Up Ship

Chapter 2

Red Cross

At His Infirmary

The Viscount Sir Lawrence of Coronado KH, PC, OGD was livid. His normal good humour was outraged: someone had dropped three horribly abused children off at his infirmary and had then disappeared with a shout, leaving a terrified nine-year-old to try and explain. Obviously a familiar and, equally obviously, a familiar behaving in a criminal manner. The nerve! He was the Physician Royal to the King and he was by God going to get to the bottom of this! Then there was the felon who had been shot in the shoulder and the two capital criminals that had been bounced about before being trussed-up as if they were in the beginning stages of mummification. At least those patients were delivered under guard. Healing was his gift and his calling; he was proud of his medical facilities and they were not going to be treated with such errant disrespect. He was on a roll.

Lawrence, as it happened, knew everyone of any note in the government; was indeed, on first name terms with the King and the Earl Martial when the occasion was informal. It did not take him long to have Cornet James Miles-Pemberton, in the ornate uniform of the Guards Hussars with the Expeditionary Medal glinting in solitary splendor on his chest, standing tall in his office.

James was the respectable son of an established family; he was a serving officer in a very fashionable cavalry regiment; he was a younger son, but was provided with a handsome allowance so that he could afford to be in a cavalry regiment, otherwise he’d have had to be an engineer or a gunner where he could live on his salary. Just now, with his elven ears emerging from his stylish cavalry haircut, he most closely resembled a distressed lynx.

Next to him, in the scarlet full dress of the Prince Royal’s Own 24th Regiment of Foot, was a corporal. Corporal Oliver Winn was something of a presence. He was wearing the Coeur du Lion1, the Household with Swords, the Long Service medal, the Coronation Medal, the Trollian War medal, and the Expeditionary medal. On his sleeve was the Close Combat badge and below his medals he wore the Commando badge. Next to him was a small black and white cat who was an apprentice familiar.

“I should like,” Sir Lawrence, the Physician Royal, was glacial in his formality, “to know how His Majesty’s medical facilities can be expected to operate at peak efficiency when grievously injured children are dropped on the doorstep with a shout of, let me see.” He paused, glowering for dramatic effect, to shuffle some papers.

“Ah, yes. ‘Special Ops’. One wonders.” Sir Lawrence was only seventeen, but he strove diligently to glower convincingly, “One cannot help but wonder?”

Corporal Winn crashed to attention. “Sah! Was on me orders, Sah! Dropped a shot prisoner off, and them others too, yer knows. Later like.”

Lawrence looked-up, this wasn’t exactly the response he was expecting; nor was it from the someone he was expecting it from. He knew the Cornet was fraught.

The Corporal took the momentary silence as leave to continue his report. “Was on ops wid six men an’ Simon, ‘ere. So Simon finds crimes agin ’umanity.

“Was with the King in San Diego. He doan like ’umanity crimes. So we ‘ad to stop that toot sweet. Those kids was the victims, see, of the ’umanity crime.” He paused; he had been looking over the Viscount’s shoulder in the regulation manner. But he stopped looking there. “The King commands,” the Corporal continued quietly looking Sir Lawrence right in the eye, “And we obey.

“Onyway had ta get Simon back fer our mission.” He was back looking over Sir Lawrence’s shoulder. “We was under orders from Mister Miles-Pemberton an needed to get on wi’ it. Simon did what I tolt him ta do.

“So we finishes our mission an Simon drops the shot prisoner off and comes right back cuz I got other prisoners to transport and them suspects in the ’umanity crime, an then all the rest of us. That’s wot happened, Sah!”

There was a long pause for Sir Lawrence had no thunder left. He was really rather impressed. In a very few words, the Corporal had assumed full responsibility, explained the operation, and while doing so he protected his officer, his men, his familiar; and he had invoked the King’s Majesty. Hard to do better than that.

“Mister Miles-Pemberton, I’d like you to get with the director of hospital services and arrange a code of some kind, so that hospital personnel will not be taken by surprise again. I’ll drop a line to Colin about it.

The Cornet was now thoroughly flustered. He had been the merest spectator to the proceedings and now there was the use of the Earl Martials Christian name.

“Also, I am going to recommend Corporal Winn receive the Military Commendation Medal. I’m also going to talk to Colin and see if we can’t find a spot in the first class of the new military academy for him. If he wants it, that is. He might need some tutoring before class starts but there’s still plenty of time.

“Simon. Thank you. You did very well. Give my best to Colonel DeLucca when next you see him.”


