Book two in the end of days SAGA
Written By: Jeff 'Wildstar100' Lincoln
Day 2596 Crossings
7 Years After the Destruction of Earth
Space Battleship Yamato- Bridge
Yamato and the Galman fleet emerged from warp a moment later…and… Wildstar found the strangest scene of his life before his eyes. The Yamato was in orbit around a blue planet. But it was a world that, to this Wildstar, had not existed for many years. "Mizuki, confirm the identification, please…where are we?"
The computer calculated for several minutes and Mizuki appeared beside him. "Commander Wildstar, this is Earth. We are in a different universe. But it is not your Earth."
"Is this before the war with Gamilon, then?"
"No…after. Many, many years after," she said as the radar began to beep. "A ship is approaching us," she said as she walked over to the panel.
From his post, Homer sat up like a starled rabbit. "Wildstar! This shouldn't exist either. It's…it's…a 2201-era EDF spacecraft carrier! And she's hailing us!"
Commander Wildstar, looking very grim in his red and white jacket, black combat pants, and combat boots, looked out the bridge windows. It was then, and only then, that he noticed debris drifting past the ship. There were pieces of Black Tigers, Cosmo Tigers, and planes that he didn't even recognize. Whole semi-destroyed gun turrets of EDF vessels drifted past, along with vast amounts of black metal wreckage that seemed to be pieces of ships he had never before seen.
"What are these?" he asked Mizuki.
"They call it the Great Debris Field," said Mizuki. "I've been scanning their communications net and data net. Someone down there has already contacted me."
"Direct mind-to-mind contact is the best way I can describe it. She is refusing to tell me exactly who she is, but I am getting the impression this person is highly placed in the Government of this Earth. I have been told, and the stars confirm it…that it is the year 2231. The timeframe is mid-November. And I have been told that this Earth was both occupied and just escaped utter destruction by a few seconds a bit over a month ago. There was a great, great space battle involving close to twenty thousand vessels."
Wildstar recognized some of the debris. "It must have been the Comet Empire; I recognize some of that wreckage."
Dash got up from his post and whistled, "Some of those ships look like they've been through Hell and back…"
Mizuki said, "They were involved, yes, Commander Wildstar…. But…on the side of this Earth!"
"Ya mean, in this place, we and the damn Comet Empire are allies?" Eager asked.
"That's weird," Eager said.
"You'll find that many things about this place are…weird…" said Mizuki. "One interesting fact is that the Yamato still exists here…but she is not even called the Yamato, but is called the Argo."
Wildstar's ears went hot as he thought, That is just like the dream or vision or whatever that I had! Captain Avatar, is this to where we were to be sent for help?
Homer's ears perked up. "Commander, the Captain of this vessel wants to talk to you…"
"Put him up on the main video panel…"
A moment later, the images of two persons appeared on the Yamato's video panel. One was of a man who looked to be in his mid-fifties whom Wildstar did not recognize; he had somewhat curly brown hair under his Captain's cap; hair streaked with grey…he had a somewhat chubby face, and wore glasses…but he had the definite, steely look of an EDF Captain in his black EDF Captain's Coat with high red collar and white scarf.
The other face was of a youngish-looking woman who looked to be in no more than her mid-twenties; she wore a white version of the first young man's peacoat with a light blue scarf, and had long golden-blonde hair, luxurious lashes, and beautiful, compelling burgundy-brown eyes.
Wildstar was still taken aback, because…this was a young woman who had been dead for over seven years in his time, yet she was alive, well, and decorously holding hands with this newcomer.
"…Sasha…" he muttered under his breath. "What are you doing here?"
She must have heard him, and it registered on Wildstar that she was just as surprised at the sight of him as he was surprised at the sight of her. She looked at him and said, "Commander…Wildstar, I sense it is…I have the impression you've come a long way."
"We have…Sasha," said Wildstar. Homer, Eager, and Dash looked at each other in shock as they recogized that this was their old shipmate…the same girl who had died on Dezaria over seven years ago, before the Mauritanians had come and their world had changed. Homer said, "Somehow, this makes sense. If we could see Sergeant Knox alive again, and we are now travelling with Wildstar, who has also died and returned to us…it makes sense that Sasha would be back…"
Sasha looked down at them and laughed slightly. "Oh, no! I never died at all here. I sense our history is very different from your own."
"….you…never died?" said Commander Wildstar with his eyebrows going up. "And who is the man beside you?"
The Captain of the Carrier finally spoke up, with a definite California twang in his voice, "Commander Wildstar…this is a bit hard for me to get my mind around…since you definitely ain't our Admiral Derek Wildstar, the Commander of the Combined Fleet of the Earth Defense Forces….who looks kinda older than you by maybe ten years…well…my name is Commodore Deke Wakefield, skipper of the Spacecraft Carrier Intrepid. The lady beside me is my First Officer and spouse, Princess Sasha Wakefield of the Royal House of Iscandar, serving as a member of the Earth Defense Forces. She tells me your ship is named the Yamato and not the Argo. Wonder how that happened?"
Commander Wildstar said, "Where I'm from…well, Captain Avatar considered renaming her but never did so. I take it in your world, he renamed the legendary ship?"
