A story about the tv show, Cupid
by Steve 0yervidez

            "The dream is always the same, even though it never sticks with me... not the details anyway..."

            A woman's voice spoke against a dark, infinite night. Then suddenly, there were strange colors, dim in the blackness, moving and twisting. The voice continued to recount the dream.

            "We're traveling, hurtling through this endless vacuum. And then, there are stars. My heart beats faster as they pass. I can feel them, even without my body. Like they're the only things left..."

            Suddenly points of light appear in that vast darkness, some shifting closer, passing by on either side.

            "Hurtling through space. Not an unexpected dream, considering. But somehow... it's like I'm holding my breath, or waiting to breathe, waiting for the first touch of air, of open sky, like something I've never felt. I can't feel my body anymore. But I know I'm moving... And then it appears, beautiful in the distance..."

            Suddenly a pinpoint of extremely bright, distant light flares into existence. Stars are still racing past nearby, but the light is further away, steady,  yet getting closer.

            "It's this pure, incredible light. The kind of light that fills every corner of your soul. Lifting you, sending you soaring across the stars. As that gorgeous light gets closer, I wonder for a second if I'm dying, if reaching it would be the end. But then I realize, maybe reaching it would be the beginning..."

            The stationary light suddenly blossomed brighter for a brief moment, set against the dark star filled sky. And then it started to shift sideways, moving quickly amongst the falling stars, trailing a tail behind it like a comet.

            "It's only then that the light starts moving. And I understand I'm not going towards it, it is coming towards me. And I'm afraid... Sparks start falling, obscuring the stars..."

            Yellow points of sparks fell even closer than the passing stars, growing thick, blocking out everything. The distant bright light is suddenly coming head on, racing past the sparks, knocking them aside, before it suddenly moves aside and out of sight.

            "And then... Fireworks."

            The stars stop moving, going still against the backdrop of space. Then in the void before them, huge, colorful explosions suddenly burst to life, crisscrossing the starry night sky, blossoming in brilliant colors like flowers.

            "Something white, soft... twists and flutters past my sight. But it's too close. I can't see what it is. And for a moment... I feel at peace. But then the fireworks fade, turning into plain, ordinary lights. Lights I see everyday."

            Ceiling lights flickered on across an arching, smoothly fitted, metal ceiling, gently recessed within the metal to give a clean, efficient glow. Across the room, a pair of computer screens powered up, accompanied by a low, comforting hum of energy from high tech machinery. More displays glowed brighter and came to life. The sequence seemed almost like a living being waking up. The activity moved in a wave along the walls of the circular room, blinking, system after system switching on.
            Between two screens, a smooth rectangular recess was fronted with glass, revealing only darkness. And then slowly, a light grew in the shadows within, revealing an upright mattress, covered with a swirl of sheets, a pillow, and the slender, beautiful figure of a woman. As the light slowly grew around the edge of the mattress, her shape became more defined beneath the sheets, lying unconcerned against the vertical mattress.

            "And then the dream is gone, and in the end I have to let it go. And face the day..."

            In the wall nearby, suddenly a metal panel slid smoothly upward, a mechanical bar swinging out with clothing, a towel.

            "... and all the reality that implies."

            Within the recess, the woman looked like she was floating in water, the black tresses of her hair waving effortless through the air beside her serene, sleeping face was resting comfortably, floating black against her ivory skin. Her body shifted under the vertical sheets, still asleep. The entire bed was still upright within the recess, standing on its end. But the woman lay perfectly flat against it, not falling downward at all.
            Across the room, a red light blinked rapidly, and yet another small recess slid aside to reveal a waiting cup, that was quickly filled with a dark, black liquid, warm steam rising.
            Beside the rectangular glass recess across the room, one of the monitor screens began to blink as well, words flashing across its surface. WAKE UP INITIALIZING. FIELD MATCHING IN PROGRESS.
            Within the recess, the woman's floating shape... almost imperceptibly began to move. Everything began to fall gently sideways onto her sleeping form, as if getting heavier. Her hair fell soft beside her face. The sheets that had been loosely nestled around her body seemed to cling more carefully, sideways against her upright form.
            The screen display in the wall beside her suddenly glowed green, switching to form the word MATCHED. There was a soft hiss, and the glass recess that enclosed the mattress slid aside, disappearing into the wall.

