Luna took a pause at this point as her, and Marr had reached the edge of the hills.
Before them was a nine-foot-high chain link fence. The fence disappeared away towards the Citadel to their right and into the distance on the left. Beyond the fence were the vast tracks of grazing lands, vineyards, and orchards. Just on the other side of the fence was a stretch of bushes and shrubs. This buffer also disappeared into the distance in both directions.
As they slid through a gap in the fence, they checked their comms and looked around.
“The transport is still a few minutes away, tell me what we know about what happened next,” Marr requested.
Luna continued, “The years of conflict and turmoil had been put to good use by those behind the utopian dream. They saw first-hand how their strategies hadn’t worked. It had simply created stronger division. That division awakened and strengthened the resolve of those they saw as oppressing them. Instead, the utopians used their newly acquired authority afforded to them by the citadels to shift gear. From this they conceived the Rule of Twelve.
“The Rule of Twelve said that all were equal, but only when at the same level of assigned privilege. They conceived the model with twelve levels. Each level would be granted certain privilege, and with it power and entitlement. Level 1 having the most, and level twelve having the least. They appointed sixty of themselves as the first EOs for this new world order. Twelve for each citadel. They decided that EOs would remain in these positions until their death.
“Appointment of EO replacement is from the level below. This in turn opens up opportunity for promotion for the level below and so on. Each can have up to twelve devoted followers, or observers, who occupy the level below. This propagates down to level twelve. In reality each really only has one to two subordinates.
“Most, start and remain at level twelve. Known as the deprivileged, they are destined to work their entire lives. They live in the walls of the city without not much more than subsistence-based rewards for their toil.”
With that, Luna stopped talking. They both listened. Without speaking and at the exact same moment they both launched into a sprint. Dashing through the stretch of bushes and shrubs and running as fast as they could in the direction of the Citadel. Their firm and able bodies responded to their will with beautiful precision.
Behind them, a huge airborne vehicle came over the horizon. It came low and fast. A cloud of dust rose up in its wake. It would be on top of them in moments. Lowering out of the craft were two cables. Each with a sort of a hook mechanism at the end. The cables were weighted slightly so they extended out behind the craft but didn’t touch the top of the bushes.
Marr and Luna had separated slightly so whilst running level, there was now a gap between them. As they ran, they unfurled a length of tether from their belts and clipped one end into their body harness. Just as the massive quadcopter reached their position, Marr and Luna sprung into the air, pivoting as they went and letting go of the loose end of the tethers.
The craft passed overhead and then climbed. The tethers spiralled out and caught the cables. The locking mechanisms found each other and made a secure bond. As the craft climbed the cables where unfelled some more so when they went taut, Marr and Luna only felt a slight pull as they flew through the air. The winches then reversed direction, bringing Marr and Luna into the belly of the transport. The doors in the floor closed below them.
Once unclipped from the winches, Marr and Luna headed straight for their lockers. The lockers were hidden in the walls of the hold. They stowed most of their equipment and changed out of their fatigues and into their keepers’ outfits. Then they each found a spare console to sync the fake logs.
Only when the consoles and lockers were hidden from view again, did they give the other a high five and acknowledge their colleagues. A dozen other colleagues were already in this space completing a similar routine.
As the adrenaline rush dissipated, sweat soaked their clothes and added to the illusion they were crafting. They found seats and settled in for the ride.
(to be continued...)
[Rule of Twelve, Double Take, Chapter 2 - Perspective (Passage 4 of 5)]
All Rights Reserved. Copyright © 2021 BJ Allen
If you are looking to catch-up by reading entire chapters, find them on ThinkSpot.
Passages will appear here in Locals first, but I can’t put the entire chapter here because of post size limitations. So, I am publishing the chapters via ThinkSpot. You don’t need an account to read the chapters. Just follow the link and scroll down.
Chapter 1 - A routine descent
Chapter 2 - Perspective
Chapter 3 - Grounding
Chapter 4 - Cause and effect
Chapter 5 - The first meeting
Chapter 6 - Staying goodbye
Chapter 7- Instability
Chapter 8 - Orientation
Rule of Twelve, Double Take - Ch15 (Passage 5/5)
“Hi,” came Luna’s voice as she bounced into the suit locker.
Dukk turned around.
“Are you alright? You are all flushed?”
“Yes, I am fine. I was practicing some yoga in zero-G. I lost track of time. Quite challenging and not what I expected.” Luna replied.
“Yoga?” Marr mouthed silently at Luna from behind Dukk.
Luna smiled cheekily.
Marr held her hands up and looked away as if to say ‘I don't want to know’.
Dukk laughed. He’d been an apprentice too once. He knew what was on his mind the first time he was in zero-g. And, he could tell an intentional lie.
“Are you sure you want to try this now? I can go alone and you can get back to your ‘yoga’?” Dukk asked in gest emphasising the last word.
“Nope, I’m good. Let’s do this.”
Thirty five minutes later, Luna stood at the port outer doorway. She was in awe.
Dukk and Luna had completed the same process Bazzer and Marr had done earlier. Marr, with ...
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