Read Chapter 5 “Decision”
The Flower Garden appeared peaceful and relatively quiet while Maggie and Patrick were walking through overgrown lawns with flowers as tall as the two of them. But it all shifted the moment the ship’s door closed behind Patrick. The rebels came out of the bushes with all sorts of weapons pointing at the vehicle while advancing towards them fast. Maggie was anxious to make the ship take off but the closer the rebels were getting to the ship, the more nervous she felt. Patrick knew well how stress influenced 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 paralysed always imagining the worst possible case scenario.
Patrick always believed that he had the magic touch and even tapping her gently on the shoulder was enough for her to feel safe, at least this is how it used to be. He wasn’t sure if his old method would work, but he tried it anyway. Once Maggie felt his touch she felt calmer and closed her eyes for a brief moment to collect her disorganised thoughts. When she opened them again, she knew exactly what to do.
– “Hold on tight” – She shouted as if she trying to overcompensate for the noise coming from the 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 ordered. He did just that. He tried to control his desire to smell her hair, but it was hard. He waited for this moment for so long, and she was so close but unreachable at the same time. Finally, the ship skidded and went straight after the rebels.
– “Where are your quarters?” – Asked Maggie while skillfully navigate through the darkness and thickness of the Greenwich Park. She didn’t want to put the headlights 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, the Southside” – She said just before the ship gained speed, leaving the burning London behind.
Patrick tried to analyze 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 wondered if perhaps the fighting and burning were all planned by the Above and the Above weaponised the rebels. But engaging those thoughts was too cataclysmic even for him.
Despite the small size of Maggie’s ship, the machine was fast. It could cover great distances in the shortest time and 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. Since 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 in Ecotopia. Ecotopia was very particular when it came to allowing people to settle within its borders.
– “Can you move the ship closer to that house?” – Patrick asked while pointing to what must have been one of the largest houses on 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 right between those trees and under the bushes, none of the satellites will pick up on the movement.” – He instructed Maggie.
Once they landed, Maggie locked the whole operating system and closed the door using her fingerprints. 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 they had a special connection whitch allowed the ship’s computer feel her mood.
Patrick’s quarters not only looked magnificent from the sky but very impressive up close as well. 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, wasn’t based on consumption economy and big housing seemed like an indulgence in consumption within the Ecotopia world.
Inside the house, the modern appliances didn’t take away the charming and adorable pre-revolution luxury. Maggie looked around thinking “That the house was exactly like…” but he interrupted her thoughts.
– “You must be starving.”
Maggie looked at him.
– “I can quickly fix us something.” – He offered.
– “This house…” she started but couldn’t finish.
– “Yes, the same.”
– “But why?”
Feeling safe Patrick came closer to her and put his hand on her cheek.
– “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 her feelings or her past with Patrick. Her mission was the priority, not 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 dominate his longing. 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?” – Maggie wanted to know.
– “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. When the door closed, she rested her head on it. On the other side of the door, Patrick rested his too.