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Rated: E · Serial · Sci-fi · #2278267
A Sequel to the Final Yamato Movie from Voyager Entertainment (7 Part Mini Series)
Yamato: The New Adventures… (Sequel to "Final" Yamato in Episode type format)
By Erwin Stevens & N.A Miller

EPS 7 – Future Echoes/Epilogue Part 1

The infinity that is space, a world filled with serene light, uncountable stars in the deep darkness, and dying and forming stars, abounds with many life forms. Yes, space is alive. The entire universe, our galaxy, and even the many solar systems are filled with many such life forms. They are teeming with people who aspire, love, and fight in wars. Others are peace-loving. Many forms of life are in the universe, and they mostly live in peace, scattered throughout its cold vastness. One such place is the speck that makes up the Earth. It is a place where wars have come and gone, leaving their mark. It is in a standard class M solar system, known as "SOL," where eleven planets orbit the single life-giving star. Living on the third one, the insignificant body called Earth, is an advanced civilization known as humankind.

It is on Earth, a man is dying. Lieutenant Commander Miller of the future lies on the stretcher, barely conscious, but alive, as his transport landed at Central Hospital in a bold new century of the future. The young officer blankly stared up at the sky, as a team of people ran toward him from all sides, to grab his stretcher, and lift him over to a gurney that would be rushed into the huge white building of Central Hospital. His blood seeped from his tunic, covering the stretcher, his uniform, the Doctor and the medic who struggled to keep him alive. He is a man, a hero of Earth, who had come through the winds of time via a ship from the future to ambush an ambush that would have killed Seth at the memorial if he would have not intervened on this behalf. An event that he had prevented from happening and stabilized time as they all knew it.

Now, the officer has an expressionless gaze as he stared up at the blue skies of Earth and then at the sterile white ceilings of the hallway in the hospital. He can feel his life ebbing away from him, and the young officer calmly knew already that he did not have long to live. The first thoughts the officer had, were immediately of friends and family who had died centuries ago. Death, he knew, is enviable now and it did not bother him. He had given his life to protect others at the memorial, saving the Yamato crew, the stasis members and himself who now worked at the Dry Dock at the EDC Sea Port at this very moment by his own sacrifice.

Now with that already having happened, the EDC medical personnel now had the officer of the future in the operating theater, preparing to try to save his life in return. They thought it is the officer of the first stasis group, who worked currently at the docks and still did. Nova spoke to him quietly as she kept him calm as they rushed him inside.

"Hang in there, Commander." Nova murmured, "You're going to be alright, we're at the hospital."

Tears filled her eyes and the young officer noted the concerned look on her face as they rushed him down the hallway toward the trauma unit. Nova peered at the young officer whom she had met during the funeral for the second stasis group, not realizing it was clearly not. She had not noticed that he had as full face, his eye restored, thanks to Fallora Platt of the Clouds, and making him completely normal.

"Let me go…" He croaked repeatedly, his voice barely audible and several times, he tried to push the oxygen hoses away before they were taped down by the techs. He even pushed the mask away to breathe. The young officer did not want to live and the last thing he saw, before falling into unconsciousness, was Nova as she placed the anesthesia mask over his face and prepared him for surgery. a

"Breathe in gently," Nova instructed and he breathed in the gas, restrained from moving. "See you soon. You're in good hands."

"No…" He croaked and darkness fell in around him, as he drifted off to sleep. In the operating theater, Nova stood across from Doctor Sane as they began their work preparing their friend for surgery to patch up the wounds inflicted upon his body.

"Blood pressure stable, he's asleep." Nova reported, "Iq-9?"

"Oxygen flow normal, carbon dioxide output normal." Reported the robot, and Nova turned her head to meet Doctor Sane's careful examination of the soldier's vital readouts.

“Those readings are so low, I don’t know if that is a good sign or not.” He grumbled, slipping on a pair of gloves from a nearby tray. “Okay, let’s get on with it.”

A steady bleeping sound on the monitor indicated his pulse. Other readouts like O2 intake, C02 and respiration was monitored by the robot as the doctor started his work, cutting into the body of the young officer, a man who was from the future, but also originally from the past two hundred years. Sane held the laser scalpel, with a steady hand, and turned to the man who lay on his table. He started his work as he cut into his body, sealing the wounds inflicted upon him. Sane was not about to let this officer quit, not on his watch, not at any time. He grumbled as he worked over him.

“Come on.” Sane thought, “You want to live.”

As Sane began repairing the Lieutenant Commander from the future, an obnoxious beeping sounded that echoed the operating theater and it was, followed by a long tone. Sane looked up in alarm, as did Nova, the vitals indicated he was dead.

"Damn! He’s flat-line!" Sane shouted, "Get me adrenaline and hydro cortisone, five hundred CC. Prepare paddles for resuscitation."

Nurses and the other doctors worked feverishly over him for five minutes trying to revive the young man who had come to save Seth at the memorial. The sounds of electric shock and the thump of his body hopping on the table were the only ones in the theater. None of the personnel had said a word otherwise to Sane's orders of medications and shots given the young man to bring him back from the dead. Six minutes had elapsed, and the Lieutenant Commander’s vitals beeped on the monitor. Nova let out a breath of relief that echoed the room.

“Thank…” Nova began to mutter, but a grimace appeared on her face and the others in the room when his vitals stopped again. They started and maintained CPR for the next five minutes and Sane shouted more instructions as he performed CPR. Nova squeezed the oxygen bag and another doctor, working with Doctor Sane, leaned over to inject the necessary chemicals into his IV. They hit him with the paddles again. This time his vitals stayed.

“Pressure stable, and up, Oxygen Levels normal.” IQ-9 reported.

“Let’s get cracking.” Sane replied, and quickly he repaired the damage to the officer of the future’s body, inflicted by the fire of the Cybertron robots he had destroyed at the memorial. When he was finished, they cleaned up, as the officer of the future's vitals still beeped strongly and he was breathing on his own.

“We’re finished, its up to him now if he lives or dies.” Sane declared, and nodded to the others, “Good work.”

“How long were we in there?” The other doctor murmured, as he took off the gloves, and with shaking hands removed the apron-like surgical gown that he wore around him.

“Six hours, twenty two minutes.” Nova replied with a sigh. She removed the smock and gloves, covered in Nathaniel's blood. She tossed them into a hamper.

“That was rough,” a nurse told the other, “No better work out of Doc Sane. He does fine work.”

“Keep an eye on him, his vitals is going to be rough like that.” Sane scolded, and turned to Nova to smile slightly. He could see her concerned glances at the man in the operating theater who now battled for his life. He shook his head.

“Don’t look so worried.” He said approvingly, “We did all we could.”

“Yes Doctor Sane.” Nova replied reassuringly, “You didn’t do anything short of a miracle in there.”

“He’s going to be alright.” Sane said determinedly, and walked toward the intercom in the corner located below the observation theater where Commander Mitty McDonald sat riveted as Sane rebuilt the Major from he ground up. He did not amputate or cut corners, he did a total reconstruction to his whole body and Sane realized that it was up to him to live or die now. Just as it had been with many cases he performed during battle many times aboard the Yamato long ago.

“How is he, Doctor Sane?” Mitty asked.

“He’s in rocky shape but I think he’ll pull…” Sane started to reply, but suddenly, a loud beeping sound echoed in the air around him. It made the body of the unconscious officer hop on the table, as if it were being subjected to an electrical current, the lights flickered and dimmed as streaks of energy appeared around his body. A strange orange glow appeared around it and there was a scream in the operating theater as everyone jumped back, watching the officer convulse on the table.

“What the hell is going on?” Sane asked, as he stared at the body, glowing brightly orange and it seemed to become transparent. The lights flickered bright to dim. Sane shot a look at the surprised look at Commander McDonald who sat in the operating theater observation booth looking on, and she was on her radio as security appeared at every door of the main round operating theater.

“UGHHHH” the patient groaned, even in his unconscious state, as little by little he became more and more transparent as the winds of time dragged him from this time and into time from which he had come: Into the winds of non-existence itself.

“Sweet Jesus, stay-back everyone.” The assisting surgeon shouted as the glow became bright around the Lieutenant Commander. Sharp arcs of energy appeared from the fluorescent lights repeatedly and they struck his unconscious body. The room became dark as the lights sparked and popped around the theater. Safety backup lights flashed on moments later, illuminating the room. The soldier who had lain there had vanished without a trace.

“What the hell was that?” Sane said exasperated, “It was like he was never here.”

“I don’t know Doctor Sane.” Nova commented, “IQ-9, analyze please what that was.”

“There is no relevant data Nova.” Iq-9 said, “According to my sensors, however what we witnessed was a tachyon pulse and a mini warp.”

“He was subjected to a mini warp?” Nova asked, “How is that possible?”

“No data.” The robot said, “The pulse opened up a gateway and then faded, taking the officer with him. My speculation is that the officer was from a different stream of time and the stream in which he had come merged with this stream, causing him to vanish from the table.

Nova turned to Doctor Sane and she noted the pensive look on his face. She managed a grim expression as she walked toward him and placed a hand on his shoulder.

“You did everything you can Doctor Sane, there was nothing else humanly possibly to be done. He seemed to be involved in something that was beyond our comprehension or medicine we were giving him.” She said reassuringly, “But keep in mind he saved us all at the memorial, and that should count for something. One life for many to him would be a fair trade.”

“I know Nova, I wish I could have done a little more for him than let him go out like that.”

“So true Doctor Sane.” She replied, and turning she glanced at the clock. It read 14:30 hours.

“I am calling the time at 14:30 hours, for time of death.” The other doctor reported, and grimaced at the clock. Nova suddenly was reminded that by now the others waited for news in the waiting room. Sane eyed her and slowly nodded his head.

“Wait! How can you call it death?” Sane asked suddenly, “The man was living when that happened to him.”

“After that, I don’t think he was living Doctor Sane. There can’t be any way to be living after being subjected to that.”

“We don’t know that.” Sane replied, “I will say time of death is not the issue here, make it the time of departure.”

“Time of departure…?” Nova asked, and she grimaced.

“We don’t know where he went to, not exactly, but he obviously did not come from here. I am assuming he returned to wherever he came from. When we met him he had a face patch on one side of his face, this person didn’t have that.” The Doctor replied, and here he paused. Nova gasped, amazed and realized that even she had not noticed that about him.

“And God speed Commander.” Sane whispered, as there was silence through the entire theater and all eyes were on the spot where the Major of the future had lain only minutes ago. He had disappear before their eyes and Nova had grimly nodded when she heard his whisper.

Little did Nova and even Doctor Sane know, that the stasis personnel, all of them, had come to the hospital to lend support for their friend who had saved them all from certain death at the memorial. They all camped out in the largest waiting room as they waited for word on the state of the Major who had lain in the operating theater a few moments ago and all unaware that he had vanished before their eyes.

As young Forrester-Wildstar walked down the hall toward the waiting room, a few minutes later, she is still dressed in her blood-covered uniform heading to where the stasis and Yamato crew wait. As she approached the corner, Nova stopped, peering down the corridor where her husband Derick and Mitty McDonald, aide to General Singleton stood talking. She had witnessed the Major of the future's disappearance and still was stunned by what she had seen with the others in the EDC medical staff. Nova hung back around the corner from the waiting rooms located near the operating theater, and tried to compose quickly. She tried to keep from weeping, having witnessed a great battle between life and death for the Lieutenant Commander in the operating theater. A man she came to admire, despite the situation that he had successfully defused at the memorial, and the difficulty of success repairing his body by the Doctors of Federal Hospital.

"Oh hell," She murmured, wiping the tears away. "I can't avoid them, but I really can't tell them that he did not make it."

Breathing in, composing herself, Nova walked around the corner.

Derick, taking one look at his young wife, had grimaced at the unsightly blood covering her uniform but he moved to her side and embraced her. Her husband’s questioning expression was met by the young woman and when she shook her head, he bowed his head.

“He’s gone Derick.”

"Oh damn…" He murmured, as he held his weeping wife in his arms.

"I thought he would make it." Nova’s husband said, as he glanced at his wife, lifting her chin to place a loving hand on her shoulder.

She told him the strange happening in the operating theater, and he listened with an astonished expression on his face. He shook his head, as he held her, and continued to reassure her that everything was all right. Nova's head turned, intently watching the others in the waiting room and realized that her assumption had been correct. The Yamato crew and the stasis crews had been waiting for several hours, hoping to hear how their comrades, in blood, were doing. Everyone was there and they all claimed the Federal Hospital's largest waiting room, just as he had thought. They did not notice Nova's arrival or as she backed away from the door, meeting her husband's gaze.

"We did what we could." A voice said, and they turned to see Doctor Sane appear from the doorway, still dressed in his bloody scrubs. "We repaired the damage, but it was, way, out of our hands."

Mitty joined them when she saw the couple and she had nodded a greeting to them.

"Doctor Sane, I can't… I-I cannot tell them h-he is… that he did not make it. That he is gone…" Nova whispered, "Please don't make me…"

Sane saw her glancing at the waiting room door, hearing the lack of banter or conversation there. He shook his head.

"No, Nova, that duty falls upon me. I am the doctor in charge, and I am responsible for reporting life or death to the next of kin or friends. I wish like hell that I had better news to tell them than this. We might have a riot after I tell them, please inform security."

“The General will get a full report of what happened Doctor Sane.” Commander McDonald said, nodding her head, “Don't worry, you did what you could.”

“I definitely agree, Commander.” A voice said.

There was a minor pause as the small group, including Mitty all glanced at each other when hearing a rough voice then gasped a moment later. Everyone in the hallway had turned their heads and peered at a rough looking officer who stood nearby. He is mid height, has slightly graying brown hair, a full beard and he wears a familiar black eye patch over one eye, partially covering an angry-looking scar starting from his forehead that ran to his jaw line on the patched side. The officer is dressed in the familiar blue, dark blue trimmed uniform of the EDC Space Corps, and he has the insignia of a silver cluster marking him as Lieutenant Commander pinned on his collar. He saluted Mitty smartly.

Nova upon seeing the Lieutenant Commander, remembered the face of the Major and realized that the possibility of a time shift had just been confirmed by the Lieutenant Commander's presence here. They all stared at the officer in alarm, studying his reaction, or lack of it and Nova had let out a yelp, as did Sane and Mitty.

“Oh my god…! Oh my god…!” Nova said gasping as she bolted with Mitty toward the officer to embrace him warmly, staggering him. The young officer gasped, and managed an annoyed look at their reaction and greeting. Nova and Mitty wept as they both held him tightly.

“Ho don't be so eager.” He said with minor sarcasm, “I was just told to come to the Headquarters, and didn’t expect a greeting like that.”

Both of the women drew back and kissed him before drawing back to peer at him in astonishment.

“Sweet Jesus, boy…!” Mitty chortled, “We thought you were dead. I am so glad to see you!”

“Wishful thinking…” He replied, “But I am confused, what’s going on?”

“But Commander McDonald, we both saw him in the operating theater.” Nova said, “I don’t understand this, or how this is. Then whom did doctor Sane do surgery? He looked just like the Commander!”

“I don’t know Nova.” Mitty replied, holding the scarred officer in her arms.

“You don’t have a twin brother do you Commander?” Mitty asked, and the scarred officer shook his head.

“I had a brother once, two hundred years ago, but he’s long since gone.” He replied, “We looked nothing alike.”

“Then Lieutenant Commander, you need to see this.” Mitty told the scarred officer, and he nodded, as she turned to a console nearby.

“Computer, replay the security footage, OR – Six.” She ordered, and nodded to the officer. He watched the footage, and the face, gasping.

“What the hell?” The scarred officer had gasped, “Who the hell is that?”

“We thought it was you!” Commander McDonald replied, “I thought you were deader than dead.”

“I am right here.” The scarred officer replied, thinking a moment, he managed a quiet exhale. He had seen the note sent to him, the video message from himself from the future, that he had watched in astonishment and the total message that told him of the plan and plot. He had dismissed it as a gag at first, until General Singleton’s call that brought him here to the hospital. He stood astonished, staring at the face of himself, realizing that it had been no gag, and what he had seen was very real.

“Doctor Sane just got done working on someone who looked just like you in surgery! We thought it was you!” She said, “He disappeared in a strange temporal warp though, in the operating theater.”

“I was at the dock the whole time, until I got this strange call from General Singleton's office, with orders to high-tail it to the hospital. It was something about assistance on a project of up most importance. That could not have been me, Ms McDonald. But I have something for you to look at.”

He turned, and played the message.

The group gasped loudly as they listened to the explanation, in which the Major of the future stood staring at the camera, and he pointed out each event that had happened at the memorial. He told them of the end result of himself disappearing at the hospital and exactly exactly as the event would play into the next few weeks for the mission to Aquarius. They glanced at the Lieutenant Commander who shrugged in silence.

“I didn’t know any of this.” He said, “I am just as flabbergasted as you all are. I thought it was a gag at first, but if that happened, it certainly was real.”

“Time has been changed it seems.” Sane mused, “Or is that even possible...?”

“It seems so, Doctor Sane.” Mitty replied cautiously, glancing at the scarred officer who was not speaking, but his lips were moving. She studied him and realized he was holding something back.

Mitty was frowning and she regarded the officer only for a moment. She thought of his statement only a few moments ago and they did not make any sense to her.

"Wait a minute, to assist on a project of great importance?”

"Here's the order." Nathaniel said, handing her a slip of paper. with the printed order that was transmitted to the ship to grizzled officer. Mitty quickly scanned it.

"My ship has a long time in dry dock for repairs." He said, “I came to find out what this was all about.”

"Thank you Commander. That’s what I would like to know…” Mitty started to reply, but her voice faded off as her head snapped toward the empty corridor behind him.

She glanced at the Lieutenant Commander whose attention was focused on the corridor nearby too. He had sensed something very wrong happening at this moment and his eye focused upon the young blond haired woman, dressed in a medical gown, staggering toward the group along the wall from around the corner. The woman is Denise 'Watts' Watson, who was part of the secondary stasis group, and who was presumed dead after a mix up of charts with deceased soldiers from the Dinguil Campaign.

The young woman stared at the group clustered nearby, and swooned. The young Lieutenant Commander bolted and ran toward her like lightning, sliding in to catch her neatly into his arms as she fainted. He stared at the familiar face before him, one whom he had not seen in a long time, in two hundred years. He fought to get a name, and grimaced when he realized whom she was.

"Denise 'Watts' Watson…" He murmured, "I don't believe it."

He turned his head to the hallway, where Nova and the others stood by watching the whole event.

"Miss Wildstar, get the medics down here… Get them now." He shouted, holding Denise in his arms and echoing Kirk's words from Star Trek III: The Search for Spock Movie of his century. Wildstar's wife ran to a communicator and hit the alert button. Mitty stared at the young woman in his arms as a beeping sounded and red lights blinked overhead. Shouts and footsteps responded, as people ran from every direction. Derick, Nova, and Doctor Sane were at his side in a flash. The young Lieutenant Commander held the limp form of Denise in his arms, as a commotion echoed through the hallway. Doctor Sane used smelling salts and brought her back to consciousness. She shook her head in disgust, at the smell.

"Ugh, get that shit out of my face." Denise sputtered, as her eyes opened and she managed to turn her head blearily examining her surroundings. She peered at the many unfamiliar faces standing over her.

"Where am I? W-what's happening to me?" Denise asked.

"Shhh…" Sane soothed, glancing at the people gathered around her.

"Don't talk, you are alright. You are safe and very much alive in the hospital." The doctor told her.

The young woman's eyes focused on Doctor Sane who nodded as he examined her, then to Derick, Nova who smiled at her and then the young Lieutenant Commander who held her. She was smiling until she peered at the young officer who held her and frowned for a moment, her eyes growing wide at the scarred face and patched eye. She yelped and fainted in his arms. There was a momentary pause as Nova, Derick, and Doctor Sane looked at her in surprise then met the young Lieutenant Commander's astonished expression. An amused grin appeared on their faces and a quiet ripple of laughter followed, even from the young officer. He shrugged his shoulders indifferently.

"I guess I must have that effect on people." He told them and the group smiled.

"I guess so, Commander." Nova replied, with a smile, and he met her grin with one of his own.

"I must have scared her." He muttered, but gave her a quirky half-smile. "Just great, I'm scary looking, but welcome to the twenty-third century, Miss Watson…"

Behind The Lieutenant Commander, Nova and Sane, the other stasis personnel and Yamato crew filled the hallway when they heard the alarms. The stasis personnel gasped loudly when they recognized their comrade in arms, whom they thought was dead, placed on a gurney by the young officer. There were gasps all around, and a low murmur rippled through the stasis group. Medics, technicians, and nurses ran to Denise's side to attend her.

The young officer, who held her, stepped back and let the medical staff do their work after putting her on the gurney. He turned his head to meet the familiar faces of the stasis crew who stood nearby and casually tilted his head slightly, seeing their faces. Here the Lieutenant Commander grinned openly before turning to walk toward Commander Mc Donald who stood nearby.

As he approached the gurney, the young grizzled officer nodded to Doctor Sane and Nova who stood near the gurney containing Denise. The stasis crew and the other Yamato crew had glanced at the unfamiliar officer in the blue/dark blue uniform of the Space Corps, and no one thought any differently about him at first. Amy and Melinda stared at him in silent awe, remembering the memorial, and had gasped loudly as they had recognized the officer. Melinda bolted followed by Amy, even Amanda and Manual. The dark skinned young woman ran up to him first, embracing him hard, Amy and Amanda to too.

“Nathaniel! Where…? How…?” She gasped, “You aren’t dead….? How can this be? How can you be here? Where did you…?”

Melinda kissed him passionately, so glad to see him alive and well. When she stepped back, the dark-skinned woman blushed slightly. Amy kissed him on the cheek. Manual bear hugged him. All their questions assaulted him, on all sides after they emotionally greeted him, their yelps of relief echoing through the hallway. They all paused, turned to peer at the stretcher, remembering their friend.

"How can Denise be alive? I don’t understand…” The young woman headed toward the Doctor who stood next to the gurney containing Denise. A hand on her shoulder and grip by Angie had restrained her. She shook her head at Melinda as she turned her head. They all smiled as the stasis crew embraced each one with her arm in a sling. The young Captain hugged Nathaniel and kissed him passionately.

