Pop scrabbles in the red dust, a thin layer covers almost everything on Planet Mall, grasping for his communicator. He ducks down behind a shelf, that is almost as tall as the ceiling itself, making himself as small as possible. He whispers, clicking the record button as quietly as possible "The year: 2303, the planet: Planet Mall, the kids: Gagafied." A loud banging sound makes him jump, sweat rolls down his forehead and his fingers tremble around the communicator. "This way!" a gruff voice yells, the words scrapping their way out of his throat. It was close, too close. "I don't have much time, they'll find me soon, my quest to discover the dreamer has failed, the music returning has become a distant dream. It seems something called 'pop idol' may have had some part it its destruction. My intel suggests that pop start were being created at such a rate that the music industry imploded. Not pretty. Globalsoft pounced, destroying any chance of getting the music back," Another bang shakes the ground below him, causing kindles to fall from the shelves and smash into pixels on the stone floor. Pop whips his head to the right, connecting it with a fist flying in the opposite direction. Pain explodes through his jaw as he is thrown to the ground, spittle runs down his chin as he props himself up. "Khashoggi" he grinds out, whipping blood from under his nose. He doesn't even look up to check if he is correct in his assumption, the black, overly shiny shoes give it away. A circle of green light radiates around him, he reaches out a hand and tentatively touches it. "Ow," he hisses, yanking his hand back as electric runs up his arm, making the hairs stand on end. "It's a rather new invention, incredibly efficient though, don't you think? It's called a force cage," says Khashoggi, picking dirt from under his well manicured nails. He is a well built individual, with greying hair and a thick, streaked moustache, giving a hint of the former colour that graced his head with its presence. "You've read a few too many of the ancient texts for you to go unnoticed, my friend, She's not happy," he says, sliding his sun glasses down his large nose and placing them into his lapel pocket. "She's never happy," Pop growls, slumping into a sitting postion, nursing his bruised jaw and broken nose. "No, I suppose not" Khashoggi barks out a harsh laugh. His grin reveals yellowing teeth, causing the skin to stretch gruesomely across his skull. "Answer me this?" as if Pop had a choice. "Why do you concern yourself so much with what is dead and gone, the "music" as you call it is never coming back. Globalsoft has made sure of that," he laughs again, his vocal chords scratching and straining. "Without the past, what hope have we got? What kind of future can we have? The one Globalsoft is building? Where everyone has the same thoughts, says the same things? Where the music has been analysed by computers so many times it no longer even resembles a melody?" He notices the men that surround him, all wearing identical uniforms, with identical grimaces painting their faces. "Our way isn't so bad" Khashoggi says in mock sympathy.
"Your way is the death of individual expression and any hope at all, no matter how small it may be."
"What good is hope to you, old man?"
"Without hope you have nothing," Pop says simply.
"What does 'living rock' mean to you?"
"I only know what I have read from the texts, that the way to find it is by following a star, it is the place of champions, where everything will be returned back to how it was before," Pop gradually pulls himself to his feet as the words he says seem to bring him strength.
"He knows nothing," says Khashoggi triumphantly, "take him away." He snaps his fingers and the guards seem to impossibly stand up even straighter. The green glow disappears and they grab Pop, dragging him along behind them. Pop struggles, thrashing his legs and arms this way and that, grabbing hold of anything possible. But what the guards fail to notice is that he is not trying to free himself, but instead hide his communicator between two books. "Queen Unseen" and "Elvis: Behind the legend". "Make love, not war!" Pop yells, before his head slams into the corner of a bookcase.