Resting for a while on the plain they call the Sea of Tranquillity, I dug my toes into the moon dust and sat there, gazing up at the Earth as it hung over the jagged horizon. I watched the whorls of cloud drifting slowly over its surface and imagined all the lives lived out beneath. I could identify some of the land masses and tried to locate the place I once called home – remembering the dark pine forests and my grandfather’s cabin where I had first looked up at the stars and realised I could reach them.
I felt the soft vibrations of footfalls and glanced around to see one of the detachment commanders standing over me. The lights from his ship glistened on the moon’s surface. I remained seated.
‘You took your time,’ he said. ‘We thought we’d lost you.’
‘I improvised,’ I replied, shrugging.
‘Improvised? You took out our mother ship at Rhea.’
‘It was the way things were going. They have to trust me.’
‘So what about the bargain? Will we have her?’
I thought about Lily following her longer route through the darkness; I thought of her plan and my part in it.
‘Yes, she’ll come.’