Daily archives: June 8, 2006

Heavensent 5.3

“That is not a natural sound.” Marra said of the distant rumbling.

“I would say we are approaching habitations, but it is not a very civilised sound either.”

Marra reversed the paddle to slow the boat as she steered into midstream. The river opened out dramatically ahead, exposing itself fully to the sky. “The Big Lazy.” She announced. “You should go up front and keep a lookout for shallow obstacles.

Morn jumped over to the prow and leaned hard against the rail to stare as far ahead as possible. The crystal clear water they flowed in on merged and swirled with the murky standing water of the Lazy. Shapes appeared in the algae and Morn directed Marra around them. “These are not rocks or plants. They are man made.”

“The Lazy is a burial ground for the river fleets of the North. This is where the final stand was made against the South. Father….. Old Morn served here, in this boat, until they gave the order to disperse.” Morn made out the shape of a propeller now he knew what he was looking for. “Old Morn told me about it. These first few hundred spans will be the worst, until we approach the heart of the battle at least, all the escaping boats caught at the bottle neck would be washed back by the current.”

Morn held up his hand, fingers splayed, for Marra to halt the boat. Ahead, the rail of a gunboat blocked their path. They could go left or right, but there were vague shapes in those directions as well. Morn took the dead anchor. Leaning as far ahead as he dared, he was almost directly over the railing. He fed the anchor rope through his hands until he saw it touch the railing, then drew it back and estimated the depth. A gentle wave of his hand signalled Marra to crawl forward.

They cleared the wreck. It was wedged against a rock, part of a natural barrier beyond which the number of obstacles dropped off drastically. There was an island ahead, a mudbar that had been promoted by the sprouting of a few trees. Grounded hard on it, holed, burnt and badly beaten was a ship. It seemed far too large for use on a river. “The Hotwa, pride of the Northern river navy. It was flat bottomed to clear the shallows, and the propellers were on reversible outriggers so it could change direction without turning around.”

“It took a lot of damage.” Morn noted.

“Such a big target. I would like to pay respects.”

“A good idea.” Though Morn was certain he had just seen movement on the deck. Amongst the many items gifted to him, all stacked in the front of the boat, had been a staff. Morn found it and tested its balance.

They grounded close to a tree and tied up to it, just in case. “Is there a way up?” Morn asked.

“Over there. A rope ladder.”

There was movement again when Morn looked up. Figures with guns and bows appeared at the rail. “Perhaps this was a bad idea.” Morn shifted the staff and went into a defensive posture.

A man descended the rope ladder, dropping a short distance, grabbing the rope to slow a little and then dropping some more. He had the same dark skin as Marra and wore the remnants of a uniform. Above his right eye were three straight scars. He kept his distance from Morn. “You are here for a reason?”

“Travelling south, where I believe my help is required.” Morn informed him, “My travelling companion and I wished to pay respect.”

“Ah, I see. My apologies for the greeting.” He studied Marra for a moment, hinting at recognition. “Come aboard and meet some of the Hidden Army.”

Heavensent 5.4
Heavensent 5.2
Heavensent 1.1

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Heavensent 5.2

Note Ooops, another missed posting. Here’s yesterday’s Heavensent piece.

They followed the river as it meandered across the Plain. The dots of trees became clusters, became copses, became a forest. A nasty brown scar marked the massive logging camp. Their orders were quite clear. “Wing One to flight. We have to put on our show. Descend to three thousand spans and make a pass up the river. Then break west and climb to thirty thousand before heading to the target.” Mirl announced.



The river was black and brown with the logs grouped together to float downstream. Stick figures hopped from one precarious perch to the next and tugs pushed and pulled the islands of wood. By the time they passed over the main sawmill, a crowd had gathered to wave jubilantly. They made their one pass, then banked west to begin a corkscrew climb to height.

The navigator presented Mirl with a best guess line for the river between its disappearance under tree cover and reappearance at the Big Lazy. They marked up three bombing runs that would straddle the water and level trees and structures on the shore. “If they really wanted us to do it properly, they would give us incendiaries.” The navigator opined.

“The object is spoiled if we burn down the forest to protect the loggers. Pass these lines to the others.”

From above, it was a very unspectacular run. They passed diagonally across the supposed track of the river, dropping sticks of bombs at count intervals. The forest canopy shook with the explosions below, and one bomb hit a large enough branch to detonate far above the ground. Some trees tumbled, but the holes they left revealed nothing. They turned and headed back to base. “Same again tomorrow.” Mirl sighed.

Heavensent 5.3
Heavensent 5.1
Heavensent 1.1

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I’ve been getting a lot of spam about Hoodia recently. It seems to be displacing some of the other wonder drugs, though I still get lots of Viagra spam (or ./iagra or other variations to get past filters). So what is Hoodia?

Wikipedia’s entry on the plant. It seems it can be used as an appetite suppressant.

I think there are two trends in spam- fear and greed. Greed is obvious, we all want money for nothing. Fear is mainly about our insecurities about being fat, floppy or bald. The Hoodia pitchers are trading on the fear of fat.

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Location, location, location?

I’m trying to put together a map of properties to let in Crewe and Nantwich, so we can work out where we should live next year. It’s shocking how few letting agencies give any indication of where their properties are. Some can’t even be bothered to tell us street or area names, let alone postcodes or even maps. One site had a property list from September last year!

Wright Manley, for example, list absolutely every detail about their lets, including dimensions of every room, but not even the street they’re on.

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Thrills, Pills and Spills

If you’ve missed the TV adverts recently, you may be unware that Bez has picked his favorite songs from the Madchester era and released them as a double album. The music itself is a great selection and the only thing stopping me from buying it is that I have most of the tracks already on other albums or compilations.

What’s currently amusing me though is the sheer number of tracks on the album which in one form or another are about drugs or are heavily associated with the drugs scene!