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Time's end, Part 4, Final Part

By: Tato

As Goddard and Rosie landed on the surface of the Spung landing bay, 
every painful memory of the war and what he had tried so hard to block
out began to flash through his mind rapidly, the horror the Spung’s 
tactics and tortures cascading throughout his mind.  He had sworn to 
himself that he would avoid ever having to go onto another Spung
killcruiser after that particular war, and now, here he sat, landing 
on the very object which he had dreaded from the moment he had left 
the Christa.  He couldn’t imagine how Rosie would take what she would 
soon be seeing.  Even as years passed peacefully, memories haunted him
in his sleep, and they would never be forgotten.  They were imprinted
in his mind as if to tease him of what he was now about to face.  

Taking a deep breath, he finished landing the small pod, then turned 
to Rosie.  “Rosie,” he began, “I wont deny this....at first, I didn’t
want you to come along.  You may see things that you may not want to 
see....you may meet people that you want to help, and it’ll hurt, but 
we cant look at them now.  Many of them are too late to help.  We’re 
going to get through this...real quick.  In and out.  Okay?”
	
Rosie nodded, taking in a deep breath.  If only Commander Goddard knew
the truth: that she had, in fact, already seen the chambers of the 
hundreds of dying prisoners before, when she had been here to look for
Radu in an earlier frame of time.  But she could never let Commander
Goddard know that, and she knew she was being forced to see it again.
She had dreaded it just as much as Commander Goddard, but she knew 
that she had a job to do, and two lives to save.  She knew the 
corridors well.  When they had come in to rescue Radu, they had no 
clue where to go and where to turn.  However, even with the twisted 
walls, there was still a vague memory of what was in store for her.  
She released her breath, then grabbed the clutch to open the door.  
“Ready, Commander?” she asked, trying her best to sound optimistic and
cheerful.

Goddard cracked a smile and nodded. Both simultaneously opened the 
doors and stepped out into the fowl air surrounding them.  A strange 
stench filled the room, and both coughed at the acidic odor.  “I hate
Spung ships,” Goddard muttered, then shut his door.  Rosie mirrored 
his action, then followed the Commander.  
	
Commander Goddard approached the door to the hallways, when Rosie 
halted him.  “Wait, Commander,” she said suddenly, pulling him to a 
stop.  “Let me show you where to go,” she said, her tone grave.
	
Goddard furrowed his brow in confusion. “How do you...”
	
“Please, Commander,” she pleaded, “just trust me.”
	
Goddard’s stomach began to turn uneasily, but he nodded reluctantly. 
Rosie cracked a smile from her serious face.  
	
“This way,” she said, and both exited the landing bay.  

* * * * * *

Harlan’s stomach turned as he glided the ship smoothly across the 
starry sky.  The entire room was empty except for him.  Rosie and 
Commander Goddard had left to attempt to save Radu before the deal was
made, while Bova and Ms Davenport worked furiously to find Bova’s fuel
formula, and Suzee worked on setting the engines to consume less fuel.
They were in a race against time, to rescue their lost friend from his
fatal destiny.  Harlan’s brow furrowed in worry as he began to think.
What if this is truly the fate of Radu?  What if no matter how hard we
try, he’s gone?  Is this just a fight for the impossible? Harlan 
inquired to himself as his eyes scanned the starry scenery with a 
watchful eye.  He shook his head shamefully.  Of all things he were 
thinking about, he chose the one thing to bring him down.  Dont give 
up, you know you’re better than that, Harlan chided himself, There’s 
no reason to bring yourself down in the height of the hour.
	
Harlan’s gaze was cold stone as his eyes stayed transfixed on a 
distant object in the air.  A shadowy warship loomed in space, it’s 
appearance peaceful.  If one were alien to this space sector, they may
not realize the terror and horror that lay in that kill kruiser.  The
appearance of the ship, intimidating and strong, looked lifeless as it
waited for the Cases’ appearances.  Once they entered that killcruiser,
there was no telling what would happen next; that was what Harlan was 
afraid of.  Would their events in coming back to the past change the 
future?  Would they, in fact, have different security systems than 
before?  His stomach churned as he thought of poor little Rosie and 
Comander Goddard, on their own in a killcruiser with Spung swarming 
the place.  They’ll make it, he thought to himself confidently, they 
have no choice.  

