby most adult fashions had to be custom tailored. Indeed her work dresses, with her custom modifications so she could alter it to be less flowing when around moving mechanical parts, were actually little girl dresses. No doubt the reason she was typically mistaken for a cute child until people realized up close that underneath she was a developed 19 year old.

Lorem never wore makeup, so she saved time preparing in that area. This gave her more time to dry, comb and braid her very long blonde hair in a Dirndl double braided crown. Satisfied that she looked her best, she finished by adding a few special accessories that she had few occasions to actually wear. One was a simple necklace with a single Invento symbol charm. On the necklace was also a signet ring of the Science & Engineering Guild; Lorem preferred it on the necklace than her finger because she didn’t like to wear jewelry on her hands. The final touch was her work boots before she left the airship, took the Eiffel Tower elevator down to the ground floor, and made her way to the Wutterpal Hangar.

When her father found out about their invitation he was equally shocked, but ultimately not surprised. He always believed his little Spoon, her nickname because she loved to carry around a spoon with her as a toddler, was destined for great things. He was quick to make himself presentable as well.

While her father was getting ready in the barrack style living suites of the hangar, Lorem went to the fabrication for industrial design section. She stored several of her continuing side projects there. In this case she was going to retrieve the Dampfwagen, her custom personal steam car. It was simple, a kin to a go-kart that could seat two adults. The seats though could be adjusted so a gnome could reach the necessary wheel, levers and pedals. Her father arrived just as she finished filling the interesting vehicle’s boiler tank with water. Under his arm was a gift, wrapped in the daily newspaper from the Exposition, for their host.

Lorem took the drivers seat and put on her riding cap and goggles while her Father turned a crank on the front of the vehicle and then secured it when it reached its limit. Lorem then pressed a button and pulled a knob that caused an internal chain reaction to lite the heat source that would raise the temperature in the boiler to the point of making steam. The crank, once another lever was pulled would unwind itself and in conjunction with the steam it produced mechanical work via steam pressure to push a piston back and forth inside a cylinder. This pushing force was then transformed, by a connecting rod and crank, into rotational force for work to turn the wheels. When the wheels turned, it would simultaneously turn another crank set of clockwork gears to its limit.

All Lorem would have to do is pull between the two levers to release the corresponding crank system. The turning wheels automatically wound one set while the other system was unwinding. In this way the vehicle could perpetually keep motion as long as the brakes weren’t applied. At top speeds, it was about as fast as a human on a bicycle. The suspension system was appropriate for flatter surfaces, it was not a vehicle for going on uneven terrain.

With the two gnomes ready, they rode off towards the address on the invitation card, turning many a head of people at the Exposition as they went.

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