Epilogue

Zenon walked into Nova Linda after a short walk in the forest and found it seemingly completely empty, despite the abnormal number of pods present. The living room was also dark, but she could clearly see decorations, so she flipped on the nearest lightswitch to see what this was all about.

Eighty-odd people suddenly leapt out of their hiding places and yelled, "Surprise! Happy birthday, Zenon!"

"Cetus lapetus, how could I forget?" she asked, and Proto Zoa led the group in a slightly off-key chorus of 'Happy Birthday', and the party was in full swing.

Several minutes later, Nebula walked over to her and hugged her. "Cetus lapetus, Zee," she said. "Twenty-five at last."

"Did you think I was so reckless major I wouldn't get to this point?"

"No way. Happy birthday, Zee." She walked off and joined the party, and Zenon shook her head and took a seat on the couch next to Proto Zoa.

"Well, well, well, if it isn't the birthday girl herself," he said, kissing her.

"You still never told me about that song you wrote."

"I want to sing it to you."

"Vega omega, Zoa."

"Well, I want it to be special."

"Show time," Jeff said, and Proto Zoa picked up his guitar.

"You'll see," he whispered before parting with Zenon.

Microbe filed up onto the makeshift stage on the side of the living room farthest from the couch. The whole room went silent as Proto Zoa strummed the first chord, and the song seemed to flow solely from him, with little help from the rest of his band. It was a slow song, and Proto Zoa's eyes were solely on Zenon as he sang.

She knew he could sing, but she was surprised he could sound that good and mean exactly what he sang with such a purity it had the potential to move even the most stoic of hearts.

Zenon found herself crying, really paying attention to the song, dreading the end, but when he did finish, it was nice and slow, slower than the rest of the song.

Everyone who was sitting stood up as they applauded Microbe, Zenon included, and after he got off the stage, Proto Zoa returned to the couch, propping his guitar on the armrest. "I knew it would be special," he said, pulling her into him for a kiss. Zenon wrapped her arms around his neck and gave him a nice hug.

"That was stellenarous," she whispered.

"A really stellenarious song for a really stellenarious girl."

"Aww, thanks."

He kissed her again and let her sit on his lap. "I love you, Zenon," he whispered.

"I love you, too."