What questions does the opening of the novel leave you with? Malkin pressed his forepaws against the flight-deck window and peered out. The silver airship was still following, gaining on them. The purr of its propellors and the whoosh of its knife-sharp hull cutting through the air sent a shiver of terror through his clockwork innards. The fox tore his eyes away and stared at his master. John's ship, Dragonfly, was fast but she had nothing in the way of firepower. The silver airship, by contrast, bristled with weapons. Sharp metal spikes stuck out from her hull, making her look like some sort of militarized porcupine. When the two ships broke into a patch of blue, she fired. A harpoon slashed across the sky and thudded into Dragonfly's hull, the point piercing her port side. Thud! Another harpoon speared into the stern. As the silver airship began to pull them in, John dashed towards the engine room and threw open the door of a metal pod lying among a tangle of pipes. "No room for both of us," he said. "You go, Malkin." The fox gave a whimper of disapproval. "No. It should be you, John. Humans over mechanicals. It's the law." John shook his head. "I can't leave my ship; I need to try and guide her down safely - and you've no opposable thumbs!"" He gave a half-hearted laugh and withdrew a battered envelope from his pocket. Crouching down, he stuffed it into a leather pouch around Malkin's neck. "This is for my Lily. See that she gets it." "What's in there?" John smiled. "Secrets. Tell her to keep them safe. She mustn't tell anyone about them, not ever. If I get out of this alive, I'll come and find her." "Thank you, John." Malkin stepped into the escape pod and curled up on the seat. "By all that ticks, I hope to see you again."