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Into the Light Snippet #9

Aliens? Invading aliens? What will Earth do? Well...we may have a few more resources than we first thought. Come join a friendly discussion about David Weber's newest Tor series - "Out of the Dark."
Into the Light Snippet #9
Post by runsforcelery   » Mon Jul 01, 2019 9:11 am

First Space Lord

Posts: 2425
Joined: Sun Aug 09, 2009 11:39 am
Location: South Carolina

Hi, Guys —

Sorry this is coming in so tardy. I had a major project that needed to be finished by June 30, and I have been absolutely buried in working on it. It is now out the door, however, and things are reverting to what I fondly describe as "normal." On the other hand, Sharon and I are leaving for Utah tomorrow morning, so I'm not sure that I will get another one of these up this week.

Because it's tardy, and because I don't know what the schedule is going to look like for the rest of this week and next week, though, I am posting a somewhat longer snippet.

Have a good Fourth!

The enormous aircraft set down in the street in front of the building—at least Garçāo thought it was an aircraft; it had wings and was generally aircraft-shaped, although it was over two hundred meters in length, or at least three times the size of the American C-5 Galaxy aircraft he'd ridden in once. Its multiple wheels found good purchase on the pavement on one side and the parched earth—thanks to water rationing—on the other.

“How does . . . How does it land like that?” Natalia Perez asked in a voice full of wonder. “The wings look like a regular airplane's, but it's coming down like a helicopter.”

Romero shrugged. “My science and technology folks looked at that. It must have some sort of counter-gravity technology that allows it to lift off and land, and then jet engines that propel it through the sky like an airplane. They would greatly like to take a closer look at it, but we haven’t been given the opportunity, for obvious reasons.”

Garçāo turned to Sanchez. “We’re going to need some of your forces here, as soon as possible.”

“You don’t intend for us to attack it, do you?”

“No, but I want to make sure we keep our people well back from it. I don’t want a member of the Comando Vermelho—or even one of your troopers—to do something stupid like shoot one of them and have them drop a bombardment round on Salvador. Our country's suffered enough devastation already, I think.”

“That’s a good point,” Sanchez said. He turned and raced from the room, shouting orders to someone as soon as he was in the hallway outside.

“Well, I guess I should go welcome our overlords back to Brazil,” Garçāo said in the voice of a man going to his own funeral. He turned to look back a second, swore, and then hurried to the door.

“What is it?” Romero asked.

“It's not the Shongairi!”

* * * * * * * * * *

Garçāo hit the doors to the main entrance at a run, but then drew up short. He hadn’t been wrong—there was a human supervising several other humans. The supervisor—a woman—wore a flight suit with two silver bars on the shoulders. A tall blond, she was speaking English to the two, no four, men who were positioning things at the top of the craft’s ramp. She stood at the top of the ramp pointing to something. Garçāo’s English wasn’t very good, but it sounded like—could it be true?— they were getting ready to start unloading things from the craft.

He approached the woman at a more dignified pace.

Boa tarde, Capitão,” he said in a loud voice.

“Good afternoon,” the woman replied in perfect Portuguese, although she appeared to hesitate slightly, as if having to think about the words. “Although I'm a lieutenant, not a captain. I'm in the U.S. Navy; it's the same insignia but different rank.”

“I see, thank you," Garçāo said with automatic courtesy. "I apologize for my error. But—" his voice sharpened "—how is it that you have this . . . this . . . ” He pointed to the craft but ran out of words to describe it.

“The Starlander?” The woman smiled. “I know this is going to sound hard to believe, but we made it. It was faster to redesign and build them new than to rework the controls for humans on the ones we'd captured.” She held up a hand when Garçāo started stammering again. “Trust me, I'll tell you all about it after we get it unloaded.”

“You are the pilot of this . . . this Starlander?” Garçāo asked, unable to help himself as the rest of his cabinet gathered around him, staring up at the woman in awe. Seeing them gawk at her made him realize he was doing the same . . . and gave him the ability to shut his mouth.

