The City of Sleepers

In a futuristic world, all resources are in abundance and for sale to the trillions of inhabitants of the world’s major cities. Even bodily energy has become a purchased commodity. 

type: science-fiction, storytelling

Please reload

Dreaming

She left him lying in a field of green, as poisonous as it was beautiful, with a hacksaw through his helmet and the radio she’d smashed beneath the heel of her boot. She didn’t look back as she returned back to their pod, . Latching the door of the pod in place, she flicks a few switches on the control panel and lifts into the atmosphere. The body left behind is already overrun with spores and petals. The only thing more deadly than a broken heart is a broken helmet on a hostile planet, though the consequences of the prior weigh more heavily on her mind. This memory isn’t her own, she feels the hole of loneliness welling inside of her as she ascends towards the stars.

 

Waking

The beeping of the sleeper capsule tells Sonya it’s time to wake. The plug at the back of her skull releases automatically and she opens her eyes to the darkness of the room. She sits up and stretches her stiff joints and gaunt frame, taking a moment to get readjusted to moving her own body. Reaching towards her right forearm, she touches the cool metal of the panel seamlessly attached to her skin. She pulls out the various plugs and wires stuck into her arm and extends one foot onto the floor beside the capsule to step out, not bothering to hit the light switch as she wanders to the console beside the pod. She has grown used to the darkness and knows the floorplan for the single bedroom apartment entirely by memory and touch. She grabs the battery out of the pod’s deck, full with energy sucked from her over the course of the past 8 hours, and transfers it into the console, snapping it into place. She moves quietly and slowly, her existence in this place acknowledged only by herself and the console she speaks to.

“Access code, 1583022. Clarice Barton. Send.”

The console screen blinks green in response. The gentle whirring of the machine picks up as the battery’s charge is transferred to an identical console miles away, to be plugged into another arm panel and utilized by another body.

She confirms the energy has been received and the order fulfilled before she moves into the other room and sits at the kitchen table, a generous name she had given to a single-person desk pulled from a dumpster years prior. The apartment is dark and empty. The dream she had experienced had resurfaced the feelings of crushing loneliness she was usually able to push to the back of her mind. She reflects for a moment and then returns to the bedroom to dress.

---

The City is built in layers, concrete stacked on concrete as humans built into the sky. Neon signs and yellow-tinged lights illuminate the walkways and roads which weave their way through the buildings, seemingly without order. There is no sunlight here; the rays are blocked miles above by the densely clustered skyscrapers. The wealthy absorb the warmth in their rooftop condos, protected from the external elements by a thick layer of clear kinetic glass, while the trillions of people below them have never seen the sun or breathed fresh air.

The garage door slides open as Sonya rolls her motorbike out onto the pavement outside, wet of drippings from rains which passed over the city a week or more ago. She breathes in the air of the city, sticky and cold. Clicking on her helmet with one hand, she starts the bike with the other and is racing down the steep descent to the surface before the garage can snap shut behind her. Her life is controlled by limitations of time and she has two short hours before she must be back in the capsule. Her next client, the CEO of a hovercraft manufacturing company, demands six hours of energy by the end of the day.

The sound of the motor echoes around her, bouncing between the walls of the buildings as she darts through the narrow alleyways. Thin concrete dividers are all that separate the occupants of the roads from a fatal drop into the depths of the city slums. At least those who lurk there would make good use of the motorcycle parts, Sonya thinks to herself.

Other traffic joins her as she turns onto a main road. Bright billboards advertise everything from imported oxygen to human labor. The traffic lights in the intersections have been broken for months but the chaos of the crowd is easy to traverse with only two wheels. Sonya leaves the angry horns of other larger vehicles behind her and merges onto a four lane highway headed for the outer ring of the City. The wall encircling the bottom twelve layers of the city are steel and equipped with elevators the size of football fields, constantly shuttling passengers up and down. Sonya boards an elevator headed downwards and parks alongside hundreds of others waiting to descend into the dark bowels of the City.