"He sure as Sam Hill did," said Wakefield. "Your ship looks to be in fairly good repair…in fact, she looks better than our Argo does right now…but, in looking in your eyes…you look like you've been through the back door of Hell and back, dude!. Same with your shipmates, that hologram of yours and that large fleet of Galman Ships...I'd love to know what you've been through…"
"We've been through Hell and back all right," sighed Commander Wildstar. "In my world, the human race is scattered and on the run, and the Earth was destroyed in late 2202 after we were attacked by the Mauritanian Empire from the Andromeda Galaxy…"
"Never heard of them," sighed Sasha after a moment. "Then again, the reason, I sense from touching your mind, that I never died is that in our world, the Black Nebulans were a very different race than in your universe. In your universe, you never had to deal with Lord Ekogaru and his Technomugar or First Generation Machine People. For us, they were a scourge and a threat for just under thirty years; a scourge we have finally freed ourselves from at last." Sasha looked at Deke and said, "Yes, I know."
Wakefield looked at Wildstar and his comrades and said, "We would have challenged you even more than we did if Sasha and the President and Prime Minister of Earth had not picked up on who you were first…and had informed myself, Admiral Wildstar, and Commanding General Gilbert Alexander…he's the Commander here, now…that your presence is not some kind of weird Technoumgar trick. Still, I must ask you to change course and follow us down to Earth. I take it you are in need of supplies?"
"We are," said Commander Wildstar. "We received some supplies when we left Galman, but we left when Desslok was under major attack, so we couldn't quite get everything we needed. We need food, provisions such as uniforms, weapons, weapon power packs, spare parts, and medical supplies. Especially the medical supplies. And, possibly…well, a doctor…or…two…"
Sasha smiled, "Not to worry Uncle, we'll make sure to put in a good word for you."
Wildstar smiled, "You wouldn't happen to have Doctor Sane available would you?"
"He died a few months ago…around the time that the Technomugar showed up again. But, Commander Wildstar, you will find something very unique about this place."
"Which is?" said the Commander.
"You are not the only one who has died and returned from the other world changed. Only, in our world…if this person hadn't laid down their life and returned to us changed…we might not even be here now. The fact that we are even here now is largely the doing of this one person. This single person pretty much saved the entire human race by a very noble sacrifice."
Commander Wildstar had no idea who they were talking about, but something else occurred to him. "You spoke of the President and Prime Minister of Earth…that they picked up on who we were first, along with you. Who are they? And how can they know things? You…well…you're half-Iscandarian, right? How can a bunch of politicians know what we're thinking?"
Sasha looked at them with tears in her eyes and spoke with some anger in her voice as she said, "First, the Presidency and Prime Ministership are temporarily combined into one office being held by one person; this is on an emergency basis, until a new Parliament is elected and reconvenes. Second…our Prime Minister…is not a mere politician. We had to flee Earth ourselves and fight as an underground movement, just like you did! The Prime Minister was and is an individual who doesn't even really want the job. The authority fell on this person's shoulders after several assasinations and terrorist attacks decimated our Government. We did not suffer the loss of Earth as you did…but we've come close, very close, to doing so by mere seconds…and at least twice in the past thirty years! Also, maybe half of the human race is dead. Ekogaru was a genocidal madman who felt he had to wipe out natural life by force to build his damned so-called "New Order" race of cyborgs. But you'll find out more when you meet our Admiral Wildstar, the Commander, and our Prime Minister. In fact, Wildstar…you have been personally summoned to the Presidential Office. They would like to see you and Homer."
Commander Wildstar nodded. "And…so then?"
Commodore Wakefield spoke up. "You're going to follow us in to the Great Megalopolis; Docking Bay Sixty-Nine, right next to the Argo. A car will be waiting for you there to take you and Homer right to Government House. We'll meet with you personally in a while in the President's Office. We don't have much of a Secret Service right now, but you'll not need to bother with the usual security checkpoints…you're expected."
Wakefield then saluted Commander Wildstar with the familiar fist-to-the-heart Star Force salute they used. Wildstar and his small crew returned the salute, and then he said, "Okay…let's follow them in…" as he sat down at the Navigator-Pilot's station himself and the other crew members took up their usual stations.
"Be careful of the clouds, Commander," Mizuki said. "They have a heavy cloud cover here…and parts of the city are still on fire…"
"On fire?" said Dash.
"They're only a month removed from a major battle, and there was still some mopping-up of enemy forces, mostly Black Nebulans and Rebel Bolar Federation forces, going on until maybe ten days ago. This was a devastated city, and a devastated world…"
The Tokyo Megalopolis
Docking Bay Sixty-Nine
November 29, 2231
The Yamato cruised slowly in the shallows of the ocean to come to a stop at a massive dock in an underground docking facility that was a metal-lined cave where spotlights, massive status screens, and indicators covered the walls.
A massive space battleship, in a slightly darker shade of grey-blue, sat silent at anchor in an artificial open channel just across from the Yamato's dock. Flashes of welding equipment winked on and off as Wildstar and the others looked at the Yamato's virtual twin, and they immediately guessed they were looking at the Yamato of this time and place, known here as the Argo. Her sleek lines were almost identical to their ship, although Wildstar did notice a boxy structure on top of their ship's Second Bridge that had a slightly glowing red-orange grid on it that sort of looked like the faceted eye of an insect and which reminded him of a Galman/Gamilon SMITE instant matter transport unit. Wildstar was later to learn that this Earth had that technology.
