And it was still hot.”
Wren closed the relic bound by tape and adoration. Around her voices barked orders, feet stampeding across the ship’s deck. She sucked on her drip-tube, the bitter water of the condense-pouch as warm as the sun beating down.
Hands shading eyes, Wren gazed out at the various ships lying prostrate on the desert floor. Squat beasts, whose residents waited to see if Project Old Faithful, her father’s dream, would become reality.
Mind racing, Wren parted the fading pages. Max staring back from his sailboat beside a beautiful tree growing from blue-green water.
Wren had never seen a tree, let alone an ocean. Her father had once told her that air had come from trees not factories. That before the age of wastefulness forests had stretched across the world.
Wren lay back, feeling water under the ship, imagining the dark shade of trees cloaking the sky, spreading life back into the world.
Another sip, bitter warm water.
A klaxon wailed, footsteps falling silent.
Sitting up, Wren felt her father’s familiar grasp on her shoulders.
They waited, together in silence.
A dull thud off in the distance, then blue shards erupted, piercing the sky.
As her father’s tears fell onto her hair.