Subsubsection: 4 February 2015 (back to England, and down the Channel Tunnel) Up Subsection: The Forever City Subsubsection: 11 March 2015 (finding Makan-la and the Forever City) 

18 February 2015 (harpies and a troll in the Tunnel, then out to Mumbai)

They eat and rest, then set off next morning down the southern bore. Some third of the way across, Diamond hears a sound of flapping ahead; there’s a barely-visible humanoid figure pressed against the tunnel wall.
Sadly for them, the harpies do not try to ambush the party, but instead let loose with their blood-chilling shrieks (the group’s blood is noticeably un-chilled, though David hesitates for a moment) and fly forward. Diamond shoots with pistols (her night-vision goggles helping), and Thorfin and Stephen join in once the harpies are close enough; they have tough skin, but not enough to deal with bursts of gunfire or even a hard-driven crossbow bolt.
The harpies’ nest is nearby; there are some coins, knives, and other shiny things. The party continues to advance until the reality storm-front is visible, then crosses to the other bore, retreats a little way, and camps for the night. The next day they head back out, and load up with food and camping gear. The last trip in is along the central service tunnel.
They pass through the reality storm, which is several hundred yards deep. As Thorfin and Stephen emerge, a large humanoid figure that’s been concealed by the light and noise of the storm itself leaps out at them, slashing with long metallic claws. Thorfin blocks its blow with his shield and pulls out his pick; this is a troll, and he knows how to deal with them. Gunfire also works, as Stephen shoots it point-blank and Diamond flies overhead and shoots it from behind; it looks confused for a moment, then falls over.
Trolls don’t usually have Cyberpapacy-style long claws mounted on their hands, mind you. The group does some butchery, as these may well make useful knives.
This side of the reality storm, the tunnel is still un-lit, but it’s much smoother: sprayed concrete, distance signs, and a standard maglev trackbed which shows simply as an indentation in the floor.
The group continues, eventually approaching the crossover chamber near Calais. With the night-vision goggles and decent senses, Diamond spots a slab-sided, low-profile shape that while it’s unfamiliar to her does effectively convey the message “armoured vehicle”; David’s able to identify it as a Samson hovertank. The party fades back before they’re seen, and confirms that there’s another one facing down the other bore. Taking on tanks is outside their mission remit, so they return (with more sleeping in the tunnel) to Ashford, and then to London.
They report on the situation to the various interested parties (David’s resistance friend Robert, the Department of Administrative Affairs, and Tolwyn’s liaison with the British government), then spend a few days gathering equipment. There hasn’t been much demand for mountaineering gear in London since the reality storm hit, so that’s not too hard to arrange. David puts hilts onto several of the troll’s metal claws. Stephen takes David and Thorfin through the basics of climbing technique on Centre Point.
They collect the Possibility Chalice and Signal Fire, as well as some deutschmarks and gold, then cross the Channel to Schiphol, fly to Mumbai, and make contact with Jagdeep Narindra Singh, who’s glad to see they’re still alive (it seems he’s won a bet with one of his fellow charter pilots). He’s entirely willing to fly them into Tibet, though there are logistical difficulties; the nearest base where fuel can easily be got in is Tribhuvan International Airport at Kathmandu, which will add a couple of hundred miles’ flying to each day’s search, and the altitude means a pressurised aircraft would be best. He can get hold of something suitable, but it’ll take a couple of days.
 Subsubsection: 4 February 2015 (back to England, and down the Channel Tunnel) Up Subsection: The Forever City Subsubsection: 11 March 2015 (finding Makan-la and the Forever City)