• Vol. 05
  • Chapter 12
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‘Freeze their seas,’ said Stargazer the First. ‘They’re polluted beyond control. Soon they won’t support a single lifeform.’

We stared down at the yellowing orb of Earth, breathed in its stench, some of us even cried. We’ve seen this before. We hoped we’d never see it again.

‘Agreed,’ said Stargazer the Second, fifty million miles and no distance at all away. ‘It’s clear they can no longer control their self-destructive ways. Do this for their sakes.’

‘Enough is enough,’ said Stargazer the Third. ‘My family came from earth and I will not stand by and watch my heritage perish in a stinking sea of selfishness. We’ll freeze their planet. In time. Not in temperature. And perhaps, when the thaw is commanded, they’ll have had a change of heart. A change of mind. A change of sensibility.’

We Junior Stargazers followed our Masters’ orders but I – hopeless romantic that I am – deliberately missed seventeen families in my sector. Families who are now staring up at us as we stare down at them from our – still uncountable – galaxies. Staring up at us through the great fissure we’ve made in their home. Because I still have faith, I still believe in their gifts and, if I’m proved right, when they find a way to right their wrongs, it’ll be just as my ancestor, Stargazer the Third’s grandmother, always said: Give a family enough rope and they’ll hang themselves. But give them the flax and the sisal and the cotton and the hemp and the jute and the bamboo and the coconut and they’ll find a way to live.