“Are you alright?” Melinda asked, and Angie nodded.

“I’m alright… it’s been taken care of.” Angie said, smiling, “Hurts like hell though, another scar for my scrapbook.”

“Did you know Denise and Emily are alive?” Melinda asked and Angie shook her head.

“I was at the funeral that Seth gave for them. It was very stirring.” Angie admitted, “I am astonished, but very happy to know they are alive though.”

"How is this possible?" Amy stammered, "She's dead, they told us she was killed in stasis."

“Don't worry, if Emily and Denise are alive they are on good hands.”

“Angie, you didn’t tell us Nathaniel was alive, either…” Melinda grumbled, “In your stasis project.”

“But if Nathaniel is here, who was it that saved Nova and Seth at the memorial?”

They all turned to the Lieutenant Commander who grimaced, putting up his hand.

“I can tell you that.” He murmured, “But not here.”

“As for not letting you all know we were alive that was the decision by the EDC staff here and we were both under orders to not disclose our presence to you guys.” She told them.

“Oh.” Melinda replied quietly and glanced at the others in her group.

Nova and the other techs presence exchanged a look between them and Doctor Sane himself.

"She'll be OK." Sane told Nova, and his gaze met hers for a moment. He noticed Wildstar’s wife pointing at Melinda and the others.

"Oh… yes… quite right." Sane muttered, and he turned to meet Melinda's astonished expression. His look, that he gave her, was hard and in his eyes, they clearly showed his pain and distress over losing his patient.

"Doctor, how is the Major, the one who saved us all at the memorial?" Melinda asked, and the others gathered around him, remembering their avenging angel who had been shot to hell. At first, Sane did not answer. However, when he did, his voice was sharp, like a doubled edged sword.

"He did not make it. He died after being subjected by a temporal warp that whisked him back to where he belonged. I don’t and can’t explain why the warp happened, but I think this man was from something out of time and space.”

Nathaniel nodded to the doctor and the group turned their head seeing him nod. An astonished silence by both groups followed.

“As I said, I can explain that.” Nathaniel murmured, and he motioned to the group.

"If you will excuse me, I have a life here that needs my help." The doctor's voice had been hard, calm, and his tone had been dead even.

“Seth is alright, by the way, we were able to patch the damage and he is in his room upstairs.” Sane told them, and grinned.

The crew from stasis was absolutely stunned by the news about the Major, the stranger, whom they did not know had come through time and space for Seth. As Sane wheeled Denise down the hall, he paused briefly at the corner where Nova and Derick now stood, holding each other. They took a step forward toward him, and the doctor shook his head slightly.

"Nova, there is nothing you and Wildstar can do here now." Sane said, "Get some rest. I'll let you know if anything happens with this young woman, or if anything changes."

"Doctor Sane, is that one of the people that Seth just buried?" Nova asked and the doctor nodded, after holding their stare for a long moment.

"Yes and the young woman named Emily Montgomery too." Sane said, "They had been brought up from the morgue not long ago, their records had been mixed up with two other soldiers killed in the last raids by the Dinguil."

"My god," Wildstar murmured, "What the hell else, can go wrong?"

"Please keep us up on how things go?" Nova said, and Sane nodded.

"It's amazing isn't?" Sane commented, "These people being put in stasis in the twenty-first century… Using a technology we had to fight against not long ago."

Both Nova and Derick nodded slightly in agreement.

"It is all hard to believe, Doctor Sane." Wildstar replied.

"A strange coincidence for us all, Wildstar… Nova…" Sane replied.

"Doctor Sane, you are needed in Emergency 4." A voice said, announcing it over the intercom above him. Sane nodded slightly when he had heard it.

"Sorry, I have to go. I'll let you know how things go." Sane told them, and he ran down the corridor.

Derick embraced his wife before he took her hand, and they walked down the hallway together. Nova smiled at her friends, as they passed her, and the couple stopped to chat with others, who embraced her. When they were alone, minutes later, she kissed her husband, Derick passionately.

"I have to get out of this uniform, Derick. Can we go by the changing room?" Nova asked, consciously looking down at the blood belonging to the strange Major that stained her uniform. Her husband grimaced at the sight of the dried blood on her uniform and nodded. They walked a short distance down the hall together, and soon ended up outside the changing room. She walked toward the door.

"Wait for me. I'll only be five minutes." He smiled at the young woman, as she disappeared through the door. His bride whom he loved so much and Derick still could not believe he was going to be a father, after almost a year of marriage. Five minutes later, she walked from the changing room wearing her nurse's uniform and they held hands as they walked toward the exit. She noted the grimace on his face as he thought of the recent past and the others whom had been with them during their duty aboard the Yamato.

"What's wrong Derick?"

"Nothing," He replied, and he put out his arm, allowing her to take it with a smile. They walked together down the hallway toward the exit.

As for the stasis crew, they left the hospital stunned, returning to the quarters belonging to Amanda, Melinda and Amy. They sat together, laughing and carrying on with the Lieutenant Commander who explained the strange Major from the future and the purpose of a one-way ticket to change time and space. It had all been for Seth and he showed them the video message, detailing the event at the memorial. The group just could not believe this had happened, all of these events, and so fast. All against a new Cybernetic enemy who threatens Earth.

Meanwhile, in the middle of deep space, the crew from the Star Cruiser class starship called the SS Magellanic Clouds, inched toward the hulk of the Yamato's bridge. As Felonious floated freely in space, his attention was focused on the scanner in front of him, as the crew began setting up survey drone to inspect the outer integrity of the derelict’s hull. The rest of his crew prepared an airlock for entry into the super structure of the remains of the Yamato's bridge section. They all had a lot of work to be done, to examine the derelict for clues, and figure out what happened here in space.

"Ihsss to Felonious," A voice said over the headset, and the Feline Science Officer turned, looking down to hit the console on the arm of his suit. He hit the button on his suit control panel.

"Felonious here,"

"Is there anything to report?" Ihsss asked, "What is your status."

"We are about to inspect the hull. As I feared, all exit blast points that are visible, are outward from an internal explosion." He said, "Crews report, that the hull and everything seems intact."

"What?" Ihsss asked, "Are you sure?"

"Whatever happened skipper, they blew up their ship." Felonious said, "There are too many signs that self destruction might be a strong possibility of what happened here. Voloxa also reads a higher Tachyon emission here too with some residual radiation."

"Can you determine what it was they were against?" Ihsss asked, "That they would do that?"

"Not at present, but I have found a high concentrate of water, like this ship was immersed in it. The signs are everywhere."

"How can that be?" Ihsss asked, "Could they have been on a planet, you know, on Earth, and the planet was destroyed to throw it into deep space?"

"No, but they could have been on Aquarius, or on proximity." Felonious said, "The water seems to have a heavy base to it. We were just about to enter the ship and head to the bridge, to see if we can salvage any of the memory-banks to find out what happened here, even maybe a log."

"Also, I think we have survivors." The Feline Science Officer replied, "I don't know how, but I thought I just saw someone inside. They were wearing a spacesuit with a helmet."

"Survivors…!" Ihsss breathed, and if sound could have traveled, that the echo would have went into space itself. Her bridge crew had turned their heads, looking in astonishment and Ihsss frowned.

"I need someone standing by on the sensors and scanning for human life-signs again. Make sure the scans are outside normal parameters, taking in account for the radiation level surrounding the derelict." Felonious suggested, "I think the radiation has been interfering with the reading with our hand-held scanners. I am unsure how they could be alive. The ship has been out here for a while. I see small damage from meteor hits and other damage on the hull."

"I'll get someone to stand by on your console. You take it easy in there, Felonious. If there are any issues, pull back out of there." Ihsss warned over the COM, as he moved to the airlock outside a main hatch on the derelict. He nodded to the Engineer who bend over and used a hand-held manual opener to open the hatch. It slid obediently aside with no hiss of equalization.

"We have breached the outer airlock." Felonious said, floating toward the internal one. There was no light beyond. He rubbed the window of the glass, shining his light through it.

"No power, no atmosphere, there was no equalization of a nitrogen oxygen atmosphere here." He muttered, "Scanners indicate pure vacuum, and the radiation seems to be increasing."

"Circle of three." He ordered, and nodding the crew had their backs to each other with weapons drawn.

Voloxa moved to inner hatch and used the manual opener again. Again there was no equalization pressure that indicated an atmosphere here. As they opened the inner one, they closed the hatch behind them. The insect-like engineer stood beside him, inspecting the couplings and displays in the passageway. He pulled out a couple tools as he peered at the cable trunking of power lines that hung out into the corridor like a spider's web.

"Voloxa here, Captain." He said, "Engineering report, this place is a bloody mess." He grumbled, "As Felonious said, there is no internal power and the corridor is half obliterated from the inside out. It looks like it had its guts blown out of her."

"That's for sure." Felonious murmured.

"We're in the ship and making our way down a small hallway. There is no power, or what appears to be an engineering section to produce power, but I am going to see if there is a battery room. Perhaps to see if we can get the emergency lighting to work." Voloxa reached out and flipped the switches on a nearby control panel he opened in the bulkhead. He took out his tools and began working.

"According to the scanners, there seems to be more moisture here skipper." Felonious added, pausing as he scanned the corridor.

"I see a water line on the internal bulkhead of the ship, as well as scars of our so-called blast that ripped through this thing."

"We see it too." Ihsss replied, staring at the screen at the science console, watching their progress through the derelict.

With everyone's weapon drawn, Felonious, and his team came to the main corridor of the ship. Nodding and motioning with his hand, two went either direction. The young feline officer took the main corridor, approaching open doors leading into a long dark corridor. Felonious led with his weapon, as he illuminated each room to check it before they moved further down the corridor.

"There is a lot of damage here. A bulkhead here looks like it seems to be shattered by Felonious' explosion. What is left of what appears to have been a hatch here, but the room itself is empty." A crew member said.

"Use your scanners and stay alert." Felonious ordered over the static filled COM link. He left it open so the crew on the Clouds could hear. He switched the camera on his suit to the on position. It beeped accusingly at him, as it initialized, and then showed a picture of the surroundings from the Feline Science Officer's point of view. He glanced down at the hand held scanner as he moved through the pitch-black corridors, and the only light being that from the one in his suit. He moved it back and forth as they half-walked, half-floated through the corridor. The feline officer passed closed hatches of rooms, others that had been blown apart, and others partially open. Here, he looked in one and there was a door beyond. Walking, half-floating, the feline Science Officer stopped as he peered at a hole in the floor that connected several decks.

"Are you getting this?" Felonious asked, and on the bridge, Ihsss T'Larra stared in surprise at the jagged hole and fused metal. She had gasped, like the others, on the bridge of the Star Cruiser Class Starship and all peered at the view screen in silence.

"We're getting it." Ihsss said, "Pan right for a second." On the derelict, Felonious complied and there was a hatch nearby. "Shine next to that hatch."

The light on his suit banished the shadows and clearly, there was the label that was half obliterated on it.

'Qu_te_rs, M__K V_n_t__e.'

He stood in front of the door that was half-open, and it showed the interior of the room. The feline officer crept toward the door and forced it aside. Here he peered into the room.

The room was empty, but it was fully furnished with a made up bed and personal effects of the person who lived in it. Felonious saw the unsent letter on the desk and the picture of a young man and one in the uniform together next to the letter. Felonious collected the picture, the letter and put them both in an envelope. He pulled open the drawer and uniforms lay neatly folded in it. The feline science officer grimaced as he returned to the corridor.

“It appears to be an officer's room.” He reported, “Everything is neatly folded and organized. We collected a letter and a picture that was on the desk that might tell us what happened here.”

“Good work Felonious.” Ihsss said, “We'll examine when you get back aboard.”

In another part of the ship, inside a corridor like the rest of his shipmates, that Tyr'Ven walked down and explored the ship as the others. As he walked with two of his shipmates toward another junction, he panned the flashlight around the passage, examining each room and the damage that had been everywhere thus far. Turning his light he thought he saw the flash of red, like that of an indicator light. When he shined the light, down the half-shattered corridor there was nothing there.

Meanwhile, the insect-like engineer floated down a nearby access corridor, and toward an opening in the bulkhead. His light illuminated a sign that was posted next to it and he grimaced as he read it.

'Bridge Elevator three,'

Voloxa frowned at the half open hatch and the cables that snaked down the shaft. The lift was at the bottom of it and impassible.

“Damn.” He murmured as he moved past it to another doorway that indicated a stairwell.

“Found the bridge elevator.” He said into his helmet microphone, “Out of commission, I'm afraid. I found the stairwell next to it that will take us to the upper floor of the superstructure.”

“Copy that Veloxa.” Felonious said, “Any signs of life out there despite the radiation?”


“Keep scanning and everyone stay alert.”

Veloxa narrowed his eyes as he shined the light up the stairwell to see if it was clear.

“Good it is clear.” He said, “I think with luck I can get the emergency lights to light up once we get power here.”

He turned to the panel near the elevator door and used a cutter as he spliced a portal power converter to the wires that hung openly here. He paused as he turned his head to the others who were with him.

"Mind the corridors." Ordered the insect-like Engineer and here he found another panel that was half shattered. Voloxa opened the toolbox, and he spliced several more wires that hung freely through and from the metal panel.

"Let see if we can get some of the lights working in this section." He said after a moment, flipping the switch on the panel. A low light flickered for a second and a low light illuminated the floor. The insect engineer turned abruptly, when he thought he had seen motion, and his compound eyes showed some emotion when he peered at the ghostly form of a figure, dressed in a space suit, standing before him.

The space-suited figure had turned the corner and disappeared through a bulkhead.

"Did you see that?" Voloxa stammered. He turned to the crew who were beside him. They looked at him in silence.

"No, what did you see?"

"There is someone here." He rasped, "Bloody Hell!"

"All teams, weapons on heavy stun. Don't take any chances." He told his boarding party. Voloxa moved down the bulkhead further, and his compound eyes narrowed when he saw something that he did not understand. A lone ghostly figure floated freely down the hallway, but as he raised the weapon, it disappeared. On the other side, cutting through a different room and up a level, Felonious moved down a hallway above with the two shipmates who were with him.

"Felonious." Voloxa said, his voice shaken.

"Go ahead Vol." Felonious replied, "How are things going."

"Power is going to be restored here in a second. I don't know how much life the batteries have in them, but I found it with no problems," Voloxa reported, "But on another note, I think you're right. I just saw something that may be constituted as strange."


"I just saw a space suited figure." Voloxa said, "You said, no life signs?"

"I am not sure now." Felonious said, "My hand held scanner is in perfect adjustment, and I think it's the radiation. I have nothing here."

"I am at bulkhead A-41, what appears to be life sciences lab and a medical section." Voloxa said, and he nodded to the crew as they opened each hatch.

"I am going to start searching for survivors." He said, "I sent one member of my party below to find the sick bay and morgue, to see if there were any bodies aboard."

"Can't be, the ship seems abandoned." A voice said, and Felonious recognized it as Hxar's, "If they were killed, where's the bodies? Bodies in a vacuum don't decompose as fast."

"Well yes, but still the ship appears to have no half cups of coffee or anything that would indicate they were not ready for it." Voloxa countered, "I'm wondering if they abandoned ship and it had been set automated for self-destruct."

"Well, that is one thing to find out, once we get on the bridge and get the data from the computers there.” Felonious replied, “We'll be joining you in a few.”

Felonious moved toward the nearby

“We'll make haste in our efforts here.”
Felonious hit the button on the arm of his suit.

"Xner come in please? Report…!"

"Something is wrong." Felonious said.

"T'Ver." He said, "Report."

"T'Ver here," A voice said, "Nothing to report, Commander but come three up on the staircase, bulk-head C-3. You are not going to believe this."

"Copy that." Felonious said, and a while later, the feline Science Officer’s team arrived at the staircase, as well as Voloxa and a few of his team.

They saw the sign that was stenciled next to the door.

'Main Bridge.”

They shined the light inside the room.

As the feline Science Officer peered into the room, he saw the strange bluish glow on the floor and stared at the scanner in his hand.

Next to him, Voloxa's compound eyes widened when he saw the glow too.

"There seems to be a bit of gravity here." He declared, "And I am reading that the glowing substance is water. That is weird. Why has it not broken into droplets of its consistent elements in the vacuum and why is it glowing like that. It should be the elements or ice by now."

What they saw is the remains of the water of Aquarius that had flooded the ship.

"Xner to Felonious," A voice said, and the feline officer looked up.

"Where were you Xner?" He said, "We were concerned."

"I managed to go down a few levels, it's like a bulkhead hell here, but I found what is left of the medical department. I found the morgue and there are no bodies here. There are signs though, blood stains on a couple of the slabs. Otherwise it appears to be deserted."

Felonious gasped, as did Ihsss on the Clouds.

"So where did the bodies and or the people go" Ihsss asked, "Were they possibly sucked out, when the explosion breached the hull?"

"They might have transferred the dead to another ship too." Felonious suggested, "Families right to bury their own."

"I think our best bet is to find what we need on the bridge. Xerc, get up here. Wait did you find Engineering?"

"What's left of it Commander," Replied the voice, "I found the hatchway, and I can, at this point, see off into space. The bulkhead is partially blocked, but I can see over one hundred meters past it into deep space..."

Felonious and Veloxa both grimaced as they exchanged a look.

“Now we know.” Felonious murmured and the Engineer nodded his large head.

"...The whole aft section appears to be missing."

"Okay, get up back up here." Felonious ordered.

"Commander…!" A voice stammered, through the crackle of static.

"F'Meher?" Felonious asked.

"…I am at the main bri… I think we…" The COM crackled.

"Where are you?" Felonious yelled.

"Main brid… Bulkhead C…2…" A moment later, the COM went dead.

"Let's go!" Felonious said, charging through the corridors and up any ladders he found and or any stairs. When they found deck B, they charged down the hallway, and they found the members of their crew on the deck. The spacesuit face plate was shattered, and the body exploded inside it. The feline officer grunted as he turned to the hatchway of the bridge and leaned down to pick up the crew member's weapon.

"All internal search teams, if you can hear me… get back up here." Felonious said, "All crew members, yellow alert. Internal search teams, report immediately back to the bridge hatchway using our signal as a guide."

"On my way…" A voice said.

"Acknowledged…" Another voice replied.


"What's happening over there?" Ihsss asked, as the COM crackled.

"Felonious!" She exclaimed, sitting in her chair on the bridge, but there was only silence. On the derelict, the feline science officer stared at his team as they gathered at the emergency stairs hatch that would lead to the bridge.

"Captain…?" Voloxa said, "It appears communications are out Felonious."

"Yes." replied the Science Officer, hitting the buttons of his suit, "Okay, team two, take the hatch on the other side, team one follow me and be careful."

"There is a bit more radiation here." A crew member said, "It's within limits."

Slowly, Felonious climbed the stairs, followed by his group, and when they reached the sliding doors, they paused with their weapons drawn.

"There is some more gravity here, and the oxygen nitrogen atmosphere here too."

Xerc muttered an astonished curse, staring at the scanner.

"Set weapons on stun. Put up the portable airlock." The hatch was setup with an airlock and the four space suited figures stepped in. A hiss sounded, and pressure was equalized. Voloxa jury-rigged the control to the hatch and it abruptly opened. The four-held position with their weapons around the hatch and the others came in.

"Steady." Felonious warned, as they all walked onto the bridge with their weapons ready, and checked every chair.

"Fan out." Felonious ordered, and the crew dispersed.

"It's empty." Felonious grumbled after a moment, and then he saw the reflection of Avatar's body in the window behind them. The whole group spun around, pointing the weapon at the center section, when seeing the body of Avatar limply sitting in the chair. His body had been preserved perfectly by the vacuum of space, but the low-level atmosphere had not decomposed his body.

"Felonious to Clouds," The feline Science Officer said, but there was nothing but static.

"There is high radiation is in this area and it is interfering with communications." T'Ver reported, "It is within safety limits for our limited exposure."

Sitting on the bridge of the Clouds, Ihsss T'Larra was chewing at the bit as she sat helpless, sending a security team to the derelict because of the silent boarding party.

"What is going on over there?" Ihsss asked, and glanced at Hi'Mthsss who shook her head.

On the derelict, Veloxa held his weapon ready on the body, his compound eyes watchful for anything to happen on the bridge. Felonious turned his furry head at the two other members of the group on either side of the body, their weapons drawn. His golden eyes scanned the bridge, and he stepped carefully forward toward the seated body. One of the technicians held the scanner over the body, and he took vitals of this strange form.

"No life signs, but appears to be humanoid-like," The tech said, as he used one of the devices, touching it at the temple of Avatar.

"Alright, keep your eyes open." Felonious said, and he slowly turned with scanner in hand. "Voloxa, is it possible to get these consoles to operate?"

"We can try, Fel." Voloxa said, glancing at the antiquated equipment, even in their time. He set to work putting up a power converter and generator. Opening the panel, he found wired and he began splicing them.

"There is a lot of damage here. We might be able to make it work though." Voloxa grunted, hooking up the wires. Looking up, the feline officer saw the hatch above the body of Avatar.

"You, keep guard on that body." Felonious warned, pointing at a guard "Keep your weapon trained at it. We lost two of our crew mates and something strange happening is happening here. Stay alert."

Turning, he nodded to the crew person who stood at the window, who withdrew a laser beacon. The crew member flashed it, sending a signal to their ship that hovered nearby and on the bridge of the Star Cruiser. There was a cheer.

"Contact established Commander." Reported the crew member, "Sending coded message now of our findings."

Felonious nodded, as Voloxa worked quickly, and after a moment, he flipped the switch as the consoles lit up, blinking and beeping. Outside, they had no idea that a second team had been sent over to the derelict. They entered in force, entering the ship and had fanned out to search the relic. Several headed to the bridge, posting sentries to make a path through the half-shattered ship. They entered the airlock, and the soon entered the bridge.

"We found them." The young humanoid said, “Relay to the Clouds.”

Felonious turned to see Kwai enter the bridge with a couple of security personnel.

