The Show of the Century begins.




The Show of the Century

Mark selected a black dress for the show. The mask put more white in his fur-color to enhance the contrast. During the light tests, he checked his image in the control monitor. 'Perfect.' The countdown. 'It's show time!'

«Welcome. Welcome to the Mark Satchez Show on Rabit News. Don't trust everything you see or hear, even if you see it here. I'm your host Mark Satchez, welcome to the show. It's November 12th, six months after Pantero

On the control monitor, he saw the virtual background fill with images he had brought from the devastated world. The slide show stopped with the image he had selected. The sound engineers underlined it's emphasis with a slow, sad fanfare.

«One ship did this. Crushed our hopes and dreams. After that, we started searching ...» The image faded and was replaced by a star chart with course data where the probes had been sent to look out for any trace of the Haul. «In a tremendous effort, hundreds of star systems were scanned, we sent deep space probes looking for hidden civilizations. We found no trace of them.»

«We didn't give up. After centuries of peace, we recovered the plans for a military, for a fleet from our archives and we built it.» An image series of soldiers in training, space fighters shooting at dummy targets. Some stayed for a moment longer, exciting memories of famous interviews he had taken with members of the fleet, government and scientists. «But how do you fight that?»

The new animation of the Haul war ships appeared. The long cylinder was ripe with details, most of them made up. Still, it gave the viewer a sense of knowledge and control. Mark recounted events of the war, battles fought and lost, rumors and fears. Half an hour later, on cue, he was ready. «Today, I have the sad responsibility to tell you about another battle. It took place at LC-5437. We sent over 500 pilots. Our minds and hearts are with them. I don't have to tell you that we sustained heavy losses once again. Only,» he made a pause heavy with promise, «this time, the Haul got more than they expected. More after the break. Since this is a special show, this is no ordinary break. Instead of the usual commercials, we bring you Ariea with their number-one hit "Will You Remember Me?" Enjoy.»

The assistant waved and the ready sign went off. Mark didn't turn to look at the numbers, he knew most of the Rabit civilization was hooked to his lips. That was his life, his passion, his legacy. People would remember today's show in a hundred years, he was sure.


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