Author: Julian Miles, Staff Writer
There are mornings when you wish you could reset the world by going back to bed. For me, today is one of those. I woke to find the newsfeeds saturated with pictures of someone who remained a friend despite their ever-increasing fame.
I am, of course, talking about Vanto Crake, vocalist with Titan Walks, leader of the Daq Ne Yebol Troupe, and author of the infamous handbook ‘Anarchy and Visions for Interstellar Troublemakers’.
I only chatted with him yesterday. For me, death has not yet stained the vitality of recall.
He was upbeat over the recent issues regarding the rights to Titan Walks early work, and raved about the new album they’d just completed. There was also mention of a farewell tour with Daq Ne Yebol, as he’d finally decided to focus on Titan Walks, along with working on his second book. To my surprise, it was to be a romance set during the civil wars that ended the Dystopian Era on Earth.
I wish we’d reminisced a little more. Crazy stuff like the day he crashed a gravbike into a riot truck so the rest of us could escape across the Iridescent Bridge – he had to dive into the river to avoid angry law officers spilling out the back of it. Another favourite is when he and I spent a night careering about in stolen hovercars, painting all the Druckheim City election display screens black.
Everybody’s seen the video of him using a stolen interceptor to skywrite the symbol of the Passionata Rebels above the Passio presidential decennial celebrations. Nobody saw him smuggling beleaguered rebel leader Anstur Yebol off Passio. He started Daq Ne Yebol soon after their affair ended. The name means ‘Souls to the Calling’ in her native tongue.
I first saw Titan Walks play in a garage behind my tenement on Ganrie. A year later, I couldn’t get a ticket for their sold-out gig at the Planet Ganrie Arena. Their rise was that fast.
The day after that gig, Vanto knocked on my door and presented me with a tour programme from the VIP package, and a telling off for not contacting him to get in to the show. I mockingly gave him a hard time for not putting me on the guestlist. I still feel guilty about that because my name has appeared on every guestlist since.
He was one of the first humans to experience personal translight, flitting from Congreave to Ganrie because his sister had been involved in a gravbike crash, then flitting back to Congreave to play the Bountyhouse Festival, managing to do a full two-hour set despite suffering hallucinations from FTL shock.
His far-reaching charitable work has been well publicised, but I need to emphasise his work here on Ganrie. It’s been transformational. The Community Action Party continues to cleave to the principles he laid out in the final appendix of his book. As a consequence, we are a planet without poverty and wars.
That, I think, is what he’d be most proud of. He was always advocating for honest, practical solutions applied with compassion and defended with vigour. ‘If you let hate win, everybody loses in the end’ he used to say. Ganrie has become a triumphant vindication of his principles.
What I’ll miss most is him sitting in the back yard, playing guitar and singing old shanties for my grandparents and the neighbours. Summer evenings will never be the same without him.
Sleep well, Vanto. You did good, my friend. (But I still think Titan Walks concept album ‘Cloister’ was a mistake.)
Antio Durnall, Ganrie City, 15-09-2441.