It had seemed like such a fun adventure for the two of them.
Ferdie was thirteen, two years older than Rachel and he had always been the leader. It had been his idea.
To take the plant the Spider gave them Domeside.
It was called a fern, apparently. It had come in this little plastic pot, filled with genuine earth. Real soil, the stuff that never appeared Downbelow and she had just handed them out.
She said they thrived best in the light and that for them to really live, Greasers would have to make their stand, to resist.
Rachel didn’t understand exactly what they were supposed to resist. But both of them had understood that their little plant couldn’t survive well among the machines.
So they had taken it Domeside, slipping out of an access hatch more adventurous kids had unsealed years ago.
While Rachel had been peeing in an alley a group of Lightboys had found Ferdie. They knew him for a Greaser on sight, no Lightboy or Domesider wore clothes so dirty, covered in the machine filth from Downbelow.
Before Rachel could believe it, they were punching and kicking him. No matter how much he screamed, no matter how much blood he lost, they wouldn’t stop.
Then the Peacers’ sirens rang out and the Lightboys fled.
Rachel stayed hidden, wanting Ferdie to move, but he didn’t. Not even when the first Peacer prodded him with his boot.
She waited for the Peacers to take Ferdie’s body and the little workbots to clean up the blood.
Only when they were all gone did she come out and place the fern on the place Ferdie had died.
So that it could bask and live in the light of the distant stars that shone through the dome.
© Robert Spalding 2011