Of People

Outland: Chapter 8

We didn’t make much progress that day after passing the canal.  As soon as I could spot a path back down to the water, I quickly ordered Gulliver to take us in the direction of it.  Feeling relived at having been able to pass without any action or drama, I was able to breath freely again.  The sun started to hide itself behind the horizon, and Gulliver slowed to a stop, unable to see the ground in front of his legs.  Lying back in the chair, I slouched down and took a deep breath, tired from the events of the day.

“There were many people there, Andrew.”

I jumped at Gulliver’s sudden attempt to converse.  “There were.  It was a surprise to me at first.  What’s with this all of a sudden, though?”

“My processors have been running the autopilot since we left.”

“Right.”  I noted.  “To be honest, I’m kind of sorry that we didn’t say a bit longer.  But… I know we should keep moving anyways.”

“They had guns.”

“They weren’t bad people.”  I shook my head, remembering the gut wrenching feeling of being prodded along by the men’s rifles.  “I’m surprised they were so civil.”

“What do you mean by civil?”

“They were organized, and knew what they were doing.  Everyone else just seems like they’re running around with their heads cut off.”

“I don’t understand.”

“I’ll put it like this, Gulliver.  Humans crave organization in their lives.  They crave a regiment to live their lives by.  After the catastrophe, everything was thrown out of whack, and people haven’t been able to find their footing again.  Even just that small group, though, was able to bring some order to the chaos of this whole part of the world.  It will take people like them to help rebuild.”

“Do you miss having order in your life, Andrew?”

“Not particularly.  I’ve had plenty of times in my life when I didn’t know what was going to happen next… when my next meal might be, or if the weather would act up.  I was… homeless then.  Kinda like now.    But, I have you.  Every day we’re making progress.  That’s good enough for me.”

“I see.  I will leave you to your work then, Andrew.  Thank you for helping me understand.”

“Your welcome.  Please send down the readings from the day if you could.”

“Right away.”

Heading down to my desk on the second level, I pulled out the maps.  The image of the canal and its surroundings still fresh in my mind, I got to work.  I made sure to include extra detail, including the opposite side of the land touching the Atlantic.

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