Traction City (novella)
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|Series||Mortal Engines Quartet|
|Media type||Print (hardback and paperback)|
Traction City is a novella by Philip Reeve and is a prequel to the Mortal Engines Quartet it was released as a flip book alongside Chris Priestlys' teachers tales of terror  for World Book Day. Set on London and introducing street urchin Smiff, policeman Anders and a young Anna Fang.
Smiff is an orphan who lives on the lowest tier of London and scavenges for items fallen from higher tiers. Whilst searching, he witnesses a murder where the attacker has removed the right hand from the victim. Sniff later goes to the police station, where a teenage Anna Fang has been arrested by corporal Nutter as an Anti-Tractionist saboteur. Smiff explains the murder to Sergeant Anders, who, alongside Nutter, leaves to investigate the murder. Constable Pym searches the records for similar incidents and find several reports thereof. Anders and Nutter return to the police station, where Anna Fang explains that she has been following the stalker called the Collector, whom she wants to recruit to the Anti-Tractionist cause. Anders uses Anna as bait for the Stalker. They are surrounded by a group of Engineers (a powerful guild in London), who explain that they brought the Collector to London, but lost control over it. Afterwards the head of the engineers orders the death of the two police officers and Anna; but Smiff assists their escape. The engineers are killed by the Collector, who severs the right hands as a replacement for its own missing hand. Anders distracts the Collector, and uses Anna's explosive to destroy it. Afterwards, he allows Anna Fang to escape, and Smiff to stay at the station.
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