It's the 1800s. It's London. And it's chaos.
A broken girl whose body is almost completely constructed from mechanical parts, a scavenger boy with pockets full of cogs and gears, the no-nonsense female captain of the airship Epsilon, a devious brother and sister called the Devil Twins who kill for a living, and an upper class man overcome by the desire for wealth are about to find their lives thrown together.
Crawling. Steel kneecaps weren't meant for crawling. Quite literally. They weren't built for this kind of torturous exertion. They'd been built for the creature comforts of the upper-class lifestyle that Mr. Meriwether had intended for her.
Same with her dress. Lydia hadn't tailored the masterpiece of floral and lace for it to be snagged and torn and dragged through the alleyways like she was some common street urchin, scrambling through the dirt and the dust in the hopes that someone more well-off that her had dropped just one penny. Just.... one.
Mary Elizabeth - or "Molly", as her adopted father-of-sorts had taken to calling her over the years - had poor eyesight, and even poorer hearing. But her memory was sharp and her mind could conjure up the most vivid and detailed imagery upon command. It would be easy, she knew, to find her way back to Mr. Meriwether's house. Easy to escape the humming and drumming of a city that kept her awake at night as she tucked herself into the corner of somebody's doorway. Even on the mornings when she didn't get dirty dishwater thrown over her by outraged homeowners, she awoke in terrible discomfort, her gears either rusty from the dew or her limbs stiff and cramped. She was certainly a damn sight worse off now than she had been at Mr. Meriwether's, where she'd had a warm bed and food and....
Her heart may have been a mechanical construction of gold wire and cogs, but it could still be filled with guilt and terror as it could had it been made of living muscle. Guilt whenever her mind lit upon Mr. Meriwether's kind soul and gentle, fatherly embrace. Terror at the unimaginable consequences of his death, that had forced her to flee the only place she had ever known safety and love.
Weak, tired, cold, she splayed out on the cobbles. Not her wisest ever decision - she knew this in her aching, trembling bones and cold, rattling metalwork. Horrifying things stalked these alleyways. Things with no faces, things with no souls, things with no hearts.
If she was lucky, she reckoned as her brain began to shut down, they'd kill her in her sleep.
If she was even luckier, it'd be before he found her....
But luck was something that was rarely on Molly the Miracle Girl's side.