"Kwai…" Felonious gasped, and he turned to the young humanoid.

"We're ready." Voloxa said, as he sat at the system, and he began typing in at the keyboard.

"The memory units are seriously damaged, Commander." The insect-like engineer said, as his assistant worked at the science station, Sandor's station.


"What's going on?" Kwai asked, turning as she saw the body on-board.

"We need to get that body out of here and back to the ship for analysis." Felonious said. "We have things running here, and are about to find out soon enough what happened to the derelict. There is also someone here, I think, and he has killed two of our crew members."

"I have security sentries posted."

"Good, but we need to get everyone out of here." Felonious ordered. "Start with the downed crew members and all non-essential personnel to return to the ship at once."

"Aye," Kwai replied, nodding to the two troopers next to her and they went to the body. Gently, they picked up the limp form of Avatar, both glancing at each other when they discovered there was no rigor, and hardly any decomposition. A sealed stasis chamber had been sent for from the Star Cruiser and less than thirty minutes later the body had been passed down and placed in the airlock. The body of Avatar was put into the container and removed.

However, back on Earth, at the same moment: Denise Watson opened her eyes in the room and focused upon the sterilized interior of the darkened room. As the young woman lay in the room, she managed a groan, feeling nauseated as her eyes focused upon the white ceiling above her. Turning her head, she squinted at the darkened room where she had been for the last two months, before staggering blindly into the hallway. As she peered at the interior, her eyes fell upon the familiar prone figure of Emily who lay in the bed across from her. Lieutenant Watson immediately recognized it as a room found in any typical hospital, with sanitary white walls, beds, and the heavy drapes that cover the window. A room, she deduced having been a hospital room, because of the septic smells and background noise she could hear in the hallway outside.

“Where the hell am I?” Denise asked herself and she scanned the room slowly with her eyes.

“This isn't a hospital in Frisco.” She thought, as her eyes slowly moved about the room. They caught movement nearby and slowly she turned her head. A young woman in a nurse's uniform stood nearby as she tended her bed.

"Nurse…" She croaked, and frowned when realizing she had no voice.

"Nurse…!" She repeated, her voice a mere strained whisper. Astonished, the nurse turned and exhaled quietly before rushing to her side.

The nurse, Major Matilda Downing, an older woman with black hair, a barrel shaped figure and a semi-unattractive face was at her side in a flash. She assessed the situation quickly. She smiled at Denise who frowned at her silently.

"Oh my god… Doctor Sane…!" She exclaimed, and turned to an intercom on th wall next to her bed. She hit the button with a shaking hand.

"Downing to Sane,” She said, and paused.

“Sane here.”

“Doctor come quickly! Room 345, the stasis members who were brought in the ICU are awake now." She stammered and glanced at Dense who just gazed at her. Her hand slammed the red alert button that flashed lights and a klaxon throughout the ward. Footsteps followed, as the doctor arrived on the run, followed by couple of the other nurses. Denise heard the alarm and cringed when seeing the unfamiliar faces. She covered her face with her arms.

“Easy,.. Easy...” Sane coached as he pushed down her arms as he shushed her.

"Where am I?" Denise croaked, staring at the unfamiliar faces around her, “Who are you people?"

Doctor Sane shushed her. He turned his head when he heard the murmur of her roommate, her fellow stasis member in the bed across from her.

"You are in Federal Hospital." He told her, as he checked her charts. "My name is Doctor Sane. I am your doctor."

Sane paused, glancing at her vitals as he ran them on the instrument in his hand,

"It appears you are just coming out of unconsciousness from your stasis project again. Just relax."

Sane paused as he grimaced at the device screen.

"How do you both feel?" He asked neutrally as he examined Denise first then moved to Emily's side.

"A little nausea," Denise replied, "Feel like hell."

"Ditto," Emily added and put her hand on the bridge of her nose. Sane carefully began to examine her, nodding slightly.

"Just relax, just a little exam." He told them, pulling out a stethoscope and placed it against her chest after warming it. He listened to her heart.

"Breathe." He instructed and the young blond haired woman complied. He crossed the room to do the same thing to Emily. Sane hit a switch and a panel lit up beside him, the panel showed their vital readouts. He turned to them, meeting their expressions with a large grin.

“What hospital are we in Doctor?” Denise whispered, “Has it been five years yet? What year and is this place?”

Sane frowned as he peered at the pair.

"Well, you both are in fair shape, considering the unusual circumstances." He began, and both of the young women turned to regard the doctor with a look of confusion.

"You both currently are suffering from hibernation sickness. It is not common to have this, after an unusual extended period in cryogenic stasis. You both will recover in time."

“What?” Emily asked as she gazed at the Doctor and nurses who worked around them.

"What's that mean? What do you mean an unusually long time in stasis?" repeated Denise, “It's only been five years right and stasis is over with right? Did anyone else wake up yet and what year is it, 2001 right?”

He shook his head silently, amazed by her question.

"Hardly that young miss." Sane replied, and smiled before he spoke again.

"I suggest you not worry." He told them, "Rest assured, you both are safe, and please do not fret. I can bet you both have many questions right now on what happened and where you are. We can take them one at a time."

He turned to the one nurse and nodded. Nurse Downing walked to the nearby intercom.

"Have a couple of security personnel come to Federal Hospital please, Room 345." She said and her hand hit the switch, before turning back to assist Emily in her bed.

Both women of the past were confused by the people around them and were a little disoriented as nothing seemed familiar to them. Denise did not remember a hospital like this in the city, a sterile, futuristic hospital that is technological for the time. Emily grimaced also as she managed to peer about the room too.

"If I may permit some introductions," Sane said, managing a grin, "May I introduce Nurse Kelly, Nurse Yakima, and Head Nurse Downing."

He motioned to each as he introduced them.

"You both are lucky to be alive and if you need anything they will be happy to help." Sane continued. "I suggest you rest, you both have been through a lot."

He motioned to the head nurse, and whispered to her quickly.

"Call the Headquarters staff and let them immediately know that there are two more members of stasis from the twentieth century who have awakened. We need to debrief them as soon as possible. Also keep this under raps, and pass to security, that everyone now has restricted access to them." Sane whispered, "When HQ responds, let them in."

Denise lay back, overhearing the instructions by Doctor Sane.

"So we’re under arrest?" Denise demanded, and Sane turned his head seeing the glint of anger in her eyes. He shook his head as security personnel arrived and took up their post outside five minutes later.

"No. You're our guests, and expect, Miss Watson that you and Miss Montgomery will be dealt with soon enough."

Sane met the expression they gave him with a quiet gasp and he quickly shook his head.

"Oh no, relax… in a good way…" He told her, "Relax… It will be the official welcome wagon around here."

Here, Sane paused.

The overhead fluorescent lights were switched on and illuminated the room around them. They both peered at the Star Trek™ type room about them in astonishment.

"It is an honor to make your acquaintance despite the circumstances." Sane told them, “Don't worry, everything will be explained to you on each question you have. Right now, I recommend to get some rest.”

Nurses continued to work around them and a young woman opened the curtains, allowing the bright light to spill in.

“Ugh.” Denise grunted as she briefly covered her eyes. Emily had followed suit.

They both peered at the balding head of Sane and smiled as they both chuckled when seeing his appearance in the light. They met the looks of the good-looking, young nurses who worked around them. The nurse raised them both to a sitting position as the bright light spilled in through the window. Outside they saw the futuristic buildings, and the two women had gasped openly at the sight. They suddenly realized something was definitely amiss.

"Uh doc," Denise began, "Can I ask what year it is? It should be 2001ish right?”

"Yes, please, what year is it?" Emily asked, agreeing with Denise with a nod.

"Well, that's a good way to start." He said, "And to answer that question…"

Sane cast a look at the window and the open curtain, shooting an annoyed look at the young nurse and then over to the Major who met his look in silence.

Sane cleared his throat.

"…um …well if the data holds up of what I have read from the records recovered with your chambers and the information stored in them when examined." He started, shaking his head in wonder, "By the calendar, as you would know it, um… it is the latter part of the twenty-third century."

"The twenty-third century…!" Both Denise and Emily exclaimed together, both amazed by the information given to them.

"Yes, It is the year 2208 A.D, about mid-September." Sane told them, "It has been
about two centuries from the time you were placed into stasis."

Emily and Denise gasped loudly as they peered at the window and the futuristic building outside. A glazed look appeared on their faces, one of fear and mind blown astonishment. Both were speechless for over five minutes.

“:Bullshit.” Denise shot back and he shook his head.

“Unfortunately for you it isn't,” Sane replied coldly, “It really happened and you both are here with us in a new century and time.”

Denise and Emily both grimaced as he told them everything that went on around them in this time and what they missed in the last few years.

Both of the women showed surprised by his vivid tale and his descriptions of the world they now found themselves in.

“Alright, if we were really in stasis for that long, why were we left in so long?” Denise demanded, “What happened to our families and the others with us?”

Their questions both echoed the room and bombarded the doctor on both sides.

"That, Miss Watson, is a good question and we are trying to access the computer systems of your chambers to find out." Sane told her, "You both are miracles of modern science. Even our best techs are perplexed how you both withstood so long in stasis. By all rights, you and your party should have been dead a few centuries ago. You both have awakened as the chambers required but when we found you both, the chambers looked like they were damaged and dead. We thought at first you both were deceased but when examined by a tech when brought to Federal Hospital found you were both unconscious."

He managed a grin and a slight nod. Both women, by the look of Sane's serious expression, knew he was not kidding and was being deadly serious. It really happened and both were totally flabbergasted by the fact.

"As we speak we are examining something called a black box in your century, called a flight recorder that recorded everything that happened in your chamber. They are looking at that box right now to find out more of what happened."

"Yes, it was used in my century for airliner flights and space flights." Denise prompted making the Doctor nod formally.

"Well according to the data, it was also used to document everything happening in your chamber, where your stasis chambers were located, etcetera." He said, "We located it and it corroborates an event that destroyed the chamber. We have seen a lot of that damage also, and a few bones from bodies that were probably in the room."

Denise closed her eyes for a moment, taking in the information before opening them. She met the Doctor's serious expression.

"Is this for real?" Denise demanded, "Who are you really."

"I told you." Sane shot back, "I am your doctor, who is telling you to rest."

“I don't want to...” Denise started to shout but an eerie Star Trek ™ type whistle from the intercom interrupted her thought. She and her companion both exchanged a look as he held up a hand to them both.

“Nurse Yamazuki to Doctor Sane…” A female voice said.

“Sane here…” He replied, having walked to the communicator.

“Headquarters is on line two.” The female voice said and he grinned.


Sane turned to the young patients in the beds. Both had a grin on their faces by the almost Star Trekish surroundings around them.

"Excuse me. I have a call from Headquarters with instructions." He said, "Get some rest. I'll be back in a few minutes."

Both he and the nurse departed.

“I am for getting the hell out of here and find out really where the fuck we are...” She snarled as she fought down nausea when swinging her legs to catapult her to a sitting position. She glanced down at herself, clad in the familiar gowns typically found in a hospital. The young woman peered at the logo on the breast that belonged to the EDC and frowned.

“EDC?” She thought, “What the hell is that?”

She managed to stand and crumpled as she caught herself on the edge of the bed as her feet touched the cold floor. She saw a robe nearby and pulled it over her thin body. Wavering, she staggered to the window, and caught herself on the windowsill jam. Denise stared outside at the futuristic buildings that sprawled out before her, looking down upon the hustle and bustle below. An astonished expression appeared on her face as she turned her head back and forth at the spectacular sight of Federal City that lay out before her, in its futuristic splendor. Denise found herself amazed by the sight.

"Oh my god, it is true." Denise murmured, "Emily, we're in BIG trouble. You have to see this!"

"What?" Emily replied, sitting up and she swooned slightly.

"Come here. Check this out." Denise instructed, motioning to her with her hand. Emily rose from the bed, swooning as she sat on the bed. She did the same method as Denise, putting her feet on the cold tiled floor and rose up slowly. Miss Montgomery grabbed a nearby robe also and staggered toward the window catching the jam, with a firm hand to steady from falling. Both of them glanced at each other.

"Whoa!" The young woman gasped, as their eyes panned back and forth to the outside. They stared at the futuristic city where they had landed in astonished silence.

"I totally agree wholeheartedly." Denise replied with a grin, "This is totally amazing. He wasn't kidding... I thought it was bullshit but obviously this isn't..."

“I... don't know and like this...” Emily said, “What about my folks, my family and friends. They can't be alive if this is the twenty-third century.”

“I'm with you but still damn amazing.” Denise said, “He didn't tell us what city. This might be a secret city ran by the U.S Government to disorient us and make us think we are in the future.”

“Why would they do that?” Emily asked and her companion shrugged. Both of them were silent as they had many questions and no answers. They just peered outside at the city for a long time, completely astonished by the surroundings laid out before them.

“Wow, that looks different.” Emily stammered, “Look at the uniforms they are wearing.”

Both of the women of the past peered at the strange uniforms they saw several times today. The guards, posted outside, a couple of the nurses and the people who had been with the Doctor had all worn the unfamiliar uniforms. Ms. Watson shook her head in an astonished silence and stood watching the outside carefully, still wondering if this was a dream. Emily was thinking the same thing.

"It's unreal." Denise said, "This has to be a dream, but by the look of things it cannot be the twentieth century, or even the twenty-first century."

"That is because it is not, and you're here. You are both displaced out of time and place." A voice said, and behind her, a young woman walked in, Commander Mitty McDonald, Aide to General Singleton and the Earth Defense Command.

Denise and Emily turned when they heard the voice, both remaining standing beside the window as they met the surprised look of the young officer. The first thing they noted was the unfamiliar uniform, a fine cut blue and black uniform, with a high collar. The stasis members noted the gold cluster collar pin, marking her as a Commander, even in the current day military. The pair also spied the gold braid in on her uniform marking her as an aide to a flag officer. Both stasis members were both startled how young she is, and are certainly surprised that someone her age held the job she did.

Likewise, Mitty had been just as startled to realize that the two young women were part of the stasis team, and are equally as young as she was. Commander McDonald had expected two older persons, when the project was explained to her, and was told they were over two hundred years old. She had not known what they looked like, or anything much about them, even how attractive they were despite their true age. Mitty realized they were just like the others they had welcomed recently into the EDC not too long ago. Young and from a past century. She cleared her throat quietly.

"I'm Commander Mitty McDonald." She said, "I am your liaison for the Earth Defense Commander's Office."

"The Earth Defense Office…? What's that, the military?" Denise asked, and glanced at Emily.

"If you consider it to be military, then it surely is." The Commander replied, as she met the two unfamiliar faces.

"You're awfully young to be an officer." Emily commented, and the young woman managed the flash of a smile.

"Thank you." Mitty murmured, before clearing her throat, and grimacing as her face flushed a tiny bit. She had not been prepared for the compliment.

"Well, I am here to debrief you both, as we did your friends." She began, "What this will entail that our little jam session here will partially help me find out some information about you. Just a little until we can schedule a meeting before the board with the Earth Defense Commander, General Charles Singleton. It will just bring you up to speed what is happening in the century in which you have now arrived."

The young woman quickly explained the procedure to them. They would both be interviewed here, informally, and in the next four weeks, if they were well enough, be escorted to the Commander's office for a meeting. All three sat around the room, jamming, as they answered the young Commander's questions and she answered Denise and Emily's questions.

"What are you doing out of bed!" A shout said, interrupting the trio, and all three turned to meet the grizzled expression of the nurse that Mitty recognized as Nurse Downing.

"Get back in bed right now."

"It's alright, Major Downing." McDonald said, "I am here. Please don't let anyone else in here till we are through."

"Oh. Aye, Commander," Grumbled the older nurse, and moved to the exit.

"Can I ask what happened to our families?" Emily asked.

"As for your families and the fates of each of them, we are working on that, to help you find out what happened to them."

Mitty paused and nodded her head.

"Many records have been lost from the times before that, because of the planet bombings latter of the last century, so we have very little knowledge of what happened. All we have was stored in the great vault with your chambers but even that was not much."

"There actually was a holocaust?" Denise asked and Mitty nodded again.

"Yes. Earth has been at war, off and on, for the last eight years or so. Mostly it has been enemies from space, and hostile races." Commander McDonald replied, "Earth has almost been decimated by radiation bombing once, and has endured many attacks."

Both Denise and Emily gasped loudly, hearing this information.

"Attacks from outer space, oh come now, that's a bit corny don’t you think?" Emily said with a chuckle, "That's very hard to believe, like us being in a new century."

“Well I grant you that.” The Commander said with a smile, “But you are here, and we are speaking. And they did happen.”

Mitty paused, glancing at chronometer on her wrist and she turned her head.

"Don't worry, we will give you access to our knowledge base and let the two of you do some catch up learning. So you both can be brought up to speed quickly in our century. Once you read about it, you will understand what Earth has endured for two hundred years." She explained, and managed a grin at their expressions of confusion. However to the young Commander, it was quite understandable to wake in an alien place, and something they were not expecting to happen to them.

"Strange, your friends were the same way." The Commander told them, and the young women perked up.

"Oh yes, who was left of the group and can we see them? Please?" asked Denise and the young woman regarded her for a second before she nodded her head. Emily grinned happily, knowing that they were not alone in a new place or isolated as only survivors.

"Let’s see." Mitty mused, pulling out the pocket computer, and she punched a few buttons. "Three females, two males, It appears you have five shipmates who are still living and were recovered from the chambers."

"Who though… Which ones…?"

“Us…!” A shout said, as Amy, Melinda, Amanda, Manual ran into the room, and they stood at the doorway. Denise gasped, and ran toward them, embracing each one, not bashful by her partial nudity in the robe she wore. Emily also embraced them, as there was chatter throughout the room. Sane and McDonald stepped back grinning as they saw the touching reunion of old friends, reminded of the Star force, which had gone out on many battles to save Earth.

“Mind if I come in?” Seth asked, clad in a robe, walking with a cane. Emily turned, gasped, and ran to embrace him warmly, kissing passionately, hungrily. He held her warmly, kissing her back. They held it over five minutes. The others clustered around Seth, greeting him warmly with hugs, tears, handshakes and confused chatter. When the couple broke they peered into each other’s eyes.

“Seth is that you?” Emily whispered, “My dearest love.”

“It is me, Em.” He replied, holding his young love a long time, peering into her eyes, hungrily, fighting back the tears of astonishment and emotion that overwhelmed him.

“You’re hurt!” She exclaimed, and he shrugged.

“It’s a scratch.” Seth replied, waving a hand, “I was wearing body armor of the day at the memorial and it saved me from being hurt more than I was.”

Emily held him, and smiled warmly. She was astonished to see him here, as he was for her. Seth had thought he had buried these two young women a few months ago, putting them to rest and not knowing they had survived. A low chatter echoed through the room as Emily and Seth both peered lovingly into each other’s eyes.

“H-how can you be alive?” Seth asked, “You were killed with Denise and I buried you at Hero’s Hill.”

“They mixed up our records with others from a previous war and when we came into Central Hospital and were switched. If it wasn’t for a savvy tech, seeing our moving hands, we’d be embalmed or cremated by now.”

“I am so glad to see you, and happy you are alive.” He said, holding her warmly, “If it wasn’t for a stranger I’d be dead too.”

She peered at Seth in amazement and he nodded his head.

“He’s right, that stranger died saving you and Nova Forrester-Wildstar of the Star Force but he disappeared in a temporal warp while in surgery. We don’t understand why or how though.” Sane told them.

“I never got a chance to thank him,” Seth murmured, and shook his head in silence.

“In any case, both of you, welcome to the…” He started to say.

“The twenty-third century…” They chimed in and Seth looked at them in amazement, “You already knew?”

“Thanks to Doctor Sane, but I am still confused, what the hell happened? How did we get here so far into the future?”

“It seems we all were left in stasis longer than proposed, due to a malfunction and terrorist bomb that decimated the chamber.” Melinda replied, “According to the black box and records the EDC did find in the vault the project was scrapped due to two losses of two teams. They apparently didn’t know that a few of us survived the initial explosion.”

“Oh… so that’s why…” Emily said wearily, “So what happens to us?”

“Yea, we are stuck in a new century with nothing.” Denise added, “I hope we can at least have a normal life, and maybe be a part of this place. If there is something we can do around here to get back into the swing of things.”

“That is dependent on you all.” Mitty replied, “We will require you to be sent to the Space Academy to bring you all up to speed, to at least conform to military life, and our social standards. We welcome you into the military if you want to join the EDC...”

“Excellent.” Amy replied, “I’m in for that, Commander McDonald, count me in.”

“I’m in for that too.” Melinda said.

“Us too…” Manual replied, taking up the hand of Amanda in his, putting a loving arm around her.

“Hell yeah.” Denise chimed in, “Since we really have no where to go on Earth, or go home to, might as well continue on what we were doing.”

“We’re back!” Emily breathed, and Denise nodded.

“All except for you, Seth and the Sergeant Major though, your training will be done while you are in the field.” Mitty told them, “Your orders came through for your combat assignment off planet. Starting in the next two weeks, training is at sixteen hundred, on Wednesday...”

“You guys are being assigned?” Emily gasped, and Seth nodded.

“We have a mission and a date to kick robotic ass who started this mess.” Seth grumbled, “Almost killed me, and Nova, so paybacks are gonna be a bitch. The mission started out as a scientific one, but turned into a combat mission when we got news of the Cybernetic robots and a war machine massing at Aquarius, In order to get in there it turned into a possible combat assignment. ”

Amanda glanced at Manual, a frown on her face.

“Don’t forget us too…” A voice rumbled, and they turned to see Angie Stethem and Lieutenant Command Miller standing in the door. Mitty gasped seeing them together.

Both were smiling as Mitty greeted them with a nod.

“The party has just begun.” She told the couple and they stepped into the room.

“Angie.” Melinda breathed, and Amy smiled as did Manual and Amanda. They moved toward them, embracing her warmly and the young grizzled Commander next to her. Turning, the group saw Denise and Emily narrow their eyes, and heard young Watson gasp very loudly.

“No WAY!” Denise shouted as she ran to embrace Captain Stethem. “Angie Stethem! I can't believe it!”

