It was 8pm by the time Dukk had cleared the ID Gateway.
He used his nav to get the directions to JL’S Sanctuary, the bar where he was to meet Wallace as instructed by the mystery man.
There were a few options. He chose the option that involved more walking.
For a haulier, walking under full gravity was something to be treasured. Dukk was no different. Feeling the weight of his body reminded him of his past. It gave him a sense of belonging somewhere.
His commute would involve a Hyperloop journey from the VG station near the centre of the Citadel. That would bring him to the middle ring. From there he would have a 45 minute walk to the port area.
He was looking forward to refamiliarizing himself with the layout.
In the port area, Marr and Luna had arrived at JL’s Sanctuary.
JL’s Sanctuary was a popular bar and restaurant, with plenty of tables as well as seating along the bar.
Luna hung back a little as Marr headed off to find the owner.
He had already seen them. He tracked Marr’s approach, and was standing ready at the bar when she got there. He smiled.
“Need a drink or something to eat?” he asked.
“Maybe, but first I have a question.”
“If one was thinking on embarking on a new adventure and getting off this planet, who would one talk to?” Marr asked.
The publican laughed.
“You two look like keepers to me,” he said nodding over at Luna who was trying to look inconspicuous near the door.
“And you, look a bit old to be changing direction. You’d be better off sticking with what you know,” he retorted.
“Thank you, for your advice, but I think I am clear in my head as to what is best for me,” Marr responded with a smirk.
“Well, if you are clear, then who am I to get in your way. And If you want adventure away from this rock, get yourselves on a rig, that will certainly achieve all your aims! Captains come here often looking for contracts and crew. Take a seat, get some refreshments and I’ll let you know if I see any captains,” the owner instructed as he signalled to a server to find them a table.
“Thank you,” Marr replied as she and Luna followed the server to a table.
The Hyperloop journey had been fast and clinical.
Before descending to ground level, Dukk stopped briefly to gaze up into the night sky. The city lights made it hard to see many stars, but the Southern Cross was there as clear as day. Seeing it from space was a far more spectacular experience, however Dukk liked to gaze up at it and imagine how most that went before him would have seen it.
Dukk had enjoyed the walk across to the outer ring. He had enjoyed exploring the narrow streets as he made his way to the pubs near the port.
It was a warm night. A little humid, but clear. Ideal walking conditions.
It all looked familiar. He wasn’t sure if that was his memory of the last time they hauled a load out of here. Or, if simply that Citadels mostly looked the same.
The nav comms informed Dukk that he was nearly at his destination. The nav suggested that JL’s Sanctuary was at the end of the street he was now entering.
Half way down the long and narrow street, Dukk noticed a drinks stand. There were a few people queuing to buy a beverage.
At that moment the street lights went out and immediately two men were at his side.
One covered his mouth as they hustled him through a door that opened in the building opposite the drinks stand.
The door shut behind them. Within, was a dimly lit room. It looked like a small pub, with a bar, a few chairs, and the odd table.
At one of the tables sat a man. The low light made it hard to make out any distinguishable features.
Dukk’s escort shuffled him towards the table and sat him at a chair opposite the man.
The man waved his hand over Dukk’s bracelet and Dukk noticed a faint green glow. The man also had a faint green glow coming from his wrist. It was just as was his experience with the mystery man in Kuedia. Only then did the goons release him and uncover Dukk’s mouth
“Hello Dukk, welcome to Utopiam, you can call me Wallace,” said the man as he reached over and switched on a lamp.
(to be continued...)
[Uplift, Double Take, Chapter 5 - The first meeting (Passage 2 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 ...