            "Sometimes it's hard to wake up. To come back to real life..."

            Mechanical motors whirred quietly behind the upright mattress, the woman still resting effortlessly against it as if it were perfectly normal. Then the mattress began to move. The displayed on the wall beside the recess changed again to LEVELING. Slowly the mattress was sliding out, the bottom edge moving faster than the top, so that the angle of the mattress gently changed from vertical to horizontal as it entered into the room. The screen kept track, numbers scrolling down, an image of the bed shifting angles until it started to become parallel to the floor below, settling, until finally...
            FIELDS ALIGNED.
            There was a comfortable sigh from the woman's lips. Her eyes fluttered open and she woke up, her brown irises staring up at the ceiling above her. Then from the ceiling came a computer voice, speaking in a strangely comforting, yet androgynous voice.
            "Good morning, Dr. Allem..."
            Claire Allen rose out of bed, still trying to wake up. Once she left the mattress, it slid back, going quietly vertical again, moving into the recess.
            "It's not Allem, it's Allen." she corrected for what seemed like the hundredth time.
            "Yes, Dr. Allem..."
            She reached out without looking, grabbing the cup of coffee in the small wall alcove without thought as she passed, done out of habit. She yawned, speaking to the air.
            "Shower, please."
            The glass recess behind her changed again, the mattress sliding away and completely sealed off as it was replaced by tile walls on all the other three sides. Nozzles open up above, and a soft mist cascaded down in the now confined recess in the wall.
            Claire sighed. "Never waits for me to get in..." she muttered.
            Ignoring the running shower, Claire instead walked towards a bare wall, smooth and metallic.

            "Sometimes it's easier to accept the facade of what is. Than to come to grips with the fact that this home... isn't."

            She pushed a button on the bare wall, and another panel slid aside, revealing a portal, darkness beyond it, stars glinting, and sliding gently past.
            A device glowed, edged by blue lines of light. The small display came on and a music began to play, filling the air. It was just a few guitar chords for several measures, as Claire turned from the starry view to start her day, listening. Then a voice began to sing.

            Last time I talked to you, you were lonely and out of place.
            You were looking down on me, lost out in space...

            "So we're all out here searching, searching for our new home. Outcasts, roaming amongst the stars..."

            The bridge deck was quiet, blinking with lights, dazzling to the uninitiated, but familiar to the crew which worked there, every display in the dim light full of meaning. Everything was smooth, futuristic, alive with screens of graphical illumination. A crew member looked away from the huge view port before him, switching his gaze to his display and away from the stars streaming by. Something blinked brightly on his display, and a tall man came to stand at his shoulder, waiting in anticipation, but still looking at the stars. The crew member seemed almost bored, reading displays, manipulating controls. Then he looked to the man standing beside him, well practiced in what he had said hundreds of times before.
            "Dropping out of FTL, Captain. We've arrived."
            "Very well, ensign..."
            The ensign shook his head with a smile, wondering why they even bothered with those old titles anymore. The woman's voice continued to narrate.

            "But in the end, I guess what we're really looking for is meaning. Isn't that what any home really is, no matter how long it takes to find it?"

