Normally, you wouldn't catch me liking a cartoon, and instead would see me enjoying anime, preferring the style to American cartoons. Well, sometime a good several months ago, my technical class studied Warner Bros. Studio and its history almost all two-and-a-half hours, and watched many Looney Tunes shorts. Back when I was younger, I watched them, but never before did it truly catch my attention. I fell in love with the characters all over again, and became addicted to the Tunes. Especially Marvin (and Wile E., why am I so into geniuses?) if not Daffy. A week or so later, I decided to start drawing them, and got hooked. I tried almost all of them, but discovered Marvin to be the easiest for me. So I focused more on him (which really isn't a good idea if you're actually broadening your interests, but work with me), and looked up as much as I could on him and him only. Mainly Duck Dodgers.
One night, before I headed for bed, I was drawing a young Marvin stalling his father from noticing he didn't clean up his room with random scientific observations. And stuck in my head was the Acme Arsenal game for the Wii, and the back-story behind some ancestors. The only one that caught my attention was Mervin and his wondering about the women leaving Mars because of cloning (or something like that). It was from this that that night, a short-haired Martian girl came to my head, and basically said somewhat "Marvin needs love. Everyone else has a female version of themselves. Why not him?"
And thus, Ebony Venusian was born. Along with this story where Marvin discovers what he's been missing by caring for a lone, short-tempered Martian girl who is only trying to return back home from her mission. Only problem is, she is the only Martian girl on the planet, and it's not a good idea for one female to be in the midst of a male-populated planet.
Rated: T for any language I may put here, violence, and (for later chapters) sexual harassment. And because the antagonist is psychotic, which has to be the real reason.
Disclaimer: Looney Tunes/Marvin the Martian is copyrighted to Warner Brothers, though Charles M. Jones created the character. Ebony Venusian, Micah Martian and others are my OCs.
A/N: Think of Alice Cullen's hair for Ebony. And this takes place in the 90s, somewhere around that. This was thought up before I watched Duck Dodgers, but that's in the 24 and one-half century. So yeah.
Satellite photos, no matter how accurate and clear they may be, don't show the whole picture. They never did. All those claims of possible life on other planets were in vain, or so they tell ordinary people. Frankly, scientists hide the truth, to keep others in shadow while they greedily feed on the secrets of the universe, and taking them to the grave. What they publish in newspapers and science books are those of petty detail, or changes they purposely made up to hide the real facts, hoarding away the confidential information without another word. They said the shuttle that landed on Venus fried from the extreme heat after seconds. In truth, it ran out of power.
That's the theory, anyway. A theory by a small group of females who saw the strange craft land and take pictures, steering its disc-shaped antenna in a full three-sixty before powering down. One of the girls' sensors had gone wild during its short-lived program, the scope measuring frequencies in a jagged pattern. It was a sign of radio waves shooting back the way it came from. By studying the alphabet on its hull, and the mysterious capital letters of "NASA", they suggested it came from no place else but Earth.
"The men aren't sane enough to try and check the place out themselves," one had noted, though she was curious about the solar panels. "It has to be from the blue planet."
"Myra, you've got to be crazy," another scoffed, knocking the metallic surface. It reverberated in small waves through it, and she stuck a drill into a weak spot. From the cylindric end, a twinned-blade cleanly reaped a circle, pinching it to keep it from falling inside. She held it up to eye-level, turning it this and that. "Earth may be filled with life, but the intelligence there isn't as high as ours."
"Ah, you weren't studying them clearly enough. They indeed are intelligent. If they weren't, they wouldn't have sent this probe here to scan our home. And the radio waves, Meeko! They were incredible, similar to those we've been picking up from smaller mechanics and their satellites!"
"Okay, you've got a point there... but this material... it looks primitive."
"We'll take it to the lab. If my suspicions are correct, the Earthlings are on a break-through!"
The news spread fast in the colony, and it wasn't long before all learned one way or another that the Earthlings have evolved intellectually to send spacecrafts into other worlds. Yes, they have sent satellites into space, but they had never seen it land anywhere else before. The females felt they were lucky enough to have the privilege to see one up close. It was held in display for all to see, though a few thought it needed decorations; it was too plain of a color and design for their eyes. Others still weren't sure it wasn't scanning them or taking notes to send back. The scientists had taken it apart as a precaution to be sure it was dead. One concerned spectator had asked, "Have the men been reported of this?"
