David and Nikki from the chapter “Mars Wing”

NikkiBlueNikki’s POV

David Michael: “Before we return to the Earth Wing for a celebratory feast, do any of you have any questions for V.X. or myself?”

A couple of people raised their hands, but David spotted mine first.

“This should be interesting,” he said, approaching me and looking down at me. It’s like he yearned for me to challenge him so he could school me again for all to see.

But the question I had burned at my insides. Kathy “She’s Crackers” Kepler had told me to keep my journalist hat on, so I did. I desperately wanted to trip up David because, fancy Mars presentation or not, I still didn’t trust him.

“On the way in here tonight, a reporter from the Boston Herald was removed from the building right in front of me. Why?” I asked firmly but calmly. My fits of laughter were long gone and the room hushed, taking my question seriously.

David smiled and turned to the blue suits. He was confident in his answer. He would not be tripped up by the likes of me.

“Because we don’t need the Boston Herald,” he said, smug as ever. His voice grew louder and more passionate as he spoke. “We are the Boston Heralds. We are the heralds of a new age. We are the media, the experts, the scientists, the Red Cross, the problem solvers and the future leaders of this world, as well as the Red Planet after which this wing is named. We are The Bridge for this drowning planet. We are also The Bridge from this drowning planet to other civilizations. And some day sooner than you think, the drowning people will stop laughing. They’ll wake up and they’ll panic because they’ll realize they should have listened to us, they should have joined us … but by then, it will be too late. We can’t save everyone and we won’t. That’s when the drowning people will fully understand the meaning of the words ‘inconvenient truth.'”

Thunderous applause followed. David basked in his moment.

And I felt like throwing up.

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