“The Highrisers in power have been employing the adult lowlanders to take the salt out of the sea, they do this with Nuclear power, see that big square thing over there?” he says, pointing at a single rectangular building, with many tall, cylindrical chimneys coming out of it, at the point where the mud changes into water, “That’s where it happens, and the radiation is so severe that you only live for ten years if you work there all day every day, like that all do.”
My eyes widen, but Jerry carries on, “Two years ago, a family was forced to move here, the mother was a scientist. One that had ideas controversial to those in power, and the majority of the public. She knows that the world, the atmosphere, is righting itself, slowly, but surely. It’s undoing all the damage that the generations before ours did. The government has this information, they know all of this, but they continue to ignore it because it works for them, they even sent the woman who gave them this information to live in the lowlands, along with her son and husband because they didn’t want the idea spreading, although it already had. They are still desalinating the water because of the revenue and the excuse they utilise to use nuclear energy, Because we need the nuclear reactors to desalinate the water, so we might as well use them to get our energy too, they say,” Jerry mocks.
This must be personal, he feels too strongly about this for it not to be personal, I think.
“This scientist had friends that agreed with her, but they sided with the government to keep their jobs, if they know that we’ve got as many people as we have on board, then I’m sure they’ll side with us, we just need someone to get to them, and we can’t do that as we’re lowlanders.”
“We’ll do it, ”Avanna says, stepping forward, “Where do we report to?”
He throws us a rolled up piece of paper, I take the elastic band off from around the middle and unfurl it. It's a map. “So you can find your way around here,” he explains.
We discuss who we are aiming to get on board; the three most powerful people who agreed with the scientist, then they can hopefully influence others.
I check my watch, it’s 7:32 now and we’re almost at home. A text pops up on my phone. “From Mum,” I say aloud to inform Avanna. I angle the screen so she can see it too and I watch her lips form around the words ‘Ive just got up, where are you?’
Infinity, looking over Avanna’s shoulder, says, “say you got up and went for a jog, you’ve used clubs as an excuse too much lately.”
I nod my head and type the words.
Unfortunately, Infinity’s mum is less relaxed about her going out without notifying her and orders her to return immediately.
That evening, we creep out and deliver letters to the people on our list, we stick them in their letterboxes or through open windows.
As we start to head back, I look up and spot a dark black cloud, it looms over us with a pressing desire to catch us in the rain. As it starts to expel its load we cover our heads with our arms and run, the heavy, cold water cutting in to our skin like daggers. We are inferior and powerless to this hostile natural force that is victimising us.
We return to our house dripping with rainwater and head stealthily up the stairs to the shower.
Our mother comes out her bedroom door as we creep across the landing.
“Hestia, Avanna! What are you doing out at this time? You’re both dripping wet!”
She shouts at us and grounds us for four days although this is probably negotiable depending on our behaviour, I don’t know if we’ll be able to feed back to Jerry anytime soon.