Missionary cum Soldier of the British Raj Captain Thomas Pidgeon has desires to become the Charas Commissioner at Srinigar where he will be able to protect the Tomb of Jesus (Rozabal Shrine) and The Rod of Jesus.
The Indian Mutiny of 1857 is in full swing and he has obtained a temporary commission although he also is agent for British Empire Aviation with plans to operate airship transport. But his fourteen year old wife has been kidnapped by the rebels from their home in Lucknow. He has to ignore his orders so as to retrieve the Koh-I-Noor diamond which he has hidden in a safe deposit box in Delhi. This priceless diamond is the ransom for his young wife.
Queen Victoria has refused to come to India to negotiate with the rebels and so the government in London sends a clockwork cast-iron talking statue of her to negotiate. As part of a healing ritual Pidgeon is given a drink of snake venom by a sadhu and becomes sedated. Whilst unconscious a disaster occurs at the negotiations and he later flees in a Russian airship in the hope of finding his young wife. But this is a trap set by the Russians who only want him to take them to the Rod of Jesus which they believe to be a powerful portable symbol of Christianity.
A Steampunk story involving suttee, love and jihad.
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