As a boy of eight, Seth finds his life changed by a dark secret … something that he can’t possibly understand.

Years later, old faces, memories, and an envelope, draw Seth back into the web.


24. 24 - Down Times

24  -  Down Times

April 20, 2383


Seth opens his mouth to speak, but he finds that he can’t. He feels like the air has been sucked from him.

After a short silence, Tristan speaks again. “Seth, I’m sorry. I was planning to wait to speak to you in person, but someone has ...” she pauses, “I can’t talk to you this way. Can you meet with me?”

He stares into her blue eyes.


He swallows, finding his voice. “Yes Tristan. My parents …”

“Come to Pegasi 51. I’m going to give you the apartment number and code. Don’t write them down. You’ll have to remember them, alright?”

He nods. “Yes.”

Tristan recites the number and code, slowly, repeating them twice.

“Hurry, Seth. Please.”

The vid-screen’s strange glow disappears, taking Tristan’s image with it. The room darkens. Only the dim street light from below, coming through the rain-streaked window, remains.

Seth sits, looking at the dark screen, feeling shaken. He closes his eyes, repeating the apartment number and code in his mind … and jumps as Jax lets out a loud snore.

He goes into the bathroom. Turning on the light, he looks into the mirror. It was 3am. He’d had less than three hours sleep and his eyes showed it. He leans to the sink, splashing cold water on his face. The late hour of Tristan’s request to meet with him doesn’t cross his mind. His thoughts are filled with an apartment number, a code, and Tristan’s words … they aren’t dead, they’re flying.

He leaves the bathroom and goes to the closet, putting on his clothes.  He pulls on his jacket and looks back at the dark vid-screen. How did Tristan get through without him accepting the call? And the image, it was different somehow. He pushes the questions from his mind. He’d know soon enough.

Seth opens the door and steps out into the quiet hallway, silently repeating the apartment number and code. He glances at the symbol of the Blood Creed as he approaches the main doors. Looking through them, and the heavy rain, he scans the wet street.

Seth pulls up his jacket collar and steps out, into the cold rain. It falls hard and fast, masking the sounds of the night with a dull roar. He walks quickly.

He had seen Tristan on Pegasi. It made sense that she had an apartment there.  He remembers his first visit, looking out the window at the volcanoes and lava flows. He thinks of his mother … they aren’t dead, they’re flying.

Seth rounds a corner and looks ahead to the gate in the distance. Three large silhouettes stand nearby, their details, lost in the heavy rain. He slows his pace, stepping closer to the wall and into the shadows as he approaches.

A sudden flash of lightening reveals the blue uniforms. They are LED. He thinks of his father … they aren’t dead, they’re flying.

Seth steps from the shadows, walking faster and breathing easier.

Another flash of lightening … a flash of red to his left …

Seth opens his mouth, crying out. “HE …”

He finds that he can’t breathe. A large hand is clamped over his nose and mouth from behind, a large arm, clamped around his arms and chest.

The merc steps from the shadows, standing in front of him and glaring down. His right arm makes a short, piston like motion as he brings his fist to Seth’s stomach.

Seth gasps for breath. He stares past the merc, toward the LED in the distance, his vision blurring. They don’t move. They didn’t see. They didn’t hear.

The merc motions with his head and Seth is dragged backwards, into the shadows. The hand on his face releases its grip enough for him to take in ragged breaths. He prays for another lightening flash … maybe the LED will see. His hopes disappear as he’s dragged around the corner.

Seth blinks the rain from his eyes. He’s still held tight by the man behind him. The merc leans down, bringing his face a few inches from his. Seth tries to focus. The merc’s eyes burn into his. Seth doesn’t see hatred in them now, he sees excitement.

“Nice to see you again dumb ass. I was going to kill you, but now, I just don’t think that’s enough.” The merc gives Seth a toothy grin. “You’re going to spend some time with us.” He pulls something from his pocket.

Seth can’t move his head. He looks down, straining his eyes to see. He catches a glimpse of a gun. No… it’s an auto-syringe.

“Oh yeah, we already have your friend. You can look forward to your happy reunion.”

Seth feels a light pressure on his leg. His world fades into heavy rain … and darkness.

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