Sherpie #1


Sherpie stepped in from the punishing heat, following the engineer. Under the installation's shade sat planted a squat machine. A geothermal heat exchange coupling, its consoles had been recently removed.

"You're here to get the power rerouted," the workman removed his sun-visor, and set it down on a panel.

"No. Believe it or not we want this one decoupled."

The engineer reached for a packet of cigarettes in a pocket over his breast, and turned to an exposed part of the heat exchange core, as if he hadn't heard what the visitor had just said. Two enormous friction plates were visible from within the giant pressure cooker, glowing red-hot. The workman reached in, quickly, wielding the cigarette.

"Want a light?"

"Why not."