The Honeymoon’s Over

By Yuki Wildstar

A Star Blazers Fan Fiction work


All the thanks to Fred and Gail Kopetz for inspiring me to write.

Thanks a lot Freddo, for your input and detailing. You ROCK! My story was good, but with collaboration you made it great!







Planet Bolar Prime


(Headquarters World of the Bolar Federation)


The Great Hall of the Presidium


Earth Date:


August 10, 2204


0900 Hours-Standard Earth Space-Time



The homeworld of the Bolar Federation was a bleak, cold planet in the far Northern Spiral Arm of the Milky Way Galaxy, and it was located over one hundred thousand lightyears away from Earth in the far depths of the Northern Spiral Arm, located far from the Shapley Center of the Galaxy and very far away from Earth.


Even in the Federation, almost none of the High Command that made up the Presidium, which was the Ruling Council of the communistic Party that had ruled the Race for millenia liked to come to Bolar Prime unless they were summoned here by the Prime Minister.


For close to two years, there had been two Acting Prime Ministers because no one could quite agree on a permanent replacement for the domineering and evil Prime Minister Vladimir Bemlayze, the warlord who had again and again taken the Federation into battle against the Garuman who were trying to break away from the Federation, the Garuman and their arrogant allies the Gamilons. Bemlayze had vanished after the Bolar Federation’s last battle in Earth’s own solar system in early 2203 with Emperor Desslok of Gamilon/Garuman, where he had been assumed killed after his Black Hole Fortress had been destroyed by Desslok’s flagship when it had been hit by a massive energy beam fired from Desslok’s Hyper-Desslok Cannon.


Or, rather, Bemlayze had been assumed dead. He had recently turned up again, found in the Fourth Dimension by some ragged ships from what remained of the Comet Empire. He had gotten loose from his ship at the last second in an escape pod. But the pod had miswarped, and had sent him into the Fourth Dimension.


Bemlayze had just returned to Bolar Prime, killed off many of the generals opposing him in a purge, and he told a strange tale of how he had warped his pod into the Fourth Dimension as his bridge was being dissolved around him by the Desslok Cannon. Then, forces from the Comet Empire had later found his inert body drifting almost dead in space far from Earth, and they had brought him aboard a huge Cometine command vessel that was somewhere in deep space; even Bemlayze didn’t know where it was or who was in command. He had been half-comatose, so the circumstances were very mysterious and puzzling.


However, he found himself bound back for Bolar a few weeks later aboard a Cometine carrier, with a treaty of alliance signed between his race and what remained of the Cometines. Both he and the Cometine Leader, who remained hidden and mysterious, agreed that they had one grievance in common; they wanted revenge against Earth and the whole Gamilon-Garuman race for their losses.


Thus, this explained the reappearance of the Bolars and their new assertiveness. This was a vile assteriveness that was the first stage of a vast campaign of evil that was intended to reduce the Terrans and the Gamilons to slavery, and a campaign that would leave the Bolars and Cometines as the rightful masters of the Milky Way, all of the Magellenic Clouds, and the Andromeda Galaxy. From there; they would expand outwards to conquer the entire known universe!


After Bemlayze’s latest purge, the returned Prime Minister had appointed many new men to the Presidium. One of these men was a General Hindleman, a tall, arrogant-appearing man with a black and grey beard who bowed as he spoke to Bemlayze.


“My Lord, we suffered a reverse recently in the Eighth Sector,” he said.


“Explain,” barked Bemlayze as he stroked his fat light blue face. The Prime Minister was so ugly that he resembled some kind of mutated bullfrog. The burns he had suffered didn’t make him look any better. One of the burns had given him a huge port-wine birthmark on the back of his bald pate that didn’t make his pallid light blue skin look any better. As a matter of fact, he looked grotesque. But, Bolar officers who pointed that out had a nasty habit of being shot.


“Lord,” said Hindleman, a handsome old Bolar who somewhat resembled the late Terran actor Christopher Lee in his role as Count Dooku in the ancient Star Wars film series. “Recently, I sent General Sigma out towards the Orion Arm of the Galaxy, beyond the fringes of Garuman territory, to find us bases to replace our lost bases around what had been Planet Berth. I’m sure you remember Berth, My Lord.”


“I do, and the memory is not pleasant,” hissed Bemlayze. Early in his first war with the Gamilons, Bemlayze had found the Terran space battleship Yamato on Berth, where they had come after a battle with the Garuman, who, at that time, were the Star Force’s enemies since they were unaware of their link with the Gamilons or that Desslok was their ruler. Bemlayze assumed he could force Earth into an alliance with the Bolar Federation then.


However, Captain Derek Wildstar, a face that remained in Bemlayze’s mind as a hated enemy, had been arrogant enough to refuse their kind offer; they would have been treated fairly and paid well as Bolar underlings, yes. Some minor thing about his nosy fiancee’ Nova Forrester discovering that Berth was being used as a gulag, one of hundreds in Bolar space, for those annoying pacifistic worshippers of that damned Queen Guardiana. Some minor crud that the Terrans considered the Bolar race evil as a result. Ingrates! Oh, the Terrans thought he didn’t know, but Bemlayze’s Chekha (secret police) knew about so much that was going on in the Federation that it wasn’t even funny. Bemlayze remembered that his differences with the Yamato led to his having to wipe out his own base world and all on it with proton missiles.


“Well, Lord, we were trying to find a new base world. We had one nailed down; a small planet that the Terrans called Dunbar. I sent Sigma there to practice the usual coercive measures and take possession. The Terrans resisted us again.”


“What?” hissed Bemlayze.


Lord, it gets worse,” said Hindleman. “I sent Sigma out days ago from our base on Planet Baynet. He never came back. Sigma and the Twentieth Carrier Echelon were destroyed by the Earthlings.”


“How?” roared Bemlayze. “Their ships are crap and they suffered such a reverse after we stood back and let Deingil attack them after the Great Warp Disaster that they couldn’t have done much. And the Yamato, thankfully, is destroyed! Gone. Dead. So is Wildstar, that boy genius meddler, right? Star Force is finished!”


“Wrong, Lord,” said Hindleman. A shot of the Endeavor appeared on a screen in the Presidium Council Room as Hindleman waved his hand. “The Terrans built a new space battleship; the Endeavor. The Chekha were monitoring transmissions between her and Earth. The Endeavor stopped us at Dunbar with this…”


A visual of Sigma’s last transmission ran on the screen. “This was the final transmission from the Luytens, lord. I took out the audio so you don’t have to be disturbed with that capitalistic idiot running dog Sigma’s last screams. Seemed he turned a theist in his death throes. So against our wonderful atheist ways. You see what wrecked them…”


“Wave motion gun,” barked another General, a tall man named General Orlov. “Prime Minister! This is an outrage from these running dogs!”


“They should be tormented for months in the cold for this,” growled another General, a bald, evil man named Nikita Stalchev. “Hindleman, did they find out which Terran pig was responsible for the death of our dear Sigma?”


Hindleman nodded. “Yes. My daughter is afraid of him.”


A familiar face appeared on the screen as the Bolars booed, hissed; and a man threw his coffee cup at the screen. Another man banged his shoe against the table in rage, screaming, “We will bury him!”


“Derek Wildstar,” purred Prime Minister Bemlayze. “Ah, my friend. Alive, are we? Did you bring your nosy parker fiancee’ back into Bolar space again? Not good, fool. People with noses that reach into other peoples’ business have a habit of having them cut off.”


“This is what I want done to Wildstar and his Endeavor,” said Bemlayze. “This is now a personal vendetta between him and I. Listen….”





