Councilman Sindull was shrouded in darkness as he laced his fingers together in front of his pale blue lips and stared at the only light source in the room; It was a large, three-dimensional holograph that drew his eyes. The drone of the massive satellite's recirculation systems reverberated faintly, yet constantly, as he shifted his gaze slowly across the projection to a raven haired woman that sat relaxed in an armchair in front of him. Her red lips turned to purple as she leaned forward into the battlefield on display between them and spoke. "It's a simple decision, love. He has failed to check in for hours, and protocol…"

"My word is protocol! I secured that position long ago, in case you forgot your heritage." The anger in his voice reflected his frustration as he continued to stare blankly at the display.

Black fingernails flashed to the woman's mouth as she gasped, "Don't bring your rise to glory into this. This is just like you." She exclaimed while pointing her finger across the room as she changed her tone to a sweeter, compassionate voice. "Always blaming yourself for the shortcoming of others. The Council knew what they were doing when they sent him in. Everyone voted and agreed, so everyone is to blame, not just you Dear." The woman relaxed and slid her bare leg over the arm of the chair as she leaned back, causing the man's gaze to follow along her long, smooth, inner thigh.

He turned his vision back to the hologram displayed before him and moved his hand in front of the display; it rotated ninety degrees to change his view of the area. Large skyscrapers loomed in the background of the warehouse district and a path of carnage and destruction could be followed from warehouse to warehouse until it stopped at a large, black, metal box; It stood almost a full four meters tall, opened from the front, and showed no signs of impact. From there, he traced the faint blue path of destruction through walls and buildings and across fields to a large green dot that was surrounded by a varied mosh of steadily dropping body temperatures. "This was his last stop, he used a beacon and then moved away from his craft. Why not return, like protocol demands?" Despair appeared in his voice as he spoke. "Sometimes, I wonder what my life could have been..."

The raven-haired beauty sat up suddenly and laughed, "You would be fleet commander! The scourge of the astroid miners! Ha! I would die before I was ever caught at a mining camp." They both laughed at the woman's attempt to cheer up her lover. Her smile spoke a thousand words to him in one instant.

A red light appeared on the wall, the man tore himself away from the hologram and floated through the low gravity to activate a smaller projector beside the flashing red light. A foot tall image of a man dressed in a grey, skin-tight, mesh, body suit appeared. "I am sorry to interrupt sir, this message is priority two from MUR headquarters to all Platform Two council members."

The councilman laughed in annoyance. "No son, forgive my nudeness. Lady-Councilman Aerith and Councilman Sindull present. What is your message?"

"The Polaris City of Italy has been overrun and is now in evacuation stage one. Projected casualties of six million. Platform Three is removing all operatives from the field. You are to inform citizens of the Utopian Regime that all reproduction voyages will be delayed until further events deem it capable. Contact Councilman Linqore at HQ for a detailed debriefing. Message terminates. Any response Councilman, Lady?"

"What! More time! It's been almost a year. Repopulate the species my ass." The dark haired woman bickered as she pushed herself forcefully towards her private chambers.

"Message regretfully received." The councilman said, closing the connection before he stared back at the larger hologram. "That's it! I have one more option. Dear, I mean Lady Councilman." He smiled as she spun around to meet his gaze. "You are now informed that a level five scouting mission is being sent out to retrieve a beacon. Mark it as the lowest danger zone that you can convince the others to overlook. Whether I get it back or blow it up, I will never let our new power source fall into those clones' or mutants' hands."

"Darling, that's brilliant, but who could you send? Scouts never come back from missions." Her voice changed to concern as she poke.

The councilman smiled back at her. "My dear, you forget that all veteran soldiers have a one-hundred percent success rate. None that return have ever failed."

She tensed and spoke quickly and angrily, unsatisfied. "Really? Fine, do what you must, but this isn't your fault. You, have just been informed of a council meeting on the Military for an Utopian Regime's Platform Two. It starts in an hour; you better not be late."

"You're ravishing, my love." He beamed with enthusiasm as he began making calls to the different departments of the platform.

"Save it for another six months." She snapped back at him as the door to her chambers slid closed behind her.

The councilman turned back around to the hologram and marked a few spots in red; he hovered and pondered over it for a moment before calling out into the emptiness. "Show scout Eight-Three-Two on display." The room whirred for a moment and then the holograph was gone, replaced by the image of a man floating in a vat. "Schedule a class one rescue operation and get him suited up; he falls in five minutes." He relaxed his body and wracked his mind. Why would he not check in? What could he be doing? If I was down there, underneath the image of that black city… Could he be running from us?