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   Chapter 19 Darwin

The Story of the Mimosa By Paul Kater Characters: 9331

Updated: 2018-02-11 12:04

It was a nice day in Greater Darwin. The sky was blue with an occasional white cloud high up. The sunshine was warm but not too hot. In the streets of the city far below, traffic was moving along swiftly and silent as usual. It was the 952nd year after the Great Turnaround in Oz. Six men sat eating their lunch as they watched over the city from their vantage point, almost two thousand feet up in the air.

"Looks dashy from here, " Henry said, waving his hand over the city, spilling some of his peanut butter sandwich. It would fall on the rear window of one of the magnetic cars that silently moved through the street far below. Henry didn't know nor would he have cared.

Marv nodded. He had already finished his lunch as he ate a lot faster than Henry. Rudolf and Stan had left their high spot for a moment to make room for more coffee, a commodity that the quartet consumed by the gallon at this height. They were working on a new building and altitudes made one thirsty.

"Has anyone seen the freak yet?" Stan asked as he returned and sat down next to Marv, dangling his feet over the ledge.

"Nope. Always late, that one, " Henry said. "Don't like that one, never know when or where something goes wrong next."

"Did something go wrong?"

The sudden voice behind him made that the last bite of Henry's sandwich went where the previous splatter had gone before. "Crapshot, don't do that when we're sitting here! We might have fallen down and died!" he exclaimed as he quickly scrambled away from the ledge.

"I would have saved you." The young woman shrugged. "I've done that before, remember?"

Stan and the others had moved away from the ledge as well. "I do, and I could do without the memory, Rebel." He had been one of the two people that had fallen from the building when it was only fourteen hundred feet high. It was an accident, a stupid slip. And the girl who invariable went around wearing a skin-tight brown leather suit had saved them. Nobody was yet certain how she had done it but one moment Stan and Henry were falling to their death and the other they were on the ground without a scratch, with Rebel standing next to them.

Rebel was a freak, but a very special one. In the first place she shouldn't even have been born as her parents, both scientists, had been in a severe accident in a lab after which they were declared infertile. Somehow her father had gotten her mother pregnant and that was something no one had assumed possible, so the two people had been living in laboratories for months after the first signs of mother's swelling belly, as many biologists and other researchers wanted to understand how this was possible. It proved to be a waste of their time because after their little girl had been born, they had not discovered anything out

way from their foothold was something his instincts voted against with vigour. "I think I'll pass."

"Anyone else for a quick trip down?" Donna looked at the other men who were already shaking their heads and thanking her for the offer but 'no thanks' so they all got into the large, noisy construction lift and started their way down.

Donna leaned against the metal mesh wire with her eyes closed and enjoyed the soft sunlight playing over her face, counting the floors down as the shadows of large beams darkened the light on her eyelids. There were two big beams per floor so that made it easy. Then the lift stopped.

"What the hell is that?" Henry asked who had stopped their descent.

Donna opened her eyes and saw the backs of her tall, broad co-workers as they stood and gazed at something. "What?" she asked, jumping up in an attempt to get a glimpse as well. She was tall for a woman but not as tall as these guys.

"There's a ship!" Marv explained. He stepped aside and let Donna stand in front of him. She looked at the harbour that was directly in their view.

"Of course. That's a harbour, " she muttered, "harbours come with ships. Nothing special there."

"No, " Henry pointed. "It's not in the harbour. It's over it."

Donna looked at the man. "What was in your thermos, Henry?" Still she had to look to where he pointed and gasped. There was an actual ship hanging over the harbour. And such an odd ship it was! From school she recalled video and images of extremely old ships made of wood, propelled by the wind that was caught in sails made of natural fabrics. And this ship, hanging in the air and mocking all the laws of gravity concerning harbours, had the very same sails.

The appearance of the black ship marked a rather interesting day in the city of Greater Darwin, Oz, in the 952nd year after the Great Turnaround.

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