A Star Blazers Fan fiction
Artwork © 2015 by Holly Bennett
AUTHOR’S NOTE: This story is based in the Alternate Star Blazers Universe and timeline created by Frederick P. “Freddo” Kopetz. Reference to his original characters used by permission.
Derek and Nova’s Bedroom
June 14, 2209
Derek Wildstar had just gotten out of the shower in the bathroom adjoining the bedroom he shared with Nova. He had let her sleep while he got ready for work. While brushing his teeth he was suddenly overwhelmed by a sudden rush of fear followed by a faint cry for help.
“NOVA!” he called through the bond they shared. She did not respond. He sprinted from the room. Seeing her curled in a ball, blood on the sheets and between her thighs, his heart sank. “Oh God No…”
Rushing to her inert form Derek gathered her into his arms. “Sweetheart, can you hear me?” He got no response, her head falling limply to his shoulder. Without even thinking about what he was doing he called on the matrix, wrapping his love and protection around her.
A moment later, much to his shock, the enraged astral form of Aliscea D’Shal was standing in the room glaring at him.
“You…How…?” he demanded. His love for his wife acted like a shield. By wrapping his protection around Nova, he had forced Aliscea from her body, ending her attack.
“NO!!! I was so close!” Aliscea hissed glaring at Derek. “YOU… This is your fault! You forced me out this time! This is not over. She is going to pay; you cannot be with her all the time. I will finish this.” She vanished in a flash of light.
For a moment Derek just sat there, to stunned to move. “What the hell just happened here?” he wondered. A soft moan brought him back to reality. Nova was gazing at him. Laying her back against the pillows Derek sank to the floor beside the bed. “I am going to call an ambulance. We have to get you to the hospital,” he said.
As he started to rise Nova grasped his hand. “No don’t…”
“You’re bleeding… the twins…” he said struggling to keep his composure. “I can’t help you. You could be having a miscarriage.”
“No… I think I’m okay,” she replied. “I managed to stop the bleeding and the twins seem to be fine thanks to you.”
“What happened?” Derek asked sitting beside her on the bed. “I felt your fear and then I heard your cry for help. I rushed in here and when I saw you curled up in a ball and the blood… It scared the hell out of me. I didn’t even think I just reacted; I pulled you against me and wrapped my protection around you. The next thing I knew, Aliscea or some form of her, was standing here glaring at me.”
“I woke up to horrible pains in my abdomen. It felt like my insides had been placed in a vice. I thought I was having a miscarriage; I could feel blood between my thighs. And then I heard Aliscea’s voice in my head. She was laughing.” Nova trembled as she continued, “She was trying to make me lose the babies.”
Derek was shocked and confused, “I don’t understand why you didn’t feel her presence before she attacked you. In the past you have been able to feel her movements.”
“I don’t know either but something has changed. How was she able to project herself here and take control of my body? She was never able to do that in the past. Her abilities have grown.” Leaning against Derek she rested her head on his shoulder. “All I know is when you touched me and the matrix inside you took control it forced her out of my body. I pulled inside myself. I managed to stop the bleeding before anything happened to the twins. I was lucky, I can’t always control it. She could have killed them; she wanted to kill them.”
Feeling her shudder, Derek pulled her closer, rubbing her back as he listened to her. “I know something dreadful is about to happen but I have no idea what and that really scares me.”
Not wanting to frighten her further he decided not to tell her about Aliscea’s threat. “Are you certain you don’t need to go to the hospital?” he asked.
Nova was on the verge of tears. “Honestly I’m okay. You know every time we end up at the hospital, for any reason, it becomes news. Some of those reporters are really aggressive. I am not up to dealing with them right now. Please Derek, I don’t want to be news today.”
As a part of the original Star Force they had long ago come to terms with the fact they were public figures and their lives were of great interest to the people of Earth. For Derek and Nova, as a couple, the scrutiny was even more intense. Their romance and marriage had captured the world’s imagination and everything they did was deemed newsworthy. Since their return home from the recent mission to Gamilon and Iscandar, rumors abounded that things had happened during the journey that had not been made public. Some members of the press had made it their mission to find out what to the point of aggression. Going anywhere without someone wanting to take their picture or shoving a microphone in their face was becoming more difficult. For Derek, because of the security at EDF Headquarters there was some control of their intrusions. Nova was not so fortunate, her work at the hospital or going anywhere with their children, made her an easy target.
He knew she was right. If he arrived at the hospital with Nova in her current condition it would lead to some very difficult questions and intensified media attention. “Hey, please don’t cry, I understand how you feel about the reporters. We won’t go to the hospital but I need to know that you and the twins are out of danger. Would you object if I called Dr. Sane and asked him to come here? I’d never forgive myself if anything happened to you.”
The look of concern on his face warmed her heart. She smiled. “If it will put your mind at ease go ahead and call him.” Getting to his feet Derek crossed the room and picked up the phone on his dresser.
Determined not to be a victim Nova swung her legs over the side of the bed. “I need to get cleaned up before he gets here,” she thought. As she stood up a wave of dizziness washed over her forcing her to sink back to the bed.
Hanging up the phone Derek turned around to tell Nova what the doctor had said. He could not believe she was actually trying to get out of bed. “Just what do you think you’re doing?” he asked striding across the room.
“I wanted to wash this off,” she answered pulling on her bloodstained nightshirt. “I need to take a shower.”
“Dr. Sane will be here in about an hour. I told him about the bleeding but that it seems to have stopped. He said to make sure you stay off your feet until he gets here. So that means a shower is out.”
Folding his arms across his chest he gave her a look that terrorized cadets at the academy. “No buts. You are going to do as the doctor ordered.” Without as much as a backward glance he walked toward the bedroom door.
Nova could not believe he would just leave her there. “You’re just going to leave me here alone. Where are you going?”
Stopping at the door, his hand on the handle, he turned and winked at his wife. “I am going to check on Alex and Ariel; I expect they will be up soon. I am then going to tell Jonathan what’s happened and ask him to keep an eye on his brother and sister while I come back here to look after you. Dr. Sane said you needed to stay off your feet so as I said, the shower is out. A bath will have to do.” He did not wait for her to reply but saw the answering smile on her face as he closed the door.
Once in the hallway Derek paused, leaning against the wall. Looking at his hands he realized they were shaking. “Holy shit,” he thought taking a minute to gather his thoughts. Taking a deep breath he headed down the hallway to his eldest son’s room. Stopping outside he tapped on the door.
