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Dreamwatch : Seabirds

Climbing high on a windy mountain overlooking the sea to get a better view of the massive tidal & storm surges in the ocean below, I watched sea birds glide down to the sea, becoming first dots, and then invisible against the steel grey mountains of water. One of them grew bigger instead, growing past the size of a seabird, until I was aware that it was a human in a feathered flight suit. He hovered almost stationary in front of me, balancing in mid-air between the updraft of the cliffs and the wind rushing over the top of the mountain.

"Come on" he said, "There'll never be a better time than this!" I signed assent, and he folded his arm wings, plummeting feet first like a missile toward the heaving seas below. I watched him accelerate to terminal, and shortly before he became too small to see, I saw the orange glow of lift fields extending, transferring much of his vertical velocity to horizontal, and he finally disappeared from my normal vision as he speared down towards a wave that seemed as large as Kapiti Island, but it was not all that different in a sea of waves of similar or larger size.

My ocular enhancers and HUD activated at a thought, and my sight of Kurt (yes, suddenly I remembered his name was Kurt) became clear again. Small coloured dots appeared in my field of vision, indicating other fliers, with ID info. Some rich fuckers had paid for custom icons to appear on my HUD. Around the edges of my vision the dots were replaced by arrows pointing to items outside my site. The sea itself had a number of dots, some green & tiny moving in shoals, others in red, moving fast around the shoals. I focused and zoomed on one with a rising altitude indication just in time to see it break surface in pursuit of prey. It looked like something from Earth's past, a sea-going dinosaur fish with armoured plates and multiple rows of needle teeth.

Cutting the HUD, I made some last minute adjustments to my own suit and moved to the edge of the cliff, balancing myself against the updraft. To be honest, I was scared. Sure we had the flight suits. But the scale of this sea coast, the size of the waves, the consequences of any failure of equipment or skill... then I laughed at myself. Of course, that was the point wasn't it? The fantastic feeling of fear, the rush of the risk... I leaned over the edge supported only by the updraft and savoured the terror.

I folded my arm-wings, and no longer supported by the updraft I toppled forward over those gigantic waves, the air rushing and buffeting me faster as I fell...

Then the alarm went off.

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