* Chapter 1: Prologue *
Claude sat on a small stool in a darkened room. A solitary
spotlight was shining where he sat.
"Where to begin, where to begin," he said quietly.
"It's been, what, a year since our adventures in 2000:
A Star Odyssey? Time flies, as they say. Things have been pretty
hectic since you've seen us last.
"Rena and I haven't changed all that much. The twins were
born about six months ago, though, two boys. Their names are
Ronixis, after my late father, and Kenneth. Everyone gets a
strange look on their face when they say Kenny's full name.
I don't quite understand why.
"Bowman's back to his regular life in the pharmacy. Yep,
his 'pimping' business is done. Kind of a long story, actually.
I'd rather not get into it at this moment in time.
"Noel and Ashton have broken up. In addition, Precis and
Ashton seem to have taken an interest in each other. To the
best of my knowledge, Noel is still single.
"Speaking of Precis, she's still as wild as ever. Last
I heard, she was still pursuing her 'hobby.' Someone's really
got to have a talk to that girl one day.
"Dias is still undergoing therapy. He's made some tremendous
leaps and bounds over the past few months. He still doesn't
like to talk much. Maybe he's just the silent type by nature.
"Celine's out of prison now. That's a good thing, but
there have been reports of missing items in the Mars area. I'm
hoping it's just pure coincidence...
"Chisato's working for a Lacour newspaper now. Her tabloid
went out of business after a libel lawsuit of some sort. It's
for the best. The legitimate press has more job security, pays
better, etc. Still, I guess writing about how aliens have been
abducting the Royal Family and replacing them with exact body
doubles has its perks.
"Leon's escaped the Goth scene. He's briefly toyed with
various other groups, including punk, hip-hop, etc. He's got
some major identity issues, that kid does.
"Opera had her child soon after we got back to Expel.
It was a girl, who she named Aria. Quite an adorable little
one if I do say so myself. Opera and Ernest still haven't expressed
any interest in marriage, by the way.
"Ernest has finally recovered from his alcoholism. He's
been sober for nearly a year now. We're all proud of him for
his accomplishments. We all can imagine how hard it'd be resisting
the urge to drink with Opera in the house.
"Finally, our old 'friends', the Wise Men. They managed
to escape Eternity Space and have settled on Expel. Everyone
was worried when they heard that they were back, but they've
insisted that they're peaceful now. So far, save for a few 'disagreements'
now and then, they've kept up with their promise. They've even
gotten jobs as professors at the University in Linga."
Claude stopped talking for a moment to think. During this time,
Rena opened the door to the room and turned on the light.
"Claude?" Rena asked. "What are you doing in
here? And why were the lights off?"
"Umm...I was just meditating..." Claude said. "The
dark just helps me to clear my mind...yeah."
"All right, go on with it," Rena said. "Just
get to bed soon. We have an early start tomorrow." She
turned the light off and closed the door.
Claude wiped off the beads of sweat that had formed on his
forehead. "Close one...where were we? Oh yeah. I guess
that pretty much accounts for all of us. Enjoy the story."
Click Here to Continue