Author : Callum Wallace
They stepped into the city, ignoring the barrage of smells assaulting their nostrils.
People swam in and out of view, chatting animatedly, gracing the travellers with only the most cursory of glances.
The first Walker patted her Pair Mate gently on the shoulder, and spread out her hand.
“Welcome to the city, Akira. What do you think?”
Her partner looked around scornfully, his upper lip raised beneath the baby blue visor covering his eyes. He pulled his wide brimmed hat lower over his face.
“The sooner we finish, the better.”
She nodded her agreement, squeezing his shoulder, “Come, then. Let’s not dally.”
They strolled along, the crowd parting respectfully around them. Their oiled cloaks shone darkly, reflecting the myriad of buzzing, coloured lights around them.
She looked about her with similar scorn, judging the fools staring vapidly into their various screens, wishing fervently for the comfort of her book satchel, stashed safely outside of the city out of the reach of these troglodyte morons.
She laughed briefly, causing Akira to turn to her.
She shrugged, “They have the audacity to call the areas outside of these prisons ‘The Wastes’. The irony tickled me, is all.”
Akira, not known for his humour, chuckled with her, this time patting her shoulder.
“Well Brenna, hopefully this will help fix their views.”
They moved further into the city, headed for the centre. When they arrived, they flashed their false credentials at the guards and asked for peace. The men nodded, grudgingly, and moved on, creating a cordon around the towering pillar that stood there.
This broadcast tower catered to every man, woman and child that lurked in this superficial pit, showering all within with a surfeit of luxury seldom seen outside: laziness.
People didn’t want for anything here, not for anything important.
Knowledge was dying here, killed off by the ease with which people could access it; nothing was learned here, but accessed, glanced at, and discarded callously.
The thought made Brenna feel sick; it clashed with everything within her, instilled there by the Order since her infancy.
The rebels entered the tower and rode the lift upwards, looking balefully out through the flashing glass windows at the sprawling megacity below them. They passed even the tallest of buildings that scraped the sky, finally bursting through the heavy artificial clouds.
The lift slowed, depositing them safely at the top of the narrow tower. Brenna fancied she could feel it swaying slightly, but paid it no heed.
“I’ll get the device ready,” she said quietly.
She began to work, taking the heavy metal box from the sling across her chest, where it had been concealed by her cloak.
Akira nodded, removing his hat to save it from blowing away. He tapped her gently, pointing,
She began to grumble, but did so, and stopped.
The two of them retracted their visors and stared up at the moon with naked eyes.
It hung heavily in the sky, bloated and white, pearlescent through the greasy scum of the atmosphere far above.
“Do you think they’re still up there, doing things right?
Again, she gently squeezed his shoulder.
She didn’t know.
“Probably been there and gone. To Mars, or one of those others. Come on, help me.”
He lingered a moment longer as she knelt, “Think they’ll come back?”
He looked down at her questioningly, before flicking his visor back down. She did the same, setting the EMP to detonate within two hours, enough time for them to escape easily.
She stood and gazed into the band of blue blocking his eyes.