“You better believe it.” Angie said, peering at her classmate, misty eyed to see them here in this century. Emily greeted the young Captain too but both turned their heads to regard the officer who stood beside here, holding back and fighting a grin of his own. Both Emily and Denise were very surprised to see the young man beside her, a face that was scarred by battle. Their chatter continued with the group, but Miss Montgomery and Miss Watson continued to glance at the officer.

“So who is this young man?” Denise asked, and Angie smiled at them, glancing at her new husband. Both Miss Watson and Montgomery peered at the young officer beside her, and grimaced at the complex scar that ran forehead to his chin, across his left eye. He held Angie's arm warmly, making for a handsome couple.

“Emily, and Denise, before I go any further, I’d like you to meet someone.” Angie said. “May I present my new husband, Nathaniel.”

Melinda, Amy, Amanda, Manual all gasped loudly as did Mitty and Sane. They peered at the couple and completely surprised when they both nodded to the questioning looks.

"No fracking way!" Melinda said, after gasping loudly.

“You didn't...” Amy chimed in and showed even more surprise when the couple held up their hands. There on their fingers, were silver rings for both of them, with a diamond set. The rings shined brightly in the light.

“Oh my fracking god…” Melinda exclaimed, “You guys got married? REALLY!?”

The young woman yelped as did everyone when Angie nodded.

“We did it this morning.” Angie said, and there was another startled silence.

“Hey! Hey!” Mitty said, chortling, as the group bolted to embrace the young Captain and her husband.

“I am happy for you both.” Commander McDonald exclaimed, as he returned the handshake of Sane who was smiling from ear to ear.

“It is about time.” Mitty told them, “You both deserve and are made for each other.”

Nathaniel and Angie glanced at each other, flashing a grin between them. Both of them had laughing quietly.

Congratulations rounded the room.

“So what is your name sir?” Denise asked, addressing the scarred officer. “I don’t think we have met. I am Denise Watson... Nice catch Angie, by the way, he’s absolutely a hunk.”

Angie grinned as she exchanged a look with the young officer beside her, and her look made him grin slightly, despite the hunk comment. He remained silent, however.

“May I present Lieutenant Commander Nathaniel Miller, Second Officer aboard the Kosheo that is in dry dock right now.” Angie said, pointing to him. He smiled warmly to the startled group.

Seth gasped when he heard the name and bolted to guy hug his friend, shouting and shaking his hand wildly.

“Jesus Miller, I didn't know you were a part of stasis!” Seth exclaimed.

“Yeah, a year before yours.” He replied, “I am REALLY glad to see you alive and well, after that scrape at the memorial. I heard that was a bit of a tense moment.”

“Ah nothing that we couldn't handle.”

Their banter echoed the room as they laughed and carried on.

Denise and Emily grimaced, when they heard the name, and frowned.

“Do I know you Commander?” Denise asked, “You seem soooo familiar.”

“Yeah.” Emily said, “Your face seems familiar to me too as does the name.”

“He’s an old friend to us all.” Angie prompted.

“Old friend…?” Denise asked, and Angie nodded.

“He was at Bellbrook, in like nineteen eighty-six, to nineteen eighty-eight.” Angie replied, “A long time ago.”

They were shaking their heads but they were thinking rapidly. It finally clicked for Emily and Denise who had remembered the name from the Junior High and High School in the east called Bellbrook. This man had come from the west though. Denise and Emily had yelped to peer at the scarred young man, frowning at the semi-familiar face despite the wounds he had received while in stasis.

“Jesus! You were at Bellbrook!” Denise gasped and he nodded.

“...and you are “Watts” Watson, a polite nickname given to you from Doug Woolard.” He told her, “When we saw Some Kind of Wonderful together as a class.”

“It can't be!” She gasped, but he nodded his head.

“It is!” He chortled, “Hello! Welcome Home!”

He turned to Emily.

“And you Miss Montgomery was in Teitelbaum's homeroom at Bellbrook and we waved through the window every morning.” He said, “It is a VERY LARGE and great pleasure to see you again.”

Emily was speechless as she peered at him, and thought back briefly to another time and place, and her mouth had fallen open in surprise as the images appeared in her memory. Tears began to well from her eyes and she was shaking her head disbelievingly.

“It’s good to see you both again.” He intoned, and stepped forward.

He returned the embrace by Denise who held him, weeping and just peering at him, completely blown away that he was here after a first stasis project and in this century. She never knew he was and would be brave enough to take the risk of traversing time and for such a project. She could not believe how much he had changed in the many years she had not seen him, or heard from him.

Nathaniel stood peering at Emily's astonished stare and silence fell over the room as tears poured from her eyes as she finally ran toward him. She embraced him warmly and held him tightly as she wept into his shoulder, making his uniform wet.

“I don’t believe it!” She sobbed, “It’s you! Where… how… where have you been…?”

When she drew back, he stared into her eyes, his eye was wet as he held her, and he held her, hovering for only a brief moment before they kissed passionately together, sweet, filled with promise. Emily smiled as she kissed him warmly. They held it for fifteen minutes, old friends and perhaps more than that if he would have had the chance to be with her a long time ago. A chance rightly missed because of circumstance.

Everyone who had watched them kiss, did so, with an uncomfortable silence that followed. The group stood around the room as they watched them, shuffling their feet or glancing at their at their watches. When they broke, she held him still. Seth sensed his passion for her, and stepped back, strangely jealous of the pair.

“Jesus...” Mitty said with a tone of humor, “What a greeting. WOW.... Encore! Encore!”

Both Emily and Nathaniel both blushed deeply, as they laughed along with the group. He turned to her and took her hands warmly.

“I have missed you a lot and it is great to see you.” He said, his tone indicating caution, “And to hold you finally in my arms, wanting this so much for a very long time. But remember, I am married now to Angie.”

She gasped, and he nodded.

“I must tell you this Emily.” He said, apologizing, “I apologize for not keeping in touch and saying goodbye properly those many years ago. I wished for a long time to tell you I loved you more than life itself and never got that chance. I am sorry for not being there for you and wanted to spend my lifetime with you, showing you the world even before stasis. That chance was blown because of circumstance, and I lost out two centuries for a rightful chance...”

Emily had a surprised look on her face, and she nodded, tearing up quickly again.

“I didn’t know.” She said, “Why didn’t you tell me?”

“I didn’t realize I was in love with you until I left Bellbrook. You stole my heart a long time ago and I never forgot you.” He said, “Plus being in transition of schools and moving, I wasn’t able to write to you. I thought I lost everything, and tried to carry on, but the memories and time were harsh to always remind me of you.”

“Oh my god…” Emily gasped as she literally sobbing into his arms. She was glad to see him, but her heart also belonged to Seth who stood nearby. She had fallen in love with him while serving in the military and during their training together.

“I just wanted you to know that.” He said, “I know you and Seth have a relationship, and he is a good man. I am sorry I missed out. I was not here for you and he was. I will always love you, just know that.”

Emily nodded as she sobbed into his shoulder. He glanced at Seth who he managed a grin at him. The scarred officer held the young woman for a long time, unable to let her go. He put out his hand, with hers in on top and motioned to Seth. The Commander put his best friend’s hand on hers. The couple glanced at him, as he nodded, dropping his hand from below. They both gasped loudly by the motion.

“She is a good woman, and if you ever hurt her, you answer to me.” Nathaniel warned, “Be together always, be happy.”

Emily embraced Nathaniel then embraced Seth.

“Thanks buddy.” Seth said.

The Lieutenant Commander turned, putting out his arm, which Angie took. She knew that Nathaniel had a crush on her, and did not protest when Emily kissed him. With Angie still on his arm, he picked up a champagne bottle, and popped it. “I think this is time for a drink.”

“This is so against regulations,” Sane intoned, as the staff of the ward gathered, and Commander McDonald, “But since this is a special occasion I will make this one allowance.”

“Here is to the happy couple, Angie and Nathaniel, may you both find happiness in your new home and century.” Mitty intoned, and glasses were raised.

“Hear! Hear!” Seth said, “To the happy couple!”

The group repeated the toast and they raised their glasses to all drink. Angie had a glass of water, making her husband glance at her curiously. There were handshakes and cheers through the room, as Emily turned and tossed Seth a look.

“It looks like we’re next.” Seth suggested, “How bout it Em? Before I get my ass shot off in the combat group that’s outgoing.”

Emily gasped, blushing slightly, and tears forming in her eyes as Seth took up her hand in his and knelt before her. The young woman glanced at Nathaniel who was grinning, and he nodded silently to her. The young woman gasped as Seth held up a box and he opened it. Emily stared at the sparkling ring as a gasp rippled through the room among the group.

“Oh my Lord, it’s beautiful! Yes. I will, Right now!” Emily said, and Seth nodded, rising to embrace her warmly.

Seth glanced at the grizzled Commander and smiled at him.

“Please, Nathaniel, be my best man.”

“It will be an honor.” Nathaniel replied, and Angie smiled, holding her husband tightly. Another gasp rippled through the room and there was an excited ripple through the room. A cheer echoed through the room as the champagne flowed freely.

“Did someone send for a pastor?” A voice asked, and Mitty motioned him in.

“Please come in Pastor Murray.” Mitty said, “This couple would like to get married.”

“I am Pastor Donald Murray, my rank is Colonel for the Earth Defense Corps, but you don’t have to salute.” He intoned solemnly, “I ask you in the spirit of the union of and in the sight of god, are you sure?”

“We are.” Seth replied, and Emily joined him as they stood before the pastor.

Seth and Emily, followed by Sane, Mitty, Nathaniel and Angie stepped forward. They stood at the familiar places in the wedding party.

“We have come together at the invitation of Emily Montgomery and Seth Aguilera to celebrate the uniting in Christian love, their hearts and lives. This is possible because of the love God has created in them, through Jesus Christ.”

The Pastor paused.

“Jesus said, I am come that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly. This abundant life, for many people, is an impossible dream, yet God wants us all to have this abundant life and proved His love for us by giving His Son, that we might have this life.”

Here Pastor Murray nodded.

“Another way that God provides for this 'full' life is creating those who will love us. Seth has found such a one in Emily hearts and spirits were drawn together before today by the Lord of all creation. Two lives are not united by ceremony, but only in the power, love, and grace of God.”

“Seth and Emily are here to publicly declare that because of Jesus Christ's love, they too can truly love one another. As God demonstrated his love in Jesus, our Lord, Seth and Emily will demonstrate this God given love by giving themselves to one another and one for the other.”

“They have not reached this place alone. Each has been given life by their parents. These, who gave to them life love, provision, are and will be, a vital part in their continued lives. Their love has borne fruit in Seth and Emily. Love and respect for these will continue as they grow in their own love made possible by their parents.”

The uniformed priest turned to the group that surrounded Emily and Seth. He grimaced slightly, motioning to the group.

“Who then has prepared this woman for marriage to this man?” The pastor asked.

Sane spoke up, "Since her parents are no longer living, I will."

Emily, Seth, Nathaniel and Angie stepped toward the Pastor. Sane and Mitty took up a position behind them.

The pastor turned to the couple. “Emily and Seth, no other human ties are more tender, no other vows are more sacred than these you are about to assume. You are entering into that holy estate which is the deepest mystery of experience, and which is the very sacrament of divine love.”

“Seth, will you have Emily, to be your wedded wife, to live together after God's ordinance in the holy estate of matrimony; will you love her, comfort her, honor and keep her, in sickness and in health, and forsaking all others, keep yourself only for her so long as you both shall live?”

Seth stood straight, and glanced at Emily, who smiled. "I will."

“Emily, will you have Seth to be your wedded husband, to live together after God's ordinance in the holy estate of matrimony; will you love him, comfort him, honor and keep him, in sickness and in health, and forsaking all others, keep yourself only for him so long as you both shall live?”

Emily gigged, and nodded. "I will."

“It is with hope that you find happiness together, and be reunited in your time of need and turmoil, to have a long and happy life together.” The pastor intoned, “May you find such a life, and such happiness together always.”

“Seth, please take Emily by her right hand.”

“Please repeat your vows to your beloved.” Pastor Murray instructed.

“I Seth, take you as my wife, to have you and be with you till death do we part, and promise to uphold, be faithful and love you until our time together ceases.”

“I Emily, as your betrothed, take you as my husband, till death do we part, and promise to uphold, be faithful, and love you until our time together ceases.”

The Pastor smiled and nodded, turning to Seth. “Seth, what symbol do you bring as a pledge of that sincerity of your vows?”

"A ring."

Pastor Murray turned to Emily, “Please remember, a ring is more than a symbol of your marriage, it is a seal of the vow you have made to one another. The circle of the ring is, as far as human eye can see, a perfect circle--with no beginning or end--so God too, has perfect love for you and wants you to love one another in His grace--never, never ending. This ring is made of precious metal. You also are precious in God's sight and now in the life of Seth Aguilera. When you are absent one from another, the presence of the ring reminds you to be faithful and to fulfill your vows to Seth.”

The pastor took in a breath.

“Rings have historically been the sign of authority--used to seal documents and proclamations. You now accept this authority in your life.” He intoned.

The pastor turned to Emily. “You may now place your ring on his finger.”

She put the ring on his finger.

Emily, what symbol do you bring as a pledge of that sincerity of your vows?

"A ring…" She replied, smartly.

The pastor turned to Seth, “Major Aguilera, this ring is a seal of Emily’s vow to you. She presents this to you as a token of her submission to you in Jesus Christ. This is a symbol of leadership and privilege. God has placed you as head of the family. You must lead in worship, works and fellowship. As the weaker vessel she depends upon you for strength.”

Pastor Murray turned to Seth, nodding. “You may now place your ring on your Bride's finger.”

He put the shadow band on her finger.

“For as much as Seth and Emily have consented in holy wedlock, and have thereto confirmed the same by giving and receiving each one a ring. By the authority committed unto me as a minister of the Church of Jesus Christ, I now declare you husband and wife, according to the ordinance of God, and the laws of the military code of the Earth Defense Command; in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen.”

Pastor Murray raised his hand, opening the bible in his one hand, and he motioned to them and they knelt together before the pastor who waved it over the couple.

“Let us hear this prayer, in John four, Verse seven to twelve.”

“Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is born of God, knows him. But anyone who does not love does not know God—for God is love.”

“God showed how much he loved us by sending his only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love. It is not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.”

“Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love has been brought to full expression through us.”

The couple rose to their feet and both grinned as they glanced at each other. Seth moved toward Emily and embraced her warmly, holding her in his arms.

“With abiding confidence and deep affection, we send you forth in life's journey together. May it be an adventure in peace, in joy and in love…" Murray told them and nodded.

With that said, The pastor turned and closed the bible, raising both hands before the gathered group, including the hospital ward staff, other patients, the stasis crews, and Commander McDonald.

“You may kiss the bride!” Colonel Murray instructed, and Seth grinned, as he leaned over to embrace Emily, their lips hovering and they met touching tightly, passionately, hungrily, together. There was a cheer by everyone present. Five minutes elapsed. There was a pause. Ten minutes elapsed. There was another pause and a shuffle. A low chuckle rippled through the group.

A moment later, they broke and there was laughter, as Emily fanned herself.

"Easy there tiger…" Emily joked and smiled at him, making him laugh.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present to you Mr. & Mrs. Aguilera

Applause thundered through the room, as cheers and words of congratulations for the couple moved through the crowd. Seth turned to Emily, and she blushed, smiling.

“I love you Emily, always.” Seth said, and he turned to Angie and Nathaniel who stood nearby.

“Thanks Nathaniel, Angie.” He said, “For being there for us.”

“You are welcome.” Lieutenant Commander Miller replied, nodding, “Welcome to marriage. May you both have a long life together, and many children, however, for right now, Seth we are wanted at sixteen hundred at the EDC Headquarters. It appears the meeting was moved up.”

“Understood…” He replied, “Do I have a little time to be with my new wife?”

“Yes, please, by all means.” He replied, as he turned to Angie, taking up her hand.

“We have a little time together too, beloved Angie.” Nathaniel told her, and he embraced her.

“I know. You’ve got a job to do.” Angie said, “Just promise me, you will return and not get your ass shot off, your ass belongs to me, remember that.”

“I know.” He said, “I am not planning to get myself killed by this enemy. I will return, I promise, and will keep Seth and Manual safe. I will return for you and our little one.”

With that, he patted Angie on her belly. The young woman grimaced, beaming with delight after a moment, wanting to tell him that she was having his child. She had an appointment for a check up of her pregnancy at medical. He seemed to already know and the young woman wondered if the stranger from the future, which was him, had told him that she was pregnant with his child.

Emily also had heard Nathaniel and walked toward him, smiling as she took up his hands.

“I heard your comment. I’ll hold you to that Mister Miller, for both of you.” She told him and he nodded.

“Don’t thank me yet.” He intoned, “We still have one mission to go, and it’s not going to be a piece of cake. There is a lot at stake, and with god’s help, we go to fight, probably failing… All we can do is hold on for dear life and give it our best.”

“What does that mean?” Emily asked, glancing at Angie who was stunned by his mood change, and shook her head, shrugging as she watched her husband walk to Commander McDonald and Seth to chat with them formally. Emily did not know what to make of his comment. Neither Angie, nor Emily both realized what was truly at stake for the sake of Earth.

The crew of Yamato and the cryogenic stasis members are on Earth, preparing for a possible combat assignment against an enemy of the future: Meanwhile, at the edge of the Sol System, the Star Cruiser Starship, the S.S Magellanic Clouds slowly moves into the solar system. The small starship moves at slow speed right now, blinded by the haze that surrounds of the solar system and heading toward the farthest known planet known as Pluto. As the ship moves through the airspace belonging to Pluto it does so at a slow speed to allow crews to further along their repairs to the ship while in flight to Earth. Their new mission to advance warn of the impending danger that is coming to their planet. They had already relayed it to the EDC Command and they had taken action accordingly based on the battle that happened at the memorial with the stasis and Yamato crew.

Again, sitting on the bridge Ihsss T'Larra sat on the bridge, and watched the view screen as the ship cleared the haze of the outer edge of the solar system known as SOL. It was here on the Pluto Base that they detected the Clouds as they entered the solar system. In the control room, an alarm echoed across the console of the many operators who were watching the space. A thick complex detection web was installed shortly after the decisive victory of the Yamato way back after the Iscandar mission and had several times been put under real situations. Operators had seen the blip and hit the alarm putting the base on alert.

"Supervisor, Operator five on-line," A voice said. A young harried Corporal sat at the console in the operations pit, and he watched at the blip approached and entered the system. He spoke rapidly on the communicator with the XO of the station located on Pluto.

"What's up Johnson?"

"Unidentified ship passing Pluto Base, Sir," reported the operator, "No identification, and it is refusing to answer hails. Approximately ten space knots."

"On my way," Commander Farrell said, clicking a button on his console. He got up and ran into the main control room a few moments later.

"Status report…!" The Commander exclaimed sharply.

"No change sir." replied the operator.

"Are there any ships scheduled to enter or exit the system today?" asked the Commander and the operator shook his head.

"Negative sir, not on the schedule I have up." Johnson replied.

"What about the assigned entry sector for Earth transports?" Commander Farrell asked.

"They are not on any flight path Commander.” The operator replied, “Ship confirmed on intercept course toward Saturn.”

"What's going on Farrell?" A voice said and Jake looked up to meet the intense gaze of Captain Hank Russo, the Commanding Officer of the Pluto Base who appeared on the monitor screen next to him.

"There is an unidentified ship coming into the solar system skipper," Jake replied.

"Have they responded to hails?"

"No sir, there could be a couple dozen reasons why not." Jake suggested.

"Deploy the fighters." The Captain said, "Mission to identify and find out their intentions, shoot to destroy if attacked."

The Commander hit the alarm, and from their barracks, the pilots who are stationed here on this frozen wasteland ran to the launch tubes and their fighters. Astro fighters from the station, on the icy world of Pluto made up of mostly of ice, methane, nitrogen and carbon monoxide, roared from the airlock. The ships moved upward into the star filled sky. The pilot named Deek Baker intently checked his controls as he climbed up into space.

"Squadron one to base… Squadron Alpha is now airborne." He said into the headset, in his helmet, as twenty-four Astro-fighters roared up into the star-filled sky.

Matthew 'Buzz' Alron, Deek's second in command, roared up into space moments later, leading along behind Deek’s plane.

"Squadron two to base… Squadron Beta is now airborne." Buzz said into his microphone.

"Copy, you are both cleared to identify and engage." replied the Commander, and he watched the status display screen, showing the fighters as blue arrows, that streaked out toward the red circle that floated several meters off the screen. The blue arrows got closer to the circle, marked now with the symbol UNK01. It was not unlike what the aircraft control had in the ancient towers at the airports on Earth.

"You should be on top of it." Commander Farrell said into the headset. Deek and Matthew, in their planes, checked his controls and screens.

"Affirmative, we are approximately six mega meters away." Baker replied, "Does anyone see it?"

“We have visual base.” Matthew said into his helmet mic as the planes moved toward the unsuspecting Star Cruiser Class starship of the future.

"We're on station." He said, "Everyone form up and let's identify her."

"Damn, it's a big ship." Buzz commented, "It's the size of an EDC frigate."

"Good looking lines though." Another voice chimed in.

"Pipe down fellas, and fall in." Baker ordered as they streaked toward the viditor from another time.

"Deek, take left, I'll take right let's identify her."

On Earth, the alarm was put out in the war room.

"General! Pluto Base reports an unknown ship inbound into the solar system. Speed ten space knots."

The Commander of the Earth Defense Force looked up in alarm at the announcement, as did the aides and people working. There was hustle in the control room.

"Pluto Base deployed fighters." The operator said, and the Commander nodded. "Also sir, Neptune and Uranus Bases have also been alerted. They're ready for them."

Commander Singleton sat in his chair, and he examined the data.

"Deploy Space Destroyers Fuyuzuki, also the Marauder from Saturn station to the Pluto area." He ordered, and the Commander's aide glanced at him. Unaware, the Clouds crew and the ship still approached Pluto, their ship coming within a close proximity of it. The small planet loomed on the view screen as the ship slowly approached.

