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Table of Contents

A girl's-own steampunk adventure series serialised in weekly parts. The second Harriet & Khuwelsa Edgbaston story.

Part 1:
Part 2:
Part 3:
Part 4:
Part 5:
Part 6: _to come_
Part 7: _to come_
Part 8: _to come_
Part 9: _to come_
Part 10: _to come_
Part 11: _to come_
Part 12: _to come_
Part 13: _to come_
Part 14: _to come_
Part 15: _to come_
Part 16: _to come_
Part 17: _to come_
Part 18: _to come_
Part 19: _to come_
Part 20: _to come_

#steampunk   #voidships   #sf   #scifi  
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Yes, when I get around to sorting out a cover.
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David Bowie - The Next Day

For your morning* enjoyment

*replace as needed for your time zone.
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Have you really only got three emails?

Said the guy next to me. This is a "bring your own computer to work" job so my laptop is sitting there showing my GMail account. So much for privacy - but hey there are only three emails showing.

"What do you mean?" I said somewhat confused.

"You only have three emails?" Translation Don't you have any friends?

"I archive them when I'm done with them."

"But what about when you need them?"

I archive them when I don't need them any more. I think to myself but I say: "That's what the search function is for."


The guy on the other side of me pipes up: "I use Boomerang?"


"Yeah, it's a cool thing lets you defer sending an email and other stuff. I'm using it to repeat send an email because of stupid people not replying."

I find Boomerang and load it up. Yup it's cool. I watch the instructional videos. Ooh, much coolness.

Minutes later: "Now I have no emails at all." I said pointing at my GMail inbox No new emails! it declares.

"What did you do?" Asks boomerang-user guy.

"I made Boomerang hide the emails until I want to be reminded of them."

"It can do that?" Says boomerang-user guy. "How did you discover that?"

"I watched the tutorials."

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Graeme Hague lives on a small property in the south west of Western Australia with his wife Lisa, two Great Danes and two donkeys. Apart from writing, he’s a professional musician and audio engineer. Currently he’s concentrating completely on the…
Graeme Hague lives on a small property in the south west of Western Australia with his wife Lisa, two Great Danes and two donkeys. Apart from writing, he’s a professional musician and audio enginee...
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Harry and Sellie face vultures and death...

Harry held the Pegasus in a tight spiral and descended rapidly. The vultures had enough sense to get out of the way as the huge metal bird circled down through their ranks.

Khuwelsa released steam pressure by opening the whistle and the Pegasus gave a long mournful hoot. Where the ship’s engine was completely alien to the wildlife and only caused upset when it was too loud, the steam whistle had an “alive” quality that launched terrified flamingos into the air and had the crocodiles that were investigating a free lunch, launching themselves back into the water.

The air was alive with vultures lifting off as Harry engaged the engine again to give the Pegasus manoeuvring power, and she stroked the wings to bring them down to a gentle landing in a space a short distance from the dark mounds.

She stared out through the window as the turbine powered down and the vessel went quiet. Almost automatically she flipped the Faraday switch and the Pegasus groaned as it sagged under the returned weight. There was a thump from the rear of the ship.

“Ow!” shouted Khuwelsa. “What about the signal?”

Harry did not reply. She stood up in the bow and leaned forward resting her arms against the window and staring out at the expanse of ground between ship and water.

“Oh, god,” she said. “Sellie!”

Khuwelsa came up beside her, stared out and her breath caught in her throat. “Oh, Harry, no.”

Scattered across the grass leading down to the water’s edge were the dead and mutilated bodies of at least fifty hippopotamuses. Their glossy black skins dried, cracked and pierced repeatedly with machine-gun wounds.

But worse, their mouths had been forced open and their teeth hacked out.

Harry’s hand went into her pocket she pulled out the tooth and flung it away as if it was poison. It clattered on the metal. “Burn it, Sellie.”

They stared at the appalling scene of death and destruction while bolder, perhaps hungrier, vultures returned and floated down to the carcasses.