“Come on in,” called a voice from inside. Jonathan Hartnell-Wildstar was Derek and Nova’s adopted teenage son. Wanting to follow in his parent’s footsteps he was a cadet with the Earth Defense Forces. It was his hope that he would one day become a member of the Star Force. He looked up from the manual he had been studying as Derek entered the room. Seeing his father’s odd expression he knew immediately something was wrong. The manual dropped forgotten to the floor as he stood up. “Dad what’s happened?”
“Your mother was just attacked by Aliscea D’Shal.”
“What! Where?” Jonathan was aghast, “You don’t mean here in our house?”
“I’m afraid so, just a few minutes ago,” he replied. “Apparently she has developed some new abilities. She was able to project herself here and take control of Nova’s body. She tried to cause a miscarriage.”
“Is Mom okay? The babies…” he asked his eyes wide with shock.
“No… Yes… Maybe… I don’t know.” Derek was so rattled by what had just occurred that he was not sure how to respond to his son’s question. “She insists she is fine but…”
“Mom is tough. If she says she is fine I am sure she is. What do you need me to do?”
Derek felt a rush of pride in the young man standing before him, not just as his son but as the officer he knew Jonathan would one day become. “Dr. Sane is coming here in about an hour to examine her. Until he gets here I don’t want to leave your mother alone.” He refrained from telling Jonathan he was afraid to leave Nova alone for long out of fear Aliscea would try another attack. “I need you to watch your brother and sister. I don’t want them to know anything has happened. I don’t want to scare them.”
“Go take care of Mom,” he replied giving him a hug and turning him toward the door, “I got this.”
Heading back down the hall Derek stopped and called back over his shoulder, “One last thing, when Dr. Sane arrives could you bring him in.” Jonathan nodded in response.
Re-entering his bedroom Derek was relieved to see Nova had not moved from where he had left her. She was sitting up in the bed with pillows piled behind her back. Her hands were spread protectively over the bump in her abdomen. She was singing softly.
Baby mine, don’t you cry
Baby mine, dry your eyes
Rest your head close to my heart
Never to part, baby of mine
The look of tenderness on her face as she sang brought tears to his eyes. Crossing the room he took a seat on the bed facing her. “How are you feeling?” he asked studying her face for any sign of pain.
“I’m fine… we’re fine,” she answered her voice barely more than a whisper. Seeing the expression on his face her control broke. Tears rolled down her cheeks. “Derek I hate this! I really hate this! I hate feeling helpless because I’m not, you know I’m not, but right now my body has other ideas. I can’t even get cleaned up by myself.”
“I know this is really frustrating and lord knows if I had to choose a word to describe you, helpless would never enter my mind, you are one of the strongest people I know.” Placing his hand on her abdomen he added, “But these little ones are helpless and they need you to be strong for them.”
“I will be,” she vowed attempting to smile. “Before you left me here alone didn’t you say something about a bubble bath?”
Derek leaned in and placed a soft kiss on her lips before getting off the bed. “Yes I did. I’m going to go fill up the tub. I will be right back.”
He returned a few minutes later carrying a clean set of bed sheets. Dropping them on the bed he scooped Nova into his arms. He carried her to the pillow lined seat that ran the length of the bedroom window. “It’s going to take a couple of minutes for the tub to fill so I am going to change the sheets while we’re waiting.”
Nova watched as he quickly and efficiently replaced the blood stained sheets with a fresh set. She could not help but smile. Years of military training was evident in the neat hospital corners and tightly tucked sheets.
That task complete Derek once more scooped Nova into his arms this time carrying her into their bathroom. The room was filled with steam and the scent of lavender hung in the air. He set her on her feet long enough to remove her bloodstained clothing. Taking her into his arms once more he carried her to the tub and gently laid her into the water. Before she realized his intent, Derek stripped off his bathrobe. Dropping it to the floor he stepped into the tub. Sinking into the water he sat down behind her placing her between his legs so she was lying with her back against his chest.
Adding body wash to the bath sponge Derek began to gently rub it over her body. Forming a lather he ran his hands over her breasts causing her to moan. Having her lean forward he washed her back and ribs before pulling her back against his chest As he rubbed the sponge lower over her baby bump she placed her hands over his, stopping them. The deep love she felt for him and the children she was carrying passed to him through their bond. He also felt her fear.
“Want to tell me what you are afraid of?” he asked softly.
“So much has happened since I found out I was pregnant this time that it feels like the universe is telling us we are not supposed to have them. Like this is all a mistake. Maybe we’re not supposed to have them, I don’t know any more,” she answered quietly.
“Don’t say that,” he replied spreading his hands over her abdomen, “don’t even think it.”
“I cannot shake the feeling that we are going to lose them, but at the same time I get flashes of our future with them. It doesn’t make any sense.”
“Hold on to the positive. You have to believe in the vision you have of our future with them.” Picking up the bath sponge once more he continued to work his way down her body. As he slipped his hand between her thighs he paused. “Do you remember the first bath we shared?”
Nova blushed then smiled. “It was on our wedding night; after we made love the first time. You were so worried about me and so afraid of hurting me because I was a virgin. You were so gentle and loving. You said a bath would help ease the pain. You have been taking care of me ever since.”
“And that is never going to change. I will always take care of you and do anything I can to ease your pain.” Wrapping his arms around her, he pulled Nova more tightly against his chest, “I love you.”
Closing her eyes, she relaxed against him. “I love you too.”
For several minutes the young couple enjoyed the peace and security of each other’s arms before Derek reluctantly climbed from the tub. “Dr. Sane will be here soon,” he whispered in Nova’s ear. Drying himself quickly he pulled on sweatpants and a white t-shirt. Lifting Nova from the tub he wrapped a large fluffy bath sheet around her. Carrying her back to their bedroom, he laid her on the bed. Going to his dresser he opened the drawer and pulled out another white t-shirt, like the one he was wearing. Walking back to where she was sitting he helped her get dressed and back into bed.
A short time later Jonathan arrived with Dr. Sane. As the doctor spoke with Nova Jonathan pulled his father aside. “Dad there is a Colonel Maples here as well. He says he’s looking after security while Emperor Desslok and Uncle Alex are here to finalize the task force.”
Derek looked pained. “Damn, I forgot he was coming here this morning. Where is he now?”
“He is waiting in the kitchen. Don’t worry, Alex and Ariel are eating their breakfast, they are keeping an eye on him,” He said with a grin. “He has a couple of EDF staff with him. He said you were supposed to show him around the house and grounds. Can I do anything to help?”
