45,000 word short story: Father Bright, of the Church of the Sacred Seven, is overjoyed to learn he will be awarded the ‘Jade Numbers’ in recognition of his service to the Church. He cannot wait to get back to Earth and the Basilica where he will receive this great honour.Ambrose Ruggs has a night hell never forget as his tour as security on a mining planet comes to an end. With just one week of leave before his unit is shipped off to the infamous plains of the Flatlands fighting the Phalerons, there is only one thing on his mind – his beautiful girlfriend Maria. All he wants is to get back home and spend a week in her arms before he is shipped off to war.Their pilot, Mr Hood, is the only person available to fly the two travellers to their destinations. Bad luck for them, since theyre about to become entangled in Hood’s past. He is a man who lives his life without consideration for others and with no fear of the consequences of his actions. But, he is about to learn the eternal truth, that you can never entirely escape your past.