Another Look at My Past
Landington, year 20
Captain Samuels walked down the main street of Landington. It was the only proper street, although
Landington was a good-sized settlement these days.
The former starship captain turned to see who had hailed him. “Little Eldon Smythe!” He exclaimed.
Captain Samuels shook his head at himself. Little Eldon Smythe was 20 Altgeld years plus the three earth
years he had attained before leaving The Fair Winds. An Altgeld year was 1.4926 earth years. Call it 1.5 to
1, and Little Eldon Smythe was 33 standard years old. But he would always be Little Eldon Smythe to
“Captain Samuels, there are some men here to see you. This is George, and this is Sam.”
Captain Samuels kept a straight face. He knew everyone in Landington, and he did not know these two.
That could mean only one thing. They were from out of town.
“Pleased to meet you George, Sam.” Captain Samuels shook hands with George and Sam.
And he stood there looking at them. A lesser man might have been all friendly and chatty, asking if they
wanted some coffee. Captain Samuels just looked at them with his direct gaze.
“We came here from Lodebar to get some good steel from the ship.” It was George who spoke up.
Captain Samuels felt a small satisfaction. He had made them tell where they were from, without him having
to ask. That was enough.
“O f course. Article Two specifies that any descendant of the ship's company of the Fair Winds can with
reasonable need have a portion of the ship.” An unwritten corollary to Article Two was that you had to ask
Captain Samuels first. And Captain Samuels was cordial enough about it.
“Eldon, go with these men and help them out. And take the transversal biaxeliator to get the hull plates off.”
Eldon turned to comply, but first he said: “The transversal biaxeliator broke late last year. Broke clean in
two. I kept meaning to tell you.”
Captain Samuels was taken aback by this statement. “How have you been getting the hull plates off?”
“If you hit them hard enough with a big hammer they come off.”
The same time, 100 miles away.
“O ne Who Speaks Before Others Speak, I most earnestly seek communication in the very near future.” Forty
Seventh One waited for an answer.
“So talk! Is that very near future enough for you?”
Forty Seventh O ne shuffled his rearmost feet as a sign of being offended. “First Speaker would not have
“You will not speak that name in my presence again. That one did not act as he should have, and the
consequences have made maximum ungood for all of us with six limbs.”
Forty Seventh O ne saw how this communication could be channeled to his ends. “O ne Who Speaks Before
Others Speak, it is this very matter about which I have desired communication. We hssswwx need to come