Vekaiyu Launches VRF Zeppelin

Doctor Selaseri casually struck a match against his tweed vest, lighting a pipe that was placed firmly between his teeth. His eyes didn’t even glance at the operation, but instead, he checked his pocket watch, apparently waiting for a train. After all, he was at a station, and trains were most definitely the efficient and fashionable way to travel across the nation. He dropped his pocket watch firmly in his vest pocket, closing his suit jacket to end the ordeal. “Two minutes slow,” he remarked, smirking slightly.


He arched an eyebrow and glanced behind himself. No words came from his mouth. Instead, he waited for the teenage vulpine male to reach his location. He always liked to be the first one to make an observation. But he observed in phases. “Man running. Speaking, vocal cords vibrating, his muscles propelling his… knotty legs, blood pumping nutrients through his jovial body, Navier-Stokes equations, Newton’s laws of motion, or was that Cauchy? It is buried in a book somewhere. I suppose I should attempt to find it before I retire to bed tonight.”

“Doctor!” The teen said, out of breath. He stopped inches in front of the doctor. “Carry your bags onto the train?”

He turned back to face the train tracks. “I don’t tithe.”

“Come on,” he asked again, “I won’t damage them!”

“It’s not you damaging them that worries me,” he sighed as he listened for the faint whistle for an incoming train. “But I am certain if you ask enough people in this station, they will gladly give you a few kulurs for moving some baggage.”

“But you’re the doctor!” he replied. “The Da Vinci of Iruk!” he held up a newspaper scrap about the first Dirigible as printed in the local news. “This was printed in the news just this evening. It speaks of your dirigible!”

“Unless my title is the Pope of the Vayan Catholic Church, I do not require such attention. Please, leave me alone. I am a busy man who does not have time for formalities.”

“Then you will need to make time, sir! If you are too busy, then maybe you could use someone to help you with your work.” He waited for a response. “Act as an assistant?” Still nothing. “Organize notes, maybe?” he tried to turn to face him, but the doctor just shifted his position to avoid any contact.

“Why do you continue to pester me?” he asked as the train pulled into the station. Dozens of people moved from the marbled seating areas and lobbies toward the train as sunlight poured through the arched windowed ceiling.

He huffed out a sigh. “I just want to learn. I want to learn about science, doctor.”

“And I suppose this interests you?”

“Very much, sir.”

“The thought of fluid mechanics just makes you giddy with joy?”


He turned to face him, flashing a smile. “And working on papers under lamplight into the early hours of the morning is how you wish to spend the rest of your life?”

“I do!”

“Then I have it!”

The teen smiled. “Yes!”

“Go bother someone else,” he replied. “Find your own books and study by yourself. Alone.” He grabbed his bags and stepped toward the train, leaving the frustrated teen behind him.

Compass in hand, the doctor began work sketching a large gear with five spokes. Such a task was almost second-nature for him now - two concentric circles, followed by a simple metallic protractor, the gear piece began to take shape. Teeth were effortlessly created through the handy use of a small straightedge. Spokes soon followed, ensuring the front view would have as much detail as possible. But it wasn’t like his work was making gears - it was using them, creating them in an attempt to make something work in unison.

“Bother,” he muttered as the lead in his pencil broke. Yes, lead. He hated the marks graphite made, as it smeared way too easily for his liking. It also didn’t leave profound marks like lead did - he didn’t apply very much pressure when he drew, so a softer writing material was necessary. He opened up the pencil and pushed more lead forward, then quickly closed it and set back to work.

He looked up when a shadow appeared over the light of his quarters on the train.

“You do not have a ticket. How did you get on this train?”

The teen looked down at the doctor. “I loaded bags onto the train. One of the passengers paid for my ticket so I can unload their bags at St. Irven’s station.”

“You do not have a ticket for this room, do you?” He didn’t wait for the young vulpine to respond. “No, of course not. This is a single room. Therefore, you are trespassing. I could have you thrown off the train for such an invasion of privacy.”

“If you have me thrown off the train, you’ll have to spend the entire train ride to do it. I’ll disrupt whatever work you are doing.”

“It is a price I am willing to pay at this point.” He frustratingly set his work next to his side and pushed a button on the ceiling of his room, causing a bell to ring for a few seconds. “Now, I would suggest you take your leave. Your disturbances have taxed me to my limits. Good day.”

He gripped the molding that framed the doorway. “You said yourself that Vekaiyuns cannot remained grounded forever!”

“I did say that, yes.” He turned to look up at the young man. “But you have taken it completely out of context. Now, good day.”

“If you ignore the youth of this nation, your work will be lost! You will have no one to pass it down to!” He turned behind him as an officer of the train appeared directly behind him.

“Excuse me, doctor, is this man bothering you?”

“Yes,” he replied. “Have him thrown off the train, please. He has been a nuisance ever since I had the displeasure of meeting this vagabond.”

“Ticket, please.” He forcefully tapped on the teen’s shoulders, but he was quick to present a legal ticket. “Hmm… his papers check out, doctor. I cannot legally remove him from the train unless he presents a clear and present threat to the well-being of other passengers on this train.”

“He is a threat to my work,” the doctor replied. “And my work is a passenger on this train.”

The officer huffed. “Perhaps it would be best if I returned the lad to his seat and informed him not to bother you any further?”

The doctor picked up his work, sighing slightly through his nose as he placed a protractor on the paper. “Very well. But see to it he does not leave his seat throughout the journey. I am a very busy man, and I do not have time for such games, officer.”

“Yes, doctor,” the officer replied. He grabbed the teen by his shoulder and pulled him from the door. The teen complied, which allowed the officer to close it without a disturbing slam.

The doctor, however, was too engrossed in his work to even notice.