* * * * * *

Bova held one small bottle filled with a green foam and hardly any 
liquid, and in the other hand, he held a fizzing chemical that was 
tinted a puke green color.  Bova observed the color and wrinkled his 
nose.  “Are you sure you mixed the right things together?” Bova
inquired, glancing towards Ms Davenport.
	
Ms Davenport folded her arms irritably.  “Of course I’m sure,” she 
replied, sounding slightly outraged at the mere thought of her being 
wrong.  “See for yourself.”
	
Bova hesitated as he noted the expression Ms Davenport held.  
Confidence and a slight look of reluctance was imprinted on her face 
as she nodded towards the chemical.  “No, I believe you,” he said 
finally, “this is almost ready too,” he informed her, holding up the
green cotton-like foam.  
	
Bova then turned to a large glass container, and poured both contents 
into the small container and watched carefully.  Both colors began to
swirl among eachother, giving off a radiant yellow glow.  Bova smiled
approvingly, then quickly shut the lid on the container.  
	
“We did it!!” Bova shouted happily, glancing at the nervous Ms 
Davenport.  Ms Davenport jumped in glee, then quickly resumed her 
position.  
	
“Well done, Mr. Bova,” Ms Davenport said approvingly, “I say we’ve 
done very well.”
	
Bova nodded, then grabbed the glass container.  “I need to get this to
Suzee,” he replied. Davenport nodded, and both exited the room.  

* * * * * *

Suzee sighed in frustration as her fragile hands dug ruthlessly into 
the many wires of the consumption system of the Christa.  She had been
up and down throughout the engine room, in and out of every 
compartment, and she still could not find a way to lessen the
consumption of the Christa.  In order to lower it, it could mean the 
decretion of the shields, steering, or possibly even the food supply. 
It was too dangerous to chance it, knowing that it could effect 
something far too important. 
	
Suzee dug her hands out of the many wires and gadgets, and sat back, 
sighing.  
	
“There’s no use,” she said, her heart sinking.  She felt horrible that
she couldn’t go with the commander.  After all, she was an engineering
genius, and if they were to need to break into a lock, she would more
than likely be able to do it.  Thinking of little Rosie going on such 
an expedition sent chills down her spine, and she hoped the very best 
for the both of them.
	
Suzee turned as she heard the doors open, and she saw a very 
optimistic Ms Davenport, and a content Bova walk through the entrance.

“Good news!” Davenport squealed with delight.
	
“We got it!” Bova said, holding the twisted substance up.  
	
“You’re kidding,” Suzee replied with a new ambition.  Suzee jumped to 
her feet and greeted both of them, then opened up the fuel tank.  
	
“Wait!” Bova shouted, “You need to be very careful...pour it in very 
slowly, it can be highly explosive,” Bova explained.
	
“And you’re thinking of putting it in the Christa??  What if you 
damage her systems?  Have you tested this stuff out before?” Suzee 
inquired, her skepticism kicking in.
	
Bova folded his arms and gave her a cross look.  “Listen, I know what 
I’m doing.  Just stop questioning my judgement and trust me for once.
I’ve done plenty of tests on it, and the only thing it does is give 
the Christa more energy to work off of.  It’s made mostly of herbs, 
with SOME explosive chemicals, so it’s almost completely natural.  
AND I’ve done the studies, and it’s completely harmless, as long as 
you put it in SLOWLY!  We dont have all the time in the world, so just
TRUST ME!”
	
Suzee stared blankly at Bova for a moment.  She had never been told 
off like that, and stood for it, but she knew that Bova had to know 
what he was doing.  He was far too paranoid to put something into the 
Christa that could damage something.  She nodded slowly, then began 
following Bova’s instructions. 
	
