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Far from 5th Avenue
“I made it!” she sent a message to Evelyn once the private plane touched down. Colette had only visited Dominance VII a few times on holiday. The Moreaus loved to visit the islands in particular. Never had she visited so far east, nor would she have imagined having a reason to do so.

Moscow held her in awe. She’d practically been glued to the window the last hour. For a girl raised in New York City, she should not have been so impressed, and she did everything she could to remain aloof. But she watched the sprawling land roll beneath the plane like she’d never glimpsed anything before.

When Evelyn told her that her work was going to have to be carried out in Moscow, Colette could not have been more skeptical. After a week of Evelyn’s persuasion, Colette consented to the plan. In truth, she knew that if she found the efforts fruitless, it would be easy to simply return home. She was giving the CCD a chance as much she was here to shape a new type of society.

It would be the middle of the night for Evelyn, so Colette did not expect a quick response. She sent similar messages to her family. It had been an effort to convince her parents to let her go. She wouldn’t have completely disobeyed their wishes, but it was certainly preferable to have their blessing.

Colette climbed from the car into the Moscow evening air. The city block reminded her of 5th Avenue, but the street was sparkling clean in comparison. There were no homeless to be seen. Everyone looked impeccable, although for this time of day, she was unsurprised that they were primarily dressed for business. The second she exited the vehicle, men in valet uniforms approached to take the many pieces of luggage. After swiping each an appropriate tip, she took a moment to study the buildings themselves.

For a girl born and raised in Manhattan, she was rather taken aback. The skyline was marvelous, but the buildings were higher and more fantastical than anything in Manhattan. No new high rises had gone up in the last twenty years, and one project on Central Park South was altogether abandoned unfinished. It was breath-taking.

The building that she entered was a hotel as far as she understood. It was owned by someone that she had never heard of but was apparently trustworthy enough to send her toward. Her family estate had arranged for a long-term occupancy until she found something more suitable. For now, she was content to sweep inside and be swallowed up by the new adventure.
By virtue of Colette’s last name, some doors were opened to her. The first few days in Moscow was interesting, but she was finding the need to exercise her patience. However, the jet lag made her in not a big hurry, so she was content to field messages and calls between New York, DC and Moscow from the comfort of her hotel room.

Through the buildings, she could glimpse the river beyond the skyscrapers. The hotel was in a stunning location buried among the looming skyline of Moscow City as it was. She stood at the window in a dressing robe, hair dripping wet from a recent shower, she considered the feeling in her chest. She was raised in New York City, after all. Skyscrapers lined Manhattan, and she had walked the pinnacle of many, but the city’s former grandeur was a shadow of itself. Here, in Moscow City, the grandeur blazed like the sun. It made her sad now that she beheld what Manhattan should have been. To think all this existed in Moscow. It was hard to believe the world turned into what it became. Perhaps she was beginning to comprehend why Evelyn urged her to come here. It certainly felt like the future was here.

The jet lag was easing by then, so she dressed and readied herself to do some exploring.
The doors that were opened to her led Colette to a call with the office of the Privilege of DI, Valentin Sulteev. She was strictly unable to speak with the Privilege himself, but she was optimistic that once inside, the doors would open further. Colette was persistent in that regard.

She passed the next few days until that first meeting exploring some of Moscow. She hired a driver for an afternoon of the sights. The road along the river was pleasant. She honestly had no idea there was such a large river cutting through the middle of Moscow. The artistic arbatskaya had the feel of antiques and oldness that made her want to come back and explore it more thoroughly. There were some unique galleries that called to her. The tour drove through Kitay Gorod next. The imposing Stalinesque buildings felt like something from a history lesson all dressed up in their Sunday-best.

Finally, she concluded the tour at the Red Square. On the understanding she had a couple of hours to explore on foot, he return to pick her up afterward. It was certainly bustling and more an impressive. A large number of tourists gawked at everything in sight. She of course herself felt the same pull. It made her realize perhaps she should think better of the tourists in New York as well.

The square offered so much to see, she hardly knew where to begin. But since she was closest to St. Basil’s cathedral, she disappeared inside the famous church to glimpse the wonders within.

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