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The Half Shaman in Space: Testing the Machine Pattern

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I don't at this point in the writing understands why Jeb cruelly encourages Ant to complete the transformation. How did that slip in? 
Red-tail seizes the moment and salutes Uncle Puma and Thyal. Masking the sound of Crow’s leathery wingbeats with the purposeful scuffing of her feet, she makes her way into the southern crowd.
Crow settles on Red-tail’s shoulder.
The rest of us wait for a reaction but there is no comment from the invisible entity who I am tempted to label the enemy. I breathe out silently. Crow is one totem-alterity saved from the hunt to come.
Uncle Puma narrows his eyes at me and I nod. We can do this again.
“Ise, Man Lithe’n Limber, you organise in the east,” he says.
The machine pattern gives no indication that she heard Red-tail’s shuffle, or the barely separated names of Isis, Man-of-the-Forest in his totem-alterity, and Lithe and Limber. With an ape and two men on bare silent feet, Isis in her boots might be the only one making her way to the eastern doors.
I guess…

The Half Shaman in Space: Kosi Back in the Picture

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I stare so hard into the crowd that has Lithe and Limber in it that they turn and stare back. I don’t know what expression they see on my face but they pass their work to the nearest bystanders and start to make their way to us. Lithe alerts Red-tail by tweaking her braided hair and she comes too.
All the leaders in the same place again. What is it with us? “Were you in your Totem-shape when you first woke?” I ask Mongoose.
“On the platform. When I didn’t see you, I thought I would go look for you. You’re getting an idea?” Mongoose says.
I’m remembering. “The once-human, now-machine pattern calling herself Kosi Lionhair stole the Ark Ship’s de-and-re-constructor and installed it in this ship. She says. In Reception. Where we came in.” I shudder. “I so don’t want to be the only one to know that.”
“Well …” Red-tail says. “You have successfully spread it to the rest of us. And?”
As if it has been waiting for a cue, the Kosi Lionhair entity giggles. “One door-opener reporting for duty! Sir!” T…

The Half Shaman in Space: Save Us Again?

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An important segment in which Jeb faces her POD, her point-of-disbelief, which is the magic inherent in this science-fictional story-world.  [PODs must be explained in such a way as to be believable to the characters and acceptable as an internal truth to readers ... but this segment is the set-up for that to happen on a later day]  
“A message for those near enough to an airlock to see it in detail,” Uncle Puma says. “Pass it on. I want to know about any ridge, door handle, or slot on the outside of the doors, and I want to know about any keypads or other features besides, below or above the doors.”
He apparently does not expect any answers any time soon because he approaches me through the crowd by dint of changing places with the people in his way, each of them pressing past each other, and finally forcing Mongoose from his position. “Jeb, step down so we can talk without every man woman and child reading our lips?”
“Better if you step up, Chief,” Meerkat says. “See all the action from…

The Half Shaman in Space: Tackling the Airlock Entries

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Apparently, a human ladder is a TV trope. In The Half Shaman in Space, it is the only way out of a difficult situation and nobody is wearing striped pyjamas. An instalment where Jeb catches up with what's going on under the disk. 
Mongoose wants no comment on his furry state? I refuse. Processing my questions, I boil them down to one-word needs. “How? Why?”
He shrugs. “How? The reconstructor? Why? I don’t know. Everyone under the low part of the disk. All of us from Lotor.”
He takes me into the quadrant that is roofed by the disk hanging low overhead. Thyal is a rangy, striped thylacine. Ant is still the slim young man he was, but with insectoid appendages. He is in a state of incomplete transmogrification. He fends off sympathy by staring bug-eyed into the lost distances of Lotor. Man-of-the-Forest is a large reddish man-sized ape next to him. Isis hugs him, she is as speechless as I am. Meerkat, though furry, seems far too tall.
“Meerkat?” I ask.
“On watch,” Mongoose says. “Standing …