Previously: First Flight
Laurynn Lee met her husband, Sky Lord, when he saved her from falling into the mouth of a live volcano. The volcano had been walking across the ocean for several days, ranting in a sibilant volcanic language, looking like it wanted to fight. It pounded its fist into the palm of its other hand. Laurynn, an agent for the solar system government at the time, had been trying to talk the thing down. She was sitting on its shoulder, whispering into its vast ear, when it happened to twist its ankle stumbling across the Marianas Trench.
“Ouch, ouch, ouch,” it said. It hopped around. Laurynn lost her grip.
Sky Lord caught her just before she fell into the volcano’s open mouth.
“Oh, thank you,” she said. “Now, please, put me down.”
He put her down in Honolulu. He had a fight with the volcano. He won.
Then he found Laurynn again (she had been hiding in the bathtub of a cheap room at a cheap hotel — curtains drawn, lights out, bathroom door locked). He took her to his favorite restaurant, an Indian buffet in New Zealand. They got married the next day in Vegas. The day after that, they had a kid — sort of. Sky Lord built a clone out of their combined genetic material. The day after that, he hollowed out a mountain in the Antarctic for their family to live in. Things were going fine. They were in love, he assured her. The day after that, she died. Supervillains killed her. Sky Lord never figured out which ones. They were very smart. They made it look like she killed herself. He knew that that wasn’t possible. He knew that they had been happy together, that she, in particular, had been happy with him. There was very little that he didn’t know. Here was one thing he did not know: what to do now.
Sky Lord had never encountered death as an irreversible condition before. He had never really seen it after-the-fact. It had always been something that might have happened if he hadn’t been there to stop it. He couldn’t stand the thought of her death. It made no sense. He put her body into cryogenic sleep — saying that he thought maybe he could save her someday, but he knew better. He had opened his third eye. He had looked for her soul. It was no longer there.
Then he invented the memory-dumping technology he uses today on his son. Good thing, too, because his son has died more than a thousand times since that day.
Next: A Good Idea, Part One