Flash called out to everyone aboard to come and see something.
Poikani got up and walked across the cockpit. The sphere followed him. He didn’t seem to have trouble making new friends.
Flash pointed out a speck of light in the distance and announced “that is Olo.”
Everyone felt a rush of joy and excitement.
Lem, Poikani and Bucket chattered, and the sphere vibrated, but Flash just stared wistfully at the spark, dangling there in space.
Very gradually, Olo grew as the ship approached. It was an ornament. It filled more and more of the view.
Flash used the geoglyphs to find his way, and was always on the lookout for whales.
The ship stabilized its position and Flash turned to his family.
“Is everyone ready?”
Poikani seemed hesitant, and motioned toward the sphere with a questioning look.
Flash had worried, on previous visits, that his presence would have a negative effect on Olo. On his journey through space, he came to the realization that he was not an outsider here at all. He hadn’t come into the universe, he came out of it, the way a wave comes out of the sea. Furthermore, there was no past to regret, and no future to worry about. There was only this present moment.
He was right where he belonged, and he was who he should be.
Or so he told himself. You see, Flash Meridian was unsure whether he actually belonged on Olo. As much as he loved it… as much as he wanted to feel completely at home, there was a nagging doubt that gnawed at the back of his mind. The problem may have been that Flash had never really felt content and settled anywhere.
He kept these thoughts to himself. He and his family were eager to land. They longed to stretch their legs and walk in the open air of the crystal encrusted plain. That is, those who had legs. Bucket could float, and the sphere could roll along. Flash looked forward to feeling the temperatures of the light that beamed from the crystals.
He opened the hatch, and one by one, they squeezed into the small pod. It was a tight fit, but they all managed to board, and the hatch closed tight.
With a soft thump, they were jettisoned from the ship. A gentle roll flipped the craft and they began their descent toward the bubble of atmosphere. Flash couldn’t help remembering the view on his first visit, when the whales skimmed the air just beyond the border of space.
He remembered his second visit, with his daughter, and how soon she was gone. What could he do? She grew up before he was ready.