The platforms grinds into movement with a piercing screeching noise of metal on metal. The gears whine and churn, hidden underneath the rumbling surface where Sonya rests her feet. She notices a man sitting in a nearby car watching her and she turns to look away. The lights embedded in the walls of the elevator shaft flicker yellow. The platform stops multiple times to discharge passengers on its way down to the ground level. By the time it arrives, only a handful of vehicles remain, the majority of which are enormous trucks holding cargo bound for other cities many of thousands of miles away. They are built to shield the drivers and cargo from the harsh outdoor weather, encapsulated in enormous sheets of metal.

The platform comes to a rest and Sonya revs her bike back into motion, crossing over the barriers of the platform as they recede into the floor. There’s a line of cargo trucks waiting to be cleared to leave the city limits but she accelerates past them, weaving in and out as she cuts straight to the checkpoint. She pulls up to station 7, as she always does, ignoring the airhorn of the truck she cut in front of. The window of the booth slides open. A pudgy man in a short sleeve button down leans out to look down at her, the window positioned to serve trucks and much too high up for a small motorcycle.

“Well look who it is! Haven’t seen you around in a while.” He taps the brim of his stained baseball cap up and Sonya catches a glimpse of his bushy grey eyebrows. “Heads up- it’s level 9 alert today. There was another attack up in sector 3. Those Revolution folks are getting pretty bold.”

“You don’t say.” She already knows but replies because he expects it. She forces a smile but her face isn’t used to the movement and it feels heavy on her cheeks. A scanner folds out of the wall to meet her and she places her forearm implant onto it. The screen blinks green and the attendant lets out a long whistle.

“Say, how does a Sleeper get that level of clearance?”

“Client.” She says and lifts her arm from the scanner. Her answers are blunt, his friendliness is cutting into her valuable time.

“Must be nice to have friends in high places.” The metal gate in front of Sonya slides open with a screech. “Kept left to bypass the security checkpoint.”

Sonya kicks her bike back into gear. She pulls her goggles down onto her eyes and hooks her scarf over the bridge of her nose, covering her face entirely from view.

“You be safe out there. See you in twenty.” He waves a hand as she takes off.

She stays left as instructed to get around the massive line of vehicles waiting to be inspected before leaving the city. The road leads into an enormous tunnel, dipping slightly before becoming flat again. She accelerates, leaving the noise and smog of the idling trucks behind her. The tunnel lights flicker past her fast and then faster as she picks up speed, heading for the light at the end of the five mile long tunnel. As it approaches, Sonya squints and then closes her eyes entirely against the blinding light. She bursts out of the tunnel and into openness.

She opens her eyes slowly, knowing that the road continues straight, and adjusts her pupils to the brightness that never reaches the inner parts of the city.

The sun. Warm and intense on her bare arms.

The wind whips at her scarf as she speeds forward, the sand it carries scrapes across her skin and tangles in her loose hair. The landscape is infinite, a flat expanse of hot sand. Cliffs rise up unexpectedly and end just as abruptly, looking as if someone had haphazardly stuck them into the ground at random.

Sonya leaves the road and takes off into the sand, leaving a trail of dust and exhaust behind her. She climbs a small hill and pulls to a stop, looking out at the landscape around her. The City looms behind her, a monumental skyscraper of dark metal protruding from a bed of rock as if a knife piercing into the fabric of the blue sky above. The glass encapsulating the city shimmers in the sunlight.

Lowering the kickstand of the bike, Sonya removes her helmet and places it on the seat of the motorbike. She stretches her arms out and takes a deep breath of the dry air through her scarf. She feels the sticky layer of perspiration which is ever present in the dark humidity of the city evaporating, leaving her warm and feeling lighter than before, though scratched up by the sand blowing with the gusts of wind. The feeling is wonderful and worth the troublesome trip through the city’s lower levels.

She looks up into the sky, overwhelmingly huge and everlasting. She breathes in and then screams.

She screams loud and hard, but nobody can hear her. The world continues, unchanged.  She is insignificant and small.

She screams until her voice gives out and then turns to head home.

