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   Chapter 34 No.34

A Girl Named Sandy By Paul Kater Characters: 12685

Updated: 2018-02-11 12:04


Message from an unexpected side

At the university, classes went on in the usual way, although a lot of time was spent on discussions about the appearing and disappearing space craft. Sandy did her best to keep her attention with the lessons, but in her heart she wanted to be with Paul and the 'coalition of offworlders', as the Bristol group of their race still called itself. At least they would go to the library again that evening.

Paul and Don were working in their lab, back to doing their regular work as the space ships had disappeared and no one knew where they had gone. During the day they learnt that everywhere the ships were disappearing; also over America the phenomenon happening from the east coast to the west. This was probably even more upsetting than the fact that the ships had appeared so suddenly.

Each time Don stepped out, Paul checked his device. The odd symbols kept moving over the screen, and as far as he could tell them apart they were the same ones as they had seen earlier in the morning. He wished he could use the machinery he had at his disposal to do something with the texts, but he lacked knowledge as well as opportunity, so by the end of the day he was feeling quite frustrated. He had to work on things that he could not keep his mind on, Sandy was feeling odd because of the same thing, and they seemed to influence each other all through the large building.

'You kept me from focussing, ' Sandy told Paul in the taxi home. 'I really tried today, but I kept hearing and feeling you. Can't you stop that?'

Paul explained that he had sensed her also, all day long. 'That and the stuff on the display of the device are driving me bonkers. I know you don't mean to, please understand I don't mean to either. We have to find a way to stop broadcasting so loudly, I guess.'

'I wish I knew how.' Sandy said, as the taxi stopped in front of the apartment building. 'So much for silence, huh?'

***

The hall in the library was brimming with people and buzzing with conversations. Lester and his wife Janet were there, Miss Benson sat near a large harp talking to a few other people (very remarkable as usually she kept very much to herself). When Paul and Sandy entered, they were immediately pulled into one of the groups. The topic was of course the strange ships. Everyone was excited, rumours bounced left and right, but also here nobody knew more than the couple already did. Devices were shown and symbols compared while coffee and tea flowed in copious amounts.

One of the people present turned out to be a linguist who had done his best to analyse the symbols, but all his work had not brought very much yet. He had established that, at least on his device, there were forty-two symbols used to display the inunderstandable information. Also, the symbols came in three sizes, and sometimes they were displayed mirrored. "At first I thought those were extra symbols, " he explained, showing still images of the symbol sequences on his laptop, "but they are definitely the same symbols, only mirrored left to right. Maybe that is how they write their negatives." He then asked if he could take some video of the symbols moving on the devices of several other people, so he could analyse those symbols as well. Everyone was willing to let him use their device, he only wanted to use three others though. "When I need more, I shall contact you."

Everyone in the group had a list of names, addresses and telephone numbers of all the members of the 'coalition'.

Paul and Sandy mentioned how they had been sensing each other over a relatively long distance all day and asked if others had experiences like theirs as well. Several others, remarkably always couples, had noticed the same increase of 'reach' in their mental communication. S

t of giving birth was something a woman could decide on. Even he knew that a child would come when it decided it was time. "Here, you two talk about this and I'll listen, " he said as he handed the mobile phone back to Sandy.

Sandy and Angela talked about the most probable moment that Sandy would be due. Sandy was convinced the baby would be born in the first weeks of March. "If you can be here around the first of March, I am sure it's all going to work out, Ange, " the expectant mother said. "Although you will have to share the honour with Mrs. Huxley, who's been more than wonderful for me over here. She works in the local hospital, and she's one of us."

Paul in that time called his neighbours, to see if they would be willing to accept a guest. Old Mrs. Harris said she'd be more than happy to let Angela stay in the spare room. As long as she wasn't scared of the cat. Paul had no idea that his neighbour had a cat. "Is Angela scared of cats?"

"Huh? Why?"

Paul explained about Mrs. Harris' cat.

"Oh. No, that should be fine, " Sandy said. "There are some at the house, remember?"

Soon arrangements were made, there in the library of Bristol. Angela would look at flights and Paul insisted on paying for the ticket. After ending the calls, the two apologised for being away from the others, something that was quickly waved away. The news that Sandy's sister was coming over for the birth of their child was applauded.

"That in itself asks for a small celebration, " said Janet Sutherland. It did not take long until most people present had a glass of wine of beer in hand. Paul wondered where that came from. The music room in the library held many a secret.

Mrs. Huxley, who was also present, said she looked forward to meeting Angela. "It will be nice to talk to someone of us who works in the same field. There are far too few of us, I say."

The evening came to an end soon after that. Everyone was looking forward to the next Wednesday evening already, hoping there would be more news about the ships and the strange symbolism on the devices. The linguist, Malcolm Formby, said he would keep everyone updated on his progress on the symbols, although he did not have much confidence in achieving something quickly in that respect.

On the way home, in the taxi, Sandy's phone beeped. "A text message. From Travis, " she said. "Hmm, that's strange. It just says 'check mail. @home'."

"We should do that then, " Paul said. "If he sends a message, it has to be something important."

***

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