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   Chapter 59 Preachers and inventors

Bactine By Paul Kater Characters: 11997

Updated: 2018-02-11 19:03

"This is not going to work." Daniel had spent some time trying to go back to sleep and failed. Again he lit the candle and tried to decide what he should do about that. More reading? No, that was not the way to go. He'd done enough of that. He'd also run out of ideas for the airship.

"Fresh air. That usually helps, " he remembered. Quietly he dressed. As he was about to leave the room, he stood still for a moment, looking at the hydger. Better to take that along. Suppose it would make its noise and wake other people up. With the box in a pocket, he walked into the corridor and then left the house.

Two of the three moons of NGC6637-VIII were high in the sky and set the area in a very intense light. Daniel turned right and slowly walked up the slope. He knew that the view over the area and the bay was magnificent from there, and now he had the chance to see it in the moonlight.

The walk up the hill was good for him: he had to focus on where he stepped, as the trail was not often used. When he reached the summit, he breathed in the cool nightly air. A little further to the left he saw the rock he had sat on before. He claimed it as his again and looked down the hill. He could not see Sygra's house from there, there were too many trees and high bushes growing. Finding it back would be no problem though, the light of the moons was abundant.

Daniel looked up at the smallest of the two moons. It was an oddly shaped moon, not round. There had been many meteors, he assumed, that had used that moon for target practice. Bites had been taken out of the shape and now it looked as if someone had thrown up a half-eaten cookie which had gotten stuck in orbit.

Then he stared at the constellations that he had gotten to know by now. The star base... he had no idea where that should be now. It could be anywhere in that vastness. Daniel lay down on the ground and looked straight up at the stars overhead. "Out there, my boy, is where you belong, " he told himself.

"Is that so?"

The voice made Daniel jump to his feet while his heart tried to jump from his throat. "Who are you?"

A man was sitting near a low hedge. Daniel had no idea how long he had been there.

"My name is not important, but for convenience sake you can call me Lundar. And do you have a name?"

"I'm Daniel Zacharias."

"Ah. I am pleased to meet you, Seigner Daniel Zacharias, " the man said as he slowly got up. He walked to Daniel, holding out his hand.

Daniel frowned. The man wore dark clothes, and on his back hung something that looked like... "You are a preacher, aren't you?"

"Yes. I am surprised you recognise this, you don't look like someone who is from here, " Lundar said.

They shook hands.

"Some people have called me a preacher also, " Daniel allowed himself. He grinned as he said it.

"That makes you my brother, Daniel."

Daniel noticed that Lundar immediately dropped the Seigner, which suited him fine. "I'm afraid I woke you up, Lundar. Please accept my apologies."

"Not to worry, Daniel. I sleep lightly and short. I was about to go anyway as I like to travel at night, so this is a lucky coincidence. What is troubling you?"

"Nothing, I'm okay, " Daniel said with a smile, as he regarded the man. Lundar was short, even for local sizes. He had long blond hair hanging around a square face.

Lundar nodded. "Of course. That is why you are here on the hill in the middle of the night, staring at the stars and claiming that out there is where you belong."

"Oh. You heard that." Daniel felt caught.

"In the night sound travels far, Dani

left the inventor alone and went to look at the way the floaters were now strapped to the airship.

Aldrick served a pretty decent lunch. Daniel had helped where he could, but the kitchen of the house was not a place where he felt safe. It looked as if anything would jump him if he did not keep an eye on it, and he did not have enough eyes.

Daniel's hydger started rattling. "Ah, that must be Tomlin, with some good ideas."

Aldrick, who did not own an intrusive device like that, frowned.

Daniel opened the box and almost dropped it. On the display was a black triangle without a name. This could not be true. Slowly he flipped the switch. "Hello."

Aldrick noticed the change in Daniel and looked at the man in wonder.

"Mr. Zacharias, " the voice with the metal brush sound said. "We need to meet."

Daniel stared at the hydger. "You. Yes. We really have to meet. And when we meet I want some answers."

"You will get your answers, Mr. Zacharias, " the voice said.

"Where do you suggest we meet?" Daniel asked.

"I would suggest neutral ground."

Daniel was not really in the mood for that. "I would suggest that you come to the foot of the hill where senator Dirrit ko Assac lives. There is a crossroad there."

The voice on the other side said: "The foot of the hill it will be. I will arrive tomorrow morning." That was all. The display went its normal grey again.

"And I'll be there, " Daniel announced to the silent box. He closed it and put it away. "This is going to be interesting."

The day went by with jumps for Daniel. There were times he and Aldrick were very busy, hacking, cutting and grinding, there were also times he had to wait and at those moments the meeting with the cloaked person did not leave his thoughts for a moment.

Later that evening he told Sygra about the strange call.

"You have mentioned this cloaked figure before. Are you sure you want to go into that meeting alone, Daniel? I can arrange for some safety if you want."

"Thank you, Sygra. I am sure I can deal with this person myself. I'll take a good stick with me. That can come in handy."

"You can take Kernak too, " Sygra offered. "She likes to be with you and is quite good at protecting someone."

Daniel gave that a thought. "Might not even be wrong to do that. If you really believe it is safe to take her."

"It would make me feel better, Daniel."

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