"They built a city that would rise from the ashes. A city that drew water from afar, that drew workers from further, and drew wealth from even further. A city that lived despite the odds, despite the heat. In the end, it was the cold that took it down.

The missiles didn't need to hit the skyscrapers, the suburbs. California and Nevada choked out old Phoenix, grit and dirt and sand blown east reclaiming the shining beacon of human stupidity; many found it poetic that the biggest city left in North America was the first to fall to the post-apocalypse. Its refugees took to the stars first as a result. Flat land was great for consumer vehicles to take off without runways, after all, and the elite in their minidomes were willing to burn their stolen wealth in order to leave their no-longer-blue planet behind. It was poetic, honestly. The flat, hot land that made the city so weak to the post-nuclear storms made it easier to take off; the wealthy elite that had brought the world to its knees were the first to leave.

It is not accurate to imply that there was no resistance, that humanity sent off its cruelest to see the stars and left its core to die. The streets were ablaze, crowded with rage and rifles and retribution, crowds suffocating each other as much as the dust did. There was no need for tear gas- you would only breathe clearer through the chemicals than the dirt.

On Mars, they say, Phoenix is reborn. The sprawl is contained, as is necessary on a planet without oxygen. Domes keep the sand out and the heat in, the sunny skies of Arizona a distant memory. Phoenix may be reborn, but to those who remember the old, it is on life support."

-Camila Meija, 11|2094

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