Chapter 20 Reaching out

Celeste looked over at Ben, “The tablet the girls took is moving and the ship's vid screen turned on showing an aerial photograph of a complex of bleak gray low two story buildings and a blinking red dot. Ben looked back at Celeste and noticed her hair was now a long and luxurious blonde color.” Celeste blushed slightly, “Sorry for the quick change Ben, I needed to look like I did when they first saw me. Do you like it?” “It's very nice, but I like you as you are better.” “Thanks, Ben, it feels right to me too, and I like the way you look at me,” said Celeste with a quick smile. “But it's time to work,” 

The vid lit up showing a young woman looking out. A nervous voice said softly “Hello?” Celeste smiled, “Are you Lora, Ungar's daughter?” The woman nodded her head very slightly, “You're so beautiful, are you the woman from the ship? My father said you could help us. Is this true?” “Yes Lora, and this is my partner Ben. We can both help you, but you have to help too. Life for all women in Eaulander can be much better. We can give you to tools to make this happen. With your help, we can make the Elders and their security forces go away. You would be able to go where you want and look the way you would like to. No man could touch you unless you say it's okay.” “Almost all of us want this, although a few who are well off don't want things to change. How do we do this?”

“Lora, do you have nine friends who could help you, that you can trust with your very life?” Lora thought for a second, “If this is truly possible, yes?” “You will need to start a secret club with them so choose carefully. All have to swear with their life they will keep this a secret or their tongues will be cut out by the others.” Lora swallowed, and then said “Yes.” “Each of the ten of you has to recruit nine more for their group, and those have to recruit nine more each. In a short period, there will be a thousand of you. Create a short ceremony and swear in each recruit. Do you remember where I left you the box?” Lora nodded her head again. “I have left another box where you were hiding in the woods. Inside the box is nine more tablets, one for each member of your new group. Guard these with your life because if they are found they will likely cost the owner's life. There are also ten bottles with a hundred pills in each one. Every recruit has to take one as part of their swearing in. Downstream a lot of mostly men and some women will get sick for few days. I'll tell you when it will happen. These pills will stop you and your friends from getting sick. Your father has already taken one. When you have your group of ten put together use the tablet to contact me, and we will talk more. Lora again, this must stay a secret. Your women must not tell anyone who isn't a member of your club a single word about this or all will suffer.” Lora nodded yes again, and the connection broke.

“Well, it's a start,” sighed Celeste. “How dangerous is this for the women? Do you think some will be hurt or killed?” asked Ben. “Yes, I can almost guarantee it. With a thousand women involved it's very likely some mistakes will be made. We may have to pull the trigger sooner than later. The bug I created is very contagious. Within two days after I release the little nasties, the population here will be very sick, but only for about three days. If things go badly some women may be hurt, killed or imprisoned during those two days, and maybe a few after that. We have to put together a plan for them. There are many things that have to happen in a specific order. The security forces have to be rounded up and contained. Their armory secured or destroyed, and I favor the latter. We have to do something with Elders, and especially Davin. The cathedral has to be captured because the vid broadcasting center is in the basement. And finally, an interim government has to be put into place, initially run by the women, and then including the men. We don't want to end up with another Gaia on our hands.” 

“We'll have ten groups of one hundred women. We have to give each group a specific area of responsibility, along with the tools and a plan to accomplish it. We have our work cut out for us, and we have to put together a plan for them.” 

“What do you think we should do next Ben?” “How about the oil fungus Celeste?” “It's ready to go but takes a few days to work. I think what we can do is when Ungar visits next we tell him to top off his tractor at the fueling station that same day. That night I will send out a drone and spray the fungus into the tractor's fueling tank's vent. Within a day it will have spread through the big tank and then everyone who fuels afterward will have some in their tank. About three days later their fuel systems will slowly start to plug up with goop and within a week they should all stop running. Since it's only this tank, the power plant will continue to run fed by the other tanks. We can save that for the big coup day. I think it will good for the elders to use their feet to get around. Tomorrow is also the payday for the security forces. I scooted a little funds around in the banking system as you suggested Ben. We'll see what happens. I'll put the tablets and pills in the woods late tonight for Lora.”