Jihan stood at her spot on the mountain top. From there she could see the troops overrunning the green energy dome that covered her fellow colonist. She hated herself that she was not there with them waiting to die.

She was about to turn away when something caught her eye. There were two flaming balls of light up in the sky. Coming down out of the sky came two flaming streaks. The air cracked as a sonic boom ricocheted off the mountain walls. The first one came down to the west of Heaven’s Peak. It detonated with blinding white light. The second flash exceeded the glow of the first and Jihan had to hide her face from the blinding light. When she could see again a pair of matching white mushroom clouds rose to the height of where she was standing. Nothing could be seen below the towers of smoke and fire.  

Jihan turned and ran down the path of the mountain where she was so tired she fell to her knees and began to cry uncontrollably. The Khad’s were dead, but so were the colonists and Matt. It was the price of freedom. But the price was much more than she could ever have imagined it would be.          

Jihan was beside herself with grief. She had never dreamed that her people would decide to sacrifice themselves in the face of defeat. To see them all obliterated in front of her eyes was more than she could handle. Beyond the loss was the complete unknown. Her life had come crashing down upon her. Yet to make matters worse she was still alive. Only then did she understand what her mother must have felt the moment before she plunged herself into the raging river. All this time Jihan could not comprehend how she could kill herself and leave her only child behind. It was clear just how much pain she must have been in.

Up ahead there stood the very same river she had lost her mother to. She had very little time to decide but even less hope to live for. There was no point in continuing in the agony. She would join her mother and father.

Just then Old Bethany appeared shaking her finger at her. “How could you kill your own child?” 

“What?” Suddenly Jihan stopped walking and placed her hand on her belly. “What are you telling me?”

Old Bethany spoke again. “Kill yourself kill your child.”

“My child?” The realization was stronger than the pain she felt over her loss. It was a realization filled with hope. It was Asim’s child she was carrying. For that reason, she wanted to live. To find him and tell him they were to have a child. Jihan hurried down the path towards Asim’s camp.

Behind her Old Bethany transformed into Rumana.

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