            Suddenly the stars went still outside the ship, going into the unbelievable distances far away, and the next moment  the dim interior of the bridge was bathed in a rich, orange light. As one, the whole crew looked up from their stations, watching out the huge view port in wonder, in anticipation.
            Space was filled with a sprawling vista, a swarm of beautiful color illuminated by a bright, distant star, glaring in the system the had just arrived in. It was beautiful, a canvas of color. Then, the massive bulk of the ship came into view, gliding serenely, huge beyond belief and sparkling with lights. As it moved towards the sun, orange rays of light shot past it in beams, outlining it there as the sun shone through stellar dust. The giant ship flew effortlessly, turning slightly in the bright swath of color streaming past it.
            "Twelve degrees to starboard ensign.... There it is."
            The shadows shifted on the bridge as the ship turned, and suddenly more displays came to life. There was a planet there, beautiful in the silent star field of space. The music was still playing, a man singing, as the Captain nodded, content. "Start it..."

           We laid underneath the stars, Strung out and feeling brave

            The ensign and the rest of the crew got to work. After a few seconds, invisible energy was criss crossing through space, probing, scanning. The Captain and everyone else seemed to pause with anticipation. Several screens started flashing the same word as they waited, the computer updating.


            Everyone waited, able to do nothing else. Out of nowhere, the woman continued to speak, as the scan continued.

            "But like anytime you try to find answers in life.... the journey is often filled with disappointment."

            Suddenly the screens changed, and all eyes on the bridge switched to them, waiting hopefully. But then, the displays came back with a new word, and as one, the crew seemed to lower their eyes, hope lost.


            Everyone fell back into their chairs in disappointment, even the Captain's shoulders dropped. With a sigh, he looked away from the planet, issuing orders. "Ok. You know the drill. Takes us further out to system edge near the Oort cloud, so we can set up the next hop."
            "Yes, sir." The ensign replied dispiritedly.
            The huge ship was a shadow as it turned, still caressed in the glow of the sun, but now, it seemed almost mournful, as if it were a living thing, looking for something it hadn't found. Sadly it flew towards the edge of the system, leaving the beautiful vista and the planet behind.

           I watched the red orange glow, I watched you float away...

            In her quarters still getting ready for her day, Claire was at the window, sunlight on her face. But then, the ship began to turn away, like it had a hundred times before at a hundred other planets, and then she knew. When her ship information display beeped behind her, she didn't even need to turn around to read it, already knowing what it said. Like everyone else on the ship, she turned from the new planet, forgetting it.
            The woman's voice continued.

            "Still... life goes on. As it must. We all find ways to continue. To make things seem as normal as possible. Even in the most non normal of circumstances, we all find ways to gather comfort, stability, trying to regain those things that remind us of old lives... And yet, some things it seems, never really change."

            Claire was walking down a crowded, street wide hallway on the massive ship, one like so many others. The air was buzzing with activity as she read a small news pad glowing in her hands. Its bright text scrolled with constant information, blinking about the recent strike by the sewage workers union, or new rises in compartment rental costs, the current ship wide political race, or latest holo-entertainments announcements. She sighed, bumped and jostled in the confusion of the main thoroughfare, but more than used to it. Claire paused, everyone else flowing past her as she looked up. But she saw only the ceiling lights of the ship, as her nose tickled with the aromas of 'outdoor' cafes. In the end, the passageway was as big and crowded as any city street.

            Down here in the atmosphere, Garbage and city lights
           You've gone to save your tired soul, You've gone to save our lives...

            Claire was seated in front of an assemblage of people, all of them facing her as she conducted her singles group, doling out advice with every eye in the room on her. She was in her element, laughing with them, smiling. She had seen all those faces so many times, calming fixtures in her life.

            "It always seems that people, no matter where they live, or how long they evolve, will always have the same difficulties, the same yearnings, the same failings, the same problems they have always had through time. Being out here, in a cold void in the middle of nowhere, hasn't changed the flaws that make us human. Or the need to connect with someone, to find someone to love..."

            Suddenly the joviality of the room paused, as the lights dimmed momentarily, as the ship's power shifted. Within a second they could feel the massive ship turning suddenly around them, feel it in the deck beneath their feet, almost imperceptible but there. Claire looked towards the ceiling, recognizing all the telltale signs, all the small indicators. So to her, it was no surprise when suddenly the alarms rang out, indicating the ship was under attack, yet again.

