I decided since I still have steampunk on the brain today it would be a good time to write the steampunk short I'd been asked for when I hared off after "The Baby Killers" instead. This one's called "The Lollygang Save the World on Accident". Here's a WIP of the opening paragraphs:
Per braced against the corroded stanchion protruding from a riveted curve of the Big Pipe. Wind tore at him like the fingers of his ma'am after she'd been drinking too hard. He tried not to look down. Outside loomed all around him like a scream.
He left hand was encased in one of Clever Stafford's special gloves. That gave Per little enough comfort -- last month another of Clever's gloves had smashed Slow Willie's fingers in the middle of the Lollygang doing a bank job. This was different, he'd been assured. Gyroscopically balanced, doubled hydraulic couplings in case of failure, and a punchtape intelligence mounted on the inside of the wrist to keep the fingers moving good.
"A kineopticon helmet would come in favorite right about now," Per told the sky. Outside had no answer, except the same invitation it always offered to fall, fall, fall.
They said you'd starve to death falling before you ever fetched up against something, so long as you didn't bounce off the Big Pipe.