A Utopia 4 - A Release

I planted Diatnin’s convergence cube on the last planet of the Utopia Project, and left a simple Atlas-shaped grave marker.

In my moment of mourning for Diatnin, I felt a rush of warmth radiating through me. Everything began to wash over my sight with a white glow. There was no words, no sound, even the ambience of the planet was fading away, but I could feel - not hear, feel - Diatnin whispering to me: “Thank you”.

Then I found myself drifting. Alone in space, in an unfamiliar ship. In fact a shuttle so generic that I couldn’t wait to replace it immediately with something better. My fingers scrambled to my exosuit controls for the Anomaly summon.

Thank goodness that still worked, and thank Nada everything still seemed to be business as usual inside. After some brief exchange with other interlopers, I learned that the Utopia Project participants were slowly being released safely from the project, though with not much left to their possession, but with their lives and existences at least still intact. It appeared that Diatnin was spending her last moments in the control tower of the Utopia Project to end the loop for good, setting everyone free before she let herself free. I would shed a tear if I biologically could, but I did the next best thing - catching up with my old friends in the Anomaly.

“Traveller-Entity! It is good to see you.” Priest Nada greeted me as if he had awoken from a terrifying nightmare. “For an eternity Nada was stuck all alone among the stars. Polo was too. It was as if we all got separated and isolated from each other. Nada is very glad it’s all over now.” I held Nada’s hand to give him comfort and assurance. I have not been capable of too many words since I left the project, and I knew both Nada and Polo would understand more than anyone, even before I told them what happened.

I spent a long time in the Anomaly, sharing snacks and tales with Nada and Polo. Exploration can wait while I enjoy this rare moment of good company.

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