Lilith stood face to face with the beast. That for which she’d feigned apathy towards exposed. It’s reaction to the truth behind her façade was surprisingly wise and gentle. She did not need to ask for its help, it understood.
As darkness fell away and the chamber’s light exposed her, it became evident this was no ordinary woman. Hair as red as fire framed her florid face. Green eyes revealing glimpses of anger and sadness as she peered back at the beast. She was adept at shielding those emotions, but It could reach into her soul.
She moved gracefully, despite an underlying fear. Where others burst forth stammering loquaciously, her approach was careful, reserved.
The beast would listen, but it wouldn’t matter. It was already bound to her.
Charlton grimaced every time the plaintiffs’ lawyers referred to him as “Good-Time Charlie” while assassinating his good character. He’d been cleared criminally, so what if it was on a technicality, he’d done nothing wrong. All this acrimony towards him was nothing more than regret, a way to rationalize a sordid past and leave it behind.
Sillinger slipped in through the back door. Clearly, there had been an advertisement, likely on social media or across the dark web, disclosing his whereabouts. The leak was born in the weaknesses of those in the know. The seeds of discontent sown and already lingering amongst his own rank and file. Only a handful of people knew his movements yet the streets out front were lined with tens of thousands of people.
The briefcase he carried held everything and nothing. The solution to the one burning question that humankind had yearned to solve for millennia. In a single stroke, the course of human history would change forever.
That is why the throngs had gathered. Some ready to embrace the unknown blindly, some looking to exploit it for personal gain, and some are just plain naive and curious. Still others, the disruptors as they were referred, were paralyzed by the impending apocalypse they believed was being brought down upon them. No matter the reasons it reinforced the belief that the world was not ready. The upheaval could prove disastrous, sending the world into a tizzy if the truth was revealed prematurely.
Some secrets are best left in the hands of the few revolutionaries who understand the gravity they hold. Curated and nurtured while a campaign of information and reform is allowed to seep into the collective conscious. Designed to diffuse the acrimony towards the establishment sudden revelation can illicit.
It could take decades, maybe centuries for society to catch up to the science. Until then Sillinger’s task was monumental. He would need to dispel all truths and myths about what it was the foundation held in its custody.
He was unlikely to see the fruition of his labours, other than in small doses amongst his peers. The transformative nature of the content of the briefcase would remain as much a mystery to him as those standing in the street below.
Lilith remained obscured in the shadows. Studying the creature for a tell, anything to gain advantage. Watching as doomed suitors offer wealth and sacrifice in exchange for favour. Each left retreating, begging for mercy in the flashes before receiving a final, brutal verdict.
She expected something sinister in its fiery red eyes. Instead, she glimpsed something she understood, a loneliness shrouded behind the beast’s perpetually shifting facade.
Disarmed for a moment, it sensed her in the darkness. She wasn’t ready, but it was time…
The following piece of fiction is being reposted for Fandango’s Flashback Friday series. “New Hope” was originally published on December 9th, 2021 for Sonya’s Three Line Tales challenge which would seemingly disappear without a trace at the end of that month. Sonya’s weekly prompt was the first writing prompt I’d ever replied to on my blog and really was a turning point in the direction my blog would take. That first #TLT response was called “Forgotten“. I am happy to report that Sonya’s Three Line Tales has recently returned with new challenges. The current challenge can be found here. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this blast from the past…
Adam awoke from cryostasis; Eva and their children had not survived the journey.
Eight centuries and sixty-seven years had passed since New Hope catapulted into the cold vacuum of space, towards a new home.
Humanity lost, Adam walked to the edge of Canis Major, the Great Dog Sea, and undeniably knew what it meant to be alone.