posted on Nov, 14 2013 @ 10:50 PM
[i know the first instalment was a bit sloppy, so I made sure everything was alright with this one]
I must have dozed off while the Observer was gone, for I suddenly heard its voice telling me to open my eyes. I shift about on the floor and give a
stretch before rising to my feet, eager to learn more from the little grey creature. It taps away on the electronic pad, looks down, then back up
again to press a code into the lock.
There is a sharp hiss noise, and the door slides open, letting in the outside air. The Observer steps into my cell cautiously, treading lightly on the
ceramic tiles before having the door shut behind it again.
“Good. No sensors.” It says and looks around the cell. “Normally, there are some embedded in the floors to track movement of the occupants, but
the humans must really trust you. My name is Mehitebel.” It then extends a scrawny arm towards me.
My body froze. What did the Observer (Mehitebel?)want me to do with such a gesture? But again, this is the first time anyone has ever entered my cell
for as long as I remember. Normally, the Mask Men would come and stand outside the cell door, and when I was out, two would walk behind me and two
more in front.
“Don’t be afraid, I just want you to shake my hand,” Mehitebel replied as they inched closer.
Mehitebel closes their eyes and I can hear them sigh. “You know, where one human holds another human’s hand tight and shakes it when they
“I know what it is… I just don’t understand how it works.” Looking from Mehitebel’s hand to their face, I held up my own hand. They were
thick, strong and muscular, yet smooth and pale. Sometimes when I came upon a reflective surface, I likened myself to the pictures of stone statues
made by the Above Grounders from antiquity. I’ve asked about the statues only once, but the Mask Man attending to me at the time said that they were
gone, turned into dust by the Fire Clouds.
“So that’s the line they fed you?”
It hadn’t occurred to me that Mehitebel was listening to my thoughts the whole time, but I didn’t want to look foolish. “Yes, but you cannot eat
words in a literal sense as you say.”
Their eyelids narrow and the corners of their mouth turn up slightly. “It’s an expression. Don’t your Mask Men teach you anything?”
“They do,” I reply firmly.
“It sounds like they don’t.” Mehitebel crouches on the floor, crossing their arms. “Enlighten me with your knowledge.”
I give a sigh and repeat my history lesson: Ages ago, many races of men lived on the surface, creating cities and wonderful inventions to improve
their living. But over the years, they became proud and vain; treating those less than them with contempt until the Fire Clouds came. Their origins
were unknown, starting with one and then many more, burning the Above Ground to ash. Men who survived the Fire Clouds came to the underground and
rebuilt their civilization, donning masks to protect them from the effects of the Fire Clouds, known as Wrath. I and many others like me were made to
withstand the Wrath and bring the men back to the surface.
Mehitebel is silent, but then shakes their head. “Nuclear Mutually Assured Destruction, how very 1950’s. Guess it proves that the personnel can
change, but not the protocol.”
“But it is the truth, right?” I ask. “You’ve been down here as long as me.”
“Yes, though you have been lied to. I’ve been to the surface many times, and nothing is dead. Very much the opposite…I’ll call you Ziox. It
means “fair” in my native language.” Mehitebel hands me the transparent panel with the strange symbols. “I’ll switch it to English for you,
but you have to keep it hidden when your Mask Men come around.”
They tap a few times and the symbols turn readable for me. “Why are you giving me this? Don’t you need it?”
“I can always get another one,” Mehitebel says as they cock their head. “This is your window to the world, unrestricted Internet access. Just
input anything you want to know on the keyboard, like this.” They show me how to connect the letters through swiping my finger across the virtual
keyboard, and it went like this until a beep went off, signaling that dawn had approached.
As Mehitebel left, I called after them, “Thank you!” They gave a small wave and disappeared through the door.