Neetra and Joe, Chapter One
“I wanted to save her, Joe,” said Neetra. “I tried.” These remaining two members of The Four Heroes were alone atop the hill from which Nottingham Castle once towered, their backs to the wreckage that was all the war had left, and Joe’s eyes fixed on a point far beyond the rubble-strewn grass and the cliff’s edge directly ahead. He was staring somewhere above the outspread rooftops, somewhere into the heart of the endless sky. The news had not been good. Neetra and Joe were at more or less the very same spot on the castle grounds where they had sat together the day the Next Four completed their moving-in, and then they had laughed and made fond jokes to each other about how well their relationship seemed to be going. That memory now felt like something from another century that happened to a pair of strangers who lived then.
Neetra and Joe, Chapter Two
Light-years away, peaceful peoples of an entire galaxy were gathered as they were on Earth to celebrate an end to the Solidity’s war. Down in Planet Eshcaton’s subterranean sanctuary thankfully meditated the four wise sages who had led this passive resistance, but the populations which rallied round them were high above the barren surface, jubilating on the roofs of star-cruisers in synchronous Eshcaton-orbit. Another troupe of musicians, all residents of that far-off quadrant and personally known to Neetra, had been belting out pop song after pop song to a vast open-air audience and countless others via live holographic feed. But none of those millions knew why it should be that the lead singer Cherry, having just rounded off the latest in a line of upbeat party-numbers, suddenly slowed and paused.
I'll Find Your Planet
The diminutive globular manager wasn’t putting Cherry’s psychic powers under any strain in his bids to commune with her from the other end of the auditorium. In fact his despairing gyrations and palpitations were most expressive on a purely visual level, especially in the wake of one earth-tremor and the annihilation of an outdoor passage. Keep calming them down! was the general gist. We’re sure to lose them otherwise!
Issues, Chapter Four
“Talk to me, Prof.” Every screen along the corridor blinked to the direct line, so that Dylan and Phoenix were marching past image after image of the same aged face.
Centre of my Cosmos
There had been one or two hitches, but here at last was the fallback point, another Xandreth district still under construction. Phoenix Prime, the holdall containing Scientooth on her shoulder and Petunia under her other arm, touched down on a rooftop overlooking the darkened half-finished neighbourhood and folded her flame-wings. She had intended this to be the landing-site, and to have done without that regrettable race through a dozen blocks of densely-peopled nightspots. Now however, after all that, her objective was finally within reach.
Petunia and Flashthunder
Cherry had stayed with motifs similar to those of her opening song, and a soft shifting rhythm together with the string-section’s dreamy rills cast a mellow mood across most of the dance-hall. One exception remained though. Petunia at her lone table was dejectedly drawing hearts in the air, making them manifest through her modest powers, then with her fingertip obliterating each one in a little peachiodiferous pop.
One Special Star
Amid a volley of percussive lead-in pummelled out by the robot drummer, spotlights ignited and backing-vocals swelled and with bass and lyre blasting at their lustiest, Cherry began to sing. Every bar she breathed from ruby-glossed lips was sweet sorrow made symphonic, flawless in relation to the melody’s long-drawn-out wails and sudden wracking stops, yet at the same time seeming to crack under the agonies mercilessly invoked.
Dark Matter Date
Cherry saw the evening might yet be salvaged, but only if they made their move now. She signed to the pink-haired girl with the lyre, who stepped up keenly. Flashshadow always did this one well, and here was a break straight out of every understudy’s dreams. Her time to shine.