Chapter 2.4:

Nasa’s Hidden, Top Secret Research Facility

Wind bit into everyone’s skin as they cast their minds back to minutes before when the gypsy had told them to take heed form the words she spoke before throwing herself off the rooftop and down to the smog below. Nobody spoke for a few moments, the memory filling each of their attention and not allowing them to forget that  they may just be like lab rats on a mission with no real goal or purpose other than to make Nasa look good in the public’s light. Some shuffled uncertainly on the spot they were rooted to on the stone building, the thoughts making them uncomfortable and making them wonder what would really come of the following events.

Ophelia broke the surreal silence coveting the seemingly staged moments. “I say we go inside. It’s freezing and anyone who says anything different is an idiot.”

“Are none of you worried?” spoke up Cruim. “I know that woman certainly scared me into thinking twice.”

“You need to calm down and get a logical mind. She must be an absolute crack pot to be able to come up with something like that. Think about how on earth she must have got here? Now she has just thrown herself of a building rooftop in a place where she will most likely never be found again because nobody will ever go out in the smog or come anywhere near here. Think about if it was all an illusion like how she spoke and kept changing the direction from which her voice originated. I mean, what normal person can do that? What normal person would want to do that? It’s not as though it’s an easily acquired skill.”

“Actually, the art of throwing your voice has been practiced for centuries.” answered Faro softly. “There’s no reason why she couldn’t have been skilled at doing that. As for how she got  here, I’m stumped.”

Seoras jumped in and decided to test his ideas. Walking to the helicopter again, he inspected the supports on which the heavy structure rested while beginning to speak. “There’s no way she could have got here with us. We were in the air for the best part of forty five minutes, if not an hour. She can’t have hung upside down from the supports. Not only would they have not supported her weight, the flight of the helicopter would have been affected. As the vehicle flew as it was meant to with estimated weights and the estimated altitude we would have had to have been at for a successful flight, also factoring in weight of the fuel and its depletion throughout the journey, there was the right amount of weight and time to the distance I estimate we would have had to fly to get away from the cities and the bustle so it’s over the horizon.”

The pilots looked in bewilderment at each other. Years of working together and being each other’s only companions meant their looks shared more information than words and more emotion was portrayed by these men than by  most people. The taller, most slim one was named Colm Curvet. The shorter of the remaining two was, ironically, the most rotund. He was almost the funniest and was names Merle Osman. Standing on the far left, the remaining pilot, Jonah Roberts was the most toned and spend the most time worrying over his appearance than the other two.

Colm was the first to break the silence. “Sometimes I wonder how the world works. It’s only when I meet people like this I realise I will never be able to know or understand. I might be able to recite things from a script or from what I have been told, but I will never be as good as these people here. Why aren’t they running the country?” he asked Merle and Jonah.

“Don’t ask us.” replied Merle. “It’s not as though we could tell you. Face it – we’re only pilots. If we were better, we wouldn’t be here. We’d be them and someone else should be here doing our jobs.”

Jonah joined the spoken conversation. “Look, we’re still very important and our jobs are still worthwhile.”

Fowler spoke up for the first time in the conversation. “Of course you are important. Every role in culture needs to be filled for a functioning society. There’s no possibility of having a society that works without all the different levels. And think about what life would be like if everyone was exactly the same? Who would do those things that you take for granted? Who would take away the rubbish every week? Who would put out the food on the shelves? Who would clean the house when you paid them? Could you imagine how little we’d learn if everyone was always thinking and learning everything there is to know, pushing the boundaries. Sometimes, the simple views and the different ways of looking at things, sometimes make all the difference. There’s sometimes nothing we  can do to think of the next thing we need to discover, until someone else says something that puts us on the right track.”

Faro added to the exchange. “He’s right you know. As much as it hurts me to agree with him, his points are equally valid.”

“Which brings us back to the original question.” said Alastair. “Do we go inside or not?”

“Yes.” said Pandora, opening the hatch in the roof to reveal the staircase inside of the building. “Come on now. It’s freezing.” Everyone filed into the new hole and packed into the slowly escaping and spreading heat rising from lower down the building. Pandora was the last to enter the building, her last glance around the rooftop and back to where the gypsy had thrown herself off the building the last place her eyes rested before she fully descended into the small stairway.

The End

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