What can I tell you about Home? I have tried many times to describe it to the people of this world, but something is always lost in the telling. Home is a feeling, a knowledge — and no matter how many times I described the towers of glass, the river bank where I learned to swim, the smell of my grandmother’s library — I could not catch it.
It was a place not much different than this world. The sun rose, the wind blew. We only had one moon instead of the three that dance in this world’s sky. Such a greedy world, this Aufero, how could it have less than three moons?
I wander. It is what I do, in speech as well as deed. Even now, even as I wait for the end. There is something to that. Something mundane and comforting.
Our world shone. That is all I can say. It gleamed more brightly in the heavens than any other star, every one of the Lost can point to it in their sleep — even though it shines no more. It was our Home, and we knew as we left it that we would never return. And we knew that we would never stop grieving the loss of it.
The Dark swallowed it whole, and we fled. The entirety of my race crammed on half-a-hundred silver ships, flung into the sea of stars. But that is not the true beginning of my story.
My story begins with falling.
The fastest ships were chosen, to seek out a place to land – a place to begin again. My father was the captain and he slept not at all as our ship plunged ever forward into the dark. The far-singers hummed as we approached barren planets and balls of molten fire — every one was discordant. Ugly noise and static.
We flew on and on, day after day. Hoping to find a place that the Dark had not touched. A whole universe of empty rock and death. In desperation we returned to the fleet and found the same answer in the weary faces of the other captains.
I remember how my father took my mother’s hands and laid his forehead on hers. They looked into each other’s eyes and she nodded. They knew what must be done, and the risks. The other ships would wait, and ours would risk Beyond.
My mother sang the Song of Away.
The universe grew thin and we slipped through the walls as she sang. I stood next to my father and listened hard for the tune of another place, any place that we could go.
I think I heard it before my father, but maybe a heartbeat before. I still remember the joy in his eyes when he heard the faint melody.
And then the melody was a march — Aufero, the greedy – Aufero, the thief — reached out and pulled us in.
We erupted into that universe like a comet being born. The silver ship bucked and spun, the songs of my people becoming screams. Through the windows I caught my first glimpse of the planet.
It was blue. I fell in love.
Then the glass shattered, and I fell towards the greedy planet.
My story had begun.