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Empty Chair

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A Barsoomian dining table was made of three sides. One held the host, one the hostess, and the most honored guest took the third side.

This night under two moons saw the host's seat empty once more, while a Thark held the guest's side, and the hostess tried not to let her eyes linger on the empty chair.

That chair had been empty too long, and soon the shell of the egg in its incubation chamber would break, leaving her child to enter a world without its father.

"John Carter of Virginia will return to you, princess."

Dejah Thoris met Sola's eyes across the intervening space. "So he will."

It was only a matter of time.