“Actually, I’m the mission commander on this run,” the woman replied. “I have two nugget pilots up in the cockpit holding it up on its counter-grav so I don’t put holes in your parking lot. Like I said, though, they’re nuggets, so I don’t want to have them do it too long. Besides, we have two more ships orbiting overhead with food and supplies, and I need to get them down here, too.” She paused, looking at their faces. “What?” She asked after a moment.

“A nugget is flying this craft? What kind of a nugget?” Romero asked, and the woman chuckled.

“Sorry, that’s slang for a new pilot. Like a diamond, my two pilots need a little more polish—and perhaps some additional pressure—to become fully-qualified.” She waved them away from the ramp. “Now, if you’ll move, I’ve got an awful lot of aid onboard to unload.” A stream of people began issuing forth from the craft’s cavernous interior. “Oh!” the woman added, “I also have some other folks onboard to help you.”

“Who are they?” Garçāo asked, unable to keep the wonder out of his voice.

“A variety of professionals,” she replied. “Health professionals, mostly, but some logistics folks to help distribute what we’ve brought you. There are also a few military and security people to help you work on your defensive posture. And there are a few other . . . specialists . . . too. That’s about it.”

“That’s it?” Garçāo asked, incredulously. “That is more than we deserve, and far more than we could ever have hoped for! Who do we owe for all of this . . . this . . . largesse?”

“All of this is from President Howell in the United States,” she said, waving to the supplies and people moving down the ramp. “He's hoping you’ll meet with him soon to discuss some ideas he has for the way forward.”

“I would very much love to,” Garçāo replied. He looked down at his shoes. “I'm afraid that I don’t have transportation to get me to the United States, however, nor does the security situation here permit me to travel at the moment.”

“The security situation?” the woman asked as two men and two women in flight suits came to stand behind her in the shade of the cargo bay. “Do you mean the Comando Vermelho and the other gangs that are running roughshod over your country?” Garçāo nodded, and the woman gave him a smile that chilled his blood, despite the hot summer day. “You won’t need to worry about them much longer. My friends—” she indicated the people standing behind her “—are here to take care of them.”

Aurora, Minnesota
United States

Lewis Freymark smiled as he heard/felt the Shongair Starlander-class shuttle go past overhead, and he threw his jacket and outerwear on quickly. Even though he’d been overflown by the shuttles on several occasions now, he still couldn’t determine whether he heard the vibration of the counter-grav, just felt it, or some combination of the two. Actually, he was pretty sure it had to be a combination, since the counter-grav put off some kind of waves that were a cross between a vibration and a sound. It was really hard to describe, but the feeling wasn’t; it set his teeth on edge whenever they flew past.

Freymark wasn’t a military person, but even he could see some of the disadvantages of using such a system in combat. Although the massive craft was quiet—far quieter than any six hundred-foot-long airplane had any right to be—the fact that you could hear/feel it coming undermined its stealthiness badly. Of course, it had been built by the Puppies for use against cultures armed with bows and arrows, so that characteristic had never been a problem for them. Until they came to Earth, anyway. That brought a smile, something he found himself doing more of recently.

He was still pulling on his second glove as he rushed out of the pre-fab hut that had become his home. He closed the door quickly behind him. Although the material the hut was constructed of insulated as efficiently as a double-walled, vacuum-filled thermos, holding the door open let the Arctic air sweep through the little structure like an icy hurricane. Aside from that one drawback, the hut was miraculous. Even a small heater was enough to keep them warm despite the minus six-degree temperatures outside.

It was too small for a family of seven—his six plus Alex Jackson—in pre-Shongairi terms, but it was a blessing he and Janice thanked God for every day. They’d made do, learning to sleep together like cordwood. It had probably brought them closer together as a family, or at least he liked to think it had. As long as Stevie and Frankie didn’t have to sleep next to each other, anyway. Elbows tended to jab when that happened.

He’d heard the hut could keep you just as cool in a Sahara summer with its micro air conditioner—part of the standard equipment delivered with it—installed. Amazing.

He shivered as a chill wind found its way down his neck while he raced over to where the ramp was coming down from the back of the craft. Several people bundled up in layers of clothing started down the ramp, but paused when the cold air hit them. Freymark chuckled. While you could protect yourself from the worst of the cold, mostly, you never really got used to it.

