Alezandros held his older sister’s hand. He glanced behind him. The darkness of the Underground nearly swallowed his parents, but he caught their silhouettes within it. Up ahead, thin light illuminated the entrance.
“Come on, Zanny. You’re too slow.” Kaire tugged on his hand and marched towards the light.
“Go on, son. It’ll be a treat to see where we once all lived.” Father shooed them forward.
“Why don’t we—” His question was lost in the amazement of the surface.
A fresh breeze rustled his darkened locks. The strands seemed to recognize the air and waved in greeting. He had felt the generated air within the tunnels and their home, but nothing like this. It was cold too, nearly frigid. It burned his lungs, but it made him feel more alive. The fear drifted away with each icy breath.
The light came from the weak sun in the sky. He’d heard about the sun and how Medusa was too far from it now. The sky swirled in blues and grays. He’d never seen such colors except on fabric.
In the distance, rocks poked up from the ground. No, not rocks. Buildings. It was where they used to live before the asteroid. Before everything changed, including the climate, plants, animals. Everything.
“That’s really the city, isn’t it? Do you think we’ll find things still there?” Kaire’s voice rose in pitch with each word, her green eyes bright.
“Yes, that’s the city,” Mother said, stroking Kaire’s thick strands. “Now you two need to stay with us. We’ll show you around, but it’s still a dangerous place.”
“Will we get to see where grandma and grandpa lived?” He’d never met them, but he heard the stories, how they bravely fought for a right at a better life on their neighboring planet Persea.
“Yes, we’ll take you.” Father smiled, a genuine smile that made Alezandros’s heart sing.
“Race you, Zanny!” Kaire took off in a loping sprint.
For a second, he imagined what Medusa must’ve looked like before the disaster. It must’ve been beautiful. Then, he ran to catch up, but he knew he never would. She was older and stronger. He would still try. And at the moment, he didn’t care if he won or lost.
He was on the surface.