The angeli had warships the size of small cities, but they’d expected more than two of us and we dodged their fire easily enough, ducking and weaving past the gun turrets, shepherding the missile carefully through. The smaller craft behind were harder to evade but by then Lily’s army had arrived – the strange pale monsters that drift between galaxies. Out beyond Pluto they had seemed sad and gentle, but here they were deadly and the angeli didn’t stand a chance.
As for Lily and me and the missile, we left the chaos behind and hurtled off across the void between the battle and the Sun’s surface – a silent and strangely timeless last journey together. Ahead, the shimmering disc swelled until it appeared to have engulfed the universe. Swirling shapes on its surface seemed to beckon us, but I couldn’t tell if they were real or just a blind man’s hallucination. Radiation crackled along my bones and the sucking gravity drew us in ever faster, oblivious to the annihilation we carried.
I saw the end of our journey in Lily’s eyes. There was nothing left to do now except cling to each other as we tumbled headlong into the white fire.