The Unity Chronicles


Homecoming

Unity Standard Time: 00:20, 4th of June U108. Parsa, New Persia.

It was strange how it no longer felt like home. She had grown up among these streets, the high builings soaring gracefully to the lilac sky, echoing ancient carvings in their design in a way that some found pretentious but she had always adored. Now she was back and felt like a stranger, her experiences of the last thirty years casting her former home in an entirely different light.

Now where she had seen strength and patriotism, she saw stubbornness and hubris; the general contentment of the citizenry she could not help but see as selfish myopia; those few homeless vagrants she had once pitied but ignored became undeniable indicators of deep-seated inequalities in the system. It was a system she knew well, too -- better in fact than she had known it while working as part of it.

She sighed as the streets flashed past the taxi's windows, the mustachioed greaseball in the driver's seat taking them upwards to the main flightlanes. She made no comment on the route they were taking, circuitous as it was. He had clearly taken her for an off-worlder, but she was in no real hurry to reach her destination.

She supposed she was disappointed how little the city had changed in her absence. A new sign or holoboard here and there, along with the more modern vehicles in the air, were the only indications any time had passed. It was good to see the complete lack of blue Unity tridents around her, but society seemingly trundled on oblivious.

Her thoughts went to her friend and mentor, conducting the same visit on his own homeworld in the next system. She wondered if he was having the same experience as her, despite his having kept close tabs on New Hellas as he did on so many worlds. It was unusual enough for him to be out and about at all -- he had become increasingly reclusive as the years had passed -- let alone returning to his childhood home.

She smiled at the memories of their joint journey there so many years before, when they had both been so naïve in their own ways. Now they were back, with the impossible task of ending the conflict between these two systems. If anyone could do it, though, she knew it would be Kurios and herself.

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