Kage Baker's "The Bohemian Astrobleme" (novelette, steampunk, free): Discovery of a new kind of battery
Fast moving & easy read.
Title comes from a meteor impact site ("Astrobleme" or "star wound") in Bohemia that plays a key role in the story.
Story summary.Gentlemen's Speculative Society is an ancient secret society developing gadgets way ahead of its time. Now, in this year 1845, one of its London establishments has accidentally discovered a new way of making an electric battery - by bring in contact a gemstone, a kind of glass called tektite, with acetic acid.
They'll soon find that this specific kind of tektite is a very rare material, & comes from Budweis in Bohemia. So four agents set out to locate & secure their supply...
Fact sheet.First published: Subterranean Online, Winter 2010 (January-March 2010).
Download full text from publisher's site.
Related: Stories of Kage Baker.