The group was just starting to edge back up into the cavernous belly of the lander—and impeding the people trying to unload the supplies within—when Freymark reached them.

“Hi!” he called, and the group turned back to him. “Can I help you?”

One of the group pulled down a scarf that wound around a balaclava that protected the owner’s head. If the lipstick was any indication, the owner was female, a fact that was confirmed when she spoke.

“I hope so,” she said. “I’m Dr. Sarah Rollins with the UNC Children’s Hospital System. We’re supposed to be here to check out your kids and any young adults who might need medical assistance.”

“That’s great!” Freymark replied. “Thanks for coming; we’re really glad to have you. I’m Lewis Freymark, the leader of this community. If you’ll come with me, I’ll take you somewhere warmer.”

“That would be . . . brrrr . . . lovely,” she said, shivering as another gust came up.

“Follow me then,” Freymark replied, “and try to stay close.” He wasn’t expecting more snow today, but that didn’t mean nature wouldn’t throw it at him, anyway. The way the weather worked in northern Minnesota, you could go from sunny to a white-out in what seemed like seconds.

He led the group through the foot-deep snow to the former elementary school building on the southeastern side of town that now served as the area’s combination relief headquarters and medical facility. Once they were indoors and everyone had removed enough clothing to be able to talk, he smiled and said, “Hi everyone, and welcome to sunny—if not warm—Aurora, Minnesota. I’m Lewis Freymark.”

“You’re the mayor of this town?”

“Yes, ma’am, I am." Freymark’s cheeks reddened slightly. "As of about a month ago, anyway. I happened to be the first person the relief effort met when they arrived here, and their leader, a Major Torino, told me to take charge of where things needed to go. After they left, the residents here decided to make me mayor so I could continue organizing the relief efforts. I think it was just so I’d be the one outside in the cold all the time. It wasn’t something I wanted, but as a refugee here, myself, it wasn’t like I had anything better to do.”

“Is this the Aurora High School?” one of the other people, a tall, serious-looking man asked.

“No, it’s not,” Freymark replied. “Or not anymore, anyway. We moved our headquarters down here because this was the only place with a big enough cleared area to land your Starlanders. This building was empty, since they built the new high school up by the lake, and we’re using one wing to administer the relief efforts and the other as our clinic.”

Freymark turned back to Dr. Rollins. “I take it your group is all doctors?”

“We do have one oral surgeon with us, in case he’s needed,” she replied, “but you’re right; most of our team are doctors from the UNC Children’s Hospital. We brought a variety of specialists with us—as well as enough equipment to set up a small operating room, if required—and enough medicine to start a small pharmacy.” She chuckled. “We thought we had more equipment than we’d be able to transport, until we saw the size of the beast that brought us here. There were teams from UNC, Duke, and Wake Forest, and we didn’t even fill up half that thing.”

“There are other teams coming here?” Freymark asked. He looked around, wondering where he would station the other groups. “They only told me to expect your group.”

Dr. Rollins chuckled. “Unfortunately, no matter how badly you have it here, I’m sorry to say you haven’t cornered the market on misery; those other groups were for other areas. We dropped them off on our way here.”

“Well, I’m certainly thankful to have you here in Aurora,” Freymark replied, his cheeks darkening further. “My daughter is one of the people Major Torino’s first supply run saved; there’s no telling how many people are alive today because of that.”

“Great,” Rollins replied. “Well, if you’ll show us where we are supposed to set up, we’ll see how many more people we can save this time ‘round.”

Greensboro, North Carolina
United States

"Mind if we sit down?"

The pleasant contralto pulled Dave Dvorak out of his reverie, and he looked up, his mouth full of food.

"Hmpf?" he asked indistinctly, then felt his face heat as he saw Doctor Fabienne Lewis and Brian Jacobi. They held trays of food, and the sable-haired IT secretary shook her head with a smile as his eyes refocused on the world around him. He swallowed and tried again.

"Sorry. What?" he asked more clearly.

"I asked if you minded if we joined you." Lewis held her tray with one hand and waved the freed hand at the other tables in the food court, all of which were full. "The more government comes online, the harder it gets to find somewhere to eat."

