With a surge of mental energy, Wisdom energized the form of an elderly English gentleman. Gold rimmed round spectacles and a greying goatee adorned his face. A matching soft cap complimented a brown tweed jacket and pants that were reminiscent of mid twentieth century Earth, a planet that was light years away from where he now stood. For some reason he had grown quite accustomed to this shape and drew a sense of comfort from resting his hand lightly on the carved wooden walking cane at his side.

Wisdom looked around the dark alleyway created by the surrounding, soaring skyscrapers. Abandoned old wooden pallets, cardboard boxes and several small clear plastic containers littered the area, the refuse of a burgeoning civilization. High above, he could make out a small patch of blue sky, where every now and then a flitter-car would scoot into view and just as quickly vanish from sight.

Chuckling to himself as if to a jest only he could hear, Wisdom walked to the end of the alley and stepped out into a huge open square at the heart of a bustling city. He loved this place and remembered when the builders had laid the first blue paving tile that seemed to mirror the cloudless sky above. The area was so large that even with the number of workers employed it had taken them years to complete the task. Skyscrapers, of a similar size to the ones that had created the alleyway from which he had just stepped, fenced the square in on all sides. Everything was on a vast scale in the capital.

Wisdom let his gaze wander across the paving to the eight large water fountains positioned equidistant from each other along the circumference of a giant circle. Each fountain represented one of Kaladon’s eight continents with a single larger fountain in the middle symbolising unity. The sound of the spraying water provided a soft undercurrent of tranquillity as it gently echoed off the surrounding buildings.

Kaladon IV was the fourth planet out from a binary star system and teemed with over twelve billion inhabitants. It was also the birthplace of the fledgling Concord of planets.

“Get back in here and finish those dishes young man!”

“Oh Mum. Can’t I skip them just this once? I really want to build the lean-to with Dad in the woods.”

Ray’s mother quickly wiped her hands on her apron and glanced out the window. She squinted as she gauged how long it would be until the first sun set and the second rose above the horizon.

“Please Mum?” Ray whined.

“Oh get going you scoundrel!”

“Yeah!”

Without looking back (in case she changed her mind) the blond-haired, blue eyed ten year old rushed out through the fly wire door and slammed it behind him. The red barn was on the other side of the family’s old flitter car at rest in the driveway and it did not take Ray long to reach the huge double front doors. As he pulled the left one open, he could hear his father rummaging around for what they would need for building the lean-to together in the woods.

“So your mother let you off the dishes?”

Ray pulled the door of the barn closed behind him just like his Dad taught him since he was little. “Yes sir.”

A broad grin crossed his father’s face. “You’d better do something special for her tomorrow. Come here son.”

Ray ran to his father and felt himself immediately lifted off the ground in a bear hug. “Oh, my you’re getting big and heavy.”