By: Me, Tato In the vast reaches of space, stars covered the sky, beautifying each realm with glimmering and intensifying rays of purity. One who might look at it could fall in love with the scenery among them, making time disappear. Time which created history and background for many generations to discover. Each star had histories worth exploring, but were destroyed in the action of learning. Some were more of a loss than others, but were still denting the future history of the next generations to come. Some were symbolic and meaningful in histories throughout the galaxy. The rarest of the galaxies were also the most tragic losses, for they possibly contained life forms, wonders, and treasures that may never be regained. An object that hung among the stars was a glamorous bird-like ship. The Christa floated majestically in space, like a king on a throne. Normally, the Christa would be moving along onto it’s journey homeward. But the scent in the air stopped the Christa. It wasn’t a scent of power or excitement, nor the scent of adventure and danger which would rally up the crew of this alluring vessel. But it was rather the terrible scent that most hated. A scent despised, yet feared. The scent of defeat. Suzee walked along the corridors, her muscles entirely tense. She had been crying before, and she had finally managed to gain control of herself. She had never cried much. Her strong emotions were always kept inside, and when released, weren’t something to be enjoyed. The moods released were either anger, stubbornness, or guilt. There were also times when she would feel pained and most emotions came pouring out of her soul; pity had done that to her one too many times. She did feel pain other times, but she never felt something so heart-shattering as this. Suzee had been running her daily log for several minutes now, but had no idea what to say. How could she say anything to describe the pain she was going through? The complete shock? The trauma of the news brought to her? She felt as if it was her fault. She hadn’t done anything to cause this tragedy, but she had a sensation within her that wouldn’t allow her to be satisfied to the point of happiness. After realizing it was getting her nowhere, she finally turned off her “diary” and carried it with her to the bunkroom. She was at somewhat of a loss. The words she had wished to speak were still building up inside of her, yet she couldn’t release them. She hardly noticed the figure approaching her. Suzee nearly jumped out of her skin when she felt an arm touch her shoulder. “Aah!” Suzee screamed, shocked at the sudden presence that had crept from behind her. She twirled around and let out a breath of relief, her body relaxing a bit. Her heart warmed up to the man standing before her. “You okay?” Harlan asked, still extremely concerned for Suzee. Harlan was dressed in an unusual way. He wore a black jacket that had the same symbols that his customary suit would have, but the colors had changed to a darker volume. He had black slacks on that fit loosely around him, and this black boots gave off a glossy tint. His shoulders were broad and wide, making him look much like a full grown officer in the STARDOGS. He held a small card in his hand with miscellaneous scribbling on it. Harlan felt guilty for Suzee’s behavior. Harlan had been the one to break the news to Suzee, and out of all crew members, she had taken it the worst. “Yeah, Harlan, I’m fine. What do you need?” She asked softly, making sure not to cry once again in front of Harlan. Earlier that day, Harlan had asked her to play a game of Minbar Chess with him in hopes of cheering her up, but she only broke down into tears. Even a simple game that many had played had brought back memories to her. The memories kept flowing through her mind, but she did her best to try and ignore them. She had to get through this state of shock. “We’re about to start,” he said nervously. “Are you going to be ready?” “Yeah, I’ll get changed, and I’ll be right there.” Harlan nodded and walked away with his head hung low. As he did, Suzee sighed, watching him go. She glanced at her depressed young friend as he slowly walked away. She had noticed the depression and sympathy in his eyes, an couldn’t help but frown. All had been effected by this heart-shattering news, but he was the one who had to be strong. Constantly cheering the crew, Harlan had to tell the ot hers that everything would be fine; even Rosie had to be told! She knew that it couldn’t be easy, and made a mental note to talk with him after the ceremony. Suzee then turned, remembering what she had to do. Moments later... Suzee walked through the hallways pacing nervously. She was wearing an outfit much like Harlan’s. It had the same colors, with only slight changes in the different designs placed on it. Suzee stopped and closed her eyes, taking in a breath. She forced herself to keep walking. She couldn’t miss this. It was the one decent thing to do, of all things. She continued until she reached a doorway. She stepped through and looked at her friends staring at her with concern. She managed to smile meekly, relieving partial tension in the room. Each person had the same honorary uniforms on, and they each stood in a line, standing parallel to one another. Harlan stood behind a podium, ready for the speech he was about to make. He threw the small card he had once held in his hands to the floor. He didn’t need a card to say anything. He knew what he needed