“Their teeth?” said Harry shaking her head. “What’s so special about their teeth?”

“Ivory,” Khuwelsa said almost in a whisper. “Hippo teeth are ivory, and better quality than elephant tusk.” She turned to look at the wrapped body lying behind them. “Soldiers did this. German soldiers.”

Harry nodded. She moved round to the other side of her chair, bent down and unlatched a wooden box bolted to the deck. She pulled out a shotgun, and broke it open. She held it out to Khuwelsa but she shook her head and wouldn’t take it. So Harry put it on the pilot seat, took out the second one and a box of cartridges.

“What are you planning to do with those?” asked Khuwelsa.

“They might not all be dead.”

Khuwelsa sighed and glanced out at the bodies. The vultures were back in their hundreds. “Yes, all right.” She picked up the weapon, then added. “You didn’t land in the middle, did you?”

Harry shook her head. “No, if there are any alive they won’t try to charge us.”

They opened the door. The stench of rotting bodies wafted in on the breeze. They climbed out on to the grass under the baking sun. The air was thick with flies and the sound of their buzzing drowned out all other noises. It was like walking through a sandstorm except the grains were too large and landed on them. They pulled their flying goggles down over their eyes and kept their mouths shut.

The vultures were unwilling to lose their lunch to a pair of apes, arched their wings threateningly and squawked at the girls. Harry and Sellie steered a course between the bodies keeping their guns at the ready.

They reached the shoreline without incident. The flies thinned out a little and Harry pushed up her goggles. She looked back at the bodies. They had found nothing alive. Her best guess was that the soldiers had chased the hippos from the water somehow using whatever flying machine they had, probably a zeppelin. And then machine-gunned them.

The native tribes sold ivory to the traders but they did not have the advantage of flyers and machine guns. The traders brought it to the coast and sold it to people who carved it. They then sold it on to the Europeans and the Arabs.

She had not known that hippo teeth was ivory. They must be easier to bring down than elephants. Hippos were still very dangerous but not if you were flying above them.

As she imagined what had happened she grew angry. Angry enough to use her gun on the men who had done this. This was not like Zanzibar. Yes, those men had been the enemy and threatened her father—and the Empire—but she did not hate them. She was not angry with them.

These men she would harm without a thought.



“We’re not doing anything useful here.”

“No.” Harry shook herself. “Sorry.”

Khuwelsa laid her hand on Harry’s arm. “I know.”

There was a disturbance along the shoreline to the left where a crocodile had snapped a vulture and had it by the leg. The other vultures in the area exploded into the air. The panic went out like a wave across the field of death. They watched as the crocodile retreated into the water, dragging the vulture with it. It flapped its wings helplessly as it was dragged under.

She looked around behind them. More crocodiles were heading towards the shore.

“Let’s go.”

Back on board the Pegasus they stowed the guns. Khuwelsa got the furnace roaring and the pressure up. The ship stayed firmly on the ground with Harry staring into space.

“Do you want me to fly then?” asked Khuwelsa.

“I don’t know what to do.”

There was the hum of flies who had got into the cabin and were taking an interest in the body.

“We need to get rid of him for a start,” said Khuwelsa. “He’ll start to stink soon.”

“Johannes then,” said Harry. “We’ll go with plan A.”

She flipped on the Faraday and took them into the air with strong strokes then headed southwest at low height and high speed.


Find the Table of Contents for this story here:

You can buy the first Iron Pegasus book Harry Takes Off here:

To read other authors' work, click #saturdayscenes

#steampunk #sf #scifi #voidships
HARRY IN THE WILD Table of Contents A girl's-own steampunk adventure series serialised in weekly parts. The second Harriet & Khuwelsa Edgbaston story. … - Steve Turnbull - Google+
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+Kathleen Rovner It's what I do in all my stories. 
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Khuwelsa has a chat with Johannes about the body...


Khuwelsa decided she was not keen on plan A. Stars filled the black sky with the strip of the Milky Way snaking across it. She felt under-dressed and very cold. She wore nothing but a native kitenge they had bought with the hippo tooth from a family by the roadside.

