"We tried to be better, but we aren't. I don't think anyone could last more than a week here if they weren't willing to do bad things." - Alba Reyes

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Being a degenerate is okay these days
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There it was, then. Tacit admission of what Raina had already known for some time: Johnny had given up.

Raina was surprised at herself, actually, for the sudden and violent disgust that welled up in her in response to Johnny's words. For all her talk about how this thing or that appalled her, the truth of the matter was that true disgust was something she rarely felt. Her usual reaction to whatever had raised her ire could best be summed up as a sense of frustrated duty, but if she really thought back on it, she'd have to admit that she hadn't felt that way towards Johnny in a long time.

Maybe the truth was that she'd given up too, where he was concerned.

She didn't say anything for a while, biting the inside of her cheek to keep from bursting out with confused, angry words that she'd surely regret later. Instead, she moved back to the telescope to adjust it, leaning forward to look into the eyepiece while she adjusted the focus once more.

When she stepped back, she jerked her head at the telescope, indicating that Johnny should have another look. Once he did, she finally spoke, quietly.

"That's Mars. It's farther away from us than Venus, but it's the most similar planet to Earth in the Solar System. Maybe the universe. We've explored it the most out of any celestial body other than our moon; we know what pretty much the whole thing looks like." She crossed her arms and glanced up again, at the little bright point in the sky that she'd directed the telescope at. She could see it in her mind's eye as well as she could with any telescope, a little brownish-red disc hung against the void of space.

"If it was a little closer to the Sun and had a little more atmosphere, it would be almost exactly like Earth. But since it's the way it is, life can't develop there. All we can do is send robots to look around and maybe in the future we'll have the technology to terraform it and put a colony there or something."

Raina crossed her arms tighter, almost hugging herself. She didn't know why she felt so upset and angry all of a sudden, or why her explanation suddenly seemed like some ironic metaphor. Her voice was steady enough, at least, and the Sun had slid below the horizon now so her expression probably wasn't readable. She doubted Johnny would notice anything was off.
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
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Two Breaths Walking · Memories from the Past