            "Like I said, some things never change. Until... they do."

            All across the hallways of the massive ship, people were running. Crew members were taking battle stations. Lights flashed red on every deck. Suddenly a bridge report came over the intercom, warning of incoming fighters. The ship's artificial A.I. was already working, routing power into weapons, sending massive amounts of energy into shields which began to form invisibly around the ship's hull in the cold of space. Weapon after weapon trained outwards along its surface into the starry depths, away from the streaming glow of the nearby sun as the ship turned to bring more guns to bear.
            In her group, Claire's brow furrowed, slightly worried that they were under attack again. With one last sympathetic glance at her group, she got up from her chair, telling them to go back to their quarters. She, however, was doing no such thing. She was going to the bridge to see what was going on.
            The Captain was tense now, standing behind one of the crewmen as he leaned down and looked into the status display glowing red before both of them, ignoring for a moment the vast view port stretching before them. The handsome, silver haired man was all business, terse and to the point as he spoke to her.
            "What's the count..." he asked simply, his brow furrowed the same as Claire's had been.
            "Twenty six, twenty nine, now... still incoming, sir. Twenty seconds out..." The young woman replied.
            The Captain straightened up on the dim bridge, now gazing out the view port at the shining cluster of moving points of light that had appeared in the distance, glowing brighter as they twisted ever closer to the ship.
            "Engage at will, all batteries..."
            Colored shafts of weapons fire arced out like luminous rain, shifting direction to try to catch the incoming fighters. But the vast majority of the shots missed, only a few explosions hitting in the attacking cluster. The small points of light were dodging faster than the guns could track.
           "No joy, Captain. As usual, they're just too fast..."
            "And our squadrons?"
           "Still grounded and under repair after their last attack."
            The Captain nodded to himself, resolve on his hard face. "This is gonna be a rough one."
            In the hallway outside, Claire tried to keep her balance as the massive ship, which had always seemed so unshakable... shook. Alarms blared everywhere. She was almost to the bridge, turning a corner where two sentries suddenly pointed their assault rifles at her head when they spotted her. They quickly lowered their weapons when they saw who it was, waving her frantically through. One thing Claire Allen definitely had, was bridge privileges. The ship shook again, a smaller one this time. Claire tried to keep her pulse down, turning a corner into the darkened bridge, before freezing at what she saw happening in silence outside of the ship.
            On the bridge, everyone seemed calm, the ship occasionally shaking in the quiet. But silent through the view port, a fierce battle twisted and sparkled in a maelstrom of light and motion. Claire swallowed. It all seemed so simple below decks, but the ship's A.I. was putting up one hell of a fight outside. The woman seated next to the Captain was counting something down. The Captain still hadn't seen Claire there at the back of the vast room. She moved closer to the view port, amazed at the ship's massive firepower, and the ferocity of the battle.
            "Twenty two, twenty one fighters now... Shields down, port quarter. Hull taking damage." The female crewman spoke with a calmness Claire certainly didn't feel as she walked up to them through the dozens of stations across the wide bridge.
            The Captain, however, took it in stride. "Send Damage teams down there. Turn our injured side away from the attack vector and keep up the guns on--... Oh. Hello, honey."
            Claire was amazed at the simple smile the Captain gave her. "Hello, Dad."
            He gazed fondly at her, trying to sound reassuring. It was completely ineffective because of the dizzying battle visible through the view port stretching behind him. "Don't worry, honey. We got it under control..."
            Claire's recorded voice continued to speak, the song continuing with her.

            "There's always adversity in life. Always things that challenge you, challenge your perceptions. Always has been, I guess. We still have to deal with challenges to live. And be surprised at our own resilience. But then again, the things challenging us, can be surprised by their own resilience too..."

