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   Chapter 30 No.30

Black Sunrise By Christina Engela Characters: 5537

Updated: 2018-06-30 12:01


The pilot gestured towards Fred, who was already halfway up the boarding ramp.

"Take him down to Atro City." He told the pilot numbly after a pause.

"Thank you." Fred returned politely, bowing and causing Johannsen to whimper softly. He was craving something hot and bitter with a hint of something stronger in it. Like maybe a dash of warp plasma.

"Good luck, Fred." Johannsen called, somewhat reluctantly – but not wishing to seem impolite.

It was the first time Johannsen had ever called him by name, or even recognized externally that he was a person of any kind. My, my, things do change. Johannsen exchanged glances with the protégé' pilot-professor, who seemed to be almost lost in the same twilight world as he.

"Got any sandpaper?"

"Captain?"

"Never mind. See you later." He muttered, heading back to the only sanity he knew, suppressing a strong need to go to the rec-dec and kick the potted plants around.

* * *

The first thing Jenny realized when she reached the collapsed figure was that it wasn't human. Oh, he was human-shaped, all right, one head, two arms, two legs, hands, ten fingers. It was just the first time she'd seen a man who she could call scaly without meaning it as an insult.

He lay sprawled on his front, face in the dirt. He was still breathing. She hesitated. What if it was a trap? Something the mine people had set up? Then again, she'd never seen anyone like this near the mining people. To begin with, he didn't look as dangerous – except for the sharp little teeth she saw in his mouth as he gasped for air. Making up her mind, she leaned forward, casting her shadow over his eyes. They flicke

d hidden in his other hand, realizing that letting her go was probably a tactical error. Well, she did give him water... And nobody had ever been so… awful to him before. Confused and tired – he didn't even know where he was going to anymore – but curiously refreshed, he got back to his feet and staggered on into the wilderness.

* * *

Not very far away, a ha-ha bird sat on a taut angled guy wire that ran from the top of a tall wooden gatepost to the ground beside a quiet dirt road. The dirt road was an offshoot of the main road that ran between Atro City and Crow City a few hundred miles to the east. It was a large bird, standing about two feet tall, and it was covered in bright yellow feathers – except for the wings, which were bright orange. If you happened to see a ha-ha bird for the first time, you would generally be forgiven for missing a turn off – or say, driving into a ditch. Close to the gate post, at the side of the road, a bright green traffic sign board proclaimed in bold white letters: 'Atro City, San Fedora', followed by a large arrow pointing towards a 'T' junction.

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