I had a brother…..I have a brother!
Michael and I were separated during the great invasion of 2067. World communications had been disrupted, or destroyed altogether. The last I knew, he had been working in the space program. There were missions to Mars that had taken flight before and after the invasion, but I did not know if he was involved with them. Word of mouth had it that some of the missions were lost, and I had feared the worst.
Khostra did indeed return to us at dusk of my second day with them. After “speaking” to Raymond and some of his group, she signaled for me to come and sit. As before, we joined hands. My surroundings greyed out, and I began to feel excited, expectant, and very alert.
I cannot render the name of her people into language, so I will call them Plejarens, a reference to their place of origin.
She began by telling me that she had been in communication with a group of her people who had returned to Mars, after its great calamity, to collect their dead and to search for possible survivors. Unexpectedly, they found a colony of men, women, and children. The two peoples had met, and, through a young girl who was a perfect empath, communication had been established. When the Plejarens found that the colony was in peril because of the events on Earth, they proposed to rescue them by offering safe passage to a new home in the stars. Fully two thirds of the settlers decided to go. The hundred or so remaining believed they had the stuff to make the colony survive, and, in time, prosper.
Before their departure, the Plejarens told the colonists that ancient settlers from the Pleiades still remained on Earth, but were preparing to leave. Realizing that communication with them might be possible, the colony drew up a list of the names of every single person on Mars, in the hopes that some of their kin still surviving back home would know their fate.
My brother’s name was on that list, but my joy was tempered. Michael was one of those who had left for the unknown.
In the here and now, on this sick old Earth, many of the Plejarens were leaving. My group of fellows had decided, almost to a man, to go with them.
But, Khostra and some of her hundreds would remain. They had a plan. One whose success was uncertain. One whose fulfillment might take a lifetime of men. The machinery was already in place.
They were going to terraform Terra. My home. My life. My Earth.
In the morning, I said my goodbyes…..to Raymond and his band of explorers.
I would stay. I would help. I would remember Michael.