Read Chapter 5 “Decision”
The Flower Garden seemed peaceful and quiet when they walked through, but the moment the ship’s door closed behind them, the rebels surrounded them pointing all sorts of weapons at the two of them. Luckily, Maggie’s flying ship was big enough to fit the two of them and the droid. However, there was no space for them to move about at all.
Maggie was anxious to make the ship take off as soon as possible. However, the closer the rebels were getting to the ship, the more nervous she was becoming. Patrick knew her well and remembered well how stress could influence Maggie’s thinking and actions. When they were still young, every time she got into a situation she wasn’t familiar with, she would become fearful and anxiously imaging what possibly could go wrong. Then Patrick would touch her shoulder gently to make her feel safe again. He wasn’t sure if his old method was going to work, but he did it anyway. He put his hand on her shoulder. She closed her eyes for a brief moment to collect her messy thoughts. When she opened them again, she knew exactly what to do
– “Hold on tight” – she shouted as if she was trying to overcompensate for the noise coming from the outside, which wasn’t as loud inside the ship as it was outside. Patrick looked around to find something he could hold on to, but there was nothing. The interior was minimalistic and simple; there was nothing in the ship’s design that could be considered unnecessary.
– “Patrick, just put your arms around me” – Maggie asked. He did just that and smelled her hair. He tried to control himself, but it was hard. He waited for this moment for so long, and she was so close but so unreachable at the same time. Finally, the ship skidded and went straight after at the rebels.
– “Where are your quarters?” – asked Maggie while trying her hardest to navigate through the darkness and thickness of the Greenwich Park. She didn’t want to put the blinding lights on, just in case the rebels were in possession of advanced weapons that could reach the ship.
– “Isle of Wight.”
– “Isle of Wight? That’s…”
– “Yes, it’s… the Southside”
– “Computer, take us to the Isle of Wight” – she said just before the ship started gaining more speed and leaving the burning London behind.
Patrick tried hard to understand what has happened in the past few hours but whatever his mind came up with made very little logical sense.
The fire was spreading fast across London, and Patrick knew that there were no resources Down Below to fight it; he started wondering if perhaps the fighting and burning was all planned by the Above and the Above weaponised the rebels. But he knew that to engage in these thoughts was too destructive and dark even for him.
Maggie’s ship was small but fast. It could cover great distances in the shortest possible time. Within a few minutes, they were already approaching the cliffs of the Isle of Wright.
– “Is there a place where we could hide the ship?” Maggie didn’t want anyone on either side of the Revolution to know what she was up to. Because the Isle of Wight was a free island, it was a haven for smugglers, traffickers, and dodgy characters, willing to sell their own families if that could help them progress to the Above. That kind of dishonest people could never make it at Ecotopia. Ecotopia was very picky when it came to allowing people to settle in within its borders.
– “Can you move the ship closer to that house?” – Patrick asked while pointing to what must have been one of the biggest houses at the island.
– “One of the perks of this job” – he added as if trying to justify himself.
– “You could have so much more than that in Ecotopia.” Maggie carefully glided through the darkness towards the house.
– “If you park it right between those trees and under the bushes, none of the satellites can pick it up.”
She did just that. Once they landed, she locked the whole operating system and closed the door using her fingertips. She put her hand on the tail of the ship and whispered: “Thank you.” This ship served her for many years and saved her life many times over. She always believed that she and the ship’s computer had some connection and the computer could read and feel her.
Patrick’s quarters not only looked magnificent from the outside but very impressive on the inside too. The exterior was old fashioned and preserved in a pristine condition, taking into consideration the limited resources the Down Below had. It reminded Maggie of all the old houses people lived in before the revolution. Ecotopians don’t build big houses for single people or one family. Ecotopia, unlike the Old World, was not about the consumption and big houses seemed like an indulgence to the Ecotopian government and society.
Inside the house, the modern appliances didn’t take away the charming and adorable pre-revolution luxury. Maggie kept looking around thinking “It must have taken Patrick years to collect all that and it was exactly like…” he interrupted her thoughts.
– “You must be starving.”
Maggie looked at him.
– “I can quickly fix us something.”
– “This house…” she started but couldn’t finish.
– “Yes, the same.”
– “But why?”
Patrick came closer to her and put his hand on her cheek. He felt safe enough to express his feelings a bit more.
– “Do you really have to ask?”
Maggie touched his hand. She wanted to kiss him, but instead, she said.
– “I… I had a long day… can I just shower first.”
She needed to focus and not get distracted by Patrick. She knew why she was there and it was much more important than her personal desires and needs.
– “Of course, let me… let me… I’ll take you. Just follow… me.” – he tried to find the right words, but it was hard to control his desire. Maggie followed him to a large, old-fashioned bathroom that was located on the lower floor
– “I’ll fix us something to eat, and you can tell me why you are really here” – said Patrick.
– “Your house is safe, right?”
– “The Above doesn’t know I live here. The Droid is still down, and unless they tracked your ship, we are safe here. At least for now.”
– “Of course for now” – repeated Maggie. “Thank you, once I’m done, I will… find my way…” – Maggie said while slowly closing the door. Once the door was closed, she rested her head on the door. On the other side of the door, Patrick rested his too.