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The perfect Mother's Day

[I dont know  the real title of the story, but when I find out, I'll
let you all know!  This story is by Wolf so feel
free to e-mail her and let her know what you think! :o)  On with the
story!]


Rosie Iani sat at her post and halfheartedly watched the red dots on 
the control panel flicker and flash, like they always did. It was 
unusually quite, as if someone had captured all the sound into a giant
glass bottle and then sealed the lid tight.  Bova was in the boys bunk
room designing a new SpaceNet page (or sleeping, whichever one he’d 
gotten to first.) Harlan was listening to his Crodder CD up in the 
dining room for the hundredth time, and Radu was with him, doodling 
on some paper he’d found. 

At first Rosie found the quite nice and relaxing, a time for her to 
think. But the more she thought, the worse she felt. “It was mother’s 
day on Mercury yesterday,” she said half out loud to herself. The 
Murcurian holiday had always been celebrated with gifts and feasts,
music, and celebrations lasting long into the night. 

I wonder what my mom did yesterday, Rosie thought unhappily. She could
almost see her mother sitting at home all alone eating cake and 
missing her daughter, while outside all the other mothers and children
laughed and enjoyed the day’s festivities. A small wet trickle started
down Rosie’s face and plashed down the consul, when the door opened 
and she quickly wiped the tear away. 

Rosie expected to see the Commander or Miss Davenport walk in, but 
instead she saw the familiar golden curls and pale white face of an 
Andromedan. 

“Hi Rosie.” Radu went to his post and did a quick check to make sure 
the ship was headed in the right direction. Every now and then Space 
currents would sweep them off course, and it was always better to know
sooner than later. 

“Hi Radu,” Rosie answered back. Her tone was so quiet that Radu looked
up from his post. 

“Are you okay?” he asked. When she didn’t answer, Radu walked over to
her and gently turned her face so he could see it. “You’ve been 
crying…” He could see her face was damp, and it almost alarmed him. 
He had never seen Rosie cry, ever. What could have possibly upset her 
this much? 

Sighing, Rosie explained “It was mother’s day on Mercury yesterday, 
Radu.” Seeing his puzzled expression, she added “It’s a day where we 
honor all the mothers and give them gifts and we have parities and 
there’s music. This is the first time I’ve ever been away from home 
on mother’s day….”

Listening, Radu nodded and then fondly put an arm around her. 

“You must miss her a lot.”  

Rosie sniffed.” Yes.  I miss EVERYTHING.”

“I guess that’s what they call homesick….?” 

He patted her on the back. “Don’t be sad. Hey, do you want to see the 
pictures I made?” he asked with a smile. 

“Sure.”

Radu pulled a folded piece of paper out of his pocket and handed it to
Rosie. “This is my first time actually trying to draw something, so 
they’re not that good.”

Rosie giggled. “They look so small! Is that one a comet?” Pleased that
she was smiling, Radu nodded. 

“And see this one? It’s the Christa. It looks lopsided because I don’t
think I got the wings right.”

“I like it! What about this one?” Rosie pointed to a round shape.

Radu grinned sheepishly. “I was trying to draw an Andromedan egg….but 
it just looks like a misshapen circle to me.” He stopped. “I have an 
idea. Why don’t you draw a picture of your mother? You can use the 
backside of that paper.” 

Rosie’s face lit up like a solar eclipse on Uranus. “That’s a good 
idea! I think I will.”

Suddenly the ship lurched forward so violently that both Radu and 
Rosie were instantly thrown to the floor. The Christa shook and 
rumbled while the sound of weapons firing was heard very loudly and 
the ship’s warning systems had gone off. BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP!!!!

Rosie got up and ran back to her post, and there were the red warning 
lights flashing. “Somebody just fired at us!” she cried. Whoosh! 
Whoosh! Whoosh! Harlan, Bova, and Commander Seth Goddard came down the
jump tubes one after the other so fast that they ended up lying in a 
heap atop of each other on the floor.  

Pulling himself out of the mess, Harlan ran to the wheel while the 
commander yelled “Everyone to your posts, NOW!”

