I place the plaque into my satchel and followed my partner back onto the ship. I never got used to that feeling, holding something long forgotten. To behold something that belonged to a long dead society, one older than even the world I was born on.

“It is always the same. Every time.”

“Such is fate,” he replies dismissively, “we have had this conversation a thousand times.”

“Always a struggle for power, and always under a different guise. Why do we continue?” I set the Earth plaque next to the Dostin 17 plaque, next to the Busqueej plaque, next to the dozen other plaques I have collected.

“Because we have nowhere else to go. Our planet went the very same way, as I’m sure you recall…” He sits back in his pilot’s seat and turns on the thrusters.

Through the window, I watch the long dead solar system leave us behind and I am afraid. What if we really are the last of the universe left?

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