French Lesson: “Honoré de Balzac” = “No Hitting Below The Belt”

…now I’m gonna have to fight some Francophones

The Doclopedia #1,398

The Over And The Under: What Is The Secret Of The Over?

From Zarisa Joon Lattiro, an Overling: Our deepest secret? You mean beyond the fact that the horrid Rekusi really control everything? Why, that would be the fact that our lifters and anchors are failing. Yes, it is true, we will one day start drifting on the wind and dropping in altitude. The best estimate has our five floating islands coming to ground 500 miles east of here and probably being destroyed in the process. Plans at the highest levels are being made to lower citizens to the ground before the crash happens.

Oh no, the general populace doesn’t know this. They would fall to despair and then panic. Only a dozen Zars know it and we have seen fit not to tell the Rekusi about it at all. We will tell more Zars in a few months, when escape plans are finalized and the drifting starts.

No, I feel no fear. I am very old and may well die before the drifting begins. I am only glad that we will not fall into the Death Cloud and all perish.

From Imkio Yeffer, an Underling: Something is wrong with the Over. The pale blue light we see coming from the underside of the islands is not nearly as bright as it used to be. We aren’t sure what it means, but it can’t be good.

Another thing those of us who watch the sky have noticed: the islands sometimes slowly drift east. Not much, but after well over a century of never moving, that is probably a sign of something important. Some say that it may mean that the Over will soon be carried away by the wind. That would be very nice.

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