|Anarchy on Wings
Author: Skopje-Tiran PM
Aleta Evans is just trying to help an old friend. She doesn't appreciate being sucked into a political battle and forced to babysit a valuable android, especially when she's trying to sort out her love life--or lack thereof . Contains girl/girl romance.Rated: Fiction T - English - Sci-Fi/Romance - Chapters: 4 - Words: 8,617 - Reviews: 8 - Favs: 2 - Follows: 2 - Updated: 01-31-10 - Published: 12-09-09 - id: 2750507
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
I woke up slowly, with my cheek pressed against a cold window and drool oozing from my mouth. I sat up groggily and wiped my chin, trying to recall where I was. The uncomfortable seat pressing into my back jogged my memory. Oh yeah. On my way to the City with no money, no food, and no real purpose. I winced, feeling the ache creep into my back. Also, in an uncomfortable airshuttle, nothing to comfort me but stale peanuts and a broken travel holo. Standing up, I stretched and edged past the snoring cyborg in the seat next to me and jogged up to one of the flight attendants.
"Excuse me, but when will we be reaching Ares City?" I asked politely, if a bit hoarsely.
The flight attendant turned to reveal the oddly perfect face of an android. I sighed inwardly. Androids were hard to talk to, they had little if any flexibility and were rather dull. This one gazed at me placidly with gigantic green eyes, her reddish hair tucked into an immaculate bun.
"We will be reaching Ares City in approximately 24 minutes, miss," She stated politely. "Please stay in your seat unless you are visiting the restroom."
"Yeah, sure. Thanks," I muttered. The android's plastic voice bothered me. Mostly because, though I knew that androids were emotionless robots, they sure as heck looked like people.
I squeezed into the small bathroom of the ship and examined myself in the mirror. I didn't want to stand out. Fairly tall girl, late teens, broad shoulders, toned arms, intense dark eyes under a thick mess of whitish hair. I was wearing the latest fashion in Ares City (which I detested), the gray long-sleeved shirt under a black vest, black leather pants torn up at the knees, and clunky metal-tipped boots. Not a hideous sight, but nothing special. I wouldn't stick out in the masses of people walking through the City.
I quietly filed back to my seat and sat for the remainder of the trip. It wasn't long before the glowing golden-red-blue-green lights of Ares City flashed into view through my frosty window. It was my first time here since I was a young child, and the sight of the gigantic buildings confirmed my belief that finding Brandon was going to be really, really hard.
- - - - -
Brandon was my--for lack of a better word--teacher. When I was kicked out of my home, Brandon took me under his wing. He was an Anarchist. In our age of government-paid technology, of mechanical people, holographic libraries and superpowered soldiers, it was rare to meet a person who still believed in the old ways. Anarchists, though technically a valid political party, was not a popular position to take. You could get beaten up if you announced this position in any bar in the City. Most people took the more moderate position of the Collectivists, or the strict Adherents.
Not only was Brandon a member of one of the more hated political parties, he was a librarian. Most libraries had archives full of holographic information and audio files, but few people had real books anymore. I learned how to read from ancient cracking pages and messy piles of music, instead of the computer screens that most children learned from. My teacher had a knack for getting himself in trouble, even more so than most Anarchists. I usually had to help him out of it. Brandon taught me how to stand up for myself, became a sort of father to me. Well...more like a crazy uncle. Anyway, I had grown up with the guy, and I really did care about him. About as soon as I had left for a one-week trip to my hometown, I got a call from Brandon. He was in trouble. Didn't say what kind, or even where he was.
And as usual, I had to bail him out.
- - - - -
Slinging my black knapsack over my shoulder, I strode out into the airshuttle port. The high, vaulted glass ceiling of the place gave me a good view of the stars overhead. My station was not crowded, probably due to the fact that there were about three people on the flight. A couple musicians sat on a pathetically spurting fountain in the square. One's hands were draped clumsily over a beaten lute, the other held a brightly colored electric ocarina. I smiled slightly in recognition. Brandon had taught me to play both of these instruments.
I stepped out into the main section of the airshuttle port and gasped. The building was massive, stretching beyond my vision and packed with thousands of people. Hundreds of stores lined the four levels of the port and colored arrows pointed to exits to airshuttle stations. A vendor in a cheap suit shook handfuls of braided bracelets at me, which I ignored. Checking to make sure my backpack was secure, I headed into the crowd. I figured there would be an information booth in there somewhere.
It took me ten minutes to find the booth. To my surprise, there was a real, human woman in it. Admittedly, she looked a bit bored, but it was better than talking to a creepy android.
"Uh, hey," I said, leaning lightly on the counter. "Do you know where I can get a ride into Ares Central?"
"Sure," She sighed. "New to the city, huh?"
"Well, yeah. Kinda." I didn't feel like explaining my situation.
"Just turn to your right and go through the second hallway down there. Once you reach exit 53, there are hover stations all around there. A lot of them go to Ares Central."
I turned and hurried out towards the exit. Ares Central Square was an immense platform, a huge meeting place for people all across the city. It had a shopping district, a park, and several hover rails running across it. If you wanted to meet someone and you didn't know the city well, this was the place to do it.
The information woman had been right. Almost half of the hover taxis displayed flashing signs showing that they were on their way to Ares Central Square. I jumped into a car with a pudgy, grumpy looking man who grunted out an exorbitant price for the relatively short ride. Glowing billboards and shining metal rails flashed by as we flew by at high speed. A small concrete station came into view through my window. 'Ares Central Square Platform 7' read the faded sign over the platform.
I let the driver scan my credits and leapt out of the hover taxi, shivering slightly in the cool night air. The skybreakers of Ares City loomed over the Central Square, towering over smaller skyscrapers that had been built decades earlier. Thousands of flashing electric billboards advertised products such as Mercury sneakers and kid's cereal. I glanced up to my left and froze.
Floating gently through the air was a gigantic moving billboard. It displayed a picture of a young woman around my age. Long, tanned legs stretched out over a pile of strawberries and her full red lips curved in a seductive smirk. It must have been an ad for perfume, but all I could stare at was her name, written in loopy cursive towards the bottom of the billboard.
"Cat," I whispered.
A lot had changed since I left Ares.
My first story here! Hope you enjoy. Reviews are appreciated.