Humankind's Walkabout

                A walkabout is, like all change, an act of violence. The passing of childhood as one transitions from a child into adulthood. It is the awakening, the realization that all about you lies death, and that eventually it will claim you. It is a creeping towards maturity, scrabbling free from the womb that once held you fast. But it is not just for men alone, not in the singular, but also for whole species. Entire billions forced to reconcile themselves with the ending of the safety they once knew, cast into the unknown, forced, as man was, to escape their home into space.

                And so we fled a dying Earth, consumed by the embers of an expiring star. We rose in a planetship, its treasured Motherlode, and walked-about the galaxy, an adolescence lasting millennia. We searched, a lost kin, for another home where we might be safe once more, while all around us threatened death. We looked into the black, the cold that called to us from the airlocks, the breathless end that awaited, and said "Not yet." We looked past the enticing void that whispered of a final rest. That beckoned and begged for us to succumb.

Our captain, our brave Roan Oake, whose life spanned millennia, gave her all to sustain us. Driving us, even when we would not drive ourselves, to survive, remembering—even when we forgot and lapsed back into barbarism—why we struggled. She overcame Godhood's temptation, she withstood the erosions of time, the dementia and weight of her memories. She bore loss after loss.

She bore us here, to our new home, Croatan. An oasis in the black. Is it better than Earth was? Worse? That matters little. It is all we have. Here we will live and we will die.

Until we are forced to mature again, and flee death again.