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Starlight

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“It’s such a strange feeling,” Hannah Shepard said softly.

 

Her husband stepped up to the window next to her. “What is?” he asked.

 

She gave him a fleeting smile, then looked back out the window. “Leaving,” she answered simply. “We may never see Earth again, Ken.”

 

Kenneth Shepard put an arm around his wife’s shoulders, his gaze following hers. His eyes sought out the Earth, now nothing but a blue marble in a sea of darkness. It was the most beautiful and most terrifying sight he had ever seen.

 

“Following the light of the sun, we left the Old World,” he quoted. He squeezed his wife’s shoulder lightly. “For all of human history, man has looked up at the stars and wondered at their beauty and mystery. And now we’re among them, a part of that black sea of the night sky.”

 

Hannah glanced up at him, smiling at the way his eyes sparked with excitement. “It is pretty amazing,” she agreed. She shook her head slightly as she gazed back out towards the Earth. “As a child, I never could have imagined that someday I would live on another world.”

 

Her husband smiled off into the distance. “Our child will never know a world where the stars are out of her reach.”

 

Her hand instinctively moved to her stomach, resting on the barely discernible curve there. “If we can travel across the galaxy to start a new life on another world, think what she will be able to accomplish one day,” she said softly, leaning her head against her husband’s shoulder.

 

“More than we can possibly imagine,” he replied, and smiled.

 

The ship traveled steadily away from Earth until the planet was only a pale blue dot indiscernible to the naked eye, and then a near-instantaneous jump through time and space rendered it far beyond sight, a distance thought all but impossible only a few short years before.

 

As the ship approached Mindoir, they once again found themselves at the window, setting eyes upon a new world for the first time.

 

Home, Kenneth Shepard thought. The most beautiful sight there is.

 

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