Arrival at Home (The Chosen, Act 3, Part 7/Final Part)

in #fiction4 years ago

By Waldkunst on

Act 1:
Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7

Act 2:
Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7

Act 3:
Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6

June 27, 2180

Without a sunset and sunrise every day, the days had started blurring into each other. On top of that, Lily didn’t have any way to entertain herself. Her mother straight out refused to talk to her, even after a week. Lily wasn’t particularly interested in having lengthy conversations with her mother anyway.

At first, being in space had been fascinating, even exciting, but after the launch and several hours surrounded by empty space, Lily’s excitement had ceased. The spaceship they were in was tiny but filled with alien technology, which allowed it to travel at more than light speed. From her occasional science lessons back at the society of the enlightened, Lily knew that for a long time, people had thought it impossible to travel faster than light. The aliens had proven them wrong.

Humming the tune of a song she couldn’t remember the words of, Lily sat up on the bed she had been lying on and put her feet on the ground. She could feel the slight vibrations through the metal of the ship. To think there was only this relatively thin barrier between her and the deadly space …

Her stomach growled. When had she eaten the last time? The missing daily rhythm messed with her time perception. She stood up and made her way to the compartment that served as a kitchen. Or at least that was what her mother had called it. Lily was convinced that the name “kitchen” should only be applied to rooms where it was possible to cook a full meal. This spaceship kitchen was just a room with a bunch of differently flavored nutritional paste dispensers.

”I think I haven’t tried the eggs with bacon paste yet”, Lily said to herself, grabbed a bowl and squirted a generous amount of said paste into it. She sniffed it and frowned. There was no significant difference to the other flavors she had tried before. It became more and more probable that it was the same stuff in every dispenser and that the only difference between them was the label. @suesa
”You’re eating? Again?” Mia had entered the kitchen and gave Lily a disapproving look.

”When did I eat the last time?” Lily asked while grabbing a spoon and starting to eat the paste. It didn’t taste like eggs, neither did it taste like bacon. It tasted a little bit like unsalted, overcooked potatoes.

”Three hours ago!”

”Are you sure? I’m hungry again.”

”I am, I wrote it down.”

”Huh.” Lily kept eating while looking her mother directly in the eyes. She could see her mother’s annoyance and frustration, even though she didn’t know why these feelings were there. But it kind of amused her. ”Why do you even care when and how much I eat? Are you afraid our reserves will run out before we arrive?”

”Don’t be silly, there’s enough for ten times the trip. I just don’t want you to get fat. It would negatively impact your fertility.” For a second, Lily stopped eating.

”Well, isn’t that a shame”, she then said, turned back to the paste dispenser and filled the bowl to its brim. The stupid act of rebellion caused her mother to let out a frustrated scream and leave the room.

There wasn’t much Lily could do anymore, but if she could drive Mia mad by resisting every step of the way, she would do that.

July 10, 2180

”It’s my birthday in less than two weeks”, Lily decided to tell Mia.

”We’re arriving at our home planet today”, Mia replied. ”You might already be pregnant on your birthday.”

”I’d rather not be.” It unexpectedly hurt Lily, that her mother refused to acknowledge her birthday. Even after almost three weeks together in space, nothing had changed. Lily had hoped that her mother would develop affection for her if they only spent enough time together, but her telepathic abilities constantly reminded her that this wasn’t the case. Mia was still disgusted by her. Still just wanted to get rid of her.

Alone in her room, Lily sat down on the floor, hugging her knees. She missed Joel. She missed Finja. She missed everyone who had been kind to her. But she missed Joel the most. He had died for her, died because he had refused to leave her. He had looked Tif in the eye and defied her, and for that, he had been killed. Sometimes, Lily wished she had killed Tif in her mother’s stead. A part of her resented her mother for killing the woman who had taken away the only person who had ever loved Lily. Another part was glad she didn’t have the blood on her hands.

”I’m not a bad person. I’m not a monster.” She started crying.


