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   Chapter 45 A present

The Story of the Mimosa By Paul Kater Characters: 10116

Updated: 2018-02-11 12:04


Maurizio wanted to jump up but merely succeeded in falling on the deck. Nilsie came running down the stairs from the bridge and almost tripped over the floored captain. "We're in space, " he then said. "And what's that noise?"

"I don't know, I suggest you-" The rest of his words drowned in another edition of the horrible sound. Luckily this second one did not last so long. "I suggest you try to find out what's causing it, " Maurizio said from the ground after the ear-terror ended. "Don't worry about me, I'll be fine. Just find it and kill it with fire if you need to. Madonna, che confusione, what a mess!"

Nilsie, Vinnie and Jirdie hurried off as the incredibly painful sound screamed all over the ship once more.

Maurizio wrestled the chair and managed to get himself on it again, cursing all the known gods and saints plus a few he invented there on the spot for being such a cripple. Time passed by very slowly, the agonising scream came and went one more time and then Vinnie and Nilsie returned.

"It's all right, Maurizio, " they said with a broad grin. "Nothing's wrong, no one is getting killed and we have something for you." Before the captain could ask, Vinnie stuck a few pieces of cloth in his ears while Nilsie went to Barthomeu on the bridge with the same things for him.

"What is this for?" Maurizio then asked. Vinnie ignored him, for the obvious reason that he too wore bits of cloth in his ears. Despite the lack of an answer, when the scream came again the cloth adequately took care of it. Maurizio registered that the scream happened but it didn't hurt any more.

Right after the sound, Vinnie pulled one of his ears free and gestured Moro to do the same. "They're making something and that needs some cutting. They have something to cut but that makes a bit of noise, they said." More explanation was not available for the captain as Vinnie plugged his ear again. Maurizio followed that example. Better to know just a little than be deaf for days. Even when he desperately wanted to know who they were.

***

In the workshop below the cabins, a place that only Zopierama and Barthomeu had known about, Zopie and Rebel were working hard on a piece of wood. It was called ironwood because it was so tough. Zopierama had found a four foot piece of it in said workshop. They had figured out how to operate the machinery, mainly thanks to Rebel's previous career in building, and then they had started to create an ironwood prosthetic leg for Maurizio. The work was difficult as it progressed only slowly. They had arranged Dimmie as their accomplice, who helped with the wood and also went to get lunch, tea and other beverages, for cutting the ironwood was dusty work.

The two ladies and the man made the saw and the grinder and the shaver and numerous objects and things work until they were sore in the arms and tired and sweaty. Those of course were the arms of the ladies and the man, not those of the other parts.

They had changed earplugs many times, but now their masterpiece

ey should be out soon."

The group of people waited a while longer, but the constellation of asteroids around them did not change pattern and Maurizio stayed out of view, so they went back in to see about things. And breakfast.

The door to the captain's cabin was open. Attracted by sounds coming from there the crew curiously poked their heads in. Forced attempts to not laugh, snort or snicker were made and generally succeeded.

Maurizio stood in the middle of his cabin with a set of ropes around his shoulders. Four lines of rope went down to the new leg he was standing on. Zopierama had tried to tie the rope to the foot and the ankle, so the rope would act as a suspender. Unfortunately it looked more like a spider's web with the captain as the spider's prey. His expression showed as much joy as one.

"Stand still, Moro!"

"Most of me is standing still! The rope under the foot is wobbly and the leg is a bit too high, so I am tilting!"

"What are you doing?" Vinnie asked the two people.

Maurizio looked at him, lost his focus and fell backwards on his bed. "She tried to make the leg fit." The leg in question hung down in an awkward manner.

Zopierama tumbled backwards and looked up at the curious faces. "He didn't stand still."

"Perhaps this is not the best way to go about it, " Carmolo suggested. "Anyone for something to eat?"

"Hello hello?" a strange voice interjected.

Everyone looked around, trying to find the source of the words that they had all heard so clearly. As the surprised looks lasted, Maurizio asked: "Who is there? And where?"

"Oh, good, you do hear me, " the ethereal voice said. "I'm outside. Would be nice if you could pop out so we can have a bit of a natter in a decent manner."

Also the ones who had not been up yet were now awake and running to the deck. Vinnie and Nilsie carried their captain, and Barthomeu had grabbed the leg by the foot and his girlfriend by the hand.

As the group arrived on deck, the ethereal voice said: "Oh dear."

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