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When I finally approached the group I noticed there had been an addition at some point. There was a woman, indescribably beautiful but somehow not attractive to me, held in what looked like a serious conversation with Leyla.

So…” I croaked as I came close to the two, rubbing the sleep from my eyes, “Who’s this?” They both looked at me as if snapped out of a trance; they clearly hadn’t noticed my approach until I spoke.

Jarl…?” Asked the new woman uncertainly.

Yes. He’s here.” Muttered Leyla, her eyes were red as though she had been recently crying.

So…” I said again, “Who’s this?”

I’m sorry, Jarl.” Replied the woman, “I am Dia Thorpe. I… Saved your life once. Apparently…”


Back on Earth. You were in hospital when Michael, Leyla’s brother, came to kill you. I was sent there by the Prooth through some kind of portal in order to buy some time for Leyla to arrive before her brother could murder you.”


I owe you an apology, Jarl.” Said Leyla under her breath. She was staring at the ground. I thought I noticed her quivering slightly. “I wanted to get away from you. It hurt to even look at you. You were the man in the hospital bed, blissfully unaware of the scene unfolding around him. My own brother. He… Had killed Dia - slit her throat. He was about to kill you. I spoke his name… He turned to me and said, ‘I had to.’” Leyla’s eyes were definitely wet now as she made eye contact with me. “Dia has just been explaining why he ‘had to’. Apparently, he had probably seen the same images that she has seen. Images of my murder, committed by you and Dia or so it seemed. Such images depict the future and were almost always perfectly accurate according to the Prooth.”

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