to say. He only had to remember it all, and that was hardly a difficulty for him. Now that all personnel had arrived, he took a deep breath and began. “Friends. We are gathered here, to see our fellow colleagues depart,” Harlan said, shaking slightly. Ms Davenport began to cry uncontrollably. Bova handed her a tissue, and Harlan continued, even more shaken then before. “I know....I know it’s hard to see this. We almost faced it once with...with Catalina. But this is the real thing. There’s no bringing them back, there’s no wishing you had done something differently. Nothing. We have to accept the fact that they’re gone. But always remember that they may be gone physically, but...we need to keep them right here.” Harlan clutched his fist and made a movement toward his heart. He let a single tear escape his eye. He continued, ignoring the tear making it’s way down his face “Would anybody like to say anything...before we let them leave us?” Each person murmured silently to themselves, showing the answer as a positive. “Very well then,” Harlan said with a nod. “Thelma, do it.” Thelma pressed several buttons on a small device, and started triggering two large capsules to slowly go down the isle. Rosie started to cry silently to herself. She walked towards the capsules and touched the glass where a face could be seen. “I’ll miss you,” she whispered. She did the same with the following capsule. Ms Davenport headed straight for the first one and said a prayer, looking up into the sky. She then kissed the tips of her fingers and placed them on the coffin. She started to burst into tears once again. The intensity of the ceremony was too much for her to handle. She rushed away, not meeting with the other coffin. Suzee and Bova both approached each floating coffin-like object with care, walking with ease. Bova sighed heavily and shook his head. Why did it have to happen, Bova thought to himself. And why of all people, did it happen to them? I only wish the others had listened to me. I KNEW there was something suspicious about.... Bova walked away before finishing his thought. Suzee did the same after whispering a Yensidian prayer. The capsules glided down the isle until it reached Harlan. Harlan hung his head low. The coffin-like objects had reached the end of the run-way. It was now Harlan’s turn to say his good-byes. Harlan looked through the glass to the dead Commander’s face. It was so peaceful, yet so disturbing. He was at rest now. Rosie had tried what she could to save the Commander. But the wounds he had taken were too severe to be taken care of. He could remember every moment of when he had found Commander Goddard. Bruised and beaten, he lay in shackles on the floor. Harlan had only tripped on the unconscious body to find him. But they had gotten there too late to save him. By the time they had taken Goddard to the Medlab, he had died from internal bleeding, and other miscellaneous injuries which had taken it’s effect on the poor commander. Harlan shook his head at the painful memory, trying, and failing , to erase the terrible past events. He walked only a few feet further to the other coffin. He stopped and looked into the glass where Radu was lying. Harlan sighed heavily. Harlan remembered the words he had heard on the rescue mission to save both he and Goddard. He remembered them as if they only happened moments ago. They had found Radu before Goddard. But unlike Goddard’s incident, Radu was dead before they could save him. With him hardly recognizable, drenched in his own blood, they had a difficult time finding him throughout the numerous bodies that were thrown about on the floor. The only way they did was through his race. Most Andromedans they had kept, if any, were mindwiped to obey their leaders. Not many went through this process, for the Spung race had trouble getting their minds wiped completely. But Radu was more independent. He was more demanding. He was always trying to make a friend, but he would never betray his friends to a race such as the Spung, or any other race for that matter. His independent thinking had shown, even though he had been mindwiped. His way of thinking had been so strong, that although his memories had been taken from him, he still had his own beliefs. When the crew found him, they could tell from the markings on his face, two markings at the temples of his forehead, that they tried to use that from that technique. But they failed, and turned to the other alternative. “Goodbye, my friend,” Harlan whispered as he backed away from the coffin and nodded to Thelma. Thelma turned to a red button on the wall and pushed it, triggering a booming sound. It echoed throughout the large room, but no one moved. Each crew member only watched; wishing that this entire incident was a dream. But they knew it wasn’t and so all they could do was watch the scene unfold before them. The capsules that had once been only there a moment ago blasted away, leaving the Christa and the crew with shattered memories. Harlan, Suzee, Ms Davenport, Rosie, and Bova watched as they saw their comrades leaving. Ms Davenport began to let her tears out once again. She never would have expected such a shock. In her eyes, Commander Goddard was practically immortal. Through out all of the things that he had lived through; Spung attacks, Dopplegangers, and even a galactic war; she had thought that he could live through anything. But what had stopped him? A mission to rescue a young cadet. A mission which