Prisoner of Empire by David Scholes

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Mother and daughter, looked along the beach with a mixture of excitement and apprehension. What appeared to be a man was walking steadily towards them from the Infinity end. The first visitor since before the young girl Clovella was born.

"It cannot be," thought Lorea "no one can come from that direction. Even the Empress herself would only come here by faster than light starship."

The man seemed in no hurry. Basking in the magnificent early morning sun, the golden sands and the seemingly tranquil waters. Stopping from time to time to take in the view and breathe in the air.

Finally he acknowledged his audience with a smile and a wave of the hand. Common, if not universal, gestures among human types and understood by Lorea and her daughter.

The three sat at a crude but comfortable table outside the residence. The man happy enough with the simple fare offered. Close up he did not need to introduce himself.

"This world is our prison," said Lorea sadly "more; we are restricted purely to our residence and the modest gardens that you see the pathway down to the beach, and the beach itself."
"I perceive that the surrounding forests and beyond and even the waters are inimical to almost any form of life," said the visitor "a starkly beautiful yet incredibly dangerous world."

"You seem happy Tragathh" offered Lorea respectfully.
"I feel very optimistic my lady Lorea," responded the man with equal respect. "That a long search is finally coming to an end."

Tragathh pointed to the Infinity end of the beach.
"A star gate was once there. Part of a closed system it has been removed and the star gate at the other end sealed, resulting, in this case, in an unusual effect. But you know all this."
"Clovella and I once took provisions and walked along the beach for what seemed like Eternity. The view, though magnificent, is always the same. Eventually, almost starved, we returned.
Tragathh nodded.
"Yet you came from the infinity end?" enquired Lorea.
"This is a difficult place to get too," replied Tragathh, for various reasons, "and that was the easiest way to come here."

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The woman, the young girl, and the man spent some time together. A time of happiness for all three of them. By whatever powers he possessed, and they seemed to be many, Tragathh was able to affect a re-engineering of the immediate geography and beyond. Making the unlivable, pleasantly livable. Lorea and Clovella, mother and daughter, first apprehensively but with growing delight were able to walk in the beautiful forests and even swim in the waters near the residence. Though they were both too cautious to stray far.

Tragathh saw evidence aplenty to support his earlier feelings of optimism. That the long quest might finally be approaching success. However he would have to be sure. Certain sure, before he summoned his old friend.

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The arrival of the starships was no surprise to them.

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