Ellie peered across the ejection zone. After thirty years, new life had begun to take hold in that wasteland. It was gnarled and mean and stubborn life, just like Ellie. And just like her, it lived in the shadow of the Ring.
The Ring stood as tall as the skyscrapers from Ellie’s childhood. It was a jagged circle against the sky, nearly complete. The gap was only a few degrees across now. Twenty years ago, the first time Ellie had seen the Ring, it had almost been a semicircle. At that rate, in another year it would complete.