also seemed to fail. Two lives had been taken during that mission. That particular crusade was the first she had faith in. Her faith had grown so strong, it had become heart shattering and her soul was broken into a million pieces when she had learned about the failure of the task. This had brought her to he depression, and all she could do now was cry. Rosie, seeing the crew in their sorrowful states, and feeling the sadness in the air, started to weep as well. She had done so already, and she knew that she would soon overheat. It wasn’t something she did purposely. She couldn’t help being Mercurian. But the moment was so intense and full of sadness and dispair, that she could only do what others were doing. Rosie prepared to turn away, but something immediately caught her eye. At first, she only dismissed it as a shooting star, and tried to ignore it. But a nagging feeling inside of her told her that it was something dreadfully important. Her eyes wandered, and glanced at it again, this time, her eyes locking. A feeling of shock washed over her, and she struggled to express what she was before her. A killcruiser could be seen in the vicinity, almost in a way as to teas her. Her mouth dropped open, and she only managed a meek call of surprise. Before it could leave her lips, the killcruiser blasted a shot towards the two honorary coffins, and they blew up with sparks scattering around, and their glow soon dying away. It then blasted away, triumphant in what they had come to do. They had only come for the pleasure of making matters worse. Not to kill, and not to threaten. Although that was what was expected. They had come to destroy two things that meant a lot to the rest of the crew. Rosie was completely and utterly shocked. Not only did they cause the deaths of two people who were very close and dear to her, but they didn’t have enough decency to leave the coffins alone! She felt as if she were going to burst into tears, but she held back, afraid she may overheat and burn someone, or otherwise cause another crew member to also break down. She only let her tears flow when she saw others crying. Even Bova had shed some tears. “I cant believe them!!” Suzee shouted racing away from the group and out the door. Harlan prepared to go after her and calm her down, but Rosie halted him. “She may need some time to herself Harlan,” Rosie said through her sobs. “I think we all do.” * * * * * * Bova sat in the galley, staring down at the CompuPad the he held in his hands, and studying the content carefully. He looked up once he saw Rosie walking in the room. She was calm now, no longer crying, and no longer depressed. It was almost frightening to Bova to see Rosie grieving. He never had seen her that way before, and it almost scared him. Now, she was as chipper as usual, with only a hint of sadness in her eyes. “Oh, I’m sorry Bova. I’ll let you be alone.” “No, it’s all right,” Bova said motioning for Rosie to come sit next to him. Rosie reluctantly walked over and sat next to Bova, peering over his shoulder. “I thought you were writing in your log or something.” “No, this is Radu’s log.” “Bova! You shouldn’t be going through that! That’s...that’s invading his privacy or something!!” “Not at all! This is in memory of him. He once told me and Harlan that if he ever DID die, that we could go through his stuff as we pleased.” “That’s not true!” “Yes it is. He told us that.” “What if I asked Harlan?” “Go ahead.” Rosie looked suspiciously at Bova. Bova would normally drop the entire argument if she so much as thought of going THAT far. In his eyes, he always figured that Harlan would never catch on to his schemes when Rosie asked him about them, so he never bothered to carry on debates, always figuring he’d lose. “W-well...what does it say?” Rosie stuttered, growing slightly curious. Bova began to show Rosie what was printed into Radu’s log, showing each and every line. It nearly broke her heart when she heard the speaking entries, and she fought to hold her back her tears. Rosie immediately stopped the player after listening to the third one. She couldn’t take the feeling of her emotions any further. “It’s not right, Bova. It’s just not right to do this,” she said hastily, wiping away a tear that had escaped her eye. “Not right?? He gave us permission!!” Bova protested, slightly bewildered on why Rosie was so offended after hearing the entries. “It’s just not right!!” Rosie said through her teeth, the words growing more harsh as they were spoken. Bova sat wide eyed and open mouthed. From the time he had known and talked to Rosie for the first time to that moment, he had never heard Rosie speak that way. He looked into her eyes, and saw that she was completely serious about the viewing of Radu’s journal. He sighed heavily, letting the thought sink in his mind on what he was previously doing. Bova then slumped down and turned the device off. “You’re right,” he said, entirely frustrated. “I am?” Rosie responded, not quite expecting Bova to agree with him. “Yeah. I was just sort of thinking that....it would be a way to remember him. You know? I mean, his voice is on here. And...well, his thoughts are too. I just sort of thought...” He sighed, trying to word his sentences together. “Rosie, it’s easy for people on my moon to forget about others. If something happens to a family member, they don’t even say what happened to the person. They just say that they died, and we guess on their doom. And sooner or later, people