A Pink Dormouse Production

Before war swept the galaxy, he had kept himself up to date with Federation affairs. He monitored news broadcasts and Space Command communications on the receiver he had scavenged from his ship. The transmitter he had destroyed along with his ship, once he had been certain that the civilian population of his new home meant him no malice.

The alien invaders had systematically destroyed the Federation's relay stations and, as the war progressed, he heard less and less. Until one day he heard nothing but static, no matter how he adjusted the receiver.

They knew the war was over when traders once again began to visit Destiny. He heard third-hand of a man bearing his old name, who fought alongside the rebels. Alongside Blake, who had also, it transpired, survived the war.

But that had been news of another age, another life. When he married, he had taken on the name of his wife's dead husband. A fitting memorial to the man who had saved his life? To the man whose death had finally made him see what he had become? Perhaps.

He sensed, rather than felt - this arm was not so advanced as the one he had borne before - a hand at his left elbow, and turned to face the woman who stood beside him.

"Old memories troubling you?" she asked.

He looked down the hill to where her children - their children, he reminded himself - played in the hotel's gardens.

"Not now." And for the first time Jolyon Maryatt meant it.



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