And there he is.
Alazar Abraham glances at his watch, as if wanting to anchor this instant in reality. It is nine in the evening, Western India time. The transcontinental high-speed train is hurling itself through the suburbs of New Delhi. The monsoon rain is pouring, blurring the lines between the arcologies, temples and world-trees of the USRE capital city. The maglev carriage hums as it decelerates and the world becomes clearer. Next stop is the parliament of the Socialist Republics of Earth -- in the rainy night, it gleams in dark blue like the petals of a titanic geometry flower. Alazar finds it quite ironic that this is the first comparison that comes to mind. He's never been to space. Never found the opportunity, never found the need. At a fundamental level, he is a child of the Earth, he feels it in his bone, in the way his heart bends to send blood in his veins. Space always left him cold and the stars never called to his soul. He doesn't need their company to feel complete. The Earth, the mother of everything, the universe-planet, is enough for his dreams.
Alazar leans against the cold glass, catching the glance of his aide. Palomina has been at his side for more than twenty years. Any other assistant would be paralyzed at the idea of their boss going into Parliament without a speech -- not even an outline, not even a post-it, nothing -- but she knows better. He never wrote any of his speeches. Never had them written either. Didn't need to. Just stumbles onto the stage in his old suit, looking like he just left his chair at the university, then goes on -- simple, straight to the point, capturing an audience in a blink of an eye. Now he wonders. What is he going to tell the eight hundred delegates? That he is humbled by their vote of confidence? That he is proud to be the first Ethiopian and first trans man to reach the highest level of USRE government? No. He needs to be more simple. Down to Earth.
Simplicity. It has always been his strength. For such is Alazar Abraham -- a simple man. In the maze of USRE politics, where everyone is made of layers upon layers, Abraham is a single, white sheet. He never betrayed. He never lied. He never hid anything. He bears his politics on his sleeve -- he's a staunch, old-school communist, who sincerely believes in the future of Earth under the USRE banner. But his sincerity is not clumsy. It's disarming. It's pure. It's his best weapon.
Alazar Abraham sighs and decides to take a nap as the train enters the station. In a few hours, he will be appointed Secretary of the Union of Socialist Republics of Earth -- in other words, the most powerful person in human space.
Character illustration from a stock archive by PO-Art
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