This is it. The last plant. The last one. The last one to perfect. And I think... I think I have finally completed the tasks Mayor Epoch set for me...
And as I look back, I wonder at the journey it has been. It has taken some time and yet though the seasons have flown by, I feel very little older. It must be the air here. I don't know. Dry, dusty, yet clean. I don't know what went before but it seems to be slowly returning to right. I feel ... invigorated some days, tempted to dance and sing. I'm not very good a singing though. I can play the violin, play the strings in a way that can bring you to tears. It's beautiful after the sun goes down. I play while the sky darkens and the lights dance.
Speaking of which, the aliens are becoming daring. The "raids" are becoming more frequent. Even in daylight! I haven't really taken notice of whether this has happened since I first made contact.
I think I've mentioned the demise of Mayor Epoch who gave me the challenge. I've followed through regardless and passed my knowledge to his son, Mayor Chilliad. We have become good friends. Well, what choice did I have really? Spark chose him for a life partner so I must abide. They have a little one now. He is very ... determined.
Fuel and I have been bustling busy. Raising 12 children together, exploring space, fishing, and finding and cultivating cow plants has been ... a rush. Most of our children arrived in multiples so it has been a HUGE learning curve. Only the triplets Columba, Delphinus, and Carina still live with us. The others have struck out to find life on their own. Galaxia was Fuel's "gift" from the Outer Reaches. I wasn't sure at first but we managed to find a way. As a parent, we can only do our best I believe. What your children do with the wisdom you try to impart is up to them. You can only stand back and watch. Spark. Well, Spark. She has found her niche I think. I hope. She and Mayor Chiliad seem content at the moment but I have seen her out partying. At the Cliffs, the Ruins, and in the clubs. As far as I know she has cheated the system and owns no cow plants, even though they have a child. I am hoping that Mayor Chiliad does not like cake.
The very odd Cliff Dwellers proved to be very friendly once I got to know them well. When I had their trust, Precipice and Crag showed me the glory of the growfruit. It's beautiful. And perfect. Once when I was "lost" upstairs in their vast and confusing dwelling, I stumbled across a strange structure. Shaped much like an arched doorway. It brought back a subtle, elusive tingle of a show I may have watched as a child. One that involved a group of magic windows, one of which was shaped like an arch. There was a side panel on the doorway and I was compelled to experiment. Was this the evidence Mayor Epoch had mentioned? That may have been a yes.
I've learned to love gardening, including the cow plants. Getting my plants to perfect has taken such a long time of dedication and a lot of help from Carina's gardening group. I felt I needed a new hobby and so introduced the bees. Most of the time they are extremely beneficial. But occasionally ... OUCH!
I've built a rocket. Complete with all the upgrades! Fuel did help but I managed most of the work myself from parts salvaged and traded. I spent ages exploring and finding odd pieces of debris. I even managed to serve as a god once or twice for a civilisation of ... I don't know what. So many space miles. And suddenly, there it was! The wormhole. And I travelled through. A bumpy ride but so worth it. At the end was a blue planet. Unusual plants and other specimens to be found! Amazing! I've travelled far enough and notched enough miles to complete my collections and achieve my aspirations. They've even been recognised! By some ... distant murky institution I did not even know existed.
The last few years a new tradition has developed. Lotto Day. Everyone - or nearly everyone - buys a ticket in the lottery. One year, I WON! I REALLY WON! What do I do with all these funds. Fuel and I discussed this many times. But I did what I wanted anyway. What do I want with a new house with our own electricty supply?? I really like the one I have. Though an unrestricted electricity supply has its own appeal. Anyway, I bought a business. Specifically, I purchased the Mercantile from the Salamanders. So here I am. A business owner. I think I've finally made it.
And now ... now I think it's time for a rest. I'm sure I've done what I needed to do. Time to settle back, enjoy what life is left to me, enjoy Fuel, and finally get to know those grandchildren. I think I'll let the triplets run the business for me. Mmmm yes.