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Nov 17, 2017
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No Plagiarism!5DlCdB9NAD5Dpholr8E6posted on PENANA

We spent all night asking stupid questions.  At least the others did.  I had to translate all their convoluted requests to my writer.  And before you ask, yes it was tedious.  Yes, it was pointless.  So I'm going to gloss over that part.copyright protection24PENANAeAM4CX0Qig

After a while, I claimed I was so tired from the fight that I could pass out.  We retired to our bunks for an early night even though I wasn't the slightest bit tired.  I just wanted them to stop asking me if my writer could cozy them up with some hot actress. copyright protection24PENANAjnUE08g9VQ

Morning, however, was different.  As in good different. copyright protection24PENANAM1tbjSxK0b

I walked up to the window to watch the sunrise against the perpetual black sky.  Of course, I wouldn't be able to miss the burning husk that was the Earth.  Except the world wasn't burning. copyright protection24PENANARfLDknAkeT

Outside the window, a perfectly blue and green sphere glowed softly, unharmed by man's output of C4.copyright protection24PENANABxgvchDsqz

"That was her doing," Robert said beside me. copyright protection24PENANAjdANpUGWEG

"Schist!"  I said, not expecting him to be there. copyright protection24PENANA7vWS9hgKBu

"Finally got you," he chuckled. copyright protection24PENANADd2UIfbmIC

"Only because there was literally no way to track you if you step out of a spacetime rift," I defended.  "Where were you?" copyright protection24PENANAW1PxOerua6

He paused, staring at the blue jewel in the sky.  "I met her." copyright protection24PENANAbiC8aLprv1

"Who?"  I asked. copyright protection24PENANAV9eY3XdfkV

"Her.  She sounded like you.  She called herself Shadow." copyright protection24PENANARgWGNLVfg5

I bit my lip.  "That's her all right.  What did she say?" copyright protection24PENANAlsoXByI10e

"She convinced me to stop being, well, such a butthole."  He used a stronger word, but I'll let you figure that one out on your own. copyright protection24PENANA3WniUrf7GA

"And?"  I waited for him to ask questions like the others did. copyright protection24PENANA3xQ0eEM9T2

"I've had time to think.  All of time, actually," he said.  "And I want to show you something.  Show all of you something." copyright protection24PENANAffvDc7cV8c

"Well, they're still all sleeping," I said.  "I seem to be the only one who couldn't sleep." copyright protection24PENANAac8yu3ZJbG

"It does seem to be awfully early."  Robert yawned, tiredness bleeding into his face, his arms, his whole self. copyright protection24PENANAkeeaesP0CJ

"Get some sleep.  You can show us when they wake up," I said.  "I'll be here." copyright protection24PENANA3SYzwbGJ7P

"Um… thanks," Robert said, leaving. copyright protection24PENANAVh24Qw7Qgi

I continued to stare at the pretty blue orb filled with alive people.  It was strange to think that I wasn't there with them.  I was on Mars, impossibly. copyright protection24PENANAwAxKLLdAMQ

You're welcome, my writer said. copyright protection24PENANAjQJiqft6YA

So you revealed yourself to Robert, I accused.  Why?  Because I revealed you to the rest? copyright protection24PENANAWUSZZIv6yL

They're going to need him for something, Shadow reminded me.  It was the only way to get him to come back. copyright protection24PENANAp5mXQ7J4Iv

I sighed.  The black sky over the oxidized landscape had its own kind of beauty, and I studied it.  The hills, the fine, powdery sand, all of it.  Very plain yet amazing. copyright protection24PENANAU2mDkMTOTR

At some point, I grabbed a cup of Earl Grey, something I kept in my backpack.  The station had plenty of water heating capacity, so making tea was actually easy.  Finally, after nearly an hour of standing and staring, the others awoke.  It was about 8:30 am, my local time, as I hadn't changed my watch since coming to Mars. copyright protection24PENANApQLiPK0kRz

"Why are we waking so early?"  Jason asked, rubbing the sleep out of his eyes.  Fumbling, he attached his helmet to the rest of his suit.  Robert had us put our spaceflight suits on, the bulky ones for walking in outer space. copyright protection24PENANA6hEtevBXzj

"It's not that early anymore," Aaron scoffed, lightly shoving Jason aside.  "But why did you insist on sitting us so close?" copyright protection24PENANAttlP7GC0vv

I scooted further from Aaron and nodded to Robert.  "Take it away!" copyright protection24PENANASVlDdaoevg

"Take what way?"  Robert asked. copyright protection24PENANANCys5NXGLx

"Take us to the moment just before the first star is born, before photons existed in the universe." copyright protection24PENANAZe0l482G8x

"How did you know that was where I was taking you?"  Robert asked. copyright protection24PENANAc0sxEGI3Ud

I smiled.  "It was always part of the plan." copyright protection24PENANAkIPSaUG8Br

Robert sighed.  "Well, everyone, take hands.  We're going on a trip…" copyright protection24PENANAFBGGWLOZsX

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