The Ultimate Goal

Sweat beaded on Ulric Jemsen’s forehead and trickled past his eyes. He wiped it away with a dirty hand, yielding only more discomfort. Rand’s question hung as heavy in the air as it had five minutes ago.

“Well, Jemsem, what do we do now?”

Jemsen was squinting through the viewport, looking out at the Tertian dusk. Rand still stood in the doorway to the room. Neither had had the time to shower in the past few days, and Jemsen looked to have gotten little sleep as well. Wild thoughts seemed to glare off of the reflection of his eyes in the viewport glass. Rand’s patience wore thin.

“Jemsen, I said, what do we do? We rallied, we captured the ‘Dandies, and we’ve got the mining complex. What’s next?”

Ulric grasped for an answer.

“I… I have to come clean. I don’t know what we should do. For Tertius’ sake, I don’t know why we did what we did!”

Rand was visibly jarred, and covered the distance to turn his friend to face him.

“But Jemsen – you led us! You started this whole thing! How can you not know why?!”

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