Epoch: One hundred years before Bleeding Sun
Location: The Senelong station, 0.1 a.u. from Jupiter's orbit
Characters: Dr Eleonor Mazbrook, Colonel Phileas Pearson
Musical Image: Twenty-nine year old Eleonor, who has been Phelippe Varga's lover in the last months, has just found out that she is pregnant.
She is waiting for Varga, who is away on Transfer Ship 5, a cargo used as a training camp by the Knights.
Totally unexpectedly, Senelong comes under attack by the fleet of Hyper-Earth Link. A mainly civilian space station, Senelong doesn't have the fire power to resist the onslaught.
An emergency evacuation is under way. But Eleonor refuses to leave.
"What the fuck do you mean she doesn't want to come with us?" Pearson was flabbergasted. The first time in nine years that someone refused to obey one of his orders. He opened a com and yelled, "Mazbrouk, get your ass into the shuttle! Now!"
Eleonor appeared, serene like a dark-eyed madonna, "Negative. I am staying."
"What?" Pearson yelled, louder, "I said, in the..." He was interrupted by a loud bang that made the floor of level 7B vibrate like a snare drum. "I said, in, the shuttle! We're on our way to the Philadelphias! Is that clear?"
She was totally unmoved, "Sorry Pearson. I gave Varga my word I'd wait for him here. I intend to keep my word."
Looking up to Pleiades, the small man mumbled, "Keep m'word." Then, screaming again, "Are you mad? Varga will not return! Senelong is finished! Dead! No one comes back to Senelong! Ever! Is that clear? Now you follow the order and get your ass into the fucking shuttle!"
"Huhn! Hunh!" she shook her head, quietly defiant. "I am a civilian. You have no authority over me, Pearson."
Both fists clenched, turning to Pleiades again, "She wants to be turned into a virtual potato, is that it?" Opening another com, "Lieutenant Sharp, Dr Mazbrouk is under arrest. Use force if needed. I want her in the shuttle. Now!"
Sharp shouted back, "Sir, yes, sir!" And he started running to the lab of genetics.
In the lab, Eleonor turned pale. "No. You can't do that to me, Pearson. Pearson, you asshole! Pearson..."
Pearson had already switched off the com channel.
So began four years of separation.
In the following hours Senelong was taken over by the armies of the Rex. Devastated, Eleonor miscarried before her ship reached the Philadelphia stations. Unable to return for her, Phelippe Varga took TS5 to Saturn, for the first of his major appointments with destiny: the battle of Titan.
The story of Phileas Pearson's and Eleonor Mazbrook's escape from Senelong is retold in the first part of A Minute with the Gods.
Music by: Samuel Sagan