Entering the river
Slowly now the boat and trailer inched its way towards the waters edge. Kevin was in the wheelhouse directing the operation with Harris beside him assisting though not quite sure what he was doing but relaying all commands. Commander Soste had put out patrols both up and down the river watching for any sign of Asov himself taking the downriver side, which he judged to be the more likely, the main threat.
A cloud passed in front of the moon eliminating all light.
Kevin called a halt; the trucks plastic gears creaked as it attempted to hold the heavy load on the incline into the river being a model normally it had no braking system relying solely the nylock gears and friction to stop its forward or rearward motion. Mumbling to himself Kevin muttered “what am I at; I can’t do this in broad daylight when I’m full size.
Surely to God I am going wake up and find this all a bad dream”. Harris strained to hear what orders Kevin had issued, Kevin just waved an assuring hand towards him and a slight nod of his head , suggesting he was doing well.
A few moments later the cloud passed and moonlight returned to the riverbank allowing them to continue. The truck lurched the plastic gears in the truck gearbox had failed, Ami’s holding guide ropes were pulled off there feet as the truck, trailer and boat gained momentum on the incline and rushed headlong towards the dark water at the bottom of the concrete slope.
Harris was first to recognise the danger and screamed to the Ami’s to abandon the ropes in fear that they would be dragged to their deaths in the river. The truck and load picked up speed racing towards the water edge with a fearsome splash the whole lot entered the river backwards. Not for the first time that night all aboard were dashed about the decks.
Two Ami’s being unlucky enough to be to close to the small decorative railing along the side of the boat, and were cast overboard as the boat rocked and then slowed with the increased friction of meeting the water. Kevin Harris and the other Ami’s dragged themselves up to the windows. “By all the Gods we are afloat and topside up”. Shouted Kevin; Harris turned to look at Kevin. ”Kevin by your tone you imply there was some doubts as to the success of the boat launching in correctly”.
Kevin grimaced and shrugged his shoulders “there is always some small danger involved, but why worry we are here on the river afloat and ready to embark the rest of our company. Can you recall Soste and the rest now please and see if you can find those two Ami that were knocked overboard please”? Harris shook his head and looked forward towards the bank of the river. Turning back to Kevin and shaking his head “The two that fell overboard are lost Kevin no Ami is able to float and none willingly enter the water to swim.”
A commotion on the embankment turned all their heads as Soste and the downriver group arrived at a run. Being only a short distance downriver they had heard the noise of the truck breaking its drive train and running away into the river.
Kevin waved and then set about manoeuvring the boat alongside a deeper part of the river embankment, making it easier for the returning Ami’s to climb aboard now that he was aware of their inability to swim. Soste advised Kevin to move upriver and take on the other patrol, as it would save time waiting for them to be recalled and return to the boat and not leave them as vulnerable tied up alongside the embankment. Kevin gave the orders to the Ami he had trained to operate the systems on the boat. A small vibration began in the bottom of the boat as it shuddered a little and began to move off upriver after the scouting group of Ami’s. Soste was standing beside Harris and gave him a pat on the back “well done Harris we will make an engineer of you yet” several nearby Ami laughed at Harris’s discomfort.