 

Dreaming

Sonya dreams her own dream for the first time in months. It’s a recurring memory, playing on look through her subconscious. In it she sees a woman, dressed in dark crimson and black, walking down the central staircase of the opera house. This is where they had first met.

The woman approaches and touches her hand. Their fingers interlacing. Sonya remembers the feeling of the woman’s silk gloves.

The memory fast forwards to the pair leaving the party. They walk through the meticulously landscaped rooftop parks, gazing up at the two moons through the glass dome of the city.

They walk through the night and into the early hours of the morning, talking softly to one another.

“I am a Sleeper.” The woman says. “I provide bodily energy for the upper classes, for families like yours.”

Sonya admires the dark circles under the woman’s green eyes and the paleness of her skin. She had heard of Sleepers before but had never met one in person, as they usually concealed themselves in the lower levels of the city for security and solitude.

“This life is lonely but I am paid well. Well enough that someday I might escape this planet.”

They stand there together in the park. As the sun rises slowly in the distance, the woman begins to fade away in the sunlight until it is morning and Sonya is alone.

 

Waking

It’s Tuesday, Sonya’s mandatory day off. Typically she spends it sleeping for her own health, not her clients’, but today she climbs out of the pod and dresses, heading outside.

She walks to a nearby bar, tucked away down a dark alley and half hidden by laundry lines full of clothes strung between the buildings. Inside, it’s dark and quiet as a bar frequented by Sleepers should be, imitating their isolated places of slumber. Music plays softly over head and a handful of drab people decorate the stools by the counter, sipping on neon colored drinks.

The barkeeper nods at her as she passes and she holds up two fingers. Making her way to the back of the room, she approaches a young asian man sitting alone at a booth. His waist-long black hair is tied back in a lean ponytail. He looks up as she slides into the booth across from him.

“Hello, Logan.” The man smiles gently.

“Been busy?”

“Like you wouldn’t believe.” The barkeeper approaches and places two identical drinks in front of her, a neon green mixture of vitamins and synthetic fruit flavors. Sonya takes a sip, feeling the concentrated chemicals enter her system. The drink is medicine-like and repulsive, but it will provide her with the nutrients her body needs but her lifestyle denies her.

“I heard you’ve been allowed to exit the city. Was that Drew’s doing?”

Sonya’s heart pangs as the casual mentioning of the name. “Can we not talk about her?”

“Sorry. I didn’t mean to bring up bad memories. I’m also interested in seeing the outside of the city.”

They sit in silence for a few moments before Logan speaks again. “I had a dream a few days ago that was so beautiful I woke up crying… Has that ever happened to you?”

“I’ve felt my dreams becoming more intense recently as well.” Sonya finishes off the second of her drinks and clinks the cup back onto the table. “I wonder why that is.”

“It could be that the transferral systems have been tampered with. The terrorist attacks in the upper sectors have become more frequent lately.”

“You mean the Revolution? What about that Sleeper who went missing?”

“She still hasn’t been found. The police reports suggest they’re starting to give up the search.” Logan checks his watch. “I’ve should get going. I have an appointment in fifteen minutes. It was good to see you, Sonya.” He stands. “Keep yourself safe. See you next week?”

“I’ll let you know.” Sonya raises a hand to wave and watches the him leave.

She lingers for a few minutes before getting up and heading for the door as well, signalling to the bartender to put it on her tab.

“Your friend’s drinks too?” He asks.

“You know I don’t have friends.” She leaves the bar. The city is cold and quiet as she walks the alleyways homeward.

 

Dreaming

It’s difficult to describe what it feels like to drown. It’s even harder to describe the moment you’re pulled from the depths of the water and out of the grim reaper’s desperate clutches. It’s hard to describe one’s own mortality.

The water peels away from the man’s face as he flies into the sky, clutched in the talons of a great white dragon, one too huge and terrifying for even the fairytales of old. The man’s hair is golden and long, flowing in the wind behind him. His eyes are red and bloodshot.

They ascend up and up until they pierce the blue of the sky. But the feeling is cold and heavy and the man feel the breath sucked from them once again. The sky is water and the pressure increases as they continue flying upwards. The crushing weight of the water builds and builds and tortures his lungs. The rhythmic pounding of wings becomes synonymous with the beating of his heart.