Mennonite girl

Of Mennonite Descent

Tamara MacNeice had adapted well to a number of dramatic changes in her short life. Her father had died when she was twelve. This left her with her mother who managed to contribute to what savings her father had left by working as a seamstress. Tamara’s mother was of Mennonite descent, though her marriage to a Catholic man had resulted in a family with a sort of improvised Christianity that was vague on dogma, but provided a background for day-to-day hard work. The basic work ethic that she had inherited from her parents was firmly imbued in Tamara.

Then her mother had wasted away, practically before her eyes, from a cancer that was aggressive and largely untreated until her final days in hospice under powerful pain killers. Tamara had scarcely time to mourn and she found herself in foster care. She had barely settled into that life change, when she was kidnapped while sitting on a bench in the city park. A foul smelling cloth had been held firmly against her mouth and nose and she had passed out.

When next she woke, she was on a stretcher being taken down a staircase by two men in red coats. She fell unconscious again, and when she awoke the next time she was in hospital ward and a cheery young man with remarkable ears was singing softly to her.

She learned that she had been heavily drugged with the intention of turning her into an addict and forcing her into a life of prostitution to pay for her drugs. She spoke with some of the other kids in her ward and learned how lucky she was to have been rescued. She was given a private room in a barracks that was rapidly being turned into a sort of apartment building which would be used for the kids as they recovered. Many were in far worse condition than she was and would be longer in recovery.

Tamara was asked if she wanted to do something, and she requested the full range of sewing supplies. She had always enjoyed sewing, could also knit, and had tried her hand at needlepoint. The first thing she did was search out the nurse who had been singing to her; his name was Claude and she had noticed that his tunic was a bit worn and a little tattered. She made him give it to her and she went back to her room spent an hour or so on it, and then set forth to return Claude’s tunic. It was still a bit worn, but it was no longer tattered. She had also made a pattern of it and intended to make him a new one.

Claude spread the word, and soon Tamara was in business and was earning a little money. Her craftsmanship was neat and precise. It almost looked like machine stitching until you looked closely and could detect the minor variations that hand work inevitably displayed. Soon soldiers were bringing her uniform bits that needed repair, or insignia sewn on or removed as the case might be, and she was pleasantly busy and her little hoard of cash was steadily growing.

It was while she was watching the military drill of one of the Highland Regiments that was taking a turn mounting guard at the palace, that she knew that she no longer wished to be alone. In fact, in the normal course of events, adolescence had crept up on her and after allowing for a series of traumas in her world, it came on strong.

The ceremony she was watching was basically incomprehensible to her as her only knowledge of the military was from what she remembered of her rescue and her tailoring work.

There was the skirl of bagpipes and the thunder of drums. Incomprehensible orders were shouted and rifles were shifted about for no apparent reason. But then it happened. As a column of soldiers moved away down the parade ground, a whisper of wind, doubtless inspired by Cupid of whom Tamara had read. But of whose existence she was only just beginning to suspect, intervened. That breeze lifted a soldier’s kilt and displayed what he wasn’t wearing beneath it. Whatever else might lie beneath that kilt Tamara wondered, and her imagination went into hormonal overdrive as Cupid twisted his arrow just a tiny bit.

The next day, Tamara saw the Dodger trotting by on a gleaming dogcart pulled by a lovely chestnut mare. Of course she didn’t know who he was; he was just a trifle bedraggled while everything else gleamed and glittered. But he wore the kilt and she thought she ought to get to know him. She smiled the wingèd whisper at him. He looked up and met her gaze for a long instant.

Soldier from behind, with the wind lifting his kilt

A Whisper of Wind…Lifted a Soldier’s Kilt

Later, Tamara was asked if she wanted to return to her foster family on Earth. Somewhat archly she replied, “No. Thank you very much. My home is here.”


Raphael DeLucca took a sip of coffee. It was delicious. He imported it from the highlands of Æthiopea and roasted it himself. He was on excellent terms with the Principal of Isandlwana so he received regular shipments of these wonderful green beans at no cost to himself.

“Where’s everybody?” He inquired amiably of his bustling cook.

“Oh my,” she responded. “Who can tell. Here the one minnit. There the next. A hellferatious noise the one minute. The silence of the tomb the next. The silence is the time to worry. Somethin’ gonna happen. I declare. Action. Always action. It’s when it’s quiet, that’s the worrisome sort a action. Better the noise an that’s a sure. Iffen you can hear ‘em, you know where they be.

