The online magazine Beneath Ceaseless Skies has just released a free short story from author Margaret Ronald. “Salvage” is a steampunk fantasy that delves deeply into the collision between man and machine.
“Salvage” takes place in the hostile territory of Parch where automations roam unchecked, protecting their inhospitable lands. Captain Dieterich braves this danger in order to rescue the survivors of an aborted salvage mission. Three weeks ago, a group of students went looking for the wreckage of Chiaro, a Titanic-like airship that had been lost. At the start of the story, Dieterich and his valet, Charles, have landed in Parch hoping to bring these students home.
The story is told from Charles' viewpoint. He offers a unique perspective because while Charles is not friendly with the automations of Parch, he is at least familiar with the way they act, as Charles is kept alive with metal parts.