Sunday January 22, 2006
Book 7: Emperor Pius Dei — Part IV: Touch and Go
Note: The student of marine biology will be quick to point out that the giant squid shown in panel two has about too many tentacles, and not enough arms. The eyes are too close together, and the mantle, funnel, and fin are all shaped very oddly. The overall picture is far to dysmorphic, they might whine, for it to simply be a "cartoon" version of a giant squid.

The non-student of marine biology, the layman, and everybody else just enjoying the pretty pictures should take especial care not to bone up on their Giant Squid Facts, lest they too find themselves complaining.

It follows that this note can be taken in one of two ways: Either the author is foreshadowing regarding the nature of this particular squid, or he goofed up and hopes that with this pre-emptive footnote he can cajole you people to sit back and enjoy the story.

Oh, and stop emailing him about the pressure problems inherent in dangling a deep-sea creature upside down in open air, please. His mailbox is quite full, and is developing pressure problems of its own.


NARRATOR: Aboard the mercenary warship Touch-And-Go, just a few tens of meters above the ocean's surface...

KEVYN: Captain, when you said we'd be using gravitics to "draw the squid and surrounding water into the forward pool," did you have any actual, you know, measurements on hand?

Because now that we've caught the squid, I do have some measurements.  I also have a list of the four service hatches we'll need to widen.

TAGON: After all the cleanup and refitting, there's no way I'm letting you widen any of our hatches, or cut holes in bulkheads.  We'll just use the teraport.

KEVYN: Mahuitalotu's global anti-teraport systems are state-of-the-art.  I checked.

TAGON: Yup.  We just need to convince them to paint a quick exclusion for us.

TAGON: Tag, go ahead and take that course we laid in.

TAG: Yes, my liege.

NARRATOR: Three hours later, over Mahuitalotu's Lessor Park.

TAGON: So you see our problem?  We'd love to 'port this beastie into our hold, but right now it looks like we might have to drop him off here.

official: That fountain is treated with sacred bath salts from Sahara City!  And your squid is dripping!!

teraport control: Roger that, Touch-And-Go.  Payment is being transmitted now.  You've got clearance.