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Excerpt from The Winged Child, chapter four:

     She boarded without incident, and sat next to a willowy, dark-haired woman who spoke a mysterious language and made small talk via her obsolete hand-held Unitrans device. It turned out she was a Buddhist missionary from Nepal.

     The big jet leveled above a brilliant floor of cloud, President Isadora Horne, who had been elected by the newly installed National Legislative Council to replace her father who died mid-way through his fourth term, was speaking on the video screen at the front of the cabin…the elitist resisters certainly have the right to live their lives in whatever way they desire, as long as they don’t impinge on the privileges of loyal citizens. At some point, for the sake of common harmony, it may become necessary to designate geographic areas for their residence, much as when reservations were established by our forefathers, and mothers, to preserve their own society and, I might add, to insure the safety and continuance of the aboriginal populations that failed to accommodate.

     Millicent turned up her Earworld and drowned Isadora’s declamation in Celtic ambiance that brought professor Benjamin Ryder back to mind. Three of the books on his list would be waiting for her when she got to Asheton. She was eager to be back in a town where some people still drove their own cars. Although the state legislature was considering a bill that would outlaw private vehicles, Joshua had insisted his daughter maintain her driver’s license.       
     Millicent was the only registered driver she knew among her friends at University. New cars now weren’t even equipped to accommodate a human driver.

As the aircraft banked into its eastward run, She could see the morning sun breaking above the overcast. Away toward the horizon, a long serpentine cloud writhed above the rest, spewing flamely light. It looked like a dragon, she thought.


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