An ache built up inside his chest when he remembered the happier times with Isla. He distracted himself at the window and looked to the street below. Resting his face and hands on the cold glass, he stared at Belgrave Square Gardens through a fog his breath had created. An automated vehicle pulled up outside it and several children and a woman – presumably their teacher – alighted from the vehicle’s left side. The children screamed excitedly as they bolted for the swings in the park. In vain, the teacher yelled after them to come back but they were running free and wild and without parental supervision.
Unable to stop himself, he thought about Isla again and her love of children. The window fogged up more as his breathing became laboured. She had always been open with him about her desire to have children, but he hadn’t been as keen as her. He didn’t think Earth was the right environment to bring up children in and had promised to think about it again when they transferred to Exilon 5. Now Isla was gone and suddenly he wanted a child, her child, a little version of her to make him laugh the way she always could.
But Exilon 5 was no safer than Earth was as long as the Indigenes existed. They had taken from him the one person he cared about the most.
Isla was in his head. ‘Forgive them, Bill.’
‘Forgiveness is earned,’ he said coldly. If it came down to it, would he really grant it to the Indigenes?
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