"Felonious, give me a approach scan please." Ihsss murmured.

She stared at the screen, curious of the bluish purple planet ahead of them and as the ship headed toward the planet's outer fringe. A chunk of planetary material appeared on the screen, making up the moon that orbits the planet.

"Scanning planet," Felonious said, "The first planet here is number nine in this system of eleven planets. Diameter is two thousand three hundred and twenty kilas, approximately one thousand four hundred and forty miles as measured by Earth-people. Orbit, is once every two hundred forty nine years. A solar day is six point four days. One visible moon, its diameter is one thousand two hundred and seventy kilometers or seven hundred and ninety miles, planetary tilt, seventeen degas, elliptical orbit."

He paused to take in a breath as data streamed on screen next to him.

"Surface Composition, making up the planet is nitrogen with minor methane count and traces of carbon monoxide. The hint of pink suggests that it has a reflecting layer. Bright areas along equator suggest it is solid nitrogen ice, methane, ethane and carbon monoxide. Darker areas suggest a primordial organic material as result of photo chemical reactions to cosmic rays."

Felonious hit a button to scroll the information on his monitor. "Surface temperature, varies from negative two hundred and twenty eight to negative two hundred thirty degrees centigrade or negative three hundred seventy eight to three hundred ninety six degrees. It ranges from its thirty to fifty degas orbit from the sun. Internal Composition, Unknown. Planetary Density lies between one point eight and two point one gm/cm cubed which indicates the planet is probably fifty to seventy percent rock and the remainder being water and other ices."

"Gee a regular garden spot." Kwai commented, and there was laughter on the bridge.

"Very well," Ihsss said, "Life signs?"

"Yes Captain, but I think it's attributed to the basic organic material that lives on the planet." Felonious replied, "But there are also strong life signs on the planet otherwise. There is, as you suspected, a base there."

"Captain we've been spotted, fighters are coming in." reported the Navigator who stared at the view screen, "It looks like a couple of squadrons."

Ihsss turned her scaly head and grimaced.

"All repair crews come back inside!" Ihsss ordered and Hi'Mthsss turned to her console, hitting a button that sent the recall signal to the space suited figures outside the ship. They all headed to the airlock.

"Shields up…!" Kwai reported, as she nodded to Felonious. A ripple of tension rounded the bridge.

"Is the radio still out?" Asked the first officer and Hi'Mthsss turned to shake her head.

"The antennas are done." Hi said, "Repairs are completed on the radio. We should be able to transmit."

"It might be interference from the planet." Kwai suggested, "We are pretty close Felonious."

"This is the S.S. Magellanic Clouds, to unidentified fighters… Hold your fire… we are a peaceful vessel, originating out of the Parker Star Cluster." Ihsss said, "We are on a peaceful mission and request permission to enter solar system. Please respond."

"Any response…?" Ihsss asked and Hi'Mthsss shook her head. "There is a lot of static Captain. I'll try to compensate and rotate channels."

On Pluto, the station operator turned his head when he heard Ihsss T'Larra's hissing voice. He stared at the console for a long moment before he hit a few buttons to clear the static. The message was very badly garbled.

"…This is the Magellanic Clouds…, Star …uiser out of …r 5, we … on a non …tile mission …your fire. We req… perm…sion to …your …lar sy…em."

"Sir, I'm picking up an, uh, message." The operator announced, switching it over to audio, "It's garbled, but it seems to be from that ship out there."

"Adjust frequency." The Commander ordered and the operator complied.

"Magellanic Clouds, adjust cycle three hundred." The operator replied, "The message is still garbled. Adjust cycle three hundred! Please respond!"

Back on the Clouds Hi'Mthsss adjusted the frequency and the channel cleared.

"This is the SS Magellanic Cloudsss, Hi'Mthsss T'Larra, Communicationssss Officer." She said hurriedly, "Please ssstand by for Captain Ihsss T'Larra, my Commanding Officer."

Sitting on the bridge, Hi'Mthsss half turned and nodded

"I think I have them now mother, err Captain."

Sitting in a chair at the console near the radio operator both men heard the young Thyrnn's voice and they glanced at each other.

"Whoa, a female Communications Officer what do you make of that Jake?" The Commander asked, and the young officer and second in command glanced at him.

"She sounds fairly sexy." The operator commented and the two men laughed.

Little did they know of Hi'Mthsss and her spitting image to her reptilian mother. She would probably have been offended by the comment, if she heard it.

"I am not sure I have heard of the Parker Star cluster, unless it is beyond where any Earth ship has gone.” The XO replied uncertainly.

"Attention S.S. Magellanic Clouds, This is Earth Defense Command Pluto station. What is your destination and purpose in this star system?" The Base Commander asked.

"Good job Hi." Ihsss replied, and walked to the communications station, as did Felonious.

"Audio only…" Ihsss cautioned, "They probably don't know of our respective cultures yet."

"This is the Magellanic Clouds, Captain Ihsss T'Larra Commanding, I repeat our last message. We are here on a peaceful mission, originating from the Parker Star Cluster, sector coordinates 90,125. We formally request entry to your system and request landing on the third planet, Earth." Ihsss said into the headset.

On the Pluto base the Captain and Commander glanced at each other.

"Well, what you ask is difficult." He said, "What is your reason and purpose for your request."

"Sssirrr, we have news that is gravely important to Earth and must be relayed to your headquarthersss at once. There is a war machine massing at Aquarius, and soon to be on its way to destroy Earth. We managed to gather a lot of recon and intelligence of this war machine. We would like directly to relay it to Earth, in a peaceful gesture between our two governments. Just to report in that we took a beating to gather the data and are need of repair before we are to return to Aquarius, our mission to destroy the planet if possible."

A low gasp echoed the war room as the others, and the crew present gathered around the radio center. A low murmur rippled through the command center. They had confirned the enemy that was reported having appeared on Earth by the military. They were already at condition yellow for all stations and an uneasiness rippled through Each station and on Earth by the appearance of this enemy.

The Captain waved his hand for silence.

"Keep it down." The commanding officer grumbled, as the radio operator adjusted the controls.

Both the commanding officer and second in command, glanced at each other. The operator half turned, a look of astonishment on his face.

Captain Russo glanced over at the Commander who shrugged. "Notify Earth Defense Headquarters at once. Notify all available ships."

"Stand by Clouds, we are getting instructions on this point and will relay."

"Communications go." Commander Farrell ordered pointing at the Communications Officer who was waiting.

"Aye, Sir." Replied the young operator, and he turned to his console.

On another channel, the communications officer spoke quickly, "This is Pluto Station to Headquarters Station, come in please."

The Communications Officer glanced at the Commander. "Sir, there is a surge of energy blocking our transmission!"

"Locate!" The Captain ordered sharply.

"It is bearing three, one, and five, at ten mega meters from the station." The operator said.

Out in space Baker's eyes widened as he heard Commander Farrell's voice on the horn, with the Communications Officer. They were not too far from base and it was not what bothered Baker. The others started jabbering over the radio on what they had just overheard.

"Hey guys keep it down." Baker said, "Something is happening, something about an armada heading our way. There is also an energy surge ten mega-meters from the base!"

"Farrell to all fighter groups," He said, "Alert status one! There is a surge at three, one, and five at ten mega-meters from the station. You are cleared to engage hostile craft, but make sure Magellanic Clouds makes it to the Neptune Station where their fighters will take over. The Fuyuzuki is inbound with Battle Group One, close behind."

"Copy…" Baker said and he switched channels. "Baker to group, our orders are to escort this craft to the line and Neptune Base will take over and there. Stay alert we detected a hostile craft on motion detectors approaching the station."

"What's this all about skip?" Another voice asked, "I got a bad feeling about this,"

"I don't know." Baker replied, "Pipe down, and fall in."

A moment later, all hell broke loose as an energy bolt appeared and hit the Cruiser, with an explosion to follow. The fighters scattered as another bolt hit the ship again.

"What the hell was that?" Baker asked, "Report by the numbers, did anyone fire?"

"Negative." A chorus of voices echoed over the channel.

"Does anyone see it?" Baker asked, "Shit, we're sitting ducks."

"That's for sure." Buzz’ voice said, “There is just no data, sir.”

A bolt appeared from the black star-filled background, striking the Clouds again.

"It is from dead astern skipper, sensors indicate origin of bolt." Matthews said over the radio, and he pulled back on his stick turning his plane toward the point of origin.

Turning toward the blast origin, the fighters took up the fight as multiple explosions rocked the Clouds.

"What's happening?" Commander Farrell shouted through Baker's orders.

"Commander, we lost the Clouds." The operator reported.

"We have an intruder, bearing mark three, one, five, distance, now seven mega-meters." Baker radioed, "We are attacking the target now. And we need some help out here."

"The Fuyuzuki is inbound at top speed." An operator reported, "Also the Marauder."

"Take on that ship, but send two ships to follow the Clouds, and assist as needed." The order came and Baker stared at the speaker.

"Excuse me sir?" Their lead pilot asked, "Could you repeat?"

"You heard me." Farrell replied.

"Let's go boys. You heard the man." Baker ordered, and the two groups of fighters raced after the attacker as two planes broke off to follow the spinning crippled Star Cruiser.

On the bridge of the Clouds, Ihsss and all hands were thrown from their seats. Screams echoed across the bridge as the lights went out making it pitch black. Down in the sickbay, a power surge lanced out and surrounded the body of Avatar. Slowly his eyes opened, and his eyelids blinked as the stasis field was shorted out. His eyes focused on the dim light, and his ears started to work as his senses started to return. The Captain lay there and he found he could not move. He was very cold, and stiff. Outside the chamber, he heard the dull screams and shouts of the crew echoing the chamber outside as they fought the fire and occupied with damage control. He tried to move and he closing his eyes managed to wiggle a finger. Five minutes later, Avatar managed to turn his head slightly. Chaos raged outside the chamber, as many wounded are being mended by the ship's doctor. All he could see was blackness, and a blue suspension beam on the interior of the cabinet.

On the bridge, fire and smoke covered the bridge as damage control parties fought the fire that started by shorting systems. Several people fell, and Hi'Mthsss dodged to pull a shipmate from the jaws of the explosion that shook the bridge.

"We are out of control!" Veloxa said, as she fought for control at her console. "No power, overriding to emergency power and thrusters. Outside sparks of the thrusters appeared as blue flames from the hull and the ship continued to spin faster.

"Veloxa get us under control." Ihsss screamed, "Right now. Compensate by using emergency power."

"We're going to die!" A voice quailed, in the half-illuminated bridge.

Veloxa struck the console, and the thrusters succeeded to counter the spin. The ship, however, is a projectile and was just out of control, blind as a bat away from Pluto, as it raced toward the larger planets in the middle of this solar system.

"Damage report…!" Ihsss shouted.

"There is damage in sections fourteen fifteen, sixteen, decks five through eight." Felonious reported, "Decompression and emergency bulkheads in place."

"Bridge to Engineering…!" Ihsss shouted, "We need power, emergency power, do you copy?"

"Captain, we are approaching the next planet." Felonious reported, as the ship powerless and helpless headed toward the greenish ball of Neptune.

"Veloxa…" Ihsss asked, "Can we alter trajectory?"

"I'm trying Captain." Veloxa replied desperately, "No power or emergency power available."

"We're hit again Captain!" A voice quavered, and Ihsss silenced the speaker with a look as the ship lurched again. The shudder of an internal explosion rocked the ship.

"We have minor damage in engineering." Felonious reported.

"The engines are out of control Captain!" Veloxa said, "We are at maximum impulse and energy output will create a warp threshold in five minutes. Our main engines are out."

"Felonious?" Ihsss said in askance, and he glanced at her, as data stream flooded his screen.

"It is dangerous if we allow ourselves to warp." He announced, "If we do, there is a good chance that we can end up hitting a moon, a minor space body, like the sun of this solar system, a star, or materialize inside a planet."

Ihsss turning her head had stared at the screen in helplessness. She turned her attention, pushing the call button on the intercom, trying to raise the engine room.

"All stop helm!" Ihsss exclaimed, "Neutralize engines."

"We have negative response on controls." Veloxa announced.

"Use the bloody override then." Ihsss snapped, and Thyrac hit the button.

"No response on emergency systems." The Navigator barked, "We're a bullet, Captain."

"Voloxa, what's happening down there?" Ihsss shouted over the noise, hitting the buttons to signal the engineering deck.

"We're at warp threshold sir." Felonious reported, as outside, the ship faded from view leaving the fighters behind.

"Sir, the ship just warped from our sector." Baker reported, "Maintain position?"

"Negative." The Commander replied, "Link up with the Fuyuzuki, in your sector, and search for wreckage of the attacking vessel. I want to make sure that no other ships have entered our solar system."

"Yes sir." Baker replied, and he closed the channel.

"Good luck and god speed, Clouds." Baker murmured as he and the two squadrons took up a search pattern.

Meanwhile, on the Saturn station, an operator named Sharon Patel sat at her console. She took up the transfer of command from Pluto and data peered at the data that streamed across the screen before her.

Commodore Russell Bates, the Commanding officer of Saturn base stood on the floor, gazing at the screen and the information that scrolled across it.

"Status report..." He ordered.

"Saturn fighters deployed, and the Marauder has turned about heading back at top speed to Saturn Airspace." An operator reported, "ETA is approximately twenty minutes sir. Space Battleship Nagasaki and Taro have left Saturn Station with Battle group one and are making thirty space knots to Pluto."

"Very well, any word from the Clouds?"

"Negative, the fighters picked it up as it materialized from warp and is seventeen mega meters from Saturn and the station sir."

"What do you make of this Skipper?" A voice asked and Russell turned to meet the concerned look of his second in command, Jake Sullivan.

"Whatever attacked the SS. Magellanic Clouds is out there still, somewhere." The Commander told him, "The Captain of Battle Group One is pretty seasoned, so he will relay anything they find."

"I don't like this sir, it is too reminiscent of the Black Nebula when they came through and hit every base, killing everyone on each station. You think it's them again?"

"I don't think so this time." He replied, "It might be the beginning of another war against Earth, from the armada that the Clouds reported and encountered."

Both men watched the screen, and a looming feeling that passed over them.

On the bridge of the Clouds, Ihsss felt a lurch forward, throwing everyone onto the floor as the ship appeared from warp. The sounds of loud wrenching metal could be heard, as the ship abruptly came into existence from their warp.

"Warp completed." Felonious reported, "We are still maintaining twenty plus space knots. We are approaching the sixth planet of this system."

Felonious clicked his console. "If we do not diminish our speed, impact will be in less than twenty minutes into the thick atmosphere of planet six."

"Planet analysis...?" Ihsss said quickly, "Can we make emergency landing if we get control?"

"Negative." Felonious replied, "The planet here is a gas giant, its composition, appears to be made mostly of molecular hydrogen, approximately eighty eight percent, and helium at eleven percent, with traces of water, methane, ammonia and rockier elements. Temperature of the rocky core in the center is twelve thousand degrees Fahrenheit. Wind pressure radiates at ten times stronger than winds on Class M planets, such as Earth. We can withstand the outer edge of the atmosphere, but the gravity and pressure will destroy us if we get too far into the gas atmosphere. Collision is approximately in twenty-one minutes, present speed."

"Voloxa…" Ihsss shouted, turning to the intercom, and trying to raise the engineering section. "What's going on down there?"

"Why does the planet have rings like that?" Kwai asked, "Is that ice, Felonious, or is it rocky matter?"

"Ring Composition is mostly made of small particles of water, ice, some of which may be coating rocky particles. These ring particles range in size from microscopic dust and pea pebbles, to boulders of several meters, perhaps yards, probably include some larger objects that are as large as a kilometer, or mile in diameter. The rings of planet six are two hundred and fifty thousand kilometers, or one hundred fifty five thousand miles wide, but only a few meters or yards thick in some places. As a result, their total mass may actually amount to no more than a single icy body of a hundred or two hundred kilometers, or sixty to one hundred twenty miles across." Felonious said, reading the analysis,

"Temperature is negative variables, I advise not getting near the rings Captain, one of those boulders can cause harsh damage to the hull or put a hole in us. The extreme cold could affect our systems in a negative way."

"That's going to be difficult with current circumstances Felonious." Ihsss replied, and she sat with a sigh into the command chair.

"Acknowledged..." Felonious replied, shaking his furry head.

"Engineering to Bridge..." A voice said, and Ihsss breathed a sigh of relief. It was Voloxa the Engineer.

"What is your status report, Engineer?"

"Partial auxiliary power is restored, No change on the engines, they are still out of order and at full impulse power." He said, "We had decompression in those areas, and we have major radiation happening down here from the core. Main power is off-line and the main engines are off-line. We'll have the full auxiliary power back on line, in a few minutes."

"We felt the ship decelerate, but we're still a bullet at twenty space knots. We need those engines now." Ihsss said, "We're out of control on collision course with planet six, a gas giant in this system. Get to it mister."

"Aye, Captain." He said, and the channel closed.

Ihsss turned to Veloxa at the helm. "Maneuvering thrusters Helm get us to all stop or alter trajectory to the planet."

"I'll try Captain. Thruster power is down to thirty percent." Veloxa replied, hitting the control on the console. The ship slowly responded, as it was like a bullet heading for certain to its destruction. Just as the Clouds approached Saturn, that several large ships rose up into the sky and headed toward the crippled starship of the future. Astro-fighters, from Saturn base, also streaked up into the starry sky and like the other fighter wings of the other planetary stations, they were on station quickly. They were watchful for any signs of life aboard the visitor from outside their galaxy.

"USS Tristan here…" A voice said, "We have the visitor on scanners. No contact, they are out of control and we can't raise them. We are moving to investigate and linking up our battle group two with the Marauder."

"Ship looks dead Captain. They might have killed all hands." Zack Johnson said, sitting in the cockpit of his Astro-fighter, flying toward the smoking Star Cruiser with twenty of his squadron members. The fighters stayed with the Cruiser on its left side, but kept a respectable distance from it.

"Estimate impact into Saturn in about twenty minutes. They have warped into the sector but dragged into the gravity of the planet. They are not slowing down."

"Keep trying to raise her." A voice said, and they recognized it as General Singleton.

Out in space, the ship still streaked toward Saturn and inside Ihsss and Veloxa worked at the controls to help adjust their bullet course toward the planet ahead. "Ship has turned at one half degree." Veloxa said.

"Felonious, how about the moons…? Can we safely land there?" Ihsss asked, as she turned to her feline science officer.

"Planet has thirty one moons Captain." He said, "Analysis of each one completed. The outer most moons, twelve, range in size from three to fifty km, almost two to thirty one miles with irregular 'long and loping' orbits. Out of those thirty one moons, number two is the largest one."

"I am analyzing now. It has a relatively large diameter of about five thousand km or three thousand two hundred miles. It has an unusually thick atmosphere that is composed of mostly nitrogen but may have as much as a tenth in methane and smog, with traces of ethane, acetylene, ethylene, and hydrogen cyanide. Planetary temperature is at around negative one hundred eighty degrees Centigrade, or negative two hundred ninety two degrees Fahrenheit as measured by Earth people."

Felonious paused as the computer completed spitting the analysis on the screen.

"Atmosphere scans indicate it is surprisingly dense, resulting in a surface air pressure to be about one point six times more of a class M planet. The surface scans indicate that planet surface is cold enough to have pools, even seas of liquid methane, perhaps nitrogen and for frozen methane to persist for extended periods. Moreover, liquid fuel-like liquids may also precipitate out of its atmospheric smog. Hence, this planet is thought to have an abundance of the organic molecules that are thought to be the precursors of life."

"Will we be able to make a soft landing, Felonious?" Ihsss asked, and the feline science officer grimaced.

"If we do skipper, we are going to make an awfully loud boom, if the analysis holds true." He replied, "Liquid fuel and methane is very volatile substances, even in a cold state."

"Well we won't know till we try? Thyrac, set course and Veloxa can you slow us down for fair soft landing?" Ihsss asked.

"Aye Captain, I'll do my best." Veloxa said, touching the control on her console.

"Course plotted." Thyrac added hitting the buttons, "And engaged in computer."

Their ship slowly and painfully turned, as it sped toward Saturn and still out of control. As it did so, down in engineering, Voloxa ferociously worked to get the engines back on line. He stared at the console, as he worked, and at a flashing yellow light. He struck it with a tool on the top of the machine, making a dent in the top of the metal. A moment later, a whir sounded and a green light indicated the status of the system he was working on.

"Come on you piece of Placto!" He shouted, hitting the console in frustration. He heard the system whir and systems flashed to come back on line. The engines hummed as they stopped their thrust.

The engineer stared at the system in surprise.

“Well what do you know.” He mused, “Totally unnecessary but it blood worked.”

On the bridge the helm officer peered at the speed as it began to diminish speed. He let out a whoop as he raised his hands for a moment before touching the buttons on his console. Everyone turned as he had whooped.

"Auxiliary engines back on line, Captain."

"Bless you Voloxa, Go Veloxa!" Ihsss instructed, and the Insectoid Helmsman hit the control. The ship painfully slowed down, but it was far too late as Saturn's gravity already had them. It took them away from Titan, with a violent jerk, and the ship began to heat up as it entered the gas atmosphere of Saturn.

"Set a low orbit." Ihsss ordered, "One quarter impulse." The engines whirred and the ship set a trajectory change.

"Helm answering," Veloxa reported, but shook its large insect-like head, "Controls are sluggish and slow responding."

"Pressure increasing, fifteen hundred pounds per square inch on hull, sixteen hundred; seventeen-hundred." Felonious announced, "Twenty five hundred pounds. Three thousand pounds pressure on hull. Hull pressure is now three thousand five hundred pounds."

"Any change in our speed." Ihsss asked and Veloxa managed a nod.

"Engines reversing and they are slowly bringing us to all stop. The gravity is very strong and she's fighting it." Veloxa informed Ihsss' and outside the ship began to shimmy and shake. Veloxa and the crew sat on the bridge and held on to the arm of their chairs. Many of her crew were thrown from their chairs or thrown against the bulkheads.

"Holy Kriznar…!* Hold on everyone…! Arrggghhhh…" The reptilian Captain muttered, "It's going to be a rough ride."

