2 - The Ascent

(2 years ago, 1003 S.E)

Esa watched as the complex and ruins above the falls fell away, then the fantastic domes and excellent spires of Old Jardinian, and following that, parts of Greater Jard she’d never seen. It was like these features were slipping away into the earth, but she knew that, in fact, she was moving upward at a good clip.

The great endeavour completed; her last task bittersweet. It was an automatic reply, a response to queries sent to the research station. She’d thrown some extra pleasantries in it, just for the principle of the thing; she didn’t expect any contact there. A slight tinge of regret just now - she hadn’t spell-checked it. How silly of her; but they’d been rushing out the proverbial door. No matter, they were leaving for good anyway. The debt had been repaid, the schism mended in kind, and now after a thousand and three years the Ascension was back on track.

With no immediate endeavour with which to spend all one’s waking efforts, Esa felt a bit at loose ends. This was a temporary state though; she knew she’d soon find purpose amongst the stars. Gaan Gaax was snoring beside her, looking like he’d finally found a resting place for the perpetual rock. Helpfully, his status-aura was showing a sleeping icon, overlaid in her vision when she looked at him. An essence of do-not-disturb. As she prepared herself for the long, long sleep, an unfortunate thought crossed her mind. She pulled against the sleep drugs, trying to mull it over. Had they missed something?

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