Chapter three – The song in Narvik
The telepathic show ended with falling sparks. Sofia saw the flame of the campfire again, felt the warmth and smelt the pine wood odour. It was like woken up from a dream.
“Wow, it was such an adventure.” Sofia said. “I could never have imagined that poachers would attack a guarded camp. I read in news that people broke into a zoo in France and hunt for rhino horns, but it was the first time that I felt so real and emotionally connected”
“Many zoos and camps dehorned their rhinos after that to protect them. Other organizations continued to educate the public, and in some extreme parties, discussions about legalization of rhino horn trade.” Caelan responded.
“No…,” Sofia showed disappointment on her face.
“I understand the feeling.” Caelan stood up and padded on Sofia’s shoulder. “Now let’s find our way out.”
Caelan took out his mobile phone and turned on the flash light, leading the way slowly into the deeper cave. The passage was not high enough, so they have to lower their body when moving.
“Tat-tat-tat-tat…” A small animal ran quickly and bumped into Sofia’s legs.
”Argh!” Sofia screamed. She dragged Caelan’s by his sleeve, and ran out of the passage in full speed.
When they reached the entrance of the cave, Sofia saw that the cave entrance was half cleared. The sky was already bright in pale blue colour, and at the entrance stood a young girl with red and black hair, and on her shoulder, a small creature that had scales on its body and a pointed nose. It was a pangolin!
“Tja.” The young girl looked at Caelan and nodded her head from bottom up, and then she leaned her head towards way out for a second meaning that: “Let’s get out of here.”
“Thank you, Lisbet.” Caelan said to the young girl and followed her out of the cave.
Sofia and Caelan followed Lisbet closely. The heavy snow pushed the withered bushes to the ground during the winter, made it easy for the companions to walk through them. They went down a slope and needed to cross a frozen river. When they walked on the slippery ice, Sofia could hardly get a balance but fortunately Lisbet gave her a hand in time. After they crossed the river, they looked up at the broken bridge. The train was still there but emptied. Police had restricted access to the area for investigation.
“Who do you think did this?” Lisbet asked Caelan.
“Probably the B-E, they have been following me in the last couple of weeks. I thought I had shaken them off.” Caelan replied. “Recently I got some evidence about their illegal trade; they hacked into my cloud drive and deleted the copy. … I will tell you more later.”
“Lisbet, Sofia’s family was on the train. Can you please accompany her to the police and help her to find her family? I will meet you up in Narvik, the old house of my grandparents.”
“No problem.” Lisbet answered, “Shall we go now, Sofia?”
“I can’t want to see my family, I hope they are fine.” Sofia started climbing up towards the bridge. Lisbet called the pandolin’s name, “Athada”, gave it an eye signal when she pat on her holster bag, the pangolin crawled into the bag accordingly and showed only its eyes and nose at the bag opening. Lisbet then led the way to a more walkable path.
The police did not expect to see Sofia. They thought she and Caelan were killed in the explosion. The police therefore announced to the public that only a few passengers were injured in the incident. They had also issued an arrest warrant to the train driver, who was suspected to the crime.
Many local families opened their home to the passengers affected by the incident, and provided them with food and a comfortable night. Sofia met her mother Mrs. Song and her niece Yvian in one of these local families. The family offered coffee and bread to Sofia and blessed them for their reunion. Sofia wanted to give something in return but the family refused, instead they told Sofia, “In the future, if you see anyone in need, please offer help. That would be the best gift in return.”
The same day in the afternoon, the municipal arranged another train for the passengers going to Narvik. Sofia wanted to return to Stockholm with her family, but when Lisbet offered a guided tour in Narvik, she decided to continue their trip instead of waiting for the traffic arrangement to Stockholm. Somehow, Sofia was hopping to see Caelan and Noshe again, to listen to their stories, and to say thank you to them. Of course, to know more about the mysterious B-E that Caelan mentioned before, while the incident was still declared as a suspected terrorist attack.
At the train station, Lisbet gave Sofia the address to Caelan’s place, and then she rode on her red and black motorcycle. She left a word before she started the engine, “I will wait for you in Narvik’s train station.”
When Sofia and her family arrived Narvik, Lisbet was already there standing next to a modern electric car. When Sofia saw the car she said to Lisbet, “I thought most cyclists like the engine sound”.
“Yes, I do. But I also enjoy the quietness on a country road, and the pride of zero CO2 emission, cleaner air, especially when the electricity came from solar power or wind power.”
After some turns and a few traffic lights, they came to a path where old and tall pine trees were standing still at both sides of the gravel road. At the end of the road were a white Baroque house and a big fountain at the middle of the garden. Through the garden was a beautiful view of the great fjord, Sofia and her family were attracted by this lovely view. Yvian, the little girl, looked at the fjord and stood still as if she had heard some voice. She slowly walked towards the water and sang a folk song:
Kristallen den fina, som solen månd’ skina,
som stjärnorna blänka i skyn.
Jag känner en flicka i dygden den fina,
en flicka i denna här byn.
Min vän och älskogs blomma,
ack om vi kunde tillsammans komma
och jag vore vännen din
och du allra kärestan min.
Athada crawled out from Lisbet’s holster bag and curled around Yvian’s feet. On the water surface not far away, some ripples appeared. Two porpoise swam fast and jump out of the water. An Orca also swam by the area a while later, and sprayed some water through its blowhole. Yvian waved at the whales happily. The whales waved back with their tails. It was her first time seeing real whales in her life. It was also Sofia’s and her mother Mrs. Song first whale watching. They were excited as all tourists would have been. No one knew why the whales were reacted to Yvian’s song, maybe it was her pristine love to the nature, and her practice in saving water every day.
The temperature dropped quickly when the sun went down. They gathered at the fireplace after dinner and enjoyed the relax atmosphere. Even Athada curled up herself at the corner of the sofa, and Yvian was sleeping deeply next to the pangolin. Mrs. Song took Yvian to her bed and left Sofia and Lisbet in the living room. Sofia thanked Lisbet again for her hospitability. They then started to talk about their hometown, their jobs, their travels and so on. Now Lisbet knew that Sofia was a fashion designer. Her work was inspired by the Scandinavian nature and her Korean cultural background. IT was then Lisbet’s turn to introduce her. She was an engineering student. She started programming when she was 8 years old. She had a very solid profile in surveillance system, face recognition and deep learning. She had even involved in some top-secret projects funded by the government. When she started talking about her first surveillance system in Africa when she was 18, Sofia was surprised and asked,
“You were also in Namibia 3 years ago?”
“Yes, I was traveling with my parents and cousins. And I met Caelan there in Namibia.” Lisbet replied.
The front door was opened and then closed automatically. Caelan was there carrying a suitcase and a walking stick. There was a wound on his shoulder and blood on his jacket.
When Lisbet saw that, she gave a sign to Athada. After a few seconds, Athada carried a small box with a machine inside. Lisbet asked Caelan to sit on the chair next to the fireplace, and then she put the little white machine on Caelan’s shoulder. After that she started to give command to the machine,
“Bondada, please clean and handle the wound.”
The machine blinked and replied with messaged,
“Sterilizing … done”
“X-ray … done, no bone fracture”
“Closing up the wound by super bondada tape … done”
Lisbet put the machine back to the small box and then to her holster bag. At the zipper, there was a pangolin keychain.
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