After the Yamato dropped anchor, Mizuki said, "They would like you and Homer to meet them on the dock."
"Dash, you're in command until we get back," Commander Wildstar said.
Wildstar and Homer went down the Yamato's gangplank, where a dark blue EDF staff aircar with lines somewhat different than anything he recognized sat waiting.
"Look" whispered Homer in his Star Force golds.
A small party was coming down the…Argo's…gangplank. Commander Wildstar immediately recognized IQ-9 burbling along with two men.
One man, a fairly tall man, was an African-American man with white hair who looked to be in his early sixties. He had a very stiff, formal walk, and wore a dark green uniform that Commander Wildstar had last seen just over seven years ago…on his Earth. By the markings on the uniform, he guessed that this man was the Commander of their Earth Defense Forces.
The other man made Commander Wildstar look at him with both familiarity and shock. This man wore white Naval slacks, a white Captain's hat, and a massive black peacoat with a red collar that looked almost like the sort that Admiral Yamanami had worn on the Yamato before his death.
The face beneath the cap was hauntingly familiar; for Wildstar was looking at himself. Their Wildstar's face and hair looked just like his own, complete to the somewhat grim set of the jaw. As their Wildstar drew closer to Commander Wildstar, he could see a few more lines of age in the face and caught a very few grey hairs mixed in with his own wild mane of hair, but, otherwise, they could have been twins.
The party came down the dock and stopped maybe a meter away from Commander Wildstar and Homer. Their Wildstar looked at the Commander and nodded; and the Commander, Admiral Wildstar, and IQ-9 all saluted; Commander Wildstar and Homer returned the salute.
"It is our understanding," said the black man, "That you have come quite a long, long way. I welcome you to our Earth. I am Commanding General Gil Alexander; Commander of the Earth Defense Forces. This man is Admiral Derek Wildstar, the Commander of the Combined Fleet of the Earth Defense Forces, and my second in command. The robot next to me is our Analysis Robot, IQ-9."
"I'm still a genius!" piped up IQ as Homer doubled over laughing.
Commander Wildstar looked at Homer and said, "I know we haven't had much to laugh about recently, but quit it!"
"Yeah…I wish Tinwit would quit it!" said Admiral Wildstar in a voice that sounded almost like Commander Wildstar's, but just a little older. "Let me see…" he mused. "Commander Wildstar…how old are you?"
"Hard to say," said Commander Wildstar. "I was about twenty-one going on twenty-two when I died; add on seven years and I'm almost thirty. But I feel like I'm about fifty."
"Well, I'm fifty-three, but I feel like I'm seventy," said Admiral Wildstar. "If I can say so…join the club!"
Homer laughed again. "You two have the same sense of humor! This is so weird!"
"Yeah…it is…weird.." said Admiral Wildstar.
"Yeah…it is…really weird," said Commander Wildstar. Then, both men looked at each other and began snickering.
Then, Admiral Wildstar said, "Commander, where did you get the slick uniform from? That's sure…different…"
"From the back door of the next world," said Commander Wildstar. "I was killed standing in the Yamato's wave motion gun, so they really had to rebuild me…and my clothes. You?"
"I just got promoted a zillion times, that's all," said Admiral Wildstar. "But I've already been told about how you died and what happened to your people. After we see the Prime Minister, I think we'll be given the OK to offer whatever help we can…"
Homer then said, "Admiral, where's Nova? You haven't mentioned her yet. In fact, no one has. Is she alive? Are you two still together? What happened to her?"
Commander Wildstar bowed his head and said, "Where I'm from…I understand…my Nova…is suffering somewhere in the Cosmos in a Mauritanian SpaceCamp…something like a concentration camp. I haven't seen her since…the day I died…and we had a very, very sad goodbye. It would be nice to see her again, Admiral….even though I know she must be..or was…your wife. Is she all right?"
"Oh, she's alive," said Admiral Wildstar as he and Alexander grinned at each other. "And quite well. In fact, she looks far better than I do. We'll see her a bit later on. But the Prime Minister's in a big rush," he said, exchanging that grin again with the Commander. "Let's get going, shall we?"
IQ-9…their IQ…opened one of the gullwing doors of the aircar and let Commander Wildstar and Homer get inside. Admiral Wildstar and the Commander took the front seat, and let IQ-9 into the driver's seat.
The aircar reared up on its suspensor field, made a u-turn on the dock, and left both the Yamato nd the Argo and the other ships they could see in the dock behind.
"So what does this remind you of?" asked Homer as they looked out the windows of the aircar as they cruised through the was a heavy cloud cover, and some buildings were intact, but others looked throughly devastated, even though, here and there, they could see the scaffolds and lights of construction crews.
"It sort of reminds me of what we left behind on our Earth after the Black Nebulans got done with it…only far worse," said Commander Wildstar. "In fact, parts of the way the city look remind me of…Telezart…"
"They turned everything they could on us," said Admiral Wildstar in a very grim voice. "And they hunted us down both on Earth and in space." He paused and said, "Nova and I lost one of our children to them. Namely, our adopted son Jonathan. He died right in front of poor Nova, too….right on R'Khelleva. R'Khelleva was where the R'Khells came from. They were evil men who worshipped Ekogaru as some kind of so-called god. Luckily, we took care of that planet. Forever," said Admiral Wildstar.
