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Life in Vekllei

Friday, Jun 29, 2018
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⚠️ This article is archived, and should be considered non-canon.

Vekllei is the final stop in the epoch of rest. Departing your jetliner or aeroship and setting foot in the city is a spiritual experience β€” the weight of the world leaves your shoulders, and, at last, you are at peace. Imagine what that would be like β€” to be self-actualised!

When I die, it will be in Vekllei. The food is good, the women are beautiful β€” yes, when I go I’ll make sure I’m there, pissed beyond belief, surrounded by my family, watching the city lights wink out for the final time. Isn’t that a hell of an idea? I think it’s a hell of an idea.

This street, in a suburb in Montre, is decorated for the moon festival. Sunlight only reaches this place for an hour a day, this time of year. What better time to reconnect with the sprites and your ancestors? For a few dozen precious minutes each day, curtains are flung open, children stream into the street, and office folk take a smoke break. Sure enough, the sun soon sets and the people return indoors, the streets of their city coloured by lanterns. The water of the canals is warm and smells of sulphur. The trams hum with electricity. A wind from the yawning Atlantic batters the sides of the apartment blocks that fill the city. Such is winter life in Vekllei.

They do not use money, and they have not discovered β€˜landscape’ as we understand it, but they are fiercely proud of Vekllei and the fruit of her city. Go on, see a flick, or pick out a dress β€” better yet, see the city, drink well, fuck often, and fall in love with a Montre chickette.

Underneath this feverish utopian vision lies artifacts of something darker β€” shadows of fear hidden in plain sight. Curtains drawn across apartment windows are laced with lead. A blast would otherwise shatter these glass walls and eviscerate the families inside. The more time you spend in Vekllei, the more you will notice the fear of these people woven into the fibre of the city. Why does every student wear armbands with their school and year embroidered on them? Why are the rainwater gutters beside roads so deep and wide? Tourists visiting airbases will understand the precipice over which the country rocks β€” nuclear jet fighters are cycling their engines always, superelectric trams can detach from the power grid, and sirens perform tests on random days in October.

What is to become of my old girl, the city?