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Oxygen and Aromasia

by Claës Lundin

translated by Bertil Falk

Table of Contents
Part 1, Part 2
Part 3, Part 4
appear in this issue.
Chapter 12: New Joint Stock Companies

Part 5: Air Swimming

They were ready to make a move as the young son of Giro, a boy of five or six years, came rushing up to the roof and exclaimed, “Dad, Dad, now I can swim on my back!”

“Good boy,” said his father, very pleased. “I’ve promised you an encouragement as soon as you made progress in the art of swimming in the air and you may decide what that encouragement will be. What would you like, my boy?”

“If Dad gave me a few of the forty-percent debentures Dad talked about yesterday, I would be very happy.”

“You’ll get them, but go to bed. It’s late now.”

“Soon Dad, but before that I want to finish our game downstairs. We’re seven boys and girls. We’re having a really good time.”

“I’m glad to hear that. What are you playing?”

“A very, very funny game. It’s called Floating Company.”

“Oh, how do you play it?”

“It’s not difficult, Dad. I’m the one who floats all the companies, and the other boys and girls give me the money, which I put in my piggy bank.”

The bank director was touched. He lifted up his son and kissed him. “You’ll soon begin in the brain school, my boy,” he said.

“Is it here in Majorna?” the child asked.

“No, it’s in Telge, most distinguished centre of learning, as they say on the east Coast, though that center is rather here in Gothenburg. But the brain school is a new educational institution established in the old town hall of Telge. I have stock in that company and could possibly part with a few shares.”

Giro returned to the party and continued, “That my son is able to air-swim on his back is surely evidence that the art of air swimming has a future. I am of the opinion that this art cannot be left to drift aimlessly. A company has to be floated to take care of it.”

The party was of the same opinion. “But what is needed in order to swim in the air?”

“To that is first of all needed,” the bank director informed, “a swimming apparatus made of a platinum-silica-hydrocarbon alloy, a composite body with enormously small specific weight that unites the qualities of platinum with the transparency of glass and the elasticity of rubber, but can be as hard as metal. It’s a body we call Kresim and it’s most useful in several professions.

“A totally transparent, airless bell of kresim, a so called air girdle, keeps the human being well balanced. In the front, this apparatus is wedge-shaped and serves as a screen against air at high speeds. On both sides two stirrups hang as a support for the feet, while a big screw of tempered kresim causes the body to make a rapid movement forwards, though the swimmer himself must decide in what direction.

“The screw could not alone create that movement, unless there was a small box with floating oxygen on the apparatus. Oxygen at a very low temperature and under enormous pressure can be used as a power-supply of long duration.

“As you can see, air swimming is something that the future has before itself. It’s something that will soon make the individual air-vehicles redundant and undoubtedly will have a lot of influence on the transportation of commodities.”

The company was floated in great haste and most of the shares were immediately subscribed. Giro had still some company proposals, but then one of the guests proposed that in order to save time, they should make a joint-stock company of the future.

The proposal was adopted unanimously.

To be continued...

Story by Claës Lundin
Translation copyright © 2007 by Bertil Falk

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