“You found it?” I asked, softly. Li nodded. She held out the small vacuum-sealed container.
“It’s… immense,” I whispered, staring up at the city. “Bigger than Atlantis, even. And without water, to support things.”
I closed Betty’s phone, and let out a sigh of relief. “Alright. It sounds like everyone’s safe. That woman, Wendy, is back in Zion. Daryl, John, Walter, and Jormungandr are back at the sinkhole.” I frowned at the phone. “Everyone returned to the place where they entered… Except for you three.”
“Salmon,” I said, nodding my head as the plane came in for a landing on the Binghamton county air strip. “Smoked salmon. That’s what I’m going to have him make when we get there.”
In the sea, perfection is all around us. In the sea, we are cushioned from the vagaries of chance and mutation and all of those countless catastrophes that regularly rock the surface world. There are creatures in the sea that are so perfect that they have not changed in hundreds of millions of years. Sharks remain a perfect predator, largely unchanged over the course of time that dwarfs any civilization’s lifespan. Their behavior does not change. Their diet does not change. They continue, eternal, and beautiful.
The water churned as it filled in the sink hole. My fingers throbbed with each beat of my heart. The earth stood still beneath my feet.
There was someone warm in my bed. I shifted slightly, an arm going over them, squeezing them gently. They were soft. I squeezed a little bit tighter, pressing my face into warm, soft, faintly musky hair. I felt an ear flick against my nose, and a soft purr filled the air, the vibration rocking my chest. “Good morning, Horace.”