Part Two Rosie, Bova, Catalina, and Harlan entered the boys bunk room. There, they saw Radu lying on the floor with a small grin on his face. His eye's were widened as if he was staring at something horrendous. But the grin on his face made it seem as if he was happy. Rosie knelt down and waved her hand back and forth in Radu's face. No response. She turned around, finding it hard to see her close friend in such a state. "Is he dead?" Catalina said as she slowly made her way closer. "No," Rosie said trying to keep her composure. "He's just spaced. But...what made him like this?" "You know," Bova began, "I'm not at all surprised that this happened. It figures. We need a good navigator to get us home, and naturally, something like this happens. We're doomed. It's probably the trespasser that did this to Radu. Soon we'll all be this way. They'll take over the ship and we'll die. We'll never see our families again." "Oh come on Bova. You need to be more optimistic. I'm sure it's just a temporary thing," Rosie said, trying to convince herself more than the others. Rosie glanced back at Radu. He started to murmur something under his breath. "Wait, he's trying to say something." Rosie got closer to listen. "It sounds like he's saying...no it couldn't be..." "What?" Harlan said impatiently. "He said...'special friend.'" Rosie stared up at the others. "Okay what we have to do is de-code those files. And we need to get Radu to a safe place." "I agree, and Suzee does too," Catalina stated. "We should also let Commander Goddard and Ms Davenport know. Maybe they can help us find an antidote." "Right. Let's move." Harlan and Bova grabbed Radu and dragged him towards the jumptubes. With a few simple coordinates, they heaved the heavy Andromedan into the tube, and followed after into the Med- Lab. They set him down in the most comfortable position they could lift him in, and went searching for the Commander and Ms Davenport. ****** "Heh, heh....well you see T.J......" Goddard said stuttering. "Well... today we....uh.....that is, this morning.....or.....last night...." "What?" Ms Davenport said slightly annoyed. She knew where this was heading. After she had planned her lesson, the class would be canceled. "See.....last night, we had an intruder. It is now on the ship and no where to be found. There was, however, a data bank on their ships logs. I think this might be an....educational look at it. We may have stumbled upon an all new species." Ms Davenport folded her arms. "In other words, Commander, there will be no classes sheduled?" "Well....the invader is still lurking around and--" "He's still loose? Good heavens! What are we going to do? We're going to die!" Ms Davenport started to freak out, as usual. "Calm down, T.J.. We'll find them. We don't even know if the creature is harmful." Commander Goddard tried to comfort her, but was interrupted by a voice in the shadows. "Will you be my special friend?" the voice called out. Ms Davenport and Commander Goddard couldn't help but stare into its glittering eyes. So friendly....so happy.....so...hypnotizing.... ****** "Ms Davenport! Commander!" Rosie and Catalina called out to them as they exited the jump-tubes and entered the command post. Rosie and Catalina looked around only to find both of them lying on the floor with the same glare in their eye's as they had found Radu. "Oh no! It's gotten to them!" Rosie cried looking down at the two lifeless looking forms, with frighteningly happy smiles. Rosie started to whimper; if the grown ups couldn't help, who could? "Relax. Let's get them to med- lab too. It's the safest place to go so far that I know of. Rosie and Catalina slowly dragged the two mindless beings towards the jump-tubes. Rosie punched in the course and pushed them in. Rosie, Catalina, Ms Davenport, and Commander Goddard came out of the jump-tubes. Bova and Harlan looked back. "Hi. Oh no! Not them too!" "I'm afraid so. We're on our own. But lets get back to the team room and try to de-code those entries." "Right." ****** Catalina, Rosie, Bova, and Harlan quickly entered the team room and started to frantically decode. They had to find out what this terrible monster wanted. And who, or what, it was. ****** Two and a half hours later.... Harlan looked weary. They had been de-coding for over two ours, and hadn't finished. Harlan looked at his compu-pad. He searched through the nonsense words trying to find some meaning to it. "Oh my god..." Harlan said suddenly realizing what the nonsense words were. "What?" Rosie asked looking up from her work. "I know who the monster is. It's a reptile from earth. He was a menace to us so....we sent him out in space. I thought he was gone forever but--" "What's the name of it?" "It's named.....Barney. It's one of a kind." "Barney? Well