Challenge #02246-F056: Before You Can Fly

Hope may be the wings,

but courage is the belief

you were born to fly.

~Tyler Knott Gregson -- Anon Guest

Is there any greater motivation to the heart, mind, and soul than the words, you can't? The tinkerer known as Steelfoot didn't think so. She lost her feet to the cruelest winter that had ever cursed the northlands, and her legs below the knee with them. She was told she would never walk, she would never run.

She studied the metalworkers in the forges and made her first feet, then studied mathematics and natural philosophy and made herself springs that made her run faster than any horse. She worked for years on clever connections that meant she could swap out her legs in only minutes.

When her eyes began to fail at looking further, she made clever sets of lenses on hinged frames. Levers and latches that could keep them in place. Some children called her 'the insect' and many said she would never marry. You can't marry a freak like that. It's unthinkable. As unthinkable as a woman going adventuring. You can't do that. What about the men who are incapable of looking after themselves and the children you're expected to bear?

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