A pale, slender hand rose to meet a narrow chin in the darkness. A soft tinkling could be heard as the owner of the hand leaned in towards the bright image hovering above a low, flat table. The tinkling stilled and was replaced by the sound of slow, confident breathing as the watcher studied the image.
A girl, nothing extraordinary about her at all, walked through a peaceful forest glade with her pet. A few moments later, another figure walked out from behind a tree. Male, short, bald and in a tidy grey one-piece uniform with spotless black shoes. In contrast, the girl herself was grubby, bare-footed and her clothes were badly in need of repair. Still, she seemed happy enough. Well-fed, lean but not too thin, well-muscled but not overly so. Long, brown hair, clear, brown eyes. Scars along her right arm, pale against sun-darkened skin, but no other disfigurements. She seemed content and not bothered by the length of the teeth of her pet. Protection, perhaps, but her pet was likewise undisturbed by the appearance of the bald man. Familiars, one might surmise of this peculiar trio.
Nothing particularly remarkable about the scene, except for the fact that this stripling of a girl was currently in control of the most destructive force in the galaxy. Her pet, one of the deadliest creatures on the surface of the planet on which she so casually stood. And the unassuming bald man was at her command, representing the control system for barrier world three-seven-two, and through him, she controlled four hundred and ninety-eight other such weapons of mass destruction, each with the ability to extinguish five stars and their associated planetary systems.
No, this was anything but unremarkable. Even though everything about her conveyed a sense of ease, of youth, of… innocence, perhaps. And yet she had come out of nowhere to become First of Threes. Very troubling. Questions were being asked, as yet unanswered.
Perfectly shaped black eyebrows met in a frown above a pair of olive-green eyes as the scene unfolded. The watcher sat for several minutes, absorbing the silent scene.
When the small bald man disappeared in the blink of an eye, the pale hand separated from the chin. Two slender fingers made a flicking, twisting motion, and the scene swiftly played backwards. A single finger rose and the scene stopped, then resumed playing once more. A third finger twitched, and the conversation became audible for the fourteenth time.
The stripling smiled in greeting. “Hello, Aeden.”
Pale fingers twitched, and the scene froze.
Innocence could be simulated, intentions masked.
The pale hand returned to the narrow chin. Continued surveillance was indeed warranted, the watcher’s sources were correct in that regard. A motion from the other hand plunged the room into darkness as the image of the girl was replaced with a swirling image of the galaxy.
One bright yellow symbol in a long chain of chartreuse pearls.
One too many. They should all be a pleasant, satisfying green, with no traces of yellow at all.
With a flick of the wrist, the galaxy disappeared, and the lone seated figure contemplated the darkness in silence.