SPOILERS FOR TRANSCENDENCE FOLLOW.

You have been warned.

***

DOWNTOWN SEATTLE, EARTH

Two Months After the End of the Metigen War

Reporter: “Excuse me, gentlemen—excuse me. Do you have a moment to answer a few questions? For the public?”

(Caleb Marano glances over his shoulder as he and Noah Terrage pass the man on the street.)

Caleb: “Sorry, we’re in a hurry.”

Reporter: “Please, I’ll only take a minute of your time.”

(Caleb stops and turns around. With a visible sigh Noah joins him.)

Caleb: “All right—a minute. As in one.”

Reporter: “Thank you. Agent Mar—wait, it’s ‘Mr.’ now, isn’t it? You resigned from Senecan Federation Intelligence after the end of the Metigen War.”

Caleb: “Yes, that’s correct.”

Reporter: “What were your reasons for doing so?”

Caleb: “They’re classified, like much of Division and all of my work for it.”

Reporter: “And you, sir. Noah Terrage, isn’t it? You’re the clone of Lionel Terrage, the CEO of metals manufacturer Surno Materials.”

Noah: “That’s the rumor.”

Reporter: “As a clone, would you like to share your thoughts on the ethics of so-called ‘vanity babies’?”

(Noah raises both hands and takes a step back.)

Noah: “A thousand ‘no’s.”

Reporter: “You haven’t followed your father into the family business—instead you’re a reputed smuggler.”

Noah: “Hey, smuggling’s a noble profession!”

(Caleb stares at Noah deadpan, evoking a groan in response.)

Noah: “What I meant to say was that I’m a trader. I trade in goods. Goods which aren’t illegal.”

Reporter: “I’m sure. Mr. Marano, eyewitnesses report that on the final day of the Metigen War, you crashed a private vessel through the two Alliance frigates and the Alliance cruiser which were attacking the Federation colony of Krysk.”

Caleb: “That did happen.”

Reporter: “Then you singlehandedly fought your way through the cruiser and murdered Alliance General Liam O’Connell.”

Caleb: “It wasn’t singlehandedly. Noah helped.”

Noah: “I punched a guy.”

Caleb: “And ‘murder’ is such a negative word. I brought a permanent halt to his illegal and unsanctioned slaughter of Federation civilians.”

Reporter: “When we last spoke I called attention to your record, which indicated you had killed over 250 people. This event more than doubles the number of deaths attributed to you.”

Caleb: “Sir, you have no idea just how high that number really is. But as long as the number of lives saved as a result of my actions is higher, I sleep well at night.”

Reporter: “Interesting. You’re engaged to Alexis Solovy, the daughter of Earth Alliance Fleet Admiral Miriam Solovy. Does she have concerns about your bloody past?”

(Caleb laughs.)

Reporter: “Is that a ‘no’?”

Caleb: “I’ll just refer you to her response the last time you asked the question.”

Reporter: “When’s the wedding?”

Caleb: “That’s also classified.”

Reporter: “No, really—when’s the wedding?”

(Caleb raises an eyebrow at Noah.)

Caleb: “He thinks I’m kidding.”

Noah: “Have you met Miriam Solovy? He’s not kidding.”

Reporter: “I have, unfortunately. Very well. Inside sources are claiming the Alliance and Federation militaries used a new, powerful and dangerous form of Artificial, in contravention of both governments’ laws, in order to defeat the Metigens. Can you confirm this?”

Caleb: “How would I know? I was on Krysk during the final battle, remember?”

Reporter: “Your fiancé wasn’t, though, was she? She was onboard the Alliance flagship dreadnought EAS Churchill.”

Caleb: “Which means you’ll have to ask her that question. A piece of advice? I wouldn’t recommend it.”

Noah: “Time check, Caleb.”

Caleb: “Right. If you’ll excuse us, we have someplace we need to be.”

Reporter: “One last question—rumors are circulating that during the War you and Ms. Solovy traversed the portal in the Metis Nebula, where you encountered not only the Metigens themselves, but the dragons in their service.”

(Caleb smirks and begins walking away.)

Caleb: “You know, that’s almost crazy enough to be true. Have a good evening, sir.”

***

Third in a series of interviews with characters from the Aurora Rising trilogy. The first interview, with Alex Solovy and Caleb Marano following the events of STARSHINE, can be found here: http://www.gsjennsen.com/blog/2014/6/22/a-conversation-with-our-intrepid-heroesThe second interview, with Miriam Solovy following the events of VERTIGO, can be found here: http://www.gsjennsen.com/blog/2015/1/16/interview-with-admiral-miriam-solovy.