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Up through tunnels of rock and stone, she emerged onto the surface of the world. In the sky above were thousands of dots of light, far away. The world was dark, and the only light besides the stars was her flashlight. She set it on the ground and used her arms to push herself up out of the break in the rocks she’d found.
Getting up on her knees and setting her pack of supplies down beside her, she looked around. There was no one to be seen, no signs of life, and no sun in the sky. The sun was only supposed to be visible through half the day though, she’d studied everything about the surface she could find. Seen all her people’s writings, stories, and legends, as well as the videos the caretaker had provided her people that were from the before time, when they used to live here, under this sky. She closed her eyes, took a deep breath of air and smiled to herself. Then, with excitement, she reached over and turned off her light, then got to her feet and looked up into the sky at the stars.
”It’s beautiful…” She said softly to herself.
It was warm too, she noticed, and the breeze smelled so… different than the air she was used to. There was nothing of water in it, just dust and dryness. Her heart sank a little. What if she were alone here? What if, besides seeing the stars and the sun for herself, there would be nothing for her up here? No way to survive, nothing to survive for. Then, she would have to go back, wouldn’t she? Either that or die of thirst.
It wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world to go back home, she admitted to herself. She’d known starting out that that was probably what she would have to do – at least, if the stories she’d been told of the surface where true. Still, she hadn’t been able to help hoping that she’d find something up here. Something to answer the questions in her, some way to be… free. So she wasn’t about to go back – not yet, not until she had to. Not until she’d seen for herself that there really was nothing else in life for her.