            "Conn... Contact. We have a second contact, another wave at 241 mark 3--"
            "Damn it all! Shunt our reserves and prepare--" Captain Allen started issuing orders, the tension ratcheting up on the bridge at the new sensor contact. Claire tried to look past the battle, gazing out into the stars, searching for it.

           I turned on the radio, To find you on satellite
           I'm waiting for this sky to fall, I'm waiting for a sign. All we are, is all so far...

            Standing on the bridge, Claire's eyes searched across the stars. And then she spotted it, one stationary light, flaring brighter for a moment. Finally it was moving sideways across the heavens, trailing a sparkling tail like a comet.

            "And then I recognized it. Spotted it for the first time. Felt it deep inside my heart. Something, that until that moment, I thought had only existed in my dreams..."

            Leaning in over the shoulder of the ensign on the darkened bridge, the Captain's face was lit with the display screen glow from the workstation. He reached down and pressed a button, but looking back out through the wide vista of the large bridge window, staring out into the starry field stretching beyond, where the battle continued to rage. It was a thousand swarming, robotic blips, against one lone defender, weaving and firing among them. On the communication frequency he had just opened, the Captain finally called out to the pilot.
            "Ship, ID yourself..."
            Suddenly, a laugh came through the speakers in response, transmitted from the lone ship. "Don't worry, children. Daddy's home."
            Without a concern in the world, the small, distant fighter glowed brighter, weaving expertly through the maelstrom, rolling and firing shafts of colored light, quickly taking out attacker after attacker. From the way the fighter was weaving and dodging, it was obvious that the pilot was an expert flier. Standing by her father on the twilight bridge, Claire smiled at what she saw, the joy and exuberance of it. Not saying anything, there was admiration in her eyes.

            You're falling back to me, the star that I can see,
            I know you're out there, somewhere out there

            In one last, effortless maneuver, the small fighter destroyed the last of the attackers, flying through the expanding fireball while doing a triumphant victory roll. Everyone on the bridge cheered, clapping, all happy the threat had been beaten back, at least for the moment. Claire clapped along with them, and as the sound and congratulations died away, the pilot's voice from the small fighter craft called back to them, obviously having heard.
            "Did someone call for a rescue? Because your rescuer has arrived."
            Smiling, the Captain didn't care about the pilot's bravado. "Fighter, if you need supplies, we could give you a top off, check the tires."
            "Well, my windshield could use a bit of a spit shine."
            "Roger that. You have permission to land in the port hangar."
            "Roger that."

            You're falling out of reach, defying gravity...

            Claire watched the fighter as it swooped calmly around the ship, obviously in no hurry to land. She simply gazed at it in wonder, admiring his flying skills as he piloted the craft in a meaningless, effortless dance against the stars. Somewhere, her voice could be heard again, speaking as she recorded her journal.

            "Sometimes life surprises you. Surprises you with good, with bad. With the unexpected. And we all develop ways of dealing with those moments. Things that help us get by. And then... sometimes... life surprises you with something truly unique, even rarer than all the rest.... hope."

            I know you're out there, somewhere out there

            Still watching from the bridge, Claire came to a silent decision without thinking, eyes following that glow point of brightness outside as it moved gracefully through the black void of space, glinting in the light of the nearby sun. In some way she couldn't explain, she felt drawn to it. "I want to meet him...."
            Beside her, her father turned his head. After a moment he smiled, giving her a knowing look, seeing her reaction, but keeping his thoughts to himself.
            Without needing a reply, Claire kept watching that distant point of light, before turning and heading back to her quarters to get dressed.
            A few minutes later she was walking through her living space, trying to decide what to wear as she straightened her hair and got ready. As she walked from place to place, several variants of holographic clothing were appearing for a few moments on her body, moving and turning with her. Each time, she rejected what she saw after glancing into the mirror that had risen earlier from the middle of the floor. She spoke to the computer, not stopping what she was doing, calling out with each glance.
            "No... No... No, not that one," she said over and over, quickly examining each outfit. "Something a little more sultry, computer..."
            A new outfit appeared on her body without warning, stopping her in mid step. She looked over at the mirror, not believing what she was wearing. "Ummm... Computer?"
            After a moment the computer removed the clothing projection. It was of a holographic clown suit, complete with oversized shoes and red gonzo hair. In some strange way, its quiet voice almost seemed  to be making fun of  her as it replied. "Sorry, Dr. Allem..."
            "It's Allen..." she muttered yet again to herself, knowing her correction wouldn't make a difference.

