This is the third section of the first chapter of Sonnets from a Proton. The novel starts here.
The next section is here
Martin looked up at the young woman who had appeared before him. While not exactly a close friend she had introduced herself to him before and seemed to be something of a fan. Still he reasoned it was harmless and she was pleasant both in person and on his eyes. He realised what he had been thinking and chastised himself, he hated when he caught himself thinking like that.
“Oh hey.” He replied.
“You look lost in thought, contemplating infinities? Cogitating complexities?” There was that smile she used that looked almost giddy.
“You mean am I done staring at the wall? No I’ve not, the world’s about to get very mixed up for a lot of creatures and people, I’m just trying to remind myself of what it’s for.”
“The wall?” she sounded puzzled.
“The wall.” Martin paused for a moment “Sorry, you know there, right there in front of you.”
“The new plate?”
“I know that’s what the Habitat likes to call it, but for me it’s a wall.”
“You’ll change your mind when you can walk on it, when it’s just another horizon.”
“That’s the problem with this place, no damn horizons, just walls, support pylons and the end of the earth.”
“If you could take one step further you’d fall off.”
“Right back to old school flat earth theories isn’t it?” he turned round and finally looked at her. From low down she seemed to be scowling, or maybe that was just because he’d had his back to her all this time.
“Except they never thought of trying to describe the Earth as a giant barbell spinning its way through space.” She smiled slightly and put one hand on his shoulder crouching down to be eye level with him
“Yeah, but if early man did live here you can imagine he’d have a screwed up perspective of the world. You can look right over there and see the pylon that holds the ground up in the sky. On a clear day you’d be able to see where it joins to another world. Would he think it heaven or hell over there? Would science have developed sooner as it was clear how the world was made up from something or would he have worshipped the creator of the world for longer?”
“Is that all you’ve been thinking here?”
“No, just pondering the future, apparently all that will be mine.” he waved his hand somewhat vaguely at the plate.
“The wall?” she said trying to sound incredulous.
“Yes, the new plate” came Martin’s amused reply “someone needs to look after it, but the fewer the better was the thought, so it’s all mine. I could hardly tend a small garden at home, now...” his voice tailed off.
“I had heard that it would be a while before it will be ready”
“Last I heard it’ll never be ready, or at least it’ll be one of the last parts of the completed Habitat to be opened to humans.” Martin smiled slightly “Nope the Habitat is insistent that it has some place on it where the ecosystem can go its own way. Damn sensible I think.”
“Only because you’re allowed to play there, if you were being kept out you’d raise hell.”
“You think? I’ve done enough of that for one lifetime.”
“Tired old man ready to start his gardening in his retirement?”
“Hey I’ve got a whole continent to garden you’re making it sound easy.”
“You know you...”, the reply was cut off by the last announcement which almost deafened her.
“Well, better hold onto something”
The world dropped.