The regalia of Isis, Mother of Steam, was heavy indeed, with its crown of gears and twin stacks, a visual pun on the traditional headdress. Gods were shape-shifters, after all, and the Great Mother was no different in that respect. It took some help, and a great deal of stage-managing, for a a woman of seventy to bear that weight as if she were a girl of seventeen.
The trumpets blared, and the hard blue sky swallowed them, the sun flashing off the instruments of the mechanical orchestra, as the great doors opened on their hydraulic hinges and the veil of smoke parted to reveal the Incarnate Isis, bearing her instruments of office.
She counted her own heartbeats, and they slowed: odd that paying attention to something made it slow. Her heart was rowing her forward in time, toward her own rendezvous with the Fates.