In contrast to the central office, the living room was refreshingly modernized. The puerile sixties carpets had given way to elegant hardwood. The swirls and paint-spattered wall paper had been replaced with paneling in classical styles. The furniture was non-descript without being Ikeaish, mostly comfy leather and Mediterranean style cushions. Recessed lights gave the room a warm glow that nevertheless managed to not clash with the panorama of stars that flooded through the room's many windows. Blazes had brought quite an entourage, and despite being a gaunt skeleton of his former self, he was boisterously greeting the various Tracey family members who had rushed to greet him, from the still handsome Alan grasping him in a bear hug to the various younger children running amok. As Virgil wheeled himself over to Blazes, Molly found a spot on the wall to lean against, next to Ruxpin's looming bulk.
"Didn't you two used to sleep together?"
"I thought you two used to be an item when he still did our milk runs." Molly walloped Ruxpin in the side. "Ooomph."
"Theo, I don't even like men."
"I saw the looks he used to give you." Ruxpin said dryly.
"He was very sweet." Molly said defensively. "He had quite a crush on me. Worse then that driver. Almost as bad as Slaghoople."
"Slaghoople?" Ruxpin asked incredulously.
"Oh you know how it is, Theo. Long cold nights in the jungle. A girl needs to find a way to keep warm."
"Girl? Even then you were in your seventies."
"Rub it in, why don't you." Molly said, sounding miffed. They watched as Blazes and Virgil continued to greet each other enthusiastically.
"You're the only one who calls me that, you know."
"Calls you what?"
"Theo. Even my mother only ever called me Mohiam."
"And your father?"
"Teddy, when he wasn't calling me Junior. Wait- I thought you used to screw Tito?"
"When will people learn to- oh, heads up." Virgil was beckoning Molly over. As she walked to him, Ruxpin whispered in her ear:
"Slaghoople?" which caused Molly to secretly jab her elbow into Ruxpin's chest (causing another muffled 'oomph').
"William" Virgil was saying "I have the pleasure to introduce you to an old friend, Brigadier General von Possenreißer of NATO, along with her aide, Colonel N'Ruxpin, formerly of the USAR."
"Aide?" Ruxpin muttered "Will I ever get out from under our shadow?"
"Oh suck it up you big baby." Molly muttered back.
"Colonel, I remember reading about your case. It was a travesty, sir, a travesty." Blazes' voice was a mere shadow of the once powerful bellow it had been. He was only
thirty-seven, but he was unimaginably gaunt. His flesh hung off his body, giving him an almost comical appearance.
"Believe me, Mr. Blazes, no one knows that more than I." Ruxpin said, shaking Blazes hand.
"Please, call me me Billy." Blazes turned his attention to Molly. As he did so, his face lit up with childlike wonder, and his eyes burned brighter. "General... I wrote a paper about you in university. I studied your campaigns, your music, your choreography. I grew up in Star City. When I was twelve, the Opera House put on a retrospective of your years as De Lune- big screen and everything. Your Elisabeth-" At this point, he was interrupted by a member of the service staff signalling dinner. Molly's face was beet red. "Excuse me, General, bu they always serve such a feast here. Mind you, anythings better than that damn astronaut food...." Blazes was swept away as a small mob of people followed the server to the dining room. Molly was left alone, save Ruxpin. It was suddenly very quiet, with the soft sound of the surf in the background. Into the stillness, Ruxpin again murmured
But Molly wasn't listening. She was starring at the doorway, having gone from vibrant blushing to a stark pale.
"General?" Ruxpin asked worriedly.
"He wrote... a paper. H wrote a paper, Colonel. I wrote of me as one would of any historical figure. Did you see his face? I'm already history, Theo. To him, I'm already history."