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The ListMr. Tergils,
As per the new guidelines, I’ve earmarked this piece for approval before publication. Apologies for the lack of decisiveness; this is my first experience with our new format. Is Pypaluk too close to the mark here? We’ve printed this writer’s op-eds in The Noble Wanderer for years; there may be suspicion if we ‘lose’ this one. Please advise.
The Noble Wanderer
In a world governed by conspiracy, there are no accidents. It is no accident that the Rahmosian government - an administration bereft of moral fiber, steeped in corruption, and ruthlessly committed to destroying all civilization(s) it does not control – is the most successful on the face of the planet. Furthermore, it is no accident that Atelia – with abundant natural resources, a rich cultural heritage, intelligent, capable citizenry, and, most importantly, freedom for individuals to l
The Still HuntRahmos spent seven weeks training me and cut their losses. They took back their dress uniform and their guns, gave me a piece of paper by way of a trade, and put me on a fast airship going south. The paper said ‘unconditionally discharged without prejudice,’ but that wasn’t true. There had been plenty of prejudice. They’d put me and the other hungry nomad kids I’d signed up with into the 14th Regional Nomad Scout Unit (second class) and taught us to shoot at all the other hungry nomad kids who didn’t have sense enough to get out of Atelia. Without prejudice. What a joke. Without prejudice, the unit wouldn’t have existed. At least they got one part right; for the 14th it had been second class all the way.
They dropped me in Hammerlin and from there I walked. Two weeks later I made it back to the Fen. It was just as miserable as when I’d left. Two ragged old wooden pos
The Stealthy Passage of Lukas ZynnThe man with the wide-brimmed hat spat a red gobbet onto the snow. It steamed a moment and sunk into a little hole exactly the size of itself. His upper lip felt loose and numb - the kid had cracked him right in the mouth. He punched his weight and then some; nomad kids often did. But now the kid was a only a little black dot in the snow, shrinking fast in the distance as the man headed back into the trees. So far, the kid wasn’t screaming. But he would be, and soon.
The man had a long creased face with a nose like a blunt razor and no chin to hold up his peppery whiskers. His shaggy hair, just beginning to gray, poked out under the edges of his wide-brimmed hat. He was tall and thin and walked with his shoulders hunched against the wind.
His name was Lukas Zynn. He was on the run.
They’d started out from Hammerlin. The barman at the Pick and Shovel had sent the boy over and the boy talked and Lukas listened.
The Sleeping ChieftansTym had no doubt that the hardest hour for humans to stay conscious stretched languidly between one thirty and two thirty in the afternoon. Due either to vile and noxious atrocities committed over the course of many past lives, or because he’d not bothered to attend the committee meeting that decided such things, that hour was reserved for Rahmavay University literature lecturer Harrwig Tym’s Survey of Dark Ages Poetry class. His students abbreviated the course’s title to ‘Darkpo.’ Darkpo was scheduled in the slot immediately after the lunch hour, and Professor Tym’s students skipped with alarming regularlity.
The good professor paused his lecture, looked out over the smattering of students who had bothered to show up. Many of them snored softly in the mote-speckled afternoon sun filtering through the classroom windows. The more polite (or better rested) kept their heads studiously down, scribbling diligent
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