Do you remember?

We swore to make the desert bloom, you and I.

We all did. Each and every one of us.

What greater desert can be found than this? This world, this galaxy... It will all bloom one day. First here. First Negev. First our world, so far from earth and the ancient battleground, where we are, perhaps, safe from those older than man, should they come back to finish what they started.

Then the galaxy. We will heal the ancient battlegrounds, and they, too, will bloom. And should Avaddon return then.... Well, maybe then we will be able to beat them.

I saw the first wild flower today.

It was lovely. Just a small, frail thing, clinging to life in the desert, surviving only by virtue of its enhanced genetics. It was the only plant in sight, as far from Ben-Gurion and the ruins of the Merkava as Negev is from earth, it seems.

I knelt next to it, cupping the blossom in my hands for just a moment. The petals were broad and blue, thin like tissue. A gift from the posthumans, a preview of what our world could be like. With the Merkava’s resources gone, we could not have done it ourselves.

I wrenched it from the ground, crushing the flower in my fist.

Not at the cost of our son.

I’m so sorry, Ester.

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