what did it do to you to make you so terrified?" Rosie asked interested in the specimen they had aboard the Christa. "He brainwashed. He was loved by kids everywhere. He brainwashed them to love him. He acted like he loved them all for the money he was making. He had some sort of mind control thing for kids to love him. He was a menace." "So....you shot him out in space?" "Yes. We thought we were rid of him. But he's back." "Well...what do we do?" Rosie asked, trying to hide her worried expression. "I...I don't know." "I say we just blast him with the disintegrators," Bova suggested, although he knew it wouldn't work. Catalina's face lit up. "Great idea Bova!" Catalina said cheerily. "Of course, with our luck, Barney won't die. The disintegrators probably won't even effect him. Then we'll be stuck with him." "Bova!" Harlan and Rosie yelled simultaneously. "All right," Harlan said while formulating a plan, "let's move." Bova, Rosie, Harlan, and Catalina punched in the coordinates for the cargo hold. There, they grabbed stun guns along with disintegrating rays. If worse came to worse, they could always turn to them. "Now," Catalina said nervously as they all went into a huddle, "we'll split up. In groups of two. That way, we might be able to keep any harm from coming to each other. Harlan? You go with me. Rosie and Bova? You'll team up also." "Great," Bova said gloomily, "we're doomed." "Oh Bova," Rosie said in her normal jolly tone. "We'll be fine!" Bova rolled his eyes. They each got their assignments and split up. ****** In the com-post, Catalina and Harlan searched every corner cautiously. Catalina ran her flashlight around the walls. "I don't see anything either Suzee--whoa! What's that?" Catalina aimed her flashlight over to a dim corner of the com-post only to find a large purple and green figure against the wall. He smiled a pleasant smile. Catalina moved back. Something was wrong. Nothing could be this happy. She had to find out what it wanted. She got closer and closer to the unknown life form standing before her. "Catalina! No!" Harlan cried out turning around only to find Catalina moving dangerously close to Barney. Too late. Catalina was now close enough for hearing range. Something--hypnotic about its voice. The happiness. The immense dinosaur whispered 6 mere words. "Will you be my special friend?" "Yes," Catalina mumbled as she moved farther away. "Yes, I'll be your special friend." She gazed upon the bright purple polyester as it came closer and closer to her. She immediately collapsed. "Oh. What happened to my special friend?" Barney said as if he cared about what he had done to her. Harlan rushed to Catalina. She had the same idiotic grin on her face as Radu. The horror of seeing them like this! He had to do something. He looked up at the foolish, prehistoric configuration standing before him. "What did you do to her you--you--monster!" Harlan's voice started to crack as he held Catalina in his arms. "I just wanted her to be my special friend!" Barney said in an utterly annoying voice. Harlan got up and slowly made his way to the communications system. "Rosie! Bova! It's here in the command post! Hurry!" ****** Bova and Rosie looked at each other as they listened to the quick message given to them by Harlan. "Great. Harlan and Catalina are probably dead now," Bova said as they ran toward the com-post. "Don't be silly Bova! I'm sure they're fine!" They both came to their destination. When they entered, the power was out. They clicked their flashlights on to find Harlan and Catalina in the same state that Radu, Ms Davenport, and Commander Goddard were in. Rosie looked around and spotted the smiling bafoon quietly standing against the wall. As if he expected her to come. "Would you like to be my special friend?" the dinosaur said approaching Rosie. She tried to resist. But then she saw the fun in its eyes. So friendly. So loving. Such a ......special friend. "I...I..." Rosie began. Bova turned around and saw the neon colored dinosaur. "Rosie!" Bova yelled out. But there was no hope. She had been drawn in. "I'll be your special friend, Barney!" Rosie said smiling. She came to touch Barney's hand to sing a friendship song. But as she reached for his hand, she fell to the ground. Her eye's were dazed. She looked confused, yet happy. Barney walked toward the Uranusian. He folded his arms. He wasn't going to give into this bumbling idiot. Never. "Why hello! I'm Barney! I love you! Do you love me special friend?" "I'm not your special friend," Bova said stubbornly. "I don't love you either. You don't deserve to be loved." "Oh but Bova--" "You know my name? You're probably stalking me. Ready to kill me. That's it, isn't it?" "Bova, I always keep track of my special friends. Want to play