Blow Ye Gentle



Scene Title Blow Ye Gentle
Synopsis Huruma has all the time in the world to think, and all the time to try and dream of somewhere else.
Date August 9, 2011

The Commonwealth Arcology

Located hundreds of feet below the city of Cambridge, Massachusetts the Commonwealth Arcology was once known as the Indigo Plain Government Continuity Facility. The foundations for what would become a self-sustained underground community were built in the 1950s during Cold War hysteria, initially intended to be a continuity of government facility similar to Cheyenne Mountain and Raven Rock. Abandoned halfway through construction, the facility lay dormant for nearly forty years before being appropriated by the Commonwealth Institute after its purchase by the Department of Defense.

Secretly developed over the last three years, the Commonwealth Arcology is based off of the designs by renowned futurist and architect Paolo Soleri and his "Babel" arcology design, though at a diminished scale to his grand design of the future.

Composed of three descending "rings" of structural inhabitation, the Commonwealth Arcology is a living, thriving underground city connected by miles of subterranean tunnels snaking in and out of the subway systems of the greater Boston metropolitan area. Each ring is dedicated to a different purpose.

A-Ring, the uppermost level, is a residential and social quarter with dormitory-style residences capable of housing 1,500 people at maximum capacity. This ring also includes an garden and park with artificial sunlight and public structures such as a gymnasium, pool, and recreation facilities.

B-Ring is the middle, administrative level. Here research laboratories, holding facilities and departmental offices are contained. Fifty percent of this ring is unfinished, still under heavy construction round the clock by teams of engineers.

C-Ring is little more than a skeleton of metal framework, soon to be a mechanical engineering level.

Below C-ring is the power plant for the arcology, as well as railway access to the subway and internal elevators that traverse the structure's exterior. What further secrets are hidden away inside of the Commonwealth Arcology have yet to be revealed.

It is never an easy task to be imprisoned. To be a prisoner of war is at most times, an uncommon matter. Many times, such prisoners are subject to abuse in various forms, interrogation, and mental torture. Being kept in the Institute Arcology is by far, the strangest prison experience that Huruma has ever had the displeasure of being a part of. It has been a few weeks, hasn't it? She loses track, sometimes, when there is no natural sunlight, or moonlight, or starlight. It has been a long, long time since she has been living inside of a blur. Such a blur is bizarre, when you are a part of it. One day bleeding into another, regardless of what you provide to stimulate yourself. With the arcology, it is different from a technical prison; she is trapped, kept from leaving, but they only watch her there if she decides to slip out of her simply furnished room and out into the echoing corridors. Some are lit, some are dim. Some, she passes by the heavy-garbed retrievers, giving them seething stares past glassy face panels as they move on without a word or movement towards her. Sometimes the halls are bone-dry, save for the near silent padding of her feet, and the faraway noise of ventilation in the walls. Always, though, there is someone nearby when she ventures out here. He- or she- is always one- or two- armed guards, hanging back like a circling buzzard, watching her explore the environment and only once interfering with it; the one incident consisted of Huruma deciding to try and go outside as if she owned the place, and she was confronted in her flight.

Needless to say, this did not please her one bit. It has been a few days since then. She took retribution by taking those personal guards on a merry little jog on a largely unused stairwell. They didn't appreciate her doing that, of course. She could tell, and not only because of those groaning emotions at her heels. Until then, they had always been silent. It was not until she heard a tired noise a couple of cases behind her that she found herself laughing for the first time in roughly a week.

"They don'pay me enough t'babysit you."

She did, however, get a chuckle in return. Maybe it was true, Huruma didn't want to ask. It has been the only vocalization since, as well, though after that simple thing, some of the guards seemed to be less rigid around her, less taut in the mind when they found themselves 'babysitting' a prisoner. If she ever caught wind of any emotion of an accepting nature, she did not say a word about it. Ignorance is bliss, after all. Anyone would rather the soldiers be caught off-guard than be on their toes.

