The Labour Planet A Working Title Part Four 1118 words
The Labour Planet A Working Title Part Four 1118 words
The man looked furtively about him to see if any one had heard.
“Do not call me that down here.” He said in a hushed tone.
“I’m sorry, sir,” she said.
“Nor that, are you trying to get us killed?”
“My name is Whittaker,...Tom Whittaker.”
“Yyes…okay,” she said.
“I know who you are. You’re Staff Officer Tate” he whispered.
Then turning to Jamie he said “Are you from the department too?”
Jamie shook his head.
“Sir…” Georgia stopped.
Whittaker was glaring at her.
“Sorry,” she said.
“Tom, this is not the work of our Government, is it?
He shook his head.
“I didn’t think it was,”
“What security clearance did you have?”
“Level Two, sir.”
He glared at her again.
“Level Two,” she said sheepishly.
“So you will not have seen Level One Dossiers?”
“As a matter of fact I did see one.”
Whittaker raised his eyebrows questioningly.
“I didn’t hack in if that is what you’re thinking?”
“It just happened but before I could read all of it an error message came up and my screen went dead.”
“What exactly did you read?” Whittaker asked.
“It was about the hole in the Ozone layer and that we didn’t cause it”
“Yes, that’s right.”
“Well, who did?” said Jamie.
“Tate, what does he know?”
“Can I take it that although you’re not from the department, you’re prepared to work with us?”
“Good. We’re going to need all the help we can get. Well, to try to answer your question, I will say that, at first, as our climate changed we put this down to the nuclear accidents and the hole in the Ozone Layer but then when the seepage was discovered we began working on the theory that our planet was being systematically destroyed. To add weight to that arguement the scientists confirmed that the lead lined bunkers that contained the nuclear waste had been tampered with.".
“My guess is that we are needed by the inhabitants of some other planet….one that obviously can sustain human life.”
“A planet that we have never been able to discover with our space probes?” said Georgia.
“Exactly, but the way we are being treated suggests that we are not going to be honoured guests.”
“So, what do they want with us?” Jamie enquired.
“My guess…they need either us or something from us.”
“I don’t like the sound of that.” said Georgia.
“No,” said Whittaker “And what I find extremely worrying is that the children have been separated from us.”
“Is that the reason for the screaming?” asked Jamie.
“I think it must be,” said Georgia, “I would scream too if my child was snatched from me and taken away.”
“Yes, it is not looking good. The one glimmer of hope is that we seem to be heading for a planet that can sustain human life.”
Have you got some kind of plan in mind, Tom?” Georgia enquired.
“No, but if we knew what it is they want from us then we might be able to formulate one but I think the first thing we need to do Tate is to try to blend in a bit more. At the moment we are vulnerable because we are conspicuous.”
“Yes, what we really need is some new clothes but the shops seem to be shut.” Georgia replied, trying to lighten the mood.
Whitaker threw her a frosty glare and she looked down at the floor.
“Maybe you could swap clothes with clothing some of the others are wearing.”
“Good idea, young man. Well done.”
“I’m Jamie, and ‘Tate’ is Georgia,” he said pointedly.“
“We will have to be very circumspect…”
“Have a care. The scanner is coming round, it will pick up everything you say as it passes over,” said a voice from behind Whittaker.
All three went to turn and see who had spoken.
“Look away, look away…you’ll draw attention to us.”
“Who are you and do you know anything about what is going on here?”
“My name is Arnold Black and I have been travelling backwards and forwards on this damn ship for nearly two years now.”
“So, you must have some idea what is going on. What their plans are?”
“I know very little.”
“You could be useful to us. Will you help even though it is bound to be dangerous?”
“It has been dangerous for me all the time I have been on this damned thing.”
“Were you never allowed to leave the ship?”
There was a sharp intake of breath as Whittaker turned round and saw what the man looked like. His cheeks were the colour of Aubergines with huge great bruises, one eye was closed and both his hands were covered with blood stained rags.
“What on earth…”
Jamie and Georgia turned to look and Jamie gave out an involuntary cry but Georgia looked as if she would faint as her face went pale and little beads of sweat began to form above her top lip; Jamie just managed to grab her and steady her as he looked round for something for her to sit on. Whittaker saw a chair and fetched it so that Jamie could set her down.
“What happened to you?” said Whittaker.
“I’ve been disciplined.”
“The face was because they caught me looking at some papers when I was in the Commander’s office.”
“You have access to the Commander’s office?”
“And your hands?” said Georgia.
“They didn’t think I was working hard enough.”
The three were so shocked at the sight of the man that they failed to notice the scanner coming round again. It stopped right above them and an alarm sounded. Suddenly the doors hissed open and brought the group’s attention round to the main body of the containment area as two guards with weapons drawn entered and made towards them. Whittaker, Georgia and Jamie looked anxious but Arnold Black looked petrified. The guards made straight for him. He gave no resistance but still one of the guards pushed his weapon hard into Black’s neck as they forced him forward.
“What has he done?” cried Georgia.
“Why are you taking him he’s done nothing?” shouted Jamie.
The guards ignored them and carried on dragging him towards the door
“I think we are entitled to know where you are taking him and what you intend doing with him?” said Whittaker, but by then he was speaking to the doors as they closed behind the guards and the trembling Arnold.