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Second Chance

Part Two
By: Tato

As Harlan crawled into his bunkroom and called for lights out, Radu 
slipped away to the galley.  He knew that Bova wouldn't be in there 
for another hour, so he wouldn't need to worry about interruptions.  
He clicked on the speaker and began.  

"Uh....today, Amdiral Cody, Harlan's step-father came aboard. H-he 
explained that he went through a warp tunnel of some kind.  It looks 
like he'll be staying with us for a while.  Harlan wasn't too thrilled
at first, but now he's getting along great.  But...but a lot of things
have changed.  I mean, I guess it might be my imagination, but he 
always seems to want to avoid me.  And Elmira too.  It's like it was 
before.  Where someone doesn't trust me...."  Radu paused to think.

Ms Davenport listened intently to what her student was saying.  She 
hadn't planned to listen in on his monologue.  She had only come to 
get something to eat.  Lately, she hadn't been getting much sleep, and
not much apetite either.  She had felt TERRIBLE for Goddard, and 
couldn't think of anything.  

Radu's voice softened.  "I just....I just dont want to go through this
again. And another thing.  The admiral took the place of Commander 
Goddard.  I haven't seen him for the whole day now. He's even got Ms 
Davenport down. Everyone's changing 'cause of him." Radu paused again.

Ms Davenport's heart sank when she thought once again of Commander 
Goddard's position.  His ranking and authority had been taken away so
he had absolutely nothing to do.  She decided to make her presence
known.  "Ahem."

Radu, startled by Davenport, swung around abruptly only to greet Ms 
Davenport.  He let out a sigh of relief.  "Oh, it's only you," he said
with a meak grin.  "D-did you need something?"

"Uh....no, not really.  Just out for a stroll and, well, what exactly
are you doing here?" she asked as if she didn't know.  

"Uh...j-just thinking."

"About what?"

Radu froze. He had never talked with Ms Davenport as a friend.  
"Stuff," Radu said quickly.  

"I see.  What sort of 'stuff' would that be?" she inquired.  

"Uh..."  Radu was a bit shaken.  He had no idea if he could trust her
as a friend.  He had always thought of her as a woman who taught 
classes and gave out homework.  But he did need to talk.  He couldn't
talk with Rosie, because she would never have him "saying such things 
about the admiral".  He couldn't talk to Bova because Bova lost 
interest fairly quickly.  He couldn't talk to Suzee, she would never 
understand.  He couldn't bring himself to talk to Catalina; he feared
he may bring back memories to her that wouldn't be too pleasant.  He 
couldn't even FIND Commander Goddard.  And he certainly couldn't talk 
to Harlan about his own step-father.  Especially since they were just
beginning to get along.  Yes, he needed to talk to someone.  

Ms Davenport could see the hesitation with Radu.  "You dont have to 
say anything, I'll understand," she said as she turned toward the 
door.  

"Wait," he said in a slightly higher voice than his speaking voice.

She turned to face him.  

"Ms Davenport....can I just...talk?"

"Of course," she said taking a seat at a table in the center of the 
room. Radu reluctantly sat also.  After all, he was talking to his 
teacher about his problems.  He could hear Harlan's voice now.  

"Hey buddy, going to your teacher for advice again?"  But he ignored
the voice and pressed on.  

"What's on your mind?" she inquired.  

"W-well....it's the admiral."

"Yes?"

"W-well...I dont know for sure, I mean, it's only a guess...and I'm 
probably wrong anyways, but--"

"What is it?"

"W-well...I think that he might be...um....like Harlan used to be."

"You mean racist?"

"W-well...yeah.  I mean, I dont know, he's always somehow steering 
away from me.  Whether he has to go do something when I walk in the 
room, or he has to plan stuff out.  And, at first, I thought he was 
just really busy.  But then when I run into him again, he's either 
talking with someone else, or he's leaving the room again.  And...he 
gets nervous around me.  I dont know, but--"

"Well, from the sound of things, it sounds like you are correct."

"I am?"

"Yes."

"Well, like I said, I dont know if it's true or not--"

"But it sounds true enough."

