Radio Moonlight



Scene Title Radio Moonlight
Synopsis As the Safe Zone's radio forum comes to a close, there's something else in the wind.
Date September 27, 2018

Light pollution was always the most singular issue in the city, for those that wanted to see the stars. The further out you went, the easier to see the delicate twinkles of burning gas billions of miles from Earth.

But now?

No light. Or at least… nowhere near as much as there was, once upon a time.

The glow of the horizon is still there, despite its different shapes- - a mottled amber and gray against blue-black and the silver of moon and clouds. A cool night makes for clear skies, and the moon above is days waning from its fullest belly, bright and heavy in the dark. Streetlamps are not quite what they used to be, spotted irregularly along the streets, warm motes overhead.

While cool, the air isn’t cold; it’s crisp, like apple cider or the tingle of breath after peppermint. Wrapping up in layers makes it cinnamon, a spicedrop in the midst of turning leaves and lingering heat in asphalt and brick. Even better is the real thing in a hot mug of buttery rum, though Huruma has long since divested the cup of its contents. The smell of it clings to the folded collar and long sleeves of her sweater, a borrowed item from inside the house whose porch she occupies. A blanket is pinned between her lap and the great mass of a cat, a heat source more than welcome to stay curled up with her on the swing as she relaxes there, eyes tipped towards starlight.

Though the street is mostly quiet, the battery-powered radio that sits nearby provides the smallest narration.

"And, I'd like to take tonight to formally introduce you to the upcoming Chief of Police for the New York City Safe Zone… Caroline says, "Marcus Donovan."

Hazel eyes slip open a touch as the radio relays the commotion the mayor has caused over the airwaves. Ruma shifts in her spot, tail adjusting and laying back across pink nose. Her counterpart watches the dial of the machine as if she might be able to discern it with her empathic ability. She’s not there yet, unfortunately.

"Marcus— Marcus as you may remember, is a decorated former member of the NYPD. He was nearly elected mayor of New York City back before the war, and he is an SLC-Expressive citizen who has a vested interest in the city of New York pulling back from the brink of the war. I think we all would have been better off had Marcus won, and I think it's high time we give him the chance to show us what the NYPD can be. Not the NYPD of old, not the racial profiling, no the corruption, not the indiscriminate violence and complicity with war crimes. Like that bright young man said earlier, we need to build new. We need to start fresh. It's time we start listening. Thank you for giving me this opportunity, Quentin."

Names and voices she knows were a delight to listen to, and this Quentin Frady seemed like, to her, someone to keep an eye on. Fools do not fear to tread where reasonable men do. Huruma runs her fingers gently over the cat’s head, caressing the bottoms of those tufted ears. The purring in response vibrates into the muscle of her legs, rumbling warm and near. Pale eyes catch the moonlight when she looks down to Ruma, and the kneading of big paws in the blanket. Her thumb rubs over the cat’s chin and cheek, resting in a massage at the neck. The purring somehow intensifies.

"I… ah, y-yeah. It's— of course, it's an honor Mayor Short. I— it's good to hear the NYPD will be back in service sooner rather than later. It's… Well, I…"

"You're a gracious host, Quentin. Thank you again, New York. We'll talk again soon."

"I think we're all about out of time. I'd like to thank my panel, the Safe Zone Cooperative, for coming out tonight and—

{static} —dy's knocking should I let him in

Tss.” Huruma sucks on the back of her teeth in disapproval as the airwaves pick up interference from elsewhere, a song garbled and faint as it catches midway. “I suppose it was the end, mm?” Her voice is languid and soft, her only audience feline ears. They tilt as she speaks, tail curling. A velvet hum joins the purring, keeping quiet tempo with the bob of one foot crossed over the other.

Lord it's the devil would you look at him
I've heard about him but I never dreamed
He'd have blue eyes and blue jeans
Well somebody's talking he's whispering to me
Your place or my place well which will it be
I'm getting weaker and he—{static}

She cannot say she is not disappointed when the static overtakes the song as it did the end of the Town Hall. Yet, what comes next…

{static} “— ith continued diligence. In national news, President Allen Rickham has indicated that the Justice Department will indict all foreign members of the Biomere and Renautus Corporation for their role in Pinehearst's illegal genetic modification on unwilling and unknowing participants.

«Qu- - ser- - ul- -»

…almost makes up for it.

A tickle of air crawls over her skin, despite long sleeves. Huruma’s hand pauses against fur, and her eyes move to the radio. Pinehearst?

Memories of things she hasn’t thought of for years come inching back. The Evo formula, selling Refrain off to the Triads, meeting with Arthur Petrelli over both of them… following Adam along on his plans. Manipulating things around them down to the wire. Watching it build or break.

The foreign feeling of quashed guilt brushes against her chest. There are absolutely some things she would do differently, now. But that’s all in the past.

”The President spoke on the White House lawn today and outlined his plan to persecute members of the Pinehearst Company to the fullest- -

«- - ens- -de- - t- -ru- -»

”- -extent of the law. Vice President Kaylee Bellamy spoke with reporters after the President's address, indicating that the actions of the Pinehearst Company would- -”

”- -take years, if not decades, to fully prosecute. But that while the wheels of justice may turn slowly, they will not stop turning.”

Kaylee’s name on tinny speakers draws Huruma’s hand to it, and she snatches the radio to herself, eyes as still as night and pupils large. She checks the station first, but of course it remains the same. The plastic box is as innocent as ever, droning on with not a care in the world, static playing behind the words on a world that is absolutely not the one she knows, nor ever was. The garble of more words below even that… Huruma holds the radio near to her head, listening to the rest of the newscast.

Richard’s face flickers past her thoughts, and her breath hisses as static rolls back.

”The Rickham administr—” {static}



«Queens- - deser- - to- -ule- -»

“No, no- -”


«Queens- - deser- - to- -ule- -»

“Nno, no, nini kinaendelea… no, endelea kuzungumzaWavusikiliza… the net, yangu-tamu, the net.” Ruma stares back, blinking once, whiskers lifting with her ears as her namesake presses the radio to her ear. “…lakini… nini?


«Queens deserve to rule.»
«Queens deserve to rule.»
«Queens deserve to rule.»


{static} “—his is Jolene Chevalier, and you're listening to Night Jazz. That was Mammal Hands with Kandaiki. Up next, more Mammal Hands with Boreal Forest and Hourglass. This is Night Jazz, modern Jazz, at night on WSZR.”

Huruma can feel her heart leap and fall in the same breath, lips pressed tight and knuckles whitening around the radio. The cat on her lap tilts her head up to watch.

Yiyi buibui…” Huruma looks to her companion, breathless with a wonder and tension which even she herself is shocked by. One hand nestles again into the cat’s fur.

“It is Spider, my sweet…” A strain moves up Huruma’s neck as she listens further, only to hear the smooth sopranos of jazz music become clearer and clearer. The radio finds its previous perch once more, and Huruma drags the center of her palm down against her face. Her heart thumps dull against her ribcage, uncertain; laying back against the swing, Huruma looks to the sky again, stars losing clarity behind clouds.

Sielewi, sielewi…”

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