Space Battleship Endeavor


Deep Space, 9,000 Lightyears from Earth…


August 11, 2204


1300 Hours-Standard Earth Space-Time



The Article 17 Inquest into Doctor Spada’s guilt or innocence, a necessary prelude under EDF military justice to a contemplated later Special Court-Martial (that would take place on Earth) continued in the messhall of the Endeavor as Deputy Captain Lee stood up in his peacoat as presiding judge and tapped on a small ship’s bell with a mallet to call the preliminary hearing back to order.


Lee, an Ensign from Gunnery known as Thomas Corman, and a female pilot known as Junior Lieutenant Sabrina Wapner were the three officers sitting in judgment behind a table to determine whether or not formal charges were to be brought against Spada.


The first day of the proceedings, Captain Wildstar, Booker, and some of the other officers present at Nova’s rescue had been placed on the stand, where they had been questioned by a Living Officer who was also a Judge Advocate General Corps (JAG) officer named Lieutenant Jose’ Mayaguez. Mayaguez was the “prosecutor” for this case. There was no defense attorney because Spada had demanded to serve as his own lawyer, so he was representing himself.


Spada, it seemed, was a very persuasive and smooth operator with those on the stand. Lieutenant Mayaguez was more like a “just the facts” attorney who laid out the case and let those on the stand speak.


Spada, on the other hand, had a gift of blarney that made someone under his cross-examination doubt their own name, let alone the facts. He had a weird gift of making all of the witnesses look vaguely stupid on the stand, even the Captain himself! He had actually had Wildstar tongue-tied on the stand several times yesterday. He had made a fine case of making Wildstar look like nothing but an overly jealous husband. He had been so good that in recess, Derek had talked with Nova off to the side and they wondered if even they were being too hard on Spada. Nova had begun to wonder if she should even testify the next day or not. But, Derek had convinced her to stick to her guns.


Now, after the Court addressed the witnesses and Spada, Lee said, “We call our first witness of the day. Booker, bring up Lieutenant Commander Nova Forrester.”


Nova walked up, walking rather straight because she still had on a small back brace under her uniform. She had on her peacoat and her medals, and she felt a little like a penguin as another Marine held out a Bible while she took an oath to tell the truth. Nova winced in pain as she slowly sat in the witness’ seat as Lieutenant Mayaguez calmly and dryly had her recall all of the events of the third of August. Derek sat in the spectators’ area in a chair biting his lip as Nova simply and calmly spoke, going over all of the events in response to Mayaguez’s questions. She sounded logical and sincere; only Derek noticed that she refused to look at Spada as she told her story.


Finally, after forty-five minutes, Mayaguez shook his head and said to Lee, “Sir, that’s all…”

“No objections,” said Lee as he and the other panel members noticed that Spada stood in silence. “Doctor Spada, your witness…”


Spada bowed and turned to the Court and Nova and said, “Now, Nova, I am sure that this is a sore topic for you. I will try to be as gentle with you as possible. Do we understand?”


“We do, Doctor,” said Nova as she looked down at her boots.


“Gentlemen, and ladies,” said Spada. “Does this look like a sincere witness to you?”


“Objection!” yelled Mayaguez. “Counsel is badgering the witness, who hasn’t even answered a question from him yet!”


“Sustained,” snapped Lee. “Counsel will not impugn witness’ testimony until witness is asked a question of substance. Proceed, Doctor.”


Spada nodded. “Thank you. Lieutenant Commander Forrester, how long have you been a practicing surgical nurse?”


“Over five years,” said Nova. “I received my RN certification as an Ensign in June of 2199, concurrent with my graduation from the University of Colorado with a Bachelor of Science and my commissioning into the Earth Defense Forces Fleet Reserves.”


“Thank you,” said Spada. “Lieutenant Commander, are you aware of the effects of the Tarnax sedative?”


“I am,” said Nova.


“How many patients have you administered Tarnax to as a nurse?”


“About a hundred,” said Nova. “It blocks pain receptors and the beta uptake to those receptors. It is commonly given to people after severe trauma, to women in labor, to post-operative patients, and to cancer patients. It is to be used with care, because…”


Because?” said Spada.


Nova had fallen into his trap and knew it. “It has side-effects, Doctor. As a practitioner, you should be aware of them.”


“I am, but the Court is not, or may not be aware of those side-effects. Describe them, Forrester.”


“Objection!” said Mayaguez. “I fail to see where Spada is going with this line of questioning! It seems bizarre and academic! There is nothing here germane to this crash.”

“Your Honors,” said Spada. “I am laying a foundation with this line of questioning. It has to do with Forrester’s state of mind during the events of the crash. May it please the court, due to her injuries, I was forced to inject Forrester with two hundred CC’s of Tarnax that night. I…”


“We will confer,” snapped Lee. He and the other judges whispered hard amongst themselves while Spada played with something in the pocket of the white lab coat he had on. Wildstar wondered to himself what the hell Spada was up to now. His whole line of questioning seemed bizarre but cogent. Derek wondered if this blarney-tongued man had entered the wrong profession, and should have gone to law school rather than medical school. 


Finally, Lee said, “We are forced to admit Spada’s line of questioning. Your objection, Mister Mayaguez, is overruled. Go on, Doctor.”


Spada grinned, his face confident with the victory he knew was in his pocket. The star witness was now on the stand, and he had all the material he needed to make her look, sound, and come off as some utterly idiotic teenage girl with the vapors, or so he thought. And science itself had provided him with his alibi! He just needed to spring it.


“I’m sorry, Nova,” he purred. “I know this must be hard for you. I promise you that I will be gentle and we’ll be done with this in maybe six minutes. Then you and the Captain can get a nice cup of coffee together during the recess. You two are such a cute couple.”


“Thank you,” said Nova with barely disguised acid in her tone of voice.


“Now,” said Spada. “Forrester. You told me once you want to go to medical school someday. Let’s pretend you are in Toxicology Class. What are the mental side-effects of Tarnax upon a patient?”


Nova sighed. He had nailed her and she knew it. She said in a calm but barely audible voice.  “Euphoria, lack of emotional restraint, less-than-acute reasoning ability, memory impairment, paranoia, possible memory loss, and blurring of time frames. Patients on enough Tarnax have been known to mistake minutes for hours and vice-versa.”


“Were you on Tarnax the evening of August third?” said Spada as the whole court muttered.


Nova just nodded.


“How much?” said Spada.


“I read my own chart when we got back. Just under three hundred milligrams.”


“And what was your mental state?” said Spada.


Nova shut her eyes and refused to answer.


“Please answer the question, Forrester,” purred Spada.


Nova turned her head and kept her eyes closed in shame.


Lee looked at her and said, “Lieutenant Commander, must I remind you that you are under oath? You are obliged to truthfully answer Doctor Spada’s question.”


Nova shook her head.


“I will have to hold you in contempt of Court if you do not…”


All right!” cried Nova as she slammed her fists on her thighs. “I was upset, in pain, and as high as a kite on that pain medication! Are we clear? I was not in a good state of mind then! My head was all messed up. But I know that you were playing games with that transponder, Doctor! I think…”


Nova looked at Derek across the room and shut her eyes. Derek wanted to get up and punch Spada as the room buzzed and Lee had to ring the bell several times for order.


“You…think,” said Spada. “May it please this Court, this case is resting on the testimony of a woman who is known by her psychological profile to be somewhat histrionic and excitable. A newlywed woman who admitted to you she was missing her husband and who just admitted “my head was all messed up…” Under the Hartz decision of 2202, we do not place as much probative weight as usual to service members who are…uh…on a drug, or short a few of these…”


Spada grinned and removed the items from his pocket. They were marbles.


