I thought that “takeoff” was frightening, but “landing” was even worse. I am told that the shaking is worse on military transport aircraft, but I can’t imagine how unsettling it would be to travel inside of a still, quiet flying machine. Landry attempted explain how the flying works, but all I understood is that birds use similar mechanics. Still, birds are not large and metal. I dared not tell them of dragons of legend that are said to still roam the Northlands of Gaileas, larger than the “plane” that we travelled in.
Many of the soldiers had difficulty believing that we were from a parallel world. I explained the basics of the concept to them, but Chambers in particular has made his views clear (though quietly, so I don’t believe he knew that I could hear) that we are people from a foreign nation and “probably go through body modification” for our ears. The rest (besides Landry) are merely skeptical, which I suppose I cannot blame them for. Regardless of their views, they are diligently following their orders, and are invested in protecting the population.
After landing, we met with Major Thompkins one last time to discuss plans. He said that we were to be included as special consultants, but “are vital to the mission, and must not come to any harm”. I felt a bit embarrassed by the special treatment, but Golbras and Rolan took everything in stride… while Fedron acted as though he deserved the attention. I truly don’t understand how he became a priest in the first place, but he must have some role to play in the coming weeks, otherwise the Council would not have assigned him to such an important task.
Major Thompkins went on to explain where our squads were all assigned, with our group going to the Northern coast of a place called “California” and continuing North into other territories. Fedron was going South to their border, while Golbras and Roland would travel through inland cities and investigate there.
After further declarations of intent and work, the Major stayed at Fort Hunter to organize more search parties while our “special” squads gathered supplies into their military transport vehicles. Their ground transportation is much more compact than the air transport that we had taken, but Landry also pointed out many smaller “aircraft” that they use for war. There is so much to learn about this world, but their obsession with making increasingly effective machines to kill one another is apparent, and it makes me uncomfortable. I am glad to be on their side for now, and wish to never see what happens to their opposition.
I met with the priests to have a meeting before we parted on our journeys. We have been informed that there will me ways to contact each other over long distances whenever needed, which is at once staggering and comforting. We said our goodbyes to one another in turn. I bowed to Golbras, and he returned in like. I took his words very seriously, as he said to me “You are as capable as any Priest or Priestess, and you will be an asset to these people. Trust in Gavlan, and trust in yourself. Be observant, and you will succeed.” I bowed to him a second time, thanking him for his kind words. I wanted to assure him of his own skill, but he smiled at me and I knew that nothing further need be said.
I turned to meet Rolan and received a heartfelt hug. He squeezed tightly, assuring me that Golbras knows what he is talking about. I laughed, and Roland whispered into my ear to “be kind, but be aware, and follow the evidence to the truth.” We parted and I have him a strange look, but he grinned as though nothing had been said. I wanted to ask what he had meant, but he turned and walked away sealing the connection that his words were only meant for me, and were not to be discussed from the others.
I turned to Fedron, and merely received a nod. To be perfectly honest, it was more than I expected of him, and I was glad that I didn’t have to sit through a conversation with him. He seemed distracted by something, as though he had another goal besides what we were working on. I suppose that is his perpetual state of being though, always focused on something else instead of what the Church decides. I suppose I’m being too harsh on him…. He just makes me so uncomfortable.
I walked with the others to a “Hummer”, which was a rather blocky looking transport vehicle. Our squad was designated two of them, one of which has what I’ve learned is a “mounted machine gun”. It it able to shoot tiny bolts of metal at very high speeds. I didn’t need a demonstration to understand the concept, but many soldiers were more than happy to show their guns to me. I politely declined, and a few of them were even scolded by their commanding officers. Perhaps I’m missing something there. In any event, the Specialist will be the driver for our vehicle, and she has advised that I sit in the front seat with her to have a better view Of the areas that we drive through. I am expecting some amount of motion sickness, but I believe that I can relieve the symptoms if I can manipulate my Light without notice and calm my stomach. I still do not wish to share my ability to manipulate the Light with the others, as that may cause undue stress and distract from our true mission. These are Rolan’s words, but I agree with them. Here’s hoping that the journey is calm, but enlightening.