Life Imitates my art, part…

I shall not apologize for my dearth in posting as I am on vacation for the first time since August 2017. If you define it as “on vacation with my entire family,” it would be July 2016. But all good things must end: back to my increasingly temporary home in central Ohio on late Saturday. With Daughter #1 off to her five week internship and Daughter #2 off to Army Basic, it will be nothing but drinking, writing, and audio recording for me.

With my wimminfolk down at the hotel pool right now, this article caught my eye:

The last time EAST (Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak or HT-7U) held onto a writhing loop of plasma for so long was in 2017, but the temperature only reached a mere 50 million °C.

This immediately called to my mind the opening of Part II, CODE:DESCENSION, of “Worlds Without End“:

Hefei City, Anhui Province, China

EAST (Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak) Fusion Reactor

The Chief Technician observed both his men following the shutdown procedures after this latest test and the two motes of white light weaving about the toroid core.  Cooling from its 80 million degrees.  What he and his men were doing was rather unorthodox but the ria that went into the Research Facility – and their own personal accounts – dissuaded them from too many questions.

That didn’t work, either, Dorina.

We did get the nervous system to function, Henge!

For less than a second.  Not a marker of success.

Just a waypoint, little niece, just a waypoint!

We’re going to need more nanomaterials.

Already in Shanghai.  By train here in two of their days.

Thank you, Dorina.

Hah!  Do you think they know what we’re up to?

Here?  No.  In Oak Ridge?  I’d guess one of them does.

You would take the side of your pet’s family!

Not remotely funny, Dorina.

What will you do, hit me?  Did you inherit your father’s predilection for violence?

[***]

I said too much.  I apologize, Henge.  Here:  consider this for the nervous system.

We cannot do it alone.  We’ve shown we’re fast enough but we are not old enough.

Not again…

We must have his help, Dorina.

Shandor has not interacted with us since Pavel!

Perhaps he did not have enough reason.

And your selfishness is a reason?

Yes.

So bold!

I shall ask –

You will not!  He doesn’t like your father and suspects what you are!  I shall.

Thank you.

He said he would help.

Just like that?

It felt as if he wants us to fail.  Here.

Oh.  So much uncertainty.

He said it was due to your belief in your soul.

I know; I just don’t understand.  Will he help?  Much of this is beyond me.

Me too.  But, yes, he will.

He wants us to fail but is willing to help?

Perhaps he has an agenda?  Perhaps he’s just bored?

He’d not be if he and the other two would open themselves to the Fourth Law.

You know why they do not.

Yes:  my father and aunt Ai.

Give them time, Henge.

Something our family has a surfeit of while I watch another’s fly away.

From what you told me, I thought you people of the Way have nothing but time!

Yes.  But we must make the best of what we’ve been gifted!

You really do love him, that young human man?

I love the Lord with my whole heart, mind, and strength.  But yes, Dorina:  I agape Gary Hartmann.

So much you’re willing to do all this?

Yes.

My headstrong little niece!  Here!  Let’s simulate how Shandor has made us older!

Breakfast Saucer

With a slap to my forehead, I realized packing for this vacation is a non-issue: all bulky items, such as my hiking boots, can be left in the car with Daughter #1 in Kanab, UT. Camelbak’s and even changes of clothes except what I’m wearing on the flight back can stay until we return in July to drive her back home. Duh!

Below the fold, Robert’s mother shows off and the speculatores roll up for lunch in a pub in Georgetown, Kentucky.

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Passwords

Going to try to get a few updates to “Imperium’s Shadow” out the next few days as I am taking a vacation. Sure, I get three days off here and there from my DayJob, and two weeks over two years ago when I changed hospitals, but the last time I drove somewhere for more than a week? August of 2017, I think.

This will be a trip out west in the US. The reason is dropping off Daughter #1 at her 5-week internship but this is my chance to show these Midwestern kids what real mountains, the Rockies, look like. We’ll also see Zion National Park and the north rim of the Grand Canyon.

In the meantime, Prince Robert has a 0300 patrol with a hangover.

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“No better friend; no worse enemy”

This is a freebee to all my readers. It is from my short story collection entitled “Empire’s Agent.” The reason I’m tossing it out there is that a fellow Gabber, and a good man, is dying and expressed concern what to tell his grandkids. Thought I could lend a hand.

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Fire. Walk with me.

This will end in a chapter break. I know there is some talk among the legionaries the next morning – we have to find out what happened at that dinner – however I think they are on the road soon after, their objective is the old and still functioning capital of Frankfort. Somewhere around dead Lexington (I shed a tear at the thought of those closed Liquor Barn stores) somehow they run across Skylarzim, an annoying girl much in the vein of young Faustina. And I think there’s another surprise at The Dragon Pub in Frankfort… but that is thousands of words from now.

Officer Cadet Eloise Patel wandered into this story for a reason which I know not, however I am sure we’ll see her again.

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Camp out

Off from DayJob today. When I work my alarm gets me up at 0510. When I sleep in, that’s usually until 0700, which is when I awoke this AM. With little on my schedule, I closed my eyes for a moment.

1025. Yikes! That has not happened in years. With my whole “no coincidences” thing, I took this as a sign to do nothing today. Besides puttering about with some minor domestic activity – some ant block outside and dishes inside – I am committed to doing nothing. Well… maybe a little writing…

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Meeting Engagement

Wherein the speculatores discover that they are not the first to make contact with the fiefdom of John Carlyle of the great FLemingsburg valley.

In other news, RealLife is increasingly complicated. Daughter #2 has her last day of classes tomorrow then two days of finals. After that, her high school graduation is May 30th. The next day we depart for what may be the last family vacation for years, to get Daughter #1 to her internship in southern Utah. I’m bringing this laptop and hope to write while someone else is driving. Getting across the Great Plains takes forever.

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“It’s all a question of bridges” ~ Gen’l Browning

My hunch was correct: in eastern Kentucky, especially once you get up into the hills, the population has not really recovered from the Change, so almost no industry or trade. Centurion Panck Hill turns his team of speculatores north. But something seems to be in their way…

In other news, I’ve been approached for a series of book reviews and perhaps another author interview. I find such to be a waste of my time if they focus on me. To paraphrase Pope Pius XIII: “I am nothing; my stories are everything!” However, as Oscar Wilde observed, “the only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.”

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A codger in Winchester, pt2

I think that there’s not much happening in Mount Sterling. First contact with a similar team of scouts from the Canadian army should happen in Flemingsburg. At some point I want to flesh out Centurion Hill’s character, as he’s the grandson of a man in a story which, while canonical, does not appear in the American Imperium trilogy.

If I can hack some of this pollen out of my throat, I’m hoping to record several “Foes & Rivals” chapters this weekend. If not, I’m back with Prince Robert and his story. I win either way.

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