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Peripheral Visions: Half Lives

Kilian Melloy READ TIME: 20 MIN.

Peripheral Visions: They coalesce in the soft blur of darkest shadows and take shape in the corner of your eye. But you won't see them coming... until it's too late.

Half Lives

"May I trouble you for a moment, Dr. Bridges?"

Callum Bridges knew from the sound of Minister Jacek's voice that whatever it was he wanted, it would take longer than a moment of his time. He looked up dubiously from the holographic display of his aarovadis, where the dozens of pathology reports he had been reviewing were quickly on the way to becoming hundreds.

"Yes," he said, "but I really only have a moment, Minister."

Jacek nodded with sympathy. "I understand. But I'm afraid I'm going to have to ask you to delegate some of your more routine work to your staff."

"Delegate?" Bridges asked. "They can't keep up as it is." He glanced at the holographic display.

"That's exactly the problem I want you to solve," the minister told him, giving a glance to the display in his turn. Bridges noted that the corners of his mouth were tight and his eyes worried.

"Minister, I agree that we need a solution," Bridges said carefully, not wanting to upset Jacek further. "But we don't really understand the problem yet."

Jacek's eyes shifted again to the glowing display and stayed there. The holographic screen hovered above Bridges' desk. This was an area accessible authorized personnel; otherwise, Bridges would have adjusted the display so that its information was visible from one side only.

As it was, Jacek could clearly see the stacked electronic documents and the half dozen mini windows lined up along the display's edges. His voice was unexpectedly soft as he said, "The problem might solve itself in ways we don't want to have happen unless we can reverse the current trends."

Bridges hated the kind of speech politicians used. Even now, under Dictator Malga and his hatred of anything that contradicted his wild imagination and off-the-cuff ravings, facts had to matter; devoted to science, and not always in a safe and quiet manner, Bridges had somehow managed to keep his post as the colony's head pathologist for the last six years, after Malga had replaced the comparatively science-friendly Dictator Purvis.

But things had changed. With the accelerating wave of unexplained deaths frightening the people of the colony, no one was safe from the growing political turmoil... or the specter of mortality that threatened to undo humanity's greatest accomplishment mere months before its consummation.

Colony Ship Novum Testamentum was scheduled to enter orbit around Trappist F – known informally among the colony's people as Omnia Bene, or simply Omnia – in a few weeks' time.

The colony's growing unease was a polar opposite of, and in direct correspondence to, the jubilant mood of the last few years. People had brightened up, had spoken of their dreams for the future, as the landing day promised so long ago by the Pioneer Fathers approached.

A new world! Life on the surface of a new world, rather than carried out, as it had been for centuries, within the confines of the colony ship. A sky above, Bridges had told himself every morning for the last few years, and true ground... soil, rock, the living body of a planet... below. A way of living their distant Earthbound ancestors had never questioned, a planet-bound existence seemed so alien to the people of the Novum Testamentum, and yet was so achingly, atavistically desired.

Dictator Malga, despite his famous contempt for science, had sensed the excitement of the people and tried to make it into an excitement for himself. "No more will we exist like dried samples in a bottle," he had said in a recent address. "No more will our families be limited to two children to each couple, with an occasional third child awarded to random recipients of the Family Exemption to keep our population stable. We will be able to fulfill the old commandment: To 'be fruitful and multiply.' We will bring new life, and we will live the full measure of our own lives! We will no longer merely maintain; we will build! We will no longer merely exist; we will flourish! These half-lives we have lived will become great again, full again! We will have a new world, an entire world to cherish – and to dominate!"

Domination – the dictator's favorite theme.

Malga's speech had been greeted with cheers – real cheers, joyous rather than obligatory, cheers that reflected the great optimism of the age.

Of course, the golden future everyone planned for was predicated on the assumption that the space telescopes that had examined Omnia more than four centuries ago had seen correctly, and that their data had been properly interpreted. Omnia was not an ideal world; it dwelled under a dim red sun, gravitationally locked so that one face was perpetually bathed in light while the other remained forever in shadow. But if the scientists back on Earth had deciphered the telescopes' readings correctly, then Omnia should have oceans and continents, and an atmosphere rich with oxygen. The oceans and the atmosphere would distribute heat to the planet's dark side, and there would be a zone between Day and Night where a perpetual twilight would glow in the sky. It would suffice: Their genetically modified grain grew well under the limited artificial light of the great ship's sprawling agricultural areas, and would grow also under Omnia's dusky skies.

