The angeli had warships the size of small cities, but they�d expected more than two of us and we dodged their fire easily enough, ducking and weaving past the gun turrets, shepherding the missile carefully through. The smaller craft behind were harder to evade but by then Lily�s army had arrived � the strange pale monsters that drift between galaxies. Out beyond Pluto they had seemed sad and gentle, but here they were deadly and our enemies didn�t stand a chance.
As for myself, Lily and the missile, we left the chaos behind and hurtled off across the void between the battle and the Sun�s surface � a silent and strangely timeless last journey together. Ahead, the shimmering disc swelled until it appeared to have engulfed the universe. Swirling shapes on its surface seemed to beckon us, but I couldn�t tell if they were real or just a blind man�s hallucination. Radiation crackled along my bones and the sucking gravity drew us in ever faster, oblivious to the annihilation we carried.
I saw the end of our journey in Lily�s eyes. There was nothing left to do now except cling to each other as we tumbled headlong into the white fire.
Faint starlight glinted on the ice outside the cave and Pluto hung low in the sky. What remained of the Sun was barely visible now from Charon�s surface, diminishing with every hour. I glanced down at Lily�s sleeping form. Her head was in my lap and I stroked it gently.
Only fractured memories remained of being hurled across space by the explosion. When I last glimpsed the Sun properly, there was already a black stain spreading over its surface, the missile�s chain reaction working already. My power seeped away and Lily used the last of hers bringing us to land. We couldn't leave now.
Charon and Pluto face each other across their common orbit � Hell and his ferryman circling warily in the outer darkness. It seemed an appropriate enough place to end.
There was the sound of a footfall close by. Lily stirred in her sleep and I dared not move for fear of waking her. I thought for a moment that Uriel had returned, but then remembered that Lily had killed him. And the sigh I heard seemed to come from the whole universe.
In a moment, the world changed and I found myself surrounded by grass and birdsong.
I realise now what happened when the universe sighed. I can�t fly between the planets anymore, but I�ve been given a generously long life and I've travelled widely across this new world. It was about five winters ago and I was walking on virgin snow through the pine forests of what will become northern Europe. I stood spellbound and silent as the mammoth shambled across my path and disappeared into the twilight. It was then that I understood.
There are a few angeli surviving here and there. They call themselves nephilim although they don�t fool me. However, they too have lost all their powers and are no particular trouble.
Lily says I should take a wife from one of the tribes � perhaps I will one day. I haven�t seen her much recently. She prefers the darkness and I have grown used to the light. But sometimes, when the moon is full�
It is best not to dwell on what has been or what will be, so I will bury these writings at the back of the cave and then see if I can live with what the present brings. The future is for you to face now.
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