"Sure. I mean, yes — have a seat, please." Dvorak stood and pulled out one of the small table's other chairs for her with his good arm while Jacobi set his tray on the small round table and pulled out his own chair. Lewis smiled in obvious amusement, but Dvorak didn't care. He was a Southern boy, and his mama had taught him about holding chairs for ladies.

"Sorry," he said. "I was kind of lost in thought."

"I'm sure the new Secretary of State has lots of things on his mind."

"Not any more than everybody else, I expect," Dvorak replied, resuming his own chair as she and Jacobi unwrapped their silverware from the paper napkins. Portion sizes were much smaller, even here in Greensboro, than they'd been before the invasion, but Lewis dug into her chicken and dumplings with obvious gusto.

"Everyone has a lot on his or her mind just now," he continued, nibbling on one of his own French fries. "I'm no different! It's just that my own biggest worry — and frustration, really — is more internal than external. I'm not what you might call convinced that I'm the best person for the job."

Lewis swallowed a bite of dumpling and nodded sympathetically.

"I totally get that. As a matter of fact, I said the same thing when the President decided to make me his chief scientific advisor, in addition to 'only' his IT secretary."

"You did?" Dvorak cocked his head. "I can see that's a pretty significant expansion, but at least you were a scientist by trade before the Puppies!" She had, in fact, been pulled out of the private sector, where she'd been one of the better — and more brilliant — R&D types specializing in advanced AI applications. "Sure, there's a lot more to being in charge of all 'science' than just the info tech stuff, but at least you're still in the ballpark!"

Lewis chuckled.

"Spoken like a true historian — as in, not like a scientist, Mister Dvorak," she said, "because what you just said shows that you don't know the depth and breadth of what's involved in being the science advisor. It's a lot more than just extrapolating from the one little corner I know into all the areas I don't. And when you throw in the fact that he wants me to decide on which parts of Hegemony tech to prioritize for adaptation when we start pushing beyond the immediate imperatives of our rescue efforts . . . ." She sighed. "It's exhausting, and I had almost no idea where to start."

"It sounds like you figured it out, though."

"I did." Lewis nodded with a smile. "At least a little."

Dvorak set down his French fry and gave her his full attention.

"So what did you do?"

"Well, the first thing I did was to sit down with Brian here." She waved at Jacobi as she spoke. "He's the guy who's really on the front line with the existing industrial base, after all."

Dvorak nodded. The Secretary of Industry had responsibility for the actual management of the captured Shongair industrial platforms, and he and Jessica Tallman worked closely with General Landers, whose SAR teams were carrying the lion's share of the rebuilding effort. Tallman was the Secretary of Federal Management, a brand-new cabinet level position Howell had created when he pulled FEMA out from the Department of Homeland Security's umbrella and handed it over to the woman who'd been his state Secretary of Administration. Her years as what amounted to North Carolina's business manager stood her in very good stead in her new duties.

"Brian gave me a comprehensive picture of where we are right now — how we're allocating resources, what the President's established as our core priorities for the rescue efforts and how they're prioritizing production. Neither of them have had much time to do any real long-range thinking, though."

"You might put it that way," Jacobi put in dryly, looking up from his own hamburger. "Personally, I like Truman's pithy little phrase, though."

"Which would be —?" Dvorak asked with a slight smile. He'd encountered Truman Landers' pithiness, himself.

"He says we're too busy clubbing alligators to worry about what else may crawl out of the swamp to bite us on the ass," Lewis said, and Dvorak chuckled.

"He's absolutely right, though,” Jacobi said more seriously. “Truman's people decide what we need worst; my people figure out how to build it for him; and Jessica spends her time as the umpire, managing the balance between our current production and expansion for future production. None of us can afford to take our eyes off of our own ball to think about long-term implications or how to prioritize tech as tech."

"They're coming at it from the perspective of engineers and emergency managers rationalizing production to meet our immediate needs, which are pretty damned dire," Lewis said. "That doesn't leave much room for long range, what you might call 'strategic,' thinking."

She paused, looking at Dvorak, and he nodded in comprehension.

"I'm afraid we sucked Fabienne into our own task areas, though," Jacobi observed with a crooked smile.

