Far Away

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Chapter Three

“Did you see that?” Alice asked in amazement. She was so shocked to see a ship falling from the sky that she spoke aloud without paying attention to who was there to hear. Ships had been made using the floating treees, of course but they had the same problem the cities did. The ships would simply float higher and higher until there was no air to breathe. The amazing thing was that this ship was not going higher and higher; it was falling to the ground.

“What is giving it enough weight to falling? We could use the same substance to keep cities from floating away!” Alice was thinking out loud now. Dan had warned her many times not to do that because people could steal your ideas and claim them as their own when you did. Alice liked Dan; he was a good friend but he was too suspisous by far.

People deserved to be trusted in general and they should be trusted until proven otherwise in Alice’s opinion but Dan saw things differently. Alice knew that Dan had a point and a reason for his worrity ways but she could not always help speaking her mind.

I need Dan now, she thought. Dan knows people that can get anyone down to ground level. I need to get to that crash site and learn more about the wood that was used. Alice went running off to find Dan. The young woman had to push through the crowd to get anywhere; such a mob had gathered for specticle! It seemed to take hours to make the short trip to Dan’s little appartment. She did not know that he had already seen the crash and was now standing before the king.

The soldiers flanked Dan walked as formally as any honor guard but were as watchful as a starving falcon in winter, searching for the last hare. Dan was nervous and not only because he was meeting with a king. He could not shake the feeling that these soldiers would harm him before the king could see him.

A dark-eyed, twenty-something year-old man stood in front of the Palace steps. Large drops of rain came falling down from the dark sky, making any sain person want to find there way in doors. Despite the rain, Dan really did not want to go in but the soldiers escorting him did not give him much of a choice. The guards outside the palace shoved him roughly in as soon as the soldiers released the arms they held in a vice-like grip.This meeting may seem ordinary but it was far from it!

People milling about in the palace seemed to sense his anxiety and would occasionally slow in their work to take a look at him. He was always told that he looked young for his age. Some people take that as a complement but he did not; especially not now when he needed the mayor to take him seriously! The mayor could send Dan to the mines for breaking the law to get down the trunk but he could also send Dan to the college to continue working on the radio waves. Dan’s whole future lie in this one moment; this one meeting...

The men brought Dan into a large room covered in plants. Trees grew in pots that were bigger than Dan. Tables covered in flowered vases cover each wall. Still, the room felt empty of life. Dan’s eyes moved around the room, looking for the eyes he felt watching him. Dan could only pray that a judge and jury was not hiding. After what felt like an eternity of silence in the room, Dan opened the door and poked his head out. A uniformed guard stood on the other side.

“I cannot allow you to leave this room,” the guard growled in warnining.

Dan huridly closed the door. He heared the lock slide into place a second later. Dan turned back to the door and yanked at the knob; feeling his heart pound.

“No need to work yourself up,” said a voice with an ominous growl. Dan whipped around once again to see a man in a dark robe. “I hear that you stopped a shadoween attack.” The man paused but Dan refused to respond. “I brought you here to ask you how.”

“You’re not a king.” Dan looked at the robed figure suspiciously.

“A prisoner would not be allowed to see the king. You have broken the law even if you did save lives. Make no mistake, your answer will decide your fate. You could be going to prison for a very long time!”

“Those sailors, and the guards you sent to arrest them, would be dead if I hadn’t broaken the law and gone down there!”

“You have saved the lives of loyal men and of fellow criminals. I cannot help but think that you saved those pirates intentionally. You were at their ship right when the shadoween attacked... almost like you knew they would be there.”

“I went down the trunk to test my invention. I did not know the ship even existed.”

“Did anyone know about your invention? Can they vough that you have been working on this and planning for a long time; longer than the ship has existed?”

Dan opened his mouth to mention Alice but he could not ignore his instincts and they were screaming at him. This man could not be what he says he is... or he could actually be a detective looking to get more people into trouble. At any rate, giving him Alice’s name could be a big mistake.

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