Since her visit from Benji- Jasmine- Huruma has been somewhat stir-crazy, expending her energy as long as she can stand to do so. Today, she finds herself in a small, empty gymnasium, running laps. Recently, while she sleeps, she gets snippets of something that is not hers. When Benji came to her, it cemented there that just perhaps, she is getting pieces of things that the other Huruma- the one that died- might remember. It is her restlessness in the arcology since the visit that has caused them to be scattered. The first couple of times before the visit, it was small things. Dreams of a future Bannerman, or talking to the friends that she already holds closer to her heart about things that have yet come to pass. After the visit, these things have grown chaotic in her inability to stay asleep for long. If one begins, it feels as if she wakes up too suddenly for it to take root. Huruma is not sure how these dreams work, but accidentally waking up in the beginning is certainly not how you make them stay. There is little to do except run herself ragged so that just maybe she will have to sleep. It works, though when she wants them, they do not come.

Dreamwalkers can be fickle creatures, while dreams are the most discerning of them all.

The dreams- and lack thereof, sometimes- make her stomach knot. What she told Jasmine rings much more true than she had imagined. Her homeland is where her heart lies, but so are the places that take her near to those she has let in. In her heart of hearts, she could never choose between the two. Ever. The knot in her gut always worsens when she thinks of this, and of what could have happened to her family in that not so faraway maybe-future. It already does not exist, in its essence. Yet, it makes her curious, even if it will no longer occur as it did. Does Juwariya stay, or does she find her brother? Does Dajan live to guide his adopted country to a better world? Does he ever patch those holes in his heart? And what of Badrani? He is a strong boy, and from a strong family. Does he too become as great?

The mysteries of her blood are not surprising to her, in the end; the world that Jasmine and the other children grew up in was a world of war, of country, and of the West. Madagascar, under the right guidance, could grow in its vitality. What happens to the continent, then? Civil war is such a common thing, Huruma can't help but wonder, as she climbs stairs today two at a time, what a War of the Evolved would take to the whole of African soil. The thought of it makes her dizzy. Enough to cause her to stop abruptly, letting her babysitters catch up the few short flights of turning stairs. They take the minutes that she stops to think, to mumble quietly and bemoan the woman they have to keep an eye on. Sure, one of them could go up to the top and wait, but who knows if she'll dart out a door? Like trailing a cat, of course. And being in shape, it is not a terrible trouble for them to tag along- it's possible that they just don't want to start anything unnecessary, either.

An evolved war in Africa could end up like Madagascar. Granted, Rasoul was Vanguard, and backed by the oppressive force of that organization, however dying it was. Huruma knows that there are men just as terrible and powerful as Rasoul, she is not fooled on that account. For being the cradle of mankind, the heartland does not get enough credit, nor enough peace. If the things she has gathered are true, will the continent begin to burn when things get hot enough?

Maybe. Maybe not. It is too much for her to wish either way.

Huruma peers across the gym to verify physically that her guards remain, eyes drawing off to glance at the security cameras in the far corners before she decides to walk out the door to the corridor, picking up an easy pace on the way back to the rooms of her hallway, followed by the steady clip of boots on tile. Huruma soon finds herself back in the floor full of plain residential doors and glassy windows, to which she contrasts mightily, a statue of ebony against the backdrop and her simple cotton clothing. More and more, she misses that stinky old castle, with its wet stone paths and the ambiance of musty clothes, the scent of sticky summer dust. The feel of a saddle, the weight of a gun in her hand, the taste of yesterday's meat in that day's stewed leftovers, the not-so-great coffee in chipped mugs. The emotions flitting around like harried little butterflies. The preparation for battle, and the knowing that there will be a blood rush when it comes. Huruma scowls in silence to herself as she passes like a wraith down the hallway, eyes dragging her sight through a few of the smaller, uncovered windows. A retriever in the first that she can see into. Men in suits, in the second, a few doors down.

She slows fluidly, and only enough to affix her gaze through the glass onto them. Huruma uses these couple of seconds to portray herself as a restless creature, shoulders taut and eyes glittering, before she flits out of sight again, to find her own door and move inside. Her room is just like any of the others, simple in its execution. The dark woman growls once, sinking down onto the cot, sitting there in silence before flopping stomach down, her feet prying shoes off of one another and letting them fall dully to the floor. Take her home to the others, mungu. Even in dreams.

She sighs a lungful of air into the small pillow, a ringing hum coming up through her gut and into her throat, dancing a smooth melody through her head to drown out the overbearing existence of the Arcology.

"West wind, blow ye gentle, for the souls of yesterday… My sons, proud and no-ble, here within my heart they lay… Guard each gall-ant warrior's claim, I am the soil from which they came… West wind, with your splendor, take my brothers by the hand… Sun-shine, spread your glory, un-ify this prom-ised land…"

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License