"Apocashitstorm Tour, day 4. It's hard to believe Metallurgic International used to be headquartered in this dreary old ziggurat. Wyatt's office was on the second floor from the top. If M. Int had a policy against workplace romances, he probably wrote it."
Bashar Mati


"Hi Ma,

Looking back, it's almost comical how much I detested Wyatt. I hated everything about him: his lumpy face, his bad skin, his always-calm voice, his out-of-style suits, and especially his stupid cowboy name. (I don't care how badly you want to assimilate, there is never any excuse for naming your kid after a gunfighter.)

I couldn't believe you would replace my baba - a decorated combat flier - with a corporate drone. So I made it as hard for you as I could. I was beyond cruel. I accused to your face of only being interested in Wyatt for his money. Called you, my own mother, a gold-digger and worse. Refused to attend the wedding, then got myself arrested the night before just to cinch a point.

It took me years to understand the obvious.

Of course you married him for his money - for my sake, not yours.

Before Wyatt, the job you were working didn't even cover food and rent. When you didn't get overtime, we slipped deeper in debt or went hungry. You literally couldn't afford to spend time at home, let alone pay for childcare or rent a nanny-bot. Meanwhile your son was out of control, a truant and a thief, not even out of junior high and already a drug addict.

If you'd only had yourself to worry about. I think you would've politely refused Wyatt's interest. You were no stranger to hardship. Compared to what you went though getting out of Kolkata in 2037, simple poverty probably seemed like a cake walk. You knew how to survive.

But your son didn't. I was headed nowhere - at ramming speed.

You married Wyatt to save me. For the stability and opportunities his money could provide.

It wound up working, but not as smoothly as you hoped. Before I could be saved, I had to die first.

But that's a story for the Amphitheater.
―Bashar Mati