(*Footnote, expression of exclamation, IE 'Holy Cow!')

There was a yelp on the bridge as a few went flying forward as the ship lurched and wallowed to an abrupt stop. Sitting calmly at their console, the two Veloxa Insectoid hardly winced as the pressure threw everyone forward. Ihsss flew out of her chair and ended up near the helm console on her butt.

"What the heck." Ihsss thought, looking at the view screen as a haze appeared on the screen.

"Orbit has been achieved. We are in a stationary orbit. Steer to get us out of orbit and escape velocity?" Veloxa asked after both the Helmsman and Navigator glanced at each other, both letting out a half audible sigh.

"Negative, take us up to gas surface, but no further." Ihsss ordered, "Maintain orbit." Veloxa's hands danced on her console.

In the Astro fighters that tailed the Star Cruiser, a pilot named George McGraw, saw the change, and he smiled. Other pilots had whooped and guffawed loudly in the headset, at the dismay of the staff on Pluto and the other bases and ships who listened to the chatter of this entire strange event.

"Astro fighter three here," He said, "Ship appears to have life on board, it made a course correction and collision course was averted. But it's in the Saturn's outer layer of atmosphere. It is safely in a stationary orbit."

"Tiger three... Great work." A voice said, "Stay on station, and give as much assistance as you can."

"U.S.S. Tristan is on station." Another voice said over the channel, "We'll stay on station until the fleet arrives. The Astro-fighters can return to base."

"If you can hear this Magellanic Clouds, welcome to Sol and Saturn Station." Commander Farrell murmured as he stood in the Pluto control room. In the control room cheering and handshakes all around went around to the staff on duty in three bases. The Commander of the Saturn base turned to the radar operator.

"Scan and get a fix on that ship." He instructed and the operator nodded. He clicked the controls and immediately located the crippled Star Cruiser.

"Ship is in stable orbit on Saturn, it is not moving on its own Captain." He reported, "Analysis indicates by Thermal scan their power systems are very low. The ship is in a parallel orbit, opposite to Saturn Base on the other side of planet. Gravity is pulling them along to maintain orbit.”

"Send the Marauder to assist and cover it with Battle Group Two." Ordered the Commander and the radio operator smiled as he nodded.

"It will be my pleasure." The young operator said with a grin, and he turned to make the call.

On the bridge, the crew worked feverishly to get the systems repaired, all hands but a handful of them floated freely into space, including Ihsss, Felonious, Veloxa, Thyrac and anyone else who was non-essential personal for interior repairs. They floated freely to the mess out of the hull of the ship and outside to start repairs on the exterior of the ship. Ihsss, however, stared at the beauty of the stars, remembering a long time ago back to her youth on her planet when she too dreamed of being in space. As she stared at the brown orb, a twinkle not far off caught her eye and she turned.

"Felonious." She said, and the feline officer turned to where Ihsss pointed. "We have company."

Ihsss saw a small blip in the background of stars, and realized it was the Earthling's ships on the way to help. She turned her head to see a scout ship nearby, but when she looked again, it was gone. She was unaware that it was cloaked out there. The reptilian Captain turned with her cutter, starting repairs on her beloved ship, with the others to cut away the damaged section. A repair drone that held small plates, sidled up behind them. Five of them moved the large plate to the skin of the ship. But little did they know down below in sickbay that Avatar blinked his eyes. He managed to wiggle his finger and found out he could move his head slightly, peering down at his feet to realize he was still in a uniform.

"Where am I?" He thought, "Who am I?" A second later he heard voices. The chamber opened and he saw light that hurt his eyes. They pulled the tray from which he lay, and a willowy face looked down upon him. He revolted, struggling, but could not move. They had heard him groaning in the stasis tube as he lay on the slab.

"What on Arth?" A wispy voice said, "He's alive?"

"I don't know doctor." Replied the Insectoid voice, "I bet it is when that static charge went through the ship."

"Pull him out." Falora Platt ordered and Avatar looked blankly at them. He tried to squirm and move, his body lurching slightly.

"He's going into arrest." The assistant said, grabbing the defibrillator unit. He hit the human with a zap and the arrest stopped. The heart of this human beat once again, the same one preserved by the water of Aquarius, and died at his post saving Earth.

"Start mixture at once." He said, "Watch him carefully and make sure he is sedated. I'm going to call the Captain."

"Sickbay to bridge," He said, "Come on, someone pick up."

"Hi'Mthsss here…" The young communicator's voice replied.

"Get your mother." He said, "We got a problem down here in sickbay."

"I'll connect you. She's outside the ship helping with repairs." Hi said, as static crackled over the intercom. He hit the button on her console. A light flashed on Ihsss space suit communicator.

"Captain Here." Ihsss said over the intercom, floating freely near the skin of the ship; outside. She had glanced down at the communicator located on the arm of her space suit in alarm when he saw it flash.

"Captain," Falora said, "I need you to come back in and come immediately to sickbay."

"What's going on?" Ihsss replied, "What's wrong, doctor?"

"I just need you to come back in." He said, "We got a little problem in here, in the way of our passenger. The one we picked up on the derelict."

"The body we picked up on the Yamato's hulk?" Ihsss asked, "What's going on doc? What are you on about?"

"Please just return to the airlock and come to sickbay." Falora said, "Please…!"

"Acknowledged," Ihsss, replied starkly, "I will be right there."

She closed the channel abruptly.

"Felonious, something is happening." She said, as he floated nearby, "Take charge. I will return shortly."

A few minutes later, Ihsss walked into the sickbay, the doors obediently opening for her and she was still dressed in her space suit. She grimaced, fuming about being called back inside and had work to be done that needed to be before they could move out of here.

"What's going on doc?" Ihsss asked, and the familiar bleeping of a heartbeat echoed through the chamber. She had a surprised look on her face, a look of annoyance as well, when she saw Avatar's body on the life bed.

"He's alive." Falora said, "And before you ask why we did it or why he is not dead… We did not revive him. It must have happened when that short circuit and power surge went through the ship."

"Uh… ooh-kay…" Ihsss said surprised, and suddenly was unsure what she was going to ask next. His statement had startled her, dissipating her annoyance and anger for being brought away from the repair efforts. The reptilian female walked toward the body of Avatar and stood next to fuzzy bearded old man. The same one she had said a few words of wisdom to. She wondered if he was alive then.

"Could he speak?" Ihsss asked, and Falora shook his willowy head. His large compound eyes showed a deep troubling expression.

"We have him sedated." Falora said, "He went into arrest when he saw us, and I wouldn't blame him for that coming back from the dead like he has. I know one thing Ihsss, we are in deep trouble."

"You aren't kidding." Ihsss said, "But this human sacrificed himself against all odds, saving his crew and home world. When he is stronger, I want to talk to him. Any man who is strong enough to survive that task can fight along side of me any time. Besides, I think he could hold the secret of getting out of this mess with the Cybertron and us arriving back in their time."

"What about the Yamato crew?" Falora said, "They know him as a hero and who died. We should have let things alone."

"Well…" Ihsss said, "They are now in this, and the first worlds to be destroyed. I am not going to let that happen. In addition, whatever happens, Avatar surely sacrificed himself, and he is still a hero, no matter he is alive or dead. He gets a burial, or a hero's welcome. It would be a win-win for Earth, his crew, and Avatar himself."

Falora went to his office. He took out two glasses and Ihsss turned to pull out a flask containing a purplish liquid. The willowy plant-like doctor shook his head, and he held up the orange one. He poured them a drink.

"I think a toast is in order." Falora began and Ihsss chuckled, nodding her large reptilian head. She had a big toothy grin on her face, as she regarded Falora for a long time, standing there. He had been with them from the beginning of the Cloud's adventures, rescued from a derelict ship of Elowan fleet that was half obliterated by the Cybertron.

"I agree wholeheartedly." Ihsss replied, still with a toothy grin on her reptilian features.

"To Captain Avatar," Ihsss said, "Adventurer, statesman, and all around brave hero."

She held up the drink, "May he live a long time and guide us on our homeward journey.”

"To the Clouds, and her Captain," Falora replied, "The crew who found a hero."

Ihsss smiled slightly to nod, perhaps even to bow slightly and downed the drink.

"Keep me informed on his progress." Ihsss replied, "I am going to check in on the bridge, and see what's happening."

"I'll do that, Ihsss." The doctor replied, and the reptilian Captain nodded.

On the bridge, Hi'Mthsss sat at her console, finishing the repairs to the communications station. She switched it on, and static echoed on the speakers. She had been working feverishly to reconnect the circuits and repair the scorched boards in the unit that was fried by the static charge that ripped through the ship. As she finished, reconnecting the components back onto the board, she plugged it into the nearby slot and reached up to hit the switch on her console. Her console beeped once as it initialized.

"…U.S.S. Marauder to S.S. Magellanic Clouds. Please respond." A voice said, "Repeat, Earth Space Destroyer, U.S.S. Marauder to Clouds, please respond to this transmission."

Hi'Mthsss turned to the console and picked up her headset. "Magellanic Clouds, Hi'Mthsss T'Larra, Communications officer speaking."

On the Fuyuzuki, the operator turned. "We got them!" He chortled and the Captain nodded. There was a cheer by a few, applause and even a sigh of relief.

"This is the U.S.S Marauder here." The human Captain said, "We are in route to you, to offer assistance and your escort to Earth. Is your Commanding Officer there?"

"No, she's outside the ship." Hi'Mthsss said, "I'll connect, please stand by." Quickly, she hit the console. Down in sickbay, Ihsss looked down at her communicator.

"Ihsss here," She said, "What's going on Hi'Mthsss?"

"Captain of Earth Space Destroyer, Marauder, is on channel three." She replied. Ihsss got up and walked from the office. "I'll be right there, daughter…"

"You're back aboard?"

"Yes Hi, the good doctor needed me in Sickbay." Ihsss replied, "It seems we got a little problem. I'll see you in five minutes."

She got up from her chair, nodding to the Doctor who was logging vitals of their new patient. The doors opened obediently allowing her to pass through.

"Aye…" Hi replied, relaying the message. Five minutes elapsed and Ihsss walked onto the bridge, still in her space suit. Hi'Mthsss grimaced at the expression of her mother. She could read her and she apparently did not like the fact of Avatar being alive and well. They were in a tough spot. As the ship's doctor pointed out, either a hero's welcome or a funeral. It would still be a win-win scenario.

"Yea… a win-win situation for whom…?” Ihsss asked herself, and she walked toward the communications station where her daughter sat. Hi'Mthsss turned her head and nodded to her mother.

"Put it through." Ihsss instructed and Hi M'thss nodded.

"Captain T'Larra here," Ihsss said, "Commander of the SS. Magellanic Clouds."

"We were worried about you." He said, "Glad to see you are still with us. We are in route to you and will be there shortly to assist and escort you to Earth. The Earth Commander, Charles Singleton is quite anxious and is looking forward to your arrival."

"Yes, Captain." Ihsss replied, "Also, I am just wondering why our ship was attacked."

"We don't know, but you were attacked by another vessel, Captain…," replied the Marauder's Captain, "It was not one of our ships. Our fighters engaged and destroyed it. Was the damage severe?"

"Bad enough, we lost only a few of our crew, the rest wounded." Ihsss reported, "We could use any personnel to assist. It is appreciated and perhaps this will strengthen our respective planets in future relations."

"Perhaps it will." replied the Captain, "We will be there within a quarter of an Earth hour."

"We are not ready to move out. I am making some temporary repairs before we get under way again." Ihsss declared, "The others can be done in flight. We sustained considerable damage."


"We will, however, set to proper increment." Ihsss said, "We look forward to meeting you, Clouds out."

Hi'Mthsss closed the channel.

"Wait till they see Avatar's body. They are in for a big shock." Ihsss told her daughter, managing a low throaty chuckle.

"Why?" Hi replied, looking up at her mother curiously.

"The short circuit we experienced brought that man back to life." Ihsss murmured and Hi's scaly eye ridges rose up in alarm, arching slightly. Her mother nodded at her response.

"Yea, I know the feeling, I did the same thing." Ihsss replied, grinning, "Continue monitoring traffic, I am returning outside the ship. Notify me when the Earth ship arrives. You have the con."

"Aye…" Hi replied, as she walked to the lift and stepped in, the doors closing behind her. She turned to the others who watched the interaction and the dialogue between the Earth ship and the Clouds. Hi'Mthsss nodded in response to their questioning looks.

"We'll be okay, let's get to it. So we’re ready when the Captain comes back aboard and we can link up with the Earth fleet." Hi'Mthsss told them and there was a grin on all the faces as they resumed repair stations on the bridge.

As for the Ihsss, she returned outside, kicking herself free from the airlock and floated once again in the stars of space. She grabbed one of the tools and she helped weld one of the plates on the ship. Next to her, Felonious had a plate in hand and they worked to get a piece of the plate loose that was damaged.

"Wow, what a mess." Felonious remarked and Ihsss grinned.

"It could be worse. We could be space right now." She replied, and he chuckled, taking up the plate from the drone to position it in place. He reached and grasped the welder and a bright arc appeared as he welded the new plate onto the skin of the ship.

"Captain, the Earthlings are signaling, and are now on station." Hi'Mthsss' voice echoed over the speaker in her helmet, and it made her turn to see many ships before them that surrounded their position. The crew watched as many space suited figures appeared from the ships and moved toward the Clouds.

"Wow, quite a welcoming committee." Felonious observed, making Ihsss laugh.

When Ihsss turned, she saw a space suited next to her, and she turned as the Space Destroyer Marauder hovered above her. The space suited figure is a human and he, with many others, stared at the crew members of the Clouds in fear when he saw the reptilian features and then to the feline. The young officer smiled, meeting her face, and he put out his hand.

"Lieutenant Michael Farragut, Space Destroyer Marauder." He said, "We're here to assist and escort you to Earth."

Ihsss' crew, a ragtag bunch, drew their weapons and Ihsss put up her hand. She met the Commander's face and stared at him, suddenly revolted, as he was to see their faces. She took his hand.

"Ihsss T'Larra." She replied, "Commander of this ragtag crew of the starship, SS Magellanic Clouds. We are at your service."

“We'll get started with your crew and get you repaired.”

“With thanks...” Ihsss replied as he suited figured swarmed around the ship. An hour elapsed and their ship was repaired in record time. Ihsss and the young officer stood on the top of the Starship. In the windows, the reptilian Captain could see her crew. She moved to embrace the human officer warmly.

"I will see you on Earth." Ihsss said, "MY crew and I thank you, and your government, for your assistance." The young human smiled, saluted. Captain T’Larra, fifteen minutes, later, arrived on the bridge. "Veloxa, power us up, and plot course parallel with the Earth Space Destroyer and their fleet."

"Aye, Captain," He said, smiling as she sat down. Ihsss sat in her seat and she panned a gaze to her crew.

On board the Marauder, there was great discussion among the crew about the strange beings they had seen on the ship called the Magellanic Clouds. The ones who had assisted out there, said very little other than they thought they were weird, but seemed really intelligent and nice. Outside, the Clouds paralleled the Space Destroyer, keeping up with it and staying alongside. Hi'Mthsss sat watching the view screen, listening to the chatter of the communications that went through to the other planets and ships. Thankfully, with the battle at Pluto, the whole SOL star system was on full alert, which made it easier for the Clouds to travel to Earth.

"Earth Control…" Hi'Mthsss said, "This is the SS Magellanic Clouds, requesting landing clearance."

"This is Earth Defense Control, permission granted, land at coordinates twelve, fifty one, forty three."

"Acknowledged, and with thanks." Ihsss replied.

"Continue landing procedure and I will be in sickbay." The Captain announced, turning to walk off the bridge.

"Captain is off the bridge." A voice announced as the doors closed behind Ihsss. The lift moved swiftly to the Deck 5, and the cab opened allowing her to exit. Walking with quick steps and a long stride, the reptilian Captain arrived at sickbay. She walked through the hatch.

"Doctor Platt." Ihsss said, as the willowy doctor turned and eyed the Captain, "How is our patient?"

"He's a little confused, and awake." Replied the doctor, and Ihsss met the bearded, seamed face of Avatar who had a confused expression on it.

"Who are you?" asked Avatar "Where am I?"

"You are on board the SS. Magellanic Clouds, a vessel of the Thyrnn Government." Ihsss replied, "Captain, do you remember what happened to you?"

"Who am I?" Asked Avatar, "What are you?"

"He was dead, clinically. There is no memory of who he is." Platt replied, "This is very bad."

"You are Captain Abraham Avatar, of Earth, Commander of the Yamato." Ihsss said, "You had died saving Earth and somehow were revived by a static charge."

Avatar listened in silence, his mouth open and his face showing no hint of recognition of the name that was spoken many times by the willowy Doctor or Ihsss.

"Sir, we're taking you home." She said, "To Earth."

"Earth…?" Avatar replied with a questioning look and frown appearing on his face. A moment later, the intercom whistled.

"Bridge to Captain," Hi’Mthsss’ voice said.

"Ihsss here." replied Ihsss, touching the button on the wall intercom.

"Earth Control informs us that we are on final approach to Earth." Hi'Mthsss replied.

"Okay." Ihsss replied, "I'll be up in a moment."

"Acknowledged," Hi'Mthsss replied, and the channel closed.

Ihsss turned, walking toward the doors that slid obediently open for her.

"If he's strong enough, bring him to the bridge." The Captain said, "We're about to land."

"Aye…" Platt replied and he walked to stand beside the befuddled Captain Avatar. The doctor hit him with an injector, and he had the human back lay back.

Ihsss walked quickly down the hall, still in awe that the Captain was alive. As she headed to the turbo lift, that would take her to the bridge, her mind was in turmoil at what she would face. The man who sat in sickbay was dead, that was a fact, and yet by a strange twist of fate that he had once more been brought back from the dead. He was a hero, to the earthlings, and she wondered how they would react to have a hero returned to them. Ihsss T'Larra stepped into the lift.

"We have an interesting problem." Ihsss muttered, "I wonder how this is going to turn out."

She had no idea, in fact, how Earth would take this and knew they had now only a few minutes before they would land. Slowly, her eyes trailed the lift, and the doors snapped open. Again the familiar sounds of the bridge assaulted her senses and she stepped onto it.

"Captain's on the bridge!" A voice announced, as Ihsss approached her chair. She nodded to her First Officer.

"Report..." Ihsss ordered, crossing the bridge and to her command chair.

"We are on final approach Captain." Felonious said, getting up and moving to his side, allowing the reptilian woman to sit, "We have a trajectory plotted and we're prepared to lay it in."

"Very well…" Ihsss replied, and turned to her daughter.

"Earth Defense Control, this is the Magellanic Clouds, on final approach and on final landing procedures." She said warmly.

"This is Earth Defense control, affirmative Clouds we have you on course, follow beacon and welcome." The strong voice said.

"Clouds acknowledge and confirms." She said, and she made a throat cutting gesture. Hi'Mthsss closed the channel.

"Veloxa, you're on manual." Ihsss coached.

"I got her Ihsss." Veloxa replied, "It's been a while."

Veloxa's claw-like hands danced over her console, holding the ship level, as it entered orbit.

"We have orbit Captain." Thyrac announced, "The Marauder is descending."

"Hold here in an asynchronous orbit, and when ready follow them in, but keep a wide opening." Ihsss said, "We don't need to crowd them."

"Aye…" replied the Helmsman and Navigator simultaneously. Outside in space, the ship maintained steady orbit and waited for the window that allowed the ships to move freely through the atmosphere for landing on the surface.

Behind Ihsss, the willowy doctor appeared on the bridge and beside the doctor is Captain Avatar, dressed in his uniform. Ihsss had turned and the crew of the bridge was on their feet. A mass salute was directed to Avatar. A smile appeared on Ihsss' face, meeting the crew's faces with a nod. As for Avatar, he slowly raised his hand and returned the salute. A loud applause echoed across the bridge.

"We are at thirty thousand kellins, ready for decent." Felonious announced as the crew resumed their duties.

"Retros active," Veloxa added, "Holding steady trim and descending."

"Very well…" Ihsss replied, as the view below was of a green landscape, and a vast blue ocean. A large twinkle on the landscape indicated the city, the one they would be landing at.

"Captain Avatar, I had you brought to the bridge for a reason." Ihsss said, "Do you recognize this place?"

The confused human shook his head, and Captain T’Larra motioned to the doctor.

"That's your home." Ihsss said, pointing to the view screen.

"Earth analysis is complete Captain T'Larra. Planet has nitrogen oxygen atmosphere, rates nine on the planetary scale, class M. Mostly nitrogen, oxygen, but it has mild traces of carbon and methane. Pressure is twenty nine, point nine three, gravity one point one in strength." Felonious said, "Average temperature is seventy four degrees ranging from arctic to searing in rating. It has seven major seas and several major mountain chains in several areas on the visible continents."

"Sounds quite cold…" Ihsss said, "Average altitude?"

"Some places its sea level to over ten thousand in the mountains." Felonious replied, "Sounds actually unique…”

Captain Avatar watched in bleak silence, his mind in turmoil of where he was, or what he was looking at. The planet to him did not ring a bell as being familiar to him.

"Clouds veer six degrees to port, and land at landing bay twelve." A voice said and Veloxa's claw like hands danced rapidly, making the ship veer slightly. The dampeners for the motion hummed into life, but not quick enough. Avatar hit the rail.

"Are you alright?" Platt asked, beside him in a flash. The willowy doctor glared at Veloxa. He silently cursed at the Insectoid Helm Officer, shaking a tentacle at him.

"Sorry Doctor."

"Keep it steady Vel." Ihsss cautioned, "Not too many bumps."

The ship outside was aglow, as it continued through the atmosphere. The hull red by the heat and friction being subjected to the ship as the gravity and envelope rubbed against the skin of the ship. Ihsss turned to Captain Avatar, who held his head with his hand.

"Where am I?" Avatar said, "D-did we save Earth? Who are you?"

"You are on board the SS. Magellanic Clouds." Ihsss said, "A ship of the Thyrnn government across space. Do you remember what happened to you?"