Bova smiled triumphantly, then turned to leave.  Ms Davenport gave him
a smile, then both left to the Command Post.  

* * * * * *

Warlord Shank stormed down the hall furiously, still angry from the 
Andromedan.   That blasted Andromedan, Warlord Shank thought to 
himself, still repulsed at the way the stupid creature had talked back
to him.  The ugly beast had no respect whatsoever, the rude creature.
Warlord Shank will show it how to respect it’s superiors, he thought 
to himself as a satisfyingly evil grin crossed his face.  Yes, he will
know the meaning of pain when I’m through with him.

Warlord Shank then arrived at a transporter.  He stepped inside, 
pressed which floor he wished to go to, and down he went.

* * * * * *

Radu’s mind was a blur as he was viciously thrown into a small holding
cell.  He slammed against the wall, and fell to the ground.  The two
gaurds began to kick him as if he were a rag doll, being flung about 
and thrown lifelessly.  He swallowed hard, for he knew that this was 
only one of many more torments and tortures to come.  He held his 
breath until his capturers began getting bored of him.  After the 
lizard creatures became satisfied with what they had done, they 
slammed the door to the cell and locked the five different locks on 
the door.  He eased himself up and sat in a corner of the cell and 
scanned his surroundings.

The light was dim, and each corner of the room held a looming shadow.
He saw other races of people, pink people, humanoid people, and other
numerous people chained on the wall, their lifeless bodies acting as 
an example for all the other prisoners.  They all knew that they were 
soon going to be as deformed and lifeless as the other poor souls who 
had been tortured in this room.  Dead and almost dead bodies covered 
a large portion of the dirty floors, some bodies without life, others 
moaning to be killed and parted from their pain.  Pleading for the 
agony to stop, and for it to end.  Radu winced at when he saw, in the 
other corner of the room, the dungeon worker beating upon a small 
colorful haired boy.  If only he could do something!  

He sighed heavily as he thought about his hopeless situation.  The 
lizard  creature that had ordered him to be there would be there soon,
and there was nothing he could do to stop it.  He wished for those 
kind people on the screen to come and save him, for they looked far
nicer than the lizard creatures.  Somehow, he knew that his past lay 
with them, and if he could only reach them, then he would have a 
chance of remembering.  “My name is ... Radu,” he said thoughtfully.  
“My name is Radu.”  A meak smile etched onto his face as he finally 
realized that it sounded very familiar.  It must be my name! he 
thought happily.  They have to know me, I know they do.

“Pssst.”

Radu turned swiftly back and forth, searching for the orientation of 
that noise.  He could see nobody speaking to him, and yet...

“Psst...Radu, can you hear me?” he heard whispered.  

Radu smiled, hearing his named being called.  “Y-yes, I can hear you,"
he said, trying to see where the voice was coming from.  W-where are 
you?”

“Do you see where the doorway is?  You know where you came in?” the 
whisperer asked, and Radu nodded.  “Look right beside it and down, 
there’s a vent...”

Radu did so and saw a small pink face looking through the vent.  

“Radu, it’s so good to see you,” the small pink person exclaimed 
happily, “I’ve missed you!  We had to climb through here, they had 
too much security in the hallways.”

Radu nodded slowly, still not quite sure who was speaking to him.  The
pink person pushed the vent out carefully and crawled out, carrying a
small bag with her.  “Stay here,” Rosie whispered.

“I cant let you...”

“Commander, trust me,” Rosie said back to the vent, then silence.  She
got up and held her bag tightly, smiling sweetly at Radu.  “I’m so 
glad I got here in time,” the pink person said to Radu, “I thought I 
was going to be too late.”

“W-who are you?” Radu asked nervously.
 
“I’m Rosie!  I know you probably dont remember me...but I’m your 
friend, Radu. And I really hope you remember me because...you’re my 
best friend!  ...And I’m yours.  But...that’s not important.  Right 
now I need to get the door open.”

Radu shook his head. “They locked it five times, R-Rosie, I dont think
there’s any way to get in here.  “Oh, nonsense,” Rosie replied, “just 
stand as far as you can.  

