A memory that has become knowledge.
Space is silent.
Not an odd thing to notice first.
You only knew Ceres before. Loud, crowded, fluorescent lighted Ceres. Small, small Ceres. How strange that just a step out of it there is only vast infinity.
You were still a child when you first entered it. You knew already all there is to know about the hardness of living (or at least you thought so) and the place of your people.
For the first time you dreamed wide awake.
Youth always knows best.
They look at your actions, at their inheritance, and find it lacking. You think of your sweat, your tears, your blood. You remember all your pain and their ungratefulness angers you. Bitters you.
What do they know about sacrifice? About decisions that crack your heart into a million pieces?
They do not fall asleep with their dead daughter’s voice in their ear.
The daughter you loved. The daughter you failed to protect.
It still hurts, hurts, hurts…
“It’s political. I hope you understand.”
You do. Fred Johnson is on top at the present moment. Has the links to precious earth. He must make a compromise too, of course, but he still holds the upper hand.
So. You will follow the young girls’ orders and do your best. Do what old men do – try to save them from themselves, so they can hold to their idealism just a moment longer. That is your duty and your burden.
“Hyperion. On Ceres. Half scrip on Friday.”
For all your experience, you had never almost drunk yourself to death in a dirty, deep level club. Not even after May’s funeral. The way she tells the story it has been a long time ago. Before the OPA. Before she chooses to fight. A pretty young girl’s story.
Death, suffering, foolishness – you should know that all these things don’t know about age, gender or origin.
The machines are for farming. You try to imagine them slowly digging through dark, fertile earth. It takes time, farming. But beneath a bold and brilliant sun there is always time.
You have never known rain. Suddenly, you wish for it.
You crave for silence. But you are not sure if humans were made for it.
She can't die before you. Who is to weight your failure and succsess?
“This is not how I thought it would end for me.”
She smiles because she doesn’t need a saviour.
“The ship needs a captain. And you got what you want.”
The young ones always think they can live to see the brave new world. The dream of the belters. The dream that spanned generations.
Human always dream of something. Once, a very long time ago, they had gazed at the stars and did not know that they had looked in the past and future at once.
But oh, how they dreamed.
Someone has to see. Why not them? Why not you?
Once you would have used it. Would have let her die.
If not her, who else?
You wonder still. What was it to wish for the stars?
But perhaps you still wish. Your stars are just more distant. (The fate of the Behemoth still lies...)
Impossible. The final limit, that’s what they say.
But humans never accept a limit. A final border. Perhaps that is the most terrible and most beautiful thing about them.
You still wish. You still look at the stars and wish.
“Do you think a truly good act at the end of your life, can make up for the terrible things you've done?”
You look at her. Mars, you think. Or Luna. Why she works as a technician on a belter ship you do not know. Once you would have despised her however the reason.
But now you know that even a rich, young, pretty earther girl can be a victim. And a committer.
She has lived through suffering and survived it. It’s not overreacting or dramatizing. There is something she has done, something she has to made up for. Something really bad.
You free her because it’s her (your) last dream.
Suffering, you suddenly remember, doesn’t know age.
Perhaps they hear their dead daughters’ voices too. You know Naomi’s story after all.
You were also young once, and already did know so much.
You believe the battles were harder because you felt more. But maybe it’s not the battles that had changed.
Perhaps she can live to see the fruits of your fight.
Perhaps you can.
After all, this is our time.
“I was wrong. Optimism is not yet dead.”
You don’t need to be young to be a fool.
You don’t need to be young to dream.