Neighbors, a story of Steam!Callenia for the Giraffe Call

To fflox‘s prompt

Soon after Every Gift and Building the Wedding-House
If the demolition and construction of the new intersection, the re-construction of the former Bureau of Education building, and the presence of soon-to-be-newlyweds in said building hadn’t gotten the neighbors’ attention and drawn their ire, the two mechanical contrivances on the front sidewalk definitely did.

But not just ire, Katyebah was gratified to discover. People were also curious, and, more than that, people wanted to give advice. In Lannamer, heart of the Empire, heart of the Emperor’s engineering corps, it was unsurprising, she supposed, that most people were front-porch engineers.

“Shouldn’t that gear be turning leftwards?”

“Shouldn’t you have used brass and not silver? Silver tarnishes.”

“Shouldn’t you have used a better grease for that than goat lard? The whole place smells like a farm and it will go rancid very quickly.”

“That’s not wild aether, is it? You know what happens with wild aether.”

“You need another five degrees on that roof angle to allow for the snow. Like this.” The grizzled man that stepped forward looked to predate the Empire, possibly the continent. His beard was braided down his chest in the old style, two white braids woven with beads; his head was bald on top but he still had three respectable braids running down his back to his seat, all three heavy with beadwork. Katyebah almost expected him to be wearing leather and fur, but his tunic and waistcoat were fine North-country brocade.

He cleared his throat. Everyone stopped to listen. “The machines are good for lifting, although I’d fix the arm joint on that one; it’s bending the wrong direction for the stress. And the ‘jaws’ on the other one are cute, but they don’t have any gripping power at all. Nice job, though.” Over Uncle Bantas and Aunt Gelah’s stunned bows, he continued. “Your roof needs to shift angle, though. Just 5 degrees, but without it, it’s going to be dumping snow into your attic by a month into the cold season. Here, let me show you.” He pulled a piece of chalk from his pocket and started drawing on the sidewalk.

As Katyebah studied the drawing, she thought maybe, just maybe, she might get along with the neighbors after all.

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0 thoughts on “Neighbors, a story of Steam!Callenia for the Giraffe Call

  1. <goes back to chew on the architecture> If they’re hauling up the last of the roofing materials (building or tiling?), it seems a bit late to be redesigning for a different slant of roof. That said … do houses in Lannamer routinely have problems with snow on the roofs? Or are they flaunting whatever the local architectural standards are in re-doing their half-a-building?

    • Yeah, that part didn’t work well for me, either. Maybe they were trying to do something clever and did it incorrectly cleverly.

      • Clearly the answer is to pull out all the roof bits, add and additional floor and build a new roof atop that. What? Surely that’s the most logical response. Since they’ll need to redo the roof anyway. 🙂

      • As long as it doesn’t hit “you should have known better” … at least Katyebah is a professional engineer, no?

          • <chews> I’m not sure how much crossover clue I expect between civil engineering and architecture. She’d have to at least consider snow when designing roads, but perhaps not as that sort of load, unless maybe she’s designed a covered bridge or three.

            • *nods* I’m thinking of changing it to be him pointing out the way they have the roof-tiles arranged, rather than the angle.

              • Heh. People have told me that the curved tile roofs I remember from growing up in LA can work where there’s snow, but I’ve yet to figure out how that wouldn’t be a disaster in case of thaw/freeze cycles with any amount of water sneaking into (if they’re porous) or under the tiles. I think there are other styles of tile roof, though, with flat tiles, like slate?

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