“Are these yours?” said Spada with a smile as Nova almost slapped his hand away as she began to cry. “Oh,” said Spada. “Also. Tarnax toxic shock has been known to last for up to ten or twelve days! Let this woman’s actions indicate how reliable her testimony is, and…”


“That’s enough!” barked Lee as Nova cried. “Captain Wildstar, the witness is excused…I am calling a recess so you can comfort her.”


Derek came up and held Nova and wiped her eyes as she sobbed. He helped her up and they walked out of there together.





Nova had calmed down and sat beside Derek in the spectators’ area as Spada stood before the judges’ table and the empty witness chair. “Doctor Spada,” said Mayaguez. “Will you testify in your own behalf?”


“I refuse your summons under Federation Constitutional Article Five, where it states a witness cannot be forced to testify against himself or herself.”


“You take the Fifth?” sighed Mayaguez.


Spada nodded.


“I rest my case,” said Mayaguez in discouragement as he sat down.


“Your Honors, I also rest my case,” said Spada. He smiled at them and said, “It’s all in your hands now, huh?”


“It is,” said Lee. “Court adjourned for recess for us to deliberate our final findings.” He rang the bell and everyone left.





Derek and Nova were on duty together on the First Bridge when word came that the Court had a final decision. They left their posts to others as they gathered in the messhall for the final time that day.


Spada stood in his peacoat before the bench now, flanked by two Space Marines. If found “guilty” by the preliminary hearing, he would be relieved of all duty and remanded to the brig by the Marines and held until trial on Earth. Nova had already decided that she and the other nurses and medics would provide medical care if Spada was locked up, and she would command as best as she could as a nurse-practitioner, doing as much of Spada’s job as possible with the help of medical texts and IQ-10.


Of course, if found “innocent”, Spada would be free to just return to duty, with the Article 17 and any proceedings against his medical license just dropped.


Lee led the judges in and sat down. “We have made our decision in the preliminary Article 17 Hearing of People vs. Lt. Michael Spada MD. First, I want it stated for the record that our decision was not unanimous.”


The spectators muttered at that until Lee rang the bell. Lee said, “The decision was 2-1. Since we have a split court, we will poll the judges for their decisions. My own decision was in favor of indictment against the Lieutenant, or guilty, charges to be preferred, sufficient evidence for trial.”


The others muttered again until Lee rang the bell. “We are not done yet!” he barked. “Lieutenant Wapner,” he said as he looked at Sabrina. “Read your decision out loud.”


“Yessir,” said Sabrina as she stood. “After due consideration, I found against indictment against Lieutenant Spada, or not guilty, no charges to be preferred, insufficient evidence for trial.”


The spectators muttered again until Lee rang his bell. “Silence!” he said. “Finally, Ensign Corman, read your decision.”


Lee did not look happy, and Nova almost wanted to cry again when she figured out what this meant. Corman cleared his throat and said, “Sir. After due consideration, I found against indictment for Lieutenant Spada, or, not guilty, insufficient evidence for trial. Inconsistent testimony from several witnesses.


Derek stood up, comforting Nova as Lee read mechanically. “The decision of this Court was One in favor of indictment, Two Against. This panel has, therefore, dismissed the matter of People vs. Spada, and also is sending a recommendation to the Medical Board in reply to Lieutenant Commander Forrester’s Ethics Board complaint of August 7, 2204, recommending that the facts of this judicial hearing call for the dismissal of any ethics complaint against Doctor Spada’s medical license. I reluctantly order these proceedings ended and the record sealed. Lieutenant Spada, you are free to return to duty. Adjourned!”


The bell rang, and Derek and Nova left. They had lost in court, and Spada had won. They refused to look as Spada received congratulations and happy handshakes from several of his nurses and medics.


A couple of people refused to look at Nova as she left on Derek’s arm.


“Well?” said Nova.


“Let’s get the hell out of here,” said Derek. “I don’t want to see that jackass being congratulated by his fan club. This was such a joke!”


Nova just nodded. They didn’t believe me, she thought. They think I’m crazy. They didn’t believe me!





Space Battleship Endeavor


Deep Space, 8,000 Lightyears from Earth…


August 13, 2204


1700 Hours-Standard Earth Space-Time



“Lieutenant Spada?”


“Yes that’s me,” Spada replied as he turned around “Lieutenant Commander Lee, how are you? Captain Wildstar has left the bridge; and you tend to forget who is running the ship at times when he is doing other things,” Spada said with sarcasm. “Right?”


“Well, I get lucky sometimes and he lets me out of the prison ward,” to which they both laughed. “Hey,” he said. “No hard feelings about the trial, I hope.”


“Well, I got off,” said Spada with a wink. “So, matter ended. As for me, I’m glad to see Wildstar let you out today. Do they feed you on the bridge, or do they just throw food at you like in the zoos back on Earth?” Spada, while feeling him out.


“Sometimes, both,” Lee said laughing with him. “Are you dining alone?”


“Yes I am…and you?” Spada asked.


“Yes, I don’t get to talk to anyone but the Captain, it’s hard to talk to him, other then work. He is not a touchy-feely man, Doctor. Always walks around like he’s on duty.”


“I get your meaning…all business, but no social talk?” Spada said, still feeling him out.


“You got that right,” Lee egged him on. “You know, it’s a royal bitch to work with him, he can be such a perfectionist with that tight-backed Samurai attitude. I’ve never seen him relax. It’s a wonder how his wife puts up with him! I mean she’s on the same ship with him, and he doesn’t even acknowledge her! Poor Nova! It’s like they never met. You see how she stood by his side when he was unconscious, yet when she was in Sickbay, I rarely saw him visiting her.”


“And when he was there, he was Mister Tight-assed and humorless,” said Spada, seldom wanting to be in the room when they were together. “He even watched me undressing her, you know that? It’s like he has her on a leash!”


“That is weird,” said Lee. “Their relationship is not normal.”


“So, what should our Samurai and our lady do?” said Spada.


“From what I’ve seen in the past few days,” said Lee in ignorance, not privy to the moments when Derek sat holding Nova’s hand in Sickbay, or not there when he read to her, “If you ask me, she should divorce him. She’s a beautiful women and she’s real smart, and I can’t understand why he isn’t trying to steal some private moments with her. I never see him doing that. It’s all duty, duty, duty. They never even sleep together, damnit!”


“I know, he must be one of those guys that doesn’t appreciate a good woman,” Spada said. “Hey! How about sitting together more…I’m starting to like you, even though you voted to lock me up!”


“I had my reasons,” said Lee. He grinned and walked with Spada to a table.


They sat at the table and talked. Spada went on and on about how Wildstar was such a horrible husband and Captain. “I mean, Lee,  if she were my wife, I’d probably try to get her pregnant right away. A beautiful wife like that, she must be a trophy wife. But there’s a plus…she’s smart too. When she’s not all emotional or pumped up on Tarnax, that is!”


Lee just grinned at Spada. Lee decided to lie a little, and he said, “When we were arguing your fate, Spada, I saw quickly how the others were going, and I just voted “yes” since I saw the others were going to let you off. It was to make Wildstar think I was Mister Sympathetic, when…”


“You saw she was faking it and out of her head with that transponder thing?” said Spada.


Lee nodded. “So how do you two work together now?”


“We share the bare minimum,” said Spada. “She’s smart, but not smart enough to be a doctor, I think. She should be a nurse for the rest of her life and know who wears the pants around here, and that it ain’t her!”


“Yeah, she’s so emotional,” said Lee. At that, they laughed and talked throughout dinner. Then Lieutenant Lee got up. “I’ve gotta get back to the bridge. Old Captain Wild Brains is probably looking for me.  Hey! Do you play cards, Spada?