The Trappist system lay nearly 40 light years away from Earth, an incomprehensibly enormous gap of dark emptiness that the Novum Testamentum had spent close to six hundred years crossing. The vast generation ship had served its purpose well; it was holding up in all the crucial ways, with its power systems and structural integrity intact. Other systems were in worse repair; the ship's telescopes had gone offline two and a half centuries earlier, around the time of the Changeover, when the democratic government intended to serve as a blueprint for the new colony had been replaced with the more hierarchical one of today, a power structure that had been modeled on the chain of command that defined of the ship's operating crew.

As a child in the ship's school, Bridges had learned that humanity was unruly by nature and needed – no, actively desired – a strong hand, or else chaos and destruction would overwhelm the colony. The Succession of Dictators, he had been told, had ensured the eventual success of the ship's mission.

As he grew older, however, Bridges came to see what most of the educated class on the ship knew in a quiet way that was never put into words: A tradition of control had replaced competence, with authority a goal in itself rather than a status earned through effective leadership.

Hence Malga, an ignorant and self-obsessed autocrat. And hence, in Bridges' view at least, the ship's increase in social friction and a long-growing sense of discontent and oppression. It was no surprise, he thought, that the impending Landing Day made for an expansive and excited anticipation. After all, on a new world, old patterns might fall away and anything might happen... even a new form of government where personal liberty was prized over submission to divinely-appointed Dictators. Not that Malga and his soldiers were likely to let that happen.

But such oppression was in the future. For now, all seemed well. The mark of the ship's success was its carrying capacity of 5,380 live human beings; that number was only somewhat reduced from its original complement of 6,000 Pioneer Fathers and their families.

But now, but now...

It had all been going so well, Bridges thought, it had all seemed so blessed. But now, as though in the clutches of some malicious trickster god, people were dying... not suddenly, and not all at once, but dying they were, and the numbers were worrying. The crucial question – the one Jacek was dancing around in his politicians' way – was simple: What was killing the colonists?

The answer had eluded Bridges, his staff, and every other life science specialist on the ship for almost four months. The first wave of deaths had numbered fewer than a dozen, yet they were all strikingly similar. Mostly elderly people, or people with chronic health conditions, the first casualties had simply seemed to languish – "fading away," as one of Bridges' colleagues had put it – until they died. But there was one glaring, and highly alarming, exception to that general rule: Young, healthy women were dying, too... but only if they were pregnant.

Healthy people suddenly taking ill, slipping into inexplicable decline and dying. Nothing was wrong with them; there were no tumors, no hormonal imbalances or organ system disorders, and toxicology screenings of their blood showed nothing amiss. They simply weakened and died.

Malga's government had kept a lid on things by limiting the dissemination of information and spreading a number of increasingly improbable stories about novel viruses, trace contaminants in the air, and even something they were calling "deaths of despair," which made no sense given the fevered sense of anticipation that had taken hold as preparations for the eventual landing had been stepped up.

Bridges understood that Jacek must be under enormous pressure to deliver a solution as quickly as possible, all while keeping word of the deaths – the "pandeathic," Bridges had taken to calling it – under wraps so as not to panic the colonists. But that panic couldn't be prevented for long. The situation had quickly grown worse: More than half the colony's older population were ailing now, and more than thirty of the colony's 620 pregnant women were, in the parlance of the crisis, fading. Concern was growing. Widespread fear – and possible revolt – loomed as an inevitable outcome.

"Minister, please understand we are all working as hard as we can," Bridges said. "But I can't solve the problem if I don't know what it is."

"Have you found nothing to explain the crisis?"

"We have one lead so far," Bridges said. "It's hard to explain, but the underlying pathology for the recent deaths seems to be similar to starvation."

"Are the afflicted people not eating?" Jacek asked.

"No, they are; that's the puzzling thing. They're eating their rations, but somehow their rations aren't sustaining them."

"Can we increase rations? Would that help?"

"I'm afraid not," Bridges sighed. "We only became aware of this correlation a few days ago, and the first thing we did was increase the food allotments among those we know to be afflicted. But it made no difference. Their bodies are simply not thriving."

"Could it be a problem with the air, as we said last week?" Jacek asked.

