Stephen was alone.
Above, an ocean of stars settled in restless rotation. The forest lay in silence and a mile back the passing of motor cars on M-11 was heard.
He followed the thin veneer of light-pollution stretching out into the sky, below visible outlines of the city, and up ahead the night-sky and stars, entangled in a brawl – the spiral arm of a galaxy beckoned.
He knew the implications, he knew the forces at play, being maybe one of ten in world history able to fully estimate its beauty. His cheek gave away a twitch – the interface lit up.
A single-syllable monotone tune danced in the dark.
"Do you. remember still. the fallingstars. that-like swift. horses. through the. heavens raa-ced. and suddenly leaped. across the. huurdlees. of our wiii-shes. -- do you recall? An we. did. make so many. For there. were countless. numbers. of stars: each. time we-looked. above we were. as. tounded by. the swift-ness. of their daringplay. while. in our. hearts we felt. safe aa-and secure. watching. these brill-iaaant bodies. dis-inte-grate.
know-ing. somehow. we had sur. vived their fall...”
The forest was silent. The sounds of the motorway died out.
Above, a starry ocean lay still in suspended motion.
Stephen felt alone.