forget about them. I don’t want to forget about Commander Goddard or Radu...but...I don’t know how to keep the memory of them. I just...” Bova’s sentence trailed off into nothingness as his words began to fade from his own mind. “Oh, Bova. We’ll never forget them! Like Harlan said, we can keep them in our hearts. As long as we sort of remember them, the good times that we had, the adventures we went through--” “How can we forget?” “Exactly! If we hold onto those, then...then...we’ll be okay.” “I just wish we could have...turned back time or something. Change things.” “I know, but--” “Bova! Rosie! Get to the Command Post!” Harlan’s voice rang out excitedly over the intercom. What is it?” Rosie asked curiously. “We might have a way of getting them back. HURRY!” Rosie and Bova’s eyes widened as they heard the news. Both quickly rose from where they were seated, and they both rushed to the Command Post, completely oblivious to what had been found. Knots were being tied in their stomachs as their anxiety grew on. There just wasn’t any way to bring their comrades back, was there? This, both Bova and Rosie HAD to see. * * * * * * Ms Davenport lay on her bed, staring up into the empty space on the ceiling of her quarters. She had Commander Goddard’s personal log in her hand, and she held it as if she were holding onto his entire life. She was tempted to read it, but knew it was an invasion of his privacy. Although he was dead, she still knew that it wasn’t in her place to read his personal thoughts and entries, and reminded herself of that every time the thought even crossed her mind for reading the journal.. She often had feelings like this, and normally she’d ignore those feelings. But this time, she listened to what they were telling her. In her mind, it was the most decent thing to do. “Oh, this is silly,” she said to herself, getting up from where she was previously seated, as she started pacing around the room. “This isn’t going to get you anywhere, TJ. Moping around wont solve anything.” She continued to scold herself and argue things out. “But what is then? No, no, no. This is ridiculous. He’s gone, you JUST need to face it.” Ms Davenport slumped back down into a chair, realizing she was only being harsh on herself. She sighed heavily, then heard the intercom speak. “Ms Davenport, I think you better come here. We have a way to get them back,” Harlan said as he tried to hold in his excitement. “WHAT?” The intercom went dead. Ms Davenport immediately picked herself up and rushed away to the Command Post area. On the way there, she could feel knots being tied in her stomach. This, in a way, could be fantastic! Having the Commander and a cadet returning to them would certainly be something to be overjoyed about. On the other hand, what were the means of getting their beloved ones back? She shook violently at the thought, hoping it wouldn’t be a risk to another life, and continued down the hall. * * * * * * Harlan tapped his fingers on the console, waiting impatiently for Rosie, Bova, and Ms Davenport to arrive at the Command Post. The news he possessed in his mind was extremely exciting and fascinating, and he couldn’t wait to share with the others. Earlier that day, he had gone to find Suzee and talk things out. He practically leaped for joy when he heard the news that Suzee had brought to him. The moment of suspense dragged on until he heard a relieving swish of the doors, and in walked the three people he had hoped to see. Ms Davenport, followed by Bova and Rosie, rushed into the command post and raced up to Harlan with bright and eager faces. Davenport, impatient and eager, got directly to the point. She had no time for guessing games, or any time to wait. “What is this about getting them back? How?” she asked, her voice full of anxiety. “Yeah, what’s it all about, Harlan?” Rosie asked, hoping his statement on the intercom was true. “One question,” Bova said holding up one finger to show the amount of interrogative sentences he had planned on. “Does it include any of US dying?” “Possibly,” Harlan said with a nod, hoping the answer wouldn’t scare them. Ms Davenport sighed heavily. “Well, forget it then.” “Ms Davenport, we don’t know for sure. Besides Suzee planned it all out! She found a way!” “Well, what is it?” Rosie blurted out, a bit tiresome from the conversation dragging on, without knowing a clue of what was going on. “I’ll let Suzee explain.” The three turned to the young Yensidian girl. She seemed much happier and very proud of herself. She only hoped her calculations were correct. “All right, I had just contacted Elmira to tell her the news about Radu. I called her--only an hour ago--and told her about Radu’s death along with Commander Goddard’s. Let me tell you, she WASN’T too thrilled about it. But she said that she had a vision last night that can help us!” “What was it?” Rosie chirped in. “I’m getting to that part. She said that she couldn’t interpret WHERE, but there was a small rip in time that lurked around space. With my calculations, I was able to find that rip!! This is incredibly risky, but we can actually go into the past and change it. But first, we need to get to the rip.” “Do you know where to go?” Harlan asked eagerly. “Yes, but we need to get there at that precise point. And...another thing.” “What is it?” Davenport asked, expecting the worst. “Well, this rip only stays in one point for five hours. If we don’t get out of it in time, then we’ll be stuck in time