by Mark Bonica
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Chapter 2: FPP Year 843, planetfall
The airlock slid open and she was there. Just there. She wore green and it stunned him against her red hair that had begun to gray years ago. Her right hand covered her mouth, her left clutched her right elbow as if it might fly away of its own volition if she let go.
Jim twisted his helmet and it released. His ears popped as the pressure adjusted.
They stared at each other.
“Oh my God,” he heard her murmur. Her voice.
He just stood and stared at her.
“You came back.” She was sobbing now.
“You lied to me. The whole thing was a lie. You’ve even been running the rover all over Rogue, continuing the experiments,” he said.
“By any means necessary, Jim. We had to send you home. But that’s not fair. I didn’t know. I couldn’t have known. I couldn’t have done it if I had. And we had to make our own journeys separately to become complete.”
“Well, this is my home. Now what are you going to do?”
“I’m not much to look at.”
He smiled, and his tears were of a different sort now than they were minutes ago. And he remembered that conversation.
“I’m no catch either.”
“You’re back. Oh my God, you’re back.”
“I’m never leaving again, Persephone. Never again.”
“Well, how am I going to save you this time?”
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Copyright © 2013 by Mark Bonica