The Christa still shook and heaved this way and that, and so it was 
with great difficulty that everyone scrambled off of the floor and 
made it to their posts. Commander Goddard grabbed Harlan’s chair to 
steady himself and called “THELMA!!”

Out of nowhere the kinky metal-head android appeared on the scene with
a pasty grin on her face and a dippy. “Yes, Commander?”

“What’s going on?”

One beep and three clicks later she raised one finger and replied 
matter-of-factly “We have been fired upon, Commander!”

“Damage report.”

“Our shields have been reduced by 40%, and there has been damage to 
our hull.” 

The Christa tipped and Thelma began sliding across to the left side of
the bridge. 

“Oh, that’s just GREAT! We’re all goners” Bova declared from the other
side of the room. 

“Screen on!” ordered the Commander.

Rosie pushed the screen button, but instead of displaying an outside 
view like it was supposed to it just sort of crackled and started to 
spark. “Hold on, Commander. I’ll get it fixed for you real soon” 
assured Rosie. 

The jump tubes whooshed again, and soon Miss Davenport was on the 
bridge screaming “What’s going ON??” Her face was screwed into a look 
of comical panic. 

“We are being fired at.” Thelma repeated dutifully. 

“WHAT?? By whom? And why??”  

As Thelma slid further back, she announced “Incoming!!!”

The Commander shouted, “Hang on, everyone! Here it comes!!”Again the 
crew was thrown forward as the Christa was hit with another shot. Most
of the crew, however, managed to stay in their seats that time. 

Only Bova had been moved from his spot, to which he complained “All 
this turbulence is clogging my nostrils.”

“Commander! I fixed the screen.” Rosie said. The screen flickered a 
bit as it focused on what appeared to be a small Spacecraft of some 
sort. It was long and thin, like a round tube….  also had rounded 
ends. It very much resembled a giant pill. , Or a probe.

“Ooh, it’s horrible looking!” Miss Davenport shrieked. 

Goddard reacted quickly. “Radu, what’s that thing’s coordinance?”

Trying to cover his ears with one hand, Radu replied “Uh…168 degrees, 
b-behind us, sir.”

Harlan didn’t need to hear any more. “Bova, get the weapons ready to 
fire. We’re gunna give this thing a taste of the old Chinese dip 
tricks. Hang on everybody!”Under Harlan’s quick control, the Christa 
sped forward as if on the warpath. “Radu, is it following us?”

“It’s right on our tail, Harlan.”

“Good!” Harlan grinned, and suddenly the Christa came to a screeching 
halt and then did a complete 90-degree dip downward.

The downward  motion was just too much for the fragile Ms. Davenport, 
who wailed  “WWWAHAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!” and then fainted.

Thanks to the Christa’s quick dip, the enemy ship went speeding past 
them so that by the time the Christa was level again they were flying 
right behind it. Harlan lost no time, and immediately called out 

“Okay, Bova! Fire for all you’re worth!!”

Seconds later, two torpedoes plummeted from the Christa’s weapon bank 
and soon hit contact with the alien ship in front of them. As the 
torpedoes caused parts of the alien ship to explode, it created a HUGE
radiation wave to start shooting through space and because the Christa
was following so closely behind, it hit them first. 

Mm-mmm-iiii-sss-ttt-ee-rr   B-b-aaand!” The Christa rattled 
uncontrollably, and Commander Goddard’s teeth chattered.  “G-ge-e-t  
us  o-o-o-u-t-  o-f h-e-r-e..!!” 

Harlan pushed the ship into full throttled hyper drive and they 
started to speed away. They hadn’t gone 30 kilometers when the Christa
made a grinding stop AGAIN!

“Mr. Band, having trouble??” demanded the Commander. 

“The ship won’t move, sir!” Harlan protested. “She’s at full speed, 
she’s just not moving. I don’t know what’s wrong with her!” 

Radu studied the compost with complete bewilderment. This had never 
happened before…. “According to my readings, commander, the ship is 
still moving.”

A feminine voice shot out from the intercom at that moment. “Wait! I 
know what it is…!” It was Suzee, down in the engine room.

“Splendid. Would you be so kind as to tell us what?” the Commander 
shot back. 

