After barely convincing Gem to travel with him for a night, Ari notices that, after three weeks of with him and Lyra, Gem has made no indication that he wants to go home. In truth, Gem had lost track of time and is stunned to hear that it has been that long. Less worried than he should be about the manhunt that his parents have no doubt begun in search of their only son, Gem reluctantly admits to himself that Ari seems to have a strange hold over him. Late one evening while Lyra rests, Ari takes Gem aside and asks why he is still around.
I hate to ask but why haven’t you gone?
You stayed with me for a day but you said it wouldn’t last
Yet now three weeks have passed
You said you’d rather be on your own
Traveled with me just ‘cause I was there
You didn’t seem to care
Not that I want you to go
But you made your message clear
So why are you still here?
I have no reason to trust you
But I stand at a crossroads now
I admire your passion to live as you are, maybe you could show me how?
You’ve faced horrors I can barely imagine
Ran from a life so wicked and depraved
I know not the darkness you harbor deep within
But on the surface you seem unscathed
I know that I said I would go
But your sincerity is clear
Will you help me conquer my fear?
A faint rumble in the distance grows too powerful to ignore. An unknown celestial object enters the atmosphere and hurtles toward the city from which Gem, Ari, and Lyra have just escaped.
A blazing trail of stardust streaks across the sky
The three of us and time stand still, awestruck and terrified
I see the life of the universe flash before my eyes
The galaxy that birthed us now tears us apart
Andromeda gazes upon our home’s once beating heart
She surrounds us in a glowing sphere, a halo of peace and light
Time stops for but a moment as we stand astonished in the starlit night
But soon the crushing realization sweeps over me
We turn our eyes to the terror that has befallen the city
Through the sphere I see my world burning
The embers reduce the vibrant city to nothing but ash
My vision blurs and I see my world turning
Help me – I’m fading fast…