 

Waking

Sonya is sitting at her table in the kitchen when she hears the news whispered over her small radio. Clarice Barton, the Senator of sector 3, had been charged with the murder of an ex-lover, a man thought to have disappeared 27 years ago. The tip had come from an anonymous source and was extraordinarily specific, including coordinates of where the pair had landed, a deserted planet. Upon further investigation, a decayed body had been found on the planet’s surface.

The information given in the report is eerily similar to the dream Sonya experienced when fulfilling one of Senator Barton’s regularly scheduled orders about a month prior. She gets up immediately to contact the Senator’s office but receives no reply. She leaves a message instead asking to be contacted as soon as convenient.

Sleepers remain anonymous on official records and Sonya knows she won’t be asked to testify, though a suspected breach in confidentiality could tarnish her reputation as a Sleeper. It was important she get in touch with Senator Barton.

As soon as she puts her transponder down, it rings again.

“Sonya, did you hear about Clarice Barton?” The voice speaks with urgency.

“Logan. I just heard it on the radio.”

“She’s your client, right? What are you going to do?” Sonya mentally kicks herself for letting the identity of a client slip. It must have been on a particularly late night at the bar.

“Nothing for now. Nobody is answering on her private line.”

“I’ll see what I can dig up.” The phone connection clicks shut before Sonya can reply.

She spends the next five minutes waiting for her phone to ring again and then gives up, climbing back into her pod twenty minutes earlier than she is supposed to for her next order of energy.

 

Dreaming

The woman in crimson caresses Sonya’s cheek.

“Do not despair.” She says.

“Where are you going?”

“Somewhere far.”

“Can I go with you?”

“No.”

Sonya cries and the woman turns away. She steps towards the aircraft that will take her away from the city.

“Don’t leave me here alone.” Sonya says but the woman doesn’t hear her. The aircraft doors pull shut and the engines start. Sonya is left in a plume of exhaust as it lifts away. The kinetic glass of the dome pulls away to allow the ship to exit.

She was leaving for adventure, Sonya understood. There was a world outside this city, and she had a chance to experience it. She was defiant and independent, and this was why Sonya loved her.

“Drew.”

 

Waking

Logan stops by Sonya’s apartment later that evening. She’s absentmindedly sitting in the kitchen when he arrives. She knows it’s him because of the almost inaudible knocks at the door, and slides back the three deadbolts to let him in.

“Thank goodness you’re awake.” He walks into the room, lifting himself onto the kitchen table and perching there.

“I cancelled a session. I’m waiting for a call.” Sonya locks the door and follows him into the kitchen. “Drink?”

“No, thanks. Any news?”

“Not yet.” Logan drums on the table beside him with his forefinger.

“You think she did it?” Sonya doesn’t reply and moves to pour herself a drink from the refrigerator. Logan watches her for a moment and understands from her silence. “Who do you think gave the tip? I mean, it’s been so many years. Why now?”

“I have no idea. It seems strange.” Sonya crosses her arms, leaning against the kitchen counter. “The tip came so shortly after I found out about it.”

“Did you tell?” Logan glances sideways at her.

“Of course not. You didn’t even know until just now. Who would I tell.”

“Right. Your record is so clean. Nobody would doubt you.”

“I’m worried, though.” They both become quiet for a moment. Sonya slowly takes a sip of her drink and Logan taps on the table nervously. “Did you have something you wanted to talk about?” He looks hesitant.

“I had a strange experience this morning when I was waking from my pod.” He stops. Sonya waits patiently for him to continue.

“I dreamed about a man.” Logan looks down at the floor. “And when I woke up… I could have sworn I saw him standing in my room.”

“Impossible.”

“I know it’s impossible. I know. Especially because it wasn’t my own dream. I don’t understand how my mind could even imagine him there.” He strides around the kitchen, agitated. “I saw him standing in my room, watching me dream about him.”

“He was a dream himself.”

“I can’t explain it.” Logan shakes his head.

“It wasn’t real.”

