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 12.
“The Rule of 12 said that all were equal, but only when at the same level of assigned privilege. They conceived the model with 12 levels. Each level would be granted certain privilege, and with it power and entitlement. Level 1 having the most, and level 12 having the least. They appointed 60 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 12. In reality each really only has 1-2 subordinates.
“Most, start and remain at level 12. 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...)
[Uplift, Double Take, Chapter 2 - Perspective (Passage 4 of 5)]
All Rights Reserved. Copyright © 2021 BJ Allen
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
(Stay tuned for further chapters)
"Let's go Mentor, we've only got an hour to get everything we need ready for the next 3 weeks. The supplies are in the clearance hold with the load, but we’ve got to get them secure. The passengers will be here shortly and they’ll need briefing. Let's start with your travel lockers. We'll bring them through the nose door and to make light work of it, we'll use the vertical conveyor in the forward ladder shaft," Annee shared as she got up from the table.
"Show the way, and I am not afraid of hard work," replied Mentor as he followed her to the airlock door that lead back to the passenger accommodation.
"Don't worry, I have plenty of hard work in mind to satisfy that need."
"By the look of you, I am pretty sure you can satisfy my needs, bring it on, Annee," Mentor replied in a provocative tone.
Annee laughed briefly saying, “you’d be so lucky, old timer”, and smiled cheekily back at him and the others as she disappeared through the door.
Mentor laughed loudly as he headed into the corridor....
"Right, let me welcome you all and I hope this is the start of something real,” Dukk said as he sat down.
“We have a big challenge ahead of us and on top of that we don't know each other. And, some of you are new to this game. So, let me start with a few non negotiables. Number one, no heroes. Your own safety comes first. As they say, attend to your own air supply first before helping others with theirs. Second, everyone has the obligation to challenge things that you don't understand or that don’t look right. If I, or anyone else, overlooks something or makes a poor decision out there, we all may die. So we all must be prepared to be challenged. And we must all challenge. And, finally, we leave no one behind, no matter the designation, privilege or whatever. Clear?"
Nods and smiles all round.
“Great. So, on this rig we operate in pairs, or buddies. You’ll cover the same areas of responsibility. You’ll be on watch together. You’ll eat at the same time. You’ll sleep at ...
The convergence of two key events gave rise to this space. The first being frustration over the madness of the world and the cliff we are all charging towards. The second being the realisation that time was getting on and I’d better get the stuff out of my head before it was too late. So, I created this community on Locals.com. My plan is to experiment with this format as an alternative to the traditional book publishing path. My plan is to publish stories as they evolve, probably a chapter at a time. The first piece of writing that will unfold here is a story that I am calling Uplift, Double Take. This piece explores life 200 odd years from now, based on the trajectory of the current madness.
Your financial support would be greatly appreciated, but not needed to read the book.
This is because, I am publishing the book one passage at a time via normal posts within my Locals community.
You simply need to join the community and you’ll get book passages delivered directly to you as ...