the sea of stars filled Bri's window, he could not help but wonder how
long this journey would last. Vejhon had long vanished, no longer
a glimmering speck in the skyline.
2. A thousand possibilities ran through his
mind, "Would this last a year or a hundred years? What will
happen to Vejhon while we're gone? We brought the flag with us,
so are we refugees from our own shell?" He knew that some of the
evacuees understandably felt like refugees.
Certainly, new epics would unfold as a result
of this evacuation. "Are we the only ones in the Universe who
taken this course?" he wondered. Undoubtedly, other
were wondering similar things aboard other
Cardships. Any imaginable hardship was easily diminished by an
abundance of shipboard amenities.
4. He studied the room's appointments: A timer on
the wall to his right kept track of their time away from
Vejhon. A holographic representation of Vejhon was built into the
wall beneath the timer. A plasma panel marked special occasions
events. The panel was a containment field. The plasma was
5. Kyle'yn knew that Bri wanted to touch the
Balipor flag one final time
before it was locked inside it's display case.
6. Bri laid the flag inside and closed the lid. The case
expelled the air and
He set the case on its designated shelf under the clock, stepped back
and saluted. Then he took two steps back to dismiss
himself, and returned his attention to the window.
Mother knows where we are now," he thought, not recognizing the stellar
formations any more.
9. He thought about Zam El's Orb, where The One
preserved Zam El aboard a spherical boat before the shell
shell had never collapsed, but the story possessed moral
significance. "This is our Orb," Bri
compared, "Maybe the fables are disguised
"We did not fall to the ground helpless," he defended, "begging The One
us." He included everyone, "We used
our minds to create a way." He stepped closer toward the glass
window, "Either way, we thank The One for
our survival. We thank The One that the destroyer did not know
this solution. He
lost because we lived." The consequence of inaction.
"We did act and lived."
The allegory came forward, "Why did Kor
say that millions would die because of me?" He did not need to
remind anyone that he was instrumental in saving nearly 4 Billion
souls. For possessing such disdain of theatre, Kor was
full-time drama. "What was it Kyle'yn said?
Responsibility," he remembered, "We lived because we learned the
"What's going on at Balipor right now?" he wondered, "Are they
ransacking the place?"
13. For the first time in his life, the symbol of
Vejhon was desolate and lonely; he sensed and felt nothing as if a
recording had been erased. "For
however long it takes," he said, "I'm bringing justice with me when I
return." He meant it.
Cacci Dai had appointed the Presidential Office with lush amenities
built into the walls, ceiling and floor. The room was terraced,
with an inviting library elevated on one side and a modest audience
area facing the wall-length window. The Presidential desk was
cozy, elegant and functional with live plants tastefully appointed
The office had been adorned with some of Aqu'Sha's personal
effects. He picked up a framed
picture of Aqu'Shas children and smiled sadly, remembering the
bewilderment as items kept vanishing from his Balipor office one
by one. It took him weeks to notice that some things were missing
and he thought that he had misplaced them himself. Bri expected a
Presidential pardon for
re-locating the President's stuff. A pardon that would never
happen. He set the picture back exactly the way he found
16. As he looked over the room, he realized that the
room should serve a
higher purpose. "Aqu'Sha was the first martyr," he reflected,
"I'm re-designating this room as a memorial for all to visit."
Director's office was close by, and Kyle'yn could read Bri's thoughts
from anywhere, "I warrant,"
he said psionically.
Bri grinned, "I'm grateful that my conscious has a voice."
"And a name," the Director gently inserted.
17. "Let's redesignate it,
'The Hall of
Remembrance," Bri said, "All who perish, from this moment forward, will
have their names
here…in this tomb." His 2nd Presidential Order: So Mote It
Be. And so it was done.
18. There was a wine-colored, tri-folded letter
with a Presidential seal laying on Aqu'Sha's desk. The color
scheme matched Aqu'Sha's personal stationary so Bri thought nothing of
it. It perplexed him that he didn't notice it sooner...
"How did this get here?" he wondered. He could have swore
that there was nothing there when he looked at Aqu'Sha's children
just seconds ago. "It must be my head playing tricks... the
stress of leaving," he dismissed.
19. The letter was addressed: "My Son."
Aqu'Sha had three sons and
one daughter. Bri instinctively picked up letter because Aqu'Sha
never ignored his kids. When he addressed one child, he used the
child's name. "Aqu'Sha didn't write this," he concluded rather
20. It was his right to break the Presidential seal, so
he snapped the wax, unfolded the letter and began reading:
21. "I write this from a far away place. I'm forbidden to
reveal my identity. I can tell you that the Hand of God has
been with you since before you were born."
22. That was a curious salutation, he thought... "before you
were born..." Vejhonian lore believed in a pre-existence, but
such beliefs were not attributed to any particular sect.
23. "I knew you then."
24. Again, Bri looked away. The writer certainly knew how
to capture his attention, "Who... knew who then? Is this to
me?" he wondered, "How could it be?"
25. "Your birthright grants you abilities that are blocked to
most, but with great power comes great responsibility. Everything
that I could tell you in writing has already been recorded in your
epigenomic memory. I just wanted you to know that you have never
been alone and I'm very proud of you."
26. The letter was signed: "Your Father." Bri felt
like he had been smashed with an emotional hammer. It had been
written to him and he was fighting back deeply repressed
emotions: He gritted his teeth, "Why do you care now?" Then
remembered how pointless it is to grieve over the
irretrievable. Especially now. He forced himself to relax;
to emulate a presidential demeanor.
27. He remembered his last conversation with El Sha and quietly
lipped the name, "Daniel?" leaving a small pause for doubt.
Underneath the signature was a monogram that represented the fabled,
non-existent Corlos. And that ridiculous underground litany came
to mind, "Life through Light and Death; Beauty and Savagery." He
flicked his finger through the hologram effect, "How do they do
that?" He flipped the letter over, looking for
nanotechnology. Nothing detectable.
28. "What's with the saying?" Bri questioned the litany's origin,
"Micha said it was really Jolvian." Micha came aboard with
Miles. Bri liked having him around because he was belligerently
honest and a walking encyclopedia of everything that he wasn't supposed
to know. Who would have guessed that a Jolvian agent would
become the President's BFF? The
two had since created a law unto themselves, owing loyalty only to each
other. "Non-essential personnel, "Bri remembered. "Not
29. "Mother?" Bri queried out into space psionically, testing
the new psi-strata. "I'm here Darling," she responded from 11
miles away in a pantheon copied from the original, "It's
beautiful!" she complimented. She let him read a private thought,
"The vegitation, the creek, everything. It's perfect!" Then
more sympathetically, she consoled, "I was with you during your moment
grief." There were no psi barriers within
the ship's interior.
30. Bri smiled, "I'll see you more often now, Mother." El
Sha had read the letter from his mind, and thought it would be best to
let him approach her about it, when he was ready.
31. Bri turned his attention back to the desk. The letter
was gone. Nowhere to be found. "Daniel?" he
whispered. He knew that nobody would answer.