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Nov 17, 2017
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No Plagiarism!vSbWVSFRgSSgslkEawvrposted 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 protection63PENANAGPYGjsSwtt

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 protection63PENANAdZlpWghC7y

Morning, however, was different.  As in good different. copyright protection63PENANAu0OXl9BwG7

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 protection63PENANAXmXV3goVMS

Outside the window, a perfectly blue and green sphere glowed softly, unharmed by man's output of C4.copyright protection63PENANAo0RKpN0Hp8

"That was her doing," Robert said beside me. copyright protection63PENANAfU94Rvet1U

"Schist!"  I said, not expecting him to be there. copyright protection63PENANAAZhxUkNigz

"Finally got you," he chuckled. copyright protection63PENANAaFA2pZPqHf

"Only because there was literally no way to track you if you step out of a spacetime rift," I defended.  "Where were you?" copyright protection63PENANAzX9I11dguf

He paused, staring at the blue jewel in the sky.  "I met her." copyright protection63PENANAa4esC8Mpr3

"Who?"  I asked. copyright protection63PENANAZCIzE7zuyh

"Her.  She sounded like you.  She called herself Shadow." copyright protection63PENANAJ7eTPgU3wp

I bit my lip.  "That's her all right.  What did she say?" copyright protection63PENANAiHtw96FWv7

"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 protection63PENANAZuKH4oPETn

"And?"  I waited for him to ask questions like the others did. copyright protection63PENANAVCu9vkpqnV

"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 protection63PENANAPGCjcMpSIU

"Well, they're still all sleeping," I said.  "I seem to be the only one who couldn't sleep." copyright protection63PENANAZHpJou8d81

"It does seem to be awfully early."  Robert yawned, tiredness bleeding into his face, his arms, his whole self. copyright protection63PENANAB3E5dapCAN

"Get some sleep.  You can show us when they wake up," I said.  "I'll be here." copyright protection63PENANAyqtbJGX9yF

"Um… thanks," Robert said, leaving. copyright protection63PENANA4ymuiLYqY7

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 protection63PENANAsAb6Fog51R

You're welcome, my writer said. copyright protection63PENANATzhmK12IaB

So you revealed yourself to Robert, I accused.  Why?  Because I revealed you to the rest? copyright protection63PENANAnf9KJrvHSu

They're going to need him for something, Shadow reminded me.  It was the only way to get him to come back. copyright protection63PENANAOl40sKoJPp

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 protection63PENANAAIZS5KU8s4

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 protection63PENANAJQjTA3l5Kd

"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 protection63PENANAzzyDz1nYKd

"It's not that early anymore," Aaron scoffed, lightly shoving Jason aside.  "But why did you insist on sitting us so close?" copyright protection63PENANAnkWnd277aA

I scooted further from Aaron and nodded to Robert.  "Take it away!" copyright protection63PENANAcTqwN0z85k

"Take what way?"  Robert asked. copyright protection63PENANAlETUitVGrG

"Take us to the moment just before the first star is born, before photons existed in the universe." copyright protection63PENANAUP0RdeTkl3

"How did you know that was where I was taking you?"  Robert asked. copyright protection63PENANAVxXl3KlDTr

I smiled.  "It was always part of the plan." copyright protection63PENANAXe6R9ok55M

Robert sighed.  "Well, everyone, take hands.  We're going on a trip…" copyright protection63PENANAL0CMRP0Kam

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