110% humidity in Auckland today. 98% hasn’t been so unusual lately. Every day has been Muggy (even Tuegey, Weggy, and Thurgy have all been Muggy) but today the air got a little too saturated, and condensed into a gazillion tiny pieces of heavier-than-air water.
Rain, in other words. Heavy, constant, rattling on the window-panes, splattering Mrs Collins’ pink sequined slippers. I’ve ventured out twice, and would offer up a prayer of thanks-giving to the ghost of the chappy who invented the umbrella. That is, I would if I believed in prayer. Or ghosts.
I must Wiki the umbrella. These little portable roofs (rooves?) are superb on overly-muggy days like today. They keep my carefully coiffed tonsure dry, and stop large droplets forming on my spectacles. This, in turn, means I can clearly see the idiotically large Jeep Cherokee whose driver thinks would make a great tool for killing that pedestrian with the black and white portable roof.
So. Rain. I haven’t heard the old steam wireless today, but I hope that Waikato and Northland are also getting the rain: they’re both on the verge of drought. Of course, it wouldn’t be a grassy verge: more like a dusty one. It would be good to think their bacon’s been saved by the weather – unless, of course, they’re the sorts of humanity-free farmers who use sow crates. In that case, I think it would be preferable if their bacon were to be rescued by someone, rather than something.
Reading: Tyrant: Funeral Games, Christian Cameron. Good blood.
Listening to: Ian Anderson, "The Secret Language of Birds".
More “Paper Heroes” :
At the word “dogs”, Grey’s Puma gave a low growl, which was picked up on by the other cats.
“Colonel Blunt, we must emphasise that a lot of this is best-guess. While the ‘Merikans are not as technologically advanced as we are, they have developed a holographic cloaking system, which our satellites cannot penetrate. It changes appearance every few days: it may not look anything like this representation.”
Blunt nodded. For non-military people they seemed to have achieved a classic military cock-up. However, he accepted that at least they’d made the effort.
Weapons training went well. The longer weapons – Blunt and Whistler’s rifles, and Preston’s M16, were deadly accurate out to a thousand metres at least. When fired, the weapons sighed: the buckyball barrels were made of an extremely dense yet lightweight and rigid foam which served, in essence, as a silencer. At its loudest, it made a sound like an old man coughing. At its quietest – on a target no more than fifty metres away, it sighed; a sensuous sound, inaudible to anyone more than two paces away.
Crayne’s Crusader weapons included small smoke and flash-bang grenades, and a variety of thrown weapons: tiny edged boomerangs, various knives, even a razor-edged discus. His armour was a marvel, even to him. Several centuries before, his costume would have been seen as a technologically futuristic: lightweight, bullet-proof, flexible, and smart. It had had a built-in medical system that could take emergency measures in the event of a traumatic injury, and the communications system within the cowl was capable of talking to his various vehicles, computer network, and – of course – his butler. But his new outfit made it seem as primitive as Hanno’s swords.
The Sleepers spent four days on the range, testing their weapons to the limit, and discussing tactics and strategies. It came to them that, despite not actually discussing the question, they had all made the decision to go ahead with the mission.