“I can tell you that they all ate: eggs, biscuits, crêpes, ham, sausage, fruit and blackberry jam to boot. Yes indeed, mighty fine boys the lot of ‘em.”

A platter appeared before the Colonel laden with three eggs poached to perfection, a generous helping of bacon, crêpes, fresh berries, and two syrups. She refilled his coffee.

“Thank you Lowri,” Colonel DeLucca murmured knowing she wasn’t finished as yet.

“I’m thinkin’ they’ll be to harbor. What with a new boat an all; I’m thinkin’ they’ll be serious about yon boat. Was what they were talkin’ about when they wasn’t eatin’. Just you listen fer a noise with dirt on it. There they’ll be. They be fine boys.”

Steam-powered wooden boat

Was What They Were Talkin’ About

And of course she was quite right. But then she almost always was. St George Kilverstone Davids and Theodore DeLucca were rapt. William was with them but wasn’t quite as interested being younger and with no naval academy pending; Cody and Kyle had dashed off into the village and were quickly involved in a football game with their neighbor pals. Theodore, William, Cody and Kyle had all been rescued from the street and the Rajah’s clutches. Colonel DeLucca had then legally adopted them. Ted, as he preferred to be called, was the eldest and he and St George were slated to attend the new Naval Academy this fall. But the future was somewhat in the background as they puzzled over the controls of the new boat. What lay before them was an incomprehensible jumble of valves and gauges and levers, connected by an assortment of pipes running in all directions at once. Nothing was labelled, there was no discernible code. Hell, it might even be necessary to ask someone how the thing worked.

Steam engine

It Might Even Be Necessary to Ask Someone How the Thing Worked

Resolved to action, they approached the man sitting at the end of the dock. St George, who liked to be called ‘Stoney’ by his friends, smiled a beautiful smile; it was the beautiful smile that routinely won him through any difficulty. “Excuse me, sir, but can you tell us about this boat?”

“Who’re you,” was the unsmiling response as his fingers continued to work on some sort of rope thing.

“I’m St George Kilverstone Davids, soon to be a midshipman.” The smile broadened.

“Pinnace belongs to Colonel DeLucca, is for his boys.” And St George Kilverstone Davids was dismissed out of hand for the first time in his life.

“Pardon me, sir, I’m Theodore DeLucca and this is my brother William. Stoney here is our mate.” Teddy was just a bit intimidated by the man. No one was smiling.

“Well, that’s the right of it, then. But first, don’t call me ‘Sir’. You calls me ‘Chief’ as I’m a Chief Engine Room Artificer of the King’s Own Navy seconded to Colonel DeLucca by the Earl Martial his own self.”

“Yessir,” Teddy and Stoney and William echoed.

The Chief almost grinned.

“First lesson about boats an ships. One hand fer you and one fer herself - herself being the boat or ship to hand. Fallin’ overboard or into the machinery is no fun at all. Climb aboard and go into the cabin and change into the coveralls you’ll find there. Runnin’ an engine room‘s no fer your walkin’ out clothes.” The Chief almost grinned.

When the three boys were properly attired, the Chief announced, “This is the boiler.” Their lesson began. For the rest of the afternoon they learned how steam was created in the boiler, it was not just a tea pot after all; how the pressure built up and then it was directed into the two cylinders of the engine, used once at high pressure, and then reused in the larger cylinder at a lower pressure; how it was exhausted into a condensing system that turned it back into hot water and then pumped back into the boiler to repeat the process.

They learned about the bewildering assembly of drain cocks, stop valves, trycocks, ball valves, check valves, by-passes, and “D” valves that guided the steam through the system; they learned the throttle, the reversing system, and the function of all the various pumps involved. The eccentrics were explained. The all-important “site” glass that told them how much water was in the boiler was emphasized and re-emphasized. They were then released with orders to return to the “pinnace” after breakfast next morning.

The Chief took them through the system again. They did not know all the right names, but they knew what was supposed to happen. After lunch, they lit a fire in the boiler and while everything heated they lubricated the engine and the Chief told them engine room stories, showed them what a “monkey” wrench and a “crescent” wrench and a “spanner” were and how to use them. He warned them of the hazards of pranksters — “left handed” monkey wrenches and “relative bearing grease” being mischievous inventions to confound and embarrass the novice.

When there was steam “on” the boiler, they were taught how to warm the engine. “You open these drain cocks so’s any water in the engine can get out. Water don’t compress, see, an if ya try to compress it, all’s you do is break your engine. Then ye stop goin’, see, an you’re at the mercy of wind and wave. And maybe the enemy, too.”

