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Wind Raker Preview

angelsallfire asked for a preview from Wind Raker, the fourth Order of the Air book -- preferably a piece with Jerry. So just for you, Jerry and a new, er, friend! Jerry is on his way out to see the dig site, having just arrived in Hawaii. Dr. Buck is the Director of the Bishop Museum, which is sponsoring the dig. Dr. Radke is to be his partner on the dig.

The buildings fell away behind them as they turned north along the coast road, traveling on an edge between the houses and shops on the seaward side, and the farmland further in. Jerry didn’t recognize most of the crops, though he guessed that the short, spike-leaved plants were pineapples; to the west, the surf beat against reefs and curled in here and there to beaches as pale as new bread. After about half an hour, Buck turned onto a road that led into the fields. It rapidly became little more than a rutted track, and Jerry tightened his grip on the leather strap. Buck downshifted, gears grinding, as they crossed a muddy irrigation ditch, and turned up a last steep incline. Jerry caught his breath.

Hawaii really was impossibly, unfairly beautiful. The pineapple groves were on the middle ground, rising above the beaches and the coast road with its shacks and more substantial houses; inland, the mountains rose sharply, lush and green and still forbidding, and all around him rose the improbable plants that would produced pineapples in due season. The air smelled of salt and freshly turned earth, and the sun was already baking his shoulders, making him glad of his broad-brimmed panama. Ahead, a section of field lay fallow. A newer model Buick was parked in the turnaround, under the shade of the single tree, and Gray and Tompkins had already started placing stakes in the soft ground. A teenage boy with a Chinese face stood holding a clipboard, and Radke stood beside him hands on hips, directing the placement of the stakes. He’d stripped to the waist already in the rising heat, and Jerry followed the line of his backbone with appreciation. He was thin but neatly muscles, and the light khakis suggested an equally nice ass. His months in the Chinese Desert had left him bronzed, and when he turned to face the approaching truck, the hair on his arms and belly caught the light like red gold. Oh, my good Lord… Jerry hoped he hadn’t actually said that out loud, and focused on getting himself out of the doorless truck.

Radke removed his hat and propped his sunglasses on top of his head. “Good morning, gentlemen,” he said, and when Jerry made himself meet the German’s eyes, there was a definite glint of mischief there.

“A lovely day,” he answered. “And quite a view.”

Radke’s smile widened for an instant to a smirk. “I’m glad you think so.” He turned back toward the unplowed field, and Jerry limped after him, his cane sinking slightly in the rich dirt.

“This tree is where Mr. Collins found the first pieces of porcelain,” Radke went on smoothly, and Jerry gave himself a mental slap. “I’ve had Gray and Tompkins start laying out the test trenches as we discussed yesterday.”

Jerry took the clipboard with its site plan and notes, pushing his glasses up on his nose, and saw Buck give a smile of satisfaction.

“I’ll leave you to it, then,” he said, and turned back to collect the Buick. His car, Jerry guessed, not the Museum’s.

“Does it meet with your approval?” Radke asked, and Jerry couldn’t resist a quick glance in his direction.

“Entirely, at least so far.” He took a breath, looking from plan to ground and back again. “Let’s think about extending the western trench a little further out of the field. The ground may not have been as badly disturbed there.”

“Yes.” Radke nodded. “Very well.”

Jerry looked at the plan again, focusing on the familiar minutiae of ground and plot, angles that would give good coverage. He was here to work, not to admire any of the scenery, human or otherwise. For a moment, he thought he could hear Gil laughing, and then the wind blew the sound away.

This is Melissa's scene, so all the credit should go to her!



( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 12th, 2013 03:11 pm (UTC)
Awww...Jerry's got a crush!
I love the bit at the end, Gil laughing. Thank you for posting this!
Nov. 13th, 2013 05:35 pm (UTC)
Jerry has a big old crush! He thinks Dr. Radke is the hottest thing on a tropical island. Unfortunately, it may not be that simple!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )