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!
Chapter Seven: OUT OF THE FRYING PAN AND INTO THE FIRE….
Space Battleship Endeavor
Deep Space, Back Near Planet
August 15, 2204
0852 Hours-Standard Earth Space-Time
Wildstar sat in his Captain’s chair talking to Lieutenant Commander Lee. They were discussing the next part of the mission.
“Sir? I have an unidentified space ship approaching!” Miamato called out.
“What? Put it on the video panel, and PDQ!” Wildstar ordered.
What they saw was another surprise that they did not expect. The ship on the screen looked just like another Bolar ship! “How many more are there?” asked Wildstar.
“It’s a small squadron, sir. It consists of one heavy flagship, a space battleship and two escort ships!” Miamato called out.
“Send word down to
“What do you have in mind, Captain?” Lee asked
“I just don’t want their ships knowing that we have people down there. I don’t want to give them an excuse to go raiding the station…that’s all.” Wildstar’s face looked pale and dead, as if the blood had drained from his face. He thought to himself, Nova hurry up, get the hell out of there!
The Endeavor stayed behind the asteroid waiting and watching as to what they were going to do next. Wildstar’s heart dropped when he saw the carrier flagship’s bay hatch opening and fighters taking off and heading down to the planet.
“Miamato, did you call down to the station and warn them?” Wildstar asked.
“Yes sir, but no one is answering… it’s like someone is blocking or jamming the signal. I’ve been trying ever since we spotted them!” Miamato yelled.
Damn THIS! Wildstar said to himself. “Lieutenant Commander Lee, take command of the ship! Miamato, you call down to the flight deck and have them have my Super Star readied! I’m on my way!”
“Captain leaving the bridge. Deputy Captain Lee now assuming command,” Lee called out the order for the crew and the automated log.
Derek ran to the flight deck as fast as he possibly could. Once he reached the ship, he gave it a quick look over, and he jumped into the cockpit. Without waiting for any clearance, he took off. The Black Tigers waited for his arrival outside the Endeavor.
When they were assembled, Wildstar gritted his teeth and nodded once. “OK, fellas… let’s go! ATTACK!”
IN THE MEANTIME…ON
Nova and Sergeant Booker didn’t know what had happened.
All they heard was an explosion, then they ran quickly over to the lab. There was smoke and fire everywhere.
Nova called out for Wright but she heard nothing.
“Wright?” she called again with sparks and embers blowing around her. “WRIGHT?”
Staff Sergeant Booker ran and grabbed a fire extinguisher.
He turned it on full blast. Nova and Booker ran into the burning room.
Nova cried, “WRIGHT? Hello? Anyone?”
Nova kept calling out for Wright and the others, indifferent to the danger. True to her first name, fire didn’t particularly scare Nova very much; not where there were human lives at stake. She was the sort who would prefer to die herself rather than see someone else hurt.
Finally, she heard something in the far part of the lab.
“Here!” yelled a voice over the roaring flames.
Nova ran like mad over to where she heard the voice with Booker by her side. In the meantime, while the other Marines came running to the lab, Nova and Booker started to pull metal and debris from whoever was underneath.
Nova finally saw who was underneath the debris…it was Doctor Rey, who was one of the civilian scientists.
“Are you all right?!” she yelled, waving her hands a bit since some of the smoke was blocking her vision in her helmet.
“I’m OK, how about the others?” he asked.
“I don’t know...I’ve no idea!” Nova yelled over the commotion. “We have to get them all out of here! NOW! Quick, Booker help me with him!”
The Marines worked quickly, pulling people from the debris.
One survivor was Wright, along with three other scientists.
They could do no more, because the lab was too engulfed to save the others.
Nova held onto Booker and cried, feeling useless and angry. Waste of human life always upset her, and here, this seemed to her to be a particularly horrid waste of life.
What happened next went so quickly that no one knew what hit them.
Suddenly, Bolar fighter pilots were everywhere….Nova and the others ran for cover in some of the other buildings with enemy pilots shooting at them as they strafed them.
Some of the pilots were actually arrogant enough to land near the buildings and jump out of their planes to fight on foot. Nova managed to bring down two of the pilots on foot with her own Astro-Automatic, but there were so many of them that energy bolts just whizzed past their heads before they got under cover.
Booker was hit in his shoulder, but he still managed to help one of his other Marines to his feet. After dropping him off in the shelter, he went back out to help the others. Nova was helping one of the surviving scientists, a man named Doctor Cavanaugh, when a missile hit one of the buildings near by and knocked both her and him down. Booker ran in her direction and grabbed the scientist, while Nova ran behind him as quickly as she could.
Booker threw Cavanaugh into the building like a rag doll and ran to help Nova. Nova saw that there was another scientist on the floor reaching for help.
“Take him!” she called out to Booker, but Booker already new that it was too late for him. He grabbed Nova and started running with his sidearm in his hand shooting in the direction of the incoming fighters.
“No! Save him! I’m OK!” Nova screamed at him.
But it was too late, because Booker had her in the building and was shielding her from harm. When Booker looked out again he saw the cavalry coming….namely, the Black Tigers and the Captain’s plane were coming down in a nose dive in combat position.
“OK, fellas…let’s go in and get them out of there!” Wildstar yelled into his helmet mike.
They descended on the enemy fighters with no warning . At first the Bolar fighters weren’t even sure were they came from.
Each started shooting at each other in the mass confusion.
Wildstar shot two ships down and then he turned to another. Delvechio maneuvered his Tiger and shot down three of the Bolar fighters.
Pesci managed to get two more, but when he looked to the rear he saw one Bolar ship after him. With grace, he flew his ship out into the open trying to shake him off. Delvechio followed suit.
“Hold on buddy…I’m coming up behind you!” said Delvechio.
Pesci nodded and moved his ship in a zig-zag position so the enemy fighter couldn’t get a fix on it.
Lasers were going off eveywhere, and the sky was lit up with fighting.
On the ground, Sergeant Booker grabbed a missile gun (the sort Marines called a “Bopper Gun” for short) and he started shooting at the enemy planes from the surface. Luckily, the enemy had stopped landing to invade on foot after all of the Bolar pilots that had landed had been killed by Booker, Nova, and the other Marines.
Pesci felt his ship get hit.
“Damn,” he mumbled. He tried to stay in the air but he couldn’t control the fighter. “Mayday, Mayday I’m hit….I’m ejecting from my fighter… cover me!”
At that, Pesci pulled on the ejection rings and he popped out of the fighter.
Delvechio was angry that his dear friend was shot down, so he chased the enemy planes even harder than ever.
With one shot, he took a Bolar fighter down.
All the of the Tigers then scrambled to protect Pesci so that he could hit the ground safely.
Once Pesci hit the ground he ran for cover and yelled into the helmet mike, “I’m down and alive.”
Delvechio flew past him and gave him a thumbs-up.
Pesci saw that missles were coming from the enemy birds, and he ran to the area where Nova and the others were.
In the smoke and confusion, Nova almost shot him, thinking he was another enemy pilot.
“Lieutenant Commander! It’s me…Lieutenant Pesci. I’m down!” he yelled before Nova shot off a round.
“Oh my God, Pesci! Thank God I didn’t shoot! Are you all right?” Nova yelled out to him.
“Yeah, are you all right? Is everyone in there?” Pesci screamed out.
“They are all OK, but I could use some help over here, pronto!” Sergeant Booker yelled over to him.
Pesci pulled out his gun and started shooting into the air.
“That’s a nice pea shooter, but I think you should grab one of those over there and start really shooting,” Booker yelled out to Pesci.
The fighting continued for 15 minutes, but to them it felt like forever. The remaining Bolar fighters finally retreated back to their ships, with Wildstar and the rest of the Black Tigers en route.
“This is Captain Wildstar, send down the medical boats! I’m sure that there are injured people; we are gonna go after the remaining fighters and try to keep them away from the planet until they’re off!” Wildstar yelled. “We have to keep them away long enough to get everyone off the planet.”
As they reached the enemy flagship and the battleship, more fighters came out of the hull of the flagship.
“Oh, damnit!” Wildstar said. “Endeavor, send out the other asteroid fighters…we are gonna need their help!” Wildstar and the others continued holding the Bolar fighters back until the medical ships took off and descended to the planet. Within seconds of the Captain’s orders, the medical unit was out of the Endeavor heading for the remaining survivors.
Once on the ground, Doctor Spada opened the hatch and ran towards the building were everyone was seeking shelter.
He looked around to see who was injured. Nova motioned him over to one of the scientists and Lieutenant Wright, the two who had sustained the most injuries.
“How bad are they?” Spada asked.
Nova replied, “Lieutenant Wright has some minor burn injuries, but I think he took in a lot of smoke. He’s going cyanotic on me! The Doctor here has burns on both hands, and he doesn’t look good, Doctor.”
Spada looked them over. “Good diagnosis, Forrester. Help me get an airway into Wright!”
Nova nodded as she helped with a breathing tube for the Lieutenant. Then, they ran quickly to patch up all the injured personnel, and they rushed them to the medical ships.
Sergeant Booker and his Marines stood watch and made sure that they were all clear, and then he and his men hopped into the Cosmo Hound.
The ships raced back to the Endeavor.
Wildstar and the rest fought tooth and nail to keep the Bolars from attacking the medical shuttles and the Cosmo Hound. Once the ships were safely back on board, Wildstar called out the order to return to the ship.
When Derek landed, the Endeavor was on full alert. All the emergency lights were on and people were scrambling to put out fires and do repairs to the ship.
The injured were taken to Sickbay for attention.
Once Wildstar’s Superstar Fighter landed, he ran up to the bridge and resumed command.
“Aim all guns at the flag ship,” Wildstar ordered Ortiz. “Fire at will!”
Ortiz fired at the flagship calling out distances for the gunners to set the guns, “Just one more click to starboard. That’s it.... firing!... direct hit, we hit the flagship she’s done! Now aim guns at the battleship, move guns 45 degrees to port, bring them up 2 degrees positive elevation. LOCK! That’s it.... fire!” Two shots took down the battleship, and the other ships finally retreated.
“Sir, they’re retreating! Should we follow suit and pursue?” Ortiz asked.
“No…just let them go! We need to take care of repairs to the ship,” Wildstar sighed with relief that the battle was over. “Give me a report on the damages”
“Sir, considering what happened our damage is minimal. All repairs are being taken care of as we speak. Sir, if you like, I can handle the rest of this! Why don’t you go to the medical ward?” Lieutenant Commander Lee offered.
“Are you sure, Lee?” Wildstar asked.
“Yes, sir…I am…” Lee replied.
“Very well, Lieutenant Commander. Assume command.”
“Captain leaving the bridge, Deputy Captain is now in command!”
LATER THAT MORNING….
“Sergeant Booker, why didn’t you help that scientist?” Nova asked with anger while she worked on one of his men in Sickbay in her white nurse’s minidress and clogs. “The poor man needed help! Why did you leave him?”
“Because, ma’am…he was already dead,” Booker answered. “Marines don’t waste their time with dead guys. Only the living.”
“No he wasn’t dead! I saw his hand up!” Nova argued back.
Booker sighed and said, “Ma’am…you didn’t see the enemy fighters finishing him off. I did!”
“Oh, my God!” Nova started to cry.
Sergeant Booker grabbed her and consoled her and then he made her towards him with big, gentle hands as if he was the father and she was a child.
“Ma’am, now how could I explain to the Captain that you would have died because I was wasting my time with a dead man? Think about that!”
Nova cried even harder. She knew that Booker was a good man and she knew that he had protected her and made sure that he would bring her back to Derek in one piece and alive.
“Ma’am, also I have to make sure that I copy those bands for you to listen to!”
At that, Nova laughed through her tears and gave him a big hug. When she pulled away, she noticed the blood on his shoulder. “Booker…you’re hurt, let me look at you!”
“I’m fine…just a scratch…”
“Scratches don’t bleed through Marine BDUs like that,” she snapped.
Booker sighed as Nova helped him take off his green shirt. She examined him and found that he only suffered from a flesh wound. Still, he needed a quick two stitches, and some antiseptic, which Nova administered. She then got a dressing and patched him up, and tried giving him some pain medicine, which he refused, because he said, “Oh, damnit! Space Marines don’t feel pain!” Nova gave him a hug at that and then she got him back into his shirt. He was happy that he was alive and going home back to his wife.
Wildstar entered Sickbay and looked around, noticing that the nurses and medics were all busy patching up the injured Space Marines and what remained of the stunned civilian scientists. Wright was still in critical condition from the smoke he inhaled. He saw Nova over at one of the medical tables taking care of Sergeant Booker, a vision of beauty in her white minidress. As he walked over, he saw that she was giving Booker a hug.
“What’s this, I turn my back and you get cozy with my wife, Booker?” That was the first time Derek had made it publicly known that Nova was his wife. He grabbed her up for all to see and kissed her. He held her tight and almost cried, thinking that he could have lost her again.
When they pulled away, Nova explained to Derek how Booker saved the day. She explained how brave he was and the deadly decision he had to make between Nova and a dying scientist.
Derek shook his hand, thanked him and gave him a pat on the back. Then Booker started walking over to help look after his friends.
Nova called out to him “Don’t forget about those copies you’re supposed to make for me, Sergeant!” In reply, he laughed and gave her a wink.
“What’s going on? What’s that all about?” Derek asked while scratching his head.
“Oh nothing….it’s just some songs that he introduced me to,” Nova smiled at him. She thought that she could never love him any more but every times she saw him she knew that she could and did.
Derek grabbed her again and hugged her some more. “ I love you so much, my Nova…”
“Derek…” Nova said happily as she hugged him back.
“Are you man handling my nurse, Captain?” Doctor Spada said, trying to make a joke. Wildstar looked at him with his hands drawn up suddenly in tight fists. Nova saw Derek tensing up and she grabbed his hand and gave him a hug. He quickly looked at Nova and nodded. “Well I see you have everything under control here. I’d better get back to the bridge and see about the damage, Lieutenant Commander. I’ll see you later,” he said to Nova.
“Yes, sir,” Nova smiled. She gave him a peck on the cheek and then he left.
“He really loves you, doesn’t he?” Spada asked.
“Yes he does, and I love him more every day myself. Doctor, we’d better finish up here and get these Marines patched up and released. Dinner time is coming around, and I know how they get if they’re not fed. It could get real ugly in here…real fast,” Nova walked away to tend to a Marine.
Spada looked on and watch Nova smiling and laughing with the Marines. After she finished with the Marines, he watched her going into the critical unit to check on Lieutenant Wright.
II. Finishing the
Space Battleship Endeavor
Deep Space, on the Way Back to Earth…
August 16, 2204
0100 Hours-Standard Earth Space-Time
That night, Wildstar
returned to the
“Captain on the bridge, Captain resuming command!” Lee yelled out.
“How is everything, Captain?” Lee asked with concern in his voice.
“Everything is great. Wright suffers from smoke inhalation but they say he is going to recover in no time. Unfortunately we lost some scientists from the explosions. About eighteen of them were killed,” Wildstar explained.
“That’s why the Bolar fighters took off; they must have seen the explosion on their radars,” Lieutenant Commander Lee said looking at Wildstar. Wildstar nodded his head.
“There’s only one thing to do now. Ortiz, get set to fire at the Planet Dunbar, we have to destroy the space station so that it cannot be captured and used again by the enemy. We will have to use the wave motion gun,” Wildstar ordered. “We have to destroy the site for good.”
“Yes sir, transferring all energy to wave motion gun. Make all firing preparations!” said Lee.
“Base is on the target scope, well within range….thirty seconds to firing,” said Ortiz as the terrible pulsing whine of the Endeavor’s wave motion gun resounded throughout the ship.”Goggles down…ready to fire. Final count down to firing, 10.....9....8.....7.....5.....4.....3.....2.....1…FIRE!”
At that, Ortiz fired the Endeavor’s wave gun right at the abandoned base. His accuracy was on target, and he felt relieved when a mushroom cloud went up, being sure that no one would ever set up shop there again.
Still, Wildstar felt a sense of defeat when the base went up in energy and smoke. I wish there would have been some other way, but there wasn’t, he thought. Oh well…at least no one will ever use that base for any evil purposes again…
Wildstar then turned to Lee. “Well, I think that will solve that problem for awhile. You know you’ve been a great Deputy Captain? I think that you need some time off from the bridge…why don’t take a long break for tonight? I think I can handle it from here for this watch.”
“Thank you, sir,” Lee saluted Wildstar and left.
Lee then thought, I’ve never met a Captain like him, his crew respects him and he always put them first when it comes to a mission. I wouldn’t mind working with him again. Lee thought to himself as he made his way to the medical unit where he was looking for Doctor Spada. He entered the unit and looked around. They were finishing up with what was left of the injured crew. He looked over to the left of the unit and saw Lieutenant Howard and Lieutenant Pesci talking. It was mostly Howard, talking about how he could have been killed before they had a chance to go on a real date. Nova just finished putting things away, and it looked like she was putting some things on a small cart. He peeked into the critical unit and checked on Wright. He seemed to look much better. He made his way to Spada’s office and poked his head in. “So, you still have that poker face, Doc?”
“Uh, oh yeah, I sure do. When is the big game?” he asked
“How about in an hour after our next scheduled space warp? The Captain’s taken over the bridge and let me go until morning. I figure I can finally win some credits off of some dead beats.”
“I’ll be there. I’ll just finish up in here and meet you where?” Spada asked.
“The Male Officers’ Rec room, and Doc…I hope you have lots of Credits I’ve had an eye on this sweet BMW air car, you see?” Lee laugh and left to get some other guys.
After they made their next warp, warping five thousand lightyears back towards Earth, Nova came up to the bridge in her standard blues and boots, while pushing a cart. “Hello, fellas? I thought I’d bring you some fresh orange juice that I just squeezed up!”
They all got up and grabbed a glass, thanked her and went back to work. Nova walk over to where Derek was sitting and handed him a glass of orange juice, and held his hand for a minute.
“So what’s new, Captain?” she said with a winning smile.
Derek spun around to look at his wife, “I’m just fine, thank you. How’s Lieutenant Wright?”
“He’s doing very well, Derek. He’s getting color back into his face and he is breathing on his own. He should be up and around in a day or two,” Nova told him.
“And Sergeant Booker? How is he doing?, I owe him a lot, Nova,” Derek said while smiling at Nova.
Nova and Derek talk
for the next two hours on the bridge about the mission, the new threat from the
Bolar Federation, the battle that they just had on
“OK then, Captain, good night…for now.” Nova waved and she headed for bed. She had been invited to the big poker game by Lee (being the only woman on the ship who had been asked to play) but she had begged off, preferring to spend time with Derek. Besides, she was not a very good poker player. Derek knew that, but she didn’t want the rest of the crew finding out if it could be avoided.
I’m gonna miss her again tonight…” Derek thought to himself. He turned his chair towards the fore part of the bridge and tried to finish his computer work. He had a lot to put into his Captain’s log for the EDF to look over. That should keep me busy until Lee gets back, he thought. Finally, while yawning himself, he picked up the telecommunications phone and dialed the mess hall. “Coffee, please. Have a steward bring it right up the Bridge Number One. This is going to be a long night…”
III. THE BIG GAME
Space Battleship Endeavor
Deep Space, on the Way Back to Earth…
August 16, 2204
0325 Hours-Standard Earth Space-Time
Lieutenant Commander Lee managed to get some more guys for the game at the last minute to replace Nova and some of the others who had begged off for that night. Sergeant Booker agreeed, along with two more of his Space Marines. They all met in the male officers’ rec room. Lee managed to get Cookie to fix them up some sandwiches and drinks. The table was set and the chips were on the table. Now all we need are the fellas…he thought as he shuffled the cards. Lee added to himself, It’s probably better Nova isn’t here tonight; same with the Captain. We might be talking some personal crap, and it’s better that there’s no ladies around to hear this.
“Hey there, sir, are we late? Sergeant Booker asked as he showed up.
“Nope, you’re right on time, Mac.”
One by one, everyone showed up and they sat down to start a hand. Spada walked in 10 minutes later and they threw some chips at him in a good-natured way. They played on for hours making conversation, and cracking jokes. It didn’t matter that they were enlisted men and officers. It was just fellow comrades enjoying some time off. As the time got later, one by one they licked their wounds from losing lots of credits, or they smiled that they were ahead and thus decided to leave before losing some more credits. One by one, they all said their good nights until the only ones left at the table were Lieutenant Commander Lee and Lieutenant Spada.
“Drink?” Lee said, raising a glass towards Spada.
“Sure, why not?” said Spada. It was now almost 0400 in the morning, and the ship was getting as quiet as a space warship could get on Dog Watch.
“Its not like the
real thing…but it’s close enough to it. I spiked it a bit with some good old
“I think I can handle that,” snorted Doctor Spada while taking the glass and drinking it in one gulp.
“You’re a hell of a poker player, Doc,” said Booker. “I guess you do have a good poker face. But let me ask you something? How can you tell when someone was bluffing? Half the time I couldn’t tell who had what hand…”
“Well that is quite simple. I know how to study people. When you had a good hand, you always raised your left eyebrow; when you had a bad hand you also talked about your wife.”
“Damnit, you figured me out!” laughed Booker.
“Doc that’s amazing! I never would have figured half of them out! How much did you take in?”
“About a thousand credits. Oh. They were mostly from you,” Spada said while laughing at him.
“I hope you give me chance to win that back sometime, you card counter,” Lee irked him on.
“Aaa, someday, buddy. I think I’m gonna call it a night for now. I have rounds in the morning, and the lovely so-called Mrs. Wildstar will be my nurse. Ahh! A real sight for sore eyes with those legs of hers that I’ll bet her husband never appreciates because he always has his nose in his computer playing Captain Queeg!” Spada didn’t seem to care if he talked like that in front of the Deputy Captain. Spada’s disdain for the Captain was something that Lee liked about him. Plus the Vodka Lee had provided helped to loosen his lips.
“Ah the lovely Lieutenant Forrester, do you have a thing for her? I would think that because she is the wife of the Captain, no one would even want to hit on her. That’s like asking for a direct trip to the brig…or, a beating.” Lee encouraged him.
“Well considering that Wildstar acts like she’s not even there most of the time, I think that he should watch out. Nova might just wind up in someone else’s arms…no woman can endure being ignored like that for long! Yeah, I know the Skipper made a big show today by hugging her in front of everyone, but come on, give me a break. He just threw her a dirty little bone; that’s all. I wouldn’t be surprised if he already has someone he’s snogging with on the side. Men like that don’t stay faithful to their wives for long before they start straying and sniffing about.”
Lee sat back and listened in amazement while Spada spoke of Nova and the Captain in that manner. He was amazed that he was willing to talk about anything. So, Lee started to question even more. “So what really happened when the Cosmo Hound went down, and you were all alone with her?”
“Oh that little stint, nothing much to it. She acts so professional, but she really is lonely and wants men like a addict wants his heroin. She was supposed to be this ultra-great pilot but she wound up crashing like some teenager. It was a game. I knew she wanted me. It was all a ploy to get me all alone so she could play around. Ha! Talk about a desperate wife looking for attention! But she hurt her rib really bad, so I had to get the transponder and turn it on rather than let things progress.”
“So you deliberately told everyone that you couldn’t find it?” Lee asked as he continued questioning Doctor Spada.
“It almost worked. I just didn’t realize that she was aware of the model. Boy is she a smart cookie, one can’t pull anything over her. Too damn smart, if you ask me. A woman should not ever be so smart.”
Lee forced a laugh and then he yawned “Well buddy, enough of this. It’s time for me to crash…since I have to take control of the bridge tomorrow. But I’ll catch up with you later. Maybe try to win some of those credits back from you,” he said with a laugh as Lee shook his hand and they both went to their quarters.
As he left, Lee shook his head and thought, So that’s what Spada thinks of Nova? Boy…The slime.
Then, Lee made a decision about something. He had been mulling over it for a while in his mind, and he thought, Why not?
IV. ONE NIGHT TOGETHER
Space Battleship Endeavor
Deep Space, on the Way Back to Earth…
August 16, 2204
2012 Hours-Standard Earth Space-Time
Morning came around on the Endeavor as crew members changed shifts. A long, uneventful day passed as the ship warped again. She was now closer to Earth.
After getting some coffee, Captain Wildstar came
back onto the
As Derek scanned the bridge, he looked at Lee. Lee was slumped at his post and he looked very tired.
Then, Wildstar and Lee looked at each other. “You look like hell, Mister Lee,” Derek said. “I sent you to go get some rest at 1500 and you look worse now then you did last night. Do you need some more time off?”
“No sir. I had a little poker game last night and I guess the game turned out more interesting then I thought it would. Besides I at least got 3 hours’ worth sleep; you’ve been up way longer then I’ve been and you look like hell, sir. I’ll be alright…you go and get some sleep,” Lee looking ragged insisted.
“Very well then, I’ll just grab a couple of hours and then relieve you so that you can get some sleep. I can’t have my Deputy Captain looking like this.”
“No sir, I’ll be all. You get some sleep,” Lee pushed him to his quarters. “ And you sleep as long as you can.”
“Very well, then…good night.” Wildstar said heading towards his quarters.
“Captain leaving the bridge! Deputy Captain Lee in command!” Lee yelled out with a hoarse throat.
Wildstar got in the elevator and leaned on the bulkheadl.
Wow…I didn’t think I was this tired! I guess I should be…damnit, I can’t remember the last time that I slept.
When the elevator doors opened, Derek found his cabin almost darkened. The only light came from a few candles on a table. Nearby, a dinner cart was set up. It look like a romantic dinner for someone. When he stepped out into the room, he looked towards the bed and saw that it was turn down and there were petals from a rose thrown on it. He looked over to the view of the huge window in his room and saw Nova standing there. She looked beautiful in a little simple black strapless dress. She wore no shoes, had her finger and toenails polished, and she had on her wedding ring a simple gold cross around her neck, and her silver toe ring.
“Uh, what’s all this for?” said Derek.
“Well, sir… your Deputy Captain has decided that you and I needed some R and R and we had this set up. I was kinda thrown in here at the last minute, silly…” Nova grabbed Derek and began to take off his Captain’s peacoat. “Come sit down and eat something; you can’t survive on coffee alone for days, Derek!”
“But how did he manage this? He knows the regulations and there could be charges if they find out. Especially from that damn Stone.”
“Not to worry sir. Mister Lee has already put a special leave request for you and I from General Singleton. We have 24 hours of leave, and there are two huge Space Marines standing guard outside your door now, and they have orders not allow the Captain to be disturbed.”
“So?” smiled Derek.
“So its just you and I tonight. All alone. No one is watching. No one can see in through the reflectorized coating on your window. We can enjoy the view, and no security cameras are on, either.”
“How did you manage that?”
“I turned them off,” Nova laughed. “We don’t need anyone watching us, do we?”
Derek still didn’t know how Lee and Nova did it, but he was sure thankful that they manageed this for him. Lee knew how much he missed Nova. And of course, Nova knew how much he missed being all alone with her. Even though she was the on ship with him, it wasn’t the same. On duty, they could have little time with each other and could show no emotion towards one another in public. The one time that Derek let it slip was after that last battle with the Bolars, and he was then worried sick.
But now, she was standing in his quarters, and they were alone.
Derek smiled and then said, “Okay, Mrs. Wildstar. Shall we sit?” Derek waved his hand towards the table.
Nova nodded eagerl and walked over to where dinner was with sinuous, barefoot grace like a young dancer. Derek pulled out her chair so she could sit down, and then he sat on the other side.
They enjoyed their meal slowly. The galley staff had made them two large steaks with steak fries, broccoli, and large salads for each of them. While they ate, they talked about nothing at all and laughed at funny things that had happened during the mission that they now knew would be ending in a few days. They made fun of the scene with Howard and Springer strapped down on their bunks and how they matched up with Delvechio and Pesci.
After dinner was over, Nova went over to the small stereo that Derek had in overly large cabin and she put on some music. She placed the disc that Staff Sergeant Booker had made for her of the big hair bands from the 1970’s and 1980's. It was a very nice set of music…it was a mix of the slow songs that they put out during that time. Warrant’s Heaven came out of the speakers. Bon Jovi was next, followed by Journey and a very nice song by Led Zeppelin called All of My Love.
It was a variety of slow rock songs.
“Nice music, where did you get it from?” Derek asked while looking into his wife’s dark brown eyes.
“Oh it was something that Booker put together for me,” Nova smiled, and then she put her head on his shoulder as they stood up, embraced, and kissed.
Then, they danced near the huge window in Derek’s quarters where there were what looked like a million stars shining down on them through the nebulae.
They slow-danced through two songs. Then, with tender skill, Derek danced her over to his bed and picked her up off of her feet and laid her down as Almost Paradise by Ann Wilson and Mike Reno came over the stereo.
This was something they were both waiting for, and they knew it. They were like starving tigers finally thrown some food. Derek kissed Nova’s neck and down her chest in her dress. With ease he found her zipper and zipped it down while she smiled. She help him remove her dress and to Derek’s pleasant surprise, Nova wore absolutely nothing underneath.
With a merry laugh, she picked up her dress with her toes and flung it across the cabin, where it landed on the table in a heap. She would not put it on again that night. Then, Nova slipped into his bed while he removed his uniform. She watched him eagerly as he came closer to her. He looks awesome Nova thought with a smile as she licked her lips.
Derek was always fit…he worked out 2 hours a day in the gym whenever he could get a chance. Nova noticed anew that he had broad shoulders, his pecs were cut and defined, and he a six pack at his abdomen, and taut muscles leading all the way down to his crotch, which was the last thing he bared as he slipped out of his boxer shorts. He stayed in tip-top shape and he looked great; strong, young, and firm. Nova didn’t know it yet, but he would remain like that, in the prime of his youth, for many years, well into his middle age.
As Derek looked down at his wife he couldn’t help but admire her beautiful body, which was always firm and taut. Nova also worked out regularly; she spent ninety minutes a day running, doing gymnastics, or doing jazz and modern dance, all of which kept her in shape, and it showed tonight, since she was firm and sculpted like a swimsuit model from her head down to the tips of her toes. Derek kissed her like mad, starting at her neck and working his way to her soft, but pert breasts. He stopped there, looked into her eyes and kissed her on the lips, then he continued down to her breast while she kissed his neck again and again. He teased her enough for her to want more and more. Derek skillfully turn her over and began kissing her beautiful back (which looked gorgeous unclothed) while admiring her soft shoulders. He continue to kiss her towards the bottom of her back, which always made her crazy. She turned back around and threw her arms around him and guided his hands to other parts of her form. As they both looked into each other’s eyes, their lips met again. This time, their kiss longer and more fierce and desperate. The stereo continued to play and their bodies seem to go on with the tune of the music as they gave into Nature’s call and ended their long fast by melting into each other. Their bodies continued to work music with each other until they both screamed out each other’s names in sheer joy and abandon.
They laid in bed together spent a few minutes later. Derek was on his back, and Nova was on top with one arm around his body and her head on his chest. One of her long legs was thrown over his while he stroked her arm.
“I needed that,” Derek said softly as he kissed her.
“I needed that too,” Nova replied as she held him. “You don’t know how I cried myself to sleep some nights because you couldn’t be there. I always hid it from Howard and Springer. I didn’t want them to think I was weak or anything. I missed you so much, Derek.”
“It’s not weak to admit that,” Derek said.
“I’m the Captain. Some nights, I cried myself to sleep, too. Because I missed you, Nova.”
“Derek,” she whispered as she kissed him. “We have tonight. We have the morning, up until the evening to be together. Twenty-four hours. Then, back to work. Until we’re home,” she said.
“Home,” said Derek with a smile. They held each other and went silent. They both looked out into space and watched the glimmer of bits of rock and asteroids in space as they raced across their view to another world in the small star system they were in. Nova smiled at him and put her head back on his chest. He smells good she thought. It was that cologne Drakkar that she picked out for him many years ago. She loved the way it smelled on him and at her urging, he’s worn it ever since.
They talked a little more and Nova realized that Derek’s eyes were getting heavy. She knew he was tried. She thought, After all when was the last time he slept?
She stayed silent and just watched him fall asleep. “Good night, my Captain, my love…” and she gave him a kiss on his chest.
Then, she held him as she fell asleep safe in his arms.
V. ONWARD HOME!
Space Battleship Endeavor
Deep Space, Two Thousand Lightyears Away From Earth…
August 17, 2204
1500 Hours-Standard Earth Space-Time
The next afternoon, it was still early enough for Derek and Nova to get to their stations without anyone noticing that they were together the night before. After getting up a little late, they made love one more time, got dressed, had a lunch in Derek’s cabin, brought by a steward, and then they decided to resume their regular duties. They stood by the door and held each other tight. They kissed, and then they went back into working mode after dismissing the Marines who had stood guard outside the cabin all night. It’s hard to get back to work again, but last night made it easier to let her go, Wildstar reminded himself.
Once Nova left, Derek managed to finish getting himself ready to take over the bridge. He looked over some reports on his private computer screen and signed some much needed paperwork for the requisition of one thing or another. He was just about to get back on the computer when he heard a knock on the door.
“Who is it?” Derek asked.
“Its Deputy Captain Lee sir, permission to enter.”
“Granted! Please enter,” Wildstar said.
“I’ve come to give you the reports from last night, sir,” Lee said while placing them on his desk.
“Evan, thank you for last night. That was really nice of you to go to bat with Singleton for us. You don’t know how much Nova and I appreciate it.”
Lee smiled at him. “No sweat, Skipper, you and her deserve it. You are a great couple,” he said with a hitch in his voice. “And if ever you get a place on another ship soon, I would like to serve under your command anytime.”
“That would be no problem, I think I have some pull to request a fine Deputy Captain,” Wildstar told him.
“Off the record….Derek,” Evan said. “My report back to General Stone will be as follows…. There was no fraternizing noticed whatsoever on the cruise. Captain Wildstar and Lieutenant Commander Forrester were completely professional. It is recommended they be allowed to serve together again soon.”
Wildstar smiled at him. He thought, His personnel jacket doesn’t fit the man. He is a hard worker and goes above and beyond the call of duty. I really feel for his lost of his financee’. I only wish I could do more for him.
“So, Evan, did you win anything the night before? Or did you lose your shirt?” Derek said while smiling at him.
“Well to tell you the truth, I wasn’t worried about losing credits. I had other fish to fry,” Lee replied.
“And did you catch the big fish…or was it too small to keep and you threw it back?” Wildstar was intrigued.
Lee looked at him with a grin. “I pretty much caught a medium fish, sir, but I’m holding on to it before the big one comes around.”
Wildstar nodded and they started to go over charts and reports.
A little later on, Nova walked into Sickbay grinning from ear to ear. Last night was great… the mood was just right, the dinner, the music and then the love-making. I couldn’t ask for anything more from Derek. Nova thought to herself.
“Well, look who has finally graced us with her presence! Where were you? Picking flowers?” Doctor Spada questioned her.
“What? Oh…no…I had to do some extra duty for Lieutenant Commander Lee. That’s all!”
“Must have been fun; you look really chipper, Nurse!” Doctor Spada said while looking at her with a frown on his face.
“Yeah it was kinda fun. Where are the charts that I have to look over? I have a lot of catching up to do after my little shipboard rest leave. Would you like me to discharge Lieutenant Wright? And is there anything I should know that’s not in the charts yet?”
Spada wasn’t happy that something was up with her, but what was it? “No, there’s nothing new. Lieutenant Wright is free to go. Give him the break down on his future care and check the surviving scientists and make sure that they are comfortable.”
Nova went over to Lieutenant Wright and talked with him for a while before she gave him his discharge papers. As she check on the scientists and their recovery, she hummed to herself one of the songs from last night…Led Zeppelin’s All of My Love. Spada seemed to get more and more agitated as Nova hummed along contentedly and worked. It bothered him that he couldn’t read her. By the end of their watch, he actually wanted to grab her by the shoulders and shake her to find out what happened to make her so cheerful because she wasn’t talking! Nova had always been happy but professional, and what was with that romantic tune she was humming. It drove him utterly crazy.
“I have to go, I’ll see you later, Nurse!” he snapped and then walked out. Usually Nova would ask him what was wrong, because she was sensitive to that. But she didn’t even care, because she was happy with memories of Derek and their night together. She just sirily waved to him and continued with her work by herself.
What is it with me? Spada thought to himself How can I let this stupid bubbly blond chick run my feelings like this? I want her, but she is obviously happy and seems preoccupied with someone else. Who? Her robot Captain? She is an idiot to love that guy and to ignore me like that! I have always gotten my way with women. Never that one has ever turned me down. Never! And here she comes, like she doesn’t care at all. How dare her! I’ll fix her, she’ll see it…I’l fix her wagon damn good!
Later on that day, as they all prepared to warp, many of the crew couldn’t wait to get back to their families.
But the Captain surprised everyone with 2 days’ worth of leave on Planet Canopus, which was only 310 lightyears away from Earth, one of the farthest of the colony worlds that they had discovered while searching for a new Earth. The whole crew scurried to get everything in order for the warp.
Nova continued to hum to herself later that day and Doctor Spada continued to grow more agitated with her. “Lieutenant Commander! Can you please stop that humming, damnit? I am getting a headache! You are being so unprofessonal! You’re like some damn schoolgirl, you know that?”
Nova said nothing, but she just turned away, insulted and annoyed with his tone with her. She told herself that it was only for a few more days and then she would never have to see her unpleasant ex-boyfriend Doctor Spada again. She continued to put things away in silence with her music playing in her head as she tapped her toes to her inner music and thought of getting home to be with Derek all alone in the peace and quiet of their house.
In the meantime, in
the Captain’s Quarters, Wildstar and Lee sat sharing some coffee as they went
over the crew rosters of those who would be granted shore leave on
“So what are you going to do for your two days of leave, Evan?” Wildstar asked. Derek felt comfortable with calling Lee by his first name more and more. He was becoming a good friend and comrade, and Wildstar liked him more and more. He was beginning to remind him somewhat of his late friend Mark Venture now.
Evan sipped at his coffee and replied, “I don’t know. Maybe I’ll relax at one of the space hotels that are popping up everywhere on that planet. Are you sure that you don’t want shore leave time with Nova? Derek, I mean.....you guys surely need more time alone than…”
“No, Evan. I am OK, thanks to you. You go have fun and relax you earn it. Someone has to run the ship. Nova and I have already agreed to catch up on our leave when we get home to Earth. You know, she’s telling me she has to repaint the kitchen and work in her garden. I’d love to help her with those things. She said she’d even try to teach me how to cook.”
“Good luck, don’t
burn the house down, sir!” Lee said with a nervous laugh. “Hey, Skipper! We’d
better get back to the bridge and get ready for our warp to
A few minutes later, Derek got on the PA and said, “Attention all hands, attention all hands, prepare for space warp....secure all quarters…commencing warp count down in 5 minutes!”
At his post, Miamoto said, “All hands prepare for warp...count down in 10 ....9 .....8....7 ......6 .....5...... 4.....3....2 .....1…warp!”
At that, the Endeavor warped, leaving deep space behind for the rest of the voyage as the cruise began to wind down at long last.
Two hours later, the Endeavor sat on
On the weather deck, Nova stood there in her peacoat, enjoying the sea breeze with Springer and Howard standing beside her with their seabags. They would be leaving the ship, but Nova would be staying behind, acting as the Acting Deputy Captain under Derek’s command until Lee came back from his liberty. Springer and Howard didn’t know that, though.
“And what are you and the Captain gonna do on the time off?” Springer asked Nova.
“Sorry but I have to stay behind, I’ve already had my R and R and Derek needs me to help him babysit the ship. What are you two gonna do with your escorts, ladies?” Nova giggled.
“Well Pesci and I are going to that new gambling hotel and taking in a show,” Howard smiled at the thought.
“And I will be going with Delvechio to a little Italian restaurant that just opened that has gotten great reviews. Sure you don’t want to make that a double-date with Derek and wear that little black dress I saw you packing?”
Nova blushed, not wanting to tell Howard she had already used the dress for something else. “No, dear, I’ll be busy.”
“I’m sorry,” said Howard. “Nova, I really think you should lighten up a bit. I swear, you’re as grim as the skipper! You haven’t even taken that jacket off!”
“I can’t…I’m acting Deputy Captain now! Got that?”
“Aye, aye, ma’am!” giggled Howard and Springer as they saluted Nova and gave them hugs.
Nova then said, “Well, have fun ladies, and please stay out of trouble! I don’t want to find out that you were strapped down to anything or anyone. Got that?” They all laughed together at the thought. Springer and Howard gave Nova a final hug and then they grabbed their things for their two day leave with giggles and laughter as they ran down the gangplank, leaving Nova at the rail to wave at them, and then to look up at the sky thinking of Derek as she began to hum to herself again.
It won’t be long now until we’re home again, Nova thought. It’ll be warm back on Earth, and I can get this uniform off for our leave and put on that cute T-shirt Derek bought me that I haven’t worn yet; the blue one with the rainbow on it. I’ll wear it with my denim shorts and my flip-flops; he’ll love looking at me like that when I go and ride my bike. He said he was going to help me look at new cars when we got home, too. There’s this Mini Cooper I have my eye on that I’d love to buy. And, we have to paint that kitchen, I have to get Derek to help me with the tomato vines, and…I haven’t told him about that waterbed I plan to buy yet. I’m just going to have the men deliver it, and then try it out with him that night…or that afternoon, if we get frisky, she thought as she smiled to herself. Nova pushed her bangs out of her eyes, and then she walked into the ship again with her polished boots glittering in the sun. She looked military, but felt like a young woman very much in love with her husband.
An hour later, the Endeavor sat in its dock bay with its skeleton crew. Almost all personnel were on shore leave. Derek remained on the bridge with two members of the backup crew while Nova went around the ship checking on things for him. He sat at his Captain’s chair in the relative quiet looking over reports that had to be handed in when they returned to Earth. I’ve gotta dot every ‘I’ and cross every ‘t’. I don’t want them to give me an excuse to get griped at or any grief on any thing at all. Wildstar wanted to make sure that when he turned over the Endeavor to the docking crew at Pluto that there would be no problems at all. He wanted to just turn her over and get home with Nova as soon as possible.
As she made her rounds, Nova walked into Sickbay to look over things, because she needed to make sure that all of her inventory was taken care of and accounted for. She grabbed her clip board and started to make checks on all supplies after getting rid of her peacoat and buckling her weapon back on on its belt.
She never noticed the figure in the far corner next to the Doctor’s office, and she barely had time to react when he came out of the shadows in the semi-darkness.
“Diane?” he said.
“Uhh…” Nova said. “I’m not Diane, I’m…” Before she could react, the man put an anesthetic-soaked rag over her nose and mouth. Nova gasped and kicked twice and then fell into darkness just as she was grabbing at her tormentor.
Satisfied with his work, he stripped Nova of her weapon and belt, threw them into a corner, and then he also stripped her of her boots to be sure she would be helpless and less able to run far barefoot. Then, he picked Nova up like a doll and carried her off as he laughed to himself with satisfaction.
Thirty minutes later, Wildstar was still at his Captain’s chair when the skeleton crew radar tech called out from Nova’s usual bridge post, “Sir, we have an unauthorized flight leaving the Endeavor! ”
Wildstar wondered who the hell it was! Almost every one was off the ship and no one was running late. “Which ship is it?” he demanded. “Are they trying to get clearance?”
“Sir it’s one of our Cosmo Tiger II fighters. And no, sir, they are not calling for clearance. He just blasted off the starboard aft catapult!”
“Patch me through to the pilot now!” Wildstar commanded.
“Yessir,” said the female tech at Communications.
“Pilot, identify yourself!” Derek snapped. “You are taking an unscheduled and unauthorized flight! You will return the ship back to the Endeavor now!” No answer came from the pilot.
“Pilot, return to the Endeavor or we will be forced to shoot you down as per procedure!” Wildstar snapped.
Derek heard something like a muffled voice and then he heard her.
“oh, god, derek, where am I? My head hurts!”
“NOVA! What the devil’s going on?” Wildstar yelled as he slammed his fists on the Captain’s desk.
“I wouldn’t do that, Derek,” replied a deep, somehow familiar voice through the static. “The girl has her wrists tied. She was a little resistant, even in her sleep. Too bad, because she’s mine, all mine now.”
“Who is this, and what are your intentions?” Wildstar yelled, getting angrier with every breath.
“I have no intentions towards you or the ship; I just want to take my new bride to her honeymoon. That’s all!”
“Derek!” Wildstar heard Nova calling out through a cough. It sounded like she was throwing up.
“Who is this,
damnit!” Wildstar yelled into the microphone. It’s like that crazy
“You mean you don’t know? Why, it’s your old friend Lieutenant Commander Evan Lee! And I’m so happy!”
“Lee, what do you think you’re doing?” Wildstar started to become frantic.
“Like I said I’m taking my bride to her honeymoon. Isn’t that right, Diane?”
“I’m not DIANE! My name is NOVA!” Nova cried from the fighter’s aft place as she struggled to get the plastic tie off her thin wrists. The heat in that part of the cockpit was turned down low, and Nova was freezing in only her uniform with the heat turned low and no helmet or flight gloves or boots on as they gained altitude. Her bare feet were freezing against the cold metal foot pedals as the plane sped onwards, now at about ten thousand meters’ altitude in a steep climb. Nova saw that Lee had the turboburners on, and was truly crazy. At the rate he is burning fuel, we can only stay in the air for twenty-nine minutes before we crash! Nova thought as she analyzed the gauges that were before her. But how can I get control of the plane if he has my hands tied? And what is the ident code he is using so I can grab control from him and fly us back to the ship?
“Diane…I love you…” said Lee.
“Lee have you lost it? I’m not Diane!” Nova cried.
“Evan, you’ve gone crazy!” said Wildstar. “You have Nova in the ship. Nova Forrester Wildstar if you have forgotten! Just get back to the ship, and please bring her back safely! We can talk about this, there no need to do this. Please don’t hurt her!” was all Derek could ask. He was powerless. How could he shoot the fighter down while Nova was on board?
But, Derek knew that this was a sure sign of treason and by EDF regulations, the ship must be shot down as a rogue ship. What was he going to do?
Derek sat there staring at the communications panel I can’t sit here and do nothing and let him just take her, he thought. Yet, he has to be stopped. What is he goes crazy and attacks the city? The hotels? The other warships on leave and the freighters and passenger liners at the port? The crew just sat there staring at the Captain to make a decision. Would he give the order to shoot them down or would he let them go?
Finally, Derek did the only thing he could do. “Turn off all communications with the port and no calls to Earth. This stays on the ship, got it? No one is to know about this.”
“Sir?” said one of the Ensigns on the bridge.
“Miss Samuelson, just track them. I intend to take care of this matter myself,” Wildstar snapped as he stood and shed his peacoat. Wildstar then turned and ran towards the doors and left the bridge. He ran as quickly as he could. He knew what ever he did, he had to stop Lee before he got out of the atmosphere, or hope that he could communicate in code with Nova to take control of the ship and land him; or both. He raced to the flight deck, grabbed his helmet and jumped into his Superstar fighter.
Derek went up the starboard side catapult lift a moment later. When on the catapult, he snapped, “Endeavor, this is Captain Wildstar! I am taking off on my own to intercept Lee’s plane. Launch no other planes unless I am shot down. TAKEOFF!”
Derek shot off the catapult a moment later. He was in the air in seconds. Wildstar push his Superstar fighter as hard as he could to catch up to Lee and Nova. Within a minute, he spotted the Cosmo Tiger just ten space kilometers ahead of him.
“Turboburners, ignite!” he yelled. Derek then hit the controls hard and flew by Lee, hoping to slow him down as he passed within a meter of his wingtip.
“What the hell?” Lee barked. He had to his Tiger hard port to avoid hitting Wildstar. “What are you trying to do, Wildstar, playing chicken at twelve thousand meters? Are you trying to kill all of us?”
“If it means we’ll all die then so be it; but I’ll be damned if I’m gonna let you take her! This is my wife’s life you are monkeying around with! Slow down and land at the first available strip!” Wildstar commanded from his ship.
“Hahahahaha! She’s not yours Derek! Diane has come back to life! She has been hiding from me all this time in the Great Beyond! My Diane and I are gonna take a much needed R and R and I’m gonna teach her what it’s like to be with a real man, not some robot driven by EDF regulations like you, you wife-stealer!” Lee said.
“You’re crazy, Lee!” Derek said.
“Be quiet. Don’t you know Diane looked almost like your so-called Nova? It was Nova who was killed in that crash. Not Diane! She’s dead and rotting in the ground and being eaten by worms and maggots and you’ve been keeping Diane from me all these years. You want Nova? Go dig up Diane from her so-called grave and you’ll find it’s Nova! You can keep her rotting carcass around as a souvenir since you never pay any attention to any woman, anyway! A dead woman is the perfect wife for you, Wildstar, with your dead spirit! And your dead soul! You never treated Diane right since you took her from me! Now, I’ll give her all the loving attention she needs! Ha haa haaa haaa haaa!”
“Derek!” Nova cried out. In her place in the plane, Nova was biting at the plastic tie whenever she could get to it. Her front teeth were sharp, and she had partly bit through it, even though her gums were starting to bleed with the effort. Nova coughed up the blood and gagged and then screamed. “Derek! He’s gaining altitude and airspeed! We’re at fourteen thousand meters now! Speed, two hundred space knots!”
“Shut up!” Lee ordered her. “You can’t fight me, Diane! You’re not Nova! YOU ARE DIANE!” he screamed in a high, crazy voice. “And if I can’t have you, no one will!”
He began to nose the plane down in a dive. Desperate to live, Nova did the one thing that popped into her head. “Evan! Evan, please listen to me! You’re scaring me! You don’t want to get into an accident before we even get to our honeymoon at Silver Chestnut! Please!”
Silver Chestnut? Derek
thought as he recognized the code words from Nova. Like a lot of military
couples, Derek and Nova had agreed on code words and phrases that only the two
of them recognized in case their identity was in question or in case they
needed to get messages to each other with no one else knowing what they were
talking about. Derek knew that “Silver Chestnut” both referred to a beach here
Lee looked over his shoulder and looked at Nova, “What’s Silver Chestnut?”
“A beautiful beach, Evan. Miles away from anyone on an island. It’ll be wonderful for a honeymoon, we can be all alone. No one will see us again. We can leave the EDF and spend our lives here,” she said as she continued to act. Finally, she bit down hard and bit through the plastic tie.
Her hands were free! Moving her fingers to restore circulation, she punched a code into the keypad near her right knee near the useless auxiliary throttle control. She punched in N-O-V-A on the lettered keypad.
It beeped. DENIED ACCESS came up on her computer screen. Damn, she thought.
“What are you doing, Diane?” yelled Lee.
“Checking the weather over Silver Chestnut beach,” Nova cried. “Cloudy. Let me look for another beach we can go to. I just want to be quiet and be with you.”
“Okay, I know,” said Lee as Nova succeeded in calming him by talking in a sweet, quiet voice. “But why is Wildstar chasing us?”
“Evan, dear, I think he only wants to wish us luck! Let me find a nice place for us to have our honeymoon, where the weather is nice and it is warm,” Nova purred as Derek listened to every word.
Nova punched in another code. My second try, she thought. The computer just gives me three chances. Let me try this…
Nova slowly typed in D-I-A-N-E on the keypad. She smiled as five lights came up green on her dashboard. She had control of the ship! The first thing she did was to throttle down slightly and to pull up a map ostentatiously so that Lee would think she was just innocently looking for a place where they could land. “There it is, Evan! Golden Harvest Island!” she called out, glad at the coincidence. It was both the name of an island and the code phrase to tell Derek, “I have control of his plane now!”
Derek smiled as he caught Nova’s phrase. Golden Harvest! That’s the code! That’s my girl! You outwitted him and got it! And that island is not far from here, either.
“Golden Harvest?” said Evan. “Oh, yes…nice place…”
“Yes, Evan,” Nova purred to Lee as she gently worked the control stick. “Now, why don’t you land over there on that little island and we can say our goodbyes to the Captain, and then he can leave us alone there. It’s only the polite thing to do. Then we can shed these uniforms and put on little loincloths or something. I’ll look very cute in just a loincloth, and so will you. Sweetie, we have our whole life together!”
Lieutenant Commander Lee smiled at his lovely bride and nodded, “I guess you’re right. We can always stop for a minute and say goodbye to Wildstar and then we can go on and find a bungalow to live in.”
“Thank you, sweetie!” Nova said as she tried to keep from gagging at the act while she flew on, made sure she was low over the island, and then let Lee take the controls again. “I can pick flowers while you and the Captain talk and then you can say goodbye to him, ” Nova tried to keep her voice steady and crossed her fingers…and her cold toes as she hoped Lee would take the plane down, while she stood ready to either take over or eject herself if he didn’t. Nova had thought of ejecting but she knew she might not survive punching out at this altitude, and she knew Derek would then shoot Lee down without a second thought. Nova figured out that Lee’s mind had snapped and she wanted to get out of this predicament and back to Derek safely with as little bloodshed as possible.
Lee landed the Cosmo Tiger and opened the cockpit while Nova quietly entered a few commands that both allowed her to take control again and took control permanently away from Lee’s part of the cockpit as the plane coasted to a clumsy stop in the beach sand. In the meantime, Derek was on a descent to land. He heard everything that Nova was saying to him and he was ready to act, having figured her wily plan out.
As Derek came to a complete stop a few feet away he looked at Nova standing near his plane with the hot beach sand warming her cold feet. She looked confused, frightened and shaken, and she had a bloody wrist from where she had bit herself like a desperate animal to free herself from her bonds, but Derek knew that Nova practcally always took her shoes off on a beach, finding it easier to run in bare feet in sand. She looked like she was ready to run if she had to, or fight if she had to, and he was relieved at her presence of mind.
“Captain, thank you for your congratulations,” said Lee. “But I would like to keep this short! As you can see my wife and I would like to go on to our honeymoon and find a place to undress and sleep on this island.”
Derek nodded. “That’s a good idea. It’s very hot here. Diane looks very overheated in that uniform. She also looks lovely, Lee. I’m glad she came back to you.”
While he talked, Derek stood in front of him and checked him out. He noticed that Lee was not carrying a side arm. Good, he thought. He’ll be easy to deal with now.
“Let me congratulate you,” said Derek as he came up and shook hands with Lee, who just grinned and began to laugh. Then, as quick as a mongoose with a cobra, with one quick blow, Derek Wildstar punched Lieutenant Commander Evan Lee right in the face. Lee fell back and tried to get a grip as he fell on his butt in the slippery sand. “Trickster!” he yelled over the surf.