Bridges smiled grimly. A lie that conveniently turned out to be true would be a blessing right now. Alas, that was not the case. Point by point, Bridges took the minister through his team's most recent theories and the reasons why they didn't hold up.

"In other words," he summarized, "there's no reason this should be happening. People are simply getting weaker – we don't know why."

"And you? Personally, I mean, and aside from the data – do you have a theory?" Jacek pressed. "Even if it's nothing more than an intuition?"

Bridges hesitated. "I might," he said. "But..."

"Don't hedge, just tell me," Jacek said – the first time he had departed from his politically cautious manner and spoken bluntly. Somehow, Bridges found that to be a comfort.

"All right, then," Bridges said, deciding to be just as blunt. "Bear with me. This is not easy to explain."

Jacek made an impatient gesture for him to proceed.

"Put simply, the basis of life as we know it is energy," Bridges told him. "Organisms evolved – or were created," he added hastily, conscious of the requirement for all colonists, and especially for officials, to demonstrate belief in Dictator Malga's preferred faith tradition – "to take advantage of energy. Simple organisms in the oceans, and the plants that followed them, got their energy from Earth's sun, Sol. Animals on Earth that eat plants therefore also get their energy from Sol, and predatory animals that eat other animals are the third rung of this 'energy ladder,' if you will. And then there's man: We alone among animals have retained, or perhaps re-adapted, an ability to absorb energy directly from the environment. Not just visible sunlight, but also light on other wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum. On Earth, much of the ambient energy our bodies made use of was in the form of cosmic rays – a kind of energy we did not even know about until the late 19th century."

"Yes, yes," Jacek said.

"In other words, minister, all life on our home planet – all energy in the biosphere of the Earth – is powered by Sol," Bridges said. "If there's native life on Omnia, that life, too, will derive its energy from the planet's sun."

"Novus," Jacek said.

Bridges nodded. The star was actually called TRAPPIST-1, but the colonists had their own names for everything in the system they intended to colonize, and long ago they had dubbed the red sun Novus Dies, "New Day," in line with the colony's tradition of using the ancient language Latin for names – a tradition that had started with the ship's own designation.

"Novus is a cool red giant," Bridges said. "Omnia orbits very close to Novus – that's why it's warm enough for liquid water to exist on the surface. The atmosphere contains water vapor as well as oxygen – enough water to indicate oceans, which implies fresh water, and enough oxygen that we will be able to breathe quite comfortably, assuming the atmospheric readings were correct and the other gases int he atmosphere are argon and some helium. All of this means the planet might already be habitable when we arrive. If it's not, we will terraform it, tailoring it to our needs. But in either case, the abundance of solar radiation the planet receives will be a bounty for us, as it was back on Earth."

"Manna from Heaven," Jacek nodded.

"We don't have a sun on the ship, of course, so the hull and the interior bulkheads are designed to allow a certain amount of cosmic radiation to enter," Bridges continued. "The Pioneer Fathers in their wisdom had faith that cosmic radiation would be sufficiently similar to the solar wind of our home system for our bodies to adapt, and, as our history texts tell us, the physicians back on Earth helped to prepare the bodies of the Pioneer Fathers and their families with gene therapy."

Jacek sighed with impatience at the long lecture.

"I'm almost done, Minister, if you'll indulge me just a moment more," Bridges said. "Now, I reiterate all of this, which I'm sure you remember from school, so that my theory will make sense."

"Are you sure you're not being sarcastic?" Jacek asked snidely. He had been appointed to his post as Minister of Health not because of any specialization in medicine – he had been an economist originally – but because he was part of Malga's inner circle. That was a dangerous place to be in times like these, given Malga's unstable temperament and lack of personal loyalty even to his closest allies and confidantes. No wonder Jacek seemed so agitated.

"No, Minister, it's important to have all these points fresh in mind," Bridges assured him, "because they relate directly to my theory. I think it's possible that as we approach the Trappist system, cosmic rays are somehow being deflected. I fear that when we enter the system, we will find it devoid of cosmic rays."

Minster Jacek's entire demeanor changed. He was no longer jittery and anxious; now he seemed deep in thought... and, Bridges thought, terrified.

"That would mean that as we draw closer to our goal, our people will die more quickly," Jacek said after half a minute of silence. "But once we are in the system, near the star, its radiation will sustain us. Can we survive that long?"

