With a flash of white light, the Afterthought was gone.
No concussive blast, no slow dematerialization, no blazing pyrotechnics — if it had been a special effect in a virtual, Daniel would have called it “anticlimactic” or, more likely, “weak.”
As a real-life event, Daniel called it … nothing.
Daniel had no words. His soul hurt.
When Jeska left him five years ago, he thought he had reached the limit of human misery.
He was wrong.
At least I got to see her before she left.
That thought did not make Daniel feel better.
She didn’t even say goodbye, he thought sadly.
He took a swig of his flask and shoved it back into his robe.
Anger and sorrow battled inside him for a moment, until a greater force took over: denial.
"She'll be back," he said aloud. "No use moping."
He wanted to mope desperately. But denial felt better than grief or rage.
"Everything's going to be fine," he said, even though it wasn't. He pushed his real feelings down and examined his surroundings.
From his sitting position in front of the elevator, he saw the massive door closing in the distance.
Slowly the swirling anomaly vanished behind the door's sliding panels. Then the panels met and resealed; it looked like the wall had never opened.
Suddenly the ceiling above him began to lower.
Daniel wasn't surprised: he'd seen entire docking bays change shape to fit incoming vessels or oddly-shaped cargo.
Now that the lone ship in the visitor's bay was gone, Daniel supposed, the ceiling was probably dropping to its default height.
However, as it dropped closer, Daniel hoped its default height wouldn't crush him flat.
… but, with Jeska gone, part of him hoped it would.