“Your presence is requested by Governor Montross, Sir,” the soldier on the left replied.
Garik looked over his shoulder at Soren, who had lowered his spoon. They made eye contact, and Garik mouthed the words ‘I’m sorry.’
Facing back at the men, Garik nodded. They turned and walked to their patrol shuttle.
“Soren, I’ll be back. Just put my stew back into the pot. Make sure to wash up and get to bed early, okay?”
“I will, Dad.”
“Love you, bud,” Garik said, walking out to the craft.
Soren looked at his reflection in the soup, or at least the parts of himself that were visible among the chunks of meat and rice. This time, his appetite was gone.
He poured both his and his father’s bowl back into the simmering pot, and turned off the heat on the stove.
The home was empty, and he was alone. Solitude was Soren’s biggest fear, and being in it left him feeling melancholic.
He tried washing the dishes, reading novels on his datapad, and even pacing, but his mind would always return to the craft. All Soren's brain could see was the burning blip on the horizon.