“We’re looking at a Cad5 tractor beam, Commander. It’s amazing, 
really! The design is so simple yet the beam itself is so powerful….”

Harlan interrupted. “That’s great, Suzee, but all we need to know is 
how to get out of it. Remember?”

Her tone turned annoyed. “Fine. Bova, I’m downloading some files into 
your compost, they’re instructions you need to follow CAREFULY. We’re
going to have to re-root some power to make this work….”

“Alright, but I don’t think it’s going to work.” Bova replied.

Rosie grinned her usual grin and said, “Of course it will, Bova! We’ll
be out of here in no time!”

Bova just rolled his eyes and set to work. First he had to dig into 
the Christa’s wiring system and completely change all the sub-rooting,
which required a lot of attention as well as electric charges on his 
part. Once that was done, there was only one thing left to do. 
Re-program the system’s configurations. 

“How are we doing down there, Bova?” The Commander was getting 
impatient.

“Just give me 30 more seconds, Commander, but I’m telling you THIS 
WON’T WORK.” 

“Just keep working, Bova” Harlan encouraged. 

Thelma toddled over to Ms. Davenport, and bent over to look at her. 
She was a sick greenish color, and looked as if she should have gotten
off the roller coaster a long time ago. “Ms. Davenport?”

Ms. Davenport moaned, but didn’t open her eyes, and Thelma did an 
android shrug and walked off. “I’ll just have to tell the Commander.”

She tapped Goddard on the shoulder. “Commander?”

“Not now, Thelma.”

“Commander?”

“Mr. Bova, I need power NOW!”

“I’ve almost got it, sir, just a couple more seconds…”

“Commander?” Thelma tapped again. 

Rosie reported “We’re being drained of our shield’s power. I don’t 
know how much long I can stop it!”

“Commander? I think I should tell you something! I would tell Ms. 
Davenport instead, but I think she’s busy right now.”

Exasperated, Goddard said ‘What?”Thelma grinned. 

“The alien ship is preparing to fire. Impact in 10 seconds! 1…2…. 3….
4….”

Harlan gripped the wheel. “Bova….!”

“5…6…”

Bova slammed the wiring panel shut and flipped on the power switch. 

“Okay!! We’ve got power!”

“Get us out of here, Harlan!”

The Christa lurched out, and then sprang back, lurched out again and 
strained to pull away from the beam. Suddenly there was this cosmic 
ripping sound, and the Christa tore away from the beam and zipped off 
into another part of the galaxy at high speed.  Just before they left 
the other ship behind, they saw it explode into a million little red 
and orange fragments, now nothing more than space dust.Within moments,
an odd sensation crept its way into the sensory part of Thelma’s 
positronic net. At first it was barely noticeable, and with all the 
commotion still going on, she ignored it. After all, there were much 
more important things to do since it was clear that the Christa had 
been damaged during the fight. 

“Suzee, how is it looking down there?” Asked the Commander. 

“It’s hard to say, sir, since the lights have gone out. Whatever 
damage has been done, I DO know that I"ll have to shut down the main 
power to fix it. Also, there's something else I think you should 
know….”

There it was again!! That mysterious feeling, like the buzz of a bug 
that won’t go away. It almost tickled! Thelma sort or leaned her body 
and head to one side to see if that might help clear things up.

“THELMA!”

Startled, Thelma fell right over. “Yes, Commander?”

Trying not to snicker, Harlan helped her up. “What’s wrong, Thelma? 
Lose something there?”

“Well Harlan, I don’t think so. But we do seem to have gained 
something!” Her voice held an enigmatic cock to it.

“What do you mean by gained, Thelma?” Radu asked. 

“The Christa has sensed an unknown life form in cargo bay three!” 

* * * * * *

“What IS that?” Harlan was the first one to fly down the jump tubes, 
and he’d been the first one to bolt through the hallways, which meant 
he was the first one to rush through the cargo bay door. Now that he 
was seeing the “unknown life form”, he didn’t know what to make of it.
Right behind him was Rosie, who took one look at it and backed away. 

“Umm…guys? I know I’m the one who would say something nice right about
now…. but I’m sort of at a loss for words……”

“No! Rosie? At a loss for words? Never.” Bova stepped in and eyed the 
foreign object critically. “It looks like a bomb or something. We 
should get rid of it.”