"Well, how do I stop it?"  Radu looked down knowing there was no way 
to stop people from being racist.  It had taken him quite a bit of 
time to win Harlan's friendship.  He had won it, and was grateful for 
it.  But now the unfairness had crept back into his life again.  He 
felt hurt.  Was this going to be the reaction of every earther he met?
He hadn't done anything to the admiral, but he had a gut feeling that
he did.  The same gut feeling that he had gotten every time Harlan had
yelled at him or blamed him for something.  Sometimes, he just felt 
like crying.  Each insult was a sharp blow to him.  He had never 
gotten used to them, no matter how many times he heard them.  Was he 
supposed to?  Or was he supposed to let it pass.  The truth was, when 
he was back home, they had never taught him what to do about it.  
There was no individualism there, so none thought about others 
criticizing one another.  He hated it where he once lived before.  No 
matter where he went, he would be made fun of for being different.  
With Andromeda, there was the fact that he was individual.  It was a 
curse on his name.  When he went to the Starcademy, most stayed away 
from him.  The reason?  He was different than the others.  He was
Andromedan.  He had, at first, thought about how wonderful it would be
to mix with races.  But the Starcademy showed that there was no place
for him to go.  

Davenport felt a rock drop to the bottom of her stomach as she saw the
depression with Radu.  She truthfully didn't know what to say.  She 
had to think of something, and quickly.  She could see her young 
student losing faith in everything that had come to him.  That's one 
thing he needed.  "Well, there isn't much to do about it.  Some have 
that attitude towards others.  Hundreds of years ago, people were 
racist on earth towards Harlan's people."  

"How can that be?  You're all earthers."

"Yes, but he was a negro.  And a time ago, that was counted as
different.  Most racists are gone, but there still are some against 
him.  He may never encounter them, but they are out there."

"And....there's no way?"

"Well, you mustn't give up faith.  You earned Harlan's trust, you can
do the same with the admiral.  Only you must keep your faith."

Radu nodded and gave a small, but firm smile.  

"Now, you need to get some rest.  All growing boys need their sleep."

"Right, Ms Davenport."  Radu got up and left, somewhat satisfied.  He 
turned.  "And Ms Davenport?"  

"Yes?"

"The commander will be all right."  

"Of course he will."  Radu walked away until he was out of hearing 
range.  That's when Ms Davenport said only four words.  "He has to 
be."  

* * * * * *

"Mister Bova, straighten up!  Mister Radu, pay attention!!  Mister 
Band, wake up!"  The admiral had been giving orders all day.  Radu 
hated the sound of the voice ringing in his ears.  Not that the 
admiral's voice was bad.  But he shouted so much, Radu thought he was
going to die!  Radu looked up at the screen and was shocked to see
several Killcruisers uncloaking.  

"Aw man!!" Harlan shouted as he, too, noticed the large vessels 
coming into sight.  

"There's no way we can defend ourselves!" Cat exclaimed through the 
frenzy.  

"She's right," Bova said in a negative tone.  "The shields are at 
minimum level.  We cant stand to take more than 5 hits.  Any less than
that, we'll be alive, but have sever damage to the ship.  We're 
doomed."  

"What do we do??" Rosie asked panicked.  

"W-well....we could....manuver around them!" Elmira suggested.

"Would that even work?" Admiral Cody questioned.  

"Yes," Radu murmured while looking at his console.  

"Okay, Radu.  Which way do I steer?" Harlan shouted, not taking his 
eyes off of the screen.  

"Uh...."  Radu couldn't believe this was happening.  It was all so 
abrupt!  The sound of the screaming from all personelle was giving him
a large headache, not to mention the alarms.  He had to concentrate.
"Okay...okay, go 34 degrees on the Y axis," he said quickly.  

"Right," Harlan said with a nod.  

"Wait," Admiral Cody halted.  

"What?" Harlan asked impatiently.  

"I think it would be better to go--"  

A torpedo hit the ship knocking the crew to the floor, except for 
Radu.  Each one got up and stationed once again.  

"Safter to go on the X axis," he continued.  

"What?  Are you CRAZY?  That's WAY too dangerous!"

"Harlan, I think it's the best way," Cody said eyeing the young man.  

Harlan sighed and shook his head. "Sorry, sir.  But Radu knows what 
he's talking about," Harlan said.  He quickly steered the ship to the
coordinates Radu had pinpointed for him and made their way out of
there.  


Several minutes later....

Harlan arose with his head pounding.  He got up from the floor and 
looked around to the crew.  Radu was helping his fellow crewmates to 
the land of the living.  He had Rosie, Catalina, and Elmira up. He was
now helping Bova.  

"Hey, what happened?" Harlan asked with a groan.  

"We made it," Radu said with a smirk on his face.  