“Sure do,” Spada said.


“Maybe I’ll put a game together; are you familiar with the old Texas Hold’em game?” Lee asked.


“Love that game, I don’t like bragging…but I was the one to walk away with everyone’s credits. I can pretty much read people’s faces when they’re bluffing,” Spada bragged to Lee.


“Well then I’ll be sure to put one together, because I’d like to see that poker face of yours,” Lee said as he walked out of the mess hall.


“OK then, never say I didn’t warn you!” Spada yelled back.


Spada watched his new friend walking out the hatch and watched Nova walking in in her nurse’s minidress and open clogs that she sometimes wore, especially for operations, rather than her regulation shipboard nurse’s boots. She had been wearing them since they had just finished setting up someone for a bionic arm earlier; the enlisted man had experienced the loss of his arm but the stump had to begin healing first before a transducer for his new arm and screw unit could be set up. It was a six-hour operation mostly conducted in a grim silence. It made Spada uncomfortable to be beside her for that long now, and her unavoidable touches as she helped him place instruments and suction hoses in the wound were like reproaches to him, particularly because there was no friendship in her eyes. When she wasn’t looking at instruments, readouts, or the patient, Nova’s dark brown eyes seemed very far away and distant above her OR mask, as if she was thinking of something…or someone, far away at the moment. He had been avoiding her as much as possible since their last confrontation during the hearing.


Spada knew Nova was on to him, so he thought that the best bet was to just steer clear of her for now. They were on the way back to Earth, and the mission was almost over, so he figured he’d just lay low and wash her out of his hair as a lost cause, game over. It was not that she was breaking down his door or anything. Spada knew she never did say anything after their last conversation at his ‘trial’ and as far as he knew, she never mentioned anything else to the Captain…especially after he had made her look stupid and utterly scatterbrained in front of the whole crew!


Oh well, he thought. She is stupid and scatterbrained! At least I’m making buddies with the Deputy Captain…


While Lieutenant Spada sat gloating at the table, Nova and Lee passed each other in the mess hall, Nova nodded at him and he gave her a smile; she knew then that everything was in place.


Nova looked around and saw Howard and Springer sitting at the far end of the dining hall. Howard waved her over with a smile. Nova grabbed dinner and walked over to their table. As she passed Doctor Spada’s table, he got up and stepped in front of her.


“Hey, Nova, I’m sorry that we had a little misunderstanding before but I would like to move on and just work together and forget the whole thing, if that’s OK with you,” said Spada. “I’m sorry about that trial, by the way. I’m not sure what to say about it, but I was telling the truth before. You were rather zonked due to those drugs I had to give you and the fact that you hit your head. You were mature enough to admit on the stand that you were not one hundred percent there that day. So, please, can we call it a truce and forget it and bury the hatchet?”


Nova smiled at him, sighing to herself as she thought, I’ve never been enemies with anyone. As long as he wants to let it go, why shouldn’t I? I guess he was right…I must have gotten all my facts mixed up. I’m sorry I caused trouble for him!


Nova smiled nervously as she said, “Sure don’t sweat it…I”m sure you’re right! I did hit my head and I passed out, so I could have been wrong on the time frame. I…guess. Let’s just drop it and start over, Doctor. Start from Square One and act like I never knew you? Let bygones be bygones? Let the past…be the past,” she stressed…while touching her wedding ring like a magic talisman.


Damn you! Spada thought. So, you just wiped out time and we never dated? Okay…I’ll find another way to charm you back to me like a stray kitten…


“So with that said, and out of the way, are we still friends?” Spada looked desperate for her approval.


“Sure Doc, all is well…” Nova said and then shook his hand.


“Hey, thanks!” he said as they hugged. Nova stepped away, blushing. “You are cute,” he said.


“Please don’t make me blush again,” said Nova.


“Even that toe ring of yours is cute, despite what I said about it before..” he said as he looked down at her nurse’s operating theatre clog, worn under a disposable paper slipper in the OR. The ones that she had on that day had open toes like a summer sandal (she was comfortable like that after being on her feet for hours), and her neatly pedicured toes and Derek’s toe ring were all out in the open. Only Derek and her mother usually complimented her on her footwear. Nova smiled and said, “Oh…you” as she hoped he didn’t compliment her on her hair next. Or her boobs. Or other parts of her anatomy she never spoke of in public!


Nova was actually a fairly modest woman, and even Derek complimenting her on her body in private made her get flushed and blush all over, even though she got all shivery at his compliments. Derek thought this was very cute.


“So what was that all about?” Howard asked with a raised eyebrow. “I thought you two got along like Germany and Russia after 1941 after that crash!”


“Nothing major, we just had a misunderstanding before, but it’s all taken care of now,” Nova said with a grin. “So I see you two have new interests, anything I should know?” said Nova happily.


Howard smiled at her, glad to see that Nova had bounced back after her injuries. If she was making up now with Spada, that must mean that she was ready to go on again. Howard would later find out that this was an essential part of Nova’s character; she was never the sort to hold grudges against anyone no matter what the wound would be. Later, others in life would wound Nova deeply, but Howard would see that Nova could be angry for a while, but that she would eventually pick up the pieces, smile neatly, and move on. 


“Well,” Springer said. “Thanks to Howard here, and our slapping each other around once upon a time, we have managed to pickup some nice decent pilots. Maybe decent enough to bring home to our parents. What do you think, Howard?”


Howard just turn to Nova and smiled. “I think you’re moving in too soon, Springer! If you plan a wedding before the groom asks you to marry him, he may just run away. Isn’t that right, Nova?”


Springer didn’t give her time to answer, “Hey! Just how did you manage to snag the Captain? Dog food?”


Nova laughed at the thought of snagging anyone. “I didn’t snag him at all; we were friends first and later on we became an item. Times were different then! Earth was being threatened and we were all determined to get to Iscandar and back before the year was up. There were always threats from the Gamilons and other spacen forces later on. Tight quarters didn’t help either!

I pactically lived in Derek’s lap on the old Yamato back in the days when we were those funny adventurous Star Blazsers travelling the galaxies!  We respected each other and the work that we did. And that is how we built our relationship. Trust me, there were plenty of opportunities but the Captain and I never forgot about what was truly at stake. The Star Force always came first for him as well as myself.  Captain Wildstar’s life has not been an easy one. He has lost both his parents, his brother, his sister-in-law and his poor young niece due to war. Captain Avatar was like a father to Derek and the Yamato became his home and the Star Force became his family. Now that we’re not on the old Yamato any more, even though we have a beautiful house and we both have beautiful aircars back home on Earth, we feel sort of homeless without that old space battleship. That’s why he is the man that he is now.”


Howard and Springer sat there amazed about what Nova was telling them. They only hope that they did not go through what they went through to find love. “That’s amazing, ma’am…” Springer said in awe. “But I can’t believe that you two still choose to be part of the Earth Federation forces, even now. You’ve done so much that you can retire young and make a lot of money in civilian consulting work; or even go into the Government. Weren’t you frustrated having to wait so long to get married?”


“There were times, yes, but I know that Captain Wildstar loves me and that he would not do anything that I wouldn’t agree to. I know how seriously he takes his job and being a Captain was his dream, who am I to destroy that dream? Anyway I have ambitions myself, and he doesn’t discourage me. No! He is totally the opposite of that…he pushes me to work harder to get there.” Nova said with a gleam in her eyes. “You can look far and wide to find a man like that these days. There was someone in Derek’s life before I met him who treated him terribly, though. She said she cared for him and dumped him. Derek still has an old wound from that person. I hope I never meet her.”


Howard asked, “Ma’am, is she that…Julie person you mentioned?”