Before Derek could respond Dr. Sane interrupted, “Wildstar I have to examine my patient so you and your son need to leave.” When neither of them made a move to leave he added, “That means NOW!!!”
“Okay Doc, we’re going.” Jonathan grabbed hold of his father’s arm and pulled him toward the door.
Glancing over his shoulder at his wife Derek gave her a questioning look. “Don’t go…” He heard her plea in his head. “Dr. Sane,” she said aloud, “I want Derek to stay.”
“Humph! Fine…” Pointing at the door he fixed his glare on Jonathan, “but you still need to go.”
“Dr. Sane you are just going to have to hang on for a minute. I need to take care of this. Son can you show them around the property; tell them I have been detained but that I will join them shortly. You can start at the guest house. That is where I want them to set up their command centre. I’m afraid you will have to take the twins with you; that should keep things interesting.”
Closing the door behind his son Derek turned his attention to Dr. Sane. Walking across the room he took a seat next to Nova on the bed taking her hand.
“So which one of you is going to tell me what happened,” the little doctor asked as he unloaded a portable ultrasound from his medical bag and plugged it in. “I know you said on the phone you thought she was having a miscarriage but I gathered from the fact you had me come here instead of bringing her to the hospital there is more to the story.”
“Nova was attacked a couple of hours ago,” Derek replied. “Short version of a very long story Doc is Aliscea took control of her body and tried to cause her to lose the twins.”
Dr. Sane’s head snapped up from the machine he had been calibrating. “Her… But how… I thought she was gone.”
“That is the million dollar question Dr. Sane and one I can’t answer right now. Hopefully when Astrena and Desslok arrive they will be able to shed some light on this. For now I just need to know that Nova and the twins did not suffer any lasting injury from the attack,” His concern for his wife and unborn children evident on his face.
Pulling back the covers Dr. Sane had Nova lie on her back. Lifting the t-shirt she was wearing above her belly he gently probed her abdomen. Taking his stethoscope he listened to the fetal heartbeats, all the while nodding and muttering to himself. He then had her bend her knees and spread her thighs as he performed an internal exam checking for any signs of bleeding. “Good… yes… very good.”
During the entire examination Nova never made a sound in spite of her discomfort. She kept her face turned in to Derek’s thigh as he sat beside her; tightly squeezing his hand. Finally he turned on the ultrasound. The machine beeped as it came to life. Spreading gel over Nova’s abdomen he ran the wand through it. The monitor attached to the machine he had set up on the nightstand came to life. Clearly visible on the screen were the two babies. Nova’s eyes filled with tears at what she saw.
Seeing her tears Derek became immediately concerned, “What is it? Is something wrong with them?”
Nova smiled through her tears, “They’re fine. They’re just fine.”
Derek looked from his wife to the doctor for confirmation. Dr. Sane smiled and nodded in the affirmative. “Oh thank God.”
Wiping away a tear that rolled down his cheek Nova asked, “Now that you know everything is fine with the three of us, don’t you have some people waiting on you?”
Hugging her tightly and giving her a quick kiss he hopped off the bed. “Yes I do. Poor Jonathan, I left him with Colonel Maples and the twins. I better go relieve him.” Turning his attention to the doctor he held out his hand, “Dr. Sane thank you so much for coming here. You have put my mind at ease and saved us from having to deal with the press.”
“Wildstar before you rush off I do have a couple of things I want to say. Yes everything appears to be fine but in the interest of not taking any chances,” he said turning his attention to Nova. “I am ordering bed rest for you for the next 48 hours young lady your body has suffered a trauma and needs time to recover. And for you both, there is to be no sexual activity until I examine Nova again.”
“But I can’t stay in bed! We have guests arriving in two days,” She pleaded turning to Derek for support. “Tell him…” Even as she said the words she knew it was pointless. From his body language it was clear he had sided with the doctor. “Fine…” she replied sticking out her bottom lip in an expression Derek had seen many times on their daughter’s face.
“So that’s where she gets it,” he thought with a grin. Grasping the covers on the bed he pulled them back up over Nova, tucking her in. Leaning down he kissed her again, “Get some rest. I won’t be gone long; as for our visitors don’t even give them a second thought. Everything will be fine.”
Straightening up he turned to the doctor taking the equipment bag the smaller man had been struggling with slinging it over his shoulder. “Come on Dr. Sane, I’ll walk you out.”
Nova watched in irritation as the two men grinned at her and left the room together. “Fine,” she muttered rolling to her side and pulling the covers more tightly around her. “Leave me here alone again, see if I care.” In spite of her struggle to stay awake within minutes she was asleep.
Jonathan chuckled as he headed down the hall to the main part of the house. He expected during the time he had been gone Colonel Maples and his associates would have been thoroughly interrogated by his younger siblings. The twins were very inquisitive and not in the least bit shy. Ariel in particular loved to ask questions and could be a terror when she met new people. Turning the corner at the end of the hall he walked through the living room and entered the large eat in kitchen. To his surprise the room was eerily quiet. The twins were sitting at the table where he had left them, their cereal uneaten. Ariel was staring intently at the Colonel.
“Ariel, it’s not polite to stare,” Jonathan admonished. She did not reply but held her arms up to her brother. He lifted her from the chair.
Leaning against the counter Gary Maples watched the exchange between brother and sister with interest. In truth the little girl, with her intense stare unnerved him. He felt as if she see could right into his being. He was not alone; the Dark Lord had decided to join him on the visit to the Wildstar residence. He was concerned she would say something to her brother that might give him away. She said nothing at all. “Where is the Commodore?” he demanded, not pleased to have been kept waiting. “Surely he knows how important this meeting is.”
“I’m sorry sir; my father has been unavoidably detained. He asked me to show you around. He will join us as soon as he can.” It was apparent to Jonathan from the look on his face the Colonel was not pleased to be left in the hands of an EDF cadet. It did not matter who his father was.
Inside his head, Ekogaru spoke, “Patience, find out why the boy is here. How long will he be here? If he is going to be a problem we will need to eliminate him.”
Maples did as he was commanded. Turning to Jonathan he said, “I had no idea the Wildstar’s had a son old enough to be at the Academy.”
Jonathan kept his answer short. He did not feel like sharing the details of his life leading up to his adoption. It was a painful time in his life that he did not like to dwell on. “When my family was killed a lot of things happened. I eventually ended up in St. Anslym orphanage. It was not a good place, the kids were mistreated. I am very fortunate; they found me there and adopted me.”
“You are very fortunate,” he agreed. “I thought cadets were required to stay in the barracks or did they make an exception for you because of who your parents are.”
