miles of the earth!” Nikolas yelled at his wife and wildly waved his arms to emphasize his point.
“That’s just stupid Nicky,” she responded, “It’s non-ionizing radiation, not harmful. All the studies - some of which I did myself - show none of the effects that your group claims.”
“I demand that you quit, and stop hanging around that bunch of perverts and whores in space!” Nikolas’s face was getting red as he became more agitated.
Diana Jaworski made her decision right then. After throwing some clothes into an overnight bag, she left her upscale home in Orange County never to return. She drove her electric two-seat smart car into Los Angles and arrived at her assistant’s apartment. Roger Edwards showed surprise when he opened the door and saw his boss in the hall.
“Can I crash on your couch? I don’t feel up to a hotel tonight.” Embarrassed, she smiled and stepped through the door before he could recover.
John and Natsuki walked down a path ten meters wide, holding hands like ordinary lovers. Mihoshi followed quietly behind. The path went through what could have been a well-to-do American suburb of the late twentieth century, before war and economic collapse changed everything. They came to a high hedge that blocked the view. Walking along it, they came to an arched gate.Hull led them through. Natsuki came to a stop and exclaimed,“It's beautiful John!”
Before her was a replica of her family's summer home near Mount Fuji.
There where fish ponds on each side of the slate walkway to the house. Natsuki ran in, went to the back room and opened the wall partition to find a small Japanese garden with a Cherry tree and a brook running through the far corner. In the distance, instead of Mount Fuji, she saw the towers of the urban strip that circled the equator of the cylindrical Habitat.
She changed to some jeans and a comfortable blouse, and sat on a bench with Hull in the garden.
“I wish our fathers were here to see this,” he said, a little sadness in his voice. At the mention of their fathers, Natsuki signaled Mihoshi who had been standing a discreet distance away. Stepping forward, she handed an envelope to Natsuki and returned to her protective station.
“My father wished for you to receive this,” Natsuki said as she handed it to Hull.
He broke the wax seal and withdrew two smaller envelopes, each one having their respective names written on them in a shaky scrawl. They both read in silence.
The first few pages of the letter to Hull were instructions from his dead father: the steps that he wished taken when the habitat became self-sufficient. The last page was from Natsuki's father.
Natsuki's letter was from her father with special instructions that were a little different than the ones Hull had gotten. The last part of the letter was recently written in her fathers fading hand. It read:
“Natsuki, soon I will no longer be the head of the Nakamura clan. I know my dearest daughter has the strength and knowledge to lead us into the future, But she must also tend to her own future and happiness. I ask her to marry John-san as she and he are fated to be together. I have known of my daughter’s love for him for some time and I know he loves her. Natsuki and John-san represent the future world we have tried to build at New Eden; it was done all for my daughter and the son of my friend. It had been a wish his father and I shared that our children should be together.”
“Did you just receive orders to get married?” asked Hull.
“In a loving way,” replied Natsuki. But it still was an order.
It may have been fate or simply a plan but either way it happened slowly over time: Natsuki and John were born the same year, and both fathers liked to have their children close. Both were home schooled. Over the years, Nakamura and Hull had many face to face meetings as their fathers slowly worked towards their goal. It seemed natural for the children of partners and friends to play together at such meetings.
John’s mother died of a misdiagnosed cancer when he was three, so Natsuki's mother took it upon herself to care for him when his own father whas traveling the world, setting up their consortium. Natsuki and John grew up together. The earliest memories Natsuki had of him being more than a friend where from