Defender's "Hidden Perfection"
Chapter 20 - Phoenix Of The Mind,
Copyrightę 1992-2006 By:
Larry K. Hockman, "All RIGHTS RESERVED"
Phoenix Of The Mind
Chatting through telepathy, Abe and Babe quietly monitored the animals' gradual adjustment to the high oxygen content and the lighter gravity. Their silent discussion led to a mutual agreement to move the New Hope near the mouth of the fresh-water river and unload the aquatic creatures at that location. That particular portion of the river consisted mainly of numerous quartz exposures jutting like fingers from the bank and forming a relatively effective current break. The fairly shallow eddies between should pose no problem for pen construction. A small beach between the crystal jetties and the falls would aptly suffice as the initial cargo drop zone.
Abe and Babe transferred a roll of fine mesh netting and a large bundle of recycled plastic poles to the nimble shuttle in lieu of moving the larger vessel first. The composite net and stakes would work fine to isolate the new residents from the deeper water. The pair escorted the silent odd couple onto the shuttle for fear that they might wander off if left unattended. Abe brought the shuttle to life and slowly cruised along Rainbow Falls, landing a few minutes later on the narrow sand beach a short distance from the river's mouth. He removed the materials while Babe led the odd couple over to the scenic river. They watched with seemingly great interest as the pioneers carefully built the confining partitions across the swirling waters.
Mission accomplished, Abe took the silent couple back to the shuttle while his mate calculated the best spot for the New Hope to penetrate the massive wall of water. She finally boarded, and Abe speedily flew them back to the original beach.
Babe refilled the water containers for the animals while Abe piloted the shuttle back through the falls and docking it inside the landing bay's airlock with efficient dexterity. They would require its services again when they restored the great ship back to its original orbit. Babe boarded through the forward hatch with the odd couple right on her heels! They almost seemed afraid of being left behind.
The huge spacecraft rose majestically as Abe removed it from the falling water with astonishing precision. It cruised leisurely alongside the torrential falls until Babe's pre-programmed coordinates activated the braking retrorockets. Scant minutes later, the protruding nose of the ship graced the plush interior once again.
Methodically, Abe and his mate transported the aquatic residents in thick plastic bags of the temperature-controlled aquarium water while the odd couple tagged along behind. The liquid temperatures would have to equalize before the sensitive occupants could be released into the foreign water.
The odd couple watched intently, often nodding to one another. Abe and Babe noticed the sharp increase in activity as the delicate work progressed. The odd couple's interest shifted to the surrounding environment. Their inquisitive gaze encompassed the entire perimeter of the strange setting. Abe and Babe were notably pleased with their present progress.
A short time later, Abe motioned for his mate to help him release some of the specimens into the shallow river pens. The frenzied fish wasted no time waiting to explore the extended boundaries of their previous meager existence.
Silently and deliberately, the odd couple stooped to help! Smiling, Abe and Babe did absolutely nothing to oppose or discourage them. Abe relayed to his mate the building of a new trust he could sense surrounding themselves and the blossoming couple. Names would be necessary before long. Babe agreed. Everyone rested comfortably after the final release. They watched the darting fish and ate a light snack. Abe's keen hearing detected the gruff call of the eagles despite the overwhelming din of the falls. Missing his companions, he abruptly stood up and whistled loudly. Presently, they appeared black specks on the bright horizon. By the time the indiscriminate dots took form, two smaller ones were visible keeping pace and zig-zagging beneath them.
Babe recognized Olive and Love's distinctive flight pattern below the protection of the graceful eagles above. She stood silently as they spiralled from the sky and gently landed upon her smooth shoulders. The powerful eagles banked sharply and followed the doves, breaking the headlong dive by backstroking their broad wings to settle fondly on the thick leather pads protecting their master's muscular shoulders. In spite of their airborne grace, the swirling wind currents created by the landing blew Babe's long blonde hair sideways, burying Love under the avalanche of golden strands. She cooed softly as her delicate head wriggled free of the blanket of hair. The odd couple burst into laughter!
Abe and Babe delved deep into each other's mind. They both realized the distinct possibilities associated with the profound new display of spontaneous emotion exhibited by the odd couple. They smiled within as the curious couple scrutinized their feathered friends. Taking the initiative to lead, Abe audibly said, "This is Goldclaw and his mate, Amber." He then pointed to each bird respectively. To their amazement, the pair nodded in acknowledgement and directed their attention to Babe and her doves. She politely added, "These two are called Olive and Love." The coupled smiled and nodded once more in silence. Babe instilled in Abe's mind the need to speak out loud more often around their new friends.
Out of sheer necessity, Abe sent the anxious eagles airborne. Babe's doves followed closely in the direction of the base camp. Almost regrettably, Abe turned to his mate saying, "We must return the New Hope to her orbit. The reflected radiation on the exposed portions of the ship has probably activated the protective shields to their maximum power tolerance in the safety zone." Babe replied with, "I know this, but the saltwater aquarium must be removed first."
Alarmed, the male of the odd couple held up his hand and spoke the words, "You must remove our comrades before you leave this atmosphere. They require this oxygen-enriched air to attain their full consciousness as we now have. I and my mate will care for them until your return!" Abe and Babe were utterly astonished!
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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