“Yes,” sighed Nova. “Julie Tolbert,” said Nova as she spat out the name with a venom in her usually gentle voice that Howard had never heard before. Nova had never met her, but she had seen pictures of her before. Nova knew that Lieutenant Tolbert had a tomboyish but somewhat sneaky-looking face with sort of…weasally dark brown eyes, dark brown hair that was almost black, and freckles. Nova thought she would have been cute if she hadn’t been caught in the picture smirking…sort of like the simrk that had been on the face of a really weird British Tiger pilot she had encountered briefly at her wedding reception who was a friend of a friend of the younger Cory Conroy’s. He seemed to be drunk, and Nova remembered he looked like he was leering at her in her wedding dress! Nova put this unknown pilot out of her mind as she continued to speak of the near-legendary Tolbert. “And I’ve heard she is still in the Fleet. Our paths may cross someday; if they do, let her just shake Derek’s hand and go on with her life! She probably would. It was a long time ago and she is surely a full adult by now. She and Derek were younger and…less experienced when they met.”


“I hope she does just leave you alone and nod and go on,” said Howard. Howard and Springer knew then that love was many things. There would be hardship and happiness; you just had to balance it.


“Well ladies,” said Nova as she yawned a little. “It’s getting late and I need to run some system checks before I head to my quarters and go to bed. I bid you both adieu, auf weidersehen, sayonara, and Hasta La Vista, and please try not wake me with all the fighting?” Nova laughed. They laughed back and Nova waved goodbye as she heard both ladies laugh out loud.


Doctor Spada sat in the dinning hall watching Nova with the other female officers. He wished that he could hear their conversation, but he didn’t want to push. In due time he thought to himself.



Nova walked up to the observation deck. When there, she smiled at the man who was standing there looking out into the stars. Before speaking she looked around, nope no one is in sight, thank Heavens, she thought. Then, she said,Hello there handsome…how are the stars tonight?”


Derek turned around with a smile and looked into his wife’s face. God she’s beautiful, he thought. “Hello there, sexy…how was your day? I didn’t expect to see you here. I thought you’d be hitting the rack by now…”


“Well I didn’t expect to see you here either…I just wanted to take a breather from everything, that’s all. Since they didn’t see fit to build a holography room on this ship…isn’t this view beautiful?”


Derek nodded and said, “Good thinking. What does that view remind you of?”


“The Wishing Star of Voton,” said Nova. “Even though, here, there are far more many stars.” Derek took a deep breath, watching Nova in one of her newer-issue Medical minidresses (it had more decorative Section markings against the white in bright red) and her operating-room clogs.


“Yes, lots of them. I’m sorry, Nova. I didn’t get a chance to check the charts that closely after we made our last space warp. Where exactly are we with those nebulae?”


“Crovinger’s Nebula, over there,” said Nova as she stood up on tiptoes, pointing to a colorful scattering of stars and interstellar gases to their left. “I read about this part of space once, and I’ve always wanted to see it. I wish I get get my mother interested in some of the books I’ve seen about this, but she could care less about space and how beautiful it is. Her and her social events and that stupid chartreuse helicopter she leases,” mused Nova as she thought of her social butterfly mother and her snooty private pilot on call. “And she won’t let me fly it for her even though I’m checked out to fly a military-spec Cosmonatutics 223 like that. But, back to this view! A huge blue-white star exploded here over seventy thousand years ago, the scientists said…”


“Big hunk of carbon and heavy metals that had reacted to death,” joked Derek. “Big deal.”


“But it’s beautiful!” said Nova. “What am I going to do with you, Derek?” She pointed to her right. “And the stars over there where the green gases are? Shapley Center is that way. A little hard to see because of the dust, but that is the way to the center of the Galaxy…and Garuman-Gamilon space. Desslok’s planet was that way. I wonder if he is well?”


“I’m not sure,” said Derek. “This view gives you the shivers, though…”


Nova nodded. Then, she stood in silence by the rail and softly recited, “And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod…The high untresspassed sanctity of space..Put out my hand and touched the face of God…


High Flight, 1941,” said Derek.


Nova nodded as he came closer. “These views bring back so many memories,” said Derek.


“They sure do…Pardon me…do you remember our first date, Derek?”


“I sure do. Now, if I recall, you slapped my hand away when I tried to hug you,” Derek grinned. “That was not very nice for a first date.”


Nova laughed at the thought, “Well I couldn’t let you think I was easy or something. But seriously, on point…what are you doing here? Looking at the stars and hearing me recite poetry? Not that I mind, but…Shouldn’t you be on the bridge?”


“I wanted a break too; sometimes it can be too much being the Captain of a ship. I need my space too,” Derek said looking pretty tried.


“I know it is, it’s a lot of responsibility, Derek, I guess even the Captain needs time away from everything,” Nova sighed.


“Nova, when we get back I would like to stay home with you for a long while. We can lay in our backyard in a warm night and watch the stars from Earth. It seems like everything has gone so quickly…I keep telling myself that we are really married. I’ve missed you so much at night. Just knowing that you are on board ship with me, there to look but not touch, drives me crazy! It is maddening that I can’t touch you the way I want to. There are times when I have to fight with myself so as not to go down to your quarters and just plain steal you away. I would like to just take you up to my quarters and make love to you and throw caution out the window. For once in my life I don’t care about my career! I just want to be with you. I am so lonely for you that you would not believe it!” At that, Derek grabbed Nova’s hands and stared into her eyes.


Nova looked at him, blushing as she realized she had her toe ring on. She had never told Spada, but the littlle silver love knot ring, usually worn on her second toe, had been a gift from Derek on their wedding night. After they had made love for the first time, he had put it on her toe to decorate her and serve as a sign that they had joined in love. She had loved the gesture.


Nova thought hard, looking into his eyes as she looked down, blushed, and saw the little ring glittering behind her rose-painted toenails, which, of course, now showed in her clogs.


Nova liked two rings. Her gold wedding band, which she seldom took off, along with her cross. Then, there was her little silver toe ring. The ring was a secret sign between them; whenever Nova wore it, she was longing for her husband in that special, intimate sense. By wearing her ring down there, Nova showed Derek that she wanted the same thing that he had just said he had wanted (she had been thinking of him with painful longing that morning when getting dressed). However, she knew that some part of him didn’t mean the part about his career.


“Oh Derek, I know how you feel..I want you, you want me! It’s so hard on both of us, I guess that’s why Commanding General Singleton sent us up together. I guess he wanted us to make sure that we were able to handle separating work and pleasure. And I have to admit, that there where times when I too just wanted to sneak up to your quarters.”


“Like today?” said Derek.


“Why do you think I have your love knot on?” she said as she put her foot up on the rail. He reached down and kissed her foot, and she giggled softly.


“If only I could…” said Derek.


“Could what?” said Nova as she batted her eyes at him.


“You know,” he said with a blush. “But we can’t…even though….”


Then, the ship shook hard. It startled them, and the stars moved a bit faster.


Derek lost his footing and fell onto the deck on his bottom.


Nova fell right into his lap with her long legs flailing up into the air. She squealed until Derek caught her, putting his hands around her thighs.


“Your legs are bare,” he said with a blush as he noticed her tunic had ridden up a bit when she had fallen. “So smooth,” he whispered.


“Me and my silly old Vicki Rogan legs,” blushed Nova as she referred to a tri-d movie and dance actress with gorgeous legs who appeared in romantic musicals, which were making a bit of a comeback that year. “Always getting me in trouble….”


“Actually, yours look better,” said Derek as he kissed the back of Nova’s head.


