Globe Splitter is book one of the Methridia Chronicles; a series of stories set in a vast underground kingdom, written in the same spirit as the tales of Jules Verne and H. G. Wells. In 1892, Jonas Christianson, adventurer and inventor, finds his way to Methridia as he tunnels down through the Earth in his boring machine, Globe Splitter. His journey brings him love, unexpected wealth, and, ultimately, opens a pathway to the stars. The trilogy continues with the novels, King of the Moon and Wizard at the Gate.
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When Christianson stepped out of the transport, he was hard pressed to see anything in the darkness beyond. How could they expect him to find his way back to Globe Splitter?
"Could you show us where you entered the clearing?" Brem asked.
"I can't see anything," Christianson answered. "It's much too dark. We'll need to come back in the morning."
"Wait here," Brem told him.
He went back into the ship, returning a few moments later carrying something in his right hand.
"Put this on," he said.
It was a pair of goggles. The glass lenses had a gray, milky sheen to them, rather like lightly fogged smoked-glass spectacles such as the blind might wear, but they were hardly anything as primitive as that. As soon as he put them on, it was as though he'd been in a pitch-black room and someone had turned on an electric light. He could see everything as perfectly as if it had been in the middle of the day, instead of the middle of the night. He quickly found the opening between two fern trees through which he ran when he came up the riverside embankment and entered the clearing.
"There," he said, pointing the way. "That's where I came in."
With Brem at his side, Christianson walked briskly to the site.
"You and your men aren't wearing goggles," he observed.
"Goggles?" Brem asked. The word was unfamiliar.
"These," Christianson said, tapping the glasses.
"We don't require seers, Jonas Christianson," Brem explained said. "It was fortunate that there was an old device in the skipflyer's supply chest. Otherwise we would have been delayed while I sent someone to the ship to retrieve one for you."
"Our eyes are treated at birth. It is done with all who are to be Sacuan warriors."
Brem Edat's matter-of-fact explanation prompted a wealth of questions regarding Methridian society. Christianson realized that he had much to learn about his hosts. Their culture was far different than the one he left behind, perhaps filled with unexpected customs and taboos and dangerous in ways he could never anticipate. For all intents and purposes, he was alone, a prisoner, traveling through an unknown land, weaponless, and surrounded by highly trained, heavily armed warriors. As he made his way down toward the river, he had much on his mind, but the main question was what would happen when they reached Globe Splitter. Once they had his invention, would he live to see the sunrise?