Til Mencken

Chapter 4 Episode 2 | The Machine God | The Drifting Isle Chronicles

Dean Blessing waited in the hangar beside Minister of State Faber and the General of the Eisenstadt Defense Force. To Adewole's surprise, Blessing greeted him brusquely but professionally. "A momentous day, gentlemen. I hope we are all prepared for it?"

"As best we can be," answered Deviatka.

"Good," said Blessing, clapping him on the arm. He shook hands with Deviatka and then with the astonished Jerian. "Karl, Adewole, safe journey."

"Safe journey, sir," blinked Adewole.

"See?" said Deviatka as the Dean stumped away. "Not all that bad a man, really, but I'll be damned if I let him sell anything more out from under me, and that's a promise, friend."

Chapter 3 Episode 4 | The Machine God | The Drifting Isle Chronicles

Trinke snapped to even greater attention--Adewole hadn't thought it possible--and opened his notebook. "Minister Faber, you have a nine o'clock--"

"The Chancellor can wait for me for once, Trinke, the Founder knows I've waited for him enough times. Will my skirts be a hindrance, Miss Goldstein?"

They were not. The field crew tucked Faber into the two-seater autogyro seat and dressed her in goggles, gloves and a canvas duster hobbling her skirts enough to keep them out of the way. Hildy Goldstein took the pilot's seat behind her. The engine roared to life; smoke and steam billowed around it. Hildy opened the throttle, and the craft shot down the tarmac and wobbled into the air, rotors whirring.

Chapter 3 Episode 3 | The Machine God | The Drifting Isle Chronicles

Adewole came into the first briefing the next day not knowing what to expect. "I have never served in the military," he said to the officers ringed round the table. "Jero's is entirely professional. If you join, you join for life, and it was never my ambition. I think I have hit someone perhaps twice."

"Not much for you to do in the hitting line, Professor," said Major Berger, an older, mustachioed man; cheerful lines offset his naturally melancholy eyes. "You will be translating. With your background in anthropology and languages you're our linchpin. We don't know who we're facing up there, but we face someone. Miss Goldstein's private report gives us strong reason to believe the island is inhabited. And…" He cleared his throat. "We have some confidential intelligence I trust the officers and gentlemen at this table will consider privileged: not only are there people on Inselmond, some are aware of our existence. More than that, I cannot say. Yes, Quartermaster?"

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