A shorter entry as things happen very fast after this. Not feeling well and fretting again, I was up early, taking some notes. I may have an idea how I want to wrap this book up around 70k words or so. Long, for me. But it will also intermesh with at least one if not two more. Given I nearly throttled someone at DayJob today, I might have lots of time on my hands in a few weeks.
I also looked at my short story backlog. Six (technically seven but one is spoken for, being published somewhere else) with a small novella at the core, much as I did “Empire’s Agent & Other Short Stories.” I’ll need at least two more. I’ve been shown almost nothing about tribe Arpeggio; that’s a possibility. India and Australia seem to be functioning countries… I wonder what they are up to? More drinking, more notes.
Speaking of: yes, I make a IT Customer Service joke below.
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Ducking his head to enter, three men in suits, with their coats unbuttoned to show their holsters, waited for him. There was a bench down the left side and a single row of seats, five long, to his right. The door to the cockpit was closed. He was placed in the third with one man behind him and two opposite on the bench. No one bothered with seat belts as the door closed and the plane jerked into motion. Airborne a moment later, Jimmy saw them turn about to the northwest.
Ottawa is pretty much the same latitude as Halifax, so they must be giving Maine a wide berth. Aurie never talked politics to me, but the fact her traveling companion, who she cares for, is from Maine, kinda telegraphs their countries’ relationship, I’d guess. I know there used to be a major US airbase in Bangor, but it went when they fell apart.
When they kept northwest rather than due north, Burns knew they must be cutting across some part of northern Maine. I guess, down there, they don’t know who’s aboard. Or don’t care. The Bay of Fundy already past, he stared left at an infinity of trees.
Left, then left again, he made out the St Lawrence River, below. What the hell kind of pilot needs to follow a river? Looking right, ignoring the stares of two of his guards, the north-facing window showed nothing but white. Nothing at all. Is that the snow and ice line? Not knowing Aurelia’s reaction, he shuddered and looked back left and down.
He came out of his seat a little as his head smashed into the window. The plane pitched port, hard, before stabilizing.
“Port engine just went out,” a sing-song, south Asian voice from the overhead speakers announced. “Have tried turning it off and back on again. We make emergency landing in Mon-treel.”
With the guards just looking at each other, Jimmy pulled up his seatbelt, fastened it, and tightened it down hard enough to hurt. If I survive this, maybe I try to escape? I never worked here, my French being at the “beer, please; toilet?; you are cute” level, but I’ve seen the layouts. There’s a railyard immediately east. If I can sneak onto a southbound line, the border is only forty or fifty klicks away. To the top of the Hudson River Valley. To her army.
Not a pilot but years an aircraft mechanic, Jimmy saw the runway was coming up entirely too fast.