Chapter 1: Prologue
The love we had has fallen
The love we used to share
You've left me here believing
In love that wasn't there…
Two months after the last contact…
Jane felt ever so slightly desperate.
She had spent half the day installing a potentially very useful device, but now that everything was as it should be, the thing refused to work. And after ten minutes of gimmicking with her computer, with white noise as the only result, she was beginning to get a serious head-ache.
A voice filtered through, into her tiny, focused world. "Jane, what are you doing? Everyone's outside already!" It was Eric from the front door of the lab. Jane made herself let go of the problem for a moment, and looked up, curious. She needed a breather anyway.
"Come on, you'll see. " Eric beckoned to her, and headed back outside.
Jane's heart leapt. Could it be...?
How could she have missed something like that? Suddenly exhilarated, she ran out of the now abandoned building, into the dusty dirt of the New Mexico desert, then stopped abruptly. The light was wrong; it was strange, dim. She stared up, into the sky.
"Aurora borealis." Eric breathed only a few feet away, fascinated. "I saw it a few times when I was younger, but this exceeds everything."
Jane watched the beautiful slow dance of the charged particles just within Earth's ionosphere. But unlike the others around her, the sight made her feel deeply disappointed. Sad. Another hopeful moment, dashed almost as fast as it arose. Her eyes filled with tears, so she defiantly raised her head a bit higher, focusing on the fascinating shades of bright green spreading across the starry sky.
"Here?" she finally spoke, her voice trembling just a little. "It's too rare to be just a coincidence..."
"I thought so too. But I've done some checks and it seems perfectly normal. Nothing less, nothing more." Erik frowned. "I'm sorry, Jane. But I thought you'd like to see it. And well...maybe it does have some connection. I'd bet things like space travel have to leave some sign in the magnetic field and the particle population in the space nearby." He glanced over, and saw Jane's wet cheeks.
"Don't worry. It'll be all right someday." Erik sighed and gently rubbed her shoulder. Then he looked up, and it took a while until he spoke again.
"When I last saw this heavenly show, an old friend of mine was with me. He said it had always been a sign of coming changes."
"Yes? And what's going to change?" Jane asked him hopelessly.
"We'll see." He said and continued watching the green light. "We'll see for sure."