The parade, patterned after the Mummers of Old Philadelphia, celebrated Aldebaran Three's Holiday of Hoopla and Hullabaloo. Thrusters dressed in flamboyant costumes floated, parade-like, through the central core of the Aldebaran Three, directly above the capitol building. Each saluted President Garnforth as they passed the viewing stand. One of the more extravagantly costumed Thrusters fell from the anti-gravity of the core and flew towards the ground at full gravity, two miles beneath. The human missile hit the Tomb of the Unknown Neighbors in the Memorial Gardens, sending a shudder through the fifteen mile length of the rotating cylinder.
Security guards hustled President Garnforth into his shuttle and sped away. As breach alarms sounded, the smoke sank into the decking around the wreckage. The telltale indigo radiance of nuclear fire burst upward like an errant fireplace belching death; beams of radiation cut like crepuscular knives through the presidential viewing stand and in the opposite wall, eight miles away. Living things withered and died in the beam. Terrorists failed in this, their second assassination attempt, leaving questions about presidential security.
--Dave F. (165)