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A month has passed and Alexand was sedated to aid in her recovery from heart surgery. The sedatives are wearing off, and she begins to hear voices. (This issue is dedicated to my son, Sam, who is 18 today. Happy Birthday, Sammy, one of the few people who are as real to me as my characters.)

Alexand’s back story, set inside her mind and on Christmas Island, Australia (3991)

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Abouna Panak has seen the future and the past, yet he is still quietly upset at seeing Lieutenant Colonel Merek’s condition. He stands at the back of the room as her family stand at her bedside, waiting to hear her prognosis from Doctor Azizi.

Abouna’s back story, set on Christmas Island, Australia (3991)

Inajda contacted Field Marshall Panak, and he arranged for Alexand to be taken to Christmas Island to be assessed. Alex lays unconscious in the sick bay, with Heyem, Inajda and Jarad waiting anxiously outside for news.

Inajda’s back story, set on Christmas Island, Australia (3991)

Inajda is still drowsy from sleep deprivation, but sits with Katherine, waiting for Alex to wake, after being cured of this terrible illness.

Inajda’s back story, set in China (3991)

Katherine materialises inside a bedroom, alongside the strange future version of Alexand. She can see Inajda, sleeping in a chair beside a bed, and in that bed, a very sick Alexand.

Katherine’s back story, set in China (3991)

Katherine, equipped with dark glasses and a determined stride, makes her way towards her brand new laboratory.

Katherine’s back story, set onboard the Kyuunansen (3991)

Katherine has grown impatient and as the fifth day of her recovery approaches, post-surgery, she is curious to peek out of her bandages, to find out if she can see properly, and more importantly, gain access to her laboratory. (This story is dedicated to my mum, as it is her birthday very soon. My mum, Barbara, is one of the kindest, wisest, warmest, happiness-inducing and funniest people I have ever known, and as some readers know, Alexand Merek is very loosely based on her, although Mum would probably disagree. Happy Birthday Mum, I love you so much xxx)

Katherine’s back story, set on board the Kyuunansen (3991)