Sep 15, 2019 6:44 AM
audrey, not teah, in federation
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"Yes. Hm -- ah, I know. Don't go anywhere, I'll be right back."

He ducks out the door.

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She waits. Not that she really has much of a choice. 

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He returns a minute later...

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...followed by another man, at least a foot taller.

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"This is my friend Flambeau. Flambeau, this is Aura."

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She curtseys, and offers a hand.

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She focuses for a moment. 

“...Nothing.”

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"Spare me the humor," he says, to Jean.

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"Did I say anything?"

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Directed to Aura this time: "Can I do anything else for you?"

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She considers him. 

“Remember how broken the world is, and never stop trying to heal it.” 

She squeezes his hand once, gently, then lets him have it back. 

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He gives her a long look, and then half-bows before leaving the room.

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Jean's communicator goes off, just then. He answers.

 

 

 

...and curses, extensively, in French.

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Aura winces. 

“How long?”

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"About six minutes."

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“...is there anything to be done?”

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"Some people are recording and transmitting final messages. Some are still trying to come up with a brilliant last-minute solution. But -- no."

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She nods: then she begins to recite.

“‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
did gyre and gimble in the wabe 
all mimsy were the borogroves, 
and the mome raths outgrabe.

Beware the Jabberwock, my son! 
The jaws that bite, the claws the catch! 
Beware the jubjub bird, and shun
the frumious Bandersnatch! 

He took his vorpal sword in hand, 
long time the maxnome foe he sought, 
then rested he, by the tumtum tree, 
and stood a while in thought. 

And as in uffish thought he stood,
the Jabberwock, with eyes of flame
came whiffling through the tulgey wood, 
and burbled as it came! 

One-two, one-two, and through and through, 
the vorpal sword went snicker-snack! 
He left it dead, and with its head, 
he went galumphing back. 

“Oh, hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
come to my arms, my beamish boy!
Oh frabjous day, callouh, callay!” 
he chortled in his joy. 

Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
did gyre and gimble in the wabe 
all mimsy were the borogroves, 
and the mome raths outgrabe.”

”Lewis Carrol,” she says. “The only poem I ever memorized. I guess I - better to have light than darkness, better to have sound than silence, better to have poetry than tears.”

She’s crying, now.

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He's quiet through the recitation.

"Yes," he agrees, and then leaves the room.

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She sits down on the floor again, leans against a console. Her words are all spent.

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No one disturbs her.

Some of the consoles have clocks, if she wants to watch the time.

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She doesn’t, but it’s rather hard not to. 

Less than two minutes left, now. 

Well. 

 

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The rooms aren't perfectly soundproof. She can hear people crying. People talking. In the distance, someone screaming.

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She stands up. She looks at the consoles. She hums to herself, fingers tapping on the edge of a desk, pa-da-dum-pa-da. 

It’s no use: there’s nothing to do, no-one to care about, and her muse has nothing to say. She’s spent her life making beauty out of hurting things, and now she’s at a loss. 

Death’s like that, she supposes. Just a bit too large for any girl to really get a grip on an edge of it. 

(There’s not much time left.) 

The wild idea of beating the bomb to its intended result flits through her mind, and is as easily dismissed. It has a kind of spiteful logic, but it would feel too much like surrender. 

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