"Well, one of the things I realized when I really started looking at my new assignment was that there's not much I can do about long-term analysis right this minute, either. So I figured I should look at other ways to make myself useful until I get my own people — and myself — up to speed on the basic Hegemony scientific platform. Until we manage that, it's all engineering and figuring out the best immediate applications for our problems, really," Lewis pointed out. "And even with neural educators, getting at the underlying principles in a knowledge base as deep as the Hegemony's is going to take what I believe you Southerners call 'a while.'"

Dvorak nodded again. He'd already encountered the same problem himself where galactic history was concerned, and he suspected it had to be a lot worse for someone who probably needed to unlearn quite a few things she'd always known in the past. Like the fact that faster-than-light travel was impossible, for instance.

"And in the meantime?"

"In the meantime, while I start familiarizing myself with the basic theory, I'm helping Brian and Jessica look at current problems and needs. That's not really something I was trained for, either, and I didn't have a clue about where to start. So, faced with such an overwhelming number of things I didn't know, I fell back on the things I did know. I turned the whole problem into a giant, worldwide IT solution."

Dvorak cocked his head, and she smiled at the obvious interest in his eyes.

"Once I could relate it to something I knew, some of the questions started answering themselves. I may not know about worldwide food and fuel distribution, for example, but I do know about networking. When I turned it into a networking issue, I realized it was very similar to what I'd do in the IT world; I just needed to learn the new terminology required. In this case, it's infrastructure, and with Brian here as a tutor, I was able to at least start getting a handle on it."

"Fabienne's being a little too modest," Jacobi said. "The truth is that she's been useful as hell when it comes to clubbing alligators, too."

"I can leave you and Jessica — and General Landers — to do the heavy lifting while I sit back and think about things," Lewis pointed out. Then her smile faded and she reached out to lay a hand on Jacobi's forearm. "All three of you have way too much on your plates for that, and we're luckier than we deserve that you're handling the short term as well as you are, because if you weren't, there might not be a long term."

Jacobi shook his head and looked at Dvorak.

"We've been focused on what Truman calls the 'airdrop' approach. We're delivering supplies and medical teams by shuttle — by helicopter where we can, but mostly by shuttle, now — and we can reach any place on the planet that way. The problem is that we can only reach one place with each shuttle at any given moment, and that means we're building up isolated enclaves whose only physical communication with one another — or with us — is by shuttle. A Starlander has a lot of capacity, but not enough to meet any logistic need beyond that. But because we have that capacity, that's what we've been totally focused on using."

He paused until Dvorak nodded in understanding, then shrugged slightly.

"Fabienne is looking beyond that stage, and I think the approach she's taking has implications for everything else we're up to."

"And that approach is?"

"Before the Puppies came calling, we had a functioning infrastructure for food and fuel distribution," Lewis said. "It may not have been perfect, and some of it may have been vastly in need of update — even here in the US — but there was an infrastructure in place.

"But when they dropped their KEWs on us, they blew gaps in that infrastructure — gaps big enough to cause it to collapse completely. Now food no longer goes where it's needed, and the fuel no longer flows. Where I erred though, was in thinking we needed to create an entire new infrastructure to get things where they were needed."

"That wasn't your error, Fabienne; it was ours," Jacobi interrupted.

"Well, maybe," Lewis allowed. "But what really matters is that we don't — need to create an entirely new infrastructure, I mean. Like any networking solution where a gap exists, we just have to close the gap. The rest of the infrastructure's already there."

"I guess that makes sense," Dvorak agreed.

"Here's an example of what she's talking about," Jacobi said. "Canada needs some items of food and fuel to get from the east to the west, and other items of food and fuel need to go the other way — from the west to the east. We've been focused on using our existing Starlanders — and building more of them — to do the transporting because of how devastated the pre-invasion transportation systems are, and that's been a pretty serious problem, because shuttle production is one of our bottlenecks. A Starlander's built almost completely out of synthetics, and that uses up a lot of critical resources and a lot of our printer capacity.

"But Fabienne took a closer look at that transportation system, and she realized the major rail nets are still pretty much there. The problem is the number of bridges that were taken out, and the number of freight yards that went up when the Puppies hit major cities. Those are all fixable problems . . . it takes a lot less of our capacity to turn asteroidal iron into steel rails — or bridge girders, for that matter — than it does to make Starlanders."