Suzee smiled in a clever sort of way and said “Not so fast, guys! We 
don’t even know what it is yet. Look at the colors…I’ve never seen 
anything like this before.”

It was true, none of them had. It appeared to be a large rock or large
mass, perfectly round, although very bumpy and scaly in texture. It 
was about the size of a large watermelon, grayish blue in color. It 
had faint swirls of pale yellow running through it, and it smelled of 
sulfur. Nobody quite knew what to do with it, yet there it was sitting
on the floor.

Just then, Radu came up behind Suzee with wide eyes and wonderment on 
his face. “Is that the unknown life form?” he asked barely above a 
whisper. 

“Yeah,” Harlan responded skeptically. “Kinda ugly, isn’t it?”

Completely enchanted, Radu knelt in front of the article, and while 
his classmates looked on, silently peeled off one of his gloves and 
softly laid a bare hand on the forlorn object. “It’s an Andromedan 
egg,” he said quietly.

“What??” Ms. Davenport groggily rubbed her eyes and stumbled over to 
Radu. 

“Did you say that thing is an EGG?”Harlan came around to Radu’s other 
side, and said rather mortified, “You know, I didn’t mean UGLY ugly, 
it’s just a little…” he brushed his finger along the egg’s surface, 
“dusty, that’s all.” 

Radu wasn’t listening to either of them. Leaning in, he could hear the
fragile heartbeat within the egg, could hear the baby sleeping 
peacefully inside it’s domed castle, the shell acting as a fortress to
protect it from the cares and worries of the outside world.Finally
looking up, he told them. 

“We need to get the egg to a warm place, somewhere quiet.” He grinned,
suddenly feeling a strong urge to take care of and protect the egg.  
“Can I take it to the infirmary, Ms. Davenport? Please?”

“Yes, take it” answered Goddard, who had watched this whole thing take
place. Then turning to Ms. Davenport, he grabbed her arm and escorted
her to another part of the ship. “Can I speak with you alone, please…”

Harlan and Suzee followed along after Radu, who had the egg in his 
arms. Rosie was at Radu’s side, cheerfully chattering away, asking 
questions about Andromedan babies, and Bova was trailing behind Rosie.

“Something about this whole thing doesn’t make any sense” Harlan 
remarked.

Suzee prompted “What?”

“How in the world did an Andromedan egg get inside the Christa?”

“Well, I can’t be absolutely sure, but my guess is that the egg was 
beamed aboard…. possibly by the alien ship we encountered.”

“Beamed?”

“Yeah, sort of like the transport device the Spung use” Suzee 
explained.

Harlan chuckled. “I guess I’m just having a hard time believing that 
there’s an actual egg with a baby Andromedan in it.” Pausing, Harlan 
lowered his voice hopping Radu might not hear his next line. “And what
if it hatches? Getting used to ONE Andromedan was hard enough…but 
TWO?”

Suzee’s face softened a little at the thought. “But Harlan, it’s just 
a BABY!”

* * * * * * 

Up ahead, Radu, Rosie, and Bova had reached the infirmary and were 
already setting things up. Rosie was getting the heart monitor ready. 
“You know, what we really need is an incubator.”

Radu looked at her and suddenly seemed concerned. “Rosie, um….how…how 
are we going to do this?”

Rosie looked thoughtful for a moment before saying, “See that glass 
case over there? I think that might work!” She lead Radu over to it, 
and he gently laid the egg inside. “We can hook a heat generator to 
it, and also this heart monitor. See? It’s perfect!” Rosie grinned. 

Radu closed the lid to the case and gazed at the egg through the 
glass. “I still can’t believe it…….”

Bova looked up from where he’d been rummaging through a junk pile. 
“Can’t believe what?”

“This! I..I mean…”Radu licked his lips trying to think of the right 
words. “It’s…it’s a-amazing to think that there’s life inside this 
egg, you know? I’ve never actually seen an Andromedan egg before…..
a-and….well, now that I have……I just feel this connection somehow…
something I’ve never felt before…..”

