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Isolova Kochubel was the first Metafire person to notice Steven's eyes open. "Are you comfortable, American? We have you attached here. Don't struggle. If you need something loosened, let me know."

Steven felt remarkably comfortable except for the cutting effects of the ties. "The ties are cutting me. Can we get these off?"

"No, American. We cannot. But I am a doctor. If you notice any tingling or you want me to look at a place, let me know. We can make adjustments." She had kind eyes hidden in her weathered face.

Steven said, "Can you loosen around my wrists? They're biting there."

"What is your name?" She asked as she went around with what appeared to be a hairpin.


By now two other Metafire people had pulled over to them. "I'm Isolova, and this is Michael and Kennedy. Ah, and here comes our two other hostages, Erisa and Jack."

Steven noticed they were in a large area, the cavern. Kennedy spoke as Erisa and Jack approached, "I'm glad you guys were reasonable. I would hate to have to keep you like this." Then Kennedy turned to Steven, " I think we can free him, if he can convince us he won't cause trouble."

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