"If our sensors still worked, we might be able to say," Bridges told him. "But as it is, we just don't know. And my theory might not even be correct. It seems to fit the facts, but it could be completely wrong."

"And you say we can't make up the energy deficiency through diet?"

Bridges shook his head. "As I said, we tried that and it didn't work. It's not a surprise. Our rations have been specifically formulated to give us the vitamins and minerals, as well as the fiber, our bodies need, as well as a certain amount of chemically derived energy. But our bodies work the way they work, and our diet cannot be improved to deliver more energy through digestive means. We need to find a way to allow more ambient energy into the ship – possibly by removing some of the protective shielding that has prevented excessive radiation from penetrating the hull."

Bridges paused. Jacek had started chuckling under his breath. As Bridges watched, Jacek seemed to be wracked with growing laughter; then the laughter turned to sobs, and the minister covered his eyes with a forearm, rubbing his sleeve against his face. Bridges wasn't sure if he should be worried or simply give Jacek a minute to compose himself.

After a short time, Jacek recovered. His eyes were bloodshot, but he gave Bridges a smile... a hopeless smile, Bridges realized, when he heard the minister's tone of voice with his next words.

"You're good at science. Do you recall another lesson from your school days?" Jacek asked. "The story of the Warm Breath?"

"Of course. God gave the first man the ability to subsist on sunlight and air," Bridges said. "That's the layman's way of describing what I was talking about earlier – the human body's ability to make use of ambient energy."

"Yes, yes," Jacek said impatiently.

"It's clear that God intended us to go out into the stars," Bridges said, mistaking Jacek's irritation for a desire to hear the theological, rather than scientific, explanation. "The universe is full of radiant energy, and our specially adapted cells make it possible to for us to thrive on long space journeys and to populate new planets. This cannot be mere coincidence. Anywhere a sun's radiation isn't too intense, we should be able to flourish. It's clear God intends for us to spread throughout the universe."

"Yes," Jacek said. "Perfectly recited, even if I suspect you do not truly believe it."

Bridges kept a neutral expression and said nothing.

A strange look came over Jacek – one that seemed poised between more laughter and more sobs. Then he said, "Bridges, I have to take you into my confidence. If you are to solve the problem of our dying colonists, you will have to understand the Warm Breath."

"But I do," Bridges said, "I understand how it works, how it contributes to human metabolic function."

"But you don't know its true origin."

Bridges hesitated. Was this a test of his adherence to religious writ? No, he decided; nothing Jacek had said indicated he was a zealot. "I can't explain its origin for certain, but the theory I subscribe to is that in the year 800, when a gamma ray burst struck the Earth, the people of Northern Europe – ancestors to everyone on the ship – experienced what we call an 'adaptive shift,' a kind of rapid adaptation that can take place in a couple of generations, or even within a single generation, when an organism's environment is altered so suddenly and so profoundly that the organism itself responds at a genetic level..."

Bridges trailed off again. Jacek was shaking his head and the soft chuckling had returned.

"No," he said "No, no, no. Not at all. That's completely wrong, I'm afraid."

"Of course, some do prefer the Theory of Intelligent Adaptation," Bridges began.

Jacek's soft chuckling became a sharp bark of laughter. "No!" he said, his voice almost angry, and Bridges went silent.

The two stared at each other for a moment.

"Do you know something?" Bridges asked, wondering why, if Jacek did have some special knowledge, he was pressing Bridges for answers.

"Dr. Bridges, please forgive me, but... many things you and most of the other colonists believe about human adaptation, or evolution as you call it, are the product of a long-standing set of educational protocols."

"You mean propaganda?" This was not news to Bridges; as a physician, versed in chemistry, biology, and physics, he had long seen through any number of schooldays fables.

"More than that, I'm afraid," Jacek said. "At the time of the Changeover, as I'm sure you know, many things became different for the colony."

"We lost our communications back to Earth, as well as our telescopes and most other means of sensing the space around us," Bridges said.

"Do you know why?"

"Unrest. Resistance. Rebels. Sabotage," Bridges said.

"The theories of the self-appointed intellectual class, who spurn the fairy tales handed down by the elite," sighed Jacek. "I'm afraid you don't know as much as you think you do. Although none of us do... those fairy tales, I'm afraid, are so pervasive no one really knows the truth anymore. But I do know a good deal of privileged information, and I'm going to tell you now – I'm going to tell you because that's the only chance we have of finding a solution to this death spiral we're in."

