The Gift

May 12, 2024
Archetype Entertainment

Nothing means more to a mother than her children. I’m sure you’ve heard that before. But until you’re a mother yourself, you can’t fully understand the power and depth of that bond.

Protection of our children is part of humanity’s DNA. It’s more than the biological imperative of evolution bred into us for the propagation of our species. It even goes beyond the concept of “love”… at least as I thought I understood it. It borders on obsession. Maybe even madness.

Regardless of what hardships are at hand, what trials you face, what suffering you endure, one thought – one priority – trumps all others: the safety of your child. It overshadows everything else. Your own survival – the survival of humanity itself – pales in comparison to the fate of your precious, perfect child. This obsession is shared a million times over by mothers across every world and moon we now inhabit. Logic and reason are powerless against it… and maybe humanity is better for it.

Some believe we Travelers are the future of humanity. I used to think that, too. But now I see the truth. For the first time, I fully understand why we do what we do. My daughter reminds me of what we stand for in this universe. Our hopes. Our dreams. Our potential. And I know that if I can keep that one child, my child, safe – if I can build a world or a galaxy or a universe where she can live and grow and eventually have children of her own – then humanity will endure.

Today, as I stand here on our new homeworld in Centauri, watching my daughter playing in the garden, I remember my own mother. She spent the last years of her life working herself to death, and at the time I resented her for it. I felt abandoned. Betrayed. But then she showed me what she was working for. Because of her, I was gifted one of the seats on the Northern Bullet – one of the last ark ships to leave Earth. Her seat.

“You get to go to the stars, that is your gift”, she told me. I thought The Northern Bullet was her baby. With all her hours designing and helping build it, it sometimes felt like she loved it more than me. Only now do I understand why she had to do what she did. My inheritance is so much more than the small slip of paper and the tiny berth on the ark.

She literally gave me everything. She sacrificed a decade of watching me grow up to give me a lifetime of unlimited potential. Her gift to me is today, and every day I have here in Centauri with my own child. Without my mother, I wouldn’t have my daughter. And I wouldn’t be able to make the same sacrifice for her.

Every Exodus a Traveler pays a price. For me, only a few weeks will pass before I return. For the daughter I leave behind, it will be years. Will she understand? Will she hate and resent me because I’m gone? Will she ever appreciate that I’m doing this for her? I hope one day she will, but in the end it doesn’t matter. I’m doing this because I have to. Because it’s the only way to make sure she has a future worth living. Because that’s what mothers do.


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