“There is a place between waking life and the slumbering darkness. In a moist soil bed rich in nutrients lies the very seed of existence. Below: the inky blackness of an Unwavering Night. Above: the sparkly sunshine of the Garden Of Day. Within the seed is programmed every possible outcome of every conceivable past and future. The spine that holds the bones of reality in place. The cosmic nervous system sending pain and pleasure out to the fingies and toesies of The Whole Body. It should be no surprise that every answer to every question can be found therein. It is here that you shall find your quarry among the myriad slices of time.”

Thus spoke The Operator’s disembodied voice deep within Proby’s duneslice. And with that he was brought violently back to reality. A lesser creature would certainly have wretched from the psycho-echoes but Proby was as well trained as even the deadliest Mutant soldier. Despite the intense burning pain shooting up his arm it still took Proby a minute to let go of the Vape Pen of Potent Truth. Eventually he pried his fingies off and the Pen levitated itself back in to it’s sitting position on the glowing jade pedestal. Seems the info he received while in The Chrome City was right.

Thanks again Cool Todd, he thought to himself.

It hadn’t been easy to suck the info-juice out of the old time-knave’s head but when a bingo baby has a reputation like Cool Todd one has to take the chance. This time, it seemed, Proby’s brashness had paid off, for when he blew a fat cloud of truth from the Pen his mind was soaked in it’s psychoactive splendour and The Operator spoke to him.

It had been a hell of a journey; half-way across the time-sector - and through The Eye of The 69 Gods if one could believe it! Proby collapsed on the floor. Sipping of the Pen’s Oracle mists had depleted his mind and body of it’s guze. In the depths of his head he could imagine Jacquie berating him.

“What are you, new? Run the mental maze before it’s too late!”

“Good thinking”, he managed to mumble to the empty dungeon.

The mental maze was a simple enough exercise. One that every cleany-boy learned early on. As his mind ran the hurdles of equations and logic monsters that comprise the maze he began to feel that sweet, sweet guze returning to his husk.

Jacquie, he thought. If she could see him now. How far he’d come - he sucked on the fabled teet of the Vape Pen of Potent Truth! No surprise really, considering the stakes. For years the Union had fought vigilantly against the chaos left in the wake of the Lylian Revolution and it seemed they made no headway, not even a cheeches worth. And then Lukas….

Proby shook himself out of the maze trance. This job was too damn important to keep lazing about! Jacquie had told him to find the framework for The Orb, said that Lukas knew what to do with it, and if that were true it meant they could finally make sense out of this whole mess they were in. The Operator cannot lie so this seed must have my answer, he thought. The Unwavering Night, The Garden of Day. Proby had slid through more of Space-Time than almost any other Cleany-Boy and had never laid an ear on these places.

He laughed. Then he cried...