“Sonya, I saw him. I don’t know how. His eyes were so red. They were looking straight at me. ”

“Red?” Sonya straightens up and puts her drink down on the counter beside her. “Did you dream of a dragon as well?”

“I did.” Logan says.

“I had the same dream.” Logan stares at her.

“But we know we don’t have any overlapping clients.”

“We shouldn’t know that. That’s a breach of contract.”

“Of course. But that means this should be impossible. A dream supposedly shared by two clients?”

“There’s no way.”

Their rapid conversation is interrupted by the a notification on Sonya’s transponder. A news report flashes across the screen.

Senator Clarice Barton is dead.

 

Dreaming

Sonya dreams of the golden haired man again two nights after the news of Ms. Barton’s death. She sits at a small table with him in an otherwise empty room.

“Hello.” The man says. His voice is smooth and charming, it reminds her of non-synthetic chocolate which she had tried only once as a child.

Sonya finds she is unable to speak. She sits and listens.

“Do you know who I am?” The man raises an eyebrow but otherwise remains motionless. Sonya blinks at him and he continues. “You need to find Clarice.”

She’s dead. Sonya knows but doesn’t say. Still, the man responds.

“Clarice still lives. As do I, but probably not for long.” He smiles gently. “I’m going to send you a location. Please go there.”

Why?

“It is difficult to explain now. Knowing you, I don’t quite think you would believe me anyway.” His bloodshot eyes do not blink. “You want to see something which no one has seen before. I offer you that.”

Sonya closes her eyes and breathes. She opens them again to find herself in her pod. The man stands over her, watching.

“Look for my sign.” He says, and then is gone.

 

Waking

Sonya jumps up, ripping the plugs from her arm as she falls out of the pod and onto the cold, tiled floor. She looks frantically around the room for the intruder, eyes wide. The room is still except for her frantic breathing.

Standing, she jumps to the console. Who had she been sleeping for?

The monitor reads ‘Pepper Dipp’, the name of a popular singer in the upper levels of the city. Sonya was confused. Pepper hadn’t had anything to do with that dream. In fact, Sonya herself had taken a direct role in the dream, instead of being an onlooker or filling a pre-determined role, as had always been the case previously.

The man had addressed her directly. Perhaps she hadn’t been correctly hooked up to the pod and it had been her own dream. It was unlikely, the attachment into her spinal cord was automated and this was a process she went through multiple times each day for countless years without error.

Regardless of how she had seen such a vision, Sonya was worried. The man had said he would send her a sign to follow, and this meant he knew her identity and possibly where she lived. As a keeper of valuable secrets, this wasn’t something she could sit idly by and allow. She had to find him before he found her.

Her transponder blinks on the console where she had left it earlier, indicating 23 new messages. She plays the first of the messages.

“Leave your home as soon as you get this. The police are on their way.”

It is had been any voice other than Logan’s, Sonya would have ignored the warning. She’s already zipping on her boots while the message continues.

“You’ve been accused of a breach of contract and have been named an accomplice in the murder. You need to leave the sector.”

She’s down the building’s stairs and on her bike in moments, not bothering with her helmet as she takes off down the alleyways. The blinking of police lights illuminate the walls behind her as their hovercrafts descend on her home not a minute later. She speeds towards the highway, hoping to get lost in the sea of traffic and noise.

Sonya isn’t sure where to go. She doesn’t trust anyone enough to help her, even Logan might be persuaded by a large enough bounty. She was innocent, but was the only person who could have possibly known the location of the murder because of her access to Senator Barton’s subconscious during her energy transferral. There could be no other suspects.

Where would she be safe? Should she go lower into the city or ascend higher? She tries to think where people would be least likely look for her. As she’s lost in this stream of thought, a man on a motorcycle cuts in front of her, narrowly missing her front wheel and causing her to swerve onto the shoulder of the road. Her small body struggles to straighten the bike before it collides with the divider. Before the string of curses can leave her mouth, she notices the embroidery on the back of the man’s jacket as he speeds away.

A white dragon. The sign.

