Gaia could not sleep. Above her, somewhere, invisible in the darkness of the night, Julia was flying in an airship, as large as a whole campo. She had seen the airships during the day, slow in their movement as low clouds, with a small cabin and a glass eye, a round porthole which seemed to look at her. She spoke softly.
Julia’s inside the eye.
Julia was looking through the porthole, outstretched on the floor of the cabin, her head inside the cold glass ball, her eyes all over the city.
In the airship Julia found a lantern. Lanterns were used on airships to communicate at a distance, farther than the voice could reach. A lid obscured the light source, which was magnified by a lens, corrugated by concentric circles. Ferdinand, the captain of the airship, came to explain to Julia how it worked.
It is a Fresnel lens, it projects the light over long distances. At night the light is visible from the ground. If you place and remove the cover alternatively, you can send a message.
Julia looked through the porthole.
Could you can send a message to my friend?
Sure, what do you want me to write?
Tonight I sleep above you. Goodnight Gaia.
Are you sure she can see us?
Julia nodded and pointed west. Ferdinand lowered the lamp in the porthole, covered the light with the moving lid, opened the lid, closed it again, until the words were complete. He turned to Julia.
Will she understand us?