Bova nodded. “Oh, don’t worry Radu. You’ll get over it.” 


* * * * * *

Back in the  hallway, Harlan slowed to a stop. He didn’t want to go 
in, he didn’t want to see the egg. Suddenly it hit him like an 
emotional dam drying to hold in too much water. After awhile….it just 
explodes. 

Suzee noticed something was wrong. She could see the change in his 
face. “Harlan, what’s wrong?”

“This is where it all begins, Suzee.”

“Where what begins?”

“The droning process, you know! That thing, that egg is going to 
hatch, and then what? It won’t be long before it starts thinking of 
itself as part of one big whole, just another drop in the sea of 
Andromedans. It’ll know how to do one thing: follow orders. I’ve seen 
it before, Suzee. These are the people who killed my father. They were
DRONES!  They don’t think for themselves, they’re so caught up in 
‘loyalty’ that they’ll do whatever they’re told without even thinking.
In the war most of the Andromedans didn’t even KNOW who they were 
fighting. They fought because they were told to. I mean, if you ask
me this whole business of being born into a world without parents, and
without a family….it just messes ‘em up. They become nothing more than
drudges, Suzee.”

“Radu’s not a drudge. In fact, he’s nothing like what you just 
described.” She gave him a sympathetic smile.Harlan jokingly retorted 

“That’s because he was born weird.” 

“Well, that sure is something to think about” Suzee giggled. “Look, 
I’m going in to see it, okay?” She shrugged and put one foot through 
the door. “You may be right” she said, turning back briefly, “but I 
guess it’s for you to decide.” She went in, and the door closed behind
her. 

* * * * * *

“Take it? Take it where??”Goddard laughed doubtfully. “Off my ship, 
that’s where! Look, the Christa is NO place for children, especially 
babies.”

Ms. Davenport crossed her arms stubbornly. “Oh, and just WHERE shall 
we take the baby, Commander?”

“There has to be somewhere we can take it.”

“Commander, that’s absurd! There is nowhere for it to go, and besides,
it needs to be looked after. I don’t see why we can’t do just that!”

“Ms. Davenport, a baby is an incredible responsibility. It has to be 
constantly watched and its every need catered to. It’ll take away from
the crew’s studies and their duties on the ship as well, not to 
mention their sleep. Now I know that as a woman, you feel sort of
attached to it because it’s small, cute, and helpless, but we need to 
be thinking practical here.” 

Completely flustered and aggravated, Ms. Davenport stepped up to 
Goddard and defiantly replied “Mr. Goddard, that little remark just 
cost you 20 demerits! The baby stays.”

* * * * * *

“Harlan.”  

Harlan sat in the lounge alone, potato chips in one hand and root beer
in the other, until Radu unexpectedly walked in. 

“Hey Radu.”

“Mind if I sit with you?”

Harlan held up his hands as if to say ‘who-cares?’ “Sure…why not. 
Chip?” He held the bag out to his crewmate.  Radu could feel his 
confidence starting to waver like a crumbled pretzel….he was afraid 
to bring this up to Harlan. Fearing the worst, Radu finally stammered 
“Harlan, I know something’s bothering you. C-could you….j-just tell me
w-what it is?”

Harlan scoffed under his breath, “What? You didn’t hear me talking 
about it? We were standing right outside the door, Radu.”

Radu looked down and swallowed hard. “Yeah, I guess I heard you.”

“Then what are you asking me for?”

Radu reached into the bag for a chip. “Uh…well, I guess I just want to
understand where you’re coming from. You’re afraid the baby’s going to
grow up to be a mindless drone who’s programmed to kill?”

Harlan nodded in admission. “I know we’ve been over this a hundred 
times, Radu…but I can’t help thinking that it’s just part of the 
Andromedan anatomy. I..I know you’re not like that, but then again 
you’re the exception to all the rules. I guess it’s taken me all this
time to finally get around to excepting you, and I don’t know if I can
do it again.  Especially if this baby grows up to be nothing like 
you.”

“You’re already talking like we’re going to raise this baby until 
kingdom come.” Radu smiled slightly.  “Look, Harlan, of course this 
baby won’t be like me…. it’ll have it’s own personality and ideas….but
if we’re the ones raising it then we can be sure it turns out okay. 
This is like…you’re perfect chance to prove yourself wrong.” 