“No sir! I get no preferential treatment. If I succeed or fail it will be all of my own doing. I live in the barracks with the rest of my class. I am just home on a two day pass. I go back tomorrow.”
Ignoring his feeling of dislike for the man he gestured toward the door that lead into the garden. “If you will come with me, Dad said to start by showing you the guest house.”
“The guest house; why would he want us to start there?” Maples asked.
Even as he asked the question he again heard the Dark Lord’s voice in his head. “The guest house will be ideal for you and your men. It is private, separated from the main house, and a perfect location for when the others arrive. No prying eyes. Remember there are to be no loose ends. The Josiahites are all to be eliminated including the two with you today. Make it look like you had no choice.”
“He felt it was the best location for your command centre,” he answered.
“That makes perfect sense. Please lead the way.”
Shifting Ariel so she was resting on his hip Jonathan turned to Alex, who was still seated at the table. He held out his hand, “Come on squirt, you and Ariel can help me show these nice officers our house.”
Alex crossed his arms over his chest and shook his head a mutinous look on his face, “Don’t want to.”
Cringing inwardly he knelt down so he was at eye level with the two year old. “Alex,” he said patiently, “I really need you to cooperate with me. I have to show these men around and I can’t leave you here alone.”
“Convince the child. Get him to trust you,” hissed the voice in Maples’ head. “It will make it easier for you to grab him later.”
Walking over to the table Maples took a seat on the chair Ariel had been sitting on earlier. “Hey little man, my name is Gary and those two big guys over there are Oliver and Lester. We are going to be keeping your house safe for the next few days. We could sure use your help. Want to show us around?”
Alex hesitated for a minute. He finally slipped off the chair. “Okay,” he replied holding out his hand to Maples.
Holding out his other hand the Colonel spoke to Ariel, “What about you little lady, I have another hand free, want to walk with me and your brother?”
Ariel’s eyes widened and she clung more tightly to her older brother. She shook her head, “No, don’t like you.”
“Ariel! That was very rude!” Jonathan was appalled. “Colonel I apologize for my sister’s behaviour.”
“Don’t worry about it. I’m a stranger to her.” As Ariel continued to stare at him, Maples was not entirely certain she was referring to him.
Together the group left the house and headed across the property.
A short time later, Derek was saying good bye to Dr. Sane in the main entry way of the house. As he opened the door to walk the doctor to his air car he was surprised to see two EDF staff cars with tinted windows and diplomatic plates pulling up in front of the house. He was stunned a moment later as his brother Alex emerged from the first one.
“Alex what are you doing here? I wasn’t expecting you to arrive until tomorrow,” he asked giving his brother a hug.
“I’m afraid I am responsible for our unannounced arrival,” Astrena, Queen of the New Pellian Federation, explained as she stepped from the car followed closely by Desslok, Emperor of the Gamilon Empire. “I have been sensing Nova’s distress. It has gotten worse in the last few days.”
“As did my wife’s impatience to get here,” Desslok took up the story, shaking Wildstar’s hand in greeting. “She terrorized my ship’s crew into decreasing the time between warps.”
Astrena looked intently at Derek, “Something has happened.” It was not a question. “Why is Dr. Sane here?”
“That is a long story and not one I want to get into in the driveway. Give me a moment to see Dr. Sane off and then we can go back into the house and I will fill you in.” Walking Dr. Sane to his air car Derek opened the door and laid the bag of medical equipment he was carrying on the passenger seat as the doctor climbed behind the wheel. “Doc thanks again for coming here.”
The little physician brushed off the thanks. “Think nothing of it. You and Nova are family to me.” His expression serious, he looked his commanding officer in the eye, “Wildstar just promise me you will keep her safe; I don’t think you’ve seen the last of Aliscea D’Shal.”
“You know I will,” he promised. Closing the car door he watched as the doctor drove slowly down the driveway. As the security gate swung closed a thought occurred to him. Turing to Alex he asked, “How did you get through the security gate?”
“Jonathan saw us approaching. He was waiting at the gate with Ariel when we pulled up. When he saw who was in the vehicles he keyed in the security code and opened the gate,” Alex answered.
Derek groaned, “Damn… Jonathan and the others… I forgot about them.”
Desslok raised an eyebrow, “Wildstar is there an issue?”
Taking in a deep breath Derek released it slowly before responding. “It has been quite the morning around here my friend and not in a good way.” Addressing the group he gestured to the house, “Please come with me.” As the assembled group made their way into the house, Derek briefly filled them in on the events of the morning.
They were all shocked by his story. Astrena was utterly aghast, her face ashen, “My god, is there no limit to the pain my daughter is willing to inflict on your family Derek? I am so sorry. I must see Nova, with your permission of course.”
Desslok placed a comforting arm around his wife’s waist. Glancing at Alex Wildstar he said, “The Admiral and I would be glad to accompany you while you show the EDF security team around the grounds. And if you have no objections I would like to have General Talon join us as well as he will be heading up my security detail while we are here.”
“I cannot tell you all how glad I am that you are here,” Derek’s relief was evident on his face. Turning to the Pellian Queen he took her hand, “Astrena, none of what has occurred is your fault. Nova will be so glad to see you. You’ve been here before you know where the master bedroom is located. Go talk with her, we will meet you there when we are done with the security arrangements. Ariel’s bedroom is right next to ours, if you would like to make use of it for the Princess and her Nanny.”
Astrena smiled, “That is most kind, thank you.” She started to walk across the foyer toward the living room but paused when her son spoke.
“Commodore Wildstar,” all eyes turned to Dellar; Desslok’s son and heir. “May I accompany you as well Sir?” Dellar had been in the second Staff car along with his sister, her nanny and two Gamilon Security Officers. He did not want to be sent to Ariel’s room. Even though he was only seven Earth years of age, as heir to the Gamilon Empire he felt it was his responsibility to help with security. He had also seen Alex and Ariel as they came through the gate and he was eager to join them outside.
Looking to the Gamilon leader for approval Derek nodded, “Of course.” With a rueful grin at the group he added, “While I am really glad to see you all I cannot say that Colonel Maples is going to feel the same way.”
Wildstar was correct; Gary Maples was not happy. Since his arrival that morning nothing had gone as he had intended. He was irritated by the fact he had arrived at the house more than two hours earlier and he had yet to see or speak with the Commodore. It was bad enough he had left the tour of the grounds and security discussion in the hands of his teenage son but then they were interrupted by the arrival of two EDF staff cars. Maples could not believe his eyes when he saw who the passengers were; Alex Wildstar and Desslok of Gamilon. They were not scheduled to arrive until the following day. It felt as if all his carefully laid plans were falling apart. To all outward appearances he was calm, inside he was furious.
Ekogaru did not share his view. “This is an opportunity to complicate their plans,” he whispered to his host. “We can disrupt the final negotiations of their much hoped for task force. Think how the Gamilon leader with react to the abduction of his son.”
As Derek Wildstar and his group approached the Dark Lord hissed a final warning, “Do not disappoint me. You know what I expect.”
“Colonel Maples I have to apologize for not being here to greet you when you and your men arrived earlier,” Derek said extending his hand in greeting. “As you can see there has been a change in plans.”
Ariel Wildstar interrupted before he could respond. “Daddy!” she cried squirming to get out of her brother’s arms. As soon as Jonathan let her down she ran to her father. “Daddy!” she cried again, tears rolling down her cheeks.
As soon as he knelt down to comfort her, Ariel threw her arms around his neck and buried her face in his shoulder. He could feel her trembling. “Hey its okay, I’ve got you. Want to tell me what’s wrong?” Ariel refused to answer and wrapped her arms more tightly around his neck. Baffled by his daughter’s unusual behaviour, Derek looked to his eldest son for an explanation.
Jonathan shrugged in response to his father’s unspoken question, “I don’t know why she is so upset but she has been acting weird all morning.” Not wanting to be overheard he lowered his voice, “To be honest Dad I think she is afraid of Colonel Maples and his men.”
That did not sound like Ariel at all but Derek did not have time to discuss it further. “Jonathan would you mind taking your brother and sister back to the house? I will finish showing the Colonel and his men around.”
“Sure Dad, not a problem, come on squirt” he answered holding out his hand to Alex. “Dellar would you like to go back to the house with us?” Dellar was torn between his sense of duty and his desire to be a little boy. The desire for fun won out. Looking to his father for approval the young Gamilon nodded his head.
When Jonathan reached out to take Ariel from her father she refused to let go. “Want Daddy,” she wailed clinging more tightly to him.
“It’s okay Jonathan, just take Alex and Dellar. I will keep this little one with me for now,” he said kissing the top of his daughter’s head. Her behaviour worried him; she was not normally a clingy child. Derek knew Ariel was showing very early signs of psionic abilities making her highly sensitive. He could not help but wonder if she had felt the negative presence in the house that morning and that was what had upset her.
Desslok, from his position at the edge of the group, watched the scene unfold between Wildstar and his little girl with the sympathy of one father to another. His daughter was only months old but he understood the bond between a father and daughter. From the day Aisha was born she had captured his heart. Studying the members of the group he could see the same look of understanding on Alex Wildstar’s face. Turning his attention to the EDF security team he caught the look of irritation that passed between the men. Fixing his imperial gaze on Gary Maples he asked, “Tell me Colonel is there a problem? You look… irritated.”
All eyes turned to Maples. He did not respond immediately, gathering his thoughts. “I am not irritated but I am concerned. To be perfectly blunt things have not gone the way I expected this morning and having you arrive a day sooner than expected makes my job that much more difficult.”
His response irritated Derek and he made no attempt to hide that fact. “Believe me when I tell you Colonel, nothing has gone the way I expected this morning either. If you feel the early arrival of the dignitaries your security detail has been assigned to protect is going to prove too much I can have you replaced. I am sure General Talon and his men would be more than willing to take over.”
“And I can easily have additional security assigned from the Iscandarian Embassy if necessary,” Admiral Alex Wildstar added.
“FIX THIS!” hissed the voice in his head. With that the Dark Lord was gone.
Fearing the wrath of Ekogaru if he was replaced as head of security he quickly went into damage control. “No… that’s not necessary; I was just surprised that’s all.” Turning his attention to Derek he continued quickly, “Your son did a good job showing us around the grounds. Your suggestion to use the guest house as our headquarters was a good one. It will meet our needs perfectly. The only area we have not seen is the main house itself but as you have provided me with plans showing its layout that is not necessary at present.”
Ariel Wildstar had said nothing since Jonathan had taken Alex and Dellar back to the house. She had snuggled against her father’s chest with one arm around his neck and her thumb in her mouth. She had been so still Derek thought she had gone to sleep. He was surprised when a little voice whispered in his ear, “Don’t like him.”
Those three words made the decision for him. “Colonel Maples, I understand your concerns regarding security. As Desslok and his family, as well as my brother, will be staying in my home I believe it would be best if General Talon and his men looked after security for the house itself while you and your men can be responsible for the grounds.”
He was startled by Wildstar’s decision but Maples knew he was in no position to argue. While the situation was not perfect he was quickly forming a new plan. The fact was he still had control of the grounds which was what he needed in order to carry out the Dark Lord’s wishes. Being on the outside when the attack started made it easier for him to eliminate witnesses while looking like a hero for protecting the family. As for the house, Joshua Piercy had pointed out; the Josiahites had people who possessed intimate knowledge of the layout of the Wildstar home. He would make sure they were the ones to enter the house and grab the children. Once they had been safely passed to the Dark Lord’s emissary he could easily get rid of any loose ends.
“I completely agree with your decision, Commodore,” he said. “This is a very large property and having members of two royal families staying here it makes sense to have two security teams. I am sure General Talan and I will be able to coordinate the security for the entire property. As I said your son has shown us around but if you don’t mind I would like to have another look at the guest house to determine what surveillance equipment we will need. As soon as that is done we will head back to headquarters, gather up what we need and can be back here in a couple of hours.”
Derek was eager to have the matter of security settled. He wanted to get back to the house to check on Nova and he also wanted to talk to Ariel alone so he readily agreed. “I’m glad you see the logic in my decision. I can easily take you back to the guest house for another look but first I have to take my daughter back to her mother. I will meet you there in a few minutes.”
Ariel looked up at her father and then pointed to a member of the assembled group, “He can take me back to our house,” she said holding her arms out.
Desslok was momentarily surprised when he realized she had chosen him. He walked over to Ariel. Stopping before her he gave a slight bow. “It would be my honour,” he replied taking her into his arms.
“You don’t have to do this, Desslok. The Colonel and his men don’t mind waiting a few more minutes.”
The Gamilon Leader stopped his protest with a look. “Wildstar, I know you are eager to return to your house; go and do what you have to do. Truly, taking your daughter back to her mother is my pleasure.”
Knowing he was right Derek reluctantly agreed. The group split into two; the first headed to the main house while the second headed to the guest house.