"How did your son die?" asked Homer.
"I don't want to talk about it!" snapped Admiral Wildstar. "It still gives me the shivers to see…how he looked…when they took him off that cross…"
"Cross?" said Homer. "Oh…my God…"
"He was tortured and crucified, along with two others…" said IQ-9. "They…"
"IQ, shut up!" snapped Admiral Wildstar. The car then went quiet. Then, Commander Wildstar said, "There are things…I don't like to get into, either. We understand."
"We're almost there," said Commanding General Alexander in his somewhat deep voice. "Luckily, we do not need to be cleared."
A FEW MINUTES LATER…..
The party had entered Government House; the official residence of the Federation President, through a checkpoint at a wrought-iron, modern-looking fence.
The car stopped near the entrance of the modernistic, but scarred-looking white building that looked the same as the President's Residence back on Commander Wildstar's Earth, except that it no longer existed, of course.
They walked through a massive, elegant entry hall that bore signs of battle; the rug looked burnt in a few places, and one window was blocked out with plywood. A small of fresh paint mixed strangely with the smell of smoke from fires outside in the distance.
They noticed workmen hammering and pounding in one of the offices in the curved passage they were going down. The curved passage ended at the entrance to a straight passageway where two Space Marines were on guard. They simply nodded at the Commander and Admiral Wildstar and the others.
They walked down a dark red carpet to a set of heavy wood double doors that Commander Wildstar recognized, although he had seen them only twice; the doors to the office of the President of the Federation of Earth Governments. The double doors were guarded by two Secret Service men in dark suits with sunglasses; and they were decorated with the twin globes of both hemispheres of Earth, wrought in shining brass.
There, the Secret Service men quietly closed ranks and looked at Commanding General Alexander. "The password, please," one of them said in an audible but low voice.
"Tubal-Cain," said the Commander in a quiet voice.
"The password is good; all of you may enter," said the Secret Service man in a deep voice. "You are all expected."
He opened the doors by turning a huge handle, and the party walked into a large, forboding-looking room. At the back wall, there was a huge Earth Federation globe in blue and gold, between a set of red curtains and above a display of all of the national flags of the different nations of Earth.
Commander Wildstar noticed that the President's desk had been changed. It was no longer the brown wood that he was familiar with from his visits to this room, but it was, instead, a more modernistic desk in some kind of black ebony-like wood with a huge, polished black marble top. It was almost empty except for a pen set, a blotter, some books, a phone, and a chipped white coffee cup that had "SBB-01 ESS ARGO" written on it in dark blue, along with a small gold seal that looked like the ancient Crysanthemum of the old Japanese Imperial Navy with a gold anchor over it.
A spotlight shone from above on the desk, but the massive cushioned chair behind it was empty. There seemed to be no one in the semi-darkened office at all…until Homer and Commander Wildstar heard typing in the distance on a computer keyboard.
Everyone turned their heads in the direction of the typist. In the shadows, a smallish head with a mane of shoulder-length hair that somehow looked female was attached to a set of shoulders clad in a white lab coat; the owner of the shoulders was typing furiously on a computer keyboard at a credenza or small roll-top desk off to the side. The desk looked rather old-fashioned for some reason.
"I wonder who that secretary is?" muttered Homer. "I wish she'd call the President and let us know we're here. We're hungry."
Then, they heard a small whisper."Oh, for God's sake…" said the owner of the voice in a low alto that Commander Wildstar felt a sudden shock at. That isn't her….that can't be her! Can it? It sounds just like….
The Commanding General cleared his throat as Admiral Wildstar turned to him and said, "She must be lost in her thoughts again. I've got it…"
Then, Commander Wildstar watched as Admiral Wildstar walked up to the woman and whispered, "Hey, Peppermint…they're here…"
"I know," the woman replied in a louder alto voice that made chills run down Commander Wildstar's back. It was a voice he had not heard for over seven years. "I sensed all of you as soon as you entered the bulding. Let me get the lights up…"
The woman nodded her head and kicked back her chair from the small roll-top desk and put her computer into "standby" with a quick move of her mouse as she got up and turned around.
Commander Derek Wildstar was then staggered as he looked right at the unmistakable face of his beloved wife Nova. She looked almost the same; in fact, she looked unaccountably young, just as he had left her, except that her blond bangs looked a little more unruly and she had an almost comical-looking set of little round reading glasses hanging on the end of her pert little nose.
Nova wore a slightly baggy doctor's white lab coat that fitted her slender frame well, with a just-above-the-knee black dress on beneath it; the style looked a little different than anything Commander Wildstar or Homer had ever seen before, but they guessed that women's styles must have changed a little in twenty plus years beyond their time on an Earth that had still existed.
They also noticed that Nova's legs were bare, but were very well-toned and trim, and on her feet, she wore open black high-heeled sandals that matched her dress. All in all, her appearance looked consistent with that of a young professional woman more or less of their own time.
Nova then leaned on the huge desk and said, "Let me make a full intoduction. I am Commodore Nova Wildstar, MD, JD, EDF Reserves, practicing ship's surgeon of the Space Battleship Argo, and, for now, anyway, acting President and Prime Minister of the United Federation of Earth Governments."