The answer was sober, much like they didn't care. "Earth is absorbing all our waves, there's no way they would've caught a blip. This may explain why their waves are frightfully similar to ours, because they have managed to copy it."
Still, there were other girls who could care less if it was a scientific break-through or not. All they cared about was looking pretty and gossiping. But since there weren't many people who were too different or having drama issues, they focused their fibs on Ebony, despite if she caught word of it or not.
All Venusians were basically the same: the length of hair was normally no shorter than past the shoulder blades. If it was put up, it was done in style or strange hair-does such as loops. Eye color was limited to shades of brown or gray. The long dresses, though it could be any color they desired, was usually one strap over a shoulder to the other side, complimented with sandals or heels. Interests dealt with make-up, hair, fashion, et cetera, though some turned to science. Skin was of a gray color, unlike the black that was the men.
Ebony was the odd-ball, though she didn't mind. Her hair was short, curling at the shoulders and spiked. The color was of an auburn, but leaned more towards the reddish hue. Her eyes were beautiful, a bluish-gray like starlight. Dress consisted of tennis shoes and two-straps, and the hem was ankle-length. She was paler than the others, but still a delicate gray. One of those who was well educated in science and mathematics, she didn't blind it with talk of fashion. Instead, she spent time working on physics, chemistry, and being with her mother. She always found time to be with her best friend. Even on behalf of training for womanhood, all the girls her age christened her the title of "tom-Martian", poking fun on whether she was supposed to be a Venusian or not. Ebony waived it all away, believing she was just as unique as the next girl, no matter what they say.
The day the Earthling spacecraft was on display, she was there, examining it closely and memorizing the curious contraption from screw to metallic shield to solar panel. A few of her peers snickered at her, shaking their heads. "Like, how long are you going to stare at that thing?" the one in all yellow wondered, dark eyes piercing into the back of her head. She tilted her head to the side, the golden pigtails flipping in direction. "It can totally ruin your eyes."
"Forget it, May, she has her head up in space," a friend sighed, flipping her chestnut braid. "And she's not coming back down."
"Even if she did, it'd be in a ball of fire. Impressive, but life-threatening."
Ebony had to ignore the laughs, trying hard to forget the harsh words even if they were true. So what if she had her head in the clouds? She loved the topic of space exploration and astronomy. Every chance she got when Venus' clouds had thinned enough to see into the sky, she would sit outside and stare into the telescope, charting the stars—sometimes the planets if visible—before they were shrouded. Venus had no moon, but the clouds thankfully reflected and soaked in sunlight, allowing the planet to glow in a faded gold. This allowed her the safety of the night, except for the sudden midnight storms that would pop up in a loud boom.
Speaking of storms, one micro-burst had been developing at that moment, and the crack of thunder interrupted all conversations that may have been taken place. The girls behind her started screaming and running for home, not wanting their perfect hair to frizz. Quickly, everyone hurried for shelter, except for Ebony, who took her time. As frightening and dangerous the storms could be, she loved it. It was the only time the planet cooled down enough they could get rain, even for a short time. Even so, she still feared them, and would run when needed. The electricity was too much today, it seemed, and she had no choice but to race to the house. And there waiting for her was Marsha, standing under the veranda extended over their porch. Upon spotting her, she began to wave.
"My goodness, Ebony, you're going to give me quite a scare!" her mother called.
She skidded to a stop next to her, bowing her head. "I-I'm sorry," she panted. "It's just... a-an Earthling spacecraft had arrived a couple of weeks ago... You've heard of it, right?"
"Who hasn't?" Her gray eyes brightened as she gave a nonexistent smile and fixed the bandanna laid over her tan-colored hair. "Now come on, let's get you out of this storm." She turned and walked down the small path to the round door, Ebony following suit.
If an Earthling were to see their little adobe, he or she would be very surprised to see the similarities: the outside of the one-story painted evenly with beige, air vents on the roof amid the shingles, and a garden of exotic flowers and vegetables far beyond the Earthling plants under the windows. The only thing missing was a driveway and a car or some ways of transportation, something the Venusians left behind at Mars. Being small in size, population-wise, they preferred walking, even if it meant spraining their ankles if they took a wrong step.
