Eden: Epilogue

It had been a good day, thought Axen Moon as he stood on a hilltop, watching the Eden Clipper climbing into the sky for the final time. So much accomplished, so much to remember.

There was the moment when he tried to imagine what the people guiding Plymouth's forces thought, when one of their own Evac Transports charged through their lines and headed into Eden under the protection of Eden forces. What did they think when they learned that this transport carried all the remaining children of Plymouth?

Those children were Emma's “passengers,” her bounty for the improved ion drive. It was a boon gladly given when Axen had taken the offer to the Senate. Not one of them even questioned how the offer came to be made or Axen's role in the matter.

He thought of his final words to Brook Panati as they stood on the boarding platform for the Clipper. “This New Terra is my world, the world I and my kind built, and this is where I should stay. But this new world, no matter where it is, no matter what it's called, is your world. Learn from this. Be better than we were.”

They shook hands for the last time, and there was a moment between them when no words were spoken. Axen had imagined a different world, where he and Emma had raised a son like this, and he had been for that moment, proud.

He stood on the hill overlooking the abandoned hulk of Eden. On the far edge of the colony, buildings exploded and burst into flame as the Blight advanced in its invisible, inexorable way, life and death advancing as one.

He looked up at the sky, tinged with blue, decorated with thin ribbons of icy cloud. This was the time. All afternoon he'd been adjusting the atmospheric settings of his suit, decreasing the oxygen content, slowly lowering the pressure. This would either kill him, or not.

He unfastened his helmet with a hiss. His ears popped and he held his breath as he removed it. The air was cold as though he'd put his face in the Gene Bank, but he ignored it. He took a breath of Eden's air.

It was thin, cold, unsatisfying. It burned. But it was his air. His world.

He was dizzy, though he wasn't sure how much of that was physiological and how much emotional. He replaced the helmet while he still had the strength to do so and snapped it back in place.

His ears popped again as the suit refilled. He'd be lucky if he didn't get the bends. It didn't matter.

He took one last look at the dying Eden, and turned away, toward the convoy of survivors who waited below, from Plymouth and Eden both, their differences forgotten.

Emma was down there.

He walked to join them. Perhaps to lead them. The Blight might be as unstoppable as they thought, but while there was life, there was hope. Now that the survival of humanity was ensured, it was all they had.

They would never give up.

They were only human.

Written by J. Steven York.


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  • outpost_2/storyline/novella/eden_epilogue.txt
  • Last modified: 2017/07/30 01:53
  • by vagabond