She was the first.

The first born of nine. The first in her family to study the dark art of science.

But not the first in size.

She was tiny–not good for climbing the great mountain with a metal tank of brightgas in tow.

Few people had ever been this close to the sky, to the endless bed of clouds that shrouded the planet. A single cohesive layer that never opened. That never cracked.

She stood far above the cities engulfed in petty struggles. Myopia and vindictiveness as thick as the sky.

She pushed a dirty wisp of hair from her face and arched her back. She lowered her glass shield over her eyes.

She reached to ignite the brightgas–that very substance used for trading and fueling and even killing in the cities below. For turning the wheels of factories and war machines.

But never before to power a human projectile.

She inhaled.

And then a spark.

In a sudden rush the cities below were out of sight. Then the mountain too.

There were only clouds.

And then she saw the other side of the soft gray sky.

She saw the stars.

She was the first.

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