Entering the living room would've shocked the poor foreigner to death. It was normal-sized, enough to hold a matching furniture piece, a coffee table, tables and lamps, a television and shelves. The difference, however, was the technology of it all, with the matching couches and chair being the only normal-looking ones. Tables hovered silently a few feet off the ground by power cores, the television built into the wall, and lamps collected solar power for the nights. The kitchen was a normal room as well, complete with oven, stove, microwave, and a washing machine (which needed fixing). Their table had chairs magnetized to it, yet was weak enough to be easily pulled away. Lights were sensitive to moving beings and would flicker on whenever one stepped foot to the tiled floor. Down the hall were the bedrooms, laundry room, and bathroom. Despite the size the house was, it was comfortable enough for two women, mother and daughter, to live peacefully. They couldn't have it any other way.
Marsha gave a soft sigh, picking up the broom and bucket that leaned against the doorway. "I'll go get the laundry. Be a dear and wash the dishes."
"Sure, Mom," the girl smiled. "I needed something to do anyway."
With a nod, she walked off, pulling off the bandanna. Ebony went into the kitchen, pulling off her gloves to replace with the rubber pair. She began filling up the left sink, pouring the liquid soap around the drain. She made sure the water was lukewarm, and began with the bigger items first, scrubbing away as hard as she could. To pass away the time, she hummed a little foreign song she kept catching on the radio.
Most girls didn't appreciate her taste of music, having never liked listening to Earthlings rock their hearts out. Her mother grew to tolerating it by the time she was a teen, believing she chose to be different. But it had an effect on her, to the point she grooved on the spot subconsciously, finding the rhythm and beat nostalgic to Martian music she used to love. Like daughter, like mother she continually pointed out.
There then came a frantic knock at the door, startling Ebony into almost dropping a pan being caught off-guard. Shaking her hands dry, she stepped up to the door and pressed a button to activate entrance. It split open to reveal Margret, an old friend of theirs. Normally a cheerful little woman, she was shivering from the rain, face scrunched in a look of despair, forest-green eyes paling and chocolate tresses disheveled from the wind. From the way her hands twisted, she didn't have anything good to say. "Marge, what are you doing in the rain?" the young brunette wondered worriedly. "You just recovered from influenza. You should be indoors."
"Oh, bless you child for caring about me," she whispered, bringing a faint smile, "but I must see you and your mother. It's urgent."
Urgency wasn't common in the area, but it was severe enough the news were often tragic. Ebony suddenly felt a pang of realization, and a thought popped into her head. Though confused about it, she started to panic. "How bad it is?"
It was then her mother walked in, basket on her hip. She set it down on the couch upon spotting Margret. "Oh, Marge, hi. Is there something you need?" Her daughter stepped aside to let Marsha be closest to her friend.
The Venusian let out a shaky breath. "I-it's terrible news, Marsha. Just... t-terrible..."
"Marge, what is it? What happened?"
"It's Mylenna. She's... dead."
Mother and daughter were struck in awe, unable to believe the simple, yet heart-wrenching word: a cruel joke. A young girl, a recent graduate of college, taken away? And a good friend of Ebony's at that? A heartless prank it has to be. How could Margret be so abnormally cruel? Stepping forward, Ebony asked softly, "Is it true?"
Margret looked up at her, eyes watered and over-flowing. She nodded heavily and jerkily, and they knew it wasn't a joke. "I-I'm sorry, Ebony... You two were such... wonderful friends."
"How did it happen?"
With a sad sigh, she explained painfully, "Sh-she and a few others were walking around that old playground when the rains fell. As the-they were running home, she fell behind and... got sucked into a sinkhole."
Marsha horrifically gasped, throwing her hands to her face. Ebony's eyes widened, her heart sinking in a long slope. The woman continued. "This is a monster sinkhole. It may not be very wide, but the drop... oh, it was hundreds of miles, can't see a thing... There's no way Mylenna survived that fall... We-we're doing the best we can to retrieve the body, but... i-it's too deep. And even if we could get her... it would be too ghastly for even our toughest to handle. Nobody would be able to recognize her, a-and... and..." Her voice caught, and let her emotions take over. She finally wailed, bowing her head and shaking it. Her friend joined in the mourning.
But the youngest couldn't cry, still too into shock to bring the waterworks. Her mind refused to believe it, saying it was hogwash, and she'd see her at work tomorrow with nothing but a scratch on her face. The two would joke like always, and ponder about the mysteries surrounding them and the Earthlings. And together, they'd reminisce their school days giggling at the naïve nature they had as children. Everything will still be normal. The way everything has to be.
