That night I met the Man in the Blue Light in the cave again. I tried to talk logistics with him, hoping it would help sell me on this plan. But it just made me realize even more how suicidal this really was.
“There aren’t enough ships to transport everyone back to Earth,” I told him. “We never planned for this. Half the population will have to stay behind. Why are you doing this? I can’t see any good coming from this.”
“These people are my sheep,” he replied. “Nefarious is the dog I will use to bring them back home.”
I made my hands into fists. “This isn’t shepherding. This is genocide.”
“Do you trust me?” he asked.
“Yes, but this makes no sense. You’re wiping out an entire people.”
“Do you trust me?”
I put my hand on my forehead and sighed. “…Yes. But I need help.”
I turned and saw Leah standing at the mouth of the cave. She never followed me in here. No one ever did. She knew not to interrupt these kinds of meetings. I looked back at the Man in the Blue Light and he nodded his approval.
I waved Leah to come inside and she walked straight up to me and hugged me tight.
“I don’t wanna go to Earth,” she sobbed.
I rubbed her back and took a deep breath. “I don’t wanna go, either.”
“So why don’t we just stay?” She looked up at me with tears in her eyes.
“Nefarious is coming. He’ll destroy everything.”
“Then let’s fight back!” she said, pulling away from me. “We have powers.”
“It’s not gonna be that simple.”
“Why not?!” her voice echoed through the cave. “We have a whole moon full of walking nuclear weapons. We can take down one guy. We can fight this.”
“It’s not about fighting,” I told her. “It’s about doing what’s right. For all of us.”
And I watched as her face shivered and her lips trembled. “But what about what’s right for me, Dad?”
And now my face was shivering and I looked away. But she kept going.
“What about me? I was born here. I grew up here. All of my friends are here. My whole life is here. And now I’m supposed to get up and go to a whole other planet just like that? I don’t know what it’s like down there. What language they speak. What the gravity’s like. If I’ll still have powers. I’m not one of them, Dad!” She broke down and I walked up to her and held her. “It’s not fair.”
I held her as she sobbed until she finally pushed away from me again. Then she looked behind me at the Man in the Blue Light. “Why are you doing this? Why don’t you fight Nefarious?”
He didn’t reply.
“Why don’t you just fix the Gravity Sphere? Huh? You brought us here. This is your fault!”
Her voice echoed again, but again the Man in the Blue Light said nothing. Then she turned and walked out the cave without another word.
I dropped to my knees and covered my head in my hands. The silence was so heavy I could feel it in my skull. Or was that just the stress? Either way, I suddenly felt just like Leah.
“Why me?” I finally asked. “Why did you have to make this happen while I was the king?”
The Man in the Blue Light didn’t miss a beat. “Because you’re the only one who would listen.”