(Headline backdated to the day after the press conference)
City Answers Questions
by Lois Lane
The human embodiment of the City took the stage yesterday at a press conference in which all of us were promised answers to our questions regarding the City. While each attendee was only allowed to ask one question per person, there were several people who attended and were able to answer questions. Some believe that the answers given just led to more questions and more mysteries, while others polled after the conference stated that they would rather not have known some of the more disturbing questions.
When asked what there was to gain in bringing people in from other worlds, the City responded with "I need you. Each of you is special in your way. I need what you have. You don't feel it, and I don't touch you directly, but having you means having you in my arsenal. Combined, you help me defend myself." While it wasn’t explained exactly how the City draws protection from us, a follow-up question regarding what we’re helping the City to protect itself against, he explained that there are other beings like himself. "There aren't many left, but as I am sure you are aware of the theory of Survival of the Fittest, the remaining are strong. We have spent thousands and thousands of years in constant battle. To be the last one. It is random when we encounter one another, but when it happens, there is a fight. None of you has been aware of when it happens, so far I have defeated all I have come across. If I were to fail, we would all die."
Another question that was posed involved the people who are sent back to their worlds. The City explained: "Sometimes, they can't stay. Who and what they are upsets the balance. Sometimes, they become of no use any longer, they are used up, but not by me. By themselves. If they don't go back, they would wither." This would again raise questions about how exactly the City is using us all to protect himself and whether or not he’s drawing upon our life force to do so.
When asked where exactly we were located in space, the City explained that it is always moving and never staying in one place. For those who haven’t been outside the walls, the City seems to be an island floating in space and one would assume that we’re always moving through space. Whether or not the City is on some sort of orbit or the movement is random is up for debate, but it would seem that we’re moving more quickly than, say, the planet Earth rotates around the Sun.
When the questioning turned to the things that the City does to us-such as bringing in a living King Kong and setting it loose on downtown, he claimed that he doesn’t abuse us and that "I give you things. I do things because I think you will like them. I admit, it hasn't always gone so well. But I want to keep your lives exciting." On a related note, according to the City, "The streets move in synch with my thoughts." He claimed that the streets being still were a result of him not being connected with them at the moment and he claimed that it was doing great harm for the streets to be still. While there’s no evidence or further explanation to support or refute this claim, it’s hard to deny that it’s a lot easier to get to appointments on time when the streets stay in one place.
The City also claimed that he does things for us because, “I like you to be happy. I like to give you things so that your lives are easier. Not having to deal with garbage and rotting food, or hunger, or worrying about buying something you might need or want, those are things I can do to help with your lives being easier. I know there are many other things that go on that aren't easy, but if you don't have to think of the little things, it means you can put more effort into the more important things." While wanting our happiness doesn’t seem to coincide with shanghaiing some of us from our worlds, it does seem that he genuinely takes an interest in us. What sort of important things he wants us to put effort into is certainly up for debate.
When asked about the storm, the City claimed that it wasn’t his storm and “if I'd known it was going to happen, I would have stopped it." He seemed genuinely angry at whomever did cause the storm. There aren’t many known beings in the City with the power to do something like that, so who might have caused it is at this point unclear.
From one of the questions asked at the press conference, it would appear that a few of the people who had met Thomas before the conference didn’t quite believe what he was and understandably so. One young woman even blurted out “you weren’t high?” From the answer given, it would seem that the City is unaware of any sorts of drugs that might cause an altered state of consciousness. Given the fact that the streets move with his thoughts, this reporter finds a small relief in that revelation.
In spite of the promise to answer all questions, there was one question left unanswered. When asked how he came to be in that specific body, the City got very agitated and began to shout, ordering the audience not to ask him that question again.