They spent the afternoon practicing on the lake. They took turns in all the positions: fireman, throttle man, oiler and coxswain. Chief Jones smiled upon his charges as this is how good sailors and engineers are come to be.


Hangar under construction

“That’s Fairish Huge”

Colin mounted on his charger, Ronald, and Justin on his beloved Kameyn, were riding on the grounds that would be the university complex as well as the landing field and zeppelin base. They were touring the grounds informally, and were escorted by a troop of the Guards Dragoons though Colin and Justin were not in uniform. They paused to admire the progress made on the main zeppelin hangar that would be used to construct the first airships.

“That’s fairish huge,” Justin commented.

“Well it had to be, my love,” Colin replied with the smile that always enchanted his features when he was alone with his lover. Their escort was well behind and comfortably out of earshot. And, though it was no secret that the King and the Earl Martial were in love, they were also reserved and discreet in public. “This will protect our first few ships while they’re being built. We’re also gonna build several hangars on the field that we can rotate with the wind.”


“Yeah, you know the Germans were always first and foremost when it came to airships and I sometimes wonder what they might a done if they had helium instead of only hydrogen. Anyway,” and he pulled his casual baton from his boot top. “The Germans built these hangars on tracks that they could swing around in a circle.” He made an elaborate circle with his baton, thoroughly entranced with his topic. “So they could swing the hangar around with the wind and put the ship into its hangar using the wind and never have to worry about a cross wind.” He stabbed his circle with his baton for emphasis.

“I’ve got a team of researchers and a familiar going through all the Luftschiffbau Zeppelin Company records and archives. We have all the current stuff off their hard drives, but there’s a great deal of information still on paper. Plus, we aren’t exactly asking them. Soon as this hangar is finished we’re going to build a small training ship.” Colin could barely contain his excitement and Justin looked-on with smiling affection.

“So my Light, have you given any consideration to marriage?”

“I’ve been mostly working on a test zeppelin. An we’re bringin’ the first Trollian regiment up to snuff. Plus we’re going to need to replace the old Enfield with a new rifle. And new artillery. We’re creating a naval and a military academy. Then there’s all the normal administrative stuff to oversee, so no. Haven’t been thinking about girls. An what’s the hurry anyway? It’s not like I’m going to love her or anything.”

“Well the Council is starting to mutter about heirs, and such, so you need to know about it too.”

“But it’s just not fair,” Colin emphasized. “Somehow we expect two young girls to marry two young guys. Then they get to get pregnant. But they get no love from the guys who are in love with each other and the whole world knows it! How can that seem attractive to any girl? Tell the Council to go fuck themselves.”

“Well, I don’t guess I’ll go there. But we are going to have to have heirs somehow. Think about it love.”

“I think the first hangar should go there,” Colin pointed with his baton.

Aerial view of hangar showing its turntable

They Could Swing the Hangar with the Wind

“You know, sweetie, part of the Trollian War was all about the heirs. If there are no heirs there is always the possibility of someone trying to start a revolution hoping to come out on top of the mess like that commie Lenin. Remember the scumbag Druchay who is still rotting in jail. We were sort of secret heirs. Don’t want to do that again. We both have to have heirs. The stability of the monarchy is essential to the stability of our nation.”

“But still, it’s not fair,” Colin repeated. The concept of being ‘fair’ was a quintessential part of Colin’s nature and was one of the reasons he was so successful in his job. “See we come around once a year or so to make babies and what do they do the rest of the time? They sure as hell can’t have boyfriends! That would never do, and even after the kids start to grow, what happens? The kids are off to school and getting trained by the governors and tutors and nannies and the Good Lord only knows what else. And then they’re off being taken on tours and such. What are the poor mothers to do? Would you have such a job? Besides, if I had a boy, I’d want him to spend a lot of time with me, anyway.”

“Well I have to talk to Cameron about it,” Justin said and the subject was shelved in favor of a wonderful canter across the expanse of the soon to be landing field. Kameyn and Ronald enjoyed the run quite as much as Justin and Colin.


Corporal Winn had felt expansive. He had met the Earl Martial who had presented him with his Military Commendation Medal. The Earl, who already commanded Winn’s complete respect and admiration, had won his heart too; he and Winn had discussed the San Diego rescue operation just as if their roles there had been co-equal. He had then commended Winn for successfully completing the rescue of the children and arrest of the counterfeiters. A mission that had had so much potential to go wrong.

