Backseat Driver

Paris, France
Date: May 9, 1889
Location: On route to Lady Elizabeth's House

Backseat Driver

Lorem's father, Nostrud, was not as keen on the speeds and handling of the steam go-kart as his daughter. It was commonplace for him to criticize her driving skills in a not so subtle way of giving polite fatherly advice. He preferred his feet stable and on the ground, hence why he declined the opportunity to work inside the airship in preference for the docking hangar. He was prone to worry about every turn, bump in the road, and sounds coming from the machine.

It didn't help that Lorem liked to test the limits of her inventions; sometimes just for the benefit of seeing what would happen so that things can continue to be improved upon. It also could be he was usually present as a test dummy for many of her inventions once they got to the point they were deemed safe enough for live trials. He could recall all the failed attempts they both endured in the process of taking an imaginative idea to a final tangible outcome. Lorem's phrase, "That's interesting ... I wonder what would happen if....?" was like the harbinger of vulnerability and risk.

Lorem was the youngest of his three children and one couldn't blame him for being over protective at times, especially when your child liked to work with things that could explode, crush, and rip a little gnome to pieces. Sometimes he wondered what life would have been like if she were like her older siblings. The oldest, her brother Tempor, had gone into Civil Engineering and after working a period of time in the private sector transitioned into academics. He currently had risen to the level of a tenured professor at a German university in Bramen. The middle child, her sister Dolore, had gone into the agricultural sciences and specialized in advancing the farming technology and practices just outside the industrialized center of Bramen. He loved all his children, their similarities and unique differences; however, when it came to Lorem you never knew what was she was going to get herself into next. His spouse, Nisi, a very intelligent and clever homeschooling housewife, put it aptly when she described Lorem as "Pleasantly unpredictable."

Nostrud always came to the same conclusion with this line of thinking. He wouldn't change a thing about how his children inner mechanisms worked; he liked to think in terms of cogs for many of his analogies.

Their conversation orbited around what they thought it would be like once they arrived. In particular they were trying to conjecture on what would be the topics of discussion. Nostrud made sure that he also reminded his daughter of proper etiquette, being very clear that high society was on an entirely different level with its own distinct rule sets. It wasn't helping Lorem's confidence to think of all the many ways she could mess up, or forget, to behave according to the contrast in status between their hosts and themselves as guests. Her father sensing this, gave her a reassuring one-armed hug and encouraging words before he quickly leaned back in his seat and gripped the handles on a turn in the road.

"Spoons ... I know you are eager to get there early so you have time to settle your thoughts; however, I think getting there in one piece should be higher on our priority list." He advised with a sense of urgency in his tone.

Lorem replied with a playful smirk, "Dada, we are within acceptable parameters." She pointed to the gauges measuring tilt versus center of gravity on the dashboard. This caused her father to wince reflexively because he always preferred her to have both hands on the wheel and levers as much as possible. She laughed, "When that air bubble strays too far from the center is when you'd have to worry. But if that were to happen, it would be too late anyway to do anything about it." She pulled the second crank lever and their speed increased as the vehicle shifted over to the alternate clockwork system. Steam shot out of the exhaust pipes with a 'Choo' sound as they continued on their way.

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