“Our last night,” Alisa smiles, defeated. The oxygen generation system can’t offset the hab’s elusive air leaks, and reserves won’t arrive until dawn. A copper sun sinks into the horizon, as dust devils form weak plumes.
“At least we’re together,” she adds. “That’s special, right?” They flip the lights and talk of what-ifs and could-have-beens.
The next morning, Damien wakes, confused that he’s alive and breathing, until he finds Alisa crumpled on the ground–outside the airlock. In the distance, oxygen reserve tanks gently touch down.
Without suiting up, Damien steps outside, takes his mother’s hand and lays next to her.
Zack Lux lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. When he isn’t writing stories, he enjoys exploring the many natural wonders of Northern California. Find him on Twitter at @ZackLuxSF.
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