It was farfetched but Sonya has nowhere else to turn and her curiosity is overwhelming.

She gives chase.

--

The man continues driving for an hour, only pulling to a stop after reaching the southern edge of the city. He parks outside of a crowded bar and goes inside, Sonya waits a moment before following, descending the stairs into the dark room. She is immediately overwhelmed by the scent of alcohol and the heat of the bodies grinding and pushing against her. Wading through the crowd, she tries to find the man with the dragon jacket but it is impossible to see far enough through the darkness and crowds of people.

She locks eyes for a moment with one of the bartenders and he winks at her. A light begins strobing from the ceiling and she can see that his eyes are glowing red. He gestures quickly to a door behind the bar and then turns to serve his waiting customers.

Sonya pushes the masses of bodies aside and makes her way around the bar, reaching the door and quickly going through it. She pulls the door shut behind her and though she can still feel the thumping of the bass shaking the room around her, there is a surprising amount of soundproofing. The music is drowned out by the closed door.

She is standing in a long hallway with no doors, except for the one she entered through and one at the opposite end. Without any other options, she begins walking. She walks quickly, but the door doesn’t seem to get closer. In an anxious panic, she begins to run. Faster and faster she goes until she’s out of breath and stumbles to a stop, panting.

Both doors are incredibly far away now.

What’s happening. Sonya puts her hands on her knees, bending over to catch her breath and try to steady her spinning head. Through her swimming vision, she notices she’s standing on uneven floor. Focusing hard, she sees a small door built into the floor under her feet and she quickly moves to swing it open. A ladder descends into a bright room, illuminated by blindingly white light. Sonya lowers herself onto the first rung and hurriedly descends, anything to get out of this warped hallway.

She moves too quickly and her foot slips, sending her tumbling down the rest of the ladder. Landing on her rear at the bottom. She stays there for a moment, hurting and blinded by the brightness of the room.

“Sonya.” A voice says. Although Sonya hasn’t heard this voice in years, she would have recognized it anywhere. It was the voice that played over and over again through her head, resonating in the emptiness of her apartment. It was the voice she had pined for through her loneliness and the reason she had hidden herself away. It was Drew.

“How did you find this place.” Drew looks confused, an emotion Sonya had never seen on her face before. She was always so confident. Sonya is equally as shocked. She stands slowly, emotion bubbling up inside of her. This woman, who Sonya had allowed so close to her and who had vanished without a second thought.

“When did you get back?”

“A few years ago.”

“Why didn’t you tell me?” Drew doesn’t respond at first, taking a moment to look at Sonya with her intense green eyes.

“How are you?” What a loaded question. The heartbreak of Drew’s abandonment had driven Sonya into a life of solitude. She had becomes a Sleeper, as Drew had been, to hide from the cruelty of the world and possibly earn enough to follow Drew into the solar system. She had been so alone, and Sonya was angered by how casually the question was asked.

“I have seen your dreams.” Drew continues. “You dream of the happy times we had together. I’m glad.”

“How do you know my dreams?” Sonya asks.

“I’ve been monitoring a number of Sleepers for years, trying to find memories which were useful to me.” Drew motions around the room and Sonya look around for the first time, taking her eyes off of Drew. The room is blindingly white and houses tens of pods similar to the one she had in her own bedroom. Within each pod is a human, looking pale and translucent in the bright light. “I’ve been studying a few of them more closely. We’ve been hoping to access the subconscious of their clients through them, but most of their minds can’t handle the strain.”

Sonya looks to each of the pods. Most of the people she doesn’t recognize, but then sees the Sleeper who had been reported missing months prior. In the last pod a man with a halo of long golden hair lies motionless.

“It’s him.”

“He’s a troublesome one. After being asleep for so long he’s been able to harness the transferral systems. He floats in and out of people’s subconsciouses.” Drew says. “Even I have seen him standing over my bed at night, glaring at me.”

The man looks sickly, his golden hair is dry and tangled around him. He is so different in the waking world.

“How much do you know about the Revolution, Sonya?”

“They’re terrorists attacking the upper levels.”