forever.” “Great,” Ms Davenport said rolling her eyes. “So, who shall be the people to go on this little expedition?” “We need someone to pilot the ship,” Rosie announced to the others, full of anguish, her facial expression showing somewhat of a nervous one. “Aw great, that means I stay,” Harlan said with a sigh. It’s not that he enjoyed having his life in danger. Not that at all. Although he did enjoy the excitement and threats, along with the feeling of victory, and the sensation of life-threatening tasks. It was more that he felt that he had a duty to go along the expedition. He had something important to achieve. He felt like he needed to change the past, and save his crew mates’ lives. “W-well, I could always stay here if you want,” Rosie said voluntarily, hoping she would please Harlan with this. “No, Rosie, you should go along in case of any medical repairs needed,” Suzee pointed out, shaking her head. “I think that I should stay to pilot the ship.” “Suzee, are you sure?” Harlan asked, slightly relieved that he was able to go on the mission. “Yes, I don’t think I’d be...emotionally stable to do it anyway,” Suzee said, her voice quivering. “All right,” Ms Davenport said with a breath. “But please, be careful.” Harlan, Bova, and Rosie nodded, and quickly rushed away to prepare for their expedition. * * * * * * The Christa glided among the sky, strong and fearless. Her bold emotions showed as she glided among the sky towards her destination. One may say that a ship wouldn’t have such emotions within it. It may have been the way she flew past the many stars, and gallantly swerved through all dangers. It may have been her crew that made her seem engulfed with emotions. Or it may have been the Christa itself. After all, she did have partial living matter within her systems. She had a sense of danger, a sense of hatred, a sense of love, and a sense of knowledge. She somehow had feelings for her crew. Although she had been fed the coordinates for navigation, she knew where she was going. She knew that to save two of the crew members, the ones so dear to her, she would have to find the precise point to where to stop. The point where Harlan, Rosie, and Bova would step through the time rip, and leave the ship’s existence for a short time to save their comrades’ lives. In a way, the Christa was worried. Losing two crew mates had been hard to manage, but possibly the loss of three more? She only hoped that the crew knew what it was doing. She wasn’t losing faith in its crew. It was more of a feeling a mother has when a child is going out to play with many of its age. It was more protective than doubt. Inside the Christa, Harlan, Rosie, and Bova paced around nervously, getting their things ready. They weren’t sure if they needed any of the utilities, but it was far better to be safe then sorry. This was their one chance to save their comrades. A chance that most people never get. Earlier that day, Suzee had planned the coordinates, but it was difficult to tell if those points were correct. Nobody doubted Suzee for a second. After all, she was the “engineering genius” when it came to technical things. She could calculate numbers with ease, and far better than the rest of them However, the degree had to be in perfect position. If she was correct, the rip would appear directly in the hallway of the Christa. As Harlan prepared for his upcoming mission, he glanced at the two youths before him and grinned. They had grown so much since he had first met them, and he hadn’t noticed. Bova was starting to grow facial air, and Rosie was growing taller. He had never thought of them as their true age. He had always treated them like children, and as a shock to him, he felt himself to be quite unfair. He shook his head at the thought. What had brought this stage of thinking on? Was it the death of Commander Goddard and Radu? Was it the pressure of doing things right through the rip? Was it the guilt of not being able to be there on time to save his crew mates? Awkwardly, Harlan felt a sudden change of heart. What if he wasn’t worthy of saving them both? What if he failed? The guilt would stay with him throughout his entire life. Harlan’s train of thought was halted by the sound of Bova’s voice. “There it is, get ready!” Bova shouted, snapping Harlan back into reality. Harlan glanced over and saw, only a few feet away, an electrical looking rip forming in front of their very eyes. Harlan was fascinated by this! While it formed, radiant colors shot out and nearly blinded them. Harlan sighed heavily. There was no turning back now. No changing his mind, and no chickening out. He had a mission to complete. With a nod towards Bova and Rosie, Harlan raced towards the rip, and found that the atmosphere around the magnificent object was getting extremely hot. Harlan still kept at it until he managed to touch the rip, sending bolts of flashing light throughout his body. After moments of this, Harlan had disappeared from the ship. Bova and Rosie were amazed. What Harlan had gone through looked extremely painful, but it needed to be done. Both took off at the same time and hit the bolt in unison. Hot flashes of light struck their bodies as they felt themselves leaving the Christa, and entering a whole new world. A world strange and new to them, yet vaguely familiar. A world that they would recognize to see reflections of themselves and their deeds from the past. * * * * * * To Be Continued.... Part One Ended. Have any comments? E-mail me.