On hearing the retreat of the Sentinel quadcopters, Marr and Luna got underway again.
This time they moved along much faster. They weren't as concerned about covering their tracks.
They still did their best to avoid leaving identifiable footprints, however they were now sufficiently into the wild, that it wouldn't matter as much.
Apart from some routine chatter for the fake logs, they moved in silence. Enjoying the sounds of nature, but also staying alert to any further search activities.
Their path took them on a wide half circle.
Eventually they arrived 1 km south of the hangers they been in during the morning.
It was late afternoon by this stage. Soon, they would need to prepare to return to the Citadel.
Their track had them into a valley filled with eucalyptus trees.
In the middle of the valley they came across a decrepit chain link fence. Hanging on the fence was a very faded sign. The words were only just visible.
It read, “Keep Out, Medical Device Storage Facility.”
They climbed through one of the many gaps in the fence and made their way towards the center of the area.
Bits of metal and rusty objects could be seen here and there. More than 150 years of growth had almost hidden the junked equipment.
A sign was still barely visible on what was left of a small booth.
It read, “JAB BOOTH. Certified Covid Vaccine. In an instant, get 14 days access to international travel and indoor hospitality. PCR Test included. Scan your Digital ID to get started."
They found the path markers and made their way north towards a small hut hidden amongst the metal, bushes, and trees.
Within the hut was some old rusting equipment.
They waited. After a couple of minutes, they heard a faint click. At the same time, the lip of a hatch appeared in the dusty floor.
Using a knife as a lever, Marr lifted the hatch to expose the ladder within.
Marr and Luna dropped down the ladder and entered the back of the base.
They made their way towards the center of the base and entered their crew room.
Within the crew room, they changed back into keeper outfits.
“I am surprised we didn’t see any sight of the dingo pack, I am sure the tracks we were seeing were fresh,” shared Luna as they stowed their equipment.
“A good thing too, definitely no time today for side activities!” added Marr.
“What do you think Mentor intended by ‘Pay a visit to the Teacher when you are done’?” asked Luna absently.
“Let’s go and find out,” Marr replied as they left the crew room and headed towards the training centre.
As Marr and Luna approach the door, they could hear a warm, but broken voice from within.
Through a window in the door they could see an old lady, sitting in a circle with six younger people all dressed in Keeper uniforms.
The lady was of dark complexion. She had haunting black eyes, balanced with a pleasant expression. Her wild grey hair was drawn back exposing two disfigured ears and scars that ran down the side of her neck. She wore her hair this way as if to ensure everyone saw the scars. Almost as a mark of pride.
The Teacher caught them looking through the small window. Without breaking her monologue, she beckoned them to enter. She pointed them to some seats just inside the door.
Marr and Luna entered quickly and sat down. The students hardly paid them any attention.
“So that concludes our lesson for today. Any questions,” concluded the Teacher.
A silence filled the room for a moment or two. Then one of the students spoke up confidently.
“If things were so good, why was it so easy for the Utopians to gain so much control at the start of the Reset.”
The Teacher paused for a moment, looking around the circle.
“That is a great question, thank you, Theona. Perhaps a review of Zuby’s List will point us towards an answer. How about we add something about it to the homework and give it our full attention tomorrow,” replied the Teacher.
A groan echoed around the room.
“Perhaps everyone could find one example in your lives today, using the list as the reference, and bring it to class tomorrow,” continued the Teacher.
“Can someone share the list with us before we go?” she asked the room.
There was another pause.
“Perhaps the gentleman at the back of the room could refresh our memories?” the Teacher said as everyone turned their heads to see whom she was referring to.
Marr and Luna spun around with everyone else.
Mentor was standing behind them.
Without even so much as a nod, Mentor began to speak softly, but clearly.
“Zuby’s List, July 5th year 1.
“Number one, most people would rather be in the majority, than be right.
“Number two, at least 20% of the population has strong authoritarian tendencies, which will emerge under the right conditions.
“Three, fear of death is only rivalled by the fear of social disapproval. The latter could be stronger.
“Four, propaganda is just as effective in the modern day as it was 100 years ago. Access to limitless information has not made the average person any wiser.
“Number five, anything, and everything can and will be politicised by the media, government, and those who trust them.
“Six, many politicians and large corporations will gladly sacrifice human lives if it is conducive to their political and financial aspirations.
“Seven, most people believe the government acts in the best interests of the people. Even many who are vocal critics of the government.
“Number eight, once they have made up their mind, most people would rather to commit to being wrong, than admit they were wrong.
“Nine, humans can be trained and conditioned quickly and relatively easily to significantly alter their behaviours - for better or worse.
“Ten, when sufficiently frightened, most people will not only accept authoritarianism, but demand it.
“Eleven, people who are dismissed as 'conspiracy theorists' are often researched and simply ahead of the mainstream narrative.
“Number twelve, most people value safety and security more than freedom and liberty, even if said 'safety' is merely an illusion.
“Thirteen, hedonic adaptation occurs in both directions, and once inertia sets in, it is difficult to get people back to 'normal'.
“Fourteen, a significant % of people thoroughly enjoy being subjugated.
“Fifteen, 'The Science' has evolved into a secular pseudo-religion for millions of people in the West. This religion has little to do with science itself.
“Number sixteen, Most people care more about looking like they are doing the right thing, rather than actually doing the right thing.
“Seventeen, politics, the media, science, and the healthcare industries are all corrupt, to varying degrees. Scientists and doctors can be bought as easily as politicians.
“Eighteen, if you make people comfortable enough, they will not revolt. You can keep millions docile as you strip their rights, by giving them money, food, and entertainment.
“Nineteen, modern people are overly complacent and lack vigilance when it comes to defending their own freedoms from government overreach.
“Twenty, it's easier to fool a person than to convince them that they have been fooled.
“Number twenty one, most people are fairly compassionate and have good intentions (this is good).
“And, finally, number twenty two, most people deeply struggle to understand that some people, including our 'leaders', CAN have malicious or perverse intentions (this is bad).”
The students, Marr and Luna had been transfixed, listening. They all sensed they had just witnessed something truly momentous. Being in the same room as Mentor was one thing, but hearing him speak, was something different all together.
“Very good, Mentor, you paid attention all those years ago when you sat here.”
The Teacher’s thanks, broke the spell.
With that the students gathered their things and left, sensing these visitors were not here for their further entertainment.
(to be continued...)
[Uplift, Double Take, Chapter 4 - Cause and effect (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 ...