—–“Daaad, just because I don’t talk nerdy doesn’t mean I can’t. Hyperthermia, which can also be referred to as hyperpyrexia, is one of the most dangerous aspects of heat. Do not try to cool down by sitting in front of a fan that blows hot air, that makes symptoms worse. You need cold water and a cooler environment. Heat continuing into the night is the true killer.” Annwe poked his shoulder as they walked, “…AND with higher humidity, it means heat begets more heat!” She smiled proudly up at him as he continued to watch where they were headed. “Besides,” Annwe said defiantly, “I’m not a kid anymore, I’m almost sixteen!”
—–Her dad looked down at her with that small smile of his that infuriated her without end, but that also comforted her when she was certain her world was crumbling all around her. “Not a kid anymore. Just make sure you drink your water.” He said the last putting a blue-gloved hand on her head and mussing her hair. Annwe growled softly before shooting him a glare. He continued to smile at her before wrapping a strong arm around her shoulders. As angry as she could get, he always made her feel safe.
—–Annwe gripped her dad’s oil-stained white overcoat that he seemed to live in and held it tight as they made their way outside the gates of Amorine and out into the endless sands of the Ketsueki desert. The heat felt like a wall that pushed them back into the shade of the city. They pressed on though. Waiting for them was a trio of dune buggies that could traverse the deep sands. They loaded their things into the middle buggy with two other men. It was only after they were seated that Annwe noticed that all her father’s lab partners were with them.
—–“We are both going up this time, right?” Annwe asked rhetorically. She already knew the answer.
—–Her father looked at her. He pulled a dark visor over his eyes and handed her one to wear, too. As the buggy began to move forward, he replied, “WE are not going anywhere. You are going to the camp below the elevator while your dad goes to visit the island for another one of his ‘experiments’ as you like to call them.” The buggy roared forward to full speed as she put on her own shaded visor to save her eyes from the bright sun. Annwe watched the dunes dizzyingly fly by, and it almost made her sick before she remembered to focus on the horizon to keep her stomach in.
—–Through the clouds above, Annwe could make out the bottom of the floating city Egostrian. In the distance, a shapeless chunk of debris fell and landed hard into the ground. It was common for trash to rain down into the desert. It seemed the city hovered above the entirety of the desert at times. It was why Amorine didn’t extend out beneath Egostrian. The danger of discarded rubbish from the clouds was too common and unexpected to live below the city. Annwe grit her teeth, disgusted by the crunching of salty sand. She hated the taste. Annwe looked to her father and followed his gaze forward to their destination: a thin, dark, metallic elevator that extended through the clouds above.