The Nerdy Catgirl

[A stylized dragonfly rests on the AR display, waiting for the command to start. When given, it darts out of the screen and into the distance with a pleased hum.]

[Opening music, during lights-up.]
Look out at the night sky
We are part of it
The universe itself exists within us

We are stardust
In the highest exalted way
Called (by the universe)
Reaching out (to the universe)
With these methods and tools of science

[The video feed opens with the silhouette of a woman backed by the cold glow of the Milky Way. The environment is in free fall and long hair makes a diffuse and shifting halo behind her. The lights come up slowly, allowing detail to emerge. They first glitter off the silver dragonfly pendant worn close against her throat and the gilt edging to her feline ears, then flash across her glasses – surely an affectation in this day and age – in the moment that she tilts her head. Her hair is auburn streaked with vivid blue, and the garment that covers but does so little to conceal her figure is a lab coat buttoned twice at the chest. Beneath it, she wears the kind of skintight body stocking familiar to runners everywhere. Her skin is fair with a scattering of freckles and when she brushes her hair away from her face it reveals cinnamon-brown eyes and a warm smile.]

[Opening music ends.]

“Hi and welcome, whoever and wherever you may be. I’m the Nerdy Catgirl – your science specialist here at Release the Kraken. You’ll hear most people use my name, Lillian Argall, or Lilly for short.” Her voice is rich and soft without having a particularly deep register. It’s the kind of voice that couldn’t sound unfriendly if it tried – not an uncommon trait among ’pods of her type. “My role on the show is to interview subject-matter experts wherever we find them.” Her smile turns mischievous, “In other words, I get to geek out with some of the best in their fields and make sure the jargon stays thin enough that you can enjoy it with us.” She cuts a trace of unwanted spin by steadying herself with a foot. No simulspace, this; it leaves a faint smudge on the transparent bulkhead at her back.

“Best of all? When we find something new, I’m first up in trying to make sense of it. Whether it’s the first look through a gate with a drone cam or the relics of an alien civilization, if you want a view from the front lines of inquiry then I’m your cat.”

“I have simple goals for this show. My aim is to bring you the beauty of these worlds we’ll visit, to share the joy of our discoveries.” She looks straight into the camera, one eyebrow raised, to give a quiet invitation. “And to share the awe of understanding with anyone who cares to reach out for it.”

She smiles and looks down, then up through a drift of hair. “The universe is full of wonders waiting to be found. All it requires is that I risk my life.” A grin, a challenge. “I hope you’ll join me.”

[Fade to black. Cue end music.]

A still more glorious dawn awaits
Not a sunrise, but a galaxy-rise
A morning filled with four-hundred billion suns
The rising of the Milky Way

[The dragonfly icon reappears in pale grey.]

[Fin.]

The Nerdy Catgirl

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