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Pursuit of Colors


Chapter 7 - REUNION

In the train.

„Ok, so what happened?‟, Ben asked.

„I followed him. That guy, you know who. I met him accidentally in front of the hospital, after the doctor was finally done. But maybe it wasn’t such a coincidence, I think. I took the same flight to Trondheim and kept sight of him. Thus I checked into the same hotel and observed him. I thought that, if I watched for the right moment, I could maybe snatch his compass. But no chance – he was on his guard like a lynx.‟

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Chapter 6 - LIBERATION

„There it is, our destination. It is beautiful, not easy to reach, however. But it has been this way most of the time, hasn’t it, Kara?“

Ben turned aside. But she wasn’t there. Even though he knew that it was better this way he still missed her. Here, in the little village, surrounded by the forest, Ben felt that he was at the right place. This was also, more or less, confirmed by the talkative person he met so unexpectedly here outside in the cold.

„There is a luminescence in the forest. It looks very beautiful. But it is also dangerous. Certainly a secret governmental project or an unidentified flying object!“

Ben looked at the man in bewilderment

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The shipwreck lay on the sea bed twenty yards below the water surface – deep enough for Ben, who was wearing a diver’s suit for the first time. It had already been quite murky around the ship, but inside it was dark to such an extent that the world outside of the light beam seemed almost extinguished – like an eternal dark nothingness.

A second beam came from behind; Kara must have searched the cabins in the meantime and was probably closing up – he turned around. The walls, densely covered with corals, were encompassed by a twinkling aura that was oscillating between pink, purple and blue. The reverberation of his lamp, he assumed, had trigerred a chemical reaction which now made them phosphoresce. He looked at his compas, which he had attached to a net at his belt, and indeed: It flared up strongly twice or thrice and then went out

Chapter 4 - REVELATION

A lightning flickered through the agitated night sky, closely followed by the ear-splitting rumbling of the thunder. Ben looked upwards. The storm was almost above him. For how long had he been wandering through this labyrinth? He quickened his pace, his trotting turned into running. To the right, to the left, to the right again, the middle passage, then steep to the left. Hadn’t he been here already? His running turned into sprinting. Left, right, left, to the right again and again to the right around the next corner – or should it be the other direction? The wind picked up and he felt the first drops on his skin.

„Damned!‟, he grumbled.

Chapter 3 - 600 SECONDS

„Since I’m travelling together with you I am truly getting around the world“, Kara said. „However, gradually I am losing interest in gazing into even further bottom holes.“

Ben and Kara had been on their way already since sunrise. They were wandering through Iceland’s barren landscape, looking for geysers. Ben believed that their goal was to be found in one of the water fountains. Many of them looked like small ponds that would spit water from time to time, but here, on a wide field of stones, there was a very special geyser. It had deep caves in which the water was staunching itself like in a subterranean lake. The hole was just broad enough to allow a person to rope down and search for the hidden colors. However, the pressure and water vapor in that cave was building up very quickly, which meant that Ben had only ten minutes to clumb down and return.

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Chapter 2 - STEEP RISE

„I can see them – up there!‟, Ben exclaimed with a proud smile.

„Let me see!‟, Kara responded and seized the binoculars out of his hand. Her gaze wandered up along the enormous escarpment that was towering into the sky in front of them. Are you sure?‟

„Absolutely sure‟, said Ben and shouldered his backpack. „They have exactly the color depicted by the people in the valley.‟

„These are three hundred yards until up there, for sure.‟

„Rather four hundred‟, Ben said with a grin and threw a thick climbing rope towards Kara. „Are you ready?‟

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Chapter 1 - ENCOUNTER

Three rowing boats were resting at the landing stage – two of them were chained up and spanned by covers while the third was sticking out of the water only by a few inches. Not very promising. Ben fetched the compass out of his belt bag – the needle was shining in turquoise-blue and then again in turquoise-green colors and pointed towards the island. But how would he get there, without a boat?

„May I …‟, he heard somebody say behind him and a moment later a women squiggled past him: She was in her mid-twenties, had red hair and an athletic figure, a sporty woman as the large backpack and the hiking boots indicated. Instantly she swept the water from the cover with her hand and untied it from the boat.

This is my chance, Ben thought, and approached her.

Prologue - THE COMPASS

The news spread like wildfire in the city: „A master of the colors is on his deathbed! Should no successor be found, the colors may well disappear for ever from the face of the Earth!“
Ben, of course, knew the legend of the temple of the colors. Everybody knew it. His aunt had told it to him when he was a child: The temple was throwning high above the clouds – and its roof! This was a work of art! The most beautiful ever created by man.

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