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  • Lake Kimmiar

    Lake Kimmiar

    Postby Alicorn » Tue Aug 16, 2011 5:04 am

    Priothi picked up the steel bars. It wasn't like moving a train, but it wasn't really hard, either - just pick up the bars, try to be gentle so the dangling compartments didn't wobble too much, and then push forward, over the terrain and the plants and everything else between them and the Lake North. The bars were each suitable weights for lifting, and four of them (parallel, but not welded together: they had to be separate objects) could stably suspend the passenger and cargo boxes. It was more reliant on perturbation than a train, and not as smooth, and Priothi would hate to be dependent on it himself, but he could always fly home. They'd build train tracks up there sooner or later.

    "We really need to think of something else to call it," he commented to the supervisor. He hated having a supervisor. He didn't plan to drop everyone. But that was another disadvantage of trains. Apfen was there to elbow him if she thought he was nodding off or getting distracted, because if he did, crash. Airships didn't tolerate this much weight or they'd be in a fleet of those...

    "New Delo?" she asked.

    "Well," said Priothi. "That too. It's an awful name. But it's not as bad as Lake North."

    "It's a lake," said Apfen. "It's north."

    "We're going to colonize all sides of the lake," Priothi said. "I'm thinking I'll settle down north of it with my stake in the colony. I'll feel like a fool calling it Lake North. It needs a different name. And for that matter, are we seriously calling the provinces "Corridor" and "South Lakeshore" and "East Lakeshore" and -

    "So what's your idea? Mind the bars -!"

    "They weren't going anywhere! Smooth as the Reone Circuit!" he protested. "Smoother! I'm not going to drop us."

    "Easy for you to say, Mr. I-Can-Barely-Walk-Because-I-Just-Fly-Everywhere. Maybe we should tie you to this compartment..."

    Priothi rolled his eyes. "I'm not going to drop us. Anyway, the names are all ridiculous. I just hope Delo-Kyan pays attention when the colonists come up with better names."

    "Maybe we'll meet natives," Apfen said. "Maybe they'll have named everything already."

    "What," Priothi said, "Inlander barbarians? If those ever did exist, they didn't survive the apocalypse. We're not going to find any. Maybe we'll find artifacts and decipher them and those will have names that are more creative than -"

    "Down! cried Apfen.

    "I didn't -"

    "I know you didn't! You should! Put us down!"

    "This terrain isn't -"

    "Priothi, look," Apfen snapped, pointing.

    In the distance, trails of smoke spiraled up to the sky.

    As Priothi watched, the entire colonization contraption suspended in the air on his say-so, the smoke changed shape. Symbols. Smoke signals.

    Inlanders.
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    Re: Lake Kimmiar

    Postby Alicorn » Tue Aug 16, 2011 7:10 pm

    Priothi couldn't just land in the middle of a forest, whatever Apfen said. First, he brought down individual people, one or two at a time (there were some children, too small for him to get a grip on, and these had to go down in parents' arms). Apfen went, too, and Priothi himself hovered in the air so he could better see what he was doing. He had to rotate the colony compartments on their bars crazily to make it work, but eventually he fitted the whole thing into a gap between trees and got it to the forest floor.

    Then he descended himself, the usual controlled drop interrupted abruptly just a couple feet off the ground and then an uncontrolled drop, because he could only perturb so slowly.

    "What do we do?" Priothi asked Apfen. "You're in charge here, I just move stuff."

    Apfen chewed her lip. "We would have quit for the day in an hour or so anyway. We could turn back, but - I think we should radio for instructions."

    "This isn't a diplomatic expedition," protested one of the colonists, a baby in her arms. "We didn't come here expecting to deal with Inland barbarians. We were expecting to find a place to settle, build some houses -"

    "Not a militia expedition either, if they're hostile," said a man. "I mean, sure, most of us are in the militia, but we didn't come armed, Priothi's our only psion -"

    "No," said the woman with the baby, "Envar's technically a telepath, but he can't do much, touch range only, and Sancio -"

    The colonists were soon abuzz with discussions of the expedition's ability to handle Inlander barbarians. Priothi's head spun. He had a background in moving trains. He was on this colony expedition because he wanted to live someplace warm and had underbid the other perturbers to get it. He didn't want to be the first line of defense against Inlanders who decided they were invaders.

    Were they -

    "We're radioing south for instructions," said Apfen firmly. "Ikthar, get the radio."

    "Are the tellurics kind here?" asked Priothi. "I mean, I work fine, but I'm not a radio..."

    "If the radio doesn't work, we turn back," Apfen said regretfully.
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    Re: Lake Kimmiar

    Postby Scott Alexander » Tue Aug 16, 2011 7:35 pm

    Never should have put that immigrant from Those Who Shelter Words in charge of your lake-naming team.
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    Re: Lake Kimmiar

    Postby Alicorn » Tue Aug 16, 2011 9:26 pm

    They'll come up with better names eventually.
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    Re: Lake Kimmiar

    Postby Demon of Fides » Wed Aug 17, 2011 12:42 am

    Does it put anyone else is mind of Leonard DaQuirm?
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    Re: Lake Kimmiar

    Postby Shyriath » Wed Aug 17, 2011 1:06 am

    Old Leonard would've gone further, though. Perhaps Lake North Of Everything Else In The Country Though Not Necessarily Of Things Outside It.

    And then he would've figured out how to use the whole lake as an instrument for measuring the curvature of the world, since this particular world has a surface curvature.
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