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   Chapter 32 Metal man, flying fish

The Story of the Mimosa By Paul Kater Characters: 10350

Updated: 2018-02-11 12:04


Bardolino, the small village at Lake Garda, was silent. It was also late at night and those two occasionally went well together, most certainly in Bardolino. In a shed burnt a few candles, as the owner of the shed, Maurizio Blunt, made his last preparations for his first attempt to walk in the metal suit. He was convinced that it was possible. Over the weeks he had carefully tried all the switches one by one, then two by two and in combination with buttons, and nothing had worked, so in a frenzy he had run his hands along the whole array of them and that had lit up a small light in the helmet of the robot suit. Getting confidence from that first little light, he had gone over the whole exercise again and suddenly all kinds of tiny extensions of the suit had responded to his commands while manipulating the switches inside the 'gloves' that were attached to the robotic arms. He had already successfully crushed a can of beans with one of the hands as he simply tried to pick it up, which showed the power this suit of armour held.

Moving the 'toes' on the machine had been a different affair. Maurizio had tried everything with his bare feet, but the switches there had only given him cuts in his soles and scraped most skin from one toe. The toes were therefore not important, the postman had decided.

The doors of the shed were open, and Maurizio got into the suit. He had changed the mechanism on the door so he could close it behind him by pulling a wire and open it by pulling another one. The first time he tried it with himself inside had made for a few desperate moments when the door behind him did not open until he discovered he was pulling the wrong wire. And this night, he had decided, was the night. The night of the walking metal man of Bardolino. The door clicked shut with a reassuring clunk. Like a professional (which he considered himself by now) he flipped the switches to activate the suit. The light overhead came on and for a moment he wondered, once more, where the suit got its power from. There were however more important things to do now. With his hands and feet in place and his face in front of the visor Maurizio took a deep breath and pushed his foot forward. As the metal suit was still hunched over he saw the huge metal paw step forward. Excitement filled him and he took another step with the other foot. That too worked fine and without falling over. As Maurizio congratulated himself on this feat, the gyroscopes and micro balancers in the suit kept the robotic contraption stable.

After two more steps Maurizio raised the head of the metal thing by raising his own head. He had already discovered that there were all kinds of sensors in the suit that would respond to it's 'inhabitant' and move along with that. A distant cracking noise invoked a small swear-word from the postman as the sound indicated that he had not yet left his shed entirely. The shed now had a hole in its roof. There was however no crying over spilt pasta so he made a few more steps and then, with some effort, turned around to see his house and his shed. It was not hi

rs at times but Maurizio was not one of them. The good thing was that this time was not a reason to panic over any of them.

***

Far overhead, just below the dangerous flammable part of the atmosphere and out of view of the man in the metal suit, something peculiar had happened half an hour before. A strange mist had formed the way strange mists usually do at much lower altitudes. This particular mist also only formed in one specific spot. The sphere had a diameter of some five hundred feet and inside it three objects started to take shape as the wormhole that was on one end of it became tired of flinging its toys through space and time.

One of the shapes was a black ship on which were a number of people and a dead, orange fish pierced by a rough arrow. The second shape was a blue fish, half the size of the ship, and very surprised that its environment had so suddenly changed. As it was used to water with a lot of pressure that suddenly was not there, it decided to explode in the air where its parts scattered over almost half a mile. Miraculously most of its intestines missed the black ship. The third object that came to be was the back end of a half yellow fish. This semi-fish had a very high inner density so it was not as affected by the change in pressure as its former blue counterpart. The inner structure of it however made that it became very heavy in the low pressure area and gravity did the rest. The yellow part fell down faster and faster, almost racing towards the surface of the planet which was, at that point, a lake.

The monster of Lake Garda, so far undiscovered and unseen by anyone, lifted its head up just over the watery surface to survey its surroundings as it usually did on nice evenings like this. There were no annoying little humans around, so it stretched its neck and yawned freely. It was the last time it did so, as a heavy lump of yellow fish fell on the monster's head, smashing its skull and sinking it to the deepest and darkest part of the murky lake it used to call home. It also became its grave.

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