“You’re so warm,” whispered Nova as she cuddled into his lap. “After that bad experience with Doctor Spada, I just want to be held, cuddled…made love to…”


“Nova,” purred Derek.


“But…we can’t, and you know it,” said Nova as she twisted around, gave Derek a kiss on his cheek, and helped Derek up, making sure that her mini was decent after doing so.


“Darn,” said Derek. “But it is so tempting…”


“But,  I guess we both feel the same as to just taking caution to the wind and letting temptation take over.”


“I was kind of thinking something, Nova!” said Derek as he brightened suddenly. “You know, we should be coming up on Planet Canopus in two days after two more warps. Maybe I can have everyone take shore leave…at least then we can spend time together…all alone. There’s hardly anyone on our new colony on Canopus yet…lots of open space. What do you think? If you’re up to it, that is?” Derek said.


“Can we? I mean, would the EDF allow us to take that time?” Nova asked. “It is tempting…Canopus is beautiful…all that blue water, those beaches…those lush forests?”


“I don’t see why not,” said Derek. “Our mission is pretty much over with and after that dog fight at Planet Dunbar, I think the crew deserves some kind of R and R…a better gift than just a dumb medal stuck to their jackets. We’re ahead of schedule and this would give the crew time to unwind before heading home and before they get orders to their next stations,” Derek said trying to convince Nova.


“If you think that EDF will allow it, then I’m in!” Nova smiled. “Did I tell you I packed my white bikini? The one you like so much?”


No!” laughed Derek. “You’re a sneak!”


“It’d look cute with these slightly beat-up clogs, wouldn’t it?” said Nova.


Derek nodded and said, “Great! I’ll go over it with Lieutenant Commander Lee…and then we can present the idea to General Singleton!” Derek said in an excited tone of voice.


As Derek looked around the observation room and saw that all was clear, he grabbed Nova by the waist and kissed her full-on on the mouth.


In response, Nova just threw her arms around him. She loved this man and she didn’t care if anyone saw them hugging and kissing now.


They had a hard time breaking their embrace, but they had to in order to return to the Bridge.



On the First Bridge, Nova sat at her post in her minidress while Derek talked with Lee.


“So Lieutenant Commander, what do you think?” Wildstar asked Lee. “It’s a logical plan…right?”


“Sounds great, I don’t see why they wouldn’t allow us to stop there,” said Lee. “We are gonna need supplies from that little base anyway, and it would give the crew an opportunity to just burn some stress off. They did an excellent job back on Planet Dunbar. I think we should approach it together and it would give me an opportunity to continue working on my little project.” Lee said with a grin.


“Thanks,” Wildstar said happily. “So, that’s three days on Canopus, all set up…”


Lee nodded. The crew on the bridge began to talk with excitement. Soon, after two officers left the bridge, the news of a three-day liberty call spread throughout Endeavor like fire in a dry forest. Within ten minutes, couples were making plans for picnics, some of the female crewmembers were thinking about getting their hands on swimsuits or warm-weather workout clothes to run around in, and some of the male crewmembers were thinking of water-skiing on Canopus or chasing females there. Down below, IQ-10 got excited all of a sudden, ran into Sickbay, and lifted up the skirt of an Ensign nurse while Spada and the others laughed hard. Spada shut his eyes and fantasized about Nova in a swimsuit and sunglasses and wondered how he could pry her away from Wildstar and whisk her off to some little cove himself, not knowing that similar thoughts were also going through the good Captain’s head as he stole glances at his lovely, elfin-figured wife.


“Oh and Captain?” Lee said after turning around after doing some work for a few minutes.


“Yeah?” said Derek.


“Will Lieutenant Commander Forrester be taking leave the same time as you?” Lieutenant Lee asked with a grin. He looked over at Nova and she smiled slightly. Lee suddenly noticed she looked younger, a little more girlish, almost, for some reason.


“I believe so, is that a problem?” Wildstar asked. He looked at Nova and smiled, and he nodded as she smiled back.


“No sir, just have a good time with Mrs. Wildstar. I’ll more then happy to cover the bridge for that time…” Lee smiled at Wildstar, but Derek saw a strange look in his eyes for some reason. Nova noticed it too, and she suddenly felt a shiver going down her back as Lee looked at her. It’s silly, she thought. Lee has been nothing but honorable to me this cruise. Not like Doctor Spada. So, why are goose pimples suddenly going down my arms and legs?


Nova left a moment later to look after some things in Sickbay. Lieutenant Commander Lee and Captain Wildstar finished with their work on the Bridge and returned to Wildstar’s quarters an hour later. “Lieutenant Miamato, please put a line thru to EDF headquarters direct to General Singleton,” Wildstar called into the telecommunications phone.


A moment passed.


“Sir I have Admiral Singleton on Video Two…would you like for me to patch it through to your quarters only, sir?” Miamato asked.


“Yes, please” Wildstar answered. Derek then saluted as the Commander came up on the screen.


“Captain Wildstar, how are you?” said Singleton. “We are quite happy with the outcome of your mission. The civilians are home safe and sound. I have spoken to the director at Planet Dunbar, and the scientists are just about done with all the data. I was just about to call you and give you more details on your next mission.” Singleton said.


“Sir?” both Wildstar and Lee answered togethere.


“Well, considering the wonderful job that you have done, it will be your mission to make sure that the scientists and the remaining Marines get home safely. They are only a few days away from completing their jobs, and your ship is the closest vessel out there. I know you had expected to warp back to Planet Pluto, and then home again, but it will be better time management if you take over that part of the mission as well. It should only take another seven to ten days. Therefore, you will stop at Planet Canopus to pick up needed supplies, and then return to Planet Dunbar.”


“Sir, how long are we expected to stop on Planet Canopus for supplies?” Wildstar asked.


“You have twenty-four hours to gather all the supplies you need for the mission,” the Commander said. “Will you be needing more time, Captain?”


“Well sir, I was hoping to give the crew some R and R before heading back to Earth and receiving new orders. It would take…maybe…two or three days. It would not add much time to the schedule, and we can tune the ship while we give shore leave to different liberty parties,” Wildstar said logicially, but he was thinking to himself… “I would like to spend some time with my wife off this ship and hopefully make love to her on a nice quiet planet..”


Singleton sighed and then said, “I am sorry, Captain  I must deny that request…for now. They want those men and women off Dunbar as soon as possible, especially in light of those Bolar activities. It shocked us that the Bolar Federation has returned. We thought they had all been defeated. Your job will not take that long. Once the scientists and the Space Marines are back on ship, you can give your crew some R and R once you return to Planet Canopus near the very end of the month,” Singleton said. “It should not be that long. You might even be back on Earth in time for Heroes’ Hill in early September! Any other requests, Captain?”


Nearly a whole damn month more? Derek thought. The enticing images that had been going through his head of Nova in her swimsuit (or even nothing at all in the sun on a windswept and lonely beach) faded away like a popped balloon, “No, sir,” Wildstar replied with sadness in his voice. Well, she was talking about buying a new car for herself when we got home, he sighed. We won’t miss the October incentive sales at least. Wheeee!


“Very well, then. Please call me when you leave Canopus and you are on your way to Dunbar. Earth Command Out.”


“Yessir,” said Derek. He saluted, Singleton returned the salute, and then, with that note, the video phone went black.


Derek spoke no words in a sullen silence as he pounded a table with his fist. “Damned Generals and Admirals!” he barked.


Lee looked at him. “I’m sorry sir, I know how much you wanted to spend some private time with your wife. If there’s anything I can do…please let me know.” Lee said to try cheering him up.


“Nahhh, its all right. I guess I can wait til we get back. It won’t be that long, even though Her Nibs will be awfully disappointed. Thanks for your support though, I appreciate it. Well…it’s time to break the bad news to everyone,” Wildstar said, still sounding depressed.


