The Rebel Part Two

January 29, 2010
The first thing Ayumi noticed was that she was in some sort of crude bed. Second, her weapons had been taken and her combat suit had been replaced by civilians’ clothes. Third, the room seemed old and unkempt, with the only neat item being a set of computers. One of the screens had a green line that kept twisting itself in time with a steady beeping. “’Bout time you woke up. Artemis said you would be out for a few hours, but that was really pushing it,” a voice said.

Ayumi forced herself to sit up only to see the Rebel man from before, walking through the door as if she were a friend of his! Seeing the hostility in her face, the guy rushed across the room, placed his hands on her chest and forcefully pushed her down. Ayumi struggled vainly, crying out, “Heathen Rebel! You may take my life, but you won’t take our secrets!”

The Rebel looked at her as if she were crazy. “Take your life? What the he—?“ He suddenly burst out laughing, “You really think we’re gonna kill you! If that were the case, I would’ve let you fall. I just don’t like watching innocent bystanders die like that.”

Ayumi tried her best to look menacing as she replied, “Which is why you murder them by the dozens, am I right?”

“You are, in fact wrong. I just go after those elitist pigs who think you should call ‘em master while bending over—“

“Apollo! Knock it off!” A feminine-looking man with pale skin and jet-black hair stormed in. He gave his counterpart a stern glare before turning to Ayumi with a sheepish little smile. “My apologies for my sister’s behavior. Refinement has never been her forte, and I’m sure her language must be a nasty shock for someone as sheltered as you. I’m Artemis, by the way.” he stated with quick ease.

Ayumi cocked her head. “Sister? What’s a sister? And what do you mean by ‘she?’” The young woman stared at her captor while Artemis cackled and her captor started sulking.

“Yes, Apollo is a female, even if she hates to admit it. But we have more important things to cover. First,” he gave her a critical look before continuing, ”what if I told you that everything you were taught about the City was wrong?”

Ayumi breathed, “Impossible. God’s will has always been absolute—“

“Or so those in charge tell you, am I correct?” Artemis snapped impatiently. The Guard nodded. “Who said they were telling the truth? Maybe there is a god, maybe there isn’t, but I know one thing for sure. The City is nothing more than a slave driver and those so-called civilians are just extremely stupid slaves.

“You see, your city is hardly the self-run utopia I assume you think it is. After decades of observation, we discovered that those ‘Talented’ with exceptional intelligence are running your little program, from what you eat in the morning to what your children are going to do when they grow up. They keep a tight grip on everyone by hiding in that ‘control center.’ You know, the one that is supposed to be taken care of by computers. Oh, the Talented may act like you, pretending to have the same lifestyle as you, but in the end they still control everything in the city, including you.” Artemis stopped and carefully watched the woman on the bed, who just stared back with wide eyes for several seconds. Finally, the guard opened her mouth…

“No! No-no-no-no-no! You’re just a bunch of Rebels; you don’t even have any proof!” Ayumi cried out hysterically.

“So if we have proof, you’ll listen?” Apollo piped up. The woman turned to her and nodded mutely, and the Rebel grabbed her hand. She led her out the door and through a series of dark hallways filled with copper pipes. Finally, they reached a beaten door. “Ladies and, well, ladies, I present to you Earth. More specifically, Milwaukee,” Apollo announced dramatically, slowly opening the door. A breeze flew in, bringing along a combination of the scent of fresh air and something unfamiliar.

Outside, there was field as far as the eye could see. Occasionally there was a small splattering of what seemed to be multicolored grass or lumps under the plants. Apollo went to one of the patches of purple and picked a piece up, twirling it between her fingers. “You don’t have flowers in the City, do you?” she murmured, “I can’t believe they left this behind. Of course, you guys just threw out most of the good stuff when you went up.” She looked up. “Did you know that humans used to make small groups together? They called them ‘families.’ These families would make children and raise them themselves. Kids would know the women who gave birth to them and there was love. You know what that is?”

“Infatuation, an unnecessary emotion that distracts one from God,” Ayumi replied coolly, ignoring the loud snort the other woman made.

"I see we’re not much of a romantic. Jeesh, I dunno how you can stand it up there,” Apollo muttered, pointing upwards. The guard noticed this and looked in the same direction, noticing something. In the air above her were small brown dots that moved about, sometimes going through the distant clouds.

“Are-are those Cities?” she whispered fearfully, her heart dropping for the second time since the attack. Her head whipped to the side, the now-loose hair trailing behind.

“I believe they are,” her companion replied nonchalantly.

“I thought we were the only ones! Why didn’t anybody tell us?” Ayumi cried.

“Control. If it’s any consolation, your City isn’t the only one. It’s pretty rare to find one that admits it isn’t alone. Hey,” the Rebel chirped, “let’s make a deal. I say something wrong is going on in your City, and you say I’m the wrong one. Since you’re a Guard, you can take me into your control center, or whatever you call it. If I’m wrong, I’ll leave your people alone. If not, you join us. How does that sound? Either way, it’s a win-win situation for the both of us.”

The Guard thought it over carefully, still shaken by her revelation. “Deal,” she muttered, looking at the Cities again. “Hey, they’re above us, right? Is this really the groun?”

Apollo shoved her hands under the grass to bring up a handful of moist brown powder that emitted the strange scent from before. “Sure is. My family and I grew up here. Now let’s go find Artemis.”

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