Dēbĭlĭto - meaning to paralyse, to weaken, to disable, to incapacitate, to impair, to maim, to lame, to cripple
Chapter 1: Set sail
Seagulls cried out above their heads, circling over the deck and the coast as the two men walked along the pier. There was the occasional flap of a seagull’s wings as one flew too close, before letting out a squawk and flying off again. The old wooden planks beneath the men’s feet creaked a little as they walked, straining under their weight. Behind them, they could hear the crashing of the waves hitting the beach, accompanied by the laughter of young children playing in the surf. The sound reminded them of their niece and nephew over in California.
“Ah, there she is!” The larger of the two men, Stanley, pointed to a small wooden boat tied up at the side of the deck in front of them. Constructed of dark oak and the hull reinforced with carbon fibre, the boat bobbed up and down on the waves. A large, wooden mast stuck up out of the middle of the cabin, numerous aerials for radio and mobile signal attached with firm steel plating. A telescope was fixed to the front of the cabin roof, already aiming up towards the stratosphere. A red banner of paint ran around the edge of the boat, just above the surface of the water and below the railing. The words ‘Stan ‘O War II’ were painted on in block capitals with white paint.
Stanley’s twin brother grinned. “Finally. I thought we would never get her finished.” The second man, Stanford was considerably thinner than Stanley, though they were of identical height and age. Ford’s hair was not confined by a hat in the way Stan’s was, being whipped around by the ocean breeze. Ford took a deep breath as the twins approached their boat. Ford was the first to step onto the deck, offering his brother a six-fingered hand to help him on.
“I’m not that old Sixer.” Stan rolled his eyes. “I can still walk fine, you know.” He reached for the hand anyway.