Scene Title Matoatoa
Synopsis She needs a moment.
Date November 8, 2019

Phoenix Heights

It's not often that there is such a massive event like a space launch, and this kind having never been attempted before, is especially huge. Every country has a feed, every radio or stream on in an abundance of places. Huruma basks some in the hyperactive glow which seems to cling to the Cat's Cradle like a pleasant miasma, taken up in her usual spot to sit back and keep a passive eye on a satellite stream projected behind the bar. A drink sits idle in her hand, only partly gone despite ice having melted in the time she's had it. Distraction riddles her, even though the space around her seems so invested in the launch.

The newscast scrolls past in several languages along the bottom, anchors chit-chatting around periodic updates and inspirational shots of the site. Huruma puts her glass aside and leans on her knuckles, pale eyes reflecting lamps and the idle scan of the news tickers. There is something brief from Madagascar, a quote from the prime minister about the undertaking, talk of the possibility for expanding their own space programs.

A small snort escapes her at the thought of it. Pictures of fanciful afro-indian ships play in her head, which is honestly the only fascinating thing about the prospect thusfar. While she admires the vastness of it all, space is… frightening, and isolating. All about remembering how insignificant humans actually are.

Maybe in another life she'd feel much differently. Maybe in another life she'd be living out there. Or maybe an alien entirely. One more thing that haunts thoughts of interstellar exploration. They truly have no idea what is out there- -

Which, as it turns out, is precisely what this maiden voyage is all for.

"…to explore strange new worlds; to seek out new life and new civilisations; to boldly go where no man has gone before." Huruma murmurs to herself, taking up her glass again and toasting the projection screen. She gets a few looks at her gesture, but it isn't the oddest thing. A few others do something of the kind as well.

Momentous occasions call for momentus symbols.

The ship is one, and the rocket another. Symbols of a new space race, perhaps.

Symbols which will not and do not last, instead becoming martyrs for something they have no hand in.

As feeds begin derailing into chaos and blood and fire- - the entire Cradle is caught between horror and rapt despair. Everyone knows how it is- - the train wreck, when you can't look away. Except this one is another in a long line, and the trauma of the others hasn't ever healed. People seem unsure how to process the airwaves, let alone Humanis First.

The bar starts emptying once feeds cut, a mixture of tears and pale faces; others stay behind, asking Sassy behind the bar to allow them just one more- -

Huruma takes one more to mean a bottle; she takes something from behind the bar as if she owned the place, waltzing outside into cool November air to the distant sounds of people shouting and dogs barking.

A truck rumbles past. The sun is shining. Birds flit past. And despite the peace of the unknowing, she can still feel the rise of heat and the swirl of her own disgust against the air around her. A long time ago this would have been so much different. She would like this. The strain.

Everything's different this time.

It pisses her off even more.

She starts walking. She's not sure where to. There is only a pause to frustratingly pull the short heels from her feet and let them dangle from her grasp before moving on.

Past husks of buildings still to be demolished, past fences tipped with sharp edges, past the silhouettes of construction and the grumble of engines. She stops along a boardwalk in tatters, peering past sleeping humanoid robots towards the murk of the river. A concrete barrier is as good a throne as any to sit and watch sunlight on currents. It lasts a short time. Time enough to open her stolen goods. Time enough to open her phone. Time enough if she is going to decide whether or not to push the call button.

"Tsy mendrika an'izao tontolo izao ny olombelona."

Her opening line gets right to the point.

"Fantatro izany." Huruma's hand traces invisible lines on the concrete beside her, pale eyes watching the idle outlining. Thought and memory conflict with the words in her throat.


"Azo antoka ve ny sisintany?"


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