Love aboard Mankind’s last hope
The Platform
CHAPTER
1
Radio Tower
Most evenings are like this, warm, humid, a little boring. All the streets of District four has to offer are oil glazed fishermen selling their daily catch, school girls running around the school’s garden, and Precincts wandering the East Asian markets.
Usually I only add to these repetitive fiery evenings, but no one really notices. For the last few months I’ve been on the Platform, I’ve climbed the rusty ladder to the top of the radio mast, always setting myself atop a shattered flood light.
I can see the mainland most of the time while up here, in a haze anyways.
Its rarely windy or cold, always the same temperature of 27 degrees celsius, even when a Halo Storm strikes.
An entire weather station sits adjacent from the flood light, even a small radio which I’ve dragged up here is zip tied to one of the supports making it a full on hangout.
I glare down at the street below, a few Precincts have bought an entire crate of fish. They walk around a white stall and continue down a steep flight of stairs to District one.
After they both disappear into the dark stairwell, I set my bare foot on the first ladder rung. Prior to grabbing a railing placed left of the ladder, I throw a plastic bag over the radio to ensure it doesn’t get water damaged.
I place both hands on the ladder and begin to descend rapidly down, each rung creaking and shaking every move.
Once I reach the sixth rung I let go and land loudly on to the corrugated steel roof, I stumble around making the sheet metal rattle before balancing myself against a chrome utilities box.
I place both my hands on the box and stare at the warning labels, each hilariously decorated with gory depictions of screwdriver mishaps.
“Syca!” The roof access door swings open and my friend,Cabe, limps out of the yellow lit room and grabs the rusted door before it can close,”Bro, we gotta go.”
I push myself off the box, letting it swing back and forth on its wooden support post,”I don’t have my shift until four.”
“I know that!” He catches his breath and spits onto the roof before slamming the door shut,” Chiu.”
“Yes?”
“Oh my god, such a run,” He leans against the door and raises his hand motioning me to wait,” Wooh!”
“What is it? Just say it,” I smirk at him and tap my wrist,”Time’s a wastin’.”
He leans back up and drops his arm at his side,”Okay, so, Chiu, he got this new restaurant up in District 16,” He pauses and wipes the sweat from his forehead,” And, cause we are his teachers, he got us free meals.”
“Yeah, so? He runs stuff in District four, which, all the food there,” I slide my hand across my throat and imitate a choking sound, District four has only become an icon of terrible food,” Bad stuff.”
“This is 16, and his restaurant was rated,” He coughs, takes a nearby pole and leans against it,” Five stars by the President.”
“Wait, before I get excited,” I point at him and shake my head,” 16 to four, and you walked?”
“Ran,” I stare at him, and lose my smile to a strange combination of worry and humor. I’m not surprised by the fact that he ran, but fourteen kilometers?
“Ran?”
He nods and pulls at his short gray beard,” All. The. Freaking. Way.”
“Smart, you know?”
“Yes, considering the tram,” He stands fully up and pushes the pole onto the ground, it clatters and rolls beneath a sheet of metal,” Considering, considering, considering. I didn’t have time to consider.”
“Sto, stop saying considering, I know I lost a bet, but-“
“Don’t, care, reservation in 16 in ten.”
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