It had been seven long months. Harland threw the headset tiredly onto the adjacent seat and let his neck relax. Sagging back into the contoured support his eyelids slid down. The lessening of light flooding into his brain was surprisingly welcome. After so long without the bonfire of humanity in the interminable darkness he had expected to be overcome by a thirst to drink it all in. Having come full circle through the great blackness he now felt strangely foreign. His mission a success, he would be welcomed a hero, but now, already the question arose, at what cost?