It wasn't until the funeral a good couple of days later that she realized everything was different. Mylenna wasn't sick the past two days, nor was she on vacation—unless death was considered a permanent one. The whole multitude had gathered for the occasion at the small graveyard, dressed in black and close friends and family saying their farewells. (The girl's body had been found, but she was indeed unrecognizable in the face and mangled from the fall, so the coffin had to remain closed.) Even the birds and wind were eerily quiet for the occasion. When it was Ebony's turn to talk, she couldn't speak, and instead stared at the coffin that held her best friend.
It was hard for her the past two days. She had to convince herself everything was fine, that Mylenna would step in the room any minute and apologize for worrying her. She even caught herself calling her room, only to meet up with the answering machine that she once mistook for the girl herself. The news about the recovery of the body broke through her wall, and she grew depressed. Dressing for the funeral didn't help her say good-bye. After a long silence, she finally stepped down and sat down next to her mother, head in her hands. Marsha only rubbed her back whispering, "I'm sorry."
The next few weeks were slow, unable to be drowned with tears. Ebony withdrew from the world, not wanting to face another day. She spent more time at work, but worked half-heartedly, and refused to eat. In most days, she shut herself in her room where she painfully looked through albums, listened to gloomy music, and revisited old memories. Not once did she utter a word, and she appeared thoughtless.
It indeed was a problem. Determined to bring her back to her old self, one of the lead scientists made up her mind to talk to her. She caught her one day during lunch break, wandering the halls and staring at the floor. Stepping up to her side, Meeko placed a hand on her shoulder. "Eb, I'm truly sorry for what happened to Mylenna. I'm sad as well, but you take this too far."
She only glanced up at her, eyes pallid. Frowning, she continued. "I've been meaning to ask... the others and I have been growing concerned about our population getting ready to deplete. And with... the sudden fatality of a young Venusian, we've decided to go ahead with the mission."
A slow blink, and then Ebony whispered, "What mission?"
It was an accomplishment she spoke the first time in weeks, and Meeko couldn't help but smile. "Our mission is to save our small colony. Ever since the first few passings of our elders, we believe we're starting to... reach the verge of being endangered. So, the other girls and I made up our minds to go ahead and check on the men."
"Since Earth is absorbing all of our waves, we have the other option of sending someone in space. We made the ship, but we need a volunteer. We've asked others to go, but they don't wish to risk it. It is a serious deal."
Ebony tilted her head, frowning. "So... you're saying..."
Grasping her shoulders, Meeko inquired, "Ebony, are you willing to see if the men are ready for us to return?"
"For a little bit. I'm just a volunteer, nothing too serious."
It was just after Ebony came home, Marsha working late that day. She was happy her daughter was speaking again since the funeral, but to hear a plan of leaving home was more sober than relief. In her mind, however, she thought it a great idea. It would get her away for a while to recollect her thoughts. If it wasn't to their dreaded origins. The girl contended, "All I'm doing is going to Mars and check on the men. Then I'll be home."
"But Eb, this is serious," her mother whispered. "It's been twenty years since we had the exodus. It doesn't seem that long, but it's long enough the men may have grown wild with us gone."
"You were not yet two when we left, so you don't remember it all," she interrupted. "But there's a reason we all left."
"It's not about rights, is it?"
The daughter sighed quietly, sulking into a near-by chair. "I need background history, Mom. We weren't taught the complete truth as to why we left. I was sure they'd mention it in college, but they strayed from it."
"Frankly, hon, it's something you really shouldn't know—"
"I'm almost twenty-two! I think I should be told this so I'll know what I'm going against."
Marsha had grown silent, and only the background noise of nurses chatting came through the receiver. Ebony scowled slightly, knowing her mother wouldn't see it. A breath of grief came from the woman as she muttered, "This is the reason why no one is going, Ebony. They all were told about the memories of how the men think of us. Not all, though, your father is a very modest man. But... they normally don't see us as equals. They see us as objects. The girls here turned down the mission idea because they don't wish to risk it."
"Wait, what do you mean by 'objects'?" the girl quickly questioned. "Were we used as test subjects, or something?"
"Oh, I've kept you shielded from reality all these years..."
Ebony felt pressure, and urged impatiently, "What, what is it?"
