Commonwealth: A Novel of Utopia, part 3, chapter 1
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.
Rae slid into the chair, which was in the first row just behind the cockpit. It was deep and yielding – it felt like gel padding beneath the upholstery – with a web of safety belts that buckled over her shoulders and across her lap.
Jane took the seat next to her. Selfishly, Rae was glad.
The reminder of the danger they were heading into had reawakened and magnified the anxiety she’d been feeling in the last few days. The Pacific Republic seemed to have become an unfamiliar and threatening place.
But Jane Locke’s calm, reassuring presence was an anchor of normality. Being around her made every problem seem less daunting.
“How are you feeling, Rae?” Jane asked kindly, as if the other woman had seen into her thoughts.
“Nervous,” she confessed. “Is that bad?”
“No, it’s natural. It’s like standing on the diving board: no matter how well prepared you are, you’ll feel anxiety when the critical moment is upon you. That’s just how the brain works.”
“It seems so unnatural,” Rae said. “All this military buildup, here, in the Pacific Republic. I thought this place was devoted to peace. It’s disconcerting to see how quickly it switched to a war footing.”
“There needn’t be any contradiction in that,” Jane said, as two soldiers went past carrying a heavy crate. “Do you know the parable of the baboons?”