Liberation Station

The ground rose and fell with the passing of the waves below. Dr. Keyla Sower was thankful for the treaded walking surface and her brand new and too tight work boots. If the motion weren’t obstacle enough, it was raining and slick.

The layered sheets of graphene and tiled technical ceramics felt sturdier than their thinness would suggest. The helicopter lifted back into the night, bringing with it its spotlights, and the new arrivals were left to find their way with no one to greet them.

“Which way do you think?” asked Greely, wiping his curly hair from his forehead. His unzipped slicker flapped in the wind like an overly prideful flag and his button-up was already soaked through.

The enormous platform, spanning 10 kilometers across and shaped mostly hexagonally like a snowflake, reached beyond the horizon even when the visibility was clear, she’d been told. Now, in the dark of night in the midst of a downpour with the very ground beneath her feet bobbing and sinking, it was all she could do to maintain a sense of up and down. Lightning repeatedly stabbed a collector tower, drowning out all sound except for what might have been the tearing apart of the very sky itself.

In the strobing brightness, Keyla saw dozens of three-story rectangles dotting the landscape. Those were the generators, the purpose of the entire enterprise. She knew that each sat atop a stalactite of tubes and pipes reaching all the way down into the abyssal zone. This small patch of ocean produced enough energy the power the whole world over. And with proper management, it could also provide 10 billion people with clean drinking water.

It was amazing so many people wanted it destroyed.

“This way,” said Keyla, motioning while she set down her duffle bag.

“How do you know?”

“Because if you go any other way you’re likely to get shot,” she said.

Four electric rovers with bubble canopies pulled up to the group and braked with haste, only then flipping on their lights as armed guards emerged from each in succession like heavily armored synchronized swimmers. The first rover’s bullhorn squealed to life.

“Doctors, please come with us, each to a separate vehicle. We’ll collect you belongings and return them to you promptly.” And then, after a pause, “And welcome to Liberation Station.”

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