Eleanor cradles her cup of coffee in her hands as she walks alongside Franz. The light of the midnight sun, straddling the horizon, bathes the two of them in more light. The skyline of the outer neighborhood of the capital is lower than the extravagancy of the downtown, something which Eleanor is glad of.
Franz as well, clearly, for she says: "The road lights in the city are so damn bright."
After laughing a little, Eleanor takes a sip of her coffee and knocks her shoulder against Franz's. "That's electricity for you."
"I could never get used to it." Franz shakes her head.
"You're probably not the only one," Eleanor remarks, scratching at her stubble. She gazes at the brick buildings, the men with hunched backs shoveling snow off of the street, the spires of ice framing the city, tucking it into the land. "They're new here, and lightbulbs aren't oft used on other parts of Earth. Any immigrants here would be shocked." She chuckles to herself. "Heh, shocked."
Franz rubs her forehead in her fingers. "Terrible," she says with a smile. She gazes into the distance for a moment, before turning to Eleanor with a tender look. "Did the Jovians have electricity?"
"Of course, they always have," Eleanor says. "When I was there, every street was lit bright, every city shielded from wind and ice, every pillar gilded. And that was during a time of rebellion."
Franz clenches her teeth, a cloud of smoke coming from her nostrils in a huff. Eleanor pauses in her walking, reaching out to hold Franz's cheek, motherly.
"I know what you meant in your letter," Eleanor says. "You are only going to get yourself hurt. Or killed."
"I must." Franz's jaw is strong and set firm. "Everyone's forgotten. I can't let that happen."
"People like these are always going to forget in the face of spectacle," Eleanor responds.
With grasping hands, Franz yanks on Eleanor's lapel. "I love you," Franz says, with what is almost a weep, a throb of the throat, "but they must not forget. They don't deserve to. And - and there's definitely a reason that the Jovian queen is leaving so far from the safety of her gilded pillars and blinding streets."
Eleanor swallows. She tries not to cry. She lets her hand rest on the shoulders of whom is almost her child, a victim of the mines of Proxima Centauri B, a jewel harvested tenderly in starving hands.
She leans forward and rests her forehead on Franz's. "Have you spoken to other people who are willing to help?"
Franz nods. Eleanor feels her head tilt as well.
Franz reaches out in the space between them and grabs Eleanor's cup of coffee. She takes a sip.
"Damn, there's like no creamer in this," she says. Eleanor cannot help herself, and laughs.