A few minutes later the first group arrived back at the Wildstar residence. Entering the kitchen through the patio door Desslok set Ariel on her feet. As he straightened up he felt a tug on his hand. Seeing her staring intently up at him, he knelt down before her.
“You will keep my mommy safe, won’t you?” she asked, her dark eyes wide and serious.
He was completely mystified by her question. The look on her angelic face tugged at his heart. “I promise,” he replied, impulsively hugging the little girl.
She kissed his cheek. “Thank you.” Smiling she skipped out of the kitchen in search of her brother.
Alex Wildstar had watched the unusual exchange between his niece and the Gamilon leader. “What do you suppose that was all about?”
For a moment Desslok just stood there and watched Ariel leave the room. Turning to Alex he replied, “I have absolutely no idea but it was very odd.”
As she walked through the house toward the master bedroom Astrena, Queen of the New Pellian Federation and Empress of the Gamilon Empire was lost in thought. As the mother of Aliscea D’Shal she was plagued by feelings of guilt over what her daughter had attempted to do to Nova Wildstar that morning. Like Trelana of Telezart and Starsha of Iscandar Astrena also possessed great mental abilities. What Trelana had called her “mind energy” was psionic energy to the Pellian people. Those who possessed that energy had the ability to see things past, things present and some things that had yet to occur. They also possessed the ability to heal injuries to themselves and others. Uncontrolled psionic energy also had the ability to inflict great harm. It took those who possessed it time and training to gain control. A very rare few had the ability to move through space, to teleport themselves from one place to another over vast distances instantly and in some cases take control of others. The Dark Lord possessed those abilities. It concerned her greatly that she had not sensed her daughter’s intentions. It was rapidly becoming apparent just how far Aliscea had fallen, and the extent of Ekogaru’s influence over her.
To refocus her scattered thoughts Astrena absorbed the feelings the house evoked in her. She smiled. It had a lightness that radiated from every surface and hung in the very air itself. The home of Derek and Nova Wildstar was one filled with love and laughter. As she approached the master suite she reached out mentally to Nova, not wanting to startle her by showing up unannounced. She had not even formed a question when she heard Nova’s words of welcome. “I’m so glad you’re here, don’t bother to knock please just come in.”
Pausing only long enough to see Aisha and her nanny settled in Ariel’s room, Astrena entered Nova’s bedroom. As she entered the room she could feel the change in the emotional atmosphere; it was heavier and sadder. She was immediately bombarded with images of what had happened that morning. She was horrified. Walking quickly across the room she wrapped her arms around the younger woman in an enveloping hug. “My dear child, I am so sorry for everything that has happened.”
Breaking the embrace Nova pulled back so she could look into the concerned loving face of the Pellian Queen. “Please don’t blame yourself; none of this is your fault. In spite of Dr. Sane deciding I need to stay in bed and Derek agreeing with him, which is completely ridiculous, I’m fine and so are the twins.”
Holding her hands out above Nova’s abdomen she paused, “May I?” At Nova’s nod of approval Astrena placed them on her baby bump, a slight glow emanating from her fingers. Satisfied that Nova was correct in her assessment Astrena was about to remove her hands when she was suddenly struck with flashes of the nightmares that had been plaguing Nova’s sleep. Her visions went beyond the content of bad dreams; horrific images of torture, bloodshed and cruelty assailed her. As the images faded she stared wide eyed at the young woman in the bed. From the expression on her face it was clear to Nova the older woman had seen something disturbing.
Astrena was certain what she had seen was far more than just flashes of nightmares; they were in fact glimpse of things that had yet to occur. Exactly how the events would unfold she did not know and that frightened her. “How long have you been having these dreams?” she queried.
“For about a month; it seems like every time I close my eyes. They have gradually gotten worse.”
“Tell me everything that has happened since the dreams started,” Astrena directed, pulling up a chair beside the bed. “What did you see?”
“They started right about the time we arrived back on Earth. At first they were just angry voices, nothing was really clear. Derek thought they could be related to what had happened to me on New Pellias. I admit I had horrible nightmares about being attacked but I dealt with those and moved on. I knew these were different. Gradually the images began to change, I got flashes of angry faces, men in uniform, shouting and gun shots.”
Interrupting Nova’s explanation, Astrena asked, “Do you have any idea who these men were or where this was happening?”
“No I don’t, but I remember a voice, a male voice. It sounded familiar, I am sure it is someone I know but I have no idea who. Then two weeks ago I had the worst nightmare yet. It was so bad I actually lost control of my psionic abilities.” With downcast eyes, her voice barely more than a whisper Nova explained what she had seen in the dream that had caused her to lose control. “I lashed out at the man in my dream except it wasn’t him I hurt, it was Derek. I almost killed him.” Nova dashed away the tears that had formed in her eyes. “Since that night I have been afraid to go to sleep. I am afraid of the nightmares coming back. I am terrified of losing control again and hurting my family. If it wasn’t for Derek I don’t know what I would have done.”
Astrena stared at Nova in open mouthed disbelief. She could not grasp what she was hearing. Regaining her composure she finally asked, “You said you are afraid of the nightmares coming back: are you telling me they have stopped?”
Nova nodded. “And it was Derek who helped stop them?” Nova nodded again. Astrena was astounded, “But how did he help? What did he do?”
“After I lost control I tried to push him away, I didn’t trust myself. I was afraid of losing control again. He refused to let me. He used the matrix that resides in him for the first time. He wrapped it around us both; he shared his protection and control with me. He has been doing the same thing for the past two weeks. It has kept the nightmares at bay.”
“So you are telling me that the night Derek was struck with a blast of psionic energy is the same night the matrix was activated within him.” At her nod Astrena continued her questions, “Nova was Derek with you when you were attacked this morning?”
“No I wasn’t; at least not right away” Derek answered as he entered the room, followed by his brother and Desslok. “I was in the bathroom. When I got up I decided to let Nova sleep a little longer while I went to take a shower. She usually gets up at the same time I do but she didn’t have to be at the hospital early this morning. She has been having such a rough time over the last few weeks I didn’t have the heart to wake her. I was brushing my teeth when I heard her call to me through our bond. I rushed back in here to find her curled in a ball on the bed. If I had known what was going to happen I never would have left her.”
Both Nova and Astrena could feel the raw emotions radiating from the young officer. Wanting to give her husband a moment to pull himself together Nova continued the story. “I thought I was losing our babies. That’s when I heard Aliscea’s voice, taunting me. I was in so much pain, I couldn’t fight her.”
