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And Dust You Shall Eat by Nils Durban
SUMMARY: Entry in the April Flash Fiction contest. Theme: Forbidden
As the Ovule fell away from the Seedship, Aden was presented with what was certainly the most spectacular sight of his short existence. He possessed very few experiences at this point and the embedded memories had not yet taken root, yet there was something awe inspiring about the vision of this new world that hung in space before him, the penumbra of its star striking out from the planet's rim with a glorious brilliance.
He turned his head to find Evelyn webbed into her couch alongside his own, his eyes tracing the path of a tear and the resultant streak across her right cheek.
"It's so bright!" she gasped.
He reached out to take her hand in his own, surprised at how naturally the urge to do so had arisen within him, "It's our home," he said, attempting to reassure her.
The membrane that extended out from beneath the viewing panel before them began to pulse with a warm orange glow and the dark veins that were woven through it and all about them responded with a resonating throb.
"It's time," Aden announced unnecessarily, as they reached out their hands to grasp the membranous console and link their minds. Together they would make the decision as to where they would descend. It would be a choice based on only limited information and through their conditioning they held a certain disregard for the possible consequences. They were but one seed of many. Some would succeed whilst others would fail.
The various landmasses spread out before them had each been named and these were displayed for their information. Aden felt his mind being tugged, presumably by Evelyn, towards the one place that they knew they were to avoid - the red-tagged island designated as 'Apple', named for its approximate shape.
Although he deferred naturally towards his partner and future mate - after all, she was fourth generation to his third, he asserted himself and insistantly dragged their attention away from the island and focussed it instead upon a nearby archipelago labelled 'Haven'.
She glanced at him, failing to mask the feelings of guilt that he was picking up on through their mutual connection, "I was just looking...".
"I know," once more he sought to assure her of his support, "but look there, Haven feels right for us, don't you agree?"
She smiled warmly, causing his own aprehensions to melt away, "Yes, it looks wonderful."
* * *
Aden sat, sweat soaked and satisfied, upon the stack of carefully cut timber with which he would construct their first shelter. He looked across the expanse of golden sand to where she stood in the frothing surf, the fronds she had collected clutched to her chest, her attention seemingly fixed upon the horizon and the distant cliffs of that island, the Apple. He was concerned by this for reasons he could not define, but he brushed the feeling aside, instead rising to make his way to where the Ovule lay nestled amongst the higher dunes, in the shadows of the front line of vegetation.