Challenge #01301-C206: Per Ardua Ad Astra

'Fire in the Sky.' Specifically, the filk song by Dr Jordin Kare, released in '91 but remastered in '04. This song moved Buzz Aldrin to tears on national television when he first heard the remastered version, apparently. There was a competition to make a music video, and this one won. I first found the music video, a few years ago now, and I've never forgotten it. -- RecklessPrudence

"You were there for it, weren't you?"

Shayde looked up from her Kung Pow. "Ye woh?"

The speaker was young. One of the weedy nerdy types who had yet to absorb a complete education in social boundaries. As evidenced by their barging in on Shayde's meal. "You're the human from the twentieth century, right? You were there for the beginning..."

"Er," said Shayde. "Lots o' things started in the twentieth... Ye'll have tae be specific."

"The space race," said the baby nerd, as if it were the most obvious thing in the universe. "You were there, right? What was it like."

Oh boy... "Ye ken it's a hundred years, an' I was only there fer sixteen percent."

"Yes, but it was the most amazing sixteen percent! You were there for the ERA."

"I was born in nineteen seventy, kiddo. I missed half of it an' the other half was'nae newsworthy 'till sommat blew oop."

"What was it like?"

They still wanted to know. They were going to be disappointed, but they still wanted to know.

Shayde settled into storytelling mode. "When I was a wee little thing, I was all o'er th' world I got tae see a lot of what other people thought was cool, ye ken... And when I was little, it were all in black an' white unless it was about Skylab."

" lab..." they whispered.

"Oh aye, that was our first space station. Did'nae last long, more's th' pity..."

It took her longer to eat lunch, that day. Hours to tell all her memories. The kid was not disappointed. They were entranced. Enraptured. And very possibly in love.

History hit people like that, some times. And it was still vertiginous to think of her life as history. But not, thankfully, always jarring.

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