Dvorak's eyes narrowed, and Lewis shrugged.

"The Puppies left us complete plans for fully automated, self-directing engineering vehicles and construction units," she said. "In fact, they also left us a complete assembly line that was just about ready to start churning them out for the occupation when they decided we were too much trouble to conquer. It wasn't that difficult to turn the line on and let it churn out some of those units for us, and then program them to build bridges." She frowned. "Actually, it was a little more difficult than I'd expected. It's probably a good thing the Puppies didn't have true AI in the sense of fully sentient systems, because something like that might have objected to finding itself under new management. But it looks like what they really have is what we'd call 'brilliant software.' In a lot of ways, it's so capable it might as well be sentient, but it isn't, and getting the engineering units to understand exactly what we wanted out of them took longer than I'd have expected."

"But she managed it in the end," Jacobi said. "So instead of trying to haul tons of food and fuel back and forth, my Starlanders only have to land a few dozen loads of rails and steel girders and drop off some of those engineering units of hers. Then I can switch them back to the 'airdrop' approach and get the hell out of the way. In about another two weeks, we'll have trains running between Vancouver and what's left of Newfoundland again, and a single freight train can carry one hell of a lot more than a dozen Starlanders!"

"That makes sense," Dvorak said. "You’re not trying to build from scratch; you're just . . . patching the holes."

"Exactly." Lewis nodded. "It's kind of like this mall. What do you suppose people said when the President decided to set up the government — what will ultimately be the world government, if he has his way — in a shopping mall?"

"You probably don't want to know what Sharon said," Dvorak replied with a smile. "Let's just say that if the comments were anything like hers, they weren't very complimentary."

"Exactly," Lewis said again. "And yet here we are, eating in the food court of the world government." She smiled. "It's actually got better facilities — the Kaufman Convention Center, for example — than a lot of the pre-Shongair governments had, and it's at the junction of a number of major interstate highways and it's got its own airport, so getting in and out of here is relatively easy . . . as much as it is anywhere else in the world these days."

"So," Dvorak said, "if it's silly, but it works, then it isn't silly."

"Yep." Lewis smiled and took another bite of dumpling. "And until we get through the immediate recovery stage, that's the kind of thing I'm going to focus on. I'll still be thinking about where we go in terms of pure science, but I'm pretty sure I'll be more useful helping Brian and Jessica with those alligators for right now. Would it be better in some sort of perfect, ideal world if we could start from scratch and build the kind of planetwide transportation system that's possible with Hegemony-level tech? Of course it would! But we don't live in an ideal world, and everything doesn't have to be perfect. All it has to do is to work for now. After we get through the crisis, we can start worrying about perfection."

"Works for me," Dvorak agreed with a slow smile.

"I figured it would." She smiled back at him. "And it's occurred to me that you should take some of the same approach yourself. I mean, if you're concerned that you're not the man for the Secretary of State's job, you're the only person I know who thinks so."

"I beg your pardon?" His surprise showed, and she shook her head.

"You're a smart man, Dave. And you'll have all of Hegemony history at your fingertips, once you've had a chance to delve into it — just like I'll have all of the Hegemony's tech and science at my fingertips. You don't have time to drill down into it yet, just like I don't, but you do have a pretty solid grasp of human history, and I'm sure there are plenty of things you can use there as corollaries when it comes to your duties. Humanity never had a world government that was a real parallel for its transportation net. Or, rather, never one that worked as efficiently as its transportation net did. But it had a lot of governments, and they talked to each other. There were plenty of . . . interfaces, let's say. You just need to find them, start putting some of them back online. Trust me, only the real idiots won't understand that we need something a lot better than we ever had before. So all you really need is to open those interfaces back up and get them all talking to you — and to President Howell — again. After that, an awful lot of things will start taking care of themselves. So how you get them talking doesn't have to be managed perfectly —"

"It just has to work," Dvorak finished for her, and she nodded.

"Exactly," Fabienne Lewis said yet again, and smiled.

Petty Building,
North Carolina,
United States

"Well, that's weird," Trish Nesbitt said.