Relaxed in the presence of the Earl, Winn had discussed his pending operation that would be his last before he basically started school in preparation for the Academy.

“I’ve every confidence in you Corporal. Every confidence,” the Earl Martial, Commander-in-Chief of all the King’s forces, had smiled, shaking Winn’s hand. It was a wonderful memory.

It was a warming memory in the drizzling rain of a dank Berlin alley. Winn waited for his men to assume their positions. Cold and dark, too. In the back of his mind, he resurrected the fond memory of chatting with the Earl Martial. Not every corporal could say that. Water dripped from the brim of his forage cap. Around front, Tich had assigned Smudger and Shiner to watch the front entrances. Tich was to be corporal when Winn was transferred so he was acting in command of the operation. They were not carrying shotguns on this operation, only their pistols. No resistance was expected. This was just a synagogue, after all.

When Simon confirmed that all were in position, Taffy opened the back door. The alarm remained silent. They left Charley to cover the rear entrance and silently entered the basement of the great old building. Naturally, they knew precisely where they were and where they were going. They had a plan and the benefit of a careful reconnaissance conducted by a small black and white cat.

Aaron, the night watchman, was dozing in one of the handsome leather chairs in the hall. He was seventy-three. As it happened, he was wearing warm dark clothing to keep off the chill, so he was not readily visible in the gloom. But he was seventy-three, and he never slept very deeply when he took his little naps at work. So it was no great surprise when a faint bump somewhere in the dark of night jolted him awake. He stood up sharply and turned on his light. This illuminated Winn and Dusty and, startled, they jumped on Aaron. Aaron would probably have been butt stroked if Dusty had had his usual shotgun; but fortunately for all, he didn’t, and no damage was done to Aaron except for an uncomfortable rumpling. But he was bound and gagged and hauled along into the main sanctuary with the rest of the raiders. There, he watched in amazement as the intruders removed a large golden Menorah from a black bag and set it on a table. His gag was removed. Winn shifted to English which, as he knew, all foreigners actually understand.

“We don’t know where this was stolen from. We think it was them nazis wot stole it. So here it is back.”

He looked at Simon and spoke with his mind. Simon, please call in Smudger, Shiner, and Charley. We’re gonna leave at the same time I don’t want to damage our friend here, an I want a bit of a show.

They’re on the way Corp.

Winn was rather proud of himself. He had very carefully pronounced the “h” in “here”. He was practicing this as he knew his English would have to improve at the academy. He smiled at Aaron, “We’re gonna take the ropes off yer. Just relax. We’ll be gone in a trice.”

When everyone was together, Corporal Winn shifted back into Welsh and instructed the men that they were all leaving with Simon from the main sanctuary. He had orders, after all, from Mr Miles-Pemberton that these restorations should have an element of drama and he thought he had a good idea of how to provide some drama here. They had done a good job. He shifted back to English for Aaron’s benefit.

“We’re leaving now. You should guard this. I’m gonna stiff in a call to the Bobbies so they’ll be ‘ere in a min.”

There was a bright golden snap-flash and Aaron was alone in the sanctuary with a golden Menorah. Dazzled by the golden flash, he fumbled for his cell phone and called his Rabbi.

By the time the police arrived, Aaron knew what had happened. A band of seraphim had appeared in the synagogue and had placed a golden Menorah in the sanctuary. He knew them to be seraphim as he had heard them speak to one another in the language of the angels. That was his story and he stuck with it for the police. And for the Rabbi. And for the newspapers. And the Menorah gleamed golden in tacit support.


They Spoke the Language of Angels


Are you Minerva, Miss? Ralph Cyffylog looked to the plump pigeon and silently asked politely.

Ralph was standing in front of the King’s new Rolls Royce; he’d just inspected it to ensure that it would be in faultless order for tonight’s drive. Ralph was First Chauffeur and tonight he’d be driving the King and the Earl Martial to a dinner given in their honour by two aristocratic families who just happened to have very eligible daughters available.

Ralph had known the King when he was first arrived at Ellendale. Then the King was just the Prince Royal and knew practically nothing about this new world and the country he would be king of someday. Ralph and his brothers had been teaching rugby to James Wolsey, one of the liegemen to Justin. Justin, thinking that they were involved in a great fight, or that James might be bullying the Bwca youths, went charging to the rescue. All was well, and it was Ralph and his brothers who came to think that it was they who had done the rescuing. They abandoned their plans to enlist in the army and were all in the King’s service.

