Guide to Moral Living in Examples: Rupture, Part 2

A man stood before Kelly. He wore a pile of rags. He held a knife. It was pressed up against her throat. One of Kelly's hands was up in the air. The other was handing over her wallet.

Cyrus stood next to Kelly. Both of his hands reached towards an unseen sky. The skyscrapers of Rupture soared above the trio. A massive pressure hull hovered just out of reach of the skyscrapers - although a gangly tourist standing on the highest tower could touch it - and above that skin flowed a million tons of ocean.

"Do you know that he's the mayor?" Kelly asked, careful not to push her skin against the cold line of the blade while she spoke.

"Sure. How ya doing, mayor?" The robber flipped through Kelly's wallet with one hand. "You need to bring richer guests down to Rupture."

"Sorry. She's a scientist."

"That's okay." The robber dropped the knife and took off down the street.

Cyrus kicked the knife into a storm drain. Kelly hyperventilated.

"We were just robbed! And you didn't do anything about it!" She wrapped her arms around herself and leaned against a lamp post.

"Not yet. But I will. I'm planning my next election campaign around being tough on crime. I'll be the toughest." Cyrus made a serious candidate face: half concern, half stoicism, all bullshit.

"But you didn't fight the robber right now!"

"That wouldn't do any good."

"We would still have our wallets."

"Think of it as a campaign contribution. Besides, Rupture is a secret underwater city. You can't hop on a bus and get here. Nobody drifts through here. A car doesn't break down outside of the city limits and the driver comes looking for a mechanic. The Immigration Committee hand-picks the citizenry. We send them invitations printed on paper with gilt borders. They're very nice. You should see them. Practically card stock."

"What are you telling me? And why did the robber say something about guests to Rupture?"

"I'm saying that I personally invited every criminal here. If you don't have crime, you can't get elected on a platform of being tough on crime. Without being tough on crime, what would I run on? The issues?"

Kelly pushed herself off of the lamp post. She took a step towards Cyrus, her eyes narrowing.

"You brought me to Rupture so that I could get robbed and you would rack up more points for your mayoral campaign?"

Cyrus shrugged and glanced sideways.

"Not exactly. I didn't want you to get mugged. I did actually want to show you Rupture. But I won't look a gift robber in the mouth."

Kelly punched Cyrus.

"Thanks," he said around a mouthful of blood.

The Moral: our secret underwater societies won't be free until we rid them of corruption

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