“Are we going?”
It was the first question she asked me when I made it back to our bedroom that night. I stood at the doorway as she sat at the edge of the bed.
“Why wouldn’t we?” I replied.
Meredith sighed then stood slowly and moved to the window where she looked out over the lake shimmering in the starlight. “Earth isn’t like Basilea.”
I walked over to her and stood at her side.
“Basilea is a kingdom,” she went on. “We are its King and Queen. Earth has no king.” Then she turned to me. “There won’t be a place for us.”
“There will be,” I tried to assure her. “It’ll just be…”
“Shhhh,” she said, putting her finger on my lips. “I’m perfectly willing to become a peasant on another world. It’s the children I’m worried about.”
I lowered my head as I remembered Leah interrupting my conversation. She was taking it hard. What about Jimmy? How was he feeling?
“To take them from royalty,” she continued. “To…whatever’s waiting for them on Earth…it’s going to be—”
“Bad,” I finished for her.
“Not bad,” she disagreed. “Just different.”
We stood in the silence staring at each other.
“I just don’t know if we’re ready for what that different is,” she said.
I ran my hand through my hair as I turned and walked back to the bed.
“I’ve gone through all the possible alternatives,” I said as I sat down. “In the event that we’re unable to follow our people back to Earth. We can go underground until the war is over then rebuild with the remnant. Or there are other nearby worlds we can populate besides Earth. But the question becomes how to get there without enough ships. We could maybe—”
“Shhhh,” she was at my side again and putting her finger on my lips again. “Marcus. You’re thinking too much. What did the Man in the Blue Light tell you?”
“To go back to Earth. But there’s not enough ships to—”
“Then go back to Earth.”
“It’s not that—”
“If he’s making this happen, then he’ll make a way for us.”
And that was the last thing she said to me that night. I wished I could sleep with as much peace and grace she seemed to have. But I couldn’t. Not while knowing that this could be one of the last times I would ever fall asleep.