“Well, well.” The bass rumble, rough and gravelly as always, cut through the hiss of bellows and the crackle of flames, clear even under the ring of iron and steel. “I hear someone’s moving up in the Citadel.”

“Please. You don’t need to remind me.” The leonine figure remained hunched over the workbench a few moments more, making one last, careful twist, before he laid down his wrench and stood a bit taller. Tugging off one thick leather glove, he reached up to the monocle over his left eye and gave it two twists – once swiftly, to bring his vision back to normal size, and once more carefully, to restore proper focus. “You got business to talk about, Varuk, or did you come all the way to the Canton Factorium just to talk my left ears off?”