"In other words, she's the big cheese around here," said Admiral Wildstar with a snicker as he came up beside her.
"Derek, you drive me up the wall when you call me that!" Nova said with a laugh as she looked at her husband. Nova then sighed and said, "I don't really even want to be here. The day we get Parliament running again and get a proper Prime Minister and new Presidential elections, the day the new President gets inaugurated is the day I will gladly ride to Parliament with my successor and then give him or her a hug…and let him or her have this place."
"Don't let her kid you guys," said Admiral Wildstar. "Without her leadership, we would not have beaten Ekogaru…without the fire in her, we would never have finally sent him to the next world, and without her compassion, things would be even worse than they are now. Thanks to her, the planet is getting healed and she's starting to get food and shelter to people, as well as medical care, counseling, and new jobs. Everything our enemies tore down, she is building up again. Still the job will take us years."
Commander Wildstar walked up to her with Homer and shook her extended hand. Never had he dreamed that his reunion with Nova would begin with a formal handshake. Commander Wildstar felt a deep pang of pain as he realized that, as much as this woman looked like her and sounded like her; this lady both was and was not his Nova, even though she looked just as youthful as "his" Nova had. When he looked into her eyes, though, he saw deep, dark eyes that looked both similar to but very different from his Nova's. In fact, something about them reminded him far more of the deep, mysterious eyes of the late Queen Starsha than of his Nova…and then, it hit him….
…Nova was somehow looking right into his mind! It then hit him like a ton of bricks that their dreaded villain Ekogaru had not been defeated with weapons…but had been defeated in knock-down, drag-out psychic or spiritual combat…and this version of Nova had been the one who had finally defeated him.
"We have something in common, Commander Wildstar," Nova said right to him, softly.
"Which…is?" he said as she held his hand.
"We've both died once. You, with the wave motion gun….and me…at the hands of Ekogaru. That's why I look so young, in response to the question you were about to ask. I'm fifty-three now; the same as as my Derek…but everyone tells me I look twenty-three, just the same age I was when Derek and I got married right after the Comet Empire was defeated the first time in our world. That is a story you are familiar with, but, in our world, Trelaina told us not to wait. So we got married the day after Christmas of 2201. We had five children together, two sets of twins and one girl, and we adopted a war orphan named Jonathan. We have five children left; Alexander, Ariel, Anastasia, whom we call Anya, Mark, and Teresa. I know you were told our adopted son Jonathan died in the war. But…well…we have another on the way again. That really proves I'm younger," Nova quipped. "Going through…all that all over again in seven months…I'm thrilled," Nova joked.
Then, she came around, sat on the big desk as she swung her legs, and tapped a button on the phone. "Mario, get some chairs in here…and five lunches, please. Bring some wine…we could use something to drink."
"Yes, ma'am," said the voice of the Presidential Aide over the speakerphone.
Nova shut off and looked at Commander Wildstar and Homer. "I'm familiar with your plight already. I had a long dream about it last night. The dream was so clear and vivid that I knew it was going to come true when I woke up. I've had that gift for a while…I dream about things that later really happen, and I have visions of stuff, too. It's been clear I can…see and sense things ever since my death and return. Let's sum up your situation in two minutes…"
"Why don't we wait for the food?" said Homer.
"Well…okay…we'll do that…"
And, at that, they began to talk about inconsequential things…and went on like that for a few minutes, until the food came, along with chairs for them. Thus, they all sat down around the Presidential desk as if it was a huge dining room table as they started in on their food.
They ate quickly, and they ate in near-silence. Commander Wildstar and Homer did not know how hungry they were, and the food and the dry wine went down quite well.
When they were done eating, Nova tapped on a glass with a fork and then, she put up a hand palm-up in an odd gesture…and shut her eyes.
Light came from her hand, and something like a hologram, or images, appeared above her hand, clear and small but very vivid. Homer whistled softly at this ability as Commander Wildstar saw back into the past…over seven years ago…as he and his Nova shared one of their last kisses together. Then, visions appeared of him being forced out into the firing gate of the wave motion gun in his spacesuit, and then, there was a dreadful vision of his Nova forced to fire the gun; Commander Wildstar actually saw Venture squeezing her hand as Nikran and the Mauritanians forced her to fire. He could see the pain on her face…the tears running down her cheeks from under the dark flash goggles…and he could see her firing the Gun.
He saw his own death, as if he was watching it on a movie screen…and then, he saw the beam from the Wave Motion Gun smashing into the Earth and blowing it apart. He had actually died right before Earth had been destroyed…so he had not actually witnessed its end. Seeing this, and seeing his Nova's pain and her tears, was a major shock to him. Why was she showing him these horrible visions? And how did she know these things? How did she become the way she was now?
In response, the dancing vision in her sphere of energy blurred and changed, becoming a view of the inside of the Yamato near Sickbay. No…it was their ship…their Argo, he was seeing the interior of; it looked like his ship, but different, with a few different markings on the bulkheads and a similar but different color to the paint on the inside of the ship.
