Prologue: Pg. 2

   I let out a breath and gritted my teeth in an attempt to keep from screaming. Oh, how I felt like killing someone right then: preferably someone with the initials XX. I knew Professor Akalan would handle him better than I had, but that didn't mean I wanted Xymn antagonizing my husband's temper. The thought of Akalan made me smile. But my next thought made my heart skip a beat, and I picked up the data sheets from under the blueprint. A photograph slid out from the pages. As I picked it up, a tear slid down my cheek. It was a picture of me holding a baby, Akalan smiling, his arms wrapped around me and the child.

            "Phaiara..." I whispered, sliding to the floor. I began sobbing uncontrollably.

            "Oh, my baby girl...my little fairy.” I remembered calling Phaiara my "little fairy", because of the resemblance to the old word “fae”. “I'm so sorry...I wish I could have prevented this...I wish I could have given you a better life...I made the mistake of letting him steal you from me once, but I'm going to give you the chance at life that I already failed at...I just wish we could be there to share it with you."

            I stood up slowly, and made an attempt to dry my face. When that failed, I took to the old-fashioned water faucet, which helped to refresh and calm me, while removing any traces of tears.

            I then walked to Kory's control panel, and sent a holo-call request to Akalan. I waited 10 minutes before a life-sized image of my husband appeared in front of me.

            His face lit up, and he visibly relaxed.

            "Hey, honey." I said in an attempt to seem no more than a stressed out 35-year-old scientist.

            "Hi! Man, I really needed to see a friendly face. Xymn just left."

            "Yeah, he stopped by me first. Hey, could you possibly straighten your tie a bit?"

            Silence. There was no trace of cheerfulness on Akalan's face then. His image flickered briefly as he left his computer. I bit my lip, dreading what I was about to do. Akalan returned a few seconds later. He reached under his desk and pressed a small hidden button, and I did so in turn. A high-pitched beep is the only noticeable result.

            "Jaide, what's wrong? It's been 5 years since we had to use the surveillance jammers."

            "I know, but this is important. I've made my decision, and you can't change my mind. I'm not asking you to take part either, but I'm going to set Phaiara free.

            Akalan went pale. "Oh my gosh, how are you going to do that? Do you realize the Consequences?"

            "Yes. I'm going to erase Protocol 4, and I've set a timer on her container. Nothing can get in or out until it goes off."

            "How long are you going to set it for?"

            I paused, afraid he would refuse to let me.

            "450 years." I muttered, my voice cracking with nervousness.

The End

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