Inside the Main Chamber in the last viable Antarctic outpost, the main has found herself surrounded by the local inhabitants, on the end of a series of questions. The are fractious and apprehensive: Diovay possesses tech way beyond what Earth was able to achieve before the Final Days, and as an Orbital, Diovay was part of a group of post-humans developed by a sentient AI. Before departing, she was also part of a human accelerated evolution community seeking to preserve the species. Returning to Earth, the reader has also yet to have her motives for leaving Orbit and returning to Terra clarified.
‘You tell why you here! NOW!’ Tension has twisted his face almost beyond recognition. Not surprising, I guess. Traaon spent most of his life in the dark, literally and figuratively, and now he has to deal with me.
‘Yeah! Why you here, Orbital? Why you choose this place?’ Garisht at lest shows a slight deference. The other Leaders all seem poised… even Claraben allows questions to show on her usually impassive features. I guess it’s time to divulge my secrets!
‘Please, if you listen, I shall tell you.’ And I shall sit for this one – it may take a while to get them to understand. I’m not sure I do… good. They’re all sitting, too. I really do wish there was a way to filter the smell of plastic and earth and sweat out of the ventilation.
‘I came from Orbit to avoid death.’ There. I said it. Errr… but everyone looks completely puzzled. Onward and forward!
‘In Orbit, we have many rules and regulations, and inexhaustible supply of electricity and a potentially limitless population, but an extremely limited food supply, and limited space on the ship.’ Still blank. Claraben is starting to look annoyed.
‘We had too many people and not enough food.’
‘Us too!!’ Frezia almost yelling, others looking irritated.
‘You got no right coming here! We don’t want you!’ Traaon definitely needs a holiday…
‘I had to choose between de-integration or exploring. From time to time, one of us chooses to visit Terra and assess the situation. I wanted to keep my identity and learn more about what has been happening. I had no intention of causing harm, but it was them or me. I had to protect myself.’ I must be adjusting, to speak so delicately to these human leftovers! So tired of having to defend…
Claraben suddenly spoke up: ‘There was nowhere else to go?’ A brief flash of horror, eyes widening. All eyes flick from her back onto me.
‘This is the last viable habitat on Earth. Everything north of seventy-eight degrees has failed or is terminal. You are the last Terran community to survive.’