Down by the Port, three urchins were hanging around as the Dock Crew loaded luggage and cargo onto the ship. As the loading continued, there was first only two, then only one urchin looking on.
Tepic sauntered off, content with the morning’s work. All the urchins who had places to go back to had left over a week ago, now with every ship leaving port there was a new cabin boy or kitchen maid on board, as well as another couple hiding on board, with the names of a couple of people sympathetic to urchins at their destination memorised. To Steelhead, Calidonia, Steeltopia and even New Toulouse they were headed, to find safety from the dangers the City found itself in.
Not all of the urchins were going, to some, it had been their home for too long, their mother and their father, and they were determined to stay and help. And it was curious, with every ship or airship that came into Port, there were one or two who landed and headed into the City, searching for lodgings. A pair of sailors, twins, waved goodbye to their shipmates, a fine lady stepped down a gangplank, twirling her parasol, a wealthy merchant brought his yacht into dock and jumped lightly to the decking, a handsome young man with a swagger in his step and a dark past in air piracy swung down the ladder of an airboat, sword hanging free from his broad belt. These were just a few of the new arrivals, and strange as it seemed, they all appeared to be familiar with the streets of the City, but of course, they all had one thing in common, they had all in the past been ragged urchins, children of the grimy and sooty streets……..