“Derek, would you like to tell Nova in private first before announcing it on the intercom?”


Lee felt bad for him and Nova. He saw that they had worked so hard to stay professional for all this cruise, and just the one chance of them having time together was taken away. Well I think I can fix that… Lee thought to himself. And look the other way so Stone will learn bupkis about it!, using a Yiddish word he knew from having served around New York City once. “Bupkis” was New-York-City area speak for “nothing, nada…”


“No its all right…I’m sure she will understand, and won’t fit me for cement boots and the Sumida River yet!  It’s better that she hears it at the same time as the rest of the crew,”  Wildstar said still feeling low.


“Yes sir. I understand” Lee said. Then, he turned and left the Captain’s Quarters. 


On the First Bridge, Wildstar took a deep breath, thinking…I’m sorry Nova, I really wanted to spend time with you but orders are orders… He knew Nova was still in Sickbay.


Wildstar looked at Miamato and nodded here goes. Then, he said after opening the microphone, “Attention all hands, attention all hands! This is your Captain speaking! Please be prepared for new orders. The Endeavor has been re-assigned to return to Planet Dunbar within the next week! We will be docking on Planet Canopus for supplies. We will have just 24 hours to gather up all needed supplies and make shipboard repairs, and then we will be leaving ASAP at top speed for Planet Dunbar. Any liberty calls previously arranged for our stop at Canopus are now suspended, at least until the return trip. Please secure all quarters for warp! We will be warping in be twenty minutes. You all have done a great job so far, and I expect the same from you once again. I know that you all were expecting to unwind on Canopus for a while and then return back to Earth sooner, and for that I do apologize.”


It seemed that the whole ship was suddenly dead silent. So silent that Wildstar could hear a pin drop. He looked up at the bridge crew and saw the surprise on their faces. All he could do was put on a pretend smile and nod to all the crew…while hiding the fact that he wanted to ram his fist through something. “Sorry fellas…I really was hoping to have a liberty call and get back to Earth, too. Nova says the kitchen has to be repainted. Let’s get started…we have a mission to complete. Then, we can go the heck home.”


After the shock of hearing the news in Sickbay, Nova sat at her desk with a depressed look..after sadly taking her love-knot toe ring off and then putting her regulation white nurse’s boots on after suddenly feeling depressed and too exposed in her summery slippers. Oh, Derek it never fails… we always have our plans stolen from us, you must be as upset as I am…


Nova suddenly felt an arm on her as she zipped her boot shut.  She looked up to see Doctor Spada smiling down at her. “I’m sorry, Nova….I know that everyone was looking forward to getting back, even you. If it makes you feel any better, I was looking forward to it, too. But we have another job to do, and I guess we should start securing the room. Right?”


“Yes, Doctor,” Nova nodded and started helping the Doctor to secure all cabinets and supplies. All she could think about was Derek and how he probably felt right now. He probably feels lower than a snake’s belly right now. I wonder if this is Stone’s doing? l’ll have to see how he is doing after the warp…





Space Battleship Endeavor


Deep Space, Back Near Dunbar


August 15, 2204


0700 Hours-Standard Earth Space-Time



In space, after their short, rushed stay on Canopus, the Endeavor was warping back towards Dunbar again.


On the First Bridge, Wildstar said, “All hands, ready for warp!”


“10 seconds to warp…secure ship! All hands, strap in,” said Lee. “Final countdown 10......9.....8.......7......6......5........4.......3.......2.......1…Warp!” 


It only took .9 seconds for the space warp. “Whoa… it’s getting faster all the time!” Wildstar said. “I’m not sure if I can get used to that.”


Lieutenant Commander Lee smiled at Wildstar, “They seem to be perfecting that with each ship. Faster and more efficient. They’ve come a long way since the Yamato.”


“Yeah, but the Yamato was a special ship that had a whole lot of spirit!” snapped Wildstar. “The Endeavor  has proved herself, but I hope that we won’t have to see any more combat for some while. Lets get this started, Mister Lee.  Mister Miamato, you will please set up communications with Staff Sergeant Booker and see how far they have to go before we can pick them up. Wright, maybe they can use you down there so can speed things along. As much as this mission is important to the EDF, my crew is as just important to me. And I hate sitting here like an unpaid babysitter! It makes me uncomfortable standing here like a sitting duck.”  


“Sir, I have Staff Sergeant Booker on the video panel,” Miamato informed Wildstar.


“Put him through,” ordered Wildstar.


“Yes, sir.”


Wildstar stood up and said, “Sergeant Booker, how’s it going down there with the scientists? Are you almost done with the data?” Wildstar asked, hoping that they were finished and they all could head back to Earth at last!


“Sorry sir, but they are having problems with one of the scanning systems and are they trying to repair it,” Booker said with annoyance. He too felt like a babysitter…a wet nurse to a bunch of big-brained and big-headed infants that couldn’t decide what was the better toy to bring along on the trip…or how to use it! He was a Space Marine, not a babysitter. He was a fighting, killing machine that did was what he was trained to do, not this…garbage. The only action he had gotten to see on this trip was the first day they arrived. If only it were like that more often.


“I am sending down Lieutenant Wright…maybe he can see what the problem is! The sooner it is done…the sooner we can get home,” Wildstar informed Booker.


“Thank you sir, Booker out.”





Nova prepared to get ready; she was going with Lieutenant Wright to Dunbar and she would help out in collecting the vital data.


She was not happy about this. She also felt the civilian scientists were a bunch of inefficient, overpaid fools, and she still had the image of her and Spada getting hit and crashing down on the planet. Then, there was the little mishap that Spada had tried with her.


Nova was biting her lip hard as she thought, Had this gone differently, Derek and I might have been waking up in each other’s arms on the shore on Canopus right now! Arrrgh!


“Hey Forrester, how are you?” called a female voice.


Nova looked around the room and found Lieutenant Howard standing in the door way to the quarters.


Nova said, “I’m fine…just getting something together before I leave. I have to go back down with Lieutenant Wright to help out getting the data on the environment and atmosphere. “Hey! What’s up with you and Lieutenant Pesci?”


“Oh, we’re doing pretty good,” Howard smiled at the thought of him. “Springer and Delvechio are at the landing bay. She wanted to see him off.”


“You four have gotten close I see. Should I be hearing future wedding bells?” Nova said with a grin. “Maybe a double wedding?”


Howard laughed out loud. “I for one have no intentions of marring anyone for a few more years. I have a career that I would like to build. Like you did, Nova. Now Miss Springer on the other hand, has the color pattern for her bridesmaids’ gowns and groomsmen’s tuxedos already picked out. Not to mention the house they are going to live in, down to city, state, country, and how many little brats she is gonna hatch.”


Nova laughed so hard that she almost damaged her healing rib. “You, my friend, have a weird sense of humor.” Nova finished getting her things and started for the door.


Howard then said, “Hey, Nova, I’m sorry that you couldn’t spend time with Captain Wildstar. I knew you were looking forward to it. He is a really great Captain. I hope my next mission is on his ship, and who knows maybe you’ll get to run your own vessel someday, too. You should, Nova. I think you would be a great Captain.” Nova smiled at the sincerity of Howard’s words.


“Howard, a word of advice,” said Nova. “Don’t push him away! Pesci is a really nice catch and he seems the type to make it to the top. If he can stand back and support what judgment you make and you stand by his, then things will fall into place.”


Howard just smiled at Nova. She must have seen that she really did care a lot for Pesci. But Howard was not one to show affection in that sense to anyone just yet. “Good luck, Forrester…you get back safe,” Howard said as Nova walked out the door towards the flight hatch.


