At The End of Some Things
As the ring expanded outward, shearing through all matter in its path, Deephelmsman Etrual repeated his mantra as he had been taught to. The act of prayer was a comfort, though normally the phrase was merely syllables used to assist in concentration. Now, however, as the ship began to shake and shudder, he focused on the words. The outer helm split like cracked lips, and as the methane poured out into the big dark, he found himself overcome by a sense of calm. The planet was gone. Clutch upon clutch blinked out, and his was one of the first ships offworld. No delusions were harbored about what future his people had, but instead of boiling with rage and fear, he kissed the cold and forcibly sighed as his lungs depressurized.
“There are still bright spots in the sky.”