The darkened tunnels provided plenty of time for introspection. It seemed that in a whirlwind of connected moments I had uprooted myself from my unusual life and set out to…what? Save the world?
I suppressed a scornful chuckle. Like the wolf-eyed spectre that walked silently alongside me I was too bitter to accept that I could have any significant impact on what’s left of ‘civilisation’. But, as we moved through the tunnels my gaze rested on the sleeping girl, maybe civilisation was worth saving.
I thought back, to my family, my father and sister. I thought about the colony ships and the hope for a brighter tomorrow. We had ruined this world and the best and brightest had gone to secure our future. As a child I was inspired when my father spoke of mother, chosen to be on the first fleet because of her spacecraft design, but I was naive…
I had always wanted to know how to do it, how someone became the best at something. Putting pieces together and making them fit was my specialty, I could take apart any device and re-fit it how I wanted so mechanics caught my interest more than once but it’s hard to want to know everything just for the sake of knowing it…
Watching this little girl, though, I could see that answers do not always need questions.
It had taken a while but I had come to terms with the truth, ‘the best and brightest’ had been the ones with money, influence, power. They weren’t paving the way for the rest of us, they had just fled. The world was a mess since the Lunar Disaster and things had gotten bleak, still who knows, maybe Mars isn’t much better.
A gentle hum broke the silence and we pulled up short, the stranger put his foot on his board, something was wrong. The air felt different, electric, like a static charge lifting hairs. It seems the tunnels weren’t so unknown after all. An EM shield blocked our path. My companion was already moving, working on his arm computer.
An old Bramtech with no grid connection, no point trying to get through an integrated EM defense system, he couldn’t even interface….
The humming stopped. My companion removed his foot and his board kept moving, he didn’t say anything or acknowledge that he shouldn’t have been able to do what I just witnessed.
My naivety was teaching me another lesson.
How do you become the best at something?
Try something new.
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