He saw a tall, mad-looking figure with dark hair streaked with grey, in a dark blue coat and robes, confronting a much smaller woman who looked somewhat like Nova, but with strawberry blond hair, and a black dress on with something like gladiator sandals on her feet and lower legs. "This was Aliscea of Pellias…my predecessor," said Nova softly. The woman seemed to be flaming with suppressed golden energy, and she looked somewhat like a battle-ready version of Queen Starsha. "The man was the so-called Lord Ekogaru the Great, reincarnated and reformed in a new body he began to turn into that of a cyborg."
Aliscea and Ekogaru fired beams of light at each other through their hands. They hit each other, and both of them screamed.
The door to Sickbay came open, and Nova stood there, in the same sort of lab coat she wore now, but with a white dress beneath it that looked to Commander Wildstar like her old nurses' smocks, with white sandals on her feet and a stethoscope around her neck. Nova looked aghast at the scene as things burned in the background…and then, the Dark Lord blasted again at a helpess-looking Aliscea…but, Nova ran up and tackled her, trying to protect her from the madman's energy beam…which hit her in the back, instead.
Commander Wildstar and Homer saw Nova's face contorting in pain as they could see her skull and bones glowing through her head for a moment before she fell to the deck like a broken toy, raising her head a little in the smoke that obscured her from view as Ekogaru slammed Aliscea with another beam of energy…and then, Aliscea's clothes and then her very body began to dissolve in flames…leaving nothing left of her but a charred skeleton that fell to the deck.
Then, they saw Trelaina of Telezart alive again…hugging Aliscea's skeleton…and trying to will life back into it as light came from her body…turning her head fast to finally see Nova lying there…in tattered, charred rags that used to be her uniform….coughing as blood came from her mouth. Admiral Wildstar then appeared and held her, and some argument ensured as Nova said, "Trelaina lives again here. She had been trying to resurrect Aliscea and used almost all of her power on her even though she was already dead and there was not enough even left of her to recall her and revive her. All she could do for me was make me more comfortable, as I…"
Then, Commander Wildstar glanced at Nova recited her last words and went limp in this Admiral Wildstar's arms. He could not look at her actual death, and he saw that Admiral Wildstar could not look again, either. Finally, the vision changed as he glanced over again and looked at Nova once again, lying dead, cold and stiff on a metal table with bare shoulders; the rest of her form covered by a sheet. A mourning Admiral Wildstar got Nova's bare arm up, and held her cold hand as a glow came over the body, and the color changed and Nova sat up, the sheet falling away to expose her bare chest as she covered herself with her hands and shivered and coughed while her body was suddenly infused with new life and power…
Then, the vision faded. Nova made the sphere vanish, and she said, "Now that that brings all of us up to speed…lunch should be here soon. As you see…we have much in common. That is why we understand, Commander Wildstar, what you are going through. We have been through alot, too…but a different sort of history. I think it was Meant for you to warp here to our universe so that we can do what we can to help you and help humanity in your world. And I feel we were Meant to help you. Captain Avatar told me so."
Commander Wildstar said, "He…told..you?"
Nova nodded. "I think you and I had some similar dreams." Then, she looked at her Derek and said, "Admiral?"
Admiral Wildstar said, "That's a big affirmative." Then, he looked at Commander Wildstar and Homer as they looked somewhat aghast as he said, "I know it's a lot to absorb…Nova and I had to absorb a lot when she showed me your life story and what those of your version of Humanity went through. For what it's worth…we hate the Mauritanians as much as you people do…but we can't come there and help you fight. My first impulse was to ask Peppermint here to just pull your Nova here through time and space with your daughter Setsuna, put her right back on the Yamato, and then we could all do a massive space warp together, and I could follow you right back on my Argo as the flagship, with maybe a one or two hundred ship fleet behind us, all pissed off and all ready to kick some ass and take some names. What do you think of that?"
Commander Wildstar said, "Sir, it sounds tempting…but…honor says this has to be our fight…and something tells me that…"
Nova looked at him and sighed. "Doing that would put both of our universes at risk. Oh, believe me, I'm tempted. I'd love to try. But…I have this deep sense it is NOT MEANT TO HAPPEN. And when something is not Meant to be, going against Destiny can be a very dangerous thing. Monkeying with the very Scheme of the Universe can actually Usurp what the Creator intends to happen…and if I did that, as tempted as I am to just directly interfere with a Fleet and give that Nikran and his race a good piece of my mind for doing that to you and to her….I am not Permitted to do so, and I am so sorry. In fact, you are not even Permitted to be here for more then twenty-four of our hours."
Nova paused and made a haunting vision of HIS Nova, in a tattered dress, appear to Commander Wildstar above her hand. "All I can do is to show you that she is safe…well…and alive…for now. I'm not even allowed to show you what your daughter looks like…even though I know she is very pretty and very sweet. I wish I could bring her to you, but it is not permitted. I did not bring you here, incidentially. Why you were brought here, and how you will return…I do not know. Mizuki knows. I've been chatting with her…mind to mind. I have a link with her now. I can also tell you this…"
Nova then went off to whisper urgently with her Derek, who looked aghast at what she suggested…but he nodded his head after a moment.
