The night air was crisp, moonlight washed through the city streets and high above the sidewalks The Gear kept watch over his town. He was freezing.
“Protect the city in mid-November. Good call, Ed,” he said to himself. He pulled out his pocket watch that had been outfitted by his roommate with a thermometer. “15. The temperature is 15. No units of measure on the device of course, but I’m assuming it is the cold 15.” He shivered a moment and coveted the larger jacket he had left at the apartment.
The trotting of horse hooves against the cobblestones of the street below echoed into the night sky. It was the first sign of life in hours and Edwin was eager to follow the noise.
A nondescript carriage treaded its way through the cluster of apartment buildings and small shops. One horse pulled the carriage and a driver who was in no apparent rush to be anywhere. Edwin had constructed small bridges across the tops of the buildings he most frequented to better connect them. While he was a fan of the gyro-copter strapped to his back, it was noisy and his neighbors were fans of yelling at unexplained noises in the night.
He walked the bridges and found a vantage point that set him just above where the carriage had suddenly parked. The driver slowly stepped down from his perch and walked to open the carriage door.
It was swung open long before the driver arrived. A caped figure climbed out the carriage. All Edwin could see was a top hat that was far too large and a dark billowing cape. “More like an over-the-top hat,” he chuckled to himself. The figure brushed the driver aside and walked with great haste a nearby shop Edwin recognized.
“That’s the New Cape Bank Association. They shouldn’t be open at this hour,” Edwin said. His confusion and interest in the events below was growing.
The Bank’s door opened before the figure even reached it. “Huh,” Edwin said, “must be someone important if he can get service like that, am I right?” He said with a laugh before remembering he was alone on top of a tall building.
His gaze returned to the carriage where the driver was attempting to return to his stoop. The horses whinnied and huffed and Edwin was pretty sure he heard the driver insult the poor equine for making a ruckus.
A breath later the cause of the horse’s concern made itself known. A shrub near the park that Edwin built shook and an object darted out of it at great speed, colliding with the driver’s leg, knocking the slow moving man off the carriage and to the ground below.
A shadow jumped from the shrub and ran to the carriage. Edwin was not sure of what he was seeing. The new figure wore close fitting clothing and a mask where a decent citizen would wear a hat. The speed the figure ran with was remarkable. Before he could blink, Edwin saw the figure hop into the carriage’s cabin and run back out. When the figure exited the cabin, it was carrying a bag.
“Oh I doubt that belongs to you, bad guy,” Edwin said as he summoned his gyro-copter. The copter began to roll itself out of the backpack. Gears churned, cogs turned, and the four spoke propeller began swirling above him.
“That really is quite loud,” he barely heard himself think.
Controls for the gyro-copter were mounted in a gauntlet attached to his left arm, so he could readily direct the copter with his right hand alone. Many nights were spent slamming into trees and learning how to bail from landing attempts before he perfected his flight abilities.
He pushed the copter to its limits as he zoomed over the street and chased the thief into the park.
“Hey, hey you!” He shouted to the thief below when he finally caught up. “It’d be much easier for both of us if you would drop that bag.”
The thief kept running.
“Fine,” Edwin was not pleased with having to try out his new tools.
The copter was set to maintain its course. His roommate, Emmett, had created for him a gauntlet that could control his gyro-copter on one side and create a powerful electrical current on the other side. Where the top of the leather gauntlet was outfitted with control rods and wires leading to the backpack, the bottom of the gauntlet had a miniaturized tesla coil that when switched on buzzed with energy. It was meant to restore a little power to electricity powered water pumps through the city that had a habit of failing at night, but due to an unfortunate discovery at breakfast one morning, could also send a bolt of electricity that could cause a full grown human to stop in his tracks and drool onto a piece of buttered toast.
Edwin fired the mini-tesla and the bolt landed dead-center in the thief’s back.
He landed next to the squirming thief and grabbed the stolen bag. “That wasn’t very nice of you,” he said, using his foot to flip the thief over.
The thief groaned and muttered impolite terms at Edwin for a moment before fully regaining composure.
“Do you have anything to say for yourself,” Edwin asked.
The thief removed the identity concealing mask and both of them stared at each other.
“Eula Grace?” Edwin asked with no lack of shock.
“The Gear.” Eula said. Edwin felt her eyeing him for a vulnerable spot, waiting for the moment to strike where she could regain possession of the bag.
“Listen, that bag cannot be given back to that man from the carriage. Give it to me, and I will keep it will safe. Tell him you tried and then fly away, just fly away. You cannot trust that man.” Eula said. She extended her hand.
Edwin was unsure of what to do. He was not quite sure what exactly was happening at all.
“Is there anyone there?” A voice called from the direction of the bank building.
The intrusion of the voice was all the distraction Eula Grace needed to snatch the bag from Edwin’s grasp and dart into the darkness.
“Shucks,” Edwin said with a grimace.
“Hey, yeah, over here. The bag is gone though, sorry.” Edwin answered the voice.
The top hat and cape figure from the carriage emerged from the tree line. “You must be the man that dropped from the sky to save my bag from that ruffian, my driver said the scene was quite extraordinary,” the top-hat man said. He removed his hat and stepped toward Edwin.
“Sorry, the thief grabbed it back from me and ran off,” Edwin told the well-to-do looking gentleman.
“Oh it’s no bother. Just a simple bag of trinkets really, nothing to worry about,” The top-hat man said.
As he spoke a small group of men with large rifles emerged from the woods. “Oh, them, sorry, don’t be alarmed. They under my employ. They’ll try to find the culprit. My apologies further, I have not introduced myself. I am Rivorio DuPuy, Duke of Yorkiston across the pond. I own that bank you undoubtedly saw me entering. Thank you for the attempt at aiding me, mister?”
“Oh yes, I am,” Edwin paused to figure out what to call himself this time, “I am The Gear. I’ll be hanging around to keep your bank safe, sir.”
The Duke smiled, his curled mustache raised upward and he shifted his gilded walking stick from to his left arm, extending his right hand to shake Edwin’s.
“Well, Mr. The Gear, I am sure we are going to have a splendid relationship.”
Edwin was slightly regretting becoming a hero.