I am, replied Minerva, cocking her head and fluffing a bit as pigeons do. I did not know you could talk to me this way.

Oh yes ma’am. Cameron and Copenhagen both taught me how to do it.

Well you certainly had two of the best teachers there are. She nodded with approval.

Rolls Royce

The King’s New Rolls Royce

So I was just kinda wondering. Could you actually fly to the moon? Do you think?

Minerva paced up and down the sill she was perched on. Yes. No. Maybe. Nope. She replied solemnly. Yes. Just as we can fold space to swiftly move from Ellendale to Earth, across both distance and a dimension. But on Earth there is air to breath and a climate to enjoy. Both are absent on the moon. So no. Of course, if those two sizeable obstacles could be overcome, then, maybe. But I see no way to do that so we gotta be technical and scientific and say — nope.

Did you know that on Earth they once sent a man to the moon? They built a space ship. And fired it into space. Landed on the moon and actually walked on the moon. I found a bunch of books in the King’s room and he let me read ‘em.

You go in the King’s room?

Sure, I’ve known him since first he got here. He’s a mate.

Well. So, how does a ‘spaceship’ work?

Ralph paused and collected himself. Well, part of the ship was a living space that protected the people from the environment; plus, they had made these suits they could wear that were air tight and carried air tanks with them.

So they shot the ship into space with these huge rockets and then set course for the moon, when they got there, they sent a second smaller ship down to the surface of the moon and landed on the surface. Then the guys walked on the moon with the space suits on. It was awesome.

Now it was Minerva’s turn to pause and stare, figuratively, into space. I think we could go to the moon with a ship like that.


Three-masted sailing ship

HMS St Brendan the Navigator

Ted and Stoney, newly minted midshipmen, stood closely together on the wharf as they watched their new home come slowly into the harbor. The first ten months at the Naval Academy would be spent aboard HMS St Brendan the Navigator learning the basics of seamanship and navigation.

There were forty-three midshipmen in this, the first class of the Royal Naval Academy. After their cruise, they would return to the university complex for more formal studies; they would spend ten months ashore, and then have a one month summer cruise, and then a one month leave.

The Academy was expected to last three years.

One of the midshipmen was the son of an earl and was rather full of himself. The noble son rather fancied himself the prince of the academy. St George Kilverstone’s close affiliation with HSH the Prince Ashmore was not known, and of course, Theodore was the son of a soldier which could not possibly be of any social consequence. In the natural course of events, the army-navy rivalry was already in place and there was some discussion as to whether the Army-Navy game was to be rugby or football. Most of the cognoscenti favored football as the more civilized game, and so more suitable for young gentlemen.


A group of military academy cadets

He Issued, Thereby, the First Order to the First Cadets of the King’s New Military Academy

A few miles away, Corporal-Cadet-Major Winn was preparing to order the first class of cadets at the new Royal Military Academy to fall in. There were forty-one cadets in the class.

They would spend ten months here, alternating between classroom work and field exercises. Then they would spend one month seconded to regular army units for on-scene experience and then have one month of leave. They were expected to defeat the Naval Academy at football.

Corporal-Cadet-Major Winn was the senior cadet by virtue of his rank as a serving non-commissioned officer in the regular army. His imposing array of medals2 confirmed this status as did the Close Combat and Commando badges. Several Elves of established families had been off put when they learned that their cadet-major was a Bwca, and a child of his regiment3 to boot. When first they met him, however, these concerns tended to evaporate for Corporal-Cadet-Major Winn was a presence. A presence that bespoke quiet confidence, ability, serenity and competence; he was a soldiers soldier in a soldiers place.

“Class,” his voice was pitched perfectly to command his men. “Fall, in!” He issued, thereby, the first order to the first cadets of the Kings new military academy.


Full moon

We’re Gonna Go to the Moon

“So,” Justin III, King of Ellendale, Second Magister of the Heavens, remarked to Colin, his beloved and his Earl Martial. “I was accosted by the Cyffylog boys in the garden this morning.” Colin and Justin were floating in the afterglow of loving sex.

“Mmph,” replied Colin affectionately.

“We’re going to go to the moon.”

“Okay.” Colin yawned.

1 This is the equivalent of the Purple Heart in Ellendale.

2 Military Commendation, Coeur du Lion, Household with Swords, Long Service, Trollian War, Expedition Medal, and the Coronation Medal.

3 His father was a serving soldier and his mother was attached to the regiment by marriage as it were. He became a drummer boy when he was old enough. He was a “barracks brat”. He was proud of it and proud of his regiment.