On-hand were dignitaries, novas, celebrities and friend from all over the world. The Addid Ababa airport has been running extra flights for the past few days. Some people arrived only this morning. Representatives from all the Team Tomorrows (except North America) were here, as well as several other Utopia novas.
Slider's casket was draped in the blue-and-white UN flag, at her request. Mourners and well-wishers who could not get inside could view the ceremony from several monitors set up outside, or watch the event live on numerous broadcast and cable channels.
While waiting outside, we talked to a few bystanders on how they felt.
"I just can't believe it. I mean, I saw the reports, but actually seeing a casket and
all of T2M here, it's finally sinking in."
-- Matthew Winningham, London
"She was the best. I only met her once, but she struck me as someone who'd be a good
friend and who always looked out for the little guy."
-- Tariq "Binary" al-Harrod, Cairo
"It's a lovely ceremony. It's nice to see so many people here to pay their respects.
It's unfortunate how it all happened. She didn't deserve to die that way..."
-- Karen Romanov, Kiev
There was a small disturbance late last night as the crowd gathered. Someone trying to raise everyone's ire about novas killing novas and the implications of T2M/NA's alleged role in Slider's death. But he was escorted off the grounds by Utopia security.
The ceremony started prompty at noon, with Director Larragione introducing Caestux Pax. Pax gave a stirring eulogy for a fallen friend and teammate. Near the end, there was a disturbance as Tower rose up through the floor and placed a rose on the casket. He said something, but it was hard to make out over the commotion.
The room went very tense, and Pax was clearly upset at the intrusion. There was no altercation, and Tower walked out of the hall and left the grounds. It's unclear at this time where he went.
The ceremony was drawn short, as security was on alert and everyone was asked to leave. It's unclear what the full implications are of Tower's appearance, but it clearly had Pax, Larragione and the other Utopian leadership concerned.
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