It was all very well Harry saying it was a perfect disguise, and that Khuwelsa was used to it. Perhaps it was a good way to blend in, but she hadn’t worn one in thirteen years. In addition, just because her skin was black, and she swam naked in private, did not mean she was happy to go about in public in a state of undress. She was used to proper clothes, and she was separated from her toolkit.

But Harry was probably right, it would be better to find Johannes and get him to deal with the dead soldier. Of course they had no idea whether he was still stationed in the town. He might have been court-martialled for helping them escape. He might have been shot for treason.

She walked through the dark streets. There were plenty of people about—native Africans selling fruit at the roadside, Arabs and soldiers—and none of them gave her a second glance.

Khuwelsa headed towards the officers’ building they had been taken to when imprisoned. Exactly how she was going to get to see Johannes even if she found the right building was something Harry had glossed over: “improvise” she said. Which was all very well for her.

Something dug into Khuwelsa’s foot. She suppressed a squeal of pain and hopped to the wall to pull out a sharp stone.

That was another thing. Unlike natives who spent their lives going about without shoes, Khuwelsa was used to having a layer of thick leather between the soles of her feet and the ground.

She limped round a corner. The old Arab building stood there with light pouring from almost every window. There was a wall, though not a high one, and guards on the main gate. She turned away and stood trying to think of how she would get in.

“Hey, you!”

She glanced up to see one of the gate guards was heading her way. Her mind raced. Should she flee? No time and he had a gun at the ready.

He loomed over her. She went for an innocent look, though in the dark he probably couldn’t see it.

“What are you doing?”

If she didn’t answer soon he would think she didn’t understand him. She spoke in halting German. “I want to see Johannes.”

The fact that she spoke in his language took him back a bit. He hesitated.


“Johannes Schönfeldt.”


She thought quickly, perhaps if she pretended to be an informant. The Germans were paranoid about the Wahehe tribe who were a constant thorn in the sole of their collective foot. “I have information.”

“You tell me your information and I will tell Feldwebel-Leutnant Schönfeldt.”

“Will you pay me?”

That stopped him but only for a moment. “I will beat you if you do not tell me.”

“Johannes will be angry if you beat me.”

He thought for a moment. “Come with me.”

Even though he had told her to go with him, he expected her to go first while he kept a look out behind and his gun trained on her back. The shiver of fear that ran through her was not a fake.

The guard conferred briefly with the other one on the gate and then took her through into a shed that was set up just inside the entrance. Khuwelsa took in the lists of postings on the wall, the map of the area, rules about who could be admitted and what documentation was required. The Germans were always very well organised.

There was a chair but he did not tell her to sit, so she did not. It seemed the building was equipped with the new telephonic apparatus. She watched in interest as he wound the handle to generate the power needed to communicate first with a switchboard and then somewhere else within the building.

He spoke briefly asking that the Feldwebel-Leutnant come to the guardhouse. He did not give any further information which worried Khuwelsa, how would Johannes react when he saw her. Would he give the game away?

She was not facing the door when it opened behind her and the guard snapped to attention and saluted.

“What’s this about, sergeant?”

“This girl said she had information for you, sir.”

She turned to face him. He saw his eyes race from her feet upwards, her legs and knees were completely bare—she blushed but knew it was almost invisible—he paused around her bare shoulders and then looked at her face.

For a moment the look on his face showed quite clearly that he did not recognise her. Then his gaze became stony. He turned to the sergeant. “You can go back to your post.”

“Yes, sir.” He saluted again and left the room.

Johannes turned his gaze back to Khuwelsa. She got the very strong impression that he had no idea of what to say.

“Good evening, Johannes,” she said in English.

“God in Heaven, Sellie,” he said at last. “What are you doing here? And what are you wearing?”

“I am in disguise.”

He sighed. “Yes, very well. Disguise. If they knew who you were you would disappear and be talking to Saint Peter instead of me. Why are you here?”