Nova made her way down to the Flight hatch to meet with Lieutenant Wright. As she turned the corner, her face lit up, for standing at the entranceway to surprise her was Derek! “Hello there, getting ready?


“Yes sir, I just have to make last minute checks around and inside the Cosmo Hound. Have you seen Lieutenant Wright, is he here yet?” Nova said looking around the flight pad.


“No, not yet, Lieutenant Commander. I think he’s getting IQ-10 ready for any information that he can load into his memory. Nova, honey are you gonna be OK? I’m sorry that it didn’t work out the way we wanted to but you know the EDF.....”


Nova cut him off, “Captain Wildstar, believe me, I very much know the way EDF thinks! And no Derek, I am not mad…I am a little disappointed, but we will have plenty of time to make it up,” Nova smiled at her beloved husband while pulling at a sleeve of her blue uniform. One of her legs began to shake as she smiled at him. Damn he still makes me weak in the knees, even after all these years, Nova thought to herself.


“I love you Nova, please be careful! I do not want anything happening to you!” Derek said with intense eyes.


“Love you too, I’ll be fine Derek, I’ll be with Lieutenant Wright this time so don’t worry!”


“OK then, I guess I have to wait to steal a kiss from you later, good luck, Lieutenant Commander!” said Derek.


“Thanks!” said Nova as she went into the hatch. She blew Derek a kiss before leaving.



The flight down was smooth and they arrived there in the Cosmo Hound in record time.


Wright and Nova were met by one of Staff Sergeant Booker’s men. “This way, sir, ma’am…” he waved to them.


Doctor Rey met them at the entrance of the lab “Welcome, people. We are almost finished…if only we can get this last Krynisky Scanner unit to work right. For some odd reason, the readings on it are coming up either garbled or unusable. We just can’t seem to make it work right.”


Wright started to follow Doctor Rey back to the computer room. “Lieutenant Commander Forrester,“ said Rey. “Please take IQ-10 with you to the other computer room and have him start downloading what ever information is left. Once he is done there, then send him over to me. If we can’t get this to work right, IQ-10 can help solve the problem.” Nova turned and nodded.

“Yes, sir, of course!”


As she made her way down the corridor with IQ-10, she saw Staff Sergeant Booker standing in the doorway. “Hello, Ma’am…you’re looking better!”


“Thank you, Sergeant Booker. You look like someone just took your favorite gun away…what’s with the long face?” Nova asked.


“Well Ma’am, if you ask me, this is not exactly what I had in mind when I joined the Federation Space Marines. I was kinda hoping for more action.”


The Staff Sergeant stood about 6 feet 5 inch tall and made Nova, who was 5 foot 8 in heels, look like a little girl next to his big frame. “The only action I’ve had so far was when we first got here and now I feel like a babysitter waiting for the parents to come home from a wild night out!”


Nova laughed at him with affection. He reminded her a bit of the late Sergeant Knox and how he and Derek had bumped heads all the time. A few times, it had turned out physical before they became friends near the end of the horrible Cometine War with Zordar and Desslok. “Well how about giving me a hand?” Nova ask him.


“I guess so,” Booker said, wishing more for help with a gun instead of computers.


They walked into the room and Nova hooked up IQ-10 to the computer systems.


As he downloaded the information, Booker and Nova chatted about nothing. She found out that Booker was married to another Space Marine and she was stationed on Pluto. He had a son and daughter that were with her parents while they served on their missions. He show her pictures of the kids at their grandparents’ house playing around on the front lawn. He told her stories about how his wife could handle a gun but when it came to bugs, snakes or any other insect or spider, how she ran and screamed bloody murder.


“I make fun of her all the time about that, how she would rather be shot at then get placed in a room with a bug!” said Booker.


He and Nova both laughed at the thought.


“You like bugs?” said Booker.


“I don’t mind them…except for bees,” said Nova. “Or wasps.”




Nova cleared her throat. “On the Yamato’s first mission, IQ-9 and I were captured on a planet a few warps away from Balan by a race of aliens that were giant humanoid bees. Their honey was nice, but they were mostly horrible. They kept me prisoner in a giant beehive…of all places!”


“My wife would freak at that!” said Booker. “Did you freak, ma’am?”


“Yes, when I wasn’t trying to figure out a way to get untied and out of there,” said Nova. “That was the first time I was captured. The second time was a few years after that when the Black Nebulans captured me and I was held prisoner by a Sub-Lieutenant Alfon, who ended up being decent to me at the end because he was in love with me but dying. He helped me and my men defuse that bomb. I was scared but treated decently, more or less, both times. I hate to think what it would be like if I was ever captured again,” said Nova.


“You won’t ever be,” said Booker. “Wildstar will make sure of it!”


Nova liked Booker, for he looked like a threatening giant, but he had a heart like gold. Nova thought, I sense he is the kind of man who will not let you down and won’t ever leave you behind. And he loves his wife very much…


“I like how you describe your wife, Booker,” said Nova. “She sounds nice.”


“Ma’am, you kinda remind me of her….strong, sensible yet really sweet. Of course, my heart belongs to her, so you can be a little sister for me. okay.”


Nova smiled. She was smitten by his remarks and she like the fact of having another honorary older brother. She never had a biological brother or sister, and most of the guys from the Star Force were her extended family, so one more big brother was someone she could always use.


Nova checked on IQ-10 to make sure everything was in working order. When she turned back to Booker, she noticed that he had on a set of earphones. “What are you listening to?” she asked.


“It’s an old song named “I’ll be there for You” from a Jersey band back in 1980's in the 20th Century. They were called Bon Jovi. I like to listen to this music sometimes when I miss my wife. We love the rock bands from that era. Want to listen?” He asked Nova.


“Sure just for a second,” Nova said. Nova put the earphones on and listened. Good tunes she thought. “What was the name of the band again?”


“They were called Bon Jovi…if you like them, then I bet you’d like these guys too!”


Booker started to play other songs for her by other bands called, Journey, Poison, Aerosmith, Heart, Led Zeppelin, etc...


“What was this genre of music called?” said Nova. “It sounds a bit like the neo-pop written on computer, but this has more heart to it.”


“This music was played by real, sweaty humans with real drums and guitars, not computer programmers. Way back when, they were called the “Hair Bands”. Because of their long, long hair,” Booker explained to Nova. “Jon Bon Jovi and Robert Plant, to name two guys like that, were known for this long hair. Longer than yours, I think!”


“Oh?” said Nova as she tapped her booted toes to Led Zeppelin’s “Rock and Roll” as she flipped her dark blond hair around. Booker laughed at that. “Ma’am, you look kind of like Pat Benatar doing that!”


“Who was she?” said Nova. “I’m no stranger to all of this stuff, though. Derek and I sang to “Nowhere Fast” from an ancient movie called Streets of Fire at our wedding reception! We both sing. People say we sound good together.”


“You do, I can hear…” said Booker. “I heard you singing along with the music.”


“I’m not that good,” said Nova. “But, Booker…well..I like this music. Maybe you can make a copy for me?” Nova asked with a shy smile.


“Sure, ma’am,” Booker smiled back.


IQ-10 finally confirmed that all data was transferred to his memory base. “Good, now let’s go see what’s going on with Wright and the others,” Nova said while unplugging IQ-10.


Booker and Nova headed back to the other lab when they heard it....the unmistakable, terrible sound of another explosion.


“What the…?” said Booker.


“Something just blew up!” cried Nova.


“But what?” said Booker.


Smoke began to blow into the room in waves. Nova began to cough.


My God, she thought. What is happening here? Derek! DEREK!