"What happened to the Yamato?" He rasped, "The last thing I remember was the explosion."

"You saved your planet. You saved them all." She replied, "We are at Earth though, by your calendar it's been one year since you did that. You were killed in action."

"Was the ship destroyed?" Avatar asked, and Ihsss nodded.

"We found you outside the solar system. We did not revive you, there was an attack by a new mutual enemy and it fired upon us, casing great damage. You were in stasis when a charge of energy ripped through your body and somehow you were brought back to life. You seemed to be preserved in a partial vacuum and low oxygen state in the section we found you in." Ihsss explained, then managed a toothy grin at his reaction to his astonished position.

Avatar said nothing, as he gripped the rail, and Ihsss turned to the view screen

"Your reputation precedes you." She formally said, "You exploits are almost legendary, as are the Yamato's crew."

"I was only on one mission, to Iscandar, and the second one to save Earth." He replied, "But it is my thanks, you should have left me where I was."

"There is another adventure happening and Earth will have to fight again." Ihsss told him, "Perhaps with your help we will be able to solve both our dilemmas. Perhaps to save Earth from destruction and also return my crew back to the time we belong."

Avatar was stunned, as Ihsss casually turned toward the helm.

"You are not from this time?" Avatar asked, "A time-warp?"

"Affirmative..." Ihsss replied, "Approximately six hundred years. We were pulled through an anti-matter vortex after tracking a task force rumored to be doing a time warp of their own. We were jumped and destroyed a scout ship that pulled us into vortex they created."

"That means you are here to change history?" Avatar asked, "What about the paradox? What exactly is your mission in our time?"

"We are here to eliminate Aquarius. It is being used as a base for a Cybernetic race called the Cybertron that has enslaved the universe in our own time and destroyed Earth as their first conquest. It is because you have wave technology and is the only race that can stop them. So they returned to this time, to destroy you here, so they could win the galactic war back home."

"Oh." Avatar replied curiously, and he shook his head.

"Descend and land." Ihsss said, turning to the helm, "All hands brace for landing."

The ship hovered and a thud as the massive ship landed on the landing legs that touched the cement landing field.

"Power down complete." Veloxa said, turning and the crew was on their feet.

"Hi." Ihsss said, "Inform Earth Defense Headquarters We are down and ready to disembark. All crew start repairs to the ship, a full overhaul and refit.”

Outside the many pilots watched from the hangars, and near their planes, as the sleek Star Cruiser Class Starship descended. It is the size of the EDC Frigate, but visibly in need of a paint job after the many patches it received to fix its hull. There were many whistles and comments about the sleek craft.

Inside the ship, Hi'Mthsss turned to the Captain when she issued the command.

"Aye Captain," She replied and a few minutes later Ihsss, Felonious and Platt, along with Hi'Mthsss walked to the hatch on the side.

It is here that the reptilian Captain pushed a button, and the gantry unfolded from the side of the ship. Her gaze turned to Avatar who stood next to them with several guards. The hatch hissed and opened, allowing the breeze to enter the ship, as well as the sunlight. Ihsss squinted, and she stepped out on to the gantry. Below, several platoons of soldiers and vehicles had surrounded their ship.

"A monster..!" A voice said, and rifles were all aimed at Ihsss. Behind the guards, the Earth delegation and the maintenance crew, General Charles Singleton walked up toward the field with his top aides. Scientists also were on hand. Singleton squinted upward at the gantry, his eyes widened in surprise as Ihsss, and her ragtag officers walked toward them, surrounding Captain Avatar. Ihsss stepped forward when guards stepped in front of them, their weapons lowered at them.

"Withdraw." Ihsss muttered, raising her hand. Beside her, their security guards went back up the gantry. At the top of the gantry, they took posts at the ship's hatch. Captain T'Larra, on the other hand, stood in front of Charles Singleton, the aides, guards and everyone. Each one of Ihsss' officers saluted formally. She glanced at a few of the pilots, who had come to stare at the occupants of this strange visitor. They had whistled and catcalled, but fell deathly silent when they saw the group.

"Captain Ihsss T'Larra, Commander of the SS Magellanic Clouds a ship of the Thyrnn Government." She said, stepping forward, "These are three of my officers. To my left, the First Officer/Science Officer Felonious Purrtz, Standing on my right is my daughter, Hi'Mthsss T'Larra, Communications, and the ship's Doctor, Falora Platt."

Singleton nodded to each. "These are my aides Mitty Mc Donald and my Chief of Staff." General Singleton said, "Guards take your posts. Please this way."

Around the entire vessel, guards of Space Marines took up positions, holding their rifles ready and dressed in battle gear.

"And, forgive me," Ihsss said suddenly, "Almost forgot. Someone you know, and know well." Her officers parted and behind her, that Captain Avatar stepped forward.

There was a gasp by Singleton and the guards. Each one saluted formally.

"Abraham!" Singleton breathed, "But how?"

"We found him on the bridge section of Yamato outside your solar system. It seems on the way a static charge revived the body after we sustained several direct hits." Ihsss said, "Our report is right here."

The reptilian Captain handed him a disk. "There is a report on a great armada that is headed this way, the disk contains data from our long range probes. Some serious firepower is coming your way."

"Please." Singleton said, motioning to a jeep. They drove off the field. The crew of the Clouds was taken to Headquarters, where they were interviewed from which they told of the Armada. Analyzing the data, collected by their hop in the time continuum and by their probes, it revealed and confirmed Earth's worst nightmare as a fleet of ships raised up from the icy blue ball of Aquarius. The picture abruptly turned to static. The
EDC leaders murmured at the report, and it confirmed the existence of the new enemy that the Star Force has fought at the memorial not long ago. The same one Mitty had witnessed for herself and the sacrifice of someone from the future who had stopped a change of time by the Cybertron who had been beaned there.

“It seems we have a new battle to fight.” Singleton announced, “I need all our tacticians and staff working on a plan of defense against this armada as soon as possible. Or even an offensive plan of attack to take the battle to them.”

There were nods by the staff as they dispersed and began working on the problem.

Meanwhile, Ihsss walked with General Singleton, and together they headed to council chamber, from which their full report would be heard by the council. There were collective gasps that echoed through the council chamber and everyone stared in silence at the presenter of the information. Ihsss T'Larra herself.

The reptilian woman stood clad in a uniform of the Thyrnn military, a dark blue tunic, pants and black boots, bearing the shiny emblem on her collar despite the sleeve markings. Over her tunic, she wore a leather jacket that resembled the old style aviator's jacket. Her presentation was well put together, as was her report. Ihsss turned to Singleton who nodded.

"I am finished Sssirrr." Ihsss said with a nod, and she stepped back from the podium as the council sat staring at her in silence.

"We must act." Commander Singleton added, "If Ihsss is correct, this armada will be fifty times more powerful than the combined Dinguil Fleet, the Black Nebula Empire, the Bolar, and the Comet Empire. A battle, if we do nothing, will result in Earth's annihilation. We must start work on rebuilding the mechanized fleet, around the clock, and reactivate the finest crew of the EDC who would never give up a challenge."

"Have you located all of the Star force crew for reactivation to duty?" A council member asked.

"I have, and already we are filling them in on what is happening." Singleton replied, "Including the Wildstars, who is on their last assignment, pulled from Mars, as well as others from Neptune and Uranus stations."

The council will not deliberate and so order the action necessary Singleton.” The President intoned, “Thanks to Ms. T'Larra here you have convinced us that we need to protect Earth. With our profound thanks for bringing this information to our attention.”

“It must start immediately.” Singleton reminded them and he nodded to Ihsss who was beaming with delight. The General glanced at the reptilian Captain who nodded.

"I will gather my crew, and fill them in at once." The reptilian officer said, and with that she saluted formally. She glanced down at her wrist, speaking into the wristband that she wore there.

A day or so later, their meeting postponed, Major Aguilera, and Lieutenant Commander Miller walked along the hall of headquarters. They are running a tad bit late for a briefing with a special-forces unit assigned to destroy Aquarius, having been held up at the council meeting where General Singleton gave them their orders personally to brief their team. A plan had been devised and it was based on the visit of the Yamato that had taken on Tritium from Aquarius during the Dinguil Campaign. As they make their way down the sterile white corridor, Seth managed a glance at his chronometer and grimaced as he read the time. '15:57'.

Both realized they are about twenty-minutes late for the briefing with their team and both hustle to get to their destination. As they walk together they both chat informally about the mission and both agree that in order to carry out this mission, with any hope of success, they have to modify the battle plan accordingly to make it work. The plan was to warp into the sector where Aquarius was located, and drop two teams in a landing craft to the surface where they would plant charges to destroy Aquarius' Tritium Mine. The only trouble was it was in the middle of over fifty or more Cybertron warships that orbited planet, with dozens on the ground, including troops. The other problem was getting out when the mission was complete and facing overwhelming odds against them on the surface of the planet. They both agreed that it must be possibly covert and sneak in and out without engaging the Cybertron garrison on the planet. They continued talking quietly as the absently returned salutes as they approached the conference room.

“Attention on Deck!" The Sergeant Major shouted and everyone was on his or her feet as Major Aguilera stepped into the room with Lieutenant Commander Miller. Everyone saluted formally.

"As you were…" The young Lieutenant Commander replied, casually returning the salutes and he stood at the head of the long conference room. He panned a glance at the surroundings and to the others in the team, clad in the green and black uniform of the EDC Space Marines. He smiled when he saw Sergeant Major, the only man in the stasis crew who turned down a promotion to a Warrant Officer. He took another couple of stripes, making it three up and three down. His reason was that it took more than just a rank to execute a mission. He nodded a silent greeting to the Sergeant.

“Who’s the new fish Major?” Corporal Hicks asked, and the Major motioned to the Lieutenant Commander.

"I am Lieutenant Commander Miller. I have been assigned as your pilot for the trip down and back.” He said formally.

“What happened to Warrant Officer McGowan…?”

“He took up sick with measles from his youngest.” Seth said, “So I found a suitable replacement.”

There was a mutter from the gathered Marines, and a groan from them.

“Don’t let his appearance fool you, he may be a second officer aboard a Heavy Cruiser, he is the one who was part of a stasis group like me, and he can fight hard like the best Marine.” Seth snarled, “I can vouch for that, having known him for a long time and he is formally trained on the same Aquarian waters that almost destroyed Earth and powered our stasis chambers.”

A respectful silence fell on the room and Seth nodded.

"Excellent, there are no questions or complaints. If everyone is ready then we can dispense the formalities and get right to it." The Major said sternly, sitting in a chair at the head of the conference room table.

He briefed them on the information at hand, given to them by the Magellanic Clouds crew, and in some detail of their objective, Aquarius. He noted the heavy hardware that would precede the invasion force, and the fighters that the Space Destroyers assignment to this task would encounter. Other information was clearly outlined for the mission objective and each stage of the drop.

"Who the hell setup the tactics for this mission?" Perry asked, "What they are asking here is suicide."

"The headquarters tactician team and intelligence unit set this up." Major Aguilera chimed in.

"You know that's an oxymoron, right?" Manual asked and the Major and Commander grinned broadly. Everyone read on, glancing at the overhead chart diagram related to the information on the page.

“Jesus it’s a meat grinder and all of us dumped into it.” Seth grumbled and Perry nodded his head.

“How so Major…?” The Lieutenant asked.

“I think what he means is how it should be is that it is better suited than warping into the sector and getting hammered by fifty plus to one odd. We need a ship that is equipped with a cloaking device or jamming device. It is the only way this is going to work is to get us in close to the drop point. The ship can stay in orbit, so long as it remains cloaked until extraction and with maybe a diversion to keep the enemy…” Nathaniel started to say, but his thought was interrupted by a group entering the room.

Both Miller and Aguilera recognized it as the General, Commander, and a few unknown people they had never seen before.

"Attention!" A voice said, and everyone was on his or her feet. The Lieutenant Commander turned to see General Singleton, Commander McDonald, Ihsss T'Larra, Felonious Purrtz, Hi'Mthsss T'Larra and Falora Platt enter the room. Major Aguilera was on his feet, moving toward the General and the Commander.

"As you were…" The General replied, motioning to the Clouds' crew to be seated.

"I apologize for being late," General Singleton, said formally, "I'd like the Clouds' crew to be on the strike briefing."

"No problem, General." Major Aguilera replied, "We were just going over strike targets, and reconnaissance data."

"I heard your comments from outside. I hope you have a better solution than what was prepared by our tactics team?" Singleton asked.

"I don't at this moment, sir." Major Aguilera said, and glanced at the Lieutenant Commander next to him.

"I see," Singleton, replied, "Do you at least have a recommendation?"

"What we need is a ship that is either well armored like Yamato, able to take hits and keep on fighting, or a ship that is equipped with jamming mechanism, and/or a cloaking device. We also should have a task force, to keep the enemy busy, while we slip in to do the drop and recovery. So the Commander can get us in there, and drop us, and extract us when we are finished."

Seth noted the reptilian Captain had a toothy grin on her face.

“Something that is light, and maneuverable from which they can keep from being a target as they orbit I mean but also take a beating like a Dreadnought.”

"I have a sthholution." Ihsss declared, "The Magellanic Cloudsss is sssso equipped. We sssshould sssset the Yamato crew in the Destroyer with your tassssk force to act assss a decoy. They will lure the enemy off while the Cloudssss slip in and deposssitsss the team in atmosphere in their landing craft then sssstandby, cloaked, until ready to evacuate and hit the detonator as we leave orbit."

“Perfect!” Nathaniel said, pointing to Ihsss who grinned, “Exactly! Now with that said, we need to figure out how long we need to be in orbit and how many transports to use for landing.”

“We should still split the team in two and converge on the main shaft.” Seth said, “Hit them in both directions and enter here.”

He pointed to the diagram on the screen of the recon information provided by the Cloud’s crew.

"Detonator is set for ten mega-meters. I will up to fifteen and give us some leeway. Gunnery Sergeant Jeevers said, "I will have our resident tech set that up. Is there anything you all might need, besides the detonator and high explosives?"

"Let see, some night vision, goggles, infrared scanner, and various anti-personnel weapons that can be effective against Cybernetic targets." Lieutenant Minazaki chimed in, "Or the equivalent of equipment. I would recommend mainly claymore mines, which shoot out explosive charges for up to fifty feet. Just to cover our escape, if things get dicey."

"A wise precaution but we don't need to be bogged down with too much unnecessary equipment." Seth replied, "This is going be a fast in and out job and we're not taking on the ground forces if there are any. Maybe the guards and selected targets, but we are going to keep a low profile."

"Well we need to cover our tracks, if we alert the task force by removing those targets." Sergeant Major Perry replied icily, "Best to be careful."

"Very selective targets…" The Major said, "I concede the point though, safety net if things get out of whack. I got that. This has to be done fast, smooth and cleanly."

"That looks good on paper, but when it comes right down to it, the grunts are going to get the brunt of the action." A corporal said gruffly and Manual shot him a dirty look.

"On that note, Major Aguilera and I will be in the trenches with you, not monitoring from ship bound." The Lieutenant Commander replied, "I firmly believe in hands on support, and pulling my own weight."

"Great, we're going to be babysitting the brass instead.” Hicks snarled.

“How many combat mission have you been on Commander?" Another voice said sarcastically, and Manual cleared his throat in annoyance.

"Just so you know, the chances of us returning in one piece just doubled with the Major and the Commander on board." Sergeant Major Perry replied coldly, "They both can kick ass, and I have seem then in action. They got the skills to do the job. They don’t need punks like you to nurse maid them through their difficulties. Don't let their background fool you either."

"Yes Sarge." A sub servant voice replied, and he glanced at the smiling Major and the grizzled Lieutenant Commander next to him, in charge of the piloting of the landing craft.

"Keep it covert as possible." General Singleton suggested. "But keep an alternate plan, just in case things don't go well."

"Aye, we'll work on that and have something before the day is out." Seth replied, nodding.

“I might suggest as an alternate, the air shafts at the points nearby could be utilized if the force is too much at the main shaft.” Commander Miller said, “Might be a wise precaution to keep those in mind. If there is less resistance, maybe make that a primary target instead of the main shaft.”

“A wise suggestion. I'll note that.” Singleton replied, nodding his head.

For the next few minutes, there was a bit of a Q&A session, getting the final details in order for the strike. Lieutenant Commander Miller stepped out on the balcony nearby, and gazed out over the futuristic city that he technically been reawaken in and now had been living a new life. Sergeant Major Perry joined him, as did Seth Aguilera

“We’re almost ready gents.” He said, “I’m glad you are coming along with us Commander. I didn’t know you had so much technical support with this stuff.”

“Glad to do it.” Nathaniel said, “General Singleton, I guess wanted as many people familiar with the project stasis chambers to be involved with the mission. I couldn’t leave you guys to have all the fun.”

Seth laughed, as did Manual.

“You guys need to relax. Go to the hospital and spend quality time with your missus, Seth. You too Commander, we will be shipping out soon and the more you spend time so you won’t miss them as much.”

“That’s a good idea Sergeant Major.” Seth said and grinned, glancing at his chronometer.

“You have developed a lot of wisdom that far exceeds your rank...” The Commander complimented.

“All part of the service, sirs.” The Sergeant Major replied and he offered a pack of cigarettes to the Lieutenant Commander and Major. They were a pack of Lucky Strikes ™.

“Don’t smoke.” Nathaniel whispered, and Manual lit up a cigarette, standing downwind of the Lieutenant Commander and Major on the balcony of the Earth Defense Headquarters. Together the three men stared out over the city, at the spectacular view.

They chatted over weather, the future, and other topics but none of trio brought up their mission. They all remained silent, as if it were taboo and unlucky to talk about the strike or the mission ahead. All three of them had their doubts about the mission, but thy all kept it to themselves. Major Aguilera shook his head before he walked back into the conference room, followed by the Sergeant Major and the Commander. They took their seats. Sitting in the chair, the young officers turned his head to listen to General Singleton outline the strategy with the Clouds' Captain, staff and the strike team.

A few minutes later, the briefing broke, and Commander Miller walked down the sterile white corridor to a turbo-lift with the Major. They traveled to the first floor and walked through the tram bay to the Hospital building that was adjacent to headquarters and connected by the tram that was built underneath. As they walked both returned salutes, but were deadly silent among between the both of them as they entered the hospital. They headed to the nearest lift that would take them to the ward where Emily and Denise were located on. It arrived with a whoosh and the Major grinned.

"Just like Star Trek™. " He exclaimed and the Commander grinned. Both men stepped in the lift.

“God it is...” Nathaniel exclaimed, “Now don't... start... talking... like.... a... hamosaurus... Kirk...”

The Commander was doing his best William Shatner Captain Kirk impression and Seth glanced at him. Both men paused to laugh heartily.

“Jesus, its almost appropriate in this century though.” Seth remarked and both men laughed again.

"Level Please…" It said.

"Third Floor." Miller told it.

“Thank you…" It replied, making the grizzled officer put out a hand.

"Up yer shaft!" He exclaimed in his best Scotty and it jerked upward.

Seth was laughing his ass off, both men trading humor about the lift and how closely it was to the fictional series and movies they had seen on Television a long time ago.

A few moments later, they arrived on he floor and stepped outside the lift. Both men stepped onto the ward, in which they and the others who survived stayed for his stasis groups had been placed while in medical. Only he and Angie were the last survivors of the Commander’s group and the then the seven of the new group that Seth had led. The two men chatted informally as they arrived but grimaced as they saw the familiar ward. Both remembered their time spent here. Here the young officers walked quickly toward the familiar nurse's station and the trio of nurses stood respectfully when they saw them. Nathaniel noted the familiar, youthful nurses who worked this floor with the head nurse, ones he recognized from his time here in the Federal Hospital himself.

Major Downing glared at him, and muttered a growl at the others at the desk.

"As you were," Seth said quickly, flashing his coded identification, "Please, carry on."

Commander Miller flipped out his as well.

Both passed the station, and Major Downing followed him.

“Hey! You two cannot come on to my floor, without checking in with me first in this ward. You know that, it’s a restricted Ward.”

"Major. My visit is not a social call." Seth replied, "I am coming from General Singleton, official business."

She rolled her eyes, and scoffed silently at his statement.

"Just get your butts off my floor." She told him, "I can call security you know, you are not welcome here."

"Look, Major, I don't have to be here. You know, I can always report the uncooperative staff of the hospital to the General." Seth said sternly, "Just let me do my job and what I am ordered to do. He orders, we move, it is that simple. You of all people should understand performance of your duty."

She grimaced at the statement and said nothing as the two men stood there.

The young Major, and Commander, realizing their good moods had gone, tapped their hands on their uniform leg, and spun leaving her standing there. He had pointed out discipline, and carrying out orders of a superior officer. The Major and Lieutenant Commander had a job to do. As they walked the familiar corridor, both saw Angie Stethem-Miller, the Commander’s new wife leaning on the door of their room. She was dressed informally, in a casual non-military outfit, a rather attractive attire of a red tunic and pants. She had the symbol of the EDC pinned on the breast of her jacket.

"Nathaniel!” Angie said, gasping as she saw him and embraced, kissing him quite passionately, "I was just thinking about you. Damn I miss you, when you are working, and wish those quarters were ready. I so want you right now."

“I know, honey, me too.” He replied, and grinned at her, kissing her on the lips.

Here he put his arm around her, sitting with her on a bench outside the room belonging to Emily and Denise. He eyed her attire curiously and noted that she did not wear her uniform today, signaling she was off-duty. It was the first time he had seen her outside of a uniform and she was rather attractive in the new age outfit.

Angie eyed the Major, and grinned. “How are you doing Major?”

“Not bad, not bad. Is she in?”

“They are changing and showering.” The young Commander’s wife reported.

“Ohhh… I wish I was in there with her, damn it.” Seth muttered, and grimaced.

Angie giggled quietly and Nathaniel grinned broadly.

"Ah, so this a social call I take it?" Her husband asked.

"How'd you guess?" She replied, and he shrugged.

"Your outfit gives you away." He replied, grinning at his wife. Angie smiled at him back as she stood, spinning in place to show off the outfit. He managed an impressed nod and wolf whistled quietly at her. The young woman smiled and blushed quietly, as she lifted her shirt and flashed him. This time it was his turn to blush.

