Richard wasn’t sure where he would go next in life. He definitely wanted to continue in genetic engineering, but he wasn’t sure where or how. Though it was exhilarating to have contributed to the Noxians, he knew things wouldn’t always go that smoothly. He could very easily have been in the earlier generations who had no success, and even if he found critical information he might never know it.
As it was, there weren’t any races who were in peril of dying out- at least not publicly. The Noxians hadn’t been, either. So, even if there were more who he could help, he wouldn’t be able to find them nor would they likely be open to help from a stranger. At least with the Noxians, he had a connection.
Richard wanted to do something helpful, whether that was for a few people or a whole planet. That wasn’t much different from a number of other people of course. Not everyone wanted to help others, but Richard was sure there were many good people who did.
The only question was how he would go about it. He thought back to some of his first experiments involving plants. While those weren’t necessarily useful, plants in general were, especially those that produced food. On large worlds, there wasn’t really a problem of food production, but out on newly developing planets they had more problems. The soil compositions and atmosphere were different, which meant many staple foods wouldn’t produce as much as expected. Thus, they would need custom genetic engineering, but depending on the scale of the effort, they might not have it or be able to afford it. Sometimes, that would be because of misplaced enthusiasm and poorly planned colonies, but sometimes the people had no other choice. People might need to flee their planet to get away from other groups, and they couldn’t always just move to a populated world. Richard thought he would enjoy helping those who needed it while also solving genetic engineering problems. Of course, if he volunteered his work, he’d have to get money some other way. Richard would work out the details before he actually did anything.
Such work would be fulfilling, but Richard didn’t want work- even charity type work- to be his only goal in life. Among other things, he wanted to continue his race. Although he didn’t remember any of them in person, the messages had given him the sort of attachment he would have developed naturally. He was in a perfectly good place to accomplish that, though not by himself. He wondered if Elena would be open to a relationship now that her goal was being accomplished. Of course, normally such a relationship would not be able to produce children, but for Richard that wasn’t a problem. If Elena wasn’t interested, he could find someone else… or attempt another method, but he wasn’t particularly confident in that. Richard wasn’t planning to rush into that anyway.
Jot was doing well, and so were Hiroshi and Jessica. Susan was still making up for the life she missed as a child. She hadn’t decided what she really wanted to do with her life, but some people never did. They made a choice, of course, but not an intentional one. Finally, Richard’s parents… were off exploring again. They still kept in contact, but they didn’t see each other in person so often. Well, Richard would be willing to be that when he actually had kids of his own, they would show up. One day, Richard would be sending children of his own off to school, and wondering how their lives would turn out. Hopefully, it would be eventful… but perhaps less dangerous than Richard’s own.
Author’s note: Thanks for reading! I wasn’t sure exactly where this story would end up when I started it, but I like how it turned out. However, without the support of readers, it would have been hard to keep up the motivation to write it.