[ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]
.When they all reached the docking platform at the top of the rails, Estella pointed down the slope and said, “What’s that?”Far down the tunnel, Chloe could just make out the front end of the funicular train now heading their way.She smiled.“That’s our ride.”__________SINCE HE WAS the only one with any Project Eden experience, Wicks sat at the duty officer’s station while Ash and Powell hovered behind him.“Ah, here we go,” Wicks said.With a tap of the keyboard, a diagram of the base appeared on the main wall screen.“Damn,” Powell said.“How deep does this go?”“According to this, ten levels, not counting this one.”The circular levels were stacked on top of each other, separated by dozens of feet of earth.Elevators ran down the eastern and western edges.These began on what was called level one and went all the way down to level ten.The only way up to the level they were currently on was by using one of the two elevator cars that ran between the lobby area—the room they called Transition—and level one.“How many people are stationed here?” Ash asked.“Hold on.” Wicks worked the computer again.“There are currently 1,243 occupants.”Over twelve hundred? Ash leaned back.“We can’t possibly defeat that many people.”Wicks grinned.“Hold on.I didn’t say they were all Project personnel.Only forty-three are, and of those, only twenty are security.Counting the two who were in here, we’ve already taken out six of them.”“Then who are the twelve hundred others?” Powell asked.“I told you.The hope.”“Curtis, enough already,” Ash said.“What does that mean?”Wicks was quiet for a moment before saying, “You know Project Eden had been planning for a long, long time for all of this to happen, and that their plan doesn’t end with just destroying the old world.”Ash nodded.“The most important part of their plan has always been what happens after the plague runs its course.They meticulously thought out how to create a new civilization that, in their mind, would avoid the mistakes of mankind’s first go-round.What they didn’t want, though, was to start from pre-industrial revolution levels.They aren’t afraid of technology.Actually, quite the opposite.The goal those of us in the Project heard over and over was to create a new world where humanity will have the chance to stop floundering and instead soar.To do that, you can’t throw away all the knowledge of the past.” Wicks turned back to the computer.“Let me show you something.”After he typed for several seconds, the base map was replaced on the screen by a camera feed of an Asian man lying on a hospital bed.At the edge of the shot on either side, Ash could see other beds.The layout reminded him of photos he’d seen of early twentieth-century hospital wards.“Recognize him?” Wicks asked.Ash studied the man in the bed.There was definitely something familiar about him but he couldn’t put his finger on what.“Can you zoom in?” Powell asked.A few clicks and the image tightened on the man’s face.“You’ve got to be kidding me,” Powell said.“What?” Ash asked.Instead of answering him, Powell looked at Wicks.“That can’t be him.”“It is,” Wicks said.“Who?” Ash asked.Powell looked back at the screen.“That’s Dr.Carter Makato.You know, from one of those colleges in New York.You always see him in one of those Science Channel documentaries.”That was it, Ash realized.He’d seen the man on TV.A…physicist of some sort, if he remembered correctly.“What’s wrong with him?” Ash asked.“Nothing,” Wicks said.“Then why…?”“Because he and the others are easier to control when sedated.”“And the others…?”“Leaders in science, medicine, engineering, things like that.The Project calls them protectees.”“But how did they get them here?”“Like I said, the Project had a very detailed, prepared plan.At the moment Implementation Day was activated, teams collected people from around the world who were on their lists.It was a simple task.All they had to do was claim to be from that target’s specific government, sent to protect the person during the early, confused days of the epidemic.I don’t know for sure, but I’m guessing they probably went so far as to take families to avoid any problems, but from a quick scan of the records here it looks like none but the actual targets made it into Dream Sky.”“So they’re…warehoused here?” Ash said.“Pretty much.”“When they find out, they’re not going to be happy,” Powell said.“A reality the Project is aware of.But they’re counting on the fact that once the protectees realize how few people are left, and that Project Eden represents the best chance for the survival of the human race, they’ll understand the necessity of lending their expertise to the Project.”“Reluctantly.”“Reluctantly or enthusiastically won’t matter,” Wicks said.“As long as they see the importance of using and sharing what they know, the Project will be happy.Because without their collective knowledge, even the leadership of Project Eden knows humanity has no chance.”“There are textbooks and documentaries and things like that,” Ash countered.“For all they’ve done to humanity, the Project understands how important actual people are.It’s their brains, the way they think.You can’t get that in a textbook.Like I said, they don’t want humanity to slip backward.They want it to take up right where it left off, only with a lot more room to breathe.”“Unbelievable,” Powell said.“So you see,” Wicks said, “if we take Dream Sky, we effectively cut the brain out of the project.”8WARD MOUNTAIN NORTH11:14 PM PSTJANUARY 7thRACHEL HAMILTON ACHED from lack of sleep, but the way things were going, she knew it was unlikely she’d be lying down anytime soon.She had, however, taken the supervisor’s chair in the Resistance base’s comm room.As she scanned the room, Aiden, one of the comm operators, caught her eye [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]