Aimee approached Daniel with a concerned expression in her face; her breath came out in ragged gasps as she tried to talk. “The Light Chaser, Shkein Corporation, they’re here,” Aimee tried to formed complete sentences, however Daniel knew what she going on about.
“We know, she just left,” he said bitterly.
Aimee was horrified, “What? Did you sell her the Chaser?”She looked around, searching in vain for heaps of burning wood and tangling flames.
“Of course not!” Daniel answered angrily, he gritted his teeth together.
Aimee relaxed, “thank goodness.”
“How did you know about them?” Joseph asked, standing aside to allow Aimee inside the house. Daniel closed the door behind him, eager to hear Aimee’s account on the Loretta woman.
“I was picking apples with Eliana when we heard an explosion,” she explained, “everybody dash out to the source of the fire, it was the Gordon’s… and… the Mariner was being burned down.” She could feel tears forming in the back of her eye, stinging them. Joseph and Daniel regarded her with grim stares full of shock. “Mr. Gordon told me he sold his ship because he was in great need of the money, that woman promised him not to harm the ship, but she did anyway.” Aimee had interlocked her bony fingers, pressing them hard against each other. “I feel so bad for them, they were so unhappy.”
“Serves them right,” Daniel muttered in disdain, “they shouldn’t have sell in the first place.”
“How can you be so insensitive?” Aimee demanded, “They had good reasons for doing so. It’s not their fault that that woman lied to them! He wanted to stop her but she had rifles pointing at his family!”
Daniel gave her a hard stare and said nothing. Joseph sighed and covered his face with both palms.
“We’re approaching grim days,” Joseph said, “don’t you worry children. I will never sell the Chaser. Neither with all the gold they can offer me, nor with all the threats against me, will I sell.”
“We’re going to make it through this,” Daniel said, “tonight, we’ll harvest as we always have had, with or without Shkein’s airships in the night sky.”
Aimee just nodded. She was tired out of her mind and couldn’t contribute a positive comment right now and then. She only wished she could at least have a little faith on what her brother was affirming.
The sheets of green, blue, and yellowish lights were ribbons in the sky by the time Daniel and Aimee set the Chaser into the sky. Daniel wouldn’t admit he was nervous and slightly afraid of what they might find in the sky, but Aimee knew his thoughts were eating him away from the inside out. She placed a hand on his arm and when he looked down on her, she smiled a strengthening smile; to show him she wasn’t afraid and that they would be alright.
“You shouldn’t have come,” he said in a low voice. “It’s cold tonight.”
“I won’t let you face these Shkein people by yourself,” I answered, “after all; one third of the Chaser is my responsibility. Besides, I want to see what that Loretta woman was boasting about earlier, I’ll be the judge of their airships.” That was entirely true, Aimee wanted to see what the big airships from the south were like. Every passing minute, a sense of anxiety crept on her and sweats of fear would appear in her forehead, drenching her with unease. Daniel moved away from her to ignite the harvester, instead of coming back to the helm, as he always did, he sat down with his back against the railings of the platform. The harvester was murmuring quietly as the electrons from the Lights rested on its surface. The Lights showered him with a kaleidoscope of beautiful colors, making him appear young and innocent. He regarded the miracle above him with delight; he had his head tilted upward, smiling at the streams of lights. Aimee’s heart was touched; her brother could really appreciate beauty.
She took a step away from the helm and toward Daniel. The lights from above danced with her shadow while she was making her way to him. However, she did not anticipated what happened next. Her shadow enlarged beneath her and covered the path across the deck to the platform and beyond. The world had gone dimmer, as if the Lights accursed them for taking their beauty and converting it into a profit for the mortals. Her heart skipped several painful beats and her mind hovered over unpleasant thoughts of darkness and ultimate destruction. However, the reality was far-fetched from what she was thinking. She glanced at Daniel, who was now on his feet, barring his teeth at something –or someone- above him. Aimee tentatively raised her head and gasped in dismay at the sight of a very large oval-shape object drifting over them, casting its long eerie shadow on them. Aimee’s mind and strength snapped in half; she could feel her breath becoming short and hard to exhale. Her teeth clattered with one another and her legs trembled. It was the biggest zeppelin she had ever seen.
The envelope of a zeppelin was gray color, non-reflective of the shimmering lights. The engines in the back were spurting steam into the air, a whitish cloud the fainted the Lights. Its massive structure dominated the sky and daunted both of the teenagers. The harvester attached to the gondola was such an object they had never seen before. A round globe with several concave refracting mirrors on its surface was dangling precariously above them, swinging at wide angles. The zeppelin was twice as big and more than the Chaser.And their harvester was much more powerful and large. From inside the gondola, they could see the aviators sneering down at them and laughing at the Chaser.