By Stephen Baxter

Researching a brand new point, Anti-Ice, a mysterious substance that unleashes giant energies whilst warmed, a millionaire industrialist goals of energy from an merchandise that delivers global peace--or international destruction.

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Three nozzles like gaping mouths hung in the craft's noonday shadow, and I noticed now how the deck surface beneath the nozzles showed signs of scorching, even—in one or two places—of melting. Traveller said, "Enjoy your stroll, did you? " He reached and took our empty champagne glasses. " He turned and hurled the two glasses as far as he could into the air. Sparkling and turning they flew clean over the side of the Albert, and I winced as a tinkling crash and cries of protest came floating up from the throng gathered below.

I'm sure our Mr. Dever knows his stopcocks and bulkheads, but he is a diplomatic disaster. " I peeked at the French, but I disagreed with Holden's gloomy diagnosis; the young continentals, looking like a handful of flowers thrown into the midst of the great machines, peered at the huge engines with every sign of excitement and anticipation. Perhaps the charm and novelty of the vessel itself were outside the scope of Holden's cynical calculations. I tried to make my way toward the fragrant Françoise, but would have succeeded only at the expense of discretion and good manners.

At last we slid over the Parc du Bruxelles, a pocket handkerchief of green and white spread out over the breast of the city, and moved on south away from the city. The countryside to the south was green, quaint and almost English—amid which the Prince Albert graving-yard, which soon came sliding over the horizon, was a startling splash of cobbles, rusty iron and oil. At about six in the evening we arrived at the land dock terminus. The velvet-clad girths of a party of matrons preceded us down the Mechanical Staircase to the ground, and Holden and I were amused to observe these ladies picking their way through the mud and rust of a dockyard, their hems swishing through oily puddles.

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