Commonwealth: A Novel of Utopia, part 2, chapter 4
Author’s Note: This is an excerpt from my novel Commonwealth. The rest of today’s installment is free, but only on my Patreon site. If you want to read the next part today, it’s already up on Patreon as well. You can sign up for as little as $1/month, or $2 for exclusive author’s notes and behind-the-scenes material. There’s also a table of contents for all published chapters.
“We can’t do this without you, Rae,” Will said, holding out a hand. “What do you say? Want to join our conspiracy to save the world?”
Rae looked down at his outstretched hand. She made no move to take it.
There was a battle raging inside her. Every rational part of her mind was urging her to go along with the plan.
This is what I’ve wanted since I came here! Why would I say no?
But another part of her wasn’t ready to give in. She remembered crawling through grimy tunnels, struggling to keep the subways running in spite of fire, flood and disaster. She thought of the nights Zoe and Michael had spent huddled over their kitchen table going over bills, pawning their belongings, wringing out survival for another month or week or day. She thought of every indignity that had been visited on them, every insult they’d swallowed because they’d believed they had no alternative, and all the while this golden city had been waiting beyond the veil of their ignorance.
Irrational though she knew it was, to forgive them so easily would have been like rewarding Will – And Jane Locke and the whole damn Pacific Republic! – for their deception. She wasn’t ready to swallow her pride.
“Tell me this,” she said to him. “When I called you to say that Zoe was in trouble, why this song and dance about reopening the clinic? Why didn’t you just arrange to bring her to the Pacific Republic? She and Michael were struggling for a long time. Worse than I was! You could have done more!”
By the end, she realized she was shouting. But she welcomed the anger. It bolstered her with a sense of righteousness.