The following hand-written letter arrived in an ivory-white envelope sealed with red wax stamped with a icon I have never seen before but which could be best described as a needle thrust through the center of an Egyptian-stylized eye.

Dear Lady Birdcage,Now that you have had time to consume the journal of my travels, I cannot help but wonder what you might think. Please, do give me your most candid responses. Do not worry that I might be offended if you find them too fantastic to believe. I myself find them too fantastic to believe and I was there! Guard my journal well, dear Lady, for its revelations will shake the very core of our rational, secular society.

I have one last Event with which to share–one that did not make it into my journals as I had not yet time nor strength to make record before we were rescued by the Tzar of Munster (of which the events that imediately followed are now notoriously well known).

As our raft was being pushed up and through the Maelstrom my eye happened to, by pure chance, fall upon a similar raft as our own, in much better shape I might add, heading in the opposite direction and clearly being drawn downward. Wiping the water from my eyes I could make out more clearly a group of people aboard the raft, three women and five men, all paddling for their lives. Professor Guld’s unmistakable shock of flaming orange hair was impossible to miss and it was quickly evident who the party on the other raft were.

Mott, Peeblecroft, and Reverent Smythe were among them still, alive and well. Ms. Murakami was not yet heavy with child. Miss Fletcher had not yet stayed behind to be worshipped as a goddess. I still had both my arms and as for Professor Guld, he appeared to still be quite sane.

Oh had I but the strength to shout some warning over the roar. If only I had had the strength to wave my arm to warn them away or, at the very least, beg them to steer clear of the Cave of Crows. To not take the left-handed path around the Great Hive, nor attempt to swindle the Pichu.

Part of me wonders what would have happened if I were successful in gaining there (our) attention. Would the world still have held together? Or splintered into a thousand shards? Part of me is relieved that we (they) passed into (out of) the Maelstrom relatively unaware of the other, but then again, I miss my arm and I feel as I shall never be warm again.

I would most like to know your thoughts and perhaps, my dear Lady, receive some comforting words from you.

Your servant,

Ada Lovelace

The only Professor Guld I know of off-hand is the author of a small book on Anglo-Saxon poetry. Internet searches don’t tell me much more other than that he may have been one of the founders of the University of Sao Paulo.

Next comes a letter similar in form to several others I have in my possession. Crimson ink on pressed-rag paper crudely folded and stuffed into a brown envelope…

Dear Sirs,

We have taken a vote and have decided, as a group, that if the signal does not come soon, we will take an active hand in promoting those events which will thus speed the necessity for the signal.

We are quite serious about this. Some of us have families we have not seen in years.

(unsigned)

Enclosed was a large, rusty sewing needle. I have no idea what this means.

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We did the Gaelic Storm thing last night. It was a great show as always. I wasn’t fond of the venue which was the Showcase Live at Patriot Place, but we made do and got ourselves into a very good position near the front of the stage where we like, right in reaching range of the band. Good times. The only hassle were drunken idiots to our right who shoved there way in front of a couple of little kids and then proceeded to screech quite piercingly at times. Fortunately Gaelic Storm is a great enough band that even the idiots couldn’t ruin the night.

For those interested, Gaelic Storm is playing Saturday night in Northampton, MA and you can see their tour schedule at GaelicStorm.com.


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Today’s link goes to the latest entry in Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s Freelancer’s Survival Guide. The topic this time around is Workspace.

While I’m tossing links around, my latest column at Forces of Geek is also up. This week: Spoiler-Sport: A Rant and a Modest Proposal.

Cheers!