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   Chapter 30 No.30

Free-Wrench By Joseph R. Lallo Characters: 5235

Updated: 2018-01-19 12:02


Gunner walked up to the railing beside her. "Nice to see you aren't making any more offerings to the sea, " he said, fiddling a bit with the liberated weapon under his arm.

"Look at it, Gunner. How can you help but be awed by it?"

"The Lags? They're one big cesspool of a place. What's to be awed about?"

"I mean the view. Do you know how many painters I know who would give their firstborn children to paint a landscape like that?"

"If you wanted to see the world, you shouldn't have closed your borders. Although I'll tell you that most of the world isn't half this pretty when you get up close. And something that's only pretty from a distance isn't really pretty at all, is it?"

"Beauty is beauty. It is present at any distance. You just need to learn how to see it."

#

As deeply as Nita believed that there was beauty to be found in anything, she had to grudgingly agree that some places did a better job of hiding it than others. The Lagomoore Islands, for instance, lost any trace of beauty once the ship was near enough for them to see the clusters of rusty, ramshackle buildings and smell the rancid and acrid smoke that rose from them. The perfect, little points of emerald visible from the sea revealed themselves to be cluttered with the remains of easily a dozen airships that had crashed or, judging from the looks of the people milling about on the shore, been shot down. The Wind Breaker's lazy spiral downward took them on an aerial tour of the largest island, where three more airships docked. Each ship had a unique configuration,

ugh, but climbing the rigging turned out to be easier said than done. Nevertheless, she managed to reach the top with a bit of effort. Lil hauled the bucket up, tied off the rope, and pulled out the brush.

"The first step's easy. Just slather a bunch of this black stuff around and over the hole." She planted one foot on a knot in the rigging and swung out over the deck, reaching as far as she could and giving the fabric of the envelope a few good swipes. "Then you do the same to the cloth there. Not too much now. Then you slap it over the hole like that. Now the tedious bit. Gotta tie a sling so's I can get a good angle on this." She pulled up some of the slack end of the rope and tied a loop to the top of the rigging, then slipped her arms through the loop and stood against the rope, stretching the loop to its limit and positioning herself directly below the bulging patch. "Now you just sew it. Gotta do three rows."

"You seem awfully comfortable dangling above the deck like that, " Nita said, a bit nervous just watching.

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