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   Chapter 24 No.24

A Girl Named Sandy By Paul Kater Characters: 11429

Updated: 2018-02-11 12:04


Something to imagine

In the week after their marriage, Sandy and Paul used the Royce house as their starting point for trips and as their haven when coming back tired and full of stories of the things they had seen and done. They went kayaking at Quiet Waters Park, participated in one of the Haunted Pub Crawls, and went for several long walks by the water. One afternoon they had tried sailing, but that had turned into a big laughing party as neither of them had any idea what to do, so after spending a few hours on the sail boat and making a huge ball of all of the ropes, they gave up and went for a nice dinner later, and a stroll along the old buildings of Annapolis. Of course, they had returned to Jonas and Kelly with the pictures and the video from their wedding ceremony and the party afterwards.

The couple also spent a lot of time chatting and video-conferencing over the internet with Don and a few others, to stay up to date on what was going on with the anomaly known as the wobble. They learnt that it was splitting up in more and more clusters, and several of the earlier ones had already disappeared into thus far uncharted areas of deep space.

"It's really strange, " Don said, "as if this thing was sent out to search for something. It almost behaves like a ball of satellites that casts off a part of itself to explore part of the region that it's going through. I really wish it was a lot closer so we could actually see what it is. At the rate it is splitting however, there's only a small chance of that. It's going to fall apart within a few months, I think."

They also talked with Miguel Juarez in Puerto Rico, but he was as much at a loss as Don and everyone else.

"Well, that was no help, " Sandy huffed as she leaned back in her chair and folded her hands behind her head. Usually when she did that Paul would immediately have his hands on some part of her body, so it was somewhat disturbing to her that this time he didn't. She notice a look on his face and a distant gaze in his eyes that told her he was heavily pondering something. Sandy left him sitting there and went into the kitchen to get some iced tea, as this day was quite a warm one. On an impulse she took the drinks outside and then went back to fetch her husband, who - still in thought - accompanied her. Sandy knew that he would start talking once the storm inside his mind had calmed down and formed a pattern he could put into words.

Paul noticed he was sitting outside. There was a glass of iced tea on the table in front of him and a beautiful young woman next to him. "Oh." He really felt as if he had neglected her. "I am so sorry, Sandy."

"Don't be, brilliant silly, " she said. "I'm glad I could take you outside, it's good for you. And for me. Did you get all your thinking done?"

Paul had to kiss her smiling, funny face. "I did. A lot of it anyway. I doubt it amounts to much, but I still need to tell you what one of my ideas is."

"Only one?" Sandy pouted, but stopped that as she saw that he was serious and sensed that he was quite shaken up by his idea.

"For now, sweetheart, as the rest is rubbish, and for this one we are in the right place. I hope. Do you know someone who knows the tales of the old race?"

Sandy noticed that at times he still avoided the words our people, but attributed that to the scientist in him. "I know a few, yes. Why?"

"For some odd reason I could

owing space, this we were told. The people left their planet when temperatures were dropping, as the solar system approached the nebula. Some braved the cold to stay, scientists who wanted to measure and record what happened. They knew it would be their death, but they chose to do this for a reason. One day, they knew, the entire solar system would come out of the nebula again. Systems were built, before everyone left, to measure if the planet would return to its habitable state. Nobody knew what would happen to the sun once inside the nebula, because more than three thousand years is a long time in such a cold environment. If the sun survives the journey, it will regain its heating momentum and revive the planet again. Then automated ships will be sent out to all corners of space where originally ships were sent to save the race. Then the race will be able to return to its home. This I know."

Walter's vibrations, as those of Sandy, told Paul unmistakably that the man had spoken the truth. At least, what the man considered to be the truth. The man with the moustache opened his eyes again. "That, Paul, is one of the historical tales I know. The most important one for newcomers." He let go of their hands and muttered something as his coffee had gone cold.

Sandy silently watched her husband. She had sensed his amazement, but also his disbelief.

"It sounds... amazing, " Paul decided. "How would they be able to do all that? An operation on that scale would require a Herculean effort from probably the entire population."

"Look at it, " Walter said as he started a new pot of coffee, "as if we are at the level of Cro Magnon man, swinging our clubs after no longer dragging our knuckles over the ground, trying to understand Neil Armstrong's trip to the moon, and the International Space Station. Although perhaps - ouch - that jump in level of understanding might not yet be large enough." Walter shook his hand, he had accidentally touched the heating plate of the coffee maker.

Benji, who had sat at the table almost unseen, looked at Paul. "Grandpa is teaching me how to tell all the stories, " he said, obviously proud of the honour. "The one I already know well is the one about the silence. Don't I, grandpa?"

"Yes, Benji. You do."

***

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