“Everything interrelates, you see?” Daniel pointed out, “so, can you please not be angered at me? We’re in the same ship; I honestly don’t want to turn this into a physical fight and getting at each other’s necks.” He glanced at her and sneered, “One of us might accidentally fall overboard.”
Aimee rolled her eyes; Daniel was so erroneously confident of his fighting skills and attitude, it made him look like an arrogant. As it was obvious, he didn’t hesitate to openly demonstrate his imprudent arrogance and superiority. Even though Aimee might express complaint of her brother, she loved him dearly.
“The green and red-brown are caused by oxygen emissions, if you are very high up then you find oxygen which produces a rare red aurora. The common yellow and green are produced by oxygen in lower altitudes. Nitrogen molecules in the air are rare, provided there are any in the lower levels, you’ll see red light that forms on the lower fringes on auroral curtains. The lighter gases really high in the atmosphere, such as helium and hydrogen, are blue and purple, but they’re so high you would not see them.”
“I was thinking about that exactly.” Daniel grinned, closing the door of the engine and retaking his position by the nautilus shell. “We’ll finish our second round and go to bed, it is almost past midnight.”
“Why don’t we stay all night? We might have a better chance of gathering more Dust,” suggested Aimee.
“Temperatures get really cold after midnight,” said Daniel, “even with the special paint that coats the Light Chaser, our ship might froze in midair, the sails might bore too much ice frost that it can actually hold and we would plunge down to the ground. It also allows an equal competition among the local chasers. Nobody gets more than we need to survive, we insure balance.”
Aimee nodded, she felt very proud of her noble community all of the sudden. “Just for the sake of it, the Northern Lights appear as a result from emissions of photons in the Earth’s upper atmosphere. Explorers have suggested that the general shapes the lights delineate are because of the magnetic field of our earth, magnetosphere. The photons are ionized by the collision of solar wind and magnetosphere particles that are channeled down and accelerating along the Earth’s magnetic field lines. That is why we see a round arc all around the northern and southern poles. What our nautilus shell does is traps some of the electron in its heated shell and “excites” them into emitting such a brilliant light that they burst and collide with one another. When they collide, the light forms a luminescent residue which travels the tube into the gatherer. Inside the gatherer, these residue particles cool down and its energy turns into something physical, tangible.”
“Well, now I know how our machines work,” joked Daniel, “I won’t be an ignorant chaser anymore.”
Aimee smirked. “What’s the schedule tomorrow, Dust-wise?”
“Tomorrow is Saturday,” he answered. “The best day to go to the Southern Trade, we have enough Dust to keep us busy in the Trade.”
“Us?” asked Aimee, her pleasure rising. “Do you mean I will be allowed to go to the Trade tomorrow with you and dad?”
Aimee had never been to the Southern Trade before, she wasn’t allowed because of her age and the fact that she was a woman. The argument was that women from small towns, like Lighton, weren’t allowed to assist to such brutal and tough places like the Trade cities. Aimee felt honored by the liberties and responsibilities her father and brother were giving her. It made her feel like a grown up woman as opposed to just a pesky teenager.
“Of course all of us!” Daniel said, “Dad does not trust you alone in the house anymore. He fears you might bring a male someone home one day. The idea of being a grandfather right now alarms him.”
“You’re so funny, my dear,” Aimee said spitefully. However a thought was nagging at her in the back of her mind. It was the boy she had seen in the sword forger shop earlier this day, the sole memory of it made her blush into the shades of the red glowing curtains in the sky. She concealed her face with her loose hair, anxious that her brother would see her like this and give him further motives to tease her.
What is wrong with you, Aimee, she scolded herself, stop thinking about that boy, ultimately a stranger in your life!
However, she couldn’t, she kept wondering where he came from because she had never seen him in Lighton, her town, nor in the Sourthern Market before. Her curiosity piqued her. She glanced at her brother, looking forward and farther north, and deep in thoughts. Daniel must know everybody in the Market, after all, he is always there trading stuff and information with the merchants. Surely he must know who the attractive stranger, that made Aimee’s heart flutter, was. She decided resolutely to ask Daniel tomorrow.
The rest of the journey they spent it in silence. When the second round was over, Daniel maneuvered the Light Chaser to the ground and into the hangar. They locked the cabin, which contained the chests and sacks of Dust, and climbed down the ship. Aimee had the chance to turn the handle to seal the roof from the diminishing Northern Lights, and watch, fascinated, how the clockwork worked and turned.
“Rest well, sis,” Daniel said as they approached the silent house standing alone in the hill, “tomorrow we’ll set out early and it is going to be a really tiresome day.”
“You needn’t tell me,” said Aimee, stepping over the threshold of their house and into the small living room. “I already knew that the moment you told me. See? I always think several steps ahead of you.”
“You sure do, little freak.” Daniel locked the door, “good night.” He leaned toward Aimee and kissed her lightly in the cheek.
Aimee stood dumbfounded and rooted in the middle of the living room. Daniel rarely expressed his affection towards anybody. It was definitely a nice surprise. Aimee grinned, “you cheater. You did that because I wasn’t expecting it.” She smiled, pleased nonetheless, and entered her room, closing the door softly behind her, afraid she might disrupt the general calmness and quiet tranquility of the night.