The members of the small colony were frantic. Something had hit the satellite they called
home, and soldiers were running about, desperately trying to save the people of Azura by
loading them onto spaceships as quickly as possible.
"Queen Thea, we're running out of room!" one guard called to her from below her window.
"Please, come down here and get on one of these ships immediately!"
She closed the window and crossed the room to the door. Making sure it was securely
locked from the inside, she leaned against it and closed her eyes.
Her world was literally collapsing around her. The place she had tried so hard to find
for her people was coming apart before her very eyes. However, it was her home and she was
determined not to leave it.
She had no reason to leave it. While she had been a good leader and ruler, she knew that
she wasn't needed. There was no doubt in her mind that the people fleeing the moon could
find homes elsewhere on the Alisa III.
It had been fifteen years since she had last visited the ship. Following the defeat of
Siren, she had worked diligently to bring the survivors up to the satellite. She had become
their queen and devoted all the time to their well-being.
There had been no reason for her to ever return to the Alisa III. Her previous home was
in ruins and anyone who had ever been close to her was gone. Ever since the loss of Rhys and
Maia, she had lived in her small castle by herself.
Rhys and Maia had also played an important role in moving Layans up to Azura. Their
deaths a few years later (only months had separated them) had been upsetting to all. Out of
obligation more than anything else, Thea had sent a messenger to Landen to inform Ayn that
his parents were dead. He had never responded.
Thea frowned at the memory. While she'd never admit it to anyone else, she was almost
relieved that he didn't come to pay his respects. She had no desire to see how happy he was
with Sari, leading one of the strongest, purely Orakian towns. There were also rumors of a
child, but she chose to think about Ayn as little as possible.
She had never told his parents how he felt towards them. She let them die believing that
he had married for love and never once regretted it. Maybe if they were still alive, she'd
allow herself to be persuaded to leave Azura, but again, there was no reason.
She half-smiled into the darkness. As much as she resented him, Ayn had been correct: she
had never been alone. However, as she had always known, no one had ever replaced him. No one
had ever come along to free her heart from the memory of him and now, she was prepared to
die in isolation.
Further ignoring the pleas of the guards below her, Thea crossed the room and opened one
of her dresser drawers. Tucked away in the back was a small box, which she slowly removed.
Opening it, she gently lifted out the pair of slicers, only slightly dulled from age.
She sat down on the edge of her bed, her back to the window. Resting the slicers on her
lap, she closed her eyes. If she concentrated, she could still remember every detail of his
face. She had no idea what he looked like now, years later, nor did she care to know. He
dominated her memory in his fifteen-year-old form, the one she knew the best.
She turned and placed the slicers on the pillow beside her. As she curled up with the
thoughts of Ayn, the final, fatal blast hit the satellite.