Radu complied, jumping back.  Rosie rolled up her sleeves, and began 
rubbing her hands together.  Her small pink hands began to glow 
slightly, and soon were a bright red.  Radu could feel the heat 
increasing dramatically, and four of the locks began to melt.  She
increased her heat more and more until they were completely melted,
but one still remained.  Rosie decreased her heat, and held the lock.
“It wont melt,” Rosie said, slightly confused.

“Of course it will not melt, do you think Warlord Shank is sssstupid 
enough to hold Mercurains in something they can escape from?” 

Rosie quickly turned, and her eyes widened as she saw the mighty and 
powerful Warlord Shank standing in the doorway.  

“Ssssadly,” he continued, “Warlord Shank do not have the sssssame 
holding cell for you, assss Warlord Shank did not know you were 
coming,” he replied sinisterly.  

Rosie dropped her bag, startled.  The short Mercurian stood staring 
upward towards a very large and angry looking Warlord Shank.  He began
to inch closer towards her, a sinister smile emplanting his face.   
Rosie made no hesitations as she dove into his knees, taking him down
to the ground.  She quickly jumped up and away, and Goddard ran out,
struggling with the great Warlord.  Warlord gripped a small key very 
tightly while he feuded with Goddard, but the Commander somehow 
smuggled it out of his hands.  As if on cue, if flew out of the 
Warlord’s hands and into Rosie’s.

“Hurry, Rosie!!!” Goddard grumbled, while dodging a claw towards the 
face.

Rosie fumbled with the key at first, but quickly place it into the 
lock and opened the large metallic cage.  She grabbed her friend’s 
gloved hand and helped him to his feet.  

Warlord Shank shrieked as he saw his prisoner escaping.  “You idiots!!
Get in here!! Must Warlord Shank do everything himssssself!!” he 
hissed irritably.  Three more largely built Spung warriors could be 
heard trotting in on Command.  Rosie quickly slid down the vent, Radu 
following.  Radu hesitated from moving as he watched Goddard’s fret 
with the mightly Spung Warlord.  

Goddard ducked another swing towards his face, then kicked as hard as
he could towards the stomach.  As soon as he saw Shank’s backup, 
however, he slid through the vent next to Radu, and closed it tightly
behind him.  

“Go, Mr Radu!  That’s an order!” Goddard shouted, and Radu started 
crawling as swiftly as he could through the vents.  Shouting and 
ordering could be heard through the vents, and Goddard could only hope
that they would be able to leave this place on time, to escape from 
whatever evilness was inside this ship.  Every crawl forward seemed to
go by too slow, and he felt as if he were stuck in a warped time zone 
where everything seemed to be going by too fast.  His mind raced as he
focused on the exit way that looked so close, and yet so far away.  

He heard a clanking some distance behind him. Blast it, Goddard 
muttered to himself, they’re right behind us.

“We’re here!” Rosie exclaimed and jumped down to the hard floor of the
landing bay.  Radu was next, followed by Goddard.

“Hurry!  We are out of time here!” Goddard shouted, and the three ran
as fast as they possibly could towards their small vessel.  

“I cant believe it,”Rosie said, as Goddard started up the controls, “
we did it!” Rosie smiled happily.

“We’re not out of here yet,” Goddard stated, “Hold on tight.”  With 
that, he pushed the controls all the way down, causing the the 
starling to jerk forward at an outstanding pace.  As Radu looked out 
the back window, he could see the landing bay swarming with angry,
vengeful faces, it was swarming with gaurds.  

Radu took a deep breath, grateful for what these people had done for 
him.  He gazed back towards the large killcruiser, and his eyes 
widened in horror.

“Uhh...they’re...they’re following,” Radu stuttered, pointing out the 
window.  

Goddard grumbled something under his breath, and nodded.  “We’re 
almost there, Harlan should be coming along any moment.  

* * * * * *

Harlan creased a smile on his face, as he saw the familiar starling 
come into view.  Butterflies began to dance in his stomach, now was 
the time to find out if he, Rosie, and Bova had succeeded in their 
mission that they tried so hard to accomplish.  They had to succeed.  