"I thought I told you the X axis!!" Admiral Cody yelled, infuriated.
"But instead of listening to me, as you should have, you listened to 
HIM!!  You trusted him!  You should have trusted me!!"  

Harlan was shocked.  "Thanks to Radu AND me, we're alive. And no 
thanks to you!!  Admit it, the ONLY reason you dont trust him is 
because of his race!! Isn't it??"  

Admiral Cody fell silent.  

"I've accepted the fact that it wasn't his fault for my dad, for the 
war, for ANYTHING!!  Now why cant you?  What do you have against him?
And Elmira!  She hasn't done something personal to you!  As a STARDOG,
you should KNOW the history of Spung.  They dont even let their 
females participate in ANYTHING.  Why cant you accept that?  They're 
part of this crew, and they're welcome here.  And you need to accept 
them for who they are."  Harlan stood face to face with the admiral.
The anger within him began to rise.  He couldn't believe this man!  A 
man who was supposed to be so noble and true was racist against his 
two friends.  He looked for Radu, but to his surprise, he saw that 
Radu had left the room quickly.  Elmira was still in the room shaking
her head and looking down.  

"Where'd he go, Elmira?" Harlan asked urgently.  

"I dont know," she said stubbornly.  

"Come on, Elmira.  I have to know."

"Look, Harlan Band, maybe you should let him be for a time being.  
Okay?"

Harlan nodded.  "Sure."  

* * * * * *

Radu sat in the rec room couch, completely depressed.  He couldn't 
help but let the tears flow as he thought of what had happened.  He 
hated for this to happen.  He had gone through so much pain and
suffering before when Harlan had done it to him.  But not only another
earther had done it and brought back the painful memories, but it was
his superior officer!  He couldn't take it much longer.  He couldn't 
go through the pain once again.  He didn't have the willpower to do it
again.  

* * * * * *

Harlan stood away from Admiral Cody with his arms folded and an angry
look on his face.  He was faced towards the large screen.  Catalina 
and Suzee were speechless as were Bova and Rosie.  Elmira only shook 
her head and kept chanting over and over again "I cant believe this, 
I cant believe this..."   

Bova rolled his eyes and sighed heavily.  "Can we leave?" he asked 
impatiently.  

"No, you are to stay at your posts," Cody said, not looking at any 
other crew member.  "You must understand that you need to take orders
from ME.  My orders always outrule anyone elses's on the ship.  And--"

"Why?  So you could get us KILLED?  I'll TELL you what would have 
happened if we did your 'ingenius' idea," Harlan said facing his 
step-dad.  "We would have gone straight into the Spung's trap. They 
EXPECT things like that!!  But what is the worst part....is that the 
only reason you wouldn't let an order go through, was because of a
different race.  

"That's not true!"

"It is!! I used to be the SAME way.  But I changed, and if I can, than
so can you.  You are always telling me I dont have enough to be a 
STARDOG.  I put my heart and soul into doing my best.  I can put my 
trust in Andromedans.  And why?  Because people like Radu aren't 
responsible.  Why is that so hard to understand?  It's a lot easier to
be a friend of one, than an enemy."

"I've told you before, my reasonings for my decision was the saftey of
the crew.  What you are saying is rediculous, and you know it."  

Harlan's heart sank.  He looked down to Elmira.  She glanced up at him
and nodded.  

"I dont think so," he said sharply.  He turned away once again, but 
only saw the same killcruisers coming out of hyper-jump.

"Aw, great!  Elmira, can you get Radu?" he asked knowing full-well she
wouldn't give away where he was hiding.  

"Yeah," she said quickly.  She exited the room.  

* * * * * *

"Radu, you've got to come back.  We're...."  Elmira's voice faded when
she saw Radu trying to hide his tears.  

"I'll be right there," he said with a sniffle.  

Reluctantly, she nodded and left him.  

* * * * * *

Radu immediately rushed into the Command Post and took his post.  He
started working furiously, not noticing the others in the room looking
sympathetically at him.  The only thing that mattered was to get out 
of there.  Radu felt a lump in his throat.  

"We're blocked in," he said gravely.  

"Isn't there ANY way out?" Harlan pressed.  

"N-no. None.  They've got us trapped."  

"Then this is it," Rosie said in her abnormally fightened tone.

"I knew this would happen!  I just KNEW it!" Bova whined.  "This day 
just cant get worse can it?"  

"Yeah, it can," Elmira said with a painful look to her face.

"What do you mean?" Harlan interrogated.  