“Just what I’ve always wanted!”

“This baby is nothing to be afraid of, Harlan. I wasn’t going to say 
so, but no Andromedan I ever knew grew up to be a ‘killing machine’, 
or even a drone.”

“What?”

“Yeah, that’s Andromedan myth number 57. Didn’t you know?” 

Radu gave Harlan a teasing shwap on the back. “Hey” he said, tasting 
a chip, “these are pretty good.”

Harlan winced at the Andromedan’s strength in contact. “I’m glad you 
think so.”

Radu breathed a sigh of relief. He made it through! And without 
fighting with Harlan, too. Rosie was right, it was a good idea to just
talk it out, no matter how hard. ‘Mabey I’ll make it through after 
all’, he thought. Harlan sat there in silence, completely apathetic. 
What had just happened here? He shook his head. Aw, well…whatever it 
was, it was a good thing. 

All of a sudden Radu’s vision went almost black and he got very dizzy,
falling back into the lounging couch he and Harlan were sitting on.  
He didn’t feel so good…..

“Whoa, Radu?” Harlan was soon at his side trying to shake him. “Are 
you okay?”

Radu tried to speak, but no sound came out. Signaling to Harlan that 
he couldn’t talk at the moment, he was struck with a thought. The 
baby!! Struggling to get up, he choked “The baby…I think it’s 
hatching….”

Harlan quickly climbed to his feet and followed Radu who was speeding 
out of the room towards the infirmary. It had been two hours already.
Two hours of waiting, two hours of wondering….the longest two hours of
Radu’s life. His heart must have been beating at 3.25 kilowatts per 
second, and he was sweating at the palms.  When Suzee had kicked him
out of the room for anxious enthusiasm, he knelt outside with his ear 
propped up against the door.  He could hear every word, every brush of
the hand, every breath. The six hearts inside beat as hard and as fast
as his own. He could hear, and almost feel the shell of the egg being 
slowly broken away as the little person inside fought and toiled it’s 
way out into the world. He heard the labored breath of someone 
struggling with all his or her heart and might….a tiny breath lapsed 
in determined eagerness. Then there was silence…the air around him set
into utter stillness and time seemed to cease. And lo! Out of the 
stillness came forth a cry…. the cry of a triumphant conqueror! It was
the wail of a newborn baby.

Without waiting a second longer, Radu rushed into the room and over to
where his crewmates were huddled around the would-be egg….Suzee had 
something in her arms.  

“Radu!” She turned around. “It’s a baby!” she exclaimed. Wrapping it 
in a blanket, she carefully placed in into Radu’s arms. 

It was perfect, with soft creamy white skin, a wonderful crop of light
light blond hair (already down to the shoulders), and the most clear 
blue eyes Radu had ever seen. He stroked the baby’s soft head while 
quietly whispering something in Andromedan…in seconds the baby was 
captivated.  It fixed its eyes on Radu, and within moments stopped
crying. 

Beside him, Thelma looked at the baby with a bit of bafflement. 
“Radu? Is this a boy baby Andromedan, or a girl baby Andromedan?”

Rosie grinned from ear to ear. “It’s a girl, Thelma!”

Commander Goddard broke out into a soft smile. “She’s beautiful.” 
Grinning coyly, Ms. Davenport gave him the I-told-you-so look. 

Looking over Radu’s shoulder, Harlan noted how curious she looked. 
“Hey babe,” he said, and smiled when she kicked underneath her 
blanket. 

“So, uh, what do we call her?” asked Bova.

“I know!” cried Thelma, “let’s call her Sparky!!”

Everyone burst out in hysterical laughter, and even Bova snickered 
once or twice. Because of all the unfamiliar noise, the baby started 
to whimper. Misty-eyed,

Radu smiled and said, “Don’t worry! We won’t call you that, I 
promise.” Looking at the baby through a wall of water, she seemed to 
sparkle and glisten like a long awaited oasis in the desert. Must have
been the overhead florescents. (Hehe)“We’ll call you Elessar. It means
miracle…”

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