I remember Menoetius.

I remember returning from my first visit to the Capital, our ship cruising through the gateway into orbit, and being told that we would have to turn around and go back.

I remember the last time I ever saw my father, telling me that everything would be alright, his tears giving the lie to his words, the message blinking out as the planetary communications network failed under the onslaught of countless microscopic machines.

I remember looking down through the darkening clouds to see grey smears slowly spreading across once beautiful fields and rivers, at their hearts a few dissolving spires the sole remains of great cities.

I remember the warships escorting us back, spears of nuclear destruction streaking to the gateway behind us, the silver ring shattering, the tenuous rift in space time collapsing like a pricked soap bubble, wiping out the connection across hundreds of light years that had been held open since long before humanity existed.

I remember my home.

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