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Aberrant: The Long March - Shooting Stars

Walter Toren

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He'd done it. He'd worked long and hard but it was finally paying off. Of course, that was a bit of a misdirection - he'd seen the results of his efforts firsthand for years, but now his work was finally nearing completion. Everyone in the world now possessed food and basic shelter. Nobody went hungry. And it was all thanks to one Walter Toren of Den Helder. Himself.

A man could get proud and arrogant, thinking like that, but damnit, he had a right to be proud. He couldn't not be proud of what he'd done.

But there was still work for him to do. He'd seen to this world's physical needs, but spiritually it was stunted. First, he wanted the world to find peace in its heart. Then perhaps it could find God. The trouble, he thought, was that his predecessors assumed one was the other, or that the order of operation should be reversed. To Walter's mind nothing was further from the truth.

God was nothing but struggle. Things just get exponentially harder when the Divine starts telling you what to do, but he didn't regret it. Ever since that day in the Lorean when he'd got on his knees in his private chambers and pleaded with the universe to please be meaningful, he had felt emboldened. Filled with cool, silver fire. Ready. He would make this world a good, happy, peaceful place because his Father wanted him to, and in this case Walter just didn't know he should want it too, as in so many other things in the beginning, he did want it.

And God help anyone who stood in his way.

Walter finally opened his eyes, sitting up in bed. The room was sparse, almost spartan, redeemed only by a few homey touches here and there that the eye barely registered. He looked out the window and there it was, the world, and it made him smile. Walter had developed a very interesting smile, invested with countless lines and sneakily cheerful looks.

He showered and dressed himself, donning a simple grey full-sleeved shirt and equally simple blue pants, both quite cheap. He inspected himself in a small mirror, the only indulgence he ever allowed himself.

Walter smiled. The reflection smiled back. Its dark hair was combed neatly and parted to the side. Its face was lined and the look in its eyes spoke of both mischief and peace.

Walter turned and his reflection turned with him, and there was the door. And through the door. And down the hall. And into the street, and see all the people.

Time to convince the world it could be better.

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