Derek gave him no chance to get up, as he lunged at him with full force while Nova stood back. Nova knelt in the sand and dug at a glittering object as if she was a little girl on a beach excursion building a sand castle. Nova found an abandoned sea shell that she could use as a missile in case she got a chance to fling it at Lee. It looked like a large heavy species of clam, and it was. Nova dug into the sand with her toes, ready to use it on Lee if she had to.
Lee fought back but Wildstar was not letting up. They rolled on the ground, with their fists flying at each other. Nova got up and tried to get a hold of Lee, but he pushed her away, making her fall to the sand. But, after she fell, she cried out, “DEREK!” and passed her clam shell to him in a toss as if she was handing off the ball to him in a beach touch football game.
“Thanks,” he nodded at her. Derek managed to catch the sea shell, and he used it to hit the side of Lieutenant Commander Lee’s head, knocking him to the ground and knocking him out.
Nova ran to Derek and held him tight. Derek, who was out of breath from the fight, grabbed her and held her.
“Oh Derek are you, all right?” she cried. “He scared me so much!”
“Yeah and you?” said Derek as he kissed her.
“My wrist is cut, but I’m okay otherwise, although I’m a little groggy! He got me in Sickbay with a rag soaked with Etheryn Five. It’s a local we use. I thought it was Doctor Spada until I woke up in his fighter and heard him calling me Diane. You know the rest, I think. I’ll tell you more if you want when my head clears. I feel so weird.”
They just held each other for a while, relieved that they were both safe and that Lee was out cold. Finally, Derek went back to the Superstar Fighter and called the Endeavor.
“This Captain Wildstar; I’m gonna need a medical ship down here PDQ. One man to bring to Sickbay for treatment, and one woman who may need a tetanus booster and stitches. I’m sending the coordinates now.”
Nova and Derek waited for the medical boat to come. While they did so, Nova began to explain all that she could remember. She was starting to check on some supplies in the medical ward. When he walked towards her from next to Doctors Spada’s office, Lee walked up and surprised her. She said, “I didn’t feel any danger until we were talking and he called me Diane. Then he used that rag on me, and like I said, the next thing I remembered was being in the cockpit of the Cosmo Tiger II fighter…with my wrists tied.”
“And here I thought it would be that crazy doctor that was gonna try something! I really liked him. It’s really sad. I guess losing his fiancee’ was just too much for him to bear. I can understand that, I don’t what I would have done if I lost you,” said Derek as he held Nova’s face with his hand. “I think I would go crazy, too. I’ll ask for leniency for him.”
“Me too,” said Nova. “He really was a good guy before his mind snapped. Poor man.”
Just then the medical ship came and they placed him on board. Nova let the other medical attendants take over, and she flew the Cosmo Tiger II back to the ship by herself with Wildstar brining up the rear.
Everyone’s shore leave ended at 1600 hours two days later. No one new of the excitment that occured on the ship until they heard later from the skeleton crew. Lieutenant Commander Lee was placed under observation in a locked room in Sickbay under heavy sedation. Nova did not dare to go near him again for the rest of the deployment.
Very little happened afterwards in the next few days. Lieutenant Miamato was promoted to Acting Deputy Captain, taking over from Nova, who continued in that post until the others came back. Springer announced that she and Delvechio would be getting married in a few months. Pesci asked Howard to marry him, but she told him yes, but they were going to have a longer engagement.
Finally, two days
later, the Endeavor finally was ready
“Attention, all hands…this is Captain Wildstar! Please secure all quarters and prepare to warp! We’re going home.”
And, home they went.
They arrived back at Pluto Base that day. Another three days passed while they closed down the ship and made their final inspections and made sure that the surviving scientists were off-loaded to other hospital ships for the trip home to Earth.
Then, the crew members said their goodbyes to each other. Derek and Nova took a shuttle all alone to Earth and arrived home in the Megalopolis at sunset on the 25th of August. They spent the evening being debriefed by the Commander and then they went home in uniform with orders to enjoy four months’ worth of leave until New Years’ of 2205, when they would receive new orders.
At home, they undressed, got into civilian clothes, and cooked themselves a late dinner and then they showered together, made love, and fell asleep, relieved to be back in their own bedroom again with no orders to worry about, and nothing to do for several weeks.
The Wildstars’ Home on
September 1, 2204.
Nova was enjoying a quiet afternoon in her vegetable garden as Derek listened to some of their music in their house.
Nova was in casual clothes, and it was warm out. She wore the blue t-shirt Derek liked to see her in; the one with the rainbow on it, along with denim shorts. She was barefoot, with her flip-flops kicked off in the grass near the garden. She liked to dig her toes into the dirt when she gardened on a warm day, and this was no exception.
“Now, let me see,” Nova said as she worked with her gardening gloves on. Her right wrist itched, but that was to be expected, because her stitches had just come out.
Derek came out into the yard in a tank top, jeans, and sandals and a tray of juice for both of them. “Hey, Mrs. Green Thumb. Want a drink?”
“If you’ll help me fix this vine to this stake, Derek,” Nova said with a smile. Derek kissed her and helped her tie the vines up. “Have you heard from Doctor Sane about Lee yet, Derek?”
“No, he’s supposed to call in a while. That’s why I brought the phone out on the tray,” he said as he held a wireless vidphone while Nova stopped digging and came over and sat down by him in the grass. She cuddled up to him and shared some apple juice with him.
“I love being with you, Nova.”
“Me too,” Nova replied. “Heard any rumors about the next mission yet?”
“No, but there will be one. Command is pretty upset about what we told them about the Bolars and their return. They’re saying we might go out again next year. They found a lot of hidden damage to the Endeavor in the dockyards on Pluto. She’ll be in refit for four months, at least. They’re talking about assigning me to the Academy short-term as an instructor until she is ready to cruise again. In the meantime, we are to enjoy our leave-and do nothing.”
“Except painting that kitchen,” Nova said.
“Yeah,” replied Derek as he kissed her again.
Then, the phone rang. Derek noticed it was an odd call. NO VIDEO it said on the screen.
“Now, who is that?” said Derek. He picked up and answered. “Hello?”
Then, Derek heard a female voice that sent chills down his spine. Nova could also hear through the headset. “Derek? Darling?”
“Darling?” said Nova with raised eyebrows. Anger filled her eyes for a moment. “Derek, who is that?”
“Julie,” Wildstar snapped into the phone. “How did you find my number?”
“I have my ways,” she purred. “It’s been years, Derek, honey.”
“Yes, and my life has changed a lot since we parted, Miss Tolbert,” Derek snapped. “I’m married now!”
“To that little thing in the nightgown I saw on the news?” purred the woman named Julie Tolbert; an ex-girlfriend of Derek’s. “I feel sorry for you, Derek. She’s just after your money. Why not get rid of her for a real woman? Like me?”
“I am not!” said Nova as she grabbed the phone and snapped into it.
“Oh, Mrs. Forrester,” purred Julie. “Did I catch you at a bad time, honey?”
“You did,” said Nova. “Oh. I am not a gold-digger, Miss Tolbert.”
“Are we being formal, Mrs. Forrester?” sneered Julie.
“Yes. Even though I have decided I don’t like you very much,” Nova said.
“We’ve never met, dear,” said Tolbert.
“I don’t need to meet you,” Nova snapped back. “Derek, shall I hang up?”
Derek nodded. “Thank
you,” he said. Nova hung up before Julie Tolbert could say anything else to
disturb their little bit of
“You told me it’s been years,” Nova said. “You swear to me that you have never seen her since you broke up?”
“No, I never have seen her. Nor do I want to,” Derek said.
“Sorry I got suspicious,” said Nova as she kissed her husband. “Darn her, she is a forward little thing.”
“More like a trap-door spider,” Derek said with a laugh.
“If she ever comes near you, let me know,” Nova said. “Promise?”
They kissed and Derek said, “Yes, Nova, I promise.”
Then, they cuddled. All was right again in their little world.
Until the next mission….