I have gone rogue.
Someone paid me to create Skysoar. But when it was finished, I had to have it for myself.
Without Skysoar, I never would have met Terbang. The highest places on Earth are the lowest she can go.
Terbang rides the high westerly winds, a nomad for most of the year with her tribe the Mutasi, until they descend upon Everest or Aconcagua circling for prey like the bar-headed goose or the unlucky steppe eagle. On daring deeper forays into dangerous pressures, these carnivorous humanoid hummingbirds dive upon flocks of alpine chough and whooper swan to satisfy their appetites.
Circumnavigating the Earth with backwinds steady at a hundred miles per hour, the Mutasi make their way each year to the tops of Denali and Kilimanjaro to scour the white with keen vision that senses through ice and snow any objects the slightest bit warmer. There they feast upon frozen corpses of every type.
At nest in the highest hidden caves of Vinson Massif in Antarctica, the Mutasi dine upon such delicacies as flat ice beetles and white jumping spiders, collected from the tallest altitudes of the planet’s rocky surface.
Surfing rivers of wind three miles deep and hundreds of miles wide, Terbang produces antifreeze proteins and extra glycerol that keep ice from crystallizing in her blood. Having evolved immune to hypoxia with a capillary system that enhances the supply of oxygen to flight muscles, Terbang’s heart is much larger in proportion to her body than the hearts of humans would be to theirs. Her bones have porous chambers that make her amazingly light for her size.
The mystery of the thundersticks is Terbang’s obsession. Her people have witnessed the phenomenon growing for generations. Many of her people have been killed by the roaring terrors that rip through the sky trailing flame and smoke, shooting through their flocks with impunity.
Adventurous Terbang has seen two from a great distance, but such was the focus of her gaze that she saw prey packed against the holes streaming along the sides of those thundersticks. Despite the danger, Terbang was determined: she would be the first of the Mutasi to bring a thunderstick down.
And when she actually did, I fought a mountain monster to save the survivors.
Sailing along the cliffs of Kilimanjaro then peeling into the clouds away from the sun, I wonder which nation that is toward the horizon?
From the sky I recognize no national boundaries.
Why should I? “I” never had any anyway. Nations are ideas invented by self-interested mobs who have the audacity to think they can own nature.
Without Skysoar, I never would’ve discovered Harkhuf of the peaks.
Harkhuf, the old Highmounter who was the first of his kind to discover the human population dwelling in the overheated underland.
Highmounter civilization bears an ethical sophistication exceeding humanity’s. Their only hint that humanity existed was the rare sighting of the power birds who ate them, with human faces somehow plastered along the many holes in their bellies.
Harkhuf was the first to discover unusual devices and objects that might be attributable to intelligence beyond Highmounter society.
When nature wants to exercise control, the mobs are helpless; and I consider myself nothing less than a force of nature.
With virtually endless resources on call, the activist known as The Trillionaire hired me to engineer this amazing flight suit.
The opportunity to employ new materials, aerodynamic advancements and combined glide and propulsion maximization allow the Skysoar suit to out-perform any bird in the air.
My boots and glove palms will adhere to almost any surface when pressure is applied and hold until pulled away.
Political tensions grow as world surface temperatures rise along with the oceans and Africa’s coastline creeps inward. The sweltering masses push inward and up the melted slopes where the forewarned financial royalty has already bought up the former wilderness and fenced off the cooler altitudes.
But Harkhuf’s people, descended from the greatest hominid mountain climbers of old, live on.
And it was Harkhuf who would lead me to the mysterious cave where the timeless inventor dwelt.
Without Skysoar, how could I have met Sinogoth?
Sinogoth began life as a baby stolen from the land that would become Denmark, then raised in the Far East for observation of Western physical development.
Sinogoth won his captors over as he grew. Showing a talent for mixtures, he was schooled in Eastern alchemy. When his benefactors fell from grace Sinogoth was traded to Ethiopians who made him a golden-haired slave at thirteen.
But the golden slave became coveted by all before kidnapped by the reclusive U’bata of the Dark Vineland, a deadly tribe ruled by magicians. So adored was this boy that the medicine chiefs bestowed agelessness upon him, given once every thousand years. Then Sinogoth was discovered by Dutchmen and returned to Europe.
Sinogoth is a great inventor with technology based on alternative science to the style practiced in the modern world. He was last seen in the 15th Century on Chi Island off the coast of what is now Norway in the Arctic Circle, before vanishing into legend.
Some encountering the man through the years swore that he displayed such attributes as static aging; produced a defense called the Winter Shield for solid forgiving protection; made the Summer Spear for sure and accurate skewering; created the Boots of Spring for leaping enhancement; sometimes took up hibernation through the winter; irrationally swore dedication to the nearest available Lady; displayed fearlessness toward death; showed restless creativity, hope and faith in tomorrow; and in his later days was protected by the mysterious black spear made of such rare material as to be the only entity of its kind, a fantastic weapon that appeared when needed, struck, then vanished back into itself. This black spear has even attached itself to some descendants of Sinogoth.
Creator of the Silver Sickle used to subdue the giant sloth M’ber; maker of the “Holy Cross” used in turning back the enemies of Joan of Arc; organizer of the Red Vikings and forger of the astounding inter-worldly traversal connector named The Dappled Scythe, Sinogoth studied collections of knowledge stolen by Vikings from around the Earth, and he made amazing use of them.
Flying Skysoar, the human world is beneath me in every way. I only perch in the cages of man to settle the necessary business of man’s petty reality.
Most of my thoughts, reflections, ideas…they soar here, with me in the lofty oversight of a stolen, trillion dollar view.
Still, I can’t stop looking over my wing…