Lights in the Night

Outland: Chapter 14

As the sun dipped behind the mountains one night, I could see various lights begin to pop on somewhere several miles up the coast.  Despite a little bit of light left, I had Gulliver stop.  Quickly moving about, I made sure to turn all the lights inside and outside off.  Before shutting the shutters on the cockpit window, I stayed up and watched the lights in the distance.

“Gulliver.”  I hunched over in the chair, watching eyes fixated.

“Andrew.  Perhaps you should sleep?”

“I’m worried Gulliver.  There’s people here.”

“Do you think they are good people or bad people, Andrew?”

“It’s hard to know for sure.  If we haven’t crossed over the border into the states yet, we should be near.”

“The United States is your home country, though.”

“Yeah.  I haven’t been home in… years, though.  The thing is, if it were any country to start rebuilding along the coastlines, it would be the U.S.  We’re economically powerful, partially because of our position to trade with the other countries.  They would want ports open.  I just don’t know what would happen if we were to run across one, with all the people there.”

“Panama was a similar situation, was it not?”

“They weren’t working for a government, and there were probably few civilians there either.  If we just come marching through, a target as big as us… people might panic.  I don’t think many mechs like you were ever used in this part of the Americas.”

“Why not?”

“That’s kinda hard to answer.”  I rubbed my chin.  “People were afraid of the environmental impact of the work we were doing.  Though… I guess they weren’t wrong.  That’s another thing I’m worried about.”

“You are… guilty by extension.”

“That’s one way to put it, Gulliver.”  I shoved my nose down into my propped-up knees.  “That man down there in Chile… the one down there living atop the big cliffside… he berated me for being a pilot.  He was an expat, meaning at one point he lived in the states.  Who knows how the general population up here might feel, react?  They see this ship as some sort of monster, destroying their coastline.”

“Are we going to stop here, then?”

I waited for a moment, looking out the window once again.  “That would be the easy way out, but it wouldn’t take us to our goal.  It would have meant that all this way that we came was for nothing.  Well head out in the morning, and see where it takes us.”

“Shall I bid you goodnight, then, Andrew?”

“Yes, Gulliver.”  I groaned, getting out of the seat to turn around, moving towards the ladder.  “Goodnight.”

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