“Long story.”

“Make it short.”

“Mind if I sit down? My feet are killing me.”

He gestured to the chair beside her, while he took the one on the other side of the desk. “I am all ears, as you British say.”

As Khuwelsa related the events of the day he looked steadily more glum. He had a nice enough face, thought Khuwelsa, but she really didn’t see what Harry saw in him. Harry may claim she did not have a pash for him, but she was only fooling herself.

“What do you want me to do about it?”

“Well, first thing is for you to take this body off our hands,” she said. “He must have a family somewhere.”

“And then?”

Khuwelsa shook her head. “Not really sure. Perhaps you can shed some light on how a bunch of German soldiers came to be slaughtering hippos for ivory.”

Johannes pursed his lips and brought his hands up on to the desk. “In order that Harriet and you can go chasing off to stop them?”

She shrugged. “That’s not my idea of a good plan.”

“You’re not Harriet.”

“No, I’m not.”

He sighed and sat back in the chair. He kept glancing at her shoulders, which was quite embarrassing. She was never going to do this again.

“I’ll come and look at the soldier.”

“And take him off our hands?”

“I’ll decide what to do when I’ve seen him.”

They left the gatehouse and headed out on to the road. There were sidelong glances from the guards but they could not say anything and Johannes did not have to justify himself.

They rounded the first corner. “You walk ahead,” he said. “I’ll follow at a discreet distance.


Find the Table of Contents for this story here:

You can buy the first Iron Pegasus book Harry Takes Off here:

To read other authors' work, click #saturdayscenes

#steampunk #sf #scifi #voidships
HARRY IN THE WILD Table of Contents A girl's-own steampunk adventure series serialised in weekly parts. The second Harriet & Khuwelsa Edgbaston story. … - Steve Turnbull - Google+
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Whew. That was intense.

I'll be releasing the fifth Maliha Anderson book this week, but I've just finished Harry in the Wild bar some wrapping up.

I just wrote 3,975 words of pure adrenaline action in just under three hours. I'm exhausted.

(Over 165,000 words written so far this year.)
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+Steve Turnbull Yeah it's not but I am known for writing a lot. I haven't done an update for a long while but two editors have mentioned how much I write and a few co-writers. 

Race or not I can say I may know someone who out does me. :)
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How many people remember Camel?

I discovered them through their Snow Goose album and I'm very much in the mood for relaxed prog rock today #sotired  
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Mad Max: Fury Road is an Understated Movie
*minor spoilers follow   Mad Max: Fury Road is an understated movie. Oh, I know, I know it's perhaps the greatest action/car chase/things-blow-up movie in existence. But it's also very understated and that serves to make it more powerful. One of the things ...
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I think we can all agree, a line needs to be drawn. But, I bet, every person you asked, would draw it in a different place...

The Cutting the Bloodline blog tour concludes with a guest post at Hellnotes.
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Please help this poor man.
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Funny and I actually have  a post about this movie and those amzing lines on my blog Just go to the category About writing
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Basic Information
Other names
Web Dev | Writer | Creator of Universes
By working day I'm a contract web developer. This means I move around from project to project, lots of different companies, building websites, specifically using Drupal. You can find out a bit more about that on my LinkedIn profile, along with all the other business-y things I've done.

The rest of the time I'm a writer of books and also a screenwriter which means I write scripts for TV and Film. Not that you'll have seen anything by me yet but this is one industry where you have to work at it a long time before you get to be an overnight success. You can read bits of my scripts by going my Shooting People profile.

One area which I'm working on with my creative colleague Chris is the Voidships Steampunk universe.

Serialised work FREE on G+

Read Journey into Space, a Jules Vernian tale of Victorian science and thrills.

The first chapter of my forthcoming steampunk murder mystery Wind in the East in six parts.

Published works

I have published books based in the Voidships steampunk setting:


And the pure fantasy Patterner's Path series:
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Two brilliant kids - and a best friend I've been married to for 30 years.
Writer (and develops webs for food)
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