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It was a small courtyard, perhaps half the size of a city block, enclosed on every side by brutish concrete buildings without windows. Two of the ancient buildings were abandoned, and only one contained the entrance to the slice of sunlight that glimmered, mostly unseen, within. In order to reach Shiloh, you had to move back through the rubble, fight your way through a crack in the back wall that only faintly glimmered with light before emerging from the darkness. Two-Step called this last section The Pilgrim’s Crawl, a squeeze through a menacingly tunnel about six feet long, at one point turning at an almost forty-five degree angle in almost complete darkness. Jack found it a fitting name, since the first time she traversed it, the only thing that kept her feet moving was her faith in the man that led her.

Two-Step had found it while running from a gang about a decade before. Someone unknown had beaten him to it, spray painted the word Shiloh onto the back wall and never made it out. At least, that was what Two-Step deduced based on the skeleton that he found partially obscured under a nearby bush, spray paint can in hand, bleached bone grin pointed up to the sky above. Since he had no one to tell him different and the skeleton didn’t object, Two-Step built a bench and took to curating the plant growth. He only took his late wife and his favorite student there when he thought they could use a moment of sanctuary.

It was one of the only places in Satellite where the sun beamed down into the courtyard. By some builder’s flaw or another, the buildings in Upper had been constructed directly over the buildings in Lower, leaving one giant skylight to pour all the way down to the dirt. The light nourished some small ferns, spiky grass, and soft patches of moss in this square so far removed from the city that towered over it.

“Think,” Two-Step would say to the skeleton as he repainted over Shiloh so that it wouldn’t fade in the sun. “This is what it could be like. This could be all of Lower, if all we got was a little sun.”

Two-Step couldn’t remember when the cat started showing up. He found it one day, curled up on the bench in the downpour of sunlight, its coat a bright and unnatural turquoise, like it had been vandalized, or slept in a gallon bright green paint. Wherever it got its unnatural hue, it soon became Two-Step’s obsession, and his favorite retort to anyone who thought too small or offered up too mundane a topic of conversation.

“Somewhere in Satellite, there is a turquoise cat lying in the sun. Turquoise! And you’re preoccupied with that? Think better, Jack, there’s wonder out there if you look for it.”


Want to create your own place like Shiloh? Head over to our Kickstarter and fund the Location, Location, Location tier to create your own little niche in the City of Two!

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