pretend?" "No. That's a sissy game. Only morons play pretend. But I'd like to play a little game called 'Real Life.' Where you vanish and I never see your pitiful face ever again." "Bova. You need a special friend. All of you need a special friend. How about we play make believe!" "That's the same as pretend. It's stupid. Go away and leave me and my friends alone." Bova was getting more and more stubborn. For some reason, Barney couldn't get his hypnotic spell into Bova's brain waves. There was something blocking it. Something so negative, that it destroyed any positive energy from entering his mind. Even Barney's "Let's play pretend," and "Lets be special friends" wasn't getting through to this boy. He had never faced a lad like this before. He had to use his most powerful mind control. "I love you, You love me..." Barney started to sing a melodic tune. He thought for sure that this might work on the small child. "I told you that I don't love you," Bova said demandingly. Barney tried to keep his hypnotic song going. "We're a ha-ppy fa-mil-y...." "You're not my mom and dad. When will you leave? You've caused enough trouble here already." Barney was shocked at what Bova had said. "Bova. Special friends don't say that to one another. And we're special friends!" Barney tried to put his mind control into Bova, but it was no use. Barney felt a tingling through his body. No, it couldn't be. No one could defeat the all mighty Barney! "No!" Barney yelled as he started to disseminate from the ship. Bova smiled grimly. "Good-bye Barney! Forget to write and spare me." Barney's last word were only two. "SPECIAL FRIEND......" Barney shouted until he was no more. Bova dragged his three comrades to med- lab. He set each one up to a table. Bova experimented with several medical equipment and revived Rosie. And with the help of Rosie, each one slowly began to recover. ****** Radu opened his eyes to see his colleague, Rosie standing before him. "Welcome to the land of the living," Rosie said whole-heartedly. "Don't worry. You'll be fine. Thanks to Bova, we'll all be okay." "It....it wasn't a dream?" Radu said trying to recollect his memories of what had happened. "No. But Bova destroyed it. This time, his downer comments were of some use to us. Barney is no longer with us." "Barney? Is that what it was called? But...where did it come from? How did it get here?" Radu was more confused than ever. "Never mind Radu. Just get some rest. You'll be up in a few days." "Well....why was I...I mean....what did it--I mean Barney--do to me?" "It brainwashed you, Radu. It made you believe that it wanted to be friends. As for being most effected? Well, I'm not sure. It might have been that you were the first one to be exposed to this terrible creature. But I just don't know." Radu sat back and nodded his head although he knew it wasn't the answer. He just wanted a friend. A friend to talk to and have fun with. Someone finally wanted to be friends, and it turned out to be that he had wanted to hurt him. What do I do wrong? Radu thought while he lay in med- lab. Why can't I just....get along with anyone? Besides an earth creature that only wants harm to come to the people and species it encounters. He looked up when he heard a familiar voice. "Hey buddy," Harlan said standing at the door. "You sure were out for a long time. Good thing Rosie's an expert doctor." Harlan tilted his head toward Rosie. She smiled. Radu managed to get out a small grin. Buddy? When did Harlan want to be his buddy? This was strange. "Well, once you get all rested up, you'll definitely have to play me a game of Minbar Chess. And this time, I won't let you off that easily." Radu's smile widened. "Not if I can help it," Radu said in a shy, but challenging voice. "Oh, I take that as a challenge." Harlan said excitedly. Radu laughed. "You know," Harlan began, "I have this feeling that....we haven't seen the last of Barney" "Same here," Radu said in almost a whisper "You know," Rosie said trying to stay in an optimistic tone, "I almost feel like he's watching us somewhere. You know?" "I know what you mean, Rosie. It's as if....as if he was looking down upon us and laughing." Radu added, speaking up a bit. "Yea. And thinking that some day, somewhere, our forces will meet up again. And that is a day to fear. At least we know one thing. Bova's negativity saved us all. But I wonder. If Barney will come back more powerful than ever. But for now, let's be grateful." Harlan, Rosie, and Radu continued to tell what they had experienced. They were greatful for Bova. And for what he did for them. But while they discussed the horrid demon they disposed of, Radu could swear he heard an all too familiar laugh a short distance away. "No. It couldn't be...." The End... Will you be my special friend?