"Marsha, you're being needed for assistance at pharmaceutical," a nurse's voice cut in.
"Oh, yes, Mindy. I'll be there. Sorry, Eb," she apologized to her daughter, "but I have to get going. I'll see you before you head for bed. Love ya, dear."
The phone clicked before she could speak up. She held it still, staring at the cupboards and listening to the steady beeps of broken connection. Finally, Ebony brought herself to say, "Bye" before hanging up. She left the cordless on the table to go for her room and start packing. But upon reaching the entrance to her bedroom, she paused, gazing almost blankly at the carpet.
Something... wasn't right. She got the sick feeling going away just to check for behavior was inconsequential, that she would get nothing from it. Next to the idea of being sent to a planet she barely remembered and not knowing the reason why they left, she began to understand a little why nobody else volunteered. Even her mother, though she didn't mention it, rejected the idea. But she, tom-Martian Ebony, willingly did so. Why? Was it taste for adventure? To actually travel to her home planet? To get away from everything?
...Either worked for her. She didn't mind choosing one over the other. With that thought, she made herself grab a few clothes and necessities before dragging out her packing bag. Her eyes traveled to the room she had familiarized herself with the past twenty years. Remains of childhood still lingered on the walls, painted with stars, clouds, and mixed messy hand-prints. Even her doll survived the many years, watching her from the shelf that held her precious items. Her teenage years ruled the bedroom: she covered the light blue walls with pictures, had less floral/printed covers and curtains, a slight disorganized desk, CDs were stacked near the alarm clock, and books filled a small bookshelf in a corner. Her mirror had scribbled notes on it from when she needed reminders or was doing equations. For adulthood, however, were the longer dresses and work she brought home.
Losing herself in memories, she secretly wished she refused, so she could stay in the safety of her home. But what was done was done. Everyone (if not anyone else who weren't scientists) was counting on her to take part in the mission. Backing out would make folks think of her differently. Ebony zipped the bag without problems, but pushed down on it anyway. It hopefully shouldn't be very heavy; she only needed the amount on the way to and from Mars. She wasn't planning on staying, even if she ran into her father inadvertently... somehow.
Sighing, the girl left to fix an early dinner.
The afternoon of the launch came quickly, and the site was packed. Venusians, though many weren't interested in it, were impressed at the "bravery of little Ebony" as they buzzed. Some of the recent graduates came to see if the said girl would chicken out or faint. Others supported her in the decision. The lead scientists who funded for it looked upon their small ship they build for the ordeal. Though not one to hold a whole crew, it was perfect for the one lone captain to command and live in for the few days she'd be in space. They chose that one hour to launch due to the rare clear skies and Earth being further away, and thus wouldn't interfere. One thing they were worried about was communicating with her, but hoped either way the operation would go well.
Ebony was present, her mother and associates with her. She stepped from one foot to the other occasionally, trying to help ease the weight of her spacesuit that bagged and pulled from her, and was unfortunately muggy. Under her arm was the helmet, which she wasn't allowed to put on until she entered the ship (something she was happy for). At the moment, she was being lectured by Myra, going over last-minute instructions. "Remember, Ebony, eject the parachute when you've gone down 2500 miles, or it'll burn up when you hit and/or pass through Mars' atmosphere."
She nodded. "I did my research."
"Then you've read our instructions on managing the ship?"
"To every word and punctuation mark."
The lead scientist was pleased. "Then there's no need for me to stall the mission any longer." She gave her a salute. "Good luck, Ebony."
Ebony returned the gesture. "Thanks, Myra."
Marsha stepped forward, a smile present on her face. Grasping her daughter's hands, she advised quietly, "Leave as soon as possible."
"Of course, Mom."
Sighing, the wearied woman hugged her like it was her wedding day. But the final sentence she gave her was soft, and almost mournful: "Stay out of sight."
The girl blinked, puzzled. They broke apart, and Marsha quickly backed away, hands clasped in the front nervously. Sensing this as the signal to leave, she turned to the other scientists, who nodded and gave her thumb-ups. In response, she twisted on the helmet, the crowd reacting excitedly and shouting their good-byes and good lucks. Waving, she entered into the ship, and walked down the hallway to the cockpit, a crowded space that held two seats in front of the controls, the windshield opened to the golden Venusian sky above. She took the pilot seat, buckled herself in, and flipped on the engine. It buzzed to life, lighting up the small room. Ebony faced a small keyboard off to the side, tapped in the coordinates, and grasped the steering handles. The hum of power gradually grew louder, if not the excited throng that surrounded the awaiting spacecraft.
