Another Look at My Past
Frank Mills was returning from his mission to help call out the entire population. He had covered his
assigned area, including some places that did not even have a name. It had given him a good look at ordinary
life outside the military. Life was hard, here in the late Heroic Age. Food was scarce. Nobody had invited
him to dinner, although some had tried to beg something from him.
The human population was in dire need of more cropland, and the hssswwx had suddenly developed a better
military strategy. Frank could see why General Armstrong and the other human leaders wanted to end the
war now, not the distant future.
He could see the army camp ahead. It would be good to be back home. He now thought of the army camp as
home, he realized. Frank had hopes that Bob would start to respect him since he had done his route and
returned in one piece.
Here came Captain Scultz. He was going to yell at Frank for being late, or maybe for coming back too soon.
Once he had bawled Frank out for being too ugly. That was uncalled for!
“Mills, you are reassigned back to your old unit.” Said Captain Scultz without preamble. “No shame on
you, Tyndall came back.”
So Frank went back to the old group, including the ones who had come with him from the future. All his
meager possessions were with him in his saddlebags, so there was no need to go back to the tent where
Armstrong's personal guard lived.
“Hello Nelson. I'm back.”
“O h, hi, Frank. You didn't miss much.”
“Has the entire army been here all the time I was mobilizing the population?”
“Frank, we have not been anywhere else. Keep your ears open and you will hear all sorts of strange rumors.
I honestly don't know what General Armstrong thinks he is doing.”
Bud Grace tiptoed up to Frank and Nelson. Before speaking, he looked in all directions to see if anyone was
looking. All of which was peculiar because they were standing out in the open, with dozens of men milling
After a moment Bud was satisfied that it was safe to speak. “Did you hear?” Bud asked mysteriously.
“What?” Replied Frank. He could tell that he was supposed to say “What?”
Bud took another quick look around and then whispered “I heard that they are going to put The Fair Winds
back together and use it to bomb the hssswwx from above. Then The Fair Winds will bring every one of us
to his new farm in what is now hssswwx territory. Every one of us will get 80 acres and three cows. Plus a
good looking wife that knows how to cook.”
Frank just looked at Bud in mute dumbfoundment. To start with, the remains of The Fair Winds had never
been found. There were scattered bits of metal and equipment in all sorts of places that tradition said were
from The Fair Winds. But the actual remains of their ancestral ship had not been found.
Frank's mind was spinning trying to sort it all out. Everyone assumed that the rusting hulk of the old ship
was somewhere on the surface of Altgeld. But suppose Bud knew what he was talking about (!!!?!) and The
Fair Winds was going to get back some kind of flight capab ility. In that case, in could have ended up in a lot
of places!! The implications were staggering. (Historians get all worked up about things like this.)