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   Chapter 11 Finishing up

The Story of the Mimosa By Paul Kater Characters: 11302

Updated: 2018-02-11 12:04


Sunser Rozarian came to the black ship as soon as he heard the good news. Under the guise of being busy he had stayed away from the crucial switch-on. After all, one could never know if something malfunctioned and the whole affair would blow up, so in order to reduce the number of possible casualties he had remained in his office during that.

The change in the two geeks from pale, light-scared creatures to healthy, tanned and here and there even muscular beings still struck him as odd. They seemed to belong on this ship, he mused as he stepped from the lifting platform and walked to the couple that sat in the sun, leaning against the lower part of the bridge. "Good day. Congratulations, " he announced his presence.

"Oh. Hi." The two got up in fluid motions entirely unworthy of their geekdom. "Nice that you could come over so quickly. We have done all the checks and everything seems to work well."

Even their speech was changing, Sunser noticed with a hidden frown. This might need some attention. "That is very good, wonderful even. I am pleased. What do you intend to do next?"

"We'll first drag you around the ship a bit, so you can see what has happened."

Sunser repressed the desire to ask if these two were actually the shy geeks that had arrived at the ship several weeks ago. They had either been replaced by aliens or they had been around workmen too long. The question came up again after he had been dragged around, an expression that the two had not coined loosely. Sunser the office hero was actually tired after the extended tour.

They found themselves in the kitchen, drinking some citronade that had been delivered from a nearby restaurant. "We hope to remodel this place a bit too before we send the ship off, " Barthomeu explained. "Some basic food replicators, cleaning machinery, and plates and such in the cupboards."

"Cupboards?" Sunser had so far not seen any of those.

"Will be installed before the plates, " Zopierama explained as she rested her feet on the edge of the small crate that served as a table.

"I see. May I kindly remind you that the budget for this program is not without end?"

"Of course you may. We are certain that you will yell before we're out of funds, " Barthomeu nodded, sipping from his citronade.

"Of course. That is part of my work, " Sunser assured the two less and less geeky geeks. They did not need to know that he had made his own role in the project much larger and more important than it was, requesting funding for all kinds of non-existing problems. As this project was somehow promoted to a Matter Of Importance the money was granted without a question, and a good deal of that was moved into project accounts that were connected to other accounts until they ended up in a place that only Sunser knew of. In case of problems, he reasoned, it was always an option to transfer some money back to the actual project accounts.

"Today we also want to see if the ship can lift off. Do you want to go up with us?"

Sunser coughed and gasped for air as his citronade went the wrong way down his throat. "Maybe it is good when I videograph this event from the land? Then you can see how it looks from there?"

Zopierama and Barthomeu exchanged glances and nodded. "Works for us. Oh, did you see the image of the crystal that we had people put on the sails?"

Drinks in hand, the three l

"Painting?"

Zopierama leaned on an elbow. "Yes. Didn't you see that? Someone thought it an amazing idea to paint a black flower on the hull."

"Oh. No wonder I failed to notice that. Black on black isn't very catchy."

Zopierama nodded as she lay down again. "I thought to paint that flower yellow. Like the Cootamunda Wattle."

"Are you sure you don't mean the Albizia Julibrissin's yellow?"

"No. I'm certain of the Cootamunda Wattle's kind of yellow."

Barthomeu smiled as he pulled her close. "Go right ahead then, my dear. Paint the flower yellow. But make sure you are secured with a few lines before you descend to it with your paint."

"Lines? Silly you. I'm going to use the lifting platform for that, " she informed him, and so she did once they were up and ready to face the day after a good breakfast in their new mess-hall.

Barthomeu leaned over the side as Zopierama worked on the flower. Several people on the quay stopped and looked as well. "Are you sure it's the right shape?" Barthomeu asked.

"Very sure, " the girl on the platform nodded as she wiped some yellow paint on her face without noticing it.

Barthomeu's communicator then beeped. It was Sunser Rozarian who called.

"Hello. How far along are you by now? According to my detailed schedule you should be all done by tomorrow afternoon at four twenty."

Apart from Zopie's paintwork the ship was ready. Barthomeu said: "We're ahead of schedule actually. We'll be done at noon exactly tomorrow."

Sunser looked happily surprised. "That is wonderful news! I'll arrange the press to be there then, as well as a few officials. We can take the ship up for one more test and if that goes according to plan we can send it on its way. And then things will be back to normal again." Except of course for the location of a very considerable amount of money that you provided for me without having a clue, he did not add.

"That sounds perfect, sir, " Barthomeu confirmed. "We'll be waiting for you then." He ended the communication.

"What was that?" Zopierama asked as the platform took her to deck level again.

"Sunser. I told him we'll be ready by noon tomorrow."

Zopierama nodded. "We should go to our apartment then, and do some final packing."

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