Lily could feel the ship slow down. They had arrived.

The door opened, and Mia was standing there, her expression more joyful than Lily had ever seen.

”Come! We’re here! Finally, we’re home. Finally!” She grabbed Lily’s hand and pulled her along. Together, they waited in front of the airlock, as the ship touched down on the ground. A light impact, followed by silence. Then, the hissing of the airlock opening. They left the ship and were met with …


There was nobody.

The landing field was empty, the surrounding buildings in ruins. No living soul in sight.

”What? What’s going on?” Mia opened her iron grip around Lily’s wrist and went back into the ship. Curiously, Lily followed her, just to find her mother frantically pressing buttons on what Lily assumed was a communication device.

”Here is descendant 3958-b-d, classification human. I’ve arrived with the requested package of genetic material. Is anyone there?”

Nothing but static.

Then, a voice.

”This is a pre-recorded message, triggered by the transmission of a descendant number. Return to your planet of origin. The genetic superiority project has been discontinued, our species has gone extinct. One of the packages has brought back a virus that has infected and killed all of us. The virus affects everyone who has even a trace of the original genetic material. Do not leave your vessel. Do not breathe the air outside. Turn back. Be what’s left of our species.”


Deep in her chest, Lily felt a laugh forming. It grew and grew until she couldn’t contain it anymore and she laughed. And laughed. And laughed.

”We’re dead”, she finally said, gasping for air. ”You had my father killed, you had Joel killed, just to bring us both here and get us killed too. Everything you’ve done was pointless! Everyone is already dead!”

Mia slapped her, but Lily couldn’t stop laughing. All the pain, all the suffering to get to this point, everything had been pointless.

She looked at her mother and could see the desperation on her face. The fear of uncertainty, the fear of death. A trickle of blood dripped out of her nose.

”Mom, you’re bleeding.”

Mia wiped her nose with the back of her hand and stared at the blood. The trickle increased.

”I’m infected. I’m dying”, she whispered with a toneless voice. Lily started to feel something wet on her face, a quick wipe confirmed that she too was bleeding.

”We’re dying”, she said.

”It can’t be. All my life … everything …”

Lily didn’t bother listening to her mother anymore and instead left the spaceship to go outside. If she was to die on this strange planet, she wanted to see some of it first at least. Even if she didn’t get far.

None of the things that happened to her, to Joel, had a meaning. Life didn’t have reasons for what happened. And at this moment, as she was walking across the surface of an alien planet that was supposed to be her home, she was okay with it.

Signature by @atopy


well shit.

I am okay with this.

Well, then. I didn't see it coming, and naturally I was hoping for a better outcome for Lily, but... I knew better, and this was an absolutely perfect ending. It's beautiful somehow. The both of them, dying, but Mia is the clear loser here. Lily quite literally gets the last laugh.

I really enjoyed reading The Chosen; your stories never disappoint. Can't wait to see what you come up with next.

I must say, finding a good ending was difficult. Common tropes would have forced Lily to either go mad and kill everyone, or follow her mother's will. But ... that's not her. She's not a destructive monster, but she also isn't a submissive child. Joel raised her differently.

I'm rarely satisfied with my endings, but I'm happy with this one. I'm glad you feel the same!

Let's see what the next story brings.

A terrible lot of work just to die on another planet.

Not the worst way to live your life though!
Could have just died at home without doing anything fun in your life.

Exactly! At least it wasn't a boring life!

It is a terrible ending for Lily, to die on her home planet, infected with a virus that can kill her right away. I think that's why he wanted to leave the ship, thinking that there was not much to lose.

Calling @originalworks :)
img credz:
Nice, you got an awesome upgoat, thanks to @reggaemuffin
Want a boost? Minnowbooster's got your back!

Calling @originalworks :)
img credz:
Nice, you got an awesome upgoat, thanks to @reggaemuffin
Want a boost? Minnowbooster's got your back!

What an odd looking goat you have there!

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