“In the eleventh hour, both Baron Akiyama and Fumihiko Kumoi and their attendants slowly entered as they urged forward their accompanying carriages. They briefly inspected each corner of their airships, bowed to all, entered their ships, then quietly lay in wait for the sound of the signal gun.”

“Under the snow and ice, its color was an uncommon yellow—or maybe a faded orange. Its shape was oddly industrial. I couldn’t determine the make or age. None of the climbers on that day were wearing a parka that color. Was this someone from a later expedition? How much later? How long had I been here?”