“The George & Dragon”, pt1

Even being tired at DayJob, I’m still trying to write down the reels I was shown on vacation. I think I’m as interested in Sky as Robert is, so she makes a quick reappearance. Additionally, a fellow Gabber has been having some health issues, so, besides praying for him, I also borrowed what little elements I know about him to create Tribune Atkinson of Tenth Legion. He’s only a bit part here but looms large at a meeting next morning. That’s likely 2-3 installments from now, ’cause it’s not just Sky who the young prince unexpectedly encounters in this pub…

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“The George & Dragon”, pt2

Would a force of nature such as Sky settle for a normal boyfriend? Of course not. Funny in that she does not begin to grasp what a world she might be pulled into: demi-humans and the imperial family. Could you imagine a family dinner and Roland walks in with the white wildcat on his arm? I’d love to see that! Maybe I will.

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Passage to Frankfort

Wherein we learn a little more about how the Canadians have begun to meddle in the economy of Kentucky. I think Robert is a little smitten by Sky – he admitted a while ago he’s a xenophile – but she’s made a point to mention her boyfriend, so that’s either a dead-end or source of potential conflict. We shall see!

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Hitchhiker

In my Star Chamber interview about three months back, there’s a segment where I try to address why I have so many interesting primary and secondary female characters. I end by tossing my hands in the air and admitting, “I don’t know!” Not wanting to get into the weeds of that discussion again, I just wanted to lead this next installment by saying that you are about to meet another one.

How she and Prince Robert start playing one another from the get-go is an interesting dynamic; each misunderstands things about the other.

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Pub, Georgetown

While I had a little time to type while on vacation, it was still a vacation and I didn’t. However, that did not mean the movies didn’t keep playing into my mind. I’ll be playing catch-up for a week, interspersed with going into the basement for the audio recording of “Foes and Rivals.” It’s been nearly three weeks since I voiced those characters! I hope I remember what they sound like!

Below the fold, Robert and his centurion… well, they do not come clean with one another, but they are willing to be a little more truthful.

And I’ll let a small, pure white cat out of the bag: there’s a very interesting new secondary character making their debut in the next update. In the meantime, why not buy me a beer?

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Vacation Interlude

While I did not type anything down, I dreamt of at least two chapters of material. Some I wrote down today, even though this day saw me home from my flights at 0136 followed by Daughter #2 off to Army Basic at 1435, followed by 90 minutes of popping into DayJob to clean Oncology Compounding.

Below the fold are few snapshots of our travels to South Utah to drop off Daughter #1 for her internship. I quite literally do not know when we shall all be together again.

More stories from Machine Civilization to come very soon.

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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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