The transport made two further stops on its course towards the Citadel. These stops were to pick up other keepers from the sheds, vineyards, and orchards. Now that the transport was within visual range of the Citadel, these subsequent pickups were done in full view, and done with far less sophistication or glamour.
The quadcopter would land in a predesignated area and the keepers would come aboard. By the time they reached the Citadel there were near fifty keepers squashed into the hold.
The transport slowed as it approached the wall of the Citadel. A huge door slid open exposing a platform on which the transport landed. The doors closed behind the transport the moment it touched the pad.
Similar doors were now closing around the circumference of the Citadel as other transports returned for the night with their load of keepers.
Within the transport, the occupants waited patiently as the transport’s four massive rotors came to rest.
When the back doors finally opened, Marr, Luna, and everyone else filed out, walked across the pad, and started to queue at a mantrap. One at a time, they entered the mantrap and waited for their logs and vitals to be scanned. A misstep here would have the person picked up by Sentinels and taken away, never to be seen or heard of again. However, once cleared by the operators of the mantrap, the keepers would be free to roam the outer ring of the Citadel in search of food, recreation, and rest.
Recreation was not on the minds of Marr and Luna as they left the transport pad and headed towards the nearest Hyperloop station. The signs were there. More real work was on the horizon, so if it was tomorrow, a good night’s rest was going to be essential.
Like most of those who worked outside the walls, Marr and Luna shared a h-pod near the port. It meant they had to use the Hyperloop instead of walking. But the location had its advantages. Firstly, there was always more things going on near the port. And secondly, it was rougher, so the Sentinels and Observers stayed clear of the bars and recreation rooms, mostly.
The Hyperloops were frequent and fast, so it wasn’t that much of an inconvenience.
“Let’s go via the stores, as I need to get a food pack,” Luna announced as they boarded the train.
“We still have two portions of cacciatore,” Marr replied.
“I don’t feel like it. I am in the mood for a curry. Besides if we aren’t going for a drink, perhaps we can get a dessert as a treat?”
“Fine,” Marr agreed.
She knew it wasn’t going to be a battle she could win or be bothered with.
The Hyperloop didn’t take long to reach their stop. The stores were on lower levels. So, they made their way down the access stairs instead of heading straight to their h-pod. The stores were busy as labourers exchanged their EUs for essential supplies and food. The habitation pods were small and had little storage so most made daily trips rather than stocking up.
Twenty minutes later, and Marr and Luna were opening the glass door to their shared space. Their h-pod consisted of a living room, two small bedrooms and a shared bathroom. The glass door opened into the living room and served as the only window. The living room contained a kitchenette, and a table with two chairs. It didn’t need much more as they were rarely there for more than showering, sleeping, or eating. The kitchen had a small storage cupboard, a basic sink and the rehydration unit used to process the food packs.
“You shower first, as it’s my turn to prepare the food,” Marr insisted as they stowed their boots.
“What level to you think Observers need to be at before they can get access to have a bigger h-pod?” Luna asked as she headed for the shower.
“That is something the likes of us will never need to know,” Marr replied.
(to be continued...in the next chapter)
[Uplift, Double Take, Chapter 2 - Perspective (Passage 5 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 ...