Epilogue.

[A Snatch of Silent Scenes.]

1 second.

The gun kicks back, punching Branson in the shoulder, but the Fidiani goes down.

1 minute.

BANG.

Branson pulls the trigger again. He's getting more and more used to this.

The Fidiani smiles grimly, then gets up again. Her skinsuit protects her. She can keep doing this all day.

And every shot means a step closer.

10 minutes.

The SWAT team makes it into the Processing Room, Branson's office, to find a gaggle of extremely enraged Fidiani.

They don't last ten seconds.

1 hour.

Branson pokes his head out of the control room, where he, Jeff, and Tim barricaded themselves. The good news is, he thinks he's managed to reverse-engineer the technology.

The bad news is, the Fidiani areā€¦

Scratch that, it's good news. They aren't trying to kill him anymore. They had regrouped, gotten their alien, and booked it. Although there were a lot of corpses in his office. Again.

Tiredly, he gathers up his equipment and notes, and starts lugging it towards the teleporters. There would be automatons on the rescue ship that needed his help.

1 day.

Julia and Blue poke their heads out of hiding. When the SWATs arrives, it was just as they feared-they would be carted away with no chance to explain.

But even as they scrambled to the side...

Meanwhile, planetside, Adrian Branson scrambles to cover up everything, keep the kids in one place, waiting, not even daring to hope, to hear from Evyna again.

1 week.

Adrian Branson receives two notes, both of which he decides please him. (Although the first, he has to calm down for a while before he realizes that it is really for the best.)

Adrian Branson,

Blue and his Marines have taken possession of your space station. There are several other students, completely uninvolved, who are also wandering around up here. Given that we control the teleporters, and that Eden was made to be entire self-sufficient, we are in the position of completely controlling your ship.

We have contacted you to apologize. The entire goal of stealing the Eden seems a bit petty in the face of the impending invasion of the Fidiani fleets. We would like to humbly offer all of our services, anything we can do to assist you in your greater scheme of saving humanity. We are very, very sorry, and we want to help.

We have a proposition for you. Of course, if you have other plans, we are more than happy to cooperate. An imminent alien invasion can be a bit of a humbling discovery. However, given the inevitability of the invasion, we feel like starting an evacuation might be a good plan. You could use the Eden either as a colony to send off to preserve humanity and culture, or as a base for teleportation for other ships.

We look forward to hearing from you and we hope that we can put aside our differences and work together for the good of the race.

Sincerely,

Julia Habana

Zwei Academy, Class of 2031

Their cheek. Even when they were surrendering. But the second note makes him so happy that he does not care.

Adrian, dear-

The Galactic Council has agreed to help. I should arrive back on earth soon.

Love,

Evyna

1 month.

The evacuation program is in full swing. All of the spacechildren are gathered in Eden. Millions are flowing through it every day, through the teleporters, to stations that the Galactic Council set up.

Conspiracy theorists start talking. However, there are big political figures who get behind Branson, like Alexandra Sorren. So governments don't comment (not that they can do anything, although the Chinese are threatening), and slowly but surely, people disappear. Some of them the best of humanity. Some of them Branson's acquaintances. Some of them because they can pay. Some of them just arbitrarily.

They take pictures, memories, then they head off to a trail with no end through the cold, dark space.

1 year.

The Fidiani fleet arrives at the planet Earth, to find it billions strong, and theirs for the taking.

So they take it.

And the last free humans, a million light years away, watch in silence on their screens as the planet burns.

Eyes blink. Hazel eyes. Brown eyes. Green eyes. Blue LED eyes.

A hand snakes into another, an arm around a shoulder, offering silent support. Keith and Amy. Tess and Dante. Evyna and Adrian. Kellen, Mckenzie, and Asa. Julia and Blue