Helen stares out the window and into the blackness of space. The stars twinkle in a familiar way. They’re one of the few constants in her long life. She knows that, no matter how much human society changes, she can look at the stars and they’ll bring forth familiarity. Even the Sanctuary network has changed, though she supposes that was to be expected.
In the year 2086, the existence of abnormals was revealed to the world. It had been messy, but eventually people got over it. Somehow, the governments had decided that the Sanctuary network was still needed, though in a different way. Anyone was still allowed to stay and she was still able to keep researching abnormals, but most abnormals chose to live amongst the other species. The Sanctuary network has also been used to strengthen relations with alien species. Afterall, Sanctuary For All has never been an empty motto.
“Magnus.” A soft voice pulls her from thoughts.
She turns to look at the origin of the voice and sees Kia, a young abnormal who, while appearing mostly human, is more closely related to a fungi. Helen learned of her species in the year 2203. The species originated from a group of people in the amazon who ate a certain kind of fungi. The fungi evolved to survive and ended up finding a way into the bloodstream causing a symbiotic relationship. Eventually, it resulted in a species which, while maintaining human qualities, was very similar to fungi.
“Magnus,” Kia says again.
“Sorry, I was deep in thought. What is it, Kia?” Helen asks with a smile.
Kia’s a smart girl and is coming with Helen to the Sanctuary on Saturn’s moon, Titan, to conduct some research. Helen is considering taking Kia under her wing, but is hesitant. As the years progressed, Helen found herself connecting less and less with the others around her. The losses of those she’s cared about have been stacking onto each other and it’s been taking a toll. It doesn’t help that she hasn’t heard from Nikola since 2874. That was nearly 136 years ago. She and Nikola had gotten into a fight and had stormed away from each other. With humanity expanding into the stars, it just became that much harder to find him.
They’d had wonderful times together. They’d had a relationship, the longest one in her life. Some might have argued they’d been together since she blew up the Old City Sanctuary in 2011, but they hadn’t officially sat down and talked about their feelings until 2034. After that, they’d been together for about 840 years. Sure, they’d get into fights and sometimes they wouldn’t speak for a few months—one time they hadn’t spoken for a few years, only to fall into each other’s arms the moment they saw each other again—but this had been longer than ever. Helen’s beginning to wonder if he’s okay, if he’s still alive. It’s hard to kill a Vampire, but it’s certainly possible.
Helen’s eyes dart to Kia’s annoyed face and she smiles sheepishly. Kia sighs and hands her an envelope, which is weird enough. If someone really wanted to contact her, they could’ve sent a message directly to the ship using subspace. The most common reason people used paper is if they don’t want to be traced, which is suspicious enough.
“I found it on the ship. I haven’t checked it, but it seems suspicious so I thought I’d give it to you,” Kia explains.
“Thank you, Kia. You did the right thing,” Helen says.
Helen takes the envelope from here and can’t help but smile. It reminds her of when she was young and sending letters was normal.
She hears a shuffling noise and looks up to see Kia standing there awkwardly. Kia’s naturally curious, which is one of the reasons she’ll be a great scientist, so Helen knows exactly what she wants.
“Take a seat. We can read it together,” Helen offers.
Kia smiles gratefully and sits in the seat next to Helen’s. Helen turns her attention to the envelope, and carefully opens it. Inside is what appears to be a simple, handwritten letter. Upon seeing it, Helen takes a deep breath. The writing is familiar and Helen can’t help but wonder if it’s a trick.
“Are you going to read it?” Kia asks, suddenly.
Helen internally scolds herself. Nowadays, everyone has translators which are implanted so they can understand every spoken language. The translators do not, however, apply to writing. Most messages are sent through subspace and/or digitally so they get automatically translated, thus there isn’t a need for the translators to translate writing.
Helen nods in response to Kia’s question and clears her throat. She begins to read.
It’s been years since I’ve seen you and I deeply apologize for that. After our fight, I began working on one of the constantly moving ships and haven’t actually stopped in our Solar System in years. Even when I had, I didn’t stop because this device I’ve been working on changes everything! Did you know that there is life within black holes? Of course you don’t! The discovery isn’t mainstream yet, but it was my device which allowed us to look into black holes. But, that’s not why I write this note.
I know this doesn’t excuse the fact that I haven’t contacted you in 135 years, 7 months, and 18 days. I have truly missed you in this time and wish to speak to you again. I’ve seen holograms of you and honestly, I’m quite glad you decided to be a brunette again. The sunset hair you had before looked fabulous but I much prefer you with more natural colors.
Back to the topic at hand, I’m in the city of Elyris in the Asteroid Belt. If you wish to see me, I’ll be waiting at the cafe two blocks away from the docking station. I miss you and I haven’t forgotten our vows.
Until death do us part.
Well, neither of us are going to be dying soon and immortality is so boring without you. I could always try to take over the galaxy, but I would much rather have you by my side again. I hate to say it, but I’ve been so lonely I’ve even begun to miss Huggybear and the rest of the children from the early 21st century. Not as much as I’ve missed you of course.
I hope to see you soon, ljubav.
P.S. You still look hot”
Helen is vaguely aware that Kia is looking at her with a look of confusion, but she’s finding it hard to focus on anything other than the note. With a jolt, she realises they’ll be leaving nearing the Asteroid Belt soon.
“Kia, set a course for Elyris. We’ll be taking a detour,” Helen says.
Kia looks as if she’s going to question her, before she thinks better of it. As she runs off, Helen can’t help but smile. As she looks out the window once more, all she can feel is the anticipation of seeing Nikola again and finally not being alone.