David van Domelen
|Everyone had assembled in the living room to bid Constellation goodbye. Sam and Jenny had come back from California for a few days when they heard the news, and they stood together next to the other Machiners as they said their final farewell to Floyd [Constellation's 'real' name].Dan was the first to speak. "I know we didn't meet under the best of circumstances, Floyd...but it's too bad you have to go. Maybe you can, well, visit...." He was cut off by Karlson.|
"No, Dan. He can't come back, you know that as well as I do. Any time he spends here puts Patrollers in danger."
"You're a real bastard, you know that Simon?" was Dan's response. Sam quietly agreed. But he knew Karlson was right. No point in sugar-coating the truth.
"I...I hope you can work out your problems at home, Floyd," started Jenny. "You can't run from them forever, you have to deal with them." If Constellation sneered slightly at the mention of the word 'home' no one mentioned seeing him do it. Ted stood silently by Dan, not really having anything to say. Wier looked almost impatient to get back to his work.
Astra tentatively approached Floyd. Despite being noticeably taller than him, her posture made her look like an uncertain young girl. Which she was. "I'll miss you," was all she said, then wrapped her arms gently around him in a hug. Constellation looked rather uncomfortable at this, but didn't break the embrace...not that he could have done so easily. When Astra stepped away, only Constellation saw the tear that briefly formed in the corner of her eye, then vanished as if it had never been.
Before Sam could say anything, Constellation turned to address him. "Sam, there's something I've been meaning to mention to you for a while. I don't really know how useful it'll be, but...." He paused for a moment, as if searching for a way to avoid sounding foolish. "I know another Sam Lyons, back in the universe I left before coming here. He doesn't really look like you, but he acts a lot like you, and there's a lot of other little similarities. Thing is, he's that world's incarnation of King Arthur [see Constellation #16]. If you're as linked to him as I suspect, well...keep an eye out for swords."
With that, Constellation vanished, rather than get entangled in a more lengthy farewell.
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Copyright © 1994, 1997 by David van Domelen