Embracing Life


7/9/20232 min read

Gramps' words resonated through the hollowed command center of the Nomad. His frail figure seemed to fade into the dim lights, but the weight of his words gripped us all.

"Listen, Ravager," he began, his voice raspy, yet profound. "We could risk it all, run headlong into danger and yes, we might even emerge victorious. But what comes after?"

Ravager, the ever stoic and steadfast commander, seemed lost for words. His gaze was fixed on Gramps, taking in the sincerity radiating from him. Gramps had interrupted our reckless plan to charge into a heavily fortified elder home, but he had a point. What would come after?

"Even if we procure the cure, what life awaits us? We'd forever be looking over our shoulders, hunted and haunted. Is that what you want for me? Is that the life you want for yourself?" Gramps questioned, his voice filled with a determination that surprised us all.

I watched Ravager, his expression softening under the wisdom of Gramps' words. The mighty commander seemed smaller, less unyielding.

"I'm not the man I once was," Gramps continued, "but I'm still here, still me. I might be at eighty percent, but it's enough... for now. I might not get better, but I am happy."

The silence that fell upon us was thick, a barrier that separated what we had planned to do and what we were about to decide. Ravager's response was barely more than a whisper, but it resonated with resolve. "So, what's our next move, Gramps?"

A gentle smile crossed Gramps' face. "We go on like we've always done. We find rocks, and we mine them. We live."

His gaze drifted off, lost in the labyrinth of his past. "I'd like to earn enough money to buy a plot on a planet teeming with flowers. My grandfather used to regale me with tales of Earth, of the elders who retired to fish, hunt, and ride animals called horses. I'd like to live out my days in a similar vein."

Ravager and I sat in silence long after Gramps retired to his quarters. His words echoed in our minds, challenging us to rethink our approach and realign our goals. There was no room for any more reckless endangerment, no more gambles with life.

Later that evening, we sat together for dinner in the Nomad's small kitchen. The air was rich with the aroma of a hearty stew Gramps had prepared earlier. His favorite, filled with vegetables and chunks of protein substitute. Between bites, we shared tales from our pasts, laughter bouncing off the metal walls, temporarily dispelling our anxieties.

Ravager narrated a story about a botched smuggling job from his early years, having us in stitches, while I recalled a particularly chaotic mineral auction on Mars. The laughter and camaraderie over dinner showed a different side of us, a more human side, one that found joy amidst the hardships of space.

As the night wore on, Gramps' energy dwindled, and he excused himself to rest. Ravager and I remained, the remnants of our meal still warm.

"Moe," Ravager began, his tone unusually soft. "We need to look after Gramps. We need to ensure his happiness. That's all that really matters now."

He looked away, running a hand through his hair, his expression conflicted. But as he turned back to me, I saw determination in his eyes.

"I finally know what I need to do," he confessed, his voice echoing in the quiet of the ship. I wasn't sure what his plans would be, but I trusted him. We were in this together till the end.