1. New Horizons
A Belated Birthday Gift for Jael, inspired by her Thranduil.
By Nieriel Raina
"I never thought to see the world like this."
"This damaged or from this distance?"
"Either. Are we sure this is the course we should take? We have lingered for ages."
"We remained to protect what we could, but Men ever destroy all that is green and good in the world. It is time to leave."
"It is our home."
"It was. We shall make a new home in a new land, Galion."
"Are you afraid?"
"When have you ever known me to fear anything?"
"Never. But neither did I think you would agree to board a vessel and actually leave Ennor behind."
"I do not fear what lies ahead; I fear for what we leave behind. A world bent on destroying itself: global warming, deforestation, pollution… How many species have we witnessed the extinction of?"
"Too many. My heart bled when the last tiger died in that concrete prison they call a zoo."
"As did mine when the last elephant faded of grief; when the last whale was hunted; when the last wolf breathed its final breath! Elbereth! I never thought I would grieve the death of a wolf, but a world without them? No, I cannot remain any longer in this decaying spit of ground they call a world."
"But what shall we find ahead? We know little of life there, Thranduil. Are you sure we can make a new start, find purpose and fulfillment?"
"Aye. I read the flyer thoroughly. Besides, it will be ours."
"Alright then, I'm with you, but I'm not happy with our traveling accommodations. Much too small and cold for my liking."
"We have no choice. They are the only accommodations available."
"The captain looks as though he grows impatient with your lingering. They have called for all passengers to retire to their places three times."
"It was my money that funded his project! I paid for his ship as well as financed this voyage. He can wait while I take one last look at the world I once called home."
"Remember it how it was, Thranduil, not this modern technological nightmare it has become."
"Wise words, my friend. Are you ready then?"
"As ready as I'll ever be, though I do not know why we must sleep through this voyage. It is not as if twenty years will make any difference to us."
"Not enough rations in transit. If we stay awake and consume our supplies, there will be nothing for when we arrive…like wine."
"Let's not put it off any longer then. The sooner we sleep, the sooner we awake to a new world, a world untouched by Men."
Thranduil took one more look out the window of the space station at the earth spinning like a ball in space. Then he turned his back on the sight and led the way towards the ramp leading to the colonization ship. It seemed the last elves would indeed depart Ennor by ship, only their destination would never be Valinor.