Outland: Chapter 13
The next morning, we arrived back at the water. I can remember looking out at the stretch of coastline, still seeming to continue on with no end in sight. The land was still desolate and dry, similarly devoid of any signs of human life besides that little road. It ended at the edge of the water just as it did on the opposite side of the peninsula.
Despite having missed a large section of land, I mapped out the areas we had travelled as best I could. I realized that it would be hard to tell how far northward up the coast we had travelled. I knew that one day soon we would eventually run across the border into the states, but I knew not when it would be, or if anyone would be there.
One morning, I awoke somehow not covered in a layer of sweat like usual. The hot early afternoons down south were nearly unbearable sometimes, especially with the limited cooling that the interior of Gulliver was equipped with. When I finally got around to opening the shudders covering the cockpit window, I was pleasantly surprised with a thin layer of clouds coating the sky.
“Gulliver, how are systems?”
“Despite the clouds, we’re fully charged.”
“It’s… nice.” I said under my breath, looking out at the waves slowly lapping up on the shore.
“I don’t understand.”
“No, I wasn’t really trying to say anything important. I’ve missed weather like this.” I leaned against the control panel, looking up at the sun, which had begun passing through a billowy cumulous. Though, I’m concerned.”
“For the solar panels?”
“Yeah. I guess it’s nothing we can control. Let’s move along for the day.” I finally took a seat in the chair, and waiting for Gulliver’s engine to start rolling.
Travelling that day when smoothly, but I could see the clouds starting to slowly roll in, covering the sky completely as the sun set on us. As I was drawing that night, I could hear the rain start to beat down upon Gulliver’s hull. The sound continued, eventually putting me to sleep by the gentle pitter patter. Before I drifted off, I pondered how it might affect travel the following day, but my exhaustion proved to be stronger than my worry.
The daylight awoke me the following morning like usual, finding me positive that we would be charged and ready to set off. Uncovering the cockpit window first revealed the bright sun charging the panels, but also the landscape changed into something I had not seen before. Stretching out before us, right up to the edge of the water, the entire landscape had turned green and lush overnight.
“So, this is all it took for the desert to bring life forth?” I muttered, staring out at the sudden beauty.
“We have full charge, Andrew.”
“Okay.” I nodded. “Let me just take some time to get out for a bit.”
Climbing out of the bottom hatch, I landed softly in a patch of stubby grass that, at one point, was probably grey and wilted. Tiny purple flowers had started to unfold delicately from the ground in massive patches that seemed to intertwine the rocky landscape. I could smell the earthy tone of the ground and the plant life around me, as well as a hint of the ocean in the background.
After taking a deep breath of the fresh air, I quickly climbed back inside of Gulliver. As we set off for the day, I caught a quick glimpse of a rainbow hiding among the cloud cover inland.