Enna relished her flights in the spotting balloon.
She loved to see the Expedition train strung out across the Lowland’s arid plains, with its spindling-drawn wagons, the chains of servants and bearers, the gleaming coach that transported her father and his precious books, even the small flock of runner-birds. If the weather was fine the Philosophers themselves would walk, marching into the Lowland’s mysteries, arguing endlessly. The Lowland Expedition was a grand gesture of the civilization that spawned it---and it was brave too, for all the explorers knew that they could never go home again, whatever they discovered.
Down there was Tomm, one of the junior cartographers. Whenever Enna flew Tomm always wore a special red cap so she could pick
---Stephen Baxter, The Lowland Expedition, Analog, April 2006, p 60.