image of Moscow meeting in Red Diamond novel“It’s a bit like starting to write a book,” said Pablo Fabian, looking out over the huge but empty film studio.

“I guessed you were a visual creative,” said Grant, “even though you’ve had the most success as a writer.”

“Do you really think you can successfully combine the book and the contest using the studio?”

“Most reality shows get by on one gimmick – the pruning process and the emotional fallout it causes. And much of that is negative, everything from hand-wringing to despair. Not much better than a soap opera. Your idea is that everyone gets rewarded for being positive, talented and driven. The studio just has to capture the gold at the end of the rainbow.”

“It’s certainly big enough to create a rainbow,” said Fabian as the two men walked along the viewing corridor towards the mezzanine control booth.

Grant opened the door and Fabian was surprised at the large work area, and the four people already using the desks and laptops. He recognised The Onne from their webcam discussions and she rose to greet him.

Fabian had often been beaten at running or swimming by Jessica but never felt inferior. With The Onne he accepted her power, almost from the first moment he saw her.

“Hi Pablo, short time no speak,” said The Onne, hugging and cheek-kissing in a smooth motion as if they’d been close friends for years.

“You really are …”

“Impressive?” challenged The Onne, laughing.

“That too, but I was trying to think of a way to say ‘dramatic’ without it sounding rude.”

An excerpt from Brian’s Red Diamond, part of the Women out of Time trilogy.