The Cada‘s crescent outline still faintly glowed violet in the skies above Nova Aparanta as the lingering exotic matter decayed and fell away from the ship’s shielded hull. Omari was among the survivors, looking down at unnamed continents and murky freshwater oceans, knowing their fates were chained to this unknown world as sure as the stars still burn. He walked away from the window wringing his hands, his shipmates peeling away in ones and twos in time.
The Cada was not made to land and would be abandoned in low orbit, a monument to their trials for generations to come. They would be taking the lifeoats to the surface. It was time to pack.
There would be little space for personal effects, but Omari had never had much in the way of posessions anyway. His wife, however, and his daughters; they had had a handful of items that he examined now in turn: a hairbrush, a plush pony, a little pair of shoes. There had been much hardship on this journey. Omari survived, yes, but there was no life left in him.
He collected nothing. Nova Aparanta was a temple to honor the future, and it would not sit upon a foundation of the past’s ashes. He made his way to the lifeboats, running his fingers through gray-streaked hair. He was prepared for anything, just as he had been at the outset.
Notes: I used an image as a writing prompt for this piece. You may be able to find the image on the artist’s ArtStation page. Image used with permission.