"Where is my son?"

Luther looked up just in time as a bolt of ethereal energy crashed into
the sedan sofa he lounged on, instantly reducing it to charred
splinters. Switching from a state of complete relaxation to martial
alertness in half a second, he unhooked his black spear from its resting
place on the wall and turned to face the open window.

His lover was as beautiful as he remembered. Her flowing golden hair was
tied back with a silver clasp and several pins. She wore a green silk
dress with matching boots and hat. Her skin was soft and radiant, her
body lithe and deadly, a warrior's figure. Framed in the windowsill
against the pale moonlight, her hair blew in the icy breeze. The
expression on her face was one of carefully controlled fury. There was a
reason she was called 'The Moody Goddess'.

"Freya, my dear." he smiled and gestured towards the remains of the
sofa, "Come in. Do have a seat."

"I asked you a question!" she replied coldly.

"As I said in the message, I have located our son's kidnappers."

"Then he was abducted." she hissed, "I will flay them alive for all

"Unfortunately for them, their digital security is rather lax. My
hackers managed to track their signal. Would you like the coordinates
uploaded directly onto your ship's computer, my lady?"

A cruel smile played over her lips, like a cat with a mouse between her
paws. Then a loud beep interrupted her moment of pleasure. Annoyed, she
whipped her head around to look at a device on her arm. It looked like a
simple watch except that it was flashing red, beeping and displaying the
number thirty.

"Are we late for something, my lady Goddess?" he gave her a slightly
mocking smile.

"I'm not the one who's late." she replied, her tone and her face
suddenly businesslike, "I'm sorry, but I'm not going to be able to enjoy
our revenge personally. Do not fail me."

"I won't." he promised. He knew full well the price of failing to comply
with any of her requests. Besides, he wanted their son back as much as
he did.

"I'm relying on you." she said, before turning around and jumping back
out of the window.

Luther picked up his pager and dialled for security.

"What's wrong, Gwesty?"

It was the dead of night - as much as it could be on a space station.
Actually, the time of day was carefully regulated by the life-support
systems so that the inhabitants could enjoy a healthy circadian rhythm.
The life-support systems, along with every other system on the station,
were monitored by the central computer and the Director, Marietta la
Verne, who was its operator. Secure in the knowledge that the computer
hardly ever malfunctioned, Motoi had been sound asleep when Gwesty
appeared in his room. In her long white nightgown, with her bright
golden hair tied into braids, a slightly gormless expression on her
face, she looked a little like a ghost.

Gwesty hadn't aged much over the years. She looked like the same lost
child who had been picked up in an escape pod speeding away from an
exploding shp ten years ago, only taller and more ungainly. She badly
needed a haircut. Motoi, on the other hand, had grown into a handsome
young man, with oriental features, straight black hair and a penchant
for perfectly pressed black suits. It was a shame that he hardly ever
left the space station and didn't really fancy any of the girls on
board. Gwesty was too much like a sister to him, Marietta had the
personality of a toaster and Chisato was too old for him and annoyingly
hyperactive. He had an online girlfriend but for all he knew, she could
be a 40 year old man in the offline world.

"I had a dream..." she said vaguely.

"Was it a bad dream?"

"I dunno." she scratched her head, "There was a bunny."

"There's always a bunny." observed Motoi, "You're obsessed with

"I didn't like this bunny."

"Did it bite you?"

"It spoke to me." she said, "It kept asking me to follow it."

"Was it a white rabbit?"

"P... pardon?"

"An Eternal Sphere saying." he explained, amused by the confused look
she gave him.

"It also said I was in danger." she said, her hands shaking, "It said...
it said someone was after me. What if... what if its a Prophecy?"

"Don't worry." said Motoi, putting an arm around her shoulder to
reassure her, "You're probably just remembering the past. We've been
through a lot. But we're safe now. Nobody will dare touch us here on the
Chronicle. They'd have to get through the automated defense systems.
Even if they got on board, Marietta would kill them."

"You're right." she said, sighing and leaning against him, her eyes
half-closed. She was warm and had a nice smell.

"I'd better get back to sleep." he said, yawning.

"Oh, yes, you've got a performance tomorrow, haven't you?"

He nodded. "Lionel's performing at the Grand Concert Hall on the Eternal
Sphere. I'm backing him up over the sound system."

"That's your home planet!" her face brightened, "You might get a chance
to go down there! Motoi, you have to try and persuade
Marietta to let you go!"

"I'll be very busy." he said, "The sound system takes a lot of setting
up. But if we get time after the concert, I'll ask her."

She smiled at him.

"To tell you the truth." he added, "I don't remember my home planet.
My father sent me away to a satellite when I was five, and I've been
there most of my life."

"You should visit your family anyway. I'm sure they miss you."

"I'm sure you're right." he said, stroking her hair. She had fallen
asleep in his lap. He sighed, put her on the bed and went to sleep on
the floor.