The night lay still around him, the heavens above clear and cloudless. The stars of the galaxy twinkled merrily, seemingly close enough to reach out and touch. His gaze was fixed upon his wife’s ship as it departed for new lands; their final farewells had been exchanged mere moments ago.
He wasn’t a man given to nostalgia or sentimentality, but looking at Aria’s ship as it disappeared into a river of starlight was enough to bring him close to tears. Aria, after all their time together, had left with the next expeditionary group to journey beyond known space. He would never see her again.
He let out a sigh that transformed into a contented smile. Aria was what made life worth living. Aria and his new-born son, who would one day follow the footsteps of Aria’s father in exploring strange new worlds. Aria had wanted to name him Arius, after her father; he’d insisted he be named Aria himself. He hoped Aria would appreciate the gesture once she was far away and unable to help him raise their child.