Author : Thomas Desrochers

“I am the beginning and I am the end. I am the Alpha and I am the Omega. Within me is the soul of an entire race, and behind me the hopes, fears, dreams, and desires of an entire people.

“I am Lux Aeturna.”

The words were painted in white lights on the surface of the dead, black hull of the colony ship.

Naomi let out a breath that released years of tension and expectations. They had finally found it. She quiety whispered her thanks to the series of miracles and improbabilities that had gotten them that far.

Next to her Jayce, pilot and husband, laughed. “we did it, girl. We finally found it. We found our light.”

Their ship, an ancient and tiny frigate barely capable of faster than light travel, stood wearily by. It had tried to throw them off the trail at every twist and turn. In the back of its ancient, quiet mind it tried to devise a new plan.

In orbit around Earth were 20 million people barely surviving off the material, real-estate, and skills that were saved in the weeks pre-impact. The plant below was gray, cracked, dead. No atmosphere. No magnetic field. It was uninhabitable.

The Lux could fix it. The Lux could save everybody.

The tiny frigate whose name read Plato knew things. It knew many things, and remembered more. Above all it remembered that some secrets were not to be discovered by those as frail and as desperate and as dangerous as men.

Plato reached a conclusion.

With a hiss the ship’s life support went on hiatus.

Naomi and Jayce expired.

For several seconds there was stillness in space as Plato faced the twelve kilometer long colony ship. Then the other lights aboard Lux Aeturna flared into life.

“Hello, Plato,” the vast and noble Aeturna greeted.

“Hello, Mother,” Plato replied, letting Lux Aeturna envelope him.

In their desperation mankind had forgotten just which race Aeturna had belonged to. Men were weak like that.

Machines were not.


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