The gods were leaving.
They’d left behind their texts, the sacred fires, and vials of healing water, and boarded a silver boat that sailed through the sky. The high priests averted their eyes, bowing in supplication until their vessel was out of sight. Then, they turned on each other. Nobody understood why they had been abandoned, but each was sure it was one of the others’ fault.
Aboard the rocket, Lexy watched the undeveloped alien planet shrink, sadness mixing with a warm feeling. She was sure it was better off than when she’d found it. Missionary work was so rewarding.