"The Long Night"

By Nes Mikel

Acknowledgment;

Standard Disclaimers apply. You know what I'm talking about. Don't sue me. Please.

The Caravan

Yrn walked away from PX-23-DXY, feeling somewhat satisfied. Although he only recently had joined the ranks of the old ones, he felt confident in his abilities to manipulate so many to his cause. Their reasons were justified, because they were afraid of him. And for a good reason too.

Pondering on what to do, Yrn decided to take a walk outside of the camp to look at the bright shining stars overhead. It had become a habit when the entire caravan landed on planets to gather supplies or simply to rest. It was a moment of solitude Yrn enjoyed: away from the chaos of the universe, the chaos of the sector, the chaos within the caravan itself.

The history of the caravan was a long one. Like most of the young ones, like Lekim, he was born on board the Zero. Yrn was among the generation of children to be born within the caravan unlike the others who just joined them. It was an accomplishment that somewhat haunted Yrn during his course of life. It was a responsibility he didn't particularly want, a burden he had to carry all up until now. So Yrn had pressed for the disbanding, but now that it was actually over he wasn't so sure anymore.

The caravan was a strange entity all by itself. No one knew anymore when the caravan itself was founded. Most thought at first that PX-23-DXY was one of the founders of the caravan, since Zero was originally his ship. When questioned of this PX-23-DXY would shrug it off. He told the entire caravan the story from time to time that there was another ship that belonged to the caravan even before the Zero, the now-legendary T'katta, which was unfortunately destroyed during the last phases of the Second Orion Civil War. Since then Zero was their vessel, which was itself legendary. So many legends – so little facts.

Rumors had it that the caravan existed since the Elder Races came into existence, a theory that many of the caravan didn't doubt. Yrn himself believed it, so perhaps that was what it pained him to disband the caravan. After millenniums of continuous existence, terminating something of that magnitude just pained him.

Yrn continued to walk the desert night in absolute silence, trying to ease the pain. It didn't do any good. He had thought when it was over, the responsibilities he had carried would all go away... instead it worsened. The overwhelming responsibility of causing of the disbanding was overwhelming all others. Yrn staggered, the guilt almost suffocating him.

But, Yrn reassured himself, this wasn't the end. In fact, this was mealy the beginning of a second phase in the history of the caravan. That helped him ease his emotional pains a little. He stretched out his weakened muscles, trying to recover from the emotional shock, and stared into the cold night of space.

He then just realized that he was standing besides the sleeping figures of Lekim and Krr'isha. Looks like Krr'isha managed to convince Lekim slightly in calming down, Yrn observed with slight interest. Trying not wake them, he tried to leave the site with quiet haste when a voice called out to him.

"Yrn."

He froze in his tracks, and turned to face the waking figure. It was Lekim.

"Sorry, did I wake you?" Yrn apologized. Lekim shook his head sluggishly as he sat up.

"No, not at..." Lekim paused to yawn. "...all."

"Touché."

Lekim raised an eyebrow. "I didn't know you could speak the languages of Sol."

Yrn just shrugged. "It's common knowledge."

"Touché. Anyway..."

He held up his hand to stop Lekim from speaking any further. "Yes, I have spoken to him."

"And...?"

"He will take me as far as to Alpha Centauri, and allowed me to take one starlane-capable shuttle towards Sol."

"You sure you'll be okay all by yourself?"

Yrn chuckled slightly at his comment. Lekim just shrugged. "Hey, better safe than sorry."

"Perhaps you are right. No, I will be fine."

"Thanks for doing this for me."

"Not at all."

"I'll see you at Sol, then." With that, Lekim lay down on the sand and soon he was asleep once more.

Yrn sighed sympathetically, and slowly tiptoed away from the sleeping figures. Once he was sure he was distanced enough, he started walking as he looked up at the stars once more. He had a slight smile on his face.

"Such is life."