Airborn - Chapter 9: Bones and Chapter 10: Shipshape Summary & Analysis

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Chapter 9: Bones and Chapter 10: Shipshape Summary

As soon as Matt agrees to the possibility, Kate walks off toward the forest leaving Matt with no alternative but to follow. All Kate can think about is getting a set of bones to prove the creatures' existence. Matt is acutely aware that he has obligations and duties on Aurora, but can't leave her behind to fend for herself, and Kate flatly refuses to return. When she hears running water, she insists she can follow it back down and just circle the island till she finds Aurora. When she has no sign of success after looking for some time, Matt suggests that perhaps they can look again. They see a small snake, and though it appears harmless enough, its bright red color unnerves Kate who suggests it might be poisonous. It launches itself at them as though it is part pogo stick, and they run backwards, unwilling to turn around for fear that it jump on them. Persistent, the snake continues to launch at them, despite the size disparity. They climb a tree to get away from it, and pushing through a curtain of vines, come face to face with a skeleton, still sitting on the branch it died on. The entire skeleton is intact and at first Matt thinks it is a panther, but closer examination reveals the truth. They have found the creature her grandfather described in his journal. She tells Matt she wants the bones, asking him if he can find the site again. He assures her he can, and she swears him to secrecy. They return to the ship.

When they get back to the beach, they hear Marjorie shouting at the chief steward, insisting that something terrible could have happened. Kate strides out with Matt reluctantly following. The captain suggests that Kate stay closer to the ship from here forward, and Kate thanks Matt and apologizes to him for the trouble she caused him. As he walks away, the captain joins him and tells him that they have enough hydrium to lift off. The news is very welcome. First, they have to shed thousands of pounds and begin by unloading all non-essential cargo while sailmakers continue to patch. Later in the day, the entire crew helps to loosen the lines enough to see if the Aurora will rise, and to everyone's relief, she does. When she is afloat, they tie her off again to continue repairs. The captain allows the passengers to get back on and Vlad serves a meal that is beyond belief, using resources from the island. Kate comes to dinner alone, and stays behind in the lounge as one by one the passengers retire. Though he is reluctant to return to the site, Kate reminds him that he promised and they arrange to meet at first light so that Matt can be back when his shift at noon begins. It is after four in the morning before Matt finally drifts off, complete with nightmares that jumble with reality.

Chapter 9: Bones and Chapter 10: Shipshape Analysis

Stubbornly, Kate insists on exploring the island, reminding him that the captain had approved, provided a crew member was present. When Matt refused to go, she walked off on her own, and had no intention of returning. Matt follows unhappily, using his compass to take a reading so that there will be no problems returning, even though he has an impeccable sense of direction. Kate notes that he is not the same on the ground as he is in the sky. Matt agrees, explaining that he's never felt at home on the ground and compares himself to a shark, always needing to keep moving. When she begins to look dejected because they haven't found anything after a time, Matt tells her that they might have a chance to come back and look again, although for the life of him, he can't understand what would make him offer such a thing, but she brightens immediately, surprised and pleased that he would try again. A small snake that Kate identifies as possibly being poisonous jumps at them with determination, forcing them into a tree where they find the skeleton of the creature Molloy describes in his journal. With such an obviously large wingspan, Matt can't understand how it could fly, but Kate has already noticed that their bones are mostly hollow, and light. The reality of their discovery sets in, and Kate cries, able to finally prove the truth of their existence.

All hope of simply blending back in disappears as they return, hearing Marjorie berating the chief steward for not doing something. When Kate comes into view, calmly apologizing for walking out of sight of the ship, Marjorie needs a new target for her wrath. When she realizes Matt was with Kate, she insists that his behavior has been inappropriate and Kate immediately defends him although Matt's ears are burning with embarrassment to hear the accusation. The issue is mostly resolved and the captain follows Matt as he reports for duty to tell him that he won't make the fact that he is late for his shift for the first time a part of his permanent record, and adds that the ship will fly - having enough remaining hydrium. He can see how the news lifts Matt's spirits, and sends him to help the others prepare. All items that can be left must be unloaded to lighten the ship. Thousands of pounds are shed as the passengers sit in the shade. Later, as the sun is beginning to set, they loosen the mooring lines and to everyone's relief, the ship rises, straining against her mooring. Matt is so relieved that he cries and Baz teases him until he is laughing as well. Everyone returns to the ship for dinner, created by Vlad from the ocean and island bounties. Kate comes to dinner alone, telling Matt that Marjorie is in bed with a terrible headache. She shows Matt the little red hopping snake in a book which reveals it as harmless. Later, Kate manages to convince Matt to take her back to the site in the morning, despite his reluctance. She even tells him she can have Lunardi escort her. Matt becomes angry, and almost walks away before Kate stops him, apologizing and admitting that she would never do that. Instead, since Matt is the only one she trusts, if he were to refuse her, she would just have to go alone. Unwilling to allow that to happen, Matt agrees to meet her at first light and heads to bed. He is unable to sleep however and doesn't doze off until well after four in the morning.

This section contains 1,120 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
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