point_b: (k ~ moving target)
Isabella Marie Swan ([personal profile] point_b) wrote2014-09-09 04:48 pm

nasatya

There's more evac work to do, but it's slower going - no more easily drained population centers with functioning phones and internet, and fewer places to put the people. Eventually the last places that were willing to take evacuees fill up and close and they have nothing else to do.

A little while after that, things at the Junebug offices calm down enough that they're willing to make calls that say things like:

"Are you willing to give an interview for the Associated Press on your contribution to the evacuation efforts?"

Bella says she will if they want, if it won't take too long, and if they'll give her lunch. Alli agrees under similar conditions.

They're minors, so they're supposed to go by code names for limited identity protection. (Adults sometimes have these too, but it's required for anyone still in school.) Apparently somebody in the Junebug offices has suggested "Flicker" for Bella, which she accepts. Alli thinks on it with Bella's help and two of her own brains for an hour before settling on "Verge".

Their interviews, Alli followed by Bella - Verge followed by Flicker - are only a few minutes long each. Alli smiles at the interviewer and says that mostly she was just helping her sister and that she's really glad she had a chance to do something about Yellowstone and that she's really impressed with all the scientists who gave them warning and that she's glad she had the chance to move in with her dad since her home was within the danger zone.

Bella's is a little different.

"Flicker," says the interviewer, "you're thirty-second out of all the Junebug evacuators in estimated lives saved. You're going to get a medal when school starts up again in the spring term. Are you proud of yourself?"

"I suppose abstractly I could be," says - Flicker. "But I'm really not. It's not about my place in the ranking, per se - I don't think I could have cleared Sweep's number even if I'd been perfect. But I don't think very much about how good I was, I think about the moments I was distracted or tired or hungry and I slowed down just that little bit. When I was perfect and everything was lined up by the National Guard or other Junebugs, I could do four people a second. I don't know exactly how many I lost the chance to teleport to safety from stopping to catch my breath, or roll over after I woke up from an enforced sleep break, but - it was more than a few."

"Still, you did more than a million other participating twins."

"I didn't do it by being clever or brave, I did it by having a good bonus and concentrating, and I didn't do as well as I would have liked at the concentrating."

The interviewer changes the subject. "What are you and Verge doing now?"

"I think she mentioned we're living in our dad's house, outside the tuff area. It's ashy but livable, sort of - I've been doing the grocery shopping in other countries."

The reporter nods sympathetically. "How did you feel when you were teleporting people?"

"I avoided doing too much of that, really, it would have slowed me down - I had to focus on places and targets and not having emotional reactions. When I had any it just made me concentrate on being faster, because for every person I happened to get a good look at, there were millions who just weren't standing in the right place and didn't deserve help any less." She swallows. "Now that there's nowhere else to put anyone and nothing else for me to do I mostly think about the school bus that got swallowed up in the quake when it first hit. I didn't get everybody out."

"Do you think," says the interviewer, "that it was wrong to put a child of your age in that position?"

"Absolutely not," snaps Flicker. "Even if I couldn't deal, even if I were going to spend the rest of my life crying in a corner - and I'm not, I'm holding up - but even if that were going to happen, I saved one and a half million people. Sparing me would've been literally throwing every one of those people into the fire. One and a half million isn't my algebra homework, it's lives. Even if I were going to spend the rest of mine crying in a corner, one and a half million people get to have lives at all because the Junebugs didn't have qualms about child labor laws when Yellowstone rumbled. I wouldn't hesitate to make the same call if it were up to me."

"Do you have anything you'd like to say to the people you saved, Flicker?"

"I'd rather they didn't think of me at all. I wish they hadn't needed me, and now that they're done needing me they should go back to living like they appeared in Japan or wherever I put them by autonomous magic. They don't owe me anything, even listening to whether I think they do or not."

The interview ends there.
you_miss_it: (Bad plan)

[personal profile] you_miss_it 2014-09-10 01:09 am (UTC)(link)
Her sister takes the suggested nickname, but Savannah has a bit more trouble.

"All of the good ones are taken!" she complains. "Like, what, am I going to become 'Zipper'? Fuck that shit, I do not belong on a jacket."
you_miss_it: (Way ahead of you)

[personal profile] you_miss_it 2014-09-10 01:13 am (UTC)(link)
"Pfff. Wonder if they'll know me as 'that kid that's on a permanent sugar rush.'" She pauses, and then checks the list. "... Rush is not taken. Rush is not taken. Actually, no, correction, it's taken, by me. Mine."
Edited 2014-09-10 01:13 (UTC)
alicornucopia: (Default)

[personal profile] alicornucopia 2014-09-10 01:18 am (UTC)(link)
Rush gets interviewed first. There is liberal use of the censor button in the aired version.

Then it's Conduit's turn.

"Hello, Conduit. With an estimated three million people evacuated through your portals, you're seventh in the rankings of lives saved. The top officials of the Junebugs are on record as saying that once they have any non-emergency funds on hand you and others with similar accomplishments are due bonuses, and in the near future you'll be getting a medal when school starts again. Could you tell us how you feel about that?"
alicornucopia: (Default)

[personal profile] alicornucopia 2014-09-10 01:42 am (UTC)(link)
"That's very altruistic of you," remarks the interviewer.
alicornucopia: (Default)

[personal profile] alicornucopia 2014-09-10 01:50 am (UTC)(link)
The interviewer nods, sympathetic if not exactly understanding. "You're staying with Flicker and Verge's family, I understand. You and Flicker worked closely together during the evacuation, would you tell us about that?"
alicornucopia: (Default)

[personal profile] alicornucopia 2014-09-10 01:54 am (UTC)(link)
"Junebug officials have said that you pushed your portal size farther than your ratings suggest you ought to be able to."
alicornucopia: (Default)

[personal profile] alicornucopia 2014-09-10 01:56 am (UTC)(link)
"While you were holding static portals open what did you do?"
alicornucopia: (Default)

[personal profile] alicornucopia 2014-09-10 02:54 am (UTC)(link)
"How do you feel about having done so much at your age?"
alicornucopia: (Default)

[personal profile] alicornucopia 2014-09-10 03:05 am (UTC)(link)
"But it was a lot of people. Do you have anything you'd like to say to them, Conduit?"

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