A Glibertarians Exclusive:  Breaking Out, Part III

Ten days later – the forest

Learning to get along in the Outside had occupied much of the escapee’s time.  But the gentle country proved friendly.  There were fish in a stream near the big rock overhang where they had made their camp, and after several false starts, they learned to catch fish, and found some edible herbs, nuts and berries.  And somehow, by some unspoken consensus, Denver ended up being their informal leader.

After the first night in the overhang, the four constructed a woven screen out of brush to separate the area into two sleeping areas – one for Denver and Helena, the other for Romero and Brietta.  To commemorate the occasion, they took new names, announcing them one evening after they had eaten:

“Denver and Helena Paine.”

“Brietta and Romero Franklin.”

The days were spent foraging and improving their camp under the overhang.  The nights were spent exploring other new aspects of their newly free lives – and not a single Social Interactions Permission form was filed.

On the tenth day they walked to where they could see the big electrical transmission towers, and followed them over several steep ridges until they found the source.

“What is that?” Denver asked.  They were at the edge of a wooded area on a hill overlooking a large, open valley.

Brietta chuckled.  “Don’t you remember?  The classes we had on pre-Green energy production.  Remember all the ways they said people were destroying the planet?”

“Sort of.”

Brietta pointed.  “That is a nuclear power plant.  That’s where the city is getting its electricity.  And look, there’s another row of towers heading off the other way.  Bet you there’s another City out there that’s getting their power from this nuclear plant.”

“So, who’s keeping the plant running?”  Denver wanted to know.

“Look.  To the right.  There’s a bunch of buildings.  Bet you anything it’s a town for the workers in the plant.”

Helena spoke up.  “What’s that on the other hill?  Over there, to the left?”

“Another building?”  Denver examined the larger structure.  “No.  Not just a building.  You reminded me of our classes; do you remember what they showed us, about how the mega-rich lived back in the ‘dark days of capitalism?’  That’s a mansion.  And not a relic, either; it’s well-kept.  Look, you can see gardens, and the grass around it is cut short.  Someone lives there.”

“Someone who is making sure that power plant keeps working,” Denver said.

“Look – there’s another one.  You can see the roofline just over the top of that hill.”  Brietta looked at her ‘phone.  “No signal.  I’ve got this in isolation mode anyway.  Nobody should be able to track it.  Should I take pictures?”

“Yeah,” Denver agreed.  “Take pictures.  Of everything.  Need to get a little closer?”

“I don’t think that’s a good idea.  I’ll get what I can from here.”

Brietta moved up and down the tree line, taking pictures from several angles.  When she was done, they pulled back into the forest.

“Let’s head back to camp,” Denver suggested.  “We need to talk about this.”

It was growing dark by the time they returned to the rock overhang.  Brietta started a fire, and the others brought in two large fish.  After they ate, the four young fugitives sat around their fire and looked at each other for a while.

As he usually did, Denver voiced the thoughts that had occupied all of them throughout the afternoon.  “Lies,” he began.  “All of it.  Everything they told us.  All lies.  The old world, what they did – all lies.  The Modern Cities, how they were built for inclusiveness and equity, all lies.  You all saw that for yourselves; the elite still have their mansions.  The environment, how the old society destroyed it, how the Outside was unlivable because of their selfishness – all lies.  The new green energy plans, the wind and solar power – all lies.”

“We’ve seen it all,” Helena agreed.  The others nodded.

“Why?”  Romero asked.  “That what I want to know.  Why?”

“Why do you think?  Control.  Oh, the one thing they didn’t lie about was the elites.  You saw for yourselves, they still have their mansions in the nice, clean countryside, while we have Minimal Personal cubicles in the Modern City, and have to fill out a bunch of forms before we can hug someone.”

“They did all this, just to keep the regular people under control?”

“Why else?”

“So, what are we going to do about it?”  Brietta held up her ‘phone, showing a picture of the mansion.  “I presume you think we ought to do something about it?”

“We have to let everyone in the City know about this.  Things will change quickly if we can spread the word.”

“You think?”  Romero laughed.  “How many people are going to want to leave their nice, warm, comfortable cubicles to come out here?  We did, sure, but I bet we’re in the minority.  Also, now that we’re on the topic, remember that they used to have something Outside called ‘winter?’  What are we going to do when cold weather comes?”

“What are you saying, Romero?  Do you want to go back?”

“No, Brietta, I don’t want to go back.  Why would I want to go back?”

“To tell the truth,” Denver repeated.  “Let’s see if people still trust their government when all this comes out.  I mean, we ‘vote’ for the same people, over and over again, they keep promising changes – and what ever changes?  It’s time for a real change.”

“Fine, then.  How do we go about it?” Romero demanded.

“Well,” Brietta said, “I might know a way.  But we’d have to get back into the City.”

“Think that hatch will still be open?” Denver asked.

“Only one way to find out.  We haven’t had a Designated Work Week since we left, so maybe nobody’s been down there.”

“Good, then,” Denver said.  “We’ll leave tomorrow morning.”

He grinned.  “Let’s go rattle some cages.”


Come senators, congressmen

Please heed the call

Don’t stand in the doorway

Don’t block up the hall

For he that gets hurt

Will be he who has stalled

The battle outside ragin’

Will soon shake your windows

And rattle your walls

For the times they are a-changin’