            I hope you remember me, when you're homesick and need a change...

            Set after set of clothing appeared on her body, even one skimpy outfit of a black teddy and garter belts. But she ignored them as she worked on her hair. She held a metal, palm sized disc in her hand, a thin light glowing through a strip around it's edge in slowly ever changing colors. Carefully, she touched it to a single strand of hair on her head, and one color would wash out in a wave, changing all  the other strands of her hair to match the new hue. Color after color appeared on her shoulders, trying on different shadings. She felt like she was in a rush, knowing the fighter craft and its occupant would be landing at any minute. Holding the metal disc, she paused on the color purple, looking into the mirror for several moments before her lips wrinkled and she changed her mind, settling, as always, on black. The music continued to play, a man singing.

            I miss your purple hair, I miss the way you taste...

            Finally dressed, Claire tried her best not to sprint towards the hanger bay entrance up ahead. She skidded awkwardly to a halt, looking around to see if anyone had seen that. She straightened the simple black dress that fit very well on her, trying to regain an image of sexy composure as she tried to catch her breath. Her words, speaking into her automated journal entry, could still be heard, a calm voice over the continuing sound of the music as she moved more slowly towards the hanger entrance.

            "It's natural to be excited about new things. To be eager to move into new experiences, new phases of life, new relationships. And yet, sometimes eagerness can cloud our judgment. Sometimes it takes the old experiences, the phases of life that came before, to help temper that enthusiasm. Reign it in. As sad as that is... sometimes it's unavoidable."

            There were armed soldiers already there when Claire entered the hanger bay, surprising her. This man had just saved their whole ship, a ship the size of a large city. Why were they here now? She looked at the rest of the cavernous hanger deck. Lights glowed onto the wide space from the ceiling high above. The sight of open star speckled space loomed over them  through the large entrance to the bay before her, protected by an energy shield. Half of  the ships other fighters, all in various stages of disrepair, dotted the periphery of the hanger deck. But Claire's attention was back on the soldiers as she entered, all of their dark rifles immediately swiveling and centering on her without a second thought. They looked nervous, jumpy after the attack, until they saw who she was and lowered their weapons again, exhaling.

            I know that you'll come back some day, on a bed of nails I wait...

            Claire checked her watch, feeling very conspicuous in her slinky black dress standing next to a line of heavily armed troops with large rifles and battle armor. But it was more than that that was making her nervous. There was an excitement coursing through her. Whoever was piloting that fighter, she knew she was about to meet him. See him for the very first time. The thought of that made her body seem to tingle, in a way it hadn't in a long time. As a smile crossed her face at her reaction, she checked her watch again, waiting.

            "And then there are times like this... when eagerness takes over, and temperance be damned."

            On the ship's darkened main bridge, the crew was still watching the fighter flying leisurely above and below the ship, swerving, swooping through the cold of space, in no apparent hurry. Captain Allen watched, curious, before he suddenly realized a sound was being transmitted by the small fighter.
            He leaned forward again, listening more closely, speaking to the ensign there in the seat.
            "WHAT is he doing?"
            Seated at the station, the young ensign seemed as surprised as he was. "He's singing..."
            "Singing what?"
            The Captain chuckled, watching the pilot fly around the massive ship purely for enjoyment. After a few moments he reached down and opened a channel to the dancing fighter. "Anytime you're ready, pilot."
            The pilot's voice came back. "Love flying. Can't get enough of it. Coming in..."
            The small fighter turned for the hanger bay.

