Mathematician for the Sothron Tesla Society, an organization with cryptic goals whose headquarters are in Milledgeville, Georgia. The headquarters building there is the Richmond Building, in a former Masonic Lodge. Their connection to the former Confederacy is known but not well understood. Peripherally they are a Charitable organization dedicated as well to the preservation of ante-bellum culture in the South and the promotion of the Free Market in the Reunited States.
Underwood served as a brevet Lieutenant in the Restored Republic of Texas during the recent Western Border War, after which he was returning to finish his studies at the University of Oxbridge in New Caledon. Upon finishing his work he was transferred by the Society as an Agent to New Babbage there to take advantage of the less regulated environment of that famously eccentric Sooty City. He has administered and managed three Laboratories in the City, one of which destroyed by fire during a Moreaux Riot. The primary research of the labs being twofold: the development, production and sale of a medicine called Chrono-Bungay, evidently an analgesic of some sort, and the construction and testing of a device called the Aether Coil, which purpose is veiled but rumored to be temporal in nature.
Born during the raging years of the American Civil War, just as the Steam Walkers were first appearing at Chickamauga, it was as if he was destined to be an engineer or mathematician. After a difficult start amid the chaos of the reformation of the Texan Republic he emerged as a gifted scholar and was awarded grants to attend Oxbridge University.
He served his obligatory Military service as an Engineer and rose to the rank of 1st Sergeant. In the midst of his studies the New Mexico Crisis erupted and developed into the ruinous Border War. Underwood was called back from Oxbridge to serve in the Mechanical Land-ship Corps; he escaped serious injury and returned to Oxbridge. Ironically his aeroship was shot down over the Atlantic by an obscure, uncharted automated island defense system. Professor Glaubrius Valeska, late of the Union Engineers and “significant employee” of the Aether Society, intervened and obtained Underwood’s rescue.
Upon the conferral of his degree Bvt. Lt. Underwood was hired by the Aether Society and assigned control of the New Babbage facilities. Glaubrius was transferred to Berlin to take over the Europa operations. They continue their work, with mixed results obtained with difficulty.