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"Everything is in place, my children, so let us be off. There are five leased jets sitting on our runway, ready to take the first half of you to Auckland for your flight to Miami. One of our own has already taken the place of his original, a young man whom we lured to Miami many months ago and tricked into taking an airport security job. The same airline industry recruiter who positioned him also saw to it that we had a cloned flight attendant in place, even though it turns out we won't be needing her. A magnetoship with cryogenic beds waits on the dark side of the moon, ready and waiting to carry four hundred souls to Forty-seven UMa Gamma, a new Utopia where humankind can start anew, rejuvenated.

"The only question is which four hundred humankind will start with. So, my children, bid goodbye to your mothers and say hello to the heavens." Now Dedender was staring straight upward, through the skylight. "Our destiny awaits us."

Chapter VI

"You know, Goodall, we're all going to be stuck together for a very, very long time. It'd be best if you and I got along as well as we could."

Lisa didn't lean towards her neighbor like he leaned towards her, slightly in his seat, but kept her eyes straight forward, on the retired astronaut who had insisted on delivering one last briefing to his four hundred Colonist charges. "I couldn't agree more, Goddard. It'd be best if you cooled your jets and listened to Detrick: we're not in space yet." Then she glanced to her left, at a Matthew Katzberg who stared straight before himself and remained oblivious to the female interest that had been piqued by the "discovery" that Bettmann was the male companion of a woman whom Katzberg had rejected.

"The lady's right, Goddard," Colonel Detrick shouted from the center of the classroom amphitheater, "there will be time enough for courtship once you kids are in space. For the next thirty-six hours, however," a pudgy index finger jabbed the air in front of the colonel forcefully, "you're mine! So pay attention!"

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