Chapter 2: Epiphany
The man led me to his aerocab. I motioned to take the back seat but he stopped me and gestured for me to take the first seat next to him. "We have quite a bit to discuss, friend." He said.
I got in the cab and we took off. In the air I was able to see most of Xanadu. The man beside me explained that which was around me.
"If you didn't already notice on your way in, Xanadu is completely surrounded by solar panels on the outside. The sun provides us with light, energy, everything…"
"Sounds efficient," I commented, trying to make small talk.
"It is. In fact, Xanadu is almost entirely self-sufficient. We make our own energy, we grow our own crops- look, there's the rural sector where all our consumable food is grown. The man pointed to a dome-like structure outside the outer limits of the main cluster of buildings which was the city.
"Are we supposed to be flying this high, though?" I asked, as I had become uncomfortable at such a high altitude (I don't know why, being high up in an aerocab isn't half as bad as space-travel!)
"No, but I am trying to show you a glimpse of our country."
The aerocab zoomed down into the city, as if the pilot had senses the awkwardness I was feeling and wished to appease me. We came up to another landmark- a statue.
"That is the statue- the colonial monument- of Kaiser Ulrich Ruckelian. He is the founder of our nation…. Next to him is another statue, see it? That is of a figure you are probably more familiar with… Kaiser Ulrich Dimtrek, our current… ruler."
I noticed the sorry state in which the statues were kept. The statue of Ruckelian was almost completely eroded, and looked as if it had not been maintained in years. The statue of the current Kaiser was probably half as old but twice as ruined. It was not only eroded by time, but also by the graffiti of treasoners.
"Pardon me," I began, "but it does not look like these statues have been kept in very good shape."
"Keen observation. They have not been."
We rode in silence for awhile as I looked out at the seemingly endless city. Xanadu was amazing- it looked so new, so bright, so… enlightened. The buildings and streets were clean and incredibly futuristic, and the only sign of mistreatment that could be found in the city was that of the statues which, oddly enough, stood in a memorial at the center. I began to ponder what my driver had said to me earlier, about Xanadu being self-sufficient. Was it really possible for anything to be self sufficient? I wondered. Even if Xanadu was not dependent on Earth to sustain itself it was still dependent on the sun which gave it energy. Then, it hit me at once:
1.) The driver's emphasis on efficient, self suffiency, the hesitation when calling Kaiser Ulrich Ruckilian Xanadu's founder and when calling Kaiser Ulrich Dimtrek Xanadu's ruler.
2.) The use of expression like 'our country'.
3.) The admittance that the Kaiser's monument was not maintained.
I came to the realization then, as I stared at the city around me, that the Kaiser was loosing his grip on this particular colonial beacon. There was a reluctant spirit in these people, on that disliked the reality of being a colony of the Solar Triperium. Suddenly, I knew why I was here- revolution. Revolution was brewing in the colonies and perhaps- no, certainly- Jose Rhanon was planning on funding it. I was his ambassador!
I turned to look at the man next to me and I studied his profile. I suddenly realized who he was. "Excuse me, Mr. Locke."