The sweat poured down thick on Damian’s face. He reached for the towel on the bench and drenched it in cool water from the sink nearby, dragging it across his face in an attempt to cool himself. A few drops of sweat fell towards the floor but soon met with the flame from his torch. It sizzled; the sound irritated him a bit.
He had been working long hours trying to finish his project and the extreme heat nearly exhausted him. He was focused on creating a mech that would protect his inventions. Ever since the last incident where a thief robbed him of an expensive battery, Damian swore to never allow it to happen again.
He paused for a bit and looked at his massive copper mech.
It’s almost complete. I just have to create a battery pack with sufficient energy to power it.
He sat down on the wooden bench next to the work table and reached across, grabbing the metal cup on the far end. He had been so focused on finishing welding the mech that he had forgotten to finish his cup of bold, dark coffee. He took a swig of the cold dark murky water. He grunted and shook his head.
He placed the cup down and went back to finishing his project. He quickly welded the last part: the head. He turned off his torch, placed it on the table, and walked towards the shelves filled with components of all sorts in the back of the room. He rummaged through the selves until he finally found some conductors, a few wires, and a circuit board. He sat down back at the table and looked over the plans.
It feels like something is missing. But what?
He gazed over the plans once again; and then it hit him like a ton of bricks.
I see now. I can use the generator along with my heat box. I will have to make a few adjustments, and if I am correct, that will be sufficient to power the mech for prolonged periods.
He walked to the back of the mech and attempted to prop open the latch by making a few turns on the dial. He had planned the mech to be a self-powered unit with a safety precaution just in case anyone wanted to tamper with it.
The latch propped open, allowing him to reach halfway inside. He connected a few wires to the circuit board and the conductors. He paused a bit to catch his breath since it was hot and stuffy inside the massive unit. Everything seemed about right. Even though he had been unable to furnish a system of steam and pressure to move the components, his prototype system based on gears was somewhat functional; not as he would have liked but it was impressive regardless.
The last piece of the puzzle needed was the energy core. He leaped off the unit, and dashed towards the towering wooden box on the opposite end of the room. He removed the lid, tossed it aside and dove right into its contents, removing the heat box he had fabricated a few years earlier.
He kept thinking for a bit. His face fashioned a puzzled look. Nothing.
How will I transfer the energy into the box? Maybe I could use the panels from my other project to capture direct sunlight and funnel the heat to the box. Yes that’s it!
He grinned, but that didn’t last long since he suddenly realized that he didn’t have direct access to the components in his lab. He had sold them at a lofty price to an old and wealthy, local crime lord.
Maybe I can just go and explain to Mauro that I need the components. No, no I can’t do that. He mustn’t know what I am building or he’ll want it for himself. What to do, what to do. What if…
A sudden breeze rushed into the room through the window, blowing away the papers on the table, making him walk towards it and stick his head out. Sun down always felt a bit fresh.
He gazed off into the horizon. He could see the beautiful sunset in the distance. The sun gradually dove below into the hazy orange glow with every second that went by.
Must be eight already. No time to lose; I have to go the Mauro’s mansion a few miles away and make an excuse along the way, he thought as he headed out his laboratory.
He descended a two decks of staircases until reaching the living room; and quickly jetted out the front door without bothering to lock it. He jumped on top of one of his bicycles, a beat up, rusty one, and headed down the cliff.
He pedaled as hard as he could for a good ten minutes, flying through the busy Rosario Vera Peñaloza road, until reaching the San Telmo market.
It was late. He spotted the store owners picking up their tents. There were still a few towns’ people walking around through the dense, tightly compacted booths. Damian decided at the last minute to look for a few components that he could use for his mech so he slowed down and jumped off his bike.
He walked a few feet towards the booth of one of his acquaintances, Edward. The old English man was busy loading his boxes of junk into his horse cart when Damian quickly interrupted him.
“Edward my good friend,” he bellied.
“Oh hey Damian, what brings you here so late? Finally decided to take some time off your busy projects huh?”
“Not quite my good friend. I thought about getting a few things for one of my projects. By any chance do you happen to have any latest electronic gadgets? Maybe some parts for a steam engine?”
“Hmmm. I haven’t come across any of that good stuff recently. What exactly are you building?”
“Well…it’s sort of a secret project. I just needed some parts to create an energy source for a small mechanical unit that I created. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to recreate a steam engine due to the limitation on size, but I did manage to reverse engineer a smaller replica, and intend on using it to move a complex system of gears that uses an outside source.”
“Interesting…and how do you plan on collecting the energy source?”
“I was thinking of using my heat box along with a few heat panels I created a while back. The problem is that my Mauro might not let me use them.”
“Ahh Mauro…you seem to have a real problem with that idea. Do you think that will be enough though?”
“I sure hope so. I mean…there will be limitations on when I could use my creation, but…”
“Well, it kind of runs on solar energy so it won’t be functional during the night or during a gloomy day.”
“Ahhh I see. What if you could use a source with an endless supply of energy? Would that be something more adequate?”
“Certaintly, but where would I find something like that. As far as I know, we are nowhere near such technological achievement as that.”
“You know, a while back when I traveled through Mexico, I heard of some ethereal substance that had an unlimited supply of energy. Might be a myth or might be something worth giving a shot at.”
“And where exactly can I find this substance?” Damian’s eyes grew larger as the idea of a magical substance crossed his mind.
“The local tribesmen told me that this ancient substance known to produce an unlimited supply of energy was rumored to exist in Peru. I never attempted to find it myself, well given the limitations of my caravan of the time, but I believe it could be related to the fountain of youth.”
“Thank you my good friend. I think I will have to investigate this one; it seems really promising,” Damian responded before hopping back on his bicycle and making the short journey back to his laboratory.
On a last minute he decided that he would investigate that ethereal substance instead, rather than finding out a way to convince Mauro to hand over his project. Damian wasn’t frugal per se, he just didn’t like to return profits.
Immediately after arriving back at his laboratory he set out to grab a few items for his journey: a change of clothing, tools, and an old mystical map he had acquired from a gypsy. He grabbed the large canteen and filled it with water from the sink. He placed all this equipment in a dark green duffel bag and slung it over his shoulder.
What else will I need for my journey? Should I hire some local security to help me or should I… No, those imbeciles weren’t of any use last time. I will have to do this myself. I’ll be damned if I have to trust another man or woman to protect my work.
Damian proceeded to lock up the small building with the wrought iron fencing. At times it made him feel as a prisoner of his own creations, but he knew that he couldn’t trust anyone. Any loss was unbearable, and he simply wasn’t willing to take any more chances.
Before leaving he walked up towards the metal vault hidden within the walls of the room perpendicular to his laboratory. He reached in, grabbed his prized pocket watch and a black Borchardt C/93 pistol. He holstered it into his self-made black tinted cow hide holster, loaded two magazines onto his belt clips and locked the vault behind him.
He reached the stairs and made his way onto the rooftop where his airship was docked. He quickly untied the rope that held it in place, grabbed onto the rope and descended into the dark blue night sky on his journey to find the mystical substance.