Benji stood high on a metal catwalk overlooking hundreds of shining panels placed strategically in the Solar Field outside the city limits. He listened to the turbine motors of the new wind – catchers: thrmmm~ thrmmm, thrmmm.
Sounds good so far. But Benji was uneasy. For some reason, the engines kept slipping. He took his clockstop from his gray powerworker crew jacket and punched the button to time the sequences in case the turbines missed cycles. How he hoped they wouldn’t slip out again. Another Power-Out would be terrible. How could they say that Kingsways were better than the Enchanter’s if the power was always failing?
Benji was a young man, no longer the sniveling, fearful brat terrified of the alarm, “Power Out! Power Outs!” No longer the lonely boy dreading the gurgling in the tubes of the underwater sewer system which meant that the lights “up there” were failing, and he and Eddie and the orphans below would suffer the Enchanter’s wrath.
In those days, Benji and Eddie, his best friend, were known as the Sewer Rat and the Boiler Brat. Miserable orphans, forced by the evil Enchanter to man the dark, damp, ever-failing powerworks, they had been loyal buddies. Then one day, into their dank and hopeless underworld a Stranger had come, humming a fragment of a hauntingly beautiful tune and promising to teach them the whole song. So the two boys and all the other cold and hungry Rats and Brats had followed the man to “up there.”
The man led them to Great Park, where Mercie and Caretaker loved them and sheltered them and taught them to laugh again. The boys learned……