The circle scrawled on the floor glowed and crackled with the barely suppressed force of unspeakable energies. Craven symbols of unholy power drifted slowly up from it, hanging in the air like a purple mist over the proceedings. Though her skin crawled to even approach it, Marissa knew that untold power lay within the circle, and she craved it for her own. Marissa was an impressive sight, standing six foot tall, lithe and achingly beautiful, her heart shaped face twisted in a malicious grin, her long ebony hair swept up into a plait that reached right down to the small of her back. She entered the circle wearing little more than golden metal underwear, knowing what lay ahead of her.
A voice rang out klaxon like in the chamber.
"The new bearer of the Antrach enters the circle. Mark your choice."
The question was a simple one. To become the new bearer of the Antrach required a show of fealty to
A sigh filtered through the receiver. "People are tired of your schtick, Paula. Let's face it, we're just making the same show over and over again."
"what do you mean?!" the peroxide blonde vision declared, a hand moving to sooth a soft gurgle from beneath her desk. "My public love me! I'm a born winner!"
"yes, I know, but once you've seen one episode of 'Paula's Gonna Pop!' you've pretty much seen 'em all. The format got tired three series ago, you just don't seem to be pushing yourself like you use to."
"Not pushing myself?!" Bright red lipstick forming a tightly drawn line of annoyance bordering on rage, "It's not my fault there's not an eating challenge I can't beat!"
"well, if you don't think of something, they're going to can the show. You've got one episode to turn things around, if not we're history."
Paula slammed down the phone and angrily stood, pacing back and forth on the luxurious thick pile white carpet of her office. Cancel her show?
2. The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.
3. Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
Arthur C Clarke, 'Profiles of the Future'.
"Ladies... nggggh... Ladies and... Gentleman..."
Sweat stood out on her forehead as she spoke. Bella looked pained, winces and twinges flickering across her impeccably made up countenance as she struggled to speak, the microphone catching every moan and laboured breath as she stumbled through her speech.
"Thank... thank you for coming..."
A murmur had arisen in the assembled crowd of reporters, disinterested onlookers to scientific achievement, they had waited for the section where Dr Bella Simmons would summarise what she had actually been working on in terms their target audi