Water To A Rose Of Jericho



Scene Title Water To A Rose Of Jericho
Synopsis In the seemingly barren desert of the New York Safe Zone, Sahara finds her spiritual drought come to an end with the broadcasts of the Itinerant Dawn's… "launch".
Date November 8, 2019

Body and Soul Family Chiropractic, Bay Ridge

This morning is one that's going to go down in history.

«…It’s been just over 50 years since the first moon landing, and we’re joined in the studio by Geneva Isfeld of Latimer Incorporated to say a few words about this monumental day.»

Sahara sighs to herself as she looks up to the little television hanging up in the corner of the physical therapy area in the chiropractic office where she works. The last of the patients she was seeing this morning had stalled out and joined in watching the news, so she relents and resigns herself to watching along for the last few minutes until the launch.

«I am hopeful, I truly am.»

"Could you even imagine," one of her coworkers remark, "that ten, fifteen years ago, that we'd be sitting where we are now?"

Sahara regards him out of the corner of her eye, her look lingering and with more sharpness than she usually shows at work. But this isn't a moment for smiles— this is a moment of contemplation, of reflection.

«Thomas is humble in explaining his role in the creation of Itinerant Dawn and… I’ll admit part of that has been out of caution for his well-being. But on the day of the launch, I want the world to truly understand his contributions.»

Here they all were, reflecting on this great event. This… achievement.

«Thomas didn’t just design the space-folding engine that will bring the Dawn to the edge of the solar system and beyond…»

A step forward for humanity, they were calling it.

«He is the engine.»

But these people weren't even human.

It's something that screams at Sahara from within, and she busies such a reaction down with a small, pleasant smile. Her coworker goes on. "I mean, can you believe it? Expressives, center stage on such a huge project… Bringing humanity back to the stars…" A patient hmms their idle acquiescence to the statement as she goes back to listening. Sahara glances to her, paying a little more attention than before as she begins to ask herself: that woman— is she a patriot?

«That’s absolutely fascinating, Ms. Isfeld. So, why has Latimer gone through such trouble to conceal Mr. Nowak’s ability from the public eye?»

It's a game she's been playing more frequently, this little guessing game. It's different than when she was still at home, when Humanis First was still respected and feared. There's no straightforwardness to it, something subtler needing to take its place. Coded messages between strangers, accompanied by meaningful, hard glances.

She wasn't good at the glances. Not usually.

«We were worried about reprisals. This project has received a tremendous amount of hate from fringe anti-expressive groups that see what we’re going to accomplish as a threat. Thomas is an integral part of the dream of the Itinerant Dawn and it would make him an easy target for people wanting to do harm to the future of humanity to suit their own bigoted ends.»

But on days like today… she realizes slowly she's getting better at it.

Sahara doesn't let that look linger, returning her attention to the broadcast, no matter how loathsome she is to do it. It would only be a few moments of her day and then she could go back to her business, back to her silent, burning grudge that refused to die no matter how low she thought she'd brought it to smolder. It sickens her more than she realized to know that countries aside from her own were embracing mutantkind.

She writes off the opposition to their efforts as impotent, because they were. She doesn't truly hear what's said about the evasive and subversive measures taken to safeguard the Itinerant Dawn's development and launch. Not really.

Because after all, they still were successful. They were still able to do this great, terrible deed… to make this… this…

«Furthermore, we were afraid of intercession by the EU once they learned of what Thomas was capable of. He is not registered in the EUSR with his precise ability, and this act of political defiance in the face of fascist oppression is the kind of hope Thomas represents.»

… Abomination.

«And—ah! A group of spectators have unrolled a banner on the stands, it says— it’s in Italian I can’t read it. Hold on, I’m going to get someo—»

The feed abruptly cuts and it rattles one woman, bringing her to fold her arms tightly across her chest. "What happened?" A burly man murmurs. "We lose signal?" Sahara doesn't even blink, enraptured by the blank screen.

What was this now? Could it be? Was it to good to hope that the launch had backfired; that the hubris of the mutants had burned them like Icarus and his failing wings?

Then the view snaps back into place — on a determined man bearing a patriotic scarf wound round his neck. Sahara's brow lifts, a shine in them as she looks on. She feels the words that come from him in her bones, something taking hold in her.

«This world belongs to humanity. We are not subservient to the wishes of mutants in the human gene pool, we are not victims of evolution, we will not go the way of the Cromagnon.»

Gasps of shock and horror rise from the little group. The woman with her arms crossed cups both her hands around her face. Sahara's coworker shifts uncomfortably. The burly man furrows his brow. The other, older woman watches calmly, but Sahara doesn't even look her way, watching the screen even more raptly than before.

«We are Humanity— follow us and we will lead you to a new Earth… a Pure Earth.»

She forgets herself.

The corner of her mouth turns up into a smile.

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