“We are not terrorists. We are liberators.” Drew says. “I have seen other cities on other planets, Sonya. The stratification of the rich and the poor is universal. It is unfair and creates suffering for so many people. You may not realize, but the Sleepers reinforce this. The rich and famous pay you to sleep for them so they have the time and energy to continue being rich and famous. The gap widens.”

“You’ve been watching my clients dreams, then?”

“You have a number of very influential clients. We were waiting for you to experience a memory we could use, rather than just an abstract dream.”

“And then you took down Senator Barton with that information.”

“Yes.” Drew nods. “The Senator was a very nice woman, but she has been one of the main supporters of legislation which further alienates the poor. Why should someone need clearance just to walk to other parts of the city? Why aren’t we allowed outside?”

Sonya looks to the pod containing the golden haired man. Why had he brought her here? What was she supposed to do now?

“You have valuable information and connection we could use. You can help us get the upper hand.”

“No.”

“Don’t you want to be equal?”

“I live the life I have chosen.”

“And what about the people in the lower levels who weren’t able to choose?”

“Attacking those in the upper levels doesn’t help. You’re just creating more suffering.”

“Sonya.” Drew’s voice is gentle, saying her name in just the right way. “You would rather side with strangers than help me?”

Sonya thought back to all the years she had spent hiding away in her apartment because of Drew’s departure. She thought about the pain she had felt from being left behind. Then her thoughts wandered to the people in her life, who she kept an arm’s distance away for fear of being hurt again. The man at the exit of the city always smiled at her. The barkeeper who took the time to remember her order. Logan always looked out for her. This golden haired man had reached out to her and now trusted her with his fate. She thought about her past days with Drew, the happiest time of her life, and how she cherished those memories.

Why was she so afraid? These people she considered strangers reached out to her, to help and to comfort. Maybe people weren’t all bad. Maybe she should start reaching back. Sonya feels a gentle vibration within the metal panel on her arm. A repetitive and steady pinging, like a radar.

Sonya begins moving, first towards the golden haired man’s pod.

“Wait!” Drew says, but can’t stop her. Sonya rips the power cable from the back of the machine. It shuts down, wires retracting from the man inside. He opens his eyes slowly, unable to focus for the moment before seeing her standing over him.

“Thank you.” He whispers.

Sonya moves around the room, ripping cables and wires from their sockets, and people being to wake.

“Sonya, stop this.” Drew says. She tries to move closer but Sonya back away. She feels her hip bump into a metal surface and turns to see a vast display of buttons and monitors. This must be the main control panel. A chair sits in front of the panel and she grabs it, weak arms shaking as she lifts it high over her head.

Drew’s yells are drowned out by the smashing of glass as Sonya bring the chair down onto the panel over and over again. Buttons spring from their sockets and glass crunches underneath her boots as she destroys each monitor.

Drew closes the distance between them finally and pushes Sonya’s face over onto the panel, cutting her cheek on the smashed glass. Her green eyes flash with anger.

“How could you do this to me.” Drew says.

“What you’re doing is wrong. You can’t control others this way.”

“I can do whatever I want. The Revolution will create equality, first in this city and then in others.”

“You won’t.” Sonya says, the vibration in her arm stopping just as the trapdoor above them swings open once again and armed persons begin rappelling down into the room. Sirens can be heard wailing from above.

“Freeze!” The muffled voices yell. Drew backs away, slipping on the broken glass and falling hard onto the floor where she lies motionless. Sonya raises her arms above her head.

After the last of the uniform wearing persons have entered the room, Sonya sees Logan slowly descending the ladder behind them. She moves to greet him.

“Thank goodness you’re okay.” He says. He reaches out to touch her face, gently brushing away some of the glass shards still stuck there. “I tracked your GPS signal in your arm panel. I’m sorry.”

“Thank you.” Sonya holds his hand. “Thank you for coming for me.”

“We’re friends, aren’t we?”Sonya smiles at him, the motion feeling natural this time.

“We are.”

Follow me

© 2019 by Francesca Carletto-Leon

 

  • White LinkedIn Icon
  • White Twitter Icon