Taking a seat on the bed beside his wife Derek explained, “I won’t lie to you, seeing Nova like that scared the shit out of me. I didn’t think; I just reacted. Using the matrix to protect her has become such a habit I just wrapped it around her. At that point I didn’t even realize what was happening. I thought she was having a miscarriage. I don’t even know what I thought the matrix could do but I knew I had to do something. A moment later Aliscea was standing in front of me. She was furious, said I had stopped her but that I could not be with Nova all the time.” Taking her hand he looked into his wife’s pale face, “She said this isn’t over.”
Astrena watched the interaction of the young couple with a mixture of fascination and awe. She knew she was a witness to something extremely rare; a natural bond, one that formed without any outside influence; the joining of two souls that were destined to be together. The love they felt for each other was obvious even to the most casual observer. They shared a connection that was more than physical, it bordered on the metaphysical. Their psionic bond had grown to a strength she had not thought possible. It explained many things including how Derek had been able to end Aliscea’s attack on Nova.
“Aliscea was right about one thing; you did force her out.” Seeing the puzzled look on Derek’s face she explained, “It is your natural instinct to protect Nova. That is what triggered the matrix within you, your desire to keep her safe. You and Nova share a very rare natural bond. I believe it started to form between you on the journey to Iscandar and I feel sure it actually saved Nova’s life on the journey home. Dr. Sane told me what happened when the Gamilon’s rammed the Argo, how you saved the crew from the poison gas by turning on the Cosmo DNA. You inhaled a large amount of the gas in the process. He was convinced you were not going to survive.” Seeing the stricken looks on the faces around her, including that of her husband, Astrena paused.
“I don’t remember any of what happened,” Nova admitted. “My last conscious memory is of turning on the machine. The next time I opened my eyes I was in Derek’s arms on the bridge.”
“Dr. Sane told me how you would not accept the possibility that Nova would not wake up. He said you carried her from sick bay to the bridge. You were determined for her to see Earth again. I believe it was your bond that brought her out of the coma. That bond has grown through the years and has now been enhanced by the matrix. Derek that is why you were able to stop Aliscea’s attack on Nova this morning; she did not expect you to use the matrix. It may have been unintentional on your part but effective none the less.”
“Astrena if what you are saying is correct why you do look so concerned?” Derek asked.
“I do not believe Ekogaru has ever encountered such a force. Unfortunately he will see this as an even greater threat. This is not over. I fear this is just the beginning. He will stop at nothing to see that threat eliminated.”
When Astrena finished speaking there was not a sound in the room. Derek turned to look at his wife, Nova had tightened her grip on his hand to the point of becoming painful. “Sweetheart…,” he teased, in an attempt to lighten the mood, “you’re crushing my hand.” He had expected her to be upset. He was surprised to see the look between amusement and concern on her face.
“Oh God, I’m sorry, I didn’t realize…” she apologized, releasing his hand. “I swear I would cry if this whole situation wasn’t so ridiculous. Just look at me, I have guests in my home, royalty no less, and I am talking to them in my bedroom, dressed in my husband’s t-shirt. My mother would be appalled!” Her heartfelt statement garnered a collective chuckle from the group.
Pulling her close, Derek kissed her. “You look beautiful and our guests don’t care how you’re dressed, they are just glad that you are okay after what happened.”
Alex Wildstar had been seated on the window seat, quietly listening to Astrena’s explanation. “I have a question,” he said. “How is it that Aliscea was able to get here undetected?”
“I do not know but I do have some thoughts on matter,” she replied. “Before I share what I believe is happening I need to do some research in the ancient writings of my people. There are copies of the texts at the Pellian Embassy here on Earth. I must go there. I fear time is of the essence.”
Rising from the chair she turned to Desslok, “I will spend the night there. I will take Aisha and her nanny with me. I can take Dellar as well if you want.” She had not missed the strained look on her husband’s face or the tension she could feel radiating from him but refrained from making comment before the group.
Mentally she sent him, “You look troubled my love.”
“It is nothing,” he sent back, “The ghost of past mistakes have come back to haunt me.”
“Those who do not learn from past mistakes are doomed to repeat them. If you had not made those mistakes you would not be the man you are today. They opened your eyes to the vision of what you could be; what you chose to be,” she answered, “a man I could love, the man who captured my heart.”
He smiled his silent thanks at his wife, “That will not be necessary. If Derek and Nova have no objections, I believe Dellar will enjoy his time with their children,” he answered looking to his hosts for approval.
“We had actually thought about setting up Alex’s tent in Ariel’s room; make it like a camp out. The boys could sleep in sleeping bags and they would all be together.” Derek answered.
‘It appears the decision has been made,” Desslok said to his wife. “Go and do what you need to at the embassy.”
“Just give me a few minutes to get dressed and I will show you all where you are staying,” Nova said pushing back the covers on the bed.
“And just what do you think you are doing?” Derek asked.
Nova rolled her eyes before responding, “I am getting out of bed. I would have thought that much was obvious.”
“But Dr. Sane said…”
Nova interrupted. “Derek, I know what Dr. Sane said and I know you are only trying to look after me but I am fine. If you don’t believe me ask Astrena. She checked on the twins when she got here. I cannot stay cooped up in here any longer. Besides, if Aliscea comes back, you are the only person who can protect me from another attack. Unless you are planning to stay in here with me, I am getting up, but I warn you, you are going to have to sit on me to keep me here. I am going to get dressed, I am going to show our guests to their rooms and then I am going to figure out what to cook for supper tonight.”
Alex Wildstar could not help grinning at the exchange between his brother and sister-in-law. It was apparent Derek had met his match when it came to stubborn determination. “You might as well give in little brother” he laughed, “This is one argument you are not going to win.”
Nova grinned sweetly at her husband. “Why don’t you go show Alex where he is staying.” Turning to Astrena she suggested. “Why don’t you and Desslok go check on Aisha. I will meet you there in a few minutes; I won’t be long getting ready.”
“Come on Alex, I know when I’m beat,” Derek said. Stopping at the bedroom door he turned back to Astrena, “I think there is something else you need to know about. With everything that has happened today I almost forgot about it. Nova is not the only one having nightmares, so is Ariel.”
“Like Nova’s dreams?” she asked; concern in her voice.
Derek shook his head, “No, she has been dreaming that Nova is going away. It has gotten so bad that she is afraid to let her mother out of her sight. Now that I think about it her behaviour today was really strange as well. Ariel is not shy around strangers and she is definitely not a clingy child but this morning first she clung to her brother and then to me.”
