For a moment, she’s the only one here. Her steps, breath, even heartbeat echo in the empty base. Blue light behind her casts eerie shadows on walls that haven’t seen eyes in thousands of years.
The others appear behind her, one by one, carrying their lives in boxes and packs, hoping they haven’t left anything important behind.
She tries to meet their eyes as they walk through, a silent greeting and thanks. Words, normally so easy for her, seem inadequate.
Most of them nod in passing and turn their attentions upward in awe. But he holds her gaze. She smiles, nearly giddy.
He smiles back, crooked, almost a tease. As if to say well, you’re in it now.