"If you know this, why haven't you – "

"Let me explain," Jacek interrupted, and Bridges went silent again, waiting.

Jacek took a deep breath. The moment seemed to hang.

"It's like this," Jacek said.


The star was called Betelgeuse. A gigantic red star, it glared at Earth across a gulf of more than 642 light years. Astronomers had known for decades that Betelgeuse was near the end of its life; it was due to expire in a matter of years, perhaps centuries.

Then, one night, it happened: The star erupted into a ball of expanding, fiery gas, sending out a powerful pulse of gamma radiation. The actual eruption had occurred centuries before, of course; it took six and a half centuries for the light of the supernova to reach Earth, and the radiation along with it.

By coincidence – or, some theorized, as a result of the supernova – Sol erupted, too, in a series of powerful flares that lashed its small family of planets, stripping away much of the Earth's protective ozone layer high in the atmosphere and, paradoxically, creating ozone near the surface. All of this took place at a point in time by which Earth's own native dominant form of life, humans, had damaged the planet's climate and set a mass extinction into motion.

The combined catastrophes worsened global problems of desertification, migration, and unrest. Fragile democracies, already pushed to their limits, crumbled; authoritarian states rose where once they had been resisted. Those authoritarian states, built on empty promises of renewed prosperity and brutally enforced doctrines of domination, savaged their own people; but they also turned against one another as once-abundant resources grew scarce.

World War III was the result. A full nuclear exchange between various countries sent missiles churning across the skies, arrows unleashed from continent to continent and, where they landed, devastating balls of fire and radioactive ash burst into lethal being.


Bridges stared at Jacek, stunned.

"It's true," Jacek told him. "This much I know for certain. From here on, parts of the story become... well, muddled. Struggles and battles for survival broke out, and the victors wrote the history books, and those books are distorted and incomplete."

"How do you know any part of the story is what really happened?" Bridges asked.

"I don't, but I am inclined to believe the texts that explain what I've told you so far are more accurate than the texts that came after. There's a small hidden library – a collection of a dozen books that ministers are required to read to understand where we are at, and how we got here."

"How did we get here?" Bridges asked. "How did a world so diminished by ecological collapse and war manage to build and launch a colony ship?"

"What you need to understand is that this is a survival colony – and not a colony ship at all," Jacek told him.

"I don't... what do you mean?"

"Human beings never left the Earth for the stars. There was never a great colony ship built and launched. This huge array of domiciles and public pavilions, agricultural areas and control centers... it all exists underground on our damaged, weary planet, not in space."

Bridges stared at him, still not comprehending.

"You see," Jacek said, "a number of governments... and, where governments had already slid into decline, factions... built survival colonies, elaborate subterranean cities equipped to endure for decades, or even centuries. Many of them did not survive. The prospect of nuclear war loomed large, but no one thought of all the ramifications – including the damage done to existing nuclear power plants. And I don't mean the colony's small array or fusion reactors, I mean a network of fusion plants and older, dirtier fission reactors. Some of those old fission reactors went into meltdown..."

"Oh my god," Bridges whispered. "Oh, my sweet and loving god..."

"A god no one believes in these days, not even our dear dictator," sighed Jacek. "Yes, one catastrophe led to another, and another... and our own colony, though it survived, was situated close enough to a meltdown disaster that the radiation in the area was too much for its deep-dug architecture and its inadequate shielding. Everyone started to die. This colony.... our colony... was designed and constructed under the supervision of some of the world's last scientists, trained men and women – "

"Women?" Bridges gasped.

"Their generation was not as steeped in..." Jacek laughed bitterly. "... in what we call 'tradition' as we are now. The colony as originally a democracy, you know, and that was at the insistence of the scientists who helped build it. The strongman who ruled the country at the time only pretended to agree to their demands for a democratic form of government within the colony, and their plan to reestablish democracy on the surface one the world became habitable again. The Changeover was always intended to happen – it just took longer than the elites intended. The memory of the catastrophes was too strong, and the memory of... of how we used to be."

"You mean, dying from radiation?"

"Yes, but more than that... the way humans used to be. The way our bodies worked before the gene therapy. Before we were artificially adapted to use the ambient radiation that was killing us, use it to sustain our bodies, reduce our dependence on chemically derived energy, and thus make it possible for the output of our agricultural areas to feed us."

