My associate is Major Philipp Oldrich, late of the catastrophic expedition to _______ at the behest of the Sultan of Egypt, in which the Major sustained very serious injury, near mortal, to be blunt, but survived the retreat to ______; and, borrowing from his skills as an engineer, in which capacity he was seconded to the Expeditionary Force in the first instant, helped design and produce, after the life saving intercession of a skilled Egyptian Physician, the handsome prosthetics which make his life, if not his appearance, quite normal. It was I who recruited him, and sent him into Africa, and it was my responsibility, ultimately, for what happened to him in the ambush. His difficult monetary situation played no small part in his acceptance of the commission, so it was only fair that I pay his medical bills and provide him with employment after the disaster.
His skills as an engineer are unparalleled, his ability to take my theoretical musings and determine their practicality, then make suggestions to correct my maths, constructs a positive feedback cycle with unbounded possibilities. The process is time consuming, to be sure, but the quality of work produced is without question, and the surety and safety of our mechanisms makes them manifestly valuable. Unfortunately the nature of these constructs cannot be disclosed, due to their highly problematic, and even controversial, nature. The only things deterring us now are available laboratory space and adequate funding; even though my resources are considerable the machines are becoming ever more expensive. For this I have had to hire yet another assistant, whom I will detail more at a later date and place – his skill is legal and scholarly, more so than the Major and my trial and error style, and Underwood’s winsome and polite manner bring other financial sources.
In all candor, the Major can be quite a trial to work with, he is, as all Germanic peoples tend to be, quite stubborn and insistent in his views. In addition I feel I should broach a delicate matter; the Major suffers tribulations at which I can only guess because of his physical condition. His demeanor may tend to blunt, but he always maintains a typically teutonic respectful manner.