"Did you ever see the movie The Princess Bride?" Warren Jackson asked without looking away from his own computer display.

"What about it?" Nesbitt asked suspiciously.

"My favorite character's Inigo Montoya," Jackson said, looking up at her for the first time. He was a very tall, very black, very thin man who looked a good twenty years younger than his calendar age, and he stroked his mustache with an index finger. A mustache, Nesbitt realized for the first time, which looked a great deal like Inigo Montoya's. "I think he gets most of the best lines. Of course, 'You killed my father. Prepare to die,' is sort of the classic, but there was another one. About the meanings of words."

"I know exactly the scene you're talking about, and it doesn't apply. The word means exactly what I think it means — weird. Although, now that I think about it, 'inconceivable' would run a fairly close second."

"Well, maybe." Jackson rolled his chair back and stood. He stretched mightily, then ambled across to Nesbitt's desk. "It's just that what we call 'weird' is probably only one more manifestation of the fact that the aliens are . . . well, they're aliens, Trish. Of course the way they do things is going to strike us as a little odd."

"Oh, bother!" said Pooh, as Piglet came back from the dead.
Re: Into the Light Snippet #9
Post by Eagleeye   » Mon Jul 01, 2019 10:43 am

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Thank you, very much!
Re: Into the Light Snippet #9
Post by phillies   » Mon Jul 01, 2019 12:14 pm

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Posts: 1984
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Happy Fourth! And many more!
Re: Into the Light Snippet #9
Post by DrakBibliophile   » Mon Jul 01, 2019 12:15 pm


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Like! :D
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Sometimes The Dragon Wins! [Polite Dragon Smile]
Re: Into the Light Snippet #9
Post by Robert_A_Woodward   » Tue Jul 02, 2019 1:37 am

Captain (Junior Grade)

Posts: 346
Joined: Sun Aug 09, 2015 10:29 pm

runsforcelery wrote:Hi, Guys —

Sorry this is coming in so tardy. I had a major project that needed to be finished by June 30, and I have been absolutely buried in working on it. It is now out the door, however, and things are reverting to what I fondly describe as "normal."


Major project? Any hints on what it is?
Beowulf was bad.
(first sentence of Chapter VI of _Space Viking_ by H. Beam Piper)
Re: Into the Light Snippet #9
Post by phillies   » Tue Jul 02, 2019 11:11 pm

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Posts: 1984
Joined: Sat Jun 19, 2010 9:43 am
Location: Worcester, MA

Robert_A_Woodward wrote:
runsforcelery wrote:Hi, Guys —

Sorry this is coming in so tardy. I had a major project that needed to be finished by June 30, and I have been absolutely buried in working on it. It is now out the door, however, and things are reverting to what I fondly describe as "normal."


Major project? Any hints on what it is?

Let's see...not Out of the Dark sequel; that one is incomplete, and this one is complete. A little early for the next Charis. Perhaps Norfressa? Perhaps the Manticore once upon a time series?
Re: Into the Light Snippet #9
Post by justdave   » Tue Jul 02, 2019 11:41 pm

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Major project? Any hints on what it is?[/quote]

Let's see...not Out of the Dark sequel; that one is incomplete, and this one is complete. A little early for the next Charis. Perhaps Norfressa? Perhaps the Manticore once upon a time series?[/quote]

I bet either an anthology piece or the 2d protocol book, the MWW and Holo mentioned in an interview last month or two they were very close to turning it in

hope we hear any updates he put out at libertycon
Re: Into the Light Snippet #9
Post by fallsfromtrees   » Sun Jul 14, 2019 9:23 pm

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Robert_A_Woodward wrote:
runsforcelery wrote:Hi, Guys —

Sorry this is coming in so tardy. I had a major project that needed to be finished by June 30, and I have been absolutely buried in working on it. It is now out the door, however, and things are reverting to what I fondly describe as "normal."


Major project? Any hints on what it is?

Actually, the project was mentioned at the NASFIC, but David made a request that I not post it, as he wished to do so. So, until he decides to mention it, to quote RFC "tum-te-tum"

The only problem with quotes on the internet is that you can't authenticate them -- Abraham Lincoln

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