Chapter Ten

Sirius pushed his way through the crowd toward Dasha, who was dancing in the mosh pit around the stage. Finally, he got close enough to her to have a hope of speaking to her over the music. "Hey," he said.

"Hey," Dasha replied. "What's up?"

"Not much. Enjoying the show?"

"Yeah."

"Cool. Hey, uh, you wanna catch some late dinner after the show?"

"Sure. That sounds stellar."

Sirius grinned. He couldn't believe his luck, but he was absolutely certain he wasn't dreaming. He looked up at Amoeba, who had apparently been watching them for some time and was nodding approvingly. Then he looked over at Dasha, who, like most of the girls in the crowd, was watching Proto Zoa. He shook his head softly, but when he thought about it, he realized he wouldn't change anything about his situation at the present.

ZZZ

Selena walked up to the bar and took a seat. "What can I get you?" the bartender asked.

"The house specialty, if you would," she replied, watching the crowd dance to Proto Zoa's music. The bartender set a drink on the counter next to her, and she nodded her thanks, picking it up and sipping it through the straw provided.

The song ended, and Zoa's voice projected itself over the loudspeakers. "At this time, I'd like to play a special song for a special girl, a girl who saved my life just recently. Some of you know her, and some of you do not, so without further ado, 'The Galaxy is Ours' for Zenon Karr."

The crowd cheered, and the song began.

Selena's attention was attracted by red ribbons dancing through the sky, and soon, Mars came to join her. "Can I join the party?"

"You look cheerful for being recently colonized," she said with a smirk.

"Nobody came and stayed, so I wasn't colonized. Beat that."

Selena shook her head and took another sip from her drink. The crowd began to cheer again, and the cheering continued until Proto Zoa performed a couple more songs. "Anyway," she said, "you never did tell me what happened to the colony buildings."

"Well, the one I let burn to the ground, and I wiped out the others."

"And you've pretty much stopped being hostile to everyone you see?"

"Yeah. Destroying the colony and the man behind it did me good."

"Wish I had the chance. Could've saved you the trouble if I offed him myself." She took a sip from her drink and tapped her foot in time to the music. The last song ended, and the crowd began to disperse after Zoa's parting pleas of safe driving and "good night". She finished her drink and set the empty glass on the table. "That's all," she told the bartender, slipping him her tab and a tip.

"Glad I'm back to being good?" Mars asked.

"Actually, yes, I am," Selena replied. "I'll catch you around."

"Better believe it."

Selena watched Mars shoot up into the sky before she charted a course for the moon and did the same.

ZZZ

"Hello, love," Proto Zoa said, setting his guitar down next to some boxes and holding his arms out. Zenon wrapped her arms around his neck, and he pressed her into him. "What did you think of the show?"

"I liked it, especially since you sang half of it for me," she replied. "But I missed you, Zoa."

"I was ten feet from you, love."

"So were you when you got shocked."

"Well, I'm fine, thanks to you. You saved my life, Zenon."

"I didn't want you to die. Vega omega, I was so fully shivered out, but I couldn't scrub that mission. I love you, Zoa. I didn't want you to leave me."

"I'm here now, Zenon. I'm not going anywhere. I'm right here with you, always."