So, after you & Carey got zapped (I KNOW it wasn't at all like zapping! It's disturbing me too! Now be quiet or AURORA will suddenly disappear from the planet!), you two arrived in Pharan Yalita's sitting room.

"Welcome," Phillipos Nathaniel Akutagawa (but you didn't know his name yet) said, "To Ælsa Ketaria."

You & Carey stared at him like you had recently been zapped & were confronted by a guy with antlers & blue skin.

"I know this situation must seem very strange to you, but we have it all figured out, & we can explain—" Behind Akutagawa there appeared five other forms. "It's real," one of them said in a hushed voice, interrupting the first man.

"What's real? What's going on?" Carey (who you were very glad talked; you wanted to know all the answers but never bothered asking the questions) demanded. "Where are we?"

"You've experienced physical-temporal interuniversal relocation," said a person in a sharp suit. Like an anime office girl.

"We apologize if this is disorienting. We aren't doing a very good job explaining, but well, we've waited so long & we can't believe you're here at last," said High Councillor Elizabett Poarch. The third person, in by far the fanciest getup, remained silent; so did the muscly guy & the leather fanatic warrior woman with cool boots.

The anime office girl, Jane Stryfe, personal aide to the pharan, snapped aer fingers. It was a nervous tic. "You're going to stop Orion, as prophesied. The galaxies have waited so long for you."

"Wait, just what exactly are we getting roped into?!" Carey shrieked.

"You are the Cabelas, are you not?" wondered the leather fanatic warrior woman, the pharan's bodyguard, Hardscrabble Stryfe.

"Two of them. What difference does it make?"

The third person, Pharan Yalita, stepped forward, only it was more of a glide. She was wearing purple & had a hairdo rivaled only by one of Padmé Amidala's. She seemed serene, but you never knew what sort of things were really going on in her head. She could be thinking about bacon; she could be replaying Trigun episode 24, "Sin", in her head over & over again; she could be plotting her next murder. "Long ago, one of the old pharans had a dream," quoth she in a soft, hushed voice. "Xe wrote it down & it was passed on for many generations. In my great-grandfather Talo's time, it was lost in a skirmish, only to be recovered six years ago as my mother lay dying. She entrusted it to me, & believed I could persuade the council to believe in the scroll's ancient words.

"The prophecy claimed that on this day, the third of Ginta, in the year of the seventh black sun, two children would come from another earth bringing radiant fire to rescue crying people & l& from the closing iron fist of Orion. & now you have come."

Carey, you thought, we're gonna be saviours of the galaxy & Orion is the supervillain. Carey frowned. I don't want to be a saviour of the galaxy.

Too bad.

"Right now I think you two should get some rest," Jane Stryfe said. "It's so late. Follow Nate." Akutagawa saluted.


"Explanations—what few we have—tomorrow," Jane ordered severely.