Desslok was startled at Derek’s description of her behaviour as strange. He looked quickly at Alex Wildstar for his reaction. Astrena caught the look that passed between them. Seeing his wife’s questioning look he explained, “When I brought Ariel back to the house, I had put her down when she tugged on my hand. She asked me if I would keep her mommy safe.”
Nova shivered as a chill ran across her back. Feeling her unease Derek slipped his arm around her waist. “Astrena do you think it’s possible that Ariel is picking up on negative energy? She is showing early signs of Psionic ability.”
“That is very possible Derek,” she relied. She looked worried.
EDF Headquarters – Parking Lot
Sitting in his air car on the EDF Headquarters parking lot, Colonel Gary Maples was quietly fuming. He was a man used to being in control. He did not like it when things did not go as he had planned. Right from the start nothing had gone as planned that day. He felt his morning had been an entire waste. In his opinion he had not been given a proper tour of the property he was assigned to protect. It irritated him that Derek Wildstar had been too busy to meet with him when he had arrived. When he finally did show up, Maples felt he was distracted. It was obvious that something had happened in the house that morning that the Commodore did not want to discuss. The early arrival of Admiral Alex Wildstar, the Emissary for Iscandar and Desslok of Gamilon had not helped. The decision to have General Talon and his men to look after security for the Wildstar residence while he and his men would look after the grounds enraged him. He considered it a personal insult to his abilities. As a result of the early arrival of the dignitaries the Dark Lord had demanded the planned attack on the Wildstars be moved to that very night. It had fallen to Maples to inform the Josiahites of the change. It had not gone well.
Outskirts of the Federal Megalopolis
The underground city
Earlier that afternoon
Pulling his air car into the same alley he had parked in the first time he had met with the Josiahites, Colonel Maples looked around quickly before getting out. Lester Simmonds and Oliver Gosse, the Josiahite spies in the EDF, exited the vehicle behind him. He did not like having to meet with the Josiahites in broad daylight, believing it was taking unnecessary risks, but given the events of the morning he had no choice. Taking a final look around the three men dashed to the entrance of the underground city. Arriving at the Josiahite headquarters a few minutes later they were met at the entrance by Joshua Piercy.
“So gentlemen, the attack is to happen tonight,” he said without preamble.
Maples was not able to hide the look of surprise on his face. It was obvious the leader of the group was already aware of the change in plans. Quickly recovering from the shock he asked, “Yes but how did you know? The Dark Lord sent me here to inform you.”
“Oh Colonel, he sent me here as well. After the debacle over security at the Wildstar home he was not convinced you could handle things on your own. I believe the Dark Lord is losing faith in you,” answered a blond female approaching the group. “While we were waiting for you to arrive, we took the opportunity to get to know each other and I filled Joshua in on the events that occurred at the Wildstar’s this morning.”
Maples was completely flabbergasted to see Aliscea D’Shal, Ekogaru’s Emissary, with the leader of the Josiahites. From her stance, with her arm draped around his waist, her body pressed against him and the way Piercy looked at her it was obvious just what they had been doing to get acquainted.
Joshua grinned at Aliscea, “Yes apparently Nova Wildstar had quite a rude awakening this morning.”
She returned his grin, “And tonight I am going to finish what I started.”
Their combined laughter grated on his nerves. He could not stand the fact that Joshua Piercy knew what had happened that morning and he did not. They were so absorbed in each other that it seemed to Maples they had forgotten he was there. Struggling to keep his temper in check he finally said, “If I am not interrupting you two, we need to discuss what is to happen tonight.” Looking pointedly at his watch he added, “My men and I are expected back at the Wildstar residence shortly so we need to move this along.”
Giving him a dismissive look Aliscea responded, “That will not be necessary Colonel. I have already explained to Joshua and his followers of his lordship’s wishes. They also know about the change in security. They are aware there will be Gamilon’s, instead of the Dark Lord’s forces in the house. They are prepared to eliminate them if necessary. All we require from you is to be ready when we arrive tonight. So there is really nothing else to discuss. You may go.”
Maples was so angry that he could not speak. Instead he turned on his heel and headed toward the exit. Sullivan and Gosse followed closely behind.
“Colonel Maples,” Piercy called. “One last thing…”
Stopping in his tracks he turned to see what the other man wanted. “Yes?”
“Those are my men… Remember that.” He walked out; their laughter ringing in his ears.
Simmonds and Gosse approaching the vehicle with containers of equipment jolted him back to the present. An insidious grin formed on his face as he thought about what was to occur. “They may be laughing now but I will have the last laugh.”
Moments later, the equipment loaded into the car, Maples and the Josiahite EDF spies drove back to the Wildstar home.
Wildstar Residence – The kitchen
June 14, 2209
Derek and Nova Wildstar were alone in the kitchen of their house. Nova was seated at the kitchen table while Derek loaded the last of the dishes into the dishwasher. The house was finally quiet, their guests having retired for the evening. Nova had taken, Alex, Ariel and Dellar to Ariel’s room and got them settled for the night. Ariel was sleeping in her bed while the two boys were in sleeping bags on the floor, inside a small tent that Derek had set up for them. While Nova had been gone Derek, his brother Alex, Desslok and General Talon, who was acting as the head of the Gamilon Security had stayed at the table discussing the growing threat presented by Ekogaru and his expanding group of allies.
Closing the door of the dishwasher Derek looked up and smiled at his wife. She had offered to help but he had refused. Even though he knew she was fine he still did not wanting her over exerting herself. After the events of the morning and her near miscarriage he was unwilling to take any chances. Walking over to where she was seated he held out his hand, “I don’t know about you but I’m ready to call it a day.”
Taking his hand she got to her feet. “Me too, I’m exhausted.
Putting his arm around her waist, they walked through the living room and down the hall to their bedroom. Fifteen minutes later Derek got into bed. Turning off the light on the bedside table he rolled on to his side, spooning into Nova, his arm around her. His head had barely touched the pillow when there was a loud bang followed by the sound of breaking glass as the window shattered. What sounded like firecrackers could be heard from outside.
Nova raised her head at the sound, “What is that?”
“Gun shots!” said Derek pulling her down. Shielding her body with his Derek moved to the edge of the bed on the opposite from the window, slipping to the floor.
It was then that Nova got a flash of insight from the matrix. What she saw terrified her. “There are people in the house. Oh my god Derek, the children…”
At that moment a child’s scream filled the air.
To be continued in Part three of “Imprint”