“Christa, pull them in,” Harlan commanded calmly.  The Christa did as 
she was ordered to, and moments later, a reasuring voice confirm it.

“Landing is complete,” Thelma said pleasantly, “but you should know 
that there are several vessels preparing to land.  Permission to 
land?” Thelma asked blandly.

“What??  Who else  is coming?” Harlan inquired.  He examined the 
viewscreen carefully, and his eyes widened at the many fighter 
vessels trailing behind the Christa. 

“We need to make a hyper jump,” Harlan whispered.  He rushed to the 
navigational station and set the coordinates towhere  they had made 
the leap in time before.  He then ran to the intercom and slammed his
hand down.  “Suzee, report right away to the command post, I need you
to fly this thing for a few.  Bova, I need you by the landing bay,
now!” Harlan ordered.

“On our way,” Bova reported.

Harlan nodded, then slammed the hyperdrive crystal down, and leaving
the ship on autopilot.  “Let’s hope Suzee gets here in the next couple
minutes, or we’re space dust,” Harlan muttered, willing to take the
chance.  He then threw himself into the jumptubes, and with a whoosh,
he was off.

* * * * * *

Bova and Harlan reached the entrance of the landing bay at 
approximately the same time.  Harlan made no hesitations to open the
landing bay door and run towards the small starling.  Rosie, Radu, and
a very tired looking Goddard sat breathlessly against the Starling.
Harlan ran up and grabbed both Rosie and Radu’s hands. 

“We’re out of time,” Harlan stated to Rosie.  Rosie’s eyes widened,
and all four began running through the Christa’s halls.  

“Where are we going??” Radu asked, bewildered at what these people 
were doing.  

“Ask questions later,” Harlan stated.  All came to a halt, when an 
electrifying bolt appeared directly in the center of the hallway.  

“That’s our ride home,” Harlan said with a smile.  With a quick breath,
he raced towards it, and after a bright flash of light, he was gone.  

“Our turn.  Hurry, it’s fading!”

“I dont know about this...” Radu stated hesitantly.

“C’mon!” Bova shouted, and both Rosie and Bova led the unsure 
Andromedan towards the hot light.  With an even larger flash, all four
were gone.  The bolt then disappeared once again, and the hallway was
peaceful.

* * * * * * *

Harlan awoke the morning with a horrible headache.  His stomach was 
growling, his head was pounding, and he felt as if he were all night 
partying.  He managed to pry his eyes open.  Next to him, he saw a 
full bed of hair.  He groaned sourly, then sat upright.

“Radu??” Harlan said, looking one more time to see the same bed of 
hair.  “Radu, you’re back!!” Harlan smiled. “That’s right, we brought
you back!” Harlan was now fully awake. 

“Wh-what are you talking about, Harlan?” Radu grumbled tiredly.  “I’ve
been here all night.”

Harlan furrowed his brow in confusion.  “B-but...we saved you...from 
the ship...” Harlan stuttered, unsure why his friend would have such 
amnesia over such a thing.

“Yes...that was months ago, Harlan.  And besides, I wasn’t gone for 
that long,” he said with a shy smile.

“Yes...I suppose you werent,” Harlan replied with a satisfactory grin.
“It was all thanks to me...the great Stardog, Harlan Band.”  

“Hey!” Bova grumbled, “you’re not the only hero, Stardog,” he grumbled
with the same tiredness. 

“All right, all right.  I had a little help.”

“A little?  Hah, if it weren’t for me and Rosie...”

“All right, enough, Harlan smiled.  He didn’t now how he had gotten 
in his bunk, or what history had changed from what they had done, but 
for once, he hadn’t a care in the world. The consequences were easy to
deal with, as long as he had his friends to help take the blame for it.
“What would I do without you guys?” Harlan asked more to himself than 
to his sleeping roommates.

And with that, he pulled the covers over him, and enjoyed a peaceful 
and guiltless sleep.  

The End

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