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A conversation with Cynthia [Vignette]

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Independence Day was not the most inclusive of holidays for the Emissary, but he acknowledged that it made a certain degree of sense. He was after all the ambassador of a foreign nation, technically speaking. It would have been a touch bizarre if he was an especially public presence that day. He contented himself by idling the day away in exploration of Freedom Hall, now that he had full access to it. The rest of the League, Captain Thunder and Lady Liberty particularly, had a full day of ceremonies and celebrations ahead of them. It made for empty corridors down which the Emissary’s footfalls echoed with a heavy metallic clang (it was one of the few buildings where he could get away with the indulgence of walking on a floor directly).


He found himself back in the reception area after a few hours of wandering, sitting down against the wall near the main desk and its robotic receptionist.


“I think it is just you and I today Cynthia.â€Â


The synthetic secretary shaped a cheerily artificial smile in response.


“Yes sir. Is there anything I can do for you?â€Â


He leaned his head back against the wall.


“Explain human nationalism to me?â€Â


“I am sorry sir, that is outside of the scope of my programming,†the smile never flagged through her words, despite the hint of confusion to them.


He shook his head to himself with a sadly bemused expression, looking over to her. “I do not mean to tax the extent of consciousness Daedelus has seen fit to allot you, it is I who am sorry. I simply… do not fathom this day. I have studied, still study, the history of this world. A War of Independence, that in truth only brought such a lofty thing to a relative few. Slavery, full voting rights for all genders and ethnicities, these issues were not resolved for well over a century afterwards. Even events such as the Shays rebellion immediately afterwards.. and yet.. annual celebration en masse for well over 200 years, in all defiance of such realities. Baffling. I feel somewhat isolated in this confusion.â€Â


Cynthia looked to him, and after a long moment of silent calculation, delivered with that ever present smile what wisdom she could.


“Yes sir. Is there anything I can do for you?â€Â


He groaned, if only a tiny bit, lowering his face to the palm of his hand. His far reaching senses then caught the first few distant pops that heralded the citywide displays of fireworks. He turned his head to look out through the windows and extended his sight in full to the sky, fields of colours beginning to shimmer and dance brightly across his eyes. He could not resist his own delighted grin.


“But then again.. perhaps there is something to be said for an ideal so beautiful it lifts up the gaze of a whole nation together for a single night. Perhaps the sheer awe of the what could be of it is the point.â€Â


“Yes sir.â€Â


He laughed softly, sense of self restored. “Thank you for your time Cynthia, we should talk more often.â€Â


He simply leaned back then and watched the show. If there was at any point a hint of actual warmth to Cynthia’s smile, well, it was no doubt a trick of the light.

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