Then, Nova turned back to Commander Wildstar and Homer. "I can do this for you. Let us come aboard your vessel for a few hours. Before we have to part, I'll make sure that you receive food, supplies, and even some spare parts intended for the Argo in our world that should fit your Yamato because they are almost the same vessel. I might even be able to give you some spare personnel of ours who might be willing to leave our Earth…forever. Then, I can give you one last gift; to be used if and only if the situation warrants it." Nova then paused and concentrated. A moment later, a blazing sphere of energy appeared in her hand…it was so bright that everyone there had to look away from it. Nova looked hard at it and caused it to cool.
A moment later, something that looked like a tiny, crystalline ball the size of a marble sat in her hand. It was clear, and exquisite. Nova put it right in the palm of Admiral Wildstar's hand and held hands with him, whispering words in his ear that only the two of them heard, shutting her eyes, and making him squeeze it.
Then, she took it away, kissed her husband, and placed it right in a startled Commander Wildstar's hand. Her hand went over his, as she shocked him by pulling him close in an embrace.
He could smell her perfume…it smellled just like the sort his Nova wore. Then, as they held hands, Nova whispered in his ear, "I can say this to you…Commander Wildstar. Derek…I can only say this once to you. I am not her, but I have just formed a sort of link between us. Between me. And between her. I have just taken a small portion of the love my Derek and I share for each other and I have placed it in this globe, along with some of the love we have for Earth…and for humanity. I have also touched upon and focused upon a small portion of the love you share for her…my counterpart…my sister, shall we say…in your world. I have placed that love in here along with our love and desire to see your enemy defeated. This will give you comfort, hope and strength to go on with your lonely task. And there is one more small gift I leave you in this Globe. I have been permitted to give you this…"
"Which is?" asked Commander Wildstar, who was both wishing that this Nova would let him go and hoping he would never have to leave her comforting arms again.
"We both wanted to come to your universe and help you. It is not allowed for us to come openly, with our ship…with all of our weapons and fleet," Nova said "Once, and only once…in your darkest hour, in your deepest need…you can call to me…and my Derek and I will come together to aid you in whatever way we can by coming to you…once, and only once. We can come through the veil once and only once….but only in the most desperate time…in the most desperate need…and, then, we can do two small but needful acts for you…along with one Great Act. You may never even need to call upon me…who knows? But call…and I will be there…so will my Derek."
"How do I call you?" said Commander Wildstar.
"Hold this little globe…and murmur the words "snow forest" Nova whispered. "Call me once, and I will come and bring my Derek. I will have to bring him because I cannot come there alone. I have to be…escorted…as it were. We can act for you…and then, we must return…and cannot come to you again. But…I think…this might prove…useful…" Nova then added, "And, the warp. I have just caused the course you need to follow to show up and imprint in the Yamato's computer. When you are in space, follow that course. It will lead you right back to the place where you warped here. Warp again at that spot, and you will be back where you belong…."
Nova left the globe in his hand…squeezed his hands, and broke the embrace and turned away. "Derek?" she said, looking at her Admiral.
"Yes?" he said.
"We have to be going. Make some room for me in that car…on your lap if need be…I…"
Then, as Nova swung around, IQ-9 burbled up behind her. "Madame Prime Minister, why don't you sit in my lap and let Admiral Wildstar drive?"
"Nothing doing, IQ…I…"
Then, IQ skittered around behind Nova…and put his hands on her bottom as Homer looked on aghast and began to laugh in spite of himself, followed by the Commander. She screamed and said, "IQ, remember, I'm pregnant! NO! Bad boy! DOWN!"
"Nova, I'm just trying to have some fun."
"Fun , HAH!" Nova said as she stamped her high heel on the ground and put her nose up in the air. "Just for that, Tinwit, you get to stay here and clean up my office! I want this place sparkling when I get back, got that?"
They walked out, and, as they left (with a very ticked-off Nova leading the way) Admiral Wildstar came up alongside Commander Wildstar and said, "Hey…some things never change, do they? He hasn't changed in thirty-two years…isn't it crazy?"
"Yeah," said Commander Wildstar. "It's crazy…"
Admiral Wildstar stopped. "Listen, I know you miss her…and I know what you're going through. We got parted a good deal in the recent war, and when she…died…she was lying there like that for fourteen hours. I was ready to put all of my hopes and dreams into the box with her when she came back to us. I know what she promised you. It sounds exceptional…but…that's her. We were also through a lot recently…I nearly gave up a few times…but…well…she's the one person who never gave up; who never quit, and who may go off, have a good, cry and then bounce back and say, "let's try this again…another way…"" Admiral Wildstar paused. "She told me before you came that she was aware your Nova is running around enemy concentration camps saving children and blowing up their power plants, even though all she has on her back are some raggedy clothes and old sandals. She told me…'guess what…in her shoes…I'd be doing the same thing…'" Admiral Wildstar paused and said, "I wonder what would happen if my girl and your girl ever met in your world if we ever had to come through. I wonder what they'd come up with in ten minutes and pull off?"
"I have no idea," said Commander Wildstar. "But…"
"But what, Commander?" said the Admiral.
"But I get the feeling that if they did that…the Mauritanians would really, really regret having to get those two ladies together…."
"Yeah…you and me both…"
At that, both Wildstars shared a hearty laugh.
A while later, on the Yamato, Commander Wildstar stood watching as a work gang, partly of humans, and partly of robots, began loading supplies of all kinds aboard the Yamato. Wildstar and Homer stood in one of the supply holds, watching as crate after crate of non perishable foods and MRE's (Meals-Ready-to-Eat) were brought aboard, along with crates of spare parts of all types.
