At the very boundaries of our solar system, a ship hung silent and motionless. A tall figure walked along its corridors towards the bridge and, having entered, stopped next to the throne sat at its centre.
"My lord," he said nervously, "the results of the last sweep have arrived. There was no sign of it anywhere."
"Where else is there left?"
"There are only four systems we have not searched," he said. He handed him the list he had been carrying.
"We had best head for Earth then. No fool would have left it there, plus we are such a short distance from it. Set a course for Earth, and let us be done here as quickly as possible."
On a distant, icy world a cloaked figure stared across the valley at the jet black fortress nestled on the top of a hill opposite him. After a moment he set forth towards it on his horse, barely flinching as the gates were thrown open to welcome him. He continued on through the inner doors, only stopping in the hall of the fortress when two guards took the reins of his horse. Nodding to the guard who had pointed down a side passage, he set off towards the large wooden doors at the end.
The two guards moved aside to allow him through and he entered an immense throne room. Sat on six thrones on the edges of the room were men who appeared more ancient than most could imagine. Reaching the middle of the room, the figure threw his hood back, revealing the face of a world-weary old man.
"My lords, I bring to you disturbing news."
The figures stirred, suddenly aware of this intruder.
"The moment we have long feared has finally arrived. As we speak our foes are on the verge of discovering him, even though as yet they are unaware of this. I come hear to seek your aid," said the old man.
"This is not our concern," said the central figure. "He was your pupil once, I am sure you can stop him from discovering the prize he seeks. Go, and bother us no longer."
"I understand, I will travel directly there," said the clearly frustrated traveller.
"One last thing Prophet," said one of the figures. "You more than any of us know what is at stake. The enemy cannot discover him or his true identity. The lives of every mortal being may depend on his survival."