Nico (vilakins) wrote,

Two ficlets on Earth

This week's b7friday topic was Earth, though neither of these two stories is set on it.

Last Look

“Take a long look. That's the last you'll ever see of it.”

The Earth hung there, impossibly beautiful, like a milky turquoise cradled in black velvet.

“No,” Blake said with determination, “I'm coming back.”

So am I, thought Vila. He’d managed to get off CF1 all right and he’d only been 14. How hard could it be? Ships called at Cygnus Alpha all the time and he’d be on one when it left.

Nova blinked rapidly, not wanting his last glimpse to be a watery distorted one. He shivered. He didn’t want to die on some alien world, but the vast and empty darkness they were flying into frightened him even more.

Jenna stared longingly out the porthole; it wasn’t Earth she’d miss, but the galaxy, each planetfall an adventure and each departure freedom.

Gan did not look. Instead he remembered the last time he’d seen Zephron, although he hadn’t known it at the time, he and Lubov carefree and excited at their first trip off-planet. He wished they’d never left. He didn’t care if he never saw Earth again.

And Avon watched dispassionately. There was nothing down there for him, not any more, no reason ever to come back.

The Naming of Planets

“Silly name for a planet anyway,” Vila said, relaxing now they were through the barrier. “I mean they’ve all got a horizon.”

“Rather more than one,” Avon said scathingly. “But you must admit it’s marginally better than the somewhat generic Earth.”

"Yeah. All blue and white like that; they should've called it Sea."

"If we were marine creatures, we doubtless would have. Although you're not far from being one."

Vila considered this, his head on one side. "Fishy reputation?"

"Drinking like one."

"Wouldn't mind gills. I could stick my whole face in my food and still breathe." Vila grinned triumphantly at Avon's disgust.

"Vila's right though, at least about Earth," said Jenna. "You'd think they'd have come up with a better name. It’s Terra on the charts, but that’s just the same thing in Latin."

"Well, they thought they were the centre of the universe back then.” Blake yawned, exhausted. “They had to be more inventive with the colonies."

Vila turned to look at Gan. "What's Zephron mean then?"

Gan shrugged. "Wouldn't have a clue. Sounds Greek to me."

"Auron though, that's a pretty name." Vila said dreamily, putting his feet up. "Like gold."

Avon’s eyes went unfocussed too, the thought so engaging he ignored Vila’s surprising knowledge of chemistry.

Cally smiled to herself and said nothing. They would all be far too disappointed to know what 'Auron' meant. 'Earth'.

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