Hope everyone had a fun and relaxing day yesterday!
I didn’t get up to much, mostly hung around, had dinner (which was delicious, also, there was so much of it. So very, very much.)
On with the show!
The café was small, one of the walls along the side had a long bench, with five tables across it, a deli counter took up the other wall, in between there were two more tables. The entire café was empty except for the workers. One policeman stepped inside, followed by Max, Doug and finally the other policeman. They sat down at the corner table, with Doug sitting in against the wall. A waitress came over with menus. They sat in silence for a few moments, Doug still feeling off.
After they ordered, Max took out a map and started pointing out areas that they’d be visiting during the day. Doug nodded and smiled but paid little attention, normally he’d have felt guilty, but he figured he’d be hearing all this information again soon. The food arrived and Doug ate quickly, surprised by how suddenly hungry he was. It was, as expected, delicious. When the waitress returned to take their plates Doug noticed that she seemed to be made of constantly shifting shadows, he tried not to stare, but it was difficult as the patterns were quite captivating. He watched as she took the plates, waiting to see if she hesitated in grabbing anything, or if she had any difficulties, but as far as he could tell, she was completely corporeal.
When they were done with breakfast, Max ordered two coffees to go and went to the till to pay, Doug sat for a moment, trying to summon up the energy to stand.
“Don’t worry, you’ll feel much better as they day goes on, it’s annoying, but you just have to kind of push through it.”
Max returned a moment later and handed Doug his coffee, “I got it with cream and sugar, it’ll help perk you up a little more. Don’t worry, you’ll be ok soon enough.”
Rather than finding the concern endearing, Doug found it slightly annoying and vaguely unnerving. He wondered if they were worried that there might be some problem or complication, why else would they be trying to reassure him so much? He took a sip of his coffee, which was actually quite good, and decided that probably wasn’t the case. It sounded far too paranoid, if they were worried someone would have said something to him. He stood, thinking about the question and followed Max out of the restaurant.
The first stop on the trip was to what was once a large park area, the weather was quite pleasant and the wind was cool and refreshing, it, along with the coffee, started to make Doug feel better. As they walked through Max pointed out various crops and fruits.
“Normally most of these fruits wouldn’t be in season, but we’re able to keep an almost constant supply going.”
“Doesn’t that deplete the soil?”
“Not at all, we use fertiliser and various potions to replenish it. We also rotate out crops and treat the soil while it isn’t growing anything. It takes us about a week to get the plants matured and fruiting, we also have areas where nutrient depletion isn’t a concern, though we don’t have a large enough space to use by itself.”
Max grabbed an apple from a cart and handed it to Doug, “Have a bite.”
It was sweet and tart, crisp and juicy, it was the best apple that Doug had eaten, despite feeling full, he ate the entire thing.
They moved through, with Max stopping to chat to workers occasionally, they told Doug that they mostly enjoyed their work, it was productive, fulfilling feeding the city and they got plenty of fresh air and exercise. As they left the park Doug wondered how much coaching they needed to supply those answers, he was sure some of them must enjoy their work, but a few did look tired and a little resentful.
They moved on from there to a few areas that were of historical significance before the wall came down, one of which was the burnt out remains of a church, the stone looking as though it had been melted. In front of it was a water fountain, the water itself was frozen and a rainbow of colours sparkled in the light.
“This is a commemorative piece for the people who lost their lives here. Some people had taken refuge and another group wanted their supplies. It’s one of our darker moments after the change. three hundred people died in the fighting, another two hundred were caught in the crossfire. The fight was intense and in the end, the supplies were destroyed accidently in the fighting. We kept the area as a reminder to ourselves of who we were and what we became, however briefly.”
“What happened to the stone?”
“We’re not sure, no one who saw it directly survived. We have reports of bright lights and the entire area briefly getting so bright it looked like day time. As far as we know the person who did it was destroyed by what ever they had done.”
Max moved over to the fountain and it started to move, the crystal water flowed smoothly, it was breath-taking.