The plush grass yielded beneath their feet as they followed the path of a stream carved into the artificially sculpted earth, a miniscule current bubbling softly next to them. They settled on the bank of a pond, where colorful fish painted an aurora of light in the gently rippling water.
"You okay?" Garrett asked.
"Why did you bring me here?" The tone across the neural link was cold, distant.
Garrett looked at the ground. She had shown him fascinating sights in Undercity, despite the hazards. He wanted to share the miniscule gems Upper had to offer within the safety of its plastic aura.
"I just thought you might appreciate it." He shrugged. "And that’s as deep as you need to look into it."
Nara leaned back into the grass, longing to feel each cool, living blade on her bare skin instead of through the confines of her garments. The smell evoked memories of the lush forests on her home planet, the only place she could seek refuge from the thousands of staring eyes.
Odin Oxthorn: This passage is a commentary of mankind's relationship with nature. No matter how much destruction humans can place over a land, there is always this need to return to the roots of the living environment. It is hard to comprehend what would be lost until it is gone.
I also wanted to showcase a little of the varied environments described in Sleepless Flame, as well as display a glimpse of the chemistry with the two protagonists. It is the little pauses of contemplation that give a nice break from the fast-paced action found in this hyperfuturistic world.