            I'm praying you don't burn out, or fade away
            And all we are, is oh so far...

            In the hanger bay where Claire was standing, soft klaxons started echoing. A ship was coming in. All eyes turned to the shielded, open portal. And then, with a glint from the sun, there it was, angling closer as it turned gracefully towards the hanger bay. Without warning it accelerated towards the force field, moving faster, everyone stepping back, uncertain.
            Sparkling with discharge, the fighter raced quickly through the force field, and immediately the hanger was filled with the roar of it's engines. It seemed the speeding ship was going to crash, racing towards the deck. But then the pilot pulled the nose up, firing his ventral thrusters and revving his main afterburners higher. The ship hovered for a split second, nose up, the bright afterburner flames spreading out on the deck beneath it, before the ship effortlessly set down on it's landing pads. It was a flawless, and very showy, landing.

            You're falling back to me, you're the star that I can see...
            I know you're out there, somewhere out there...

            Cautious, the combat soldiers stepped in, forming a ring around the ship as the engines died. There were footsteps and Claire looked over as her father walked into the hanger, giving the ship a steady, judging look. There was a tenseness in the air. With a hiss, the fighter's cockpit hatch released it's airtight seal, swiveling up. The soldiers lifted their rifles, gripping them tighter, muzzles centered on the snub fighter. Without hesitation, her father walked forward to the craft's opening hatch.
            A man stepped out, smiling, simple looking enough. Claire didn't know what to think. She didn't know what she had been expecting. The man hopped enthusiastically off the fighter's wing and to the hanger deck, every gun in the room still tracking him. He didn't seem to notice, walking straight up to Captain Allen as if nothing were out of the ordinary, obviously proud of himself.
            Claire kept her distance, waiting. She watched her father talk to the pilot, not hearing what was being said from where she was. As the man talked enthusiastically, her father suddenly paused, giving him a strange look. His guarded, grateful reception for this man's rescue of their ship seemed to change as the man spoke. Other soldiers closer by, who were listening as well,  looked confused, stepping clear of him. After a silent moment, her father motioned her over, slowly. Curious as to what was going on, Claire approached them across the wide hanger deck.
            It was just her father and the smiling pilot standing beside the fighter craft when she got there. Her father gave her a strange look, but the pilot didn't seem bothered at all. "Umm... Claire. I think this is more you're area."
            Now confused even more, Claire approached the pilot as her father stepped back. Still speaking somewhere unseen, Claire's voice was recording into her journal.

            "And sometimes, what happens, can't be planned. Because it's never happened before. It's usually the unexpected things that knock you on your ass..."

            Claire looked at the man. He was simple looking enough, vaguely handsome in his own way. Short, dark hair. Round face. But there was a twinkle in his eye, an energy emanating off him that felt like electricity on her skin. She didn't know what she had expected him to look like, but this was somehow definitely, exactly it. She felt almost embarrassed, afraid everyone would notice the response she was having. This strange man was, without a doubt, causing  a very interesting  reaction in her.
            Her mind wandered with possibilities, for half a second daydreaming, images like memories flashing through her mind. But then she came back to the present moment, catching her breath, stepping forward to introduce herself as her voice spoke out again into her journal.

            "And then... life surprises you."

            She offered her hand to him. "Hi. I'm... I'm Claire Allen."
            The pilot smiled proudly. When he spoke, his voice felt warm to her ears, familiar almost. Without the slightest sign of hesitation, he introduced himself.
            "Hi. I'm Trevor Hale. Cupid. God of Love."
            Claire was speechless as she numbly shook the hand of a crazy man. Far away, the music seemed to suddenly lose enthusiasm, the man's voice echoing, but still singing.

            You're falling out of reach, I know...

            And everything faded into black.