"The Warm Breath..." Bridges began, unable to complete the sentence – or the thought behind it.

"A gift from the Father Pioneers, not from God. They and their scientist friends created a new species of humanity – different from the old species in some ways, but not in the ways that would have guaranteed our long-term survival." Jacek stared and the floor and sighed.

"What do you mean?" Bridges asked.

"I mean..." Jacek threw an arm out to indicate the entire ship... underground colony, Bridges corrected himself.

"Just like the old world, our colony has been subverted and dominated," Jacek told him. "A greedy few diminishing the future of everyone else, endangering the survival of the entire race."

Bridges stared at the floor in turn, overcome. His mind struggled to put the newly revealed pieces together and comprehend the whole picture.

Then he understood.

"Of course," he whispered. He looked up at the minister. "Of course..."

"What?" Jacek asked him.

"Of course we're dying! Of course we are! The scientists provided a solution for the immediate problem, but, just like you said, they didn't save us in the long run. Perhaps they meant to... perhaps democracy survived for as long as it did because of the plans they made, and free scientific inquiry, and widespread education.... all those myths people whisper about... Don't you see?"

Jacek shook his head, looking confused.

"Those things were intended to help us preserve scientific expertise and genetic knowledge... to enable us to restore humanity's original form when the time came, when the modifications they made would no longer be necessary." Bridges nodded, his eyes distant, as the picture came into clearer focus. "In a way, it's a failsafe... if those scientists were serious about wanting a free society to be established once again on the face of the Earth, they could only do it by ensuring the race would die if education and science, if facts, were not prioritized over fantasies..."

"What are you talking about?" Jacek asked him. "Have you figured out the problem? Do you understand why people are dying?"

"Yes!" Bridges cried. "Yes! It's inevitable. With the passage of time, the radioactive elements polluting the world outside our colony are decaying. Their half-lives mean that there is less and less ambient energy to penetrate our colony complex... and our modified physiology is being starved of the energy that the radioactivity once provided."

Now it was Jacek who was staring and stunned.

"Don't you see? When the Changeover happened and the dictators took over and destroyed our archives, denied education to all but a necessary few... well, in doing so, they slit the throat of future generations," Bridges explained, still working it out for himself. "We no longer possess the knowledge to revert to our original physiology. We're dependent on a source of energy that was destined to fade away..." The words hung in the air, a ghastly repetition of the way the colony's mass deaths were being described. "Fading away," Bridges whispered, appalled at the realization that nothing could save them.

"What can we do?" Jacek asked him. The full truth had not registered with him yet, either because he didn't know how to think like a scientist or, more likely, because he didn't want to believe it.

"Do?" Bridges looked up at the minister angrily. "Nothing! The same human failings that doomed our ancestors have doomed us, as well. It would take us years to devise gene therapy to reverse the modifications that helped us survive centuries ago but are killing us now. It would take us years even to understand genetics as well as we did back then, never mind developing therapeutic applications. What can we do? Only what the tyrants of the original human race set us on course to do all those centuries ago... die!"

Jacek walked away, shaking his head, angry at Bridges for what he called the pathologist's "defeatism" and "divisiveness."

Mere words, Bridges thought, words he had no use for, useless words coming from a useless functionary of a failed government and a failed race.

Bridges sat at his desk, the glowing aarovadis display with its hundreds of case files hovering in the air. None of it mattered now.

Their destination had been a new world, all right... a world reborn on the same Earth humans had disrespected to their cost. But neither old humanity nor new had ever made it to the stars – that was a story that came either from distorted half-truths and half-forgotten histories, or an outright lie invented by the dictators and their propagandists.

Bridges thought about the celebratory mood in the colony, all based on a fiction fed to the gullible public. That mood had all but dissipated. Word would spread as the mass die-off accelerated. People would see it for themselves. There would be panic, and revolt, and massacres as Malga struggled to hold on to power. Bridges had feared all this was coming, but he had held on to a hope that it could be avoided somehow.

Bridges no longer had that hope. Now he knew the truth. He chuckled under his breath, just as Jacek had done, and then, like Jacek, he laughed until he wept.

"Peripheral Visions" will return with a twelfth and final season in September.

by Kilian Melloy , EDGE Staff Reporter

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.

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