A small beep sounded, and the girl took this as the sign to launch. Staring confidently at the sky, she breathed to herself, "This is it. Take off." She reached for the lever not too far off, and brought it down.
Upon activation, the rockets ignited, the extraordinary power lifting up the ship. Ebony was pushed back into the chair when she thrust the controls backward to propel herself into the atmosphere. Bracing herself from the Gs, she felt her insides like it was hollow and air was rushing through. It was difficult for her to watch the skies fly past from the speed, and she had to squint. Then vision began wavering. Was it because she wasn't breathing? Is her heart really beating against the ribcage? Didn't she leave her body back on the ground? Are her hands still hanging on to keep her from falling? Is she blacking out, or is that...?
The velocity began to slow when the last traces of gravity dissipated. She blinked, unable to believe she made it. She took a breath just to make sure, and sure enough, she was still alive. A smile came to her face, allowing her arms to hang limply at her side. She stared out the window for a few minutes, until her mind was able to clear up. Ebony leaned forward, eyes wide and a gasp escaping her.
Space had never been closer, was never a moment away from her window. From her telescope, all she mostly saw was how dark it was in between the gray stars, no colors, nor textures. Here, from inside the cockpit, she experienced it. Space wasn't completely black, she realized it. It was an assortment of velvet colors, no matter how far away. The stars weren't bright from Venus, and oh, how they were brilliant. Clusters of them filled the whole dimension, each a different color and luminosity. The closest ones blinked, the furthest just a tiny dot. Loose rocks and dust floated lazily around, yet unable to obscure the view. Wisps of the galaxy could be seen, some large enough it was like a pathway, other parts faded into the fathom of space. In front, just off by a ways, was the planet Earth. She was surprised at how blue it glowed from the distance, even though she knew it was covered with seas. And further behind it sat a scarlet dot, her destination.
Ebony wanted to see what Venus looked like from above, to see if it was just as beautiful. She unbuckled herself, and immediately grappled for the chair. Even with all her studies on physics, she forgot about the zero gravity space had to offer. Feeling embarrassed, she quickly thought of a way to travel through the ship. Pushing herself the hardest she could, she "launched" for the doorway, catching the side after floating for a few moments. Sighing, she continued as such to the back, where hopefully a window was placed. Near the emergency pod, she found a porthole-sized window. Glancing outside it, she gaped wide-eyed at her planet.
It was more gray than gold and white, completely covered in thick clouds. She couldn't even tell if there still was an area with no cloud cover. It wasn't very interesting to look at, but she noticed it was slightly curved, a small area shrouded in darkness furtherest from the sun. She recognized it as a phase. Despite the hue of the planet, it had a strikingly pleasant quirk. A beauty of its own. Ebony grew heartsick looking at it, wondering if she was doing the right thing. Sighing, she turned away, leaning back against the glass. It was too late to turn back.
The girl slowly returned to her seat, straightening herself back up when she felt herself flipping around. After a struggle to re-buckle, a speaker phone suddenly crackled, and a distorted voice warped through, breaking up in several areas. "Co—bony. Come—...This is My—speaking. C—over."
Resisting the involuntary urge to hit it, she twisted off the helmet and picked up the receiver, pressing the button on the side. "This is Ebony speaking. I've passed the exosphere, and have achieved a smooth speed of..." She checked the gauge. "...about two Gs, over."
With the button released, she waited for another transmission, hopefully smoother. It took a few minutes longer before she received an answer back. "Thank—you're safe. We were w—id you weren't... The jou—shouldn't ta—than a few—" Static hissed.
"Sorry, Myra, can you repeat that? How long am I in space?"
Ebony groaned quietly, bopping her head against the chair. She re-counted her supplies wordlessly, hoping it would last. And if not, maybe Mars had some still in stock. Sighing heavily, she pressed the button. "Copy that."
A newer voice came into recession. "How—view, Eb—?"
She stared at the speaker, fiddling with the cord. The view? How was it? What kind of question was that? Even so, she answered simply, but with feeling. "It's as if we've never been closer, Meeko. Closer to being hand-in-hand with space."
Not to worry. Marvin will appear next chapter. Just introducing the heroine. See ya later!