It was an age of changes, that was for sure. Some said the Empire was returning to power, while others said the world was ending. The Church was losing its grip on the peasentry for the first time in centuries, and apparently painters in Italy were warring over art styles while tinkering with strange machines on the side. All this news trickled slowly by word of mouth over the many miles to the town of Rotenstein, but news was news, and Hephaestus was more than happy for it. Strange machines gave him hope for the rebirth of the Empire his forefathers had served, and no machine was stranger yet that he could see than his roaring steam-driven locomotive. He ran his gloved hands lovingly over the vehicle's steel body as he zoomed through the fields on shining new tracks towards his mine, faster than most horses could gallop. Yes indeed, this marvel, this wonder of Rotenstein, would surely lead the way to a new era- With a hiss and a squeal the engine jolted him back to reality. Looking at the gauges he scowled, realizing the fuel level had run low. He turned around and started yelling at the young man in the coal-car. "Oy! Coal-boy!" The yell seemed to fall on deaf ears. Leaning a little further, Hephaestus saw the boy trying to strike sparks with his flint and steel again. Oh for the love of God, the lad was going to get them all killed, making fire right next to the coal. Hephaestus grabbed the young man's shoulders and shook firmly. "Faraday! Michael Faraday!" That seemed to get the boy's attention. "Yes sir!" "This train's not going to move by itself you know. Now GET BACK TO SHOVELING COAL." "Yes sir!" The lad hurridly stuffed the toys back into his pockets and grabbed the shovel, dumping a few loads into the furnace. The engine responded with a satisfied huff, and started chugging on again. Hephaestus shook his head and sat back down on his stool. Watching the land fly by, he could almost imagine factories lining the tracks, flying-machines crowding the skies. It was all possible. All it took was a little curiosity and wonder.