Finally, the other creature assented.

Skietra wasted no time, jumping past him and into Terran space. Where everything was - relatively - normal. There was nothing here for her to observe or react to. The Terrans had freed themselves from the Arions. At a high price, but it was done. There was no indication Skietra was being sought here.

They're expecting you. The alien's words echoed back to her. But not here, she realized. She next went to Arion space... to discover the planet Aria gone!

That caught her by surprise. Obviously, Aria wasn't expecting her in their territory, either. She wondered where they went... tasted the fibers of etherspace, and saw the whole planet had been spirited away. A long way at that.

Aria probably expected her, but she didn't feel obliged to find out right away. Whoever or whatever was expecting her, the other had implied, was in this galaxy. Still, she had to check on Riut, the other major planet in the Empire. They'd recently had a disaster, one she knew about and had pinpointed while outside the Milky Way. But they seemed to be at least a little on the road to recovery. They would take a long time, but the urgent summons there had passed.

So who was expecting her? She took one guess, and jumped into the Velorian star system.

Good guess. There was a Terran Military Colony in orbit. She jumped aboard again, wandered the hallways, but picked up no thoughts that indicated they were expecting her. So it was someone else. On the planet, then.

She jumped downplanet, and sifted the minds of her people, her pets. It didn't take her very long to discover one new addition to Velor. She scanned the planet's leaders, but they hadn't expected her either. Which left one very obvious possibility remaining.

She walked - not jumped, simply walked, since it was very close to her - to the newly painted Embassy of the United Nations of Terra. Humans and their insistence on long, grandiose names. She walked through the airlock and into an atmosphere closely resembling that of Earth; the gold dust and dangerous components to humans had been filtered out.

Surprisingly, no one attempted to slow her down, as the pudgy appearance strolled through the halls. Maybe they remembered her. More likely, they'd had a video recording of her last appearance before them, a hundred and twenty years prior. Their thoughts told her that she was wanted here. Reading a few more minds, she found her way to Ambassador Johnson's office, and opened the door without hesitation.

The ambassador was startled, but then smiled. Yes, he had been expecting her. She didn't even need to ask. He had a message to pass on to her. He stood up, and quietly reached to the top shelf of a bookcase filled with Velorian literature. He pulled one notebook off the shelf, opened it, and handed it to her.

She read the message, as the ambassador's mind sheepishly admitted he didn't understand it, but that Admiral Yevgeni had written this message for her. Six words.

We know about First Earth, too.

She looked up, suddenly terrified, and vanished.