Defender's "Hidden Perfection"
Chapter 16 - Extreme Distress!,
Copyrightę 1992-2006 By:
Larry K. Hockman, "All RIGHTS RESERVED"
Abe and Babe awoke within the Hydrocryst equivalent of the dark side of the Dead Planet. While Babe prepared breakfast, Abe stepped outside for a breath of the refreshing, oxygen-rich air. A perceptible mental "itch" told him the eagles were up to something. Switching on the outside lights, he could easily see Olive and Love perched comfortably together on the small branch along the big forked limb Goldclaw and Amber had claimed as part of their personal domain.
Abe whistled loudly, but to no avail. The birds were busy elsewhere. At his feet, a generous chunk of perfectly clear crystal scattered the overhead lights into a myriad of miniature, colorful rainbows. At first glance, he thought the stone to simply be a piece of loose quartz one of the eagles had inadvertently scooped up to play with. Abe immediately perceived the greater density when he picked up the mysterious stone. Latent curiosity overtook him, and he headed for the shuttle. Its tempered glass cockpit would confirm his hypothesis of the stone he held. Selecting a point on the edge, he exerted minimal pressure on the glass and etched a perfect "A" into the hardened surface in an obscure corner! Smiling now, he shielded his thoughts from Babe's inquisitive telepathy and continued to scratch "+B" beside his initial inside two interlocking hearts with the + imprisoned within the overlap. He knew the sparkling stone was a diamond and wondered where the eagles had acquired it. He and Babe had not discovered any as yet.
Abe secretly planned on cutting the pure carbon stone as a gift for Babe. Also, he intended to procure enough gold from the sink-hole, forge a crown and set the exquisite, faceted gemstone as an exhibitory centerstone. He hoped Babe would be pleased with a personal memento of his undying love for her, even though material commodities were not highly rated on her list of necessary priorities. At any rate, she would wear it with pride and respect as the unmistakable, supreme queen of their heavenly castle. He would bide his time to see what other accentuating stones Hydrocryst would reveal in the near future.
Discreetly, Abe opened the access panel of the shuttle's main ion drive system and stashed his discovery under the fusion generator where he thought Babe would not accidentally find it. Careful thought control would be necessary in order to keep his intentions a surprise.
The tasty smell of a hearty morning meal drifted through the rich air as Abe returned to the tent, still speculating about the eagles' absence.
During breakfast, the pair mentally discussed Babe's idea of transporting the remaining animals down to the base camp. She impressed upon Abe that they would probably need a few days to acclimate themselves to the extra oxygen present in the foreign atmosphere. He agreed, adding that they would become much more active, though a little disoriented, due to the reduction in gravity.
Babe cleaned up the breakfast dishes while Abe calculated the possibility of bringing the New Hope down to the surface. The immense ship was definitely too large to fit through Rainbow Falls; however, he figured the slender nose of the craft would protrude through far enough to allow them to unload the animals onto the white sand beach through the forward hatch. Then, the task would involve a simple matter of short shuttle trips to transport them on to the base camp. Babe thought the plan was excellent. It would save them precious time and effort.
Babe interjected her thought concerning the safety of waiting until the eclipse had ended before attempting the move. Her mate fully agreed with her point of wisdom. They could use the extra time to construct a crude holding pen and select a site suitable for the varied array of animals. They would discuss the actual move details after the surface was light.
Abe's pleasant expression changed abruptly on leaving the tent to see if the eagles had returned. A powerful wave of despair flooded his sensitive body warning him of a crucial situation. He could sense the ill feelings were directly connected with the growth chambers! Mentally commanding Babe to join him, he sprinted to the shuttle. Slightly out of breath, she arrived with only seconds to spare.
Abe's experienced hands immediately rekindled the shuttle back to life. Perceiving a critical time frame, he shut down the computer to enlist the aid of the auxiliary power generator and the forward navigation lights.
The extreme acceleration pinned them to their command seats and Abe urgently instructed his mate to brace for the coming impact of the falls. Her acute telepathy informed her that Abe deemed the situation to warrant passing through the falls at full throttle! She felt the critical suspense his thought waves radiated and did not question his motives or judgement.
Upon the tremendous impact, the sleek craft spun wildly out of control until the sensitive gyros could compensate. A radical vibration triggered a damage control indicator on the instrument grid, but repairs would have to wait. Abe did not even flinch as the craft streaked skyward toward the most recent unseen foe of their conglomerate "family". He was not able to pinpoint the cause of the problem, only that extreme, life-threatening pain and discomfort were present!
Author's Note: Feel free to copy/paste the text contained herein to build your personal copy of "Hidden Perfection". However, as this is COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL by ME, the ORIGINAL AUTHOR, please DO NOT copy for UNAUTHORIZED DISTRIBUTION in any form or fashion. "ALL RIGHTS RETAINED & RESERVED" by Larry K. Hockman! Please don't hesitate to E-Mail me for permission to use my works in the classroom, etc. ThanX for Visitin'! I hope you enjoyed the story and pass it on to your friends. LKH
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