The Continuing Adventures of Theta Starr, Page 2 of 2

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In another clearing in the wilderness, there sits a small space shuttle. Apparently there is a conversation transpiring between two people inside the small ship. The first voice says, ''Set the course for eight, five, point aught.'' A second voice inquires, ''Point what?'' The first voice answers, ''Aught. You know, zip, zilch, zero.'' ''Oh,'' says the second voice. ''Right, O,'' says the first. The space shuttle is aloft, leaving the planet from which it launched, blasting onward into a starfield in the otherwise-inky-black darkness of space. A voice from inside the craft apparently asks, ''Where will this course take us?'' To which another voice apparently answers, ''To the Hidden Market.''
Sitting side-by-side in the cockpit of the small shuttlecraft are Theta Starr and the friendly stranger whom she encountered on the front step of The First Church of the All-Day Seeker. The young man speaks, ''You see, back there you only had a fifteen percent chance of survival. Unless you had gotten lucky, you'd have soon perished.'' Theta responds, ''Ever since my craft was shot down by the Kut Bax, I haven't felt very lucky.'' Theta and her new friend continue their conversation. The young man says, ''Initially, the Hidden Market will provide you with an eighty-five percent survival rate, and...'' Theta has caught onto the line of reasoning. She interrupts, finishing her friend's statement, ''I'll be able to do what I want with my life. And I can be satisfied in knowing that I do it well.''
The space shuttle is approaching a new planet. A voice from inside the shuttle says, ''Right.'' Meanwhile: At a space base on the planet below, Commander Jack ''Astro'' Turph ponders a ponderous dilemma. Standing alone on a catwalk that overlooks a fleet of starfighters in a huge hangar bay, Commander Jack ''Astro'' Turph ponders, ''Those vile Kut Bax have put the fleet at a critical level of personnel. Now, more than ever, the next pilot I recruit must meet the Corps' highest expectations for service and valor. ...Or how will we ever defend against the Kut Bax?'' The Commander sighs to himself, then continues his thought. ''But where in all this chaotic universe am I to find the right person for the job?'' (Next week's episode: THETA FLIES AGAIN!)


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