In this issue, new Defender is put through its paces by two inspirational young adventurers as they prepare for an expedition to the South Pole. We also celebrate 50 years of Range Rover by taking a journey of discovery to Dubai. As well as looking back, we look to future as a group of visionaries explain the technologies that could change the future for all of us.
Exclusive short story
Exclusive short story Breathe Award-winning writer Krys Lee is the author of short story collection Drifting House and the novel How I Became a North Korean, published by Viking/Penguin Random House. She is an assistant professor of creative writing at Yonsei University in South Korea T he perfect daughter with the perfect life. That was what everyone saw. But Yoonie was intent on becoming someone else. In a way, she already had – she’d turned 21 just days ago. And this was her greatest gift to herself: the way out. As backpacks circled on the luggage belts and a throng of tour guides waved their meet-and-greet signs, the blood rushed to Yoonie’s ears. The Spanish she had learned from app tutorials felt like a glass jar trapping her. She looked back at the parked plane – both of them at a standstill after such a sustained rush of movement – and hesitated, wondering what she had been thinking when she left Boston so suddenly. Then she thought about her parents. She took in a ragged lungful of the painfully thin Andean air, as if she were learning to breathe all over again, and strode out of Cusco airport. At the end of a pot-holed taxi ride, the matron of the homestay led Yoonie to her room by the shoulder, as if she needed the help. Yoonie was used to this; her big, slightly startled eyes and heartshaped face gave people the impression she was a follower, that she wanted to be one. “Take it easy for the first few days,” the dueña advised her. “Don’t eat heavy foods. Have sopa de pollo.” “Gracias, gracias,” Yoonie replied reflexively, though she wasn’t about to go from one authority to another. The dueña added: “Remember to breathe deeply.” It had always been an immutable truth that Yoonie would inherit part of the family business – one of South Korea’s biggest conglomerates – and that she did not have to work a day in her life if she wanted to. But she knew that was never an option. “We’ve given you everything,” her father would say: both a constant reminder and subtle warning. That included the colour-coordinated clothes in her bedroom-sized closet, the sleek black car that chauffeured her to school, the personal secretary who had organised Yoonie’s academic and social calendar from childhood. Everything, as long as she did precisely what was expected of her. She’d quickly learned ‘everything’ included the stony pretence that cloaked her father’s discreet affairs, and the choreographed poses at the family’s public appearances – but not the summer lost behind bandages as her ‘new’ nose healed, or the soft-spoken boy she’d liked who moved schools within a week of her telling her mother about him. ‘Everything’ did include a perfunctory email six months ago, though, that let her know a fiancé – the scion of semiconductor magnates, of course – would be waiting upon her return to Seoul after graduating from Harvard. But training to be the perfect daughter had its advantages. As long as she kept the mask on, no one peered beneath. No one could possibly know the hundreds of hours, the years, she had put into planning her way out. Last week, she could finally access the funds in the trust her grandfather had secretly set up for her when she was a toddler. It was time to disappear. “The FBI has been after me for years,” whispered the wild-eyed, dreadlocked American man seated next to her on the juddering local bus. “I discovered the cure for ageing, you know. But Big Pharma, they don’t like that. Oh, no, they don’t.” She’d manage to politely avoid conversing with him for the first half an hour, but something within his fanciful air of persecution struck a chord. “Yes,” she replied, not lying. “I always search a new room for bugs and hidden cameras.” It was the first time she’d admitted her habit. “Exactly! You can’t trust anyone these days,” he half-shouted, before his eyes refocused, seeming to notice her for the first time. He shrank back, then quickly got up, managing to avoid stepping on a canvas bag containing two chickens, and moved to the back of the bus, muttering to himself. Even at 3,000m above sea level, eagles circled high above; farmers cultivated potatoes beyond the clouds. As they descended into the Sacred Valley, cliffs shot up on all sides, and each turn of the road revealed terraced fields of corn, an isolated church, another jagged peak. Yoonie felt if she could just make up her mind to climb and climb, she would eventually float up into the blue nothingness, and away from the chaos. 68 69
Land Rover Magazine showcases stories from around the world that celebrate inner strength and the drive to go Above and Beyond.
In this issue, New Defender is put through its paces by two inspirational young adventurers as they prepare for an expedition to the South Pole. We also celebrate 50 years of Range Rover by taking a journey of discovery to Dubai. As well as looking back, we look to future as a group of visionaries explain the technologies that could change the future for all of us.