Free Write Friday #13: Highland City

[IP] Highland City

"It's always beautiful in Highland City, especially when you've learned to control the weather."

Kreola sat at the small table, sipping her cup of coffee and savoring the warmth of the sun. It had been nearly a week since the project had gone fully online and she was sure that the emotional high she seemed to be riding would never quite go away. Twenty five years she had invested in the project, pouring her heart into it, believing beyond belief that ultimately, it would be the good that the High Council thought it would be.

So, she sat. She bathed in the sunlight. She took in the incredible viewdown the long northern fjord. The sunshine made the city so beautiful. The colors of the distant houses, red white, yellow and brown seemed to be more brilliant than usual. The towers of the far distant central city where shrouded in a far distant rain cloud, which was what they had programmed for this time of the morning. They had finally won their battle with the weather and the nation was still rejoicing even a week after the fact.

Kreola was hungry and was considering going up to the counter of the small coffee shop to see if the pastries were finally ready, but decided against it. Pastry could wait, at least for a few more minutes while she finished her coffee. There was time enough for pastries. Time enough for a lot of things now that the weather control system was finally online. The guidance control towers arched away into the distance, each one of them floating placidly above the streets, tethered into the houses by their guidewires. That had been the most brilliant stroke of hers: the guidance control towers were multipurpose in nature. They were streetlights, power generators and now with a massive, twenty year project to convert them to a weather control station, they controlled the weather net as well.

She smiled fondly up at the first one. There was a reason she had picked this cafe. It had been here, twenty years before that the idea had first came to her. Another rockslide had killed twelve people the night before and everyone throughout the city was in a somber mood. They were stuck. They had some small scale success in the lowlands, but the High Council was starting to demand a solution they could employ for the whole country.  The High Council didn't want to raise taxes, they wanted to use the existing infrastructure they already had. One thing they were desperately short of was space- it was one of the downfalls of being on an island. Not a lot of room for massive infrastructure projects.

She had been drinking tea back then, the strong stuff- jet black and pungent, straight from the cloud fields of Highland City. It was like jet fuel and kept her alive, energized going for days and days, frantically trying to figure out what the solution was. The winter storms were vicious and cold gales would beat away at the rocks. Hurricanes would take down houses and drown whole districts. The monsoons were the worst: days of torrential rain and houses would slide into the ocean. Or mudslides would take out whole neighborhoods. They had struggled against the problem for centuries but only now as their technology was advancing further and further could they maybe beat back the weather.

Where do ideas come from? How does inspiration happen? Even now, after two decades of work, she honestly couldn't say where the notion had come from. Too much tea, not enough sleep? Blind luck? Random chance? She didn't know- she wasn't sure she was ever going to know. She just remembered glancing up, being irritated at it's humming noise, fighting off a headache and then, she kept staring. Staring and staring as thoughts fused and ideas began to crackle and then it came to her all at once. Integrating the programming into the guidance control towers could be the solution!

And now, twenty years of hardwork from that one moment had come to fruition. They had finally tamed the weather. They could control it.

Kreola drained the last of her coffee and stood up, deciding that she would have that pastry after all. It was a beautiful day in Highland City and she could see all of Atlantis stretched out before her, glimmering in the sun. What could possibly go wrong on a day like this?


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