"Don't you ever get out of that uniform Nathaniel?" Angie asked mischievously, "You ever let your hair down?"

He grimaced, shaking his head.

“With this new project, they are running me ragged.” He complained and the new wife frowned.

“I still wish they would send someone else, beside you Seth and Manual.” She said, “We’re all hardly qualified to fight their war.”

“I know it, but orders are orders.” Major Aguilera said, “Unfortunately when it comes to Aquarius, we all know that system, and power source. Otherwise I would have declined.”

The Major frowned and shook his head.

"So what's the caper tonight?" Seth asked, and was almost afraid to hear her answer.

"Was planning to take Emily and Denise for a little R&R, get them away from the hospital for a while." Angie replied grinning, "I received Doctor Sane and Commander McDonald's permission of course. Amy and Melinda will be joining us, and so will Manual and Amanda. It is the last few nights with you fellas, so we should paint the town red.”

"Hrml… Interesting…" The young Lieutenant Commander replied casually, echoing the words of someone from a very long time ago, when he was part of a Bulletin Board System.

"Okay you can come in." Emily called and the trio entered to stare at the familiar EDC uniforms.

Both wore the familiar blue and dark blue uniform that Nathaniel wore and the young women both stared dubiously at the mirror in the room at the uniforms. They also pinned on the familiar rank insignia on their collar, a set of single gold bars for Lieutenant JG on both their collars. Emily put on the insignia that marked her as a nurse. Denise pinned the symbol of as operations specialist on her collar for Science and Analysis. Their new jobs the young women were putting in for and would be trained on while in the EDC service. The uniforms were cut properly, flattering the formidable curves of their bodies. Emily saw Seth and ran to embrace him warmly. She kissed her new husband passionately. They stepped back after a moment.

"Damn, you both look great in those uniforms." Angie complimented.

“Outstanding.” Seth said, and he whistled, “Hubba, Hubba, baby.”

Emily laughed, and blushed, holding him warmly in her arms.

“So they let you out of prison?” She asked, and Seth grinned.

“I’m scott free and clear from Headquarters.” Seth replied, “I am off-duty for two nights, just to spend quality time with you. They were quite generous after learning of our marriage.”

She laughed loudly and leaned over toward her husband. Seth kissed his wife passionately, hungrily and they held each other in the room. They broke and sheepishly grinned at Nathaniel, Angie and Denise who were looking on.

“Jesus, get a room.” Angie joked and there was laughter.

“Been trying to get our quarters ready.” Emily replied, shooting a look at Seth who was grinning and who put his arm lovingly around her waist.

"Uh, I hope we put these uniforms on correctly." Denise complained and glanced at Emily who was smiling.

“You both look sharp.” The grizzled officer said, “Don’t worry.”

The two grabbed a pack containing their new identification cards and slipped on the dog tags around their neck to put them under the uniform tunic. Turning their heads, Nathaniel and Angie both were smiling too, nodding in approval. They spent a couple of minutes going over the new military courtesy how to salute and rank recognition.

"You really know your stuff.” Denise complimented and the grizzled Commander nodded, if not bowed slightly to her.

"Don't worry you'll learn the ropes quickly. It's not hard to survive the service." He told her and she shot a look at him.

"So, are you both ready for the good times?" Angie asked, politely interrupting, and both Emily and Denise turned their head to nod.

"Just like it was two hundred years ago?" Emily replied and there was a brief chuckle, "I can't wait, bring it on."

Together, they walked toward the door and into the hallway. Angie led the way with the young Lieutenant Commander on his arm and behind them was Major Aguilera with his young wife, as they headed toward the turbo-lift on the other side of the nurse's station.

"Curfew is ten hundred." Nathaniel said, "We'll try to have you both back here by then. There is one place I am going to take you both and owe you both a look of a very special place here in this century."

“Curfew, Jesus I feel like I am sixteen again.” Denise said and there was laughter.

“Yeah me too, and my father sitting on the porch with the shotgun...” Emily added and everyone laughed to banter for a brief moment.

Angie had perked up on Nathaniel's statement and she nodded, realizing he was talking about the memorial where everyone was buried. As the turbo-lift cab arrived with a whoosh, and the doors slid open, they revealed Amanda, Manual, Amy and Melinda.

"We got your message." Amanda said quickly, glancing at Denise and Emily with a smile.

"Damn, you both look great in those uniforms. They really suit you."

“Thanks.” Emily and Denise both replied in unison and nodded as Nathaniel motioned to the lift.

"This way…" Angie said, and they all stepped into the turbo-lift.

“Level please...” It said.

“Lobby Deck.” Angie replied sharply.

“Thank you...”

“Up yer Shaft!” The whole group said together and the lift jerked downward. There was great hysterical laughter by all.

Together, in a group, they stepped into the large plush lobby of Federal Hospital. It is an open room with plush carpets, tiled walkways and furnishings throughout. It reminded both newcomers to this century of the Doctor's office they had been at in San Francisco, Presidio where they had been screened and accepted for stasis. Emily noted several guards posted in the lobby with thick battle armor and large nasty looking rifles as they stood guard. Many times as they passed enlisted, and higher ranking officers who they returned the salutes formally. The Lieutenant Commander merely nodded his head or flashed a quick salute to them, despite their rough looking frowns. Seth noticed he was being quite casual about acknowledging the other officers, even though they were technically off duty. Seth noted that he maintained a high regard for recognition to the higher and lower ranks that also included courtesy.

They walked to the main door and the doors slid open allowing them to step through.

Outside on the street, they peered at the buildings that loomed around them, the scale much different from their perch high above them. Several Air-trams appeared into the sky as they moved on their courses to other cities. Glass tubes for the monorail system were high above them, and it reminded them of Disneyland in their century. Denise, Emily and even the others were still amazed by the site around them and were watching everything with examining eyes. A high ranking Colonel walked toward them, and Seth crisply held a salute as he passed higher-ranking officers, arm in arm with his wife who stood on his left.

"So what do you think of the city?" Angie asked them and both Emily and Denise glanced at each other.

"It's big." Denise replied, "I didn't realize how big, until you are on the street level."

"Yeah, and it's a bit unnerving." Emily chimed in and the young Lieutenant Commander managed a chuckle. So did the Major who put his arm around his wife.

"We probably all were the same way. It took a guide for me if I had to travel around to other cities." He mused, "It was hard as hell to get used to, always forgetting where you are and what century you are living in. You will acclimate over time though."

"I know this is Federal City/New Tokyo, but have you been home yet, Nathaniel?" Denise asked, "I know you were from the San Francisco area."

The grizzled officer shook his head.

"My duties kept me busy a lot of the time when I am ashore. However, usually I am aboard ship, so I haven't had the pleasure of exploring yet.”

"So why the hell are you going on the strike team to this Aquarius, if you are assigned aboard a ship?" Denise asked, "That makes no sense."

"I have knowledge of the power sources for the stasis chambers and technical knowledge." Nathaniel replied gently, "They temporarily pulled me from my ship to assist in the strike because of that knowledge of the chambers, their power sources and because I am also from the twentieth century. I cannot let Seth and Manual go alone. It wouldn’t be right and Singleton knew that.”

"There's something else I can't wait to see." Denise said, "Actually serving aboard a ship in space. We were just entering space travel to Mars two hundred years ago. That's hard to believe."

"They have stations on all the planets, or orbiting stations. Ships and people actually serve in those places too." Angie explained. "Earth has advanced a lot since we were in the twentieth century."

Lieutenant Commander Miller nodded to his wife who led the way, and the group chatted, joked, laughed and carried on while on the main drag. The newcomers took in the sights of the city. There were whistles and catcalls from civilian clothed personnel who stood outside the surroundings disco-techs. Denise smiled at them.

A few minutes later, Angie stopped at the entry of the restaurant they frequently had inhabited while in New Tokyo, the one they found on today's internet.

"We're here." She murmured and she opened the door.

'The Silken Rose….' The sign read and a smell of oriental cooking heavily permeated the air.

"Smells good," Denise, commented, "I hope they have good food."

“Oh they do indeed.” Nathaniel prompted and motioned to Angie as he opened the door. He allowed the women to step through first and stepping through the doors they stood before a podium in a rather large entry foyer that connects with the eating and service areas.

The foyer itself has a fountain in one corner and a bench adjacent to it. Seating in the form of tables littered the room and booths along the windows. It is two levels and there is a sweeping staircase here, leading to the floor above them. Throughout the adjacent room that connects the foyer, it is decorated with many panels of brush paintings and ancient writings. The floor is tiled with a white decorative tile trimmed in blue. Plush dark maroon colored carpet lined the floor throughout the restaurant. Above them, old style Japanese lanterns hung from the ceiling, lighting the rooms.

Angie turned to the young oriental man, who stood at the podium, holding menus and who nodded formally to the party.

"Haw many in your perty prease?" The host asked and Angie glanced at the group quickly. All were fighting a grin.

"Nine." Angie said, and the host nodded.

"One moment prease, I have to setup yaur tabre."

"Thank you." Angie replied, bowing slightly to the host who smiled at her.

"You know the customs well." Denise complimented making Angie smile as she motioned to a nearby bench and they all sat, laughing and talking among themselves. Many people, non-hilarious groups seated and unseated, frowned as they watched the rowdy group of people in the foyer. Laughter echoed through the room, as the Lieutenant Commander made a joke relating to the host that was about to seat them. The Major shot back a joke, and more rowdy laughter echoed through the foyer.

"Dis way prease." The host said, and they all stood, and they followed the oriental man toward the corner table that was setup to seat all eight of them. Menus littered the table. Nathaniel and Seth held their chairs for their new wives, as Manual held the chair for Amanda. They guys also held the chairs for Denise, Melinda, and Amy. They took a seat a moment later.

A young woman appeared at one end of the table with a touch pad.

"I am here to correct your drenk ordar." She said, and there was sharp laughter.

"Gee, didn't know there was anything wrong with it." Amanda spouted off and more laughter followed.

"I'll have a Rong Isrand Ice Tree." Nathaniel said and there were choked snickers among the group.

"Pardon me?" The woman asked and he frowned.

"You know a Rong Isrand Ice Tree?" He repeated and she frowned at him. He muttered a silent curse under his breath.

"…Long Island Ice Tea."

"Ah-so, yes…." She said, putting it on her pad.

"Beer…." Manual said.

"Prum Wine." Amy said solemnly, with a deadpan straight face. More laughter echoed the room.

"Excuse prease?" The women asked, cocking her head apparently not getting the humor behind their responses.

"A grass of prum wine…" Amy repeated, "Prease."

The girl frowned, trying to understand the patrons before them.

"Jesus." Amy muttered to herself and aloud she spoke quickly. "Plum wine please…"

"Make that two." Melinda said.

"Make that three." Amanda added.

"I'll do the beer thing too." Denise ordered.

"Tequira Sunrise." Emily said and there was a smile all around.

"Ah so, Tequira Sunrise…" The woman replied, and she managed a grin at the group, suddenly understanding their humor. She realized they were teasing her, making fun of her accent.

"Just a Soda…." Angie ordered, grimacing at the frowns her friends gave her. They glanced at each other in wonder.

"I didn't want to drink tonight." Angie murmured, "Just a little upset stomach tonight."

“I’m in for a Beer too.” Seth said, and there was a grin.

The young woman nodded before she walked away and conversation resumed the hilarity at the table at the dismay of the other patrons. Their laughter echoed the restaurant, comparing notes on what they saw so far in this century. They shared humorous stories of their arrival into this century.

When the drinks came, they all were distributed quickly and the waiter, a young oriental kid stepped up to the table.

"Can I rake your ordah?"

"Yes, so long as it's in a neat pile." Manual said jokingly and there was laughter among the group. Other patrons frowned at the table containing the stasis volunteers, quickly finishing their meal and leaving.

Soon the area around them was empty except for a few patrons. Orders were taken quickly and the discussion continued, turning to sex in the twenty-third century, a taboo topic that was not appreciated by a full Colonel who sat two tables from the group with his wife and his four children. Two older ones wore the uniforms of the EDC and two younger ones sat beside them.

"…I wonder if that's possible in zero-G. That would kind of get a bit weird don't you think?" Manual said with a laugh.

"Nah probably it's done the same way. We can always try during the moon flight, on our time off together." Amanda commented followed by loud laughter from the others.

"Whoaaa… Jesus, get a room you two." Denise laughed.

"Been trying, but there is no time." Amanda replied drunkenly and there was laughter and banter among the group.

“Shit, I can’t wait till Em gets out of the Hospital. It gets lonely in those quarters of mine.” Seth said, “Hopefully soon, right dear?”

“Doctor Sane said in a few weeks.” Emily replied and there was a smile by Seth.

“That’s why god made Rosy palm and his five daughters.” Manual spouted, and there was laughter, and banter to follow on the effect of putting ones eye out.

Sitting at the table nearby, a Colonel glanced many times at the group of stasis volunteers, grimacing annoyed at the trash talk and taboo topics while they waited for their meal. They drank at least two rounds of alcoholic beverages as they waited for their food. The Colonel, finally fed up, shook his head had pushed back his chair and walked toward the group sitting two tables over from them.

"Excuse me, Lieutenant Commander and everyone." The Colonel said formally, and Nathaniel looked up in surprise, staring at the birds on the green and black collar that now stood at his elbow. He quickly deciphered the ranking recognition.

"Yes, Colonel," He replied after a moment, addressing the superior officer "How may I be of service, SIR."

A quick hush fell over the group, as they turned their heads respectfully.

"Your voice is carrying, a topic I rather not have my young children overhear you and your party flap your big mouths about."

"It happens to be a public place Colonel, but we will try to keep it down a touch, and maybe keep the topics PG rated. We are, after all sir, off-duty." Nathaniel offered and he turned his head back to the group. The high-ranking officer shook his head.

"Consider it an order and I prefer it as a courtesy to STAND, when you address a superior officer." He droned, “And you need to learn respect to keep your assholes shut.”

Nathaniel frowned, slowly standing.

"I know who you all are. You should not be wearing those uniforms." He said with a touch of disrespect, "You didn't earn them, not in this military boy. You are all dinosaurs in comparison and are hardly all EDC material. I'll see to it you people don't last in this man's military."

"Oh I heard an asshole boy." Seth said, pushing away from the table, as did Manual and even Amanda who readied for a fight.

"With all due respect, Colonel," Nathaniel said with a snarl, waving to a hand casually to the group, “Which I have very little. You are out of line and kindly keep your insulting remarks to yourself. As I said we are off-duty and will keep it PG rated as you requested, nothing more. Now go take a flying leap somewhere sir and leave us to enjoy our meal.”

The Colonel raised his eyebrows as he turned purple with rage.

"How dare you speak to me in that manner, do you know who I am?"

"No who…? The pope…?" Seth spouted off and there were snickers among the members of the stasis group. The Lieutenant Commander put up his hand calling for silence.

"Colonel Samuel Allen Jackson, Saturn Station." He rasped, "Your, er… a superior officer."

“Bully for you Colonel.” Nathaniel replied, “As for insults that is not welcomed right now and as for this crew we did earn these uniforms and are the definite kind of people you want in the EDC. We fucking aye earned it, putting our asses on the line for Earth, king, country by risking two hundred years and possibly death by volunteering for that deep freeze. And what did we get for it? We lost fifteen people, good men and women in that bloody stasis project between two groups. As well, we lost two hundred years, our friends, our families, everything we cared about, a home and got a world that totally forgot about us. Now, you welcome us home, with some fucked up bullshit like this. Nice fucking welcome, nice fucking century and with all due respect, which I have none, you are an asshole, sir.”

"Doo-rah…" Manual replied, glancing at the stunned expressions on the stasis member's faces and then to the hard expression of the Lieutenant Commander, his friend and high school buddy of long ago. A stunned silence moved across the room.

There was a brief pause, as he turned his back on the officer. At first, there were surprised looks on the faces of the stasis group, their jaws dropping open in awe at what was just said by the young officer, and their friend. A low hush rounded the table, as smiles appeared on the stasis member's faces. They applauding the Lieutenant Commander a moment later. He smiled back and bowed slightly at the waist.

The Commander glanced at the group who were surprised by his comments, but it had been the truth. He then glanced at the room, at the few others patrons, who were present. His comments had drove the point home, to remind them all that there was a lot of life lost among the stasis crew and sacrifice made to protect Earth, just like the many who died in the Star Force and on Earth over the Holocaust of radiation bombing that decimated the planet. There were stunned expressions on a lot of the faces present around them, and regret on a few of the others, his point very clear to the situation at hand.

"I think we are done here gang." Nathaniel said icily, turning to his friends and they nodded slightly, as they stood in silence. Here, the young Lieutenant Commander charged his bill with the credit system, paying for the meal that they had not even received yet, and for the drinks that were not quite finished before they filed out into the street. Seth held his wife’s arm as they exited the building.

"I want to go find a bar and drink till I am not sober." Nathaniel said sternly, "To forget that asshole's face. What a fucking jerk, I surely wanted to pop him a new one. It would have been worth a haul in the brig, being a higher rank or not."

"I'd be right with you too, skip... Who was that person anyway? He had a lot of fucking nerve." Manual asked.

“Same here…” Seth grumbled, “If you wouldn’t have said something, I would have popped that jerk. What a hypocrite.”

"He's one of the battalion Commanders of Saturn Station." Angie replied, "He's a stickler, every times he comes to Earth the EDC hops to. They give him spit and polish or you hear him bitch from lower ranks to upper echelons. The Command Generals listen to him. He is some great hero and tactician within the EDC. He could cause you great grief, now that you told him what you think of him."

"He's an idiot." Amanda murmured, "We did nothing wrong, but have a normal conversation. Even though we were, I admit, getting a bit rowdy. But when did that stop us before though, when we were together painting the town red in San Francisco? And doing it while we were off-duty."

"Hey it's us." Melinda replied, "Old and new friends on our first meal together as friends, together again after two hundred years… That guy just needs to pull his head out of his ass and cut us a little slack."

"You certainly gave them something to think about." Angie mused and Nathaniel turned his head to smile.

"I meant every fucking word too." He replied.

Turning, the group heard conversation and music. A crowd of people stood outside a bar, drinking and talking. They went toward it.

"Hey wait up!" A voice shouted, as several uniformed officers ran toward them. Nathaniel noted they were a few of the patrons who were in the restaurant when he told Colonel Jackson to take a flying leap. They carried a bags and handed it to him.

"You all forgot your meal." A Lieutenant told them, "Don't worry the boys and I settled up for you at the bar and the meal. You guys have some brass balls, excuse me ladies, for standing up to Colonel Bonehead, Jackson."

They handed them the script, giving it back to the Lieutenant Commander. The stasis group smiled at the politeness of the youthful officer.


"So where are you all headed, it's early for heading in."

"To the Nearest Bar, sir." Manual spoke up, and there were smiles as the two officers pointed to the bar where the group was walking.

"Ironic you guys are headed to the hottest bar that EDC inhabits." He told them. "Come with me, the first round is on me."

There was a cheer by the group as the mingled with the officers and enlisted that had seen the fight at the Silken Rose. As they stepped in, the place was crowded with uniformed personnel, and not. A few of them glanced at the door as the stasis personnel entered and some stepped aside allowing them to head to the bar.

"Hey look it's the group from the past!" A voice said, and the room fell to a hushed silence as applause thundered among the uniformed personnel.

"I am buying you the first round on us." A full Commander declared, "For your bravery and service for Earth. You guys are the bravest people I have ever met, second to the Star force and deserve a top brash welcome into the century the right way."

"With thanks." Nathaniel said formally.

“Fuck ya.” Seth said, and the banter started up among the group.

"…And for telling Colonel Samuel Allen Jackson where to fricking go." Another voice said and laughter followed. "He's the hardest dick in the EDC and you stood up to him. That takes some huge brass balls to do that."

The speaker paused sheepishly, glancing at the women among the stasis personnel and nodded. "I was speaking figuratively of course… with my apologies ladies."

"Don't worry about offending these ladies of stasis they probably could take you down before you could say Jack Robinson." A voice said, and heads turned to see Sandor and Thomas Orion who walked toward them. He raised his hand in greeting.

"Apparently news gets around." Seth said to his group and there were smiles among them, "Looks like we're famous."

He put on his aviator glasses and he moved to the bar where beers were put in their hand. There was laughter among the stasis volunteers. The conversation moved through the bar like wildfire.

"A toast," A voice said, "To the bravest men and women in the EDC and the newest sensation. May they have profitable careers, long lives and welcome home!"

"Thank you all." Nathaniel and Seth replied simultaneously, holding up the beer mug before they all downed it as a cheer echoed the bar.

Laughter followed as conversation resumed and they stood drinking, clearly welcomed by the personnel in the bar. Turning his head Manual grinned when he saw Cory Conroy, Dash Jordan, Christopher Eager, Homer Glitchman and Chief Yamazaki standing at the bar. All found their way to the stasis personnel and clapped the Lieutenant Commander and Major on the back.

"How are you doing there, Lieutenant Commander? How bout it Major?" Sandor asked and Nathaniel turned, grinning, as did Seth.

"Not bad, you…?" He replied, "The mission ship out date is in a couple of days, are you all ready?"

"Yea, all set and briefed, we set about the Heavy Space Cruiser Whirlwind tomorrow and get situated with the crew and the Captain."

Nathaniel nodded and he turned to the barkeep. "Keep them coming, our plan is to wake up in the alcohol ward and love every minute of it!" Laughter and cheers followed as the Major chugged another beer as they chanted.

"I like your guy's style." A voice complimented.

"We got a secret admirer!" Manual boasted, holding up a mug and handing it to the speaker who smiled broadly. Music resumed, as stories and conversation moved through the bar, making the stasis personnel feel welcomed by their peers. Better than what they got with a certain Colonel. They inhabited a back table where they feasted on the Japanese Food from their first stop and continued with the beers, bought by many of the patrons.

But little did they know that would all change with the formation as this new time progressed forward.

To be Continued – Episode Seven: Future Echoes/Epilogue -- Part Two
WC: 37191
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