We'll Own the Stars

by Alex Kane

Hamedy still remembered the plasma storm that had forged the jagged, glassy rock formations rising skyward all along the canyon rim. The great orbs of lightning that had rained down on Lobel’s Keep in the days of his youth. In those days, he’d been ignorant of war. Innocent, even.

Before a Gallu armada razed the planet from orbit, killing millions . . .

“You should’ve seen this place,” he told Eidessa, resting his hand on her growing belly. “Was a paradise. In its own way.”

She just smiled at him, the same smile she’d worn for the duration of their journey here.

“A fitting home for our child,” he whispered, nostalgia flooding his sense of focus. Then added, “Phoenix. We should call him Phoenix.”

“Hmm. Makes you so sure it’s a boy?” Eidessa teased.

“Just a guess.”

“And if it’s a little girl?” she asked.

“Then all the better. Phoenix would make a beautiful name, regardless. Someone to rebuild our fallen city from the ashes those—”

“Easy,” Eidessa warned. “Relax.”

A pair of gibbous moons hung low in the skies above: blood red, veiled by a gathering of clouds.

Hamedy told her, “I’ve waited for this day a long, long time. My father and mother died on this world. Lot of my friends are buried in the mountain range to the east, or scattered in the desert winds. I owe it to them to begin anew here.”

“Hiding like a colony of fugitives,” she said, then cursed under her breath.

“No.” He shook his head, and watched the other families begin to descend the gangplank at their starship’s narrow aft section. “By the time our child is grown, there’ll be no more war. No more running. Humanity will have regained its footing, and those soulless monstrosities won’t matter anymore. That happens, won’t be any need for hiding. We’ll own the stars.”

“Way you say it, I almost believe you.” Eidessa gave him a soft peck on the lips.

“Gotta believe in somethin’,” he said with a shrug, and set to work on assembling their private tent not far from the vessel’s laser comm array, grinning all the while.