"Apocashitstorm Tour, day 3. I was thirteen when I broke in and vandalized this place. Me and that kid, I think his name was Star. It was my first arrest. A real banner day for the Mati family. What a messed-up kid I was..."
Bashar Mati


"Hi Ma,

Like me, Star was a problem kid, but he wasn't really smart enough to get into trouble on his own. I didn't tell him my real motivations, just made breaking into the museum and vandalizing it sound like a fun thing to do high on Duster.

I was only thirteen, but my combined interests in tech and drugs had already acquainted me with the basics of hacking security systems. I used a jammer to bypass a window alarm, and then I got to work. I toppled holo-exhibits, smashed dioramas, yanked display panels off the walls and smashed those, too.

I forgot all about Star until he yelped about flying glass. He was just standing there, holding his cheeks, starring at me with big, scared eyes, whining about how this was crazy and I was going to get us arrested.

He was right about the arrest - getting caught was part of my plan - but wrong about the crazy.

My one-boy orgy of destruction wasn't some kind of drug-soaked psychotic frenzy. It was a calculated attack.

Not on the museum. On Wyatt.

You'd started dating Wyatt a few weeks before, and I didn't like him. I wanted him gone.

When you had him over for dinner, one of the many boring things he'd droned on about was how he served on the board of the museum and oversaw its technology purchases.

Anyway, as I was saying. Star was right to think we were going to get arrested. It went down quick. Star began screaming about how he was burning all over, and next thing I knew I was face down in a mound of expanding foam. The police bots never even warned us. Compared to Star, I got off easy. I've never been on the business end of a microwave gun, but they say it hurts like hell. I was still picking bits of that foam out of my hair a week later, though.

Fines and damages came to eighteen months of basic income. So it wasn't just shame that my actions brought down on the family, but financial catastrophe, too.

Which is why the plan backfired. I didn't push Wyatt away. I handed him a golden opportunity. He stepped in and paid the bill, and it was only another month or two before you got engaged.

It's weird, but lately I've been dreaming about that night. I keep seeing that first projector I toppled, watching that hologram of a pioneer woman slew sideways and spin to the floor like a bowling pin as the emitter crashed over. A zap and a flicker and she was gone.

History shorting out. Kind of like now. I wonder if anyone will survive to build museums about us.
―Bashar Mati




  1. This location was determined by the name of the Explorer Museum vantage point, the location in Colorado Springs, and the striking appearance and similarity between the images.
Vantage Points
Set 1 Air Combat Academy - Colorado Springs - Explorer Museum - Bridal Veil Falls
Set 2 Eagle Canyon - Monument Valley - Bryce Orbital - Lake Powell
Set 3 Faro Automated Solutions - King's Peak - Sterling-Malkeet Amphitheater - Denver Stadium
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