In a Line …
Evidently it had been the wrong time to stop and fill up the water bottles and thermos at one of the Water Posts of Chasm City, but he had got up late, he had to leave and needed some supplies for the trip.
Despite there had been a dozen of small fountains, there was a long line of people at that time and Dustin was in a queue for some time, the only Human amongst the Damas.
He was moving his gaze here and there stopping now on the guy with a bored look that was playing with the gecko climbed on his shoulder, now to a knot of kids that were playing around noisy a little further away, now on the gorgeous Damas that was waiting with a jug in the line next to his own …
The girl raised her eyes and for the umpteenth time she surprised him gazing at her. Dustin took away hastily his gaze: ‘Damn it! – he cursed between himself – Stop looking at her, jerk!‘
She smiled, but he didn’t notice that.
Scattered for the whole Damas capital there were various Water Posts like that, or Water Caves as they had been called by the inhabitants of that place, that is caves set up with dispensers that were distributing potable water for all the population. The Water Posts had been common in the cities of all the ethnic groups and Dustin, along his pilgrimages, had seen many of them. He was used to the imposing tanks that were showing up here and there in the cities of the humans to gather rainy water to be purified and distributed through taps linked to the tank itself. The salk Water Posts were the freshest places of the desert cities that had been built purposely under the level of the streets in order to be located perpetually in the shade and furnished with couches fattened up with soft and shining pillows, that they had been used like real meeting places. The Graunt, being nomads, were the only ones to have portable Water Posts, huge tanks that were assembled on wheels in order to gather rain, purify it and then tap it from basins of polished bone. The tamiara Posts, built on the lowest levels of the cities, those that were closer to the Underwoods fed by three or four big wells, one of which was provided with a canopy and wooden benches, that were getting the water from the forest’s streams and brought it upstairs through a system of buckets and pulleys. The only Water Posts he had never visited were those of the vampires and he had no intention to do it.
Amongst the various systems of potable water distribution, what mostly fascinated him was just the Damas one. Along the semicircular wall of the cave, popped up a line of small fountains that endlessly were dispensing water, with no help from taps or nothing else. The unused water was disappearing inside the grills that were positioned along the collection tanks. In a previous visit he had asked explanations at a Damas Engineer that was in line with him and he had shown to be very happy of being able to explain, in the smallest details, the mystery of the endless water. Dustin had understood more or less half of the technical terms used by the engineer, but at least had succeeded in creating an idea on the dynamics of that phenomenon. Through hydraulic pumps, the water was sucked by one of the many underground lakes of the Crack. Then it was going inside big metal tubes, reached a ‘furnace’ inside which its few impurities were filtered, then channeled in a system of cooling down spirals and from here pushed to the fountains. The one that won’t be used, will go down from the grills in an underground collection basin and from here sent to the lab or shop closer to be used for other production processes.
“My boy, you have no idea of how many things can be done with a little vapor!” had said the Engineer winking his eye.
Suddenly an idea came through Dustin’s mind, he swallowed and turned towards the gorgeous girl that continued to attract his gaze: “Excuse me, – he told her in an awkward damas language, but flaunting his most fascinating smile – while we are waiting … could you explain to me how these fountains of endless water do work?”
She raised her eyes on the Human and with a big smile answered: “Sure, I can.”
That wait could be a sweet one …