I didn't know what to do, this world had suddenly become much more dangerous, and I didn't like it. My curiosity however caused me to continue, I had to help Rosie, it was the right thing to do. “What should we do then Rosie?” I asked, “I have a plan, I drew up maps of the cathedral and under croft, I drew everything I thought I would need to find out what was going on here. I left the plans in a locked safe in house 47 on Wilmore Street. We should go there before we do anything,” she replied, starting already to move towards the houses, with me following behind, not saying a word.
We wandered through the dense forests, and after some time they gave way and we entered the city once more. We walked along one street, before turning into Wilmore street; the houses here we not of the Victorian style like the rest of the area, they were instead a much more modern building, most likely due to the fact that Wilmore street was one of the richest neighbourhoods for miles around, before the war began the aristocrats of our society would reside here, enjoying a life separated from the rest of society; this place was practically a world of its own!
Outside of the houses was a large border wall, mostly covered in white paint save for the areas of exposed concrete where the wall had been weathered. There was also a large iron gate where the road led in, and next to it there was what looked like a keypad, probably meaning some sort of code was needed to even set foot in the rich man’s haven. Rosie walked up to past the gate and keypad, instead stopping at an area where the wall had crumbled to leave a gap through which Rosie easily clambered through.
I followed her through the crumbled concrete and into the street within; the houses here were in a terrible state, which surprised me since the rest of the city was relatively intact, save for my burnt down house a few miles away. The vast majority of the buildings here were crumbled, rotten piles of rubble, clearly they weren't built to last, but one of them was still standing, right in the middle of the street, in between houses 34 and 36; the building was in dire need of repair, and the structure seemed to be on the verge of failing, but Rosie went in with me, with much apprehension, following suit.
The interior was a wreck; the wallpaper had been stripped bare, the kitchen looted, the furniture worn or taken and the whole place overall left a shambles, it was no place I felt I could be safe. “You don’t have to worry Alfred, the looters that came here are long gone, this place has been abandoned for years,” Rosie started, comforting me since I was clearly in a state of near panic, “What makes you so sure?”
“Because, I’ve been using this place for the last four months now, and I’ve not had a problem. If that’s not good enough evidence, I don’t know what is,” she seemed confident in her words, and once again she grinned at me, the grin saying all I needed to know about the situation around me. She was the most beautiful person I could have ever encountered; her smile, her voice, her mere presence made me feel so happy. I would soon have to tell her my feelings; she could surely feel the same, something about her felt so right, it was like I had known her all my life, even though I had only met her a few days ago.
“Come on,” she said, bringing me back into reality once more, “my plans are just through here,” she led me into the basement of the house; it was a dimly lit room, even when she turned on the lights, but it contained a desk, a filing cabinet, and a makeshift bed and some blankets, in the corner was a gas stove, with a stack of tins next to it, obviously labelled to be baked beans and other non-perishable foods; unlike the rest of Wilmore street, this place was built to last in even the most difficult conditions. ‘I wonder if this is truly her camp,’ I thought to myself, “You made this?” I asked, hoping to find out the answer to it. “Yes. I made it a few months ago, when I started to make plans to bring down Winthrop. It’s too risky to hide them in the cathedral, so I brought then here, it seemed to be the safest place for miles around,”
She walked over to the filing cabinet while talking; she opened the top drawer and took out a thin paper file, the title of which was ‘Winthrop’, which made me curious once more. “A bizarre name for the plans, why call them that?” I asked again, with much more curiosity than before. “I didn’t decide the name.” She replied, smirking, “I took these plans from Winthrop’s tent a while back, since gaining access to the under croft was impossible for me. Winthrop keeps those places heavily guarded.”
“Didn’t he ever find out?”
“He probably did, but he never guessed it was me. I remember he kicked out a guy called Finn shortly after I took them, so I suppose he assumed it was him that did it. Now Alf are we going to go over these plans or not? We can’t spend all day discussing them,”
“Of course, if we are going to make a move against Winthrop then we have to act now. You never know, he could already know we’re onto him.” Rosie started to lay out the intricate map of the under croft and the other rooms of the cathedral, there were even maps of the surrounding area! The maps each had the dates 2065 scrawled onto them, making them reliable enough for our plan to take place, hopefully without any hitches. “Rosie, one thing I have to know. Why did you call me Alf? That’s not my name,” she just smiled at me, and laughed shortly after I finished speaking.
“I know it’s not your name Alf,” she replied, “I just preferred it to saying Alfred every time. Now you see here are the maps of the under croft; they are vast, and by the looks of it easy to get lost in. However I found that this small room on the west wing of the under croft actually borders the old sewers, so if we found some explosives I bet we could blast our way in.” Her plan was simple, and yet very intricate, with many margins for error; so for some solitude I consulted my thoughts, hoping to find a suitable plan, which wouldn’t get us killed.
“The explosives could collapse the sewer you realise; after all they have been left unattended for years now. Also, how do we know where to go once we enter the sewers?” I looked at her for the time after I spoke, and she just looked straight back at me; she was just as unsure as I was, but after some time she recollected her thoughts and replied, “We will need to find a map of the sewers, there’s probably one in one of the old maintenance buildings over in Oakwood,” “Oakwood?” I asked, “What’s that?”
“You know Alf; I struggle to believe that you even lived in this city, you hardly know anything about it. Oakwood is the old industrial estate, it’s about a mile from here, but I never go there.” Once again, her fears sparked my curiosity, and I immediately replied. “Why wouldn’t you go there? It must be a perfect place to find materials,”
“Yes it is, of course it is. But you see Alf, that’s the problem; there’s so much stuff there that many are willing to kill others to get their hands on it. Recently Winthrop tried his hand at getting some metal plating from there, but that ended in failure; apparently a large group of savages took over the place a few months ago, you’d be mad to go within a hundred metres of the place now,”
“Savages? That sounds a bit extreme Rosie, are you sure they are actually that bad?”
“You have to trust me Alf, they really are savages, and they hate Winthrop with a passion that grows with every passing day. What they wouldn’t do to get their hands on him,”
“Why do they hate particularly him? Winthrop seemed like such a nice man when I spoke to him, I really can’t understand how so many can hate him like this!” She just glared at me, anger filling her eyes; “Listen to yourself Alfred! You are just as deluded as the rest of his goons! Winthrop is a corrupt madman, who has single-handedly turned an entire generation against him!”
“You can’t say entire Rosie, some support his actions,”
“That’s not the point! Winthrop is a madman, and he will do pretty much anything to get what he wants,”
“But what did he do Rosie? What did he do that was so bad in the first place? Could you just explain to me what did happen to cause this hatred?” She looked at her feet, and spoke softly to me. “You’re right Alf, you have been. I’m sorry I shouted at you, I’m used to having to put up with Simon, and he’s as deluded as they get. Just take a seat and I will explain it to you.” We walked over to the far side of the room, where a small end table had been set up with some chairs and surrounded by old tins. Rosie cleared away the tins and pulled the chairs around it, and then we both took our respective seats at opposite ends of the table. “I hope you are ready to listen to this Alf, I am going to have to tell you the whole story, from the very beginning, and that was three years ago.”