2018 Jun 26

5 minutes: We were setting up the pieces

Everyday was the same. We were never finished. But we weren't meant to finish.

This was going to be the structure Rain would have to navigate around, the scaffolding from which she would have to build. We had no clear picture of what Rain was planning, nor did we want to put too many limitations on her. These were going to be the guideposts and fueling stations.

As long as she had these covered, we weren't so worried. At least, we were less worried than we would be if she went off in a direction completely independent from what we put in front of her.

10 minutes: Thin lines in the breakdown

They appeared as hairline cracks at first, so thin nobody noticed them, and later dismissed as unimportant whenever someone did notice them.

By the time we became concerned, it was too late - though at the time, we thought we could still save ourselves. Our initial attempts to mitigate the problem just revealed how little we understood the enormity of what was before us. We tried to fill in the growing gaps with sealer. We didn't realize that would never hold.

Nothing was going to hold, not even an entirely new structure. But we didn't know any better then. We just kept escalating our attempts at repair, wasting months of effort that could have been better spent on evacuation and escape. By the time it broke, we were totally unprepared. We were still hoping our constant efforts at reinforcement and complex engineering were going to work. Our backup plan just involved different types of repair, which would have still doomed us.

We were either too afraid or too arrogant to look at the bigger picture - that something we had spent decades putting together was never going to last. It was never meant to last - just each generation putting in temporary solutions and passing the buck to the next generation, hoping to live out a comfortable retirement and not be around when the breakdown could no longer be stopped.

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