"W-well....you know what kind of man my father is!  H-he'll 
probably....take me, and turn you into slaves...or...or worse."

"Great. Okay, so it CAN get worse," Bova said with a hopless 'I told 
you so' tone to his voice.  

"Wait," Admiral Cody said putting his hand up to silence everyone.  
"Perhaps a diversion would work," he said deep in thought.

"I-I could go," Radu suggested shakily.  

"No, it's too risky.  I'll go."  

Radu was left speechless and Admiral Cody left to prepare a diversion.

Minutes later, Goddard walked into the room with a dangerous grin on 
his face.  "I'm back," he said proudly.  

The crew smiled as they saw their Commander back to help them get out
of the Spung's grasp.  

Harlan still felt unsure about the situation. Before Goddard could get
another word out, he raced out of the Command Post.  He needed to talk
with his step-father.  

* * * * * *

Admiral Cody took in a breath as he readied the shuttle he was about 
to board.  

"Sir!" a shout came from nowhere.  

Admiral Cody looked around and saw Harlan approaching him.  "Yes?" he
said firmly.  

"Look, you cant go on like this.  You have to....why are you afraid of
Radu?"

"I'm not afraid!  How dare you accuse me of that!"

"Look, I KNOW you're afraid.  If you're not afraid, why dont you prove
it?"

"How?"

"By apologizing for the way you behaved and try to be friends with 
him."

"Now?"

"No, not now.  But AFTER this mission, when you come back."  

Harlan looked Admiral Cody sternly in the eye.  "All right," he agreed
reluctantly.  

"Thank you sir," Harlan said grinning.  

Admiral Cody nodded and crawled into the shuttle.  Harlan raced away 
preparing for the plan.  

* * * * * *

Minutes later....

Admiral Cody dodged another shot from the killcruiser.  He had seen 
the Christa go to the destination they planned, and he had to get out 
of there to meet up with the crew.  He steered the vessel again, just
barely missing another torpedo.  He was getting tired, and he needed 
to retreat.  Admiral Cody punched an unknown lever that sent him 
jolting away in space.  When he pulled it back up, he was at an 
unknown destination in space.  He had almost reached the 
communications button when he was shocked to see the legendary white 
circle appear in front of him.  Unfortunately, it had formed directly
in front of him, and he was helpless to get free.  Trying to 
communicate with the Christa only gave him static.  He sent out one 
final message before being pulled in, hoping the Christa would recieve
it.  Then, he was gone.  

* * * * * *

Goddard stood, completely tense, waiting for any sound.  Each person 
kept quiet.  Even Bova kept his negative comments to himself. Goddard
sighed and shook his head.  

"Mister Band, take us--"

"Incoming message!" Rosie said brightly, thankful for the new message.

"Screen on," Harlan said eagerly.  

Admiral Cody's face appeared. Harlan braced himself for what was 
coming.  "Calling the Christa.  I've slipped into a white circle, and
cant break loose."  

"A white circle?" Rosie said shocked. 

"He probably died," Bova said pessimistically.  Each one glared at 
him.  Bova shrugged.  "Hey, you never know."

The message continued.  "I dont have much time, I just **nted to say 
th********rry to whoever *****rt.  U*til we meet ag**n, Cody out."

"Rosie," Harlan said quickly.  "Can you determine what he was
saying through the static?"

"No.  The white circle caused interference in the message.  I cant 
determine it."  

"Well, what do you think happened to him?" Cat asked looking around 
the room, in fear that he may have died.  

"I'm not sure," Goddard said with a sigh.  "But I know we'll meet up 
again sometime.  And this time, we'll be ready."  

"Hey, Radu?  Elmira?" Harlan said sheepishly.  "I...wanted to 
apologize for my step-dad.  He's just--"

"I have no idea what you're talking about, Harlan Band," Elmira said 
putting her arm around Radu.  

"WHAT?"

"Dont have the slightest clue," Radu added in.  

Harlan only turned, completely confused, and flew the ship to saftey.

The End
[authors note: I portrayed the character of Admiral Cody as 
somewhat of a racist.  He's probably not at all, and I may be majorly
screwing up the show.  But the whole idea was showing that maybe 
Harlan wasn't the only person who was racist in the family.  Maybe 
even the adults can be immature or scared or whatever to different 
races.  That's how I wrote him. Anyway, the idea was supposed to be 
more... intense, but I got too lazy, and didn't work on it forever.
:o)]

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