The Logs of the TDFS Tindome
Chapter 67: Return to Port Carillon
“Oh. Oh! Naptime?” asks Captain Finwë. Looking out the window, he sees one of the Sky Islands slightly below us. His body tells him that he should not stand up. Eric zooms the window and is able to observe that this island has the same architecture as the one we were on. The captain recovers enough to join Ericat the window. Using the Map of Here, Eric and he are able to orient themselves relative to the islands they see.
Only now does Finwë spot the unconscious Sam. He rouses her, and helps her stand up. He then contacts Mandorak down in Engineering. “Are the engines in good shape?”
Mannie reports that the starboard engine is fine, but that the port engine was heavily stressed by the transfer. He had powered them down, and repairs are proceeding. “We can make headway with the one engine, if you like, sir.”
Finwë thanks him, and requests the power, so that we can make for Port Carillon, which is aft of us. We make our way gently back to our original berth at the dock of Port Carillon. Inspector Lieutenant Nestoris walks down the dock to take our line. We have returned.
“You have returned,” observes Nestoris.
“Yes, we have had the most excellent journey. It was more of a side trip really. I don’t think we discovered anything that pertains to the danger that hangs over your islands. We went through an interface that is perhaps only loosely connected to this reality. However, our engines sustained some damage, and our engineers are belowdecks, repairing them now. Alas, I fear our Marginalis may never emerge from its cupboard again. Perhaps we can tempt it with one of those little meat pies from your tavern.”
“Oh. Well. I am glad that you are back. What is the nature of the… place you visited?”
Mentally, the captain informs Eric that he should bring his materials and notes from our little trip. Mr. Wright obligingly appears, and shows his maps of the island, and explains about the invertable spire, and Grandmother and Grandfather Trees, and about the sky metal buried at the base of the spire.
Finwë expresses his disappointment with our side trip. Eric, on the other hand, explains that the sky was black, and with stars in it. This sounds interesting to Nestoris, but not familiar, not even from legend. The captain insists on showing him the nuts and berries that we harvested. “They should still have that silvery sheen on them. Eïr will know where she put them.”
He goes to her cabin, braves the guardianship of Jacko, and coaxes the little healer to join him on the upper observation deck. Jacko assists her to find her energy ring so that she can recharge his energy, and then leads her up to the deck where Finwë and Nestoris await. He introduces her as “Miss Eïr, the healer.” Finwë shows her the box of harvested fruit, and explains his thinking. “I noticed the sheen on these, and wondered what would happen if we planted them here. Would they grow, and help keep the island aloft?”
“That might happen, or it might draw the magic out of the soil into itself.”
“Oh. I hadn’t thought of that. What should we do?”
“We could try planting them anyhow. The plants won’t really take the sky silver away from the island.”
Finwë then discusses the possibility of mining the sky silver on the far side of the interface. Eïr immediately leaps to the idea that the sparkly phenomenon is not only alive, but is a dragon, and is a dragon that has snuck through the interface to steal sky silver from the islands.
After a pause, Finwë says, “Well, as you can see, Lt. Nestoris, there are many possibilities to consider.” He then inquires about the possibility of dinner. Nestoris assures him that the tavern can supply a decent meal, and suggests that we would all be welcome to dine there.
Finwë invites all his children and the rest of the crew to dinner ashore. Micah is especially impressed by everything, such as the floating island. We discuss the possibilities of the seeds, the putative dragon, and the closing of Faerie.
Professor Praeta appears midway through dinner, and insists about learning everything about our brief journey. He is not sanguine about the experiment of planting the strange nuts, and is relieved to learn that we have left them on our ship. We invite him back to our ship after dinner. He leaves us to finish our meal.
After eating, the dwarves resume their repairs down in Engineering. Praeta arrives, and is shown the nuts, the fruit, and even our sample of the ‘root network.’ Praeta examines the sample closely, but states, “It doesn’t look like roots to me. It does not have the tubular structure, or the ring-like structure of real roots. It looks more like some kind of crystal.”
“Like my crystal dragon!” announces Eïr. Her elaboration about the space structure has become highly intricate.
Updated: May 30, 2007
©2002, 2006 Ann Broomhead. All Rights Reserved.