Darkness has fallen and there are small groups of *urchs around fires dancing and laughing. They stare at the vehicle pointing and seemingly impressed.
Small children wave and scantily clad figures whoop and gesture.
The tinted windows of the vehicle do not reveal the people inside.
'We should make *hasty-quick,' says Shabra, 'to the underpass. This is the safest way out. for sure.'
'Yes,' agrees Flex, 'safest way I reckon.'
They head towards the grey and white structure on high stilts built after the wars. It resembles a giant insect. As they approach the crowd becomes dense.
'What's going on?' asks Renyke.
'It was a funeral today,' said Flex. 'People are mourning. They are very upset.'
'They don't look very sad,' sad Rennick.'
'It's the way we do things here. We're used to death,' said flex. 'We celebrate. It takes our mind off things, and anyway, death is just a metamorphosis.
It's not the end. A baby doesn't know that it's going to be born. A baby thinks probably thinks it's dying. It screams with the fear of birth. We don't know what happens after this life. Our final breath may just be another beginning. How would we know?'
Flex looks questioningly at Renyke who frowns and thinks for a moment, 'I suppose so,' replies Rnnyke, 'I never really thought about it.'
'Droids don't think about creative ideas, no *dreamy-dreams.'
'How do you know what I think?' asks Renyk.
'Don't take offense,' Mr. Renyke. 'Just saying in it,' replies Shabra.
As they approach the entrance to the underpass they see people with torches and musicians. There is dancing and singing.
The car cannot penetrate the group safely and comes to a standstill.
'What we should do Mr Renike, I suggest, is park up for a bit. Maybe go for some food or entertainment. Get a drink or something. The underpass will be free in a couple of hours.'
'Is there no other way?' asks Renyke? 'I don't like hanging about in this place, it's dangerous.'
'Brother, You're with me,' said Flex. 'You will be okay. Besides we should get some provisions in case there are problems. We might not get through in one night.
'But it's only five miles to the Edge, said Renyke impatiently.
'That's a long way in the zones, brother,' said Flex, 'even in this machine.'
'How long do these people need to be sad? asks Renyke.
'A sarcastic droid,' mutters Shabra, 'interesting.'
'Well,' replies flex, 'it was a very important man that died, he was the leader of a rebel group trying to get an organised system together to reduce crime and create ...... erm....ya know.....stuff. There was talk of democracy.....I mean, that wouldn't catch on. Dude was stoned I reckon, *dreamy-bonkers-brain innit?
It was obvious he wouldn't last long, he was gettin *populary. Gangs wouldn't like that.
But now they got no leader to share the dream, see. They won't know what to do other than get drunk and party.
'Does this getting drunk and partying solve the problem? asks Renyke.
Shabra explains, 'Getting drunk and partying solves any problem, you got to chillax, Mr. Renick, then there is no problem anymore.'
Renyke checks the POS.
Why do humans get drunk and party all the time in the zones?
......humans have a long history of self-medication and self-abuse.
Self-medication involves remedying an emotional or physical pain, discomfort or situation with the use of narcotics, hallucinogens, and other mostly illegal poisonous substances that enable a suspension of reality and a temporary cure from malaise, anxiety fear regret, guilt, sorrow, over-thinking etc
The conversation continues.
'But I don't understand. It must be dangerous, and maybe even deadly?' says Renyke, beginning to feel annoyed by human stupidity.
Flex explains, laughing, 'That's the point my friend, and some people don't care, they don't want to live. Others, well, death becomes a temptation or a dare.'
He pats Renyke on the back. 'You better learn fast my friend, if you wanna make the grade in the zones.'
'I know a place, said Shabra, it's cool, nice friends, sisters. We can go there for a few hours till the crowd disperses and then we can make it through the underpass.'
Renyke thinks for a moment. He really would like to make haste but there doesn't seem any option other than going and having a 'chillax'
'Okay,' said Renyke 'I suppose a few hours won't matter.'
to be continued.......