His flight was timeless. The Verity was equipped with all manner of features to pass the time, entertain, research, educate and more but he made use of none of them.

Mostly he wept. Not so much for what he’d done but for the need of the doing of it. And for the fact of his survival. He could have thrown himself out of protection and disappeared like the rest of it. Often he wished he had.

But he hadn’t. It was his punishment and his reward. He must live with the guilt of surviving. And also, he must live. That was his reward. The purpose of living to tell the tale, to help the others, to see it was not all in vain.

Hence his flight to the Fringe Cascade, the most advanced civilization left. If anyone knew best how to continue afterwards it would them. Even if they didn’t know why, which they wouldn’t, to them, existence would always have been like that, but even so, they would be clever enough to know something had happened, and how to deal with it.

A light when on at the console. A very important light. A light that usually demanded immediate attention. Pilot X looked at the light and laughed. He had been detected. The Fringe Cascade were still expecting him. They had scanned him and a
Proved his approach, even though by all rights they should have no idea who he was anymore.

He reached to acknowledge the signal, and the Verity lurched and threw him away from the console. Another series of lights went on. These did not make hi laugh. These were bad. The Verity had been captured and was being pulled in. So he was expected but at the same time no longer welcome. Either they knew almost nothing or somehow they knew everything. Either way they weren’t pleased. He’d find out why soon enough.