“I’ve got a ticket!” Sandra bellowed across the crowded platform.
“I hear you,” muttered Ben. “Everyone hears you.” Damn.
Hundreds of people vying for tickets, and Ben desperate to get away, but Sandra gets the ticket. Sandra. Why her? Why not someone deserving? That woman – Ben glanced at the gaunt woman with two toddlers – she could do with a new life, new hope, couldn’t she?
Everyone here wanted to get on that ship and go into an unknown future, to have a chance at a life that wasn’t this one.
To live free of the stentorian politicians who overrode the laws of history, who taxed and harangued ordinary citizens until most were starving, homeless, and looking to escape the regime that brought war to their homes, hunger to their families.
Ben had different reasons for leaving. More desperate than a simple escape. He’d put into action an event that would rock the world, not just this lousy little country with its tin-pot rulers. Everyone, everywhere, would feel the effect.
No, nothing like that. Ben wasn’t a terrorist. He was a freedom-fighter, and the way to freedom these days was a life without technology. Not just living without it, but losing it altogether. Blanking out the breakthroughs of the last hundred years.
That’s what he’d set in motion, and it couldn’t be stopped.
Unless they found him. They’d use the people he’d once loved to break him, and demand the keys to unlocking the process.
Stupid. There was no undoing it. Not now. Not ever.
Once the sunspot reached the mesosphere, there was no going back to any form of technology for a century or more. The collector would channel the energy into the transmitter and disperse it through all the satellites, all the cables, all the wires that wound the world like an electrically-charged ball of string.
A silent kaboom, but still a catastrophic cloud of doom.
If he made it onto that ship.
He raised his hand with the diamond brooch Sandra had always admired, watched her eyes alight when she caught the reflection.
Hope bloomed like a nuclear cloud.
Another scheduled post while I recover. I’ll be back … now who said that? Well, I mean it.