Then, Wildstar and Homer went to Sickbay, where, to their utter surprise, about four young, almost teenage-looking nurses in white minidresses worked stowing away items and prepping equipment, under the command of two people; a tallish African-American man in a white Medical uniform and white labcoat, and, then, when they caught her again, a familiar willo-the-wisp of a figure in a labcoat and black dress, who worked with her shoes kicked off as they heard some civilian aide they hadn't met yelling, "Madame President! You don't need to do this yourself! A robot can do your work!"
The fast-moving willo-the-wisp turned around. It was, of course, Nova, who wiped away some sweat off her brow, and said, "But Jenkins, who's going to put everything in the right place for an emergency? You tell me that one!" Nova then turned to Wildstar and sighed, "I had another med student doing this at first, but since the Doctor here said he wasn't doing things right, well, if I want something done right these days, sometimes I just have to wade in and do it myself." Nova then looked at the tall black man and motioned him over. "I've known this man ever since I met him in my last year of Medical School twenty-nine years ago. His name is Darrell Bixley, and he graduated med school three years after I did. He's always been a good professional colleague, and he's served as my assistant on a number of assignments, this latest war being the last one. He…lost his family in the war, and he'd like to move on. Right, Doctor?"
"Right, ma'am," said Doctor Bixley in a rough but kindly voice. "So, after much thought, Commander Wildstar…the lady here tells me you need a doctor, and I'm a fully qualified doctor, so I hereby volunteer to join your Yamato's crew, along with Nurses Rowena Calabrese, Felicia Wildstar-Iiyama, Danielle Brunson, and Fujiko Yamamoto. The Lady here just asks that we take good care of Felicia…she's her daughter-in-law," he said as he gently hugged the redheaded nurse in her late thirties.
Commander Wildstar shook hands with Doctor Bixley and then looked at Felicia. "You're…"
"I married Jonathan, Derek and Nova's adopted son, almost fifteen years ago. My mother-in-law and I tried to save Jon's life after he was rescued from crucifxion by our enemies in the R'Khell Union, but it was too late. He died in our arms in the dirt on the horrible planet R'Khell. I thought I had nothing left to live for after he and our daughter died in the war…but Doctor Bixley and Madame President here convinced me otherwise."
Nova then put a hand on Felicia's shoulder and said, "I'm glad we did. You're too smart to spend your whole life mourning. It is said 'to everything there is a season', but now is the time to pick up what we lost and move on…you're going to one new world, while Ariel, my Derek, and all the others who are left are making another new world here on our badly wounded but still intact Earth."
"Who's Ariel?" Commander Wildstar asked.
"Our oldest daughter," said Admiral Wildstar as he appeared in Sickbay and stood by Nova. "She's busy elsewhere right now, a nurse flying mercy missions in a Medical boat with her brother Alex flying her."
Commander Wildstar nodded, bowing his head as he was lost in his own thoughts for a moment. Then, he looked at Doctor Wildstar and said, "We appreciate the new Medical crew, Nova. But are you sending anyone else?"
She nodded. "Yes. When you take off, have your lower fighter bay door open, and stand by to take on a squadron of twelve Astro-Fighters. I'm sorry that's all we can spare, but the man who volunteered to lead them is a good man now, even though he has…his own ghosts. His name is Shigeru Sakamoto, and he's a very experienced pilot…even though he sort of shows off a bit," Nova said with a laugh. Then, she said, "And I have to be bidding you farewell…for now. Goodbye, Homer," Nova said as she looked at him and squeezed his hands. "It's so nice to see you again. God be with you and the wind be at your back."
"Uhh…likewise, ma'am," Homer said as he stepped back and saluted.
Then, Nova shook hands with Doctor Bixley and hugged her nurses and wished them luck along with Admiral Wildstar from their time. Then, she turned to Commander Wildstar.
"Derek, I leave you with this thought," she said seriously. "We have a setback, maybe we even lose a battle, but life goes on. Life is precious. I know that you will find her again, but, even if somehow you didn't, I know her…well…me, sort of….to know that she'd want you to go on regardless. God Bless you, and take care. My Derek and I will think of you and your people always…" Nova said as she hugged Commander Wildstar one last time before she stepped back and they exchanged salutes. Then, she walked away, hand-in-hand with her Derek as she picked up her shoes from off a table and went on to leave the Yamato. Commander Wildstar could not help but stand watching as she disappeared out of the hatch and down the passage with her beloved, quietly sharing a private story between the two of them.
A while later, the Yamato was ready to depart.
Back on the First Bridge, Commander Wildstar gave the order to depart as the ship slipped slowly out of the dock.
As she departed, someone turned on a screen on the starboard side of the First Bridge. Then, Homer called out, "Look! They're manning the rails on the Argo!"
Wildstar and the others ran to the screen and were awed to see that the rails of the Argo were being manned in an honor salute by face after face from their Star Force, all in the traditional first-over-heart salute. They didn't recognize many of the faces, until Homer noticed a pilot who just had to be Jefferson Hardy, with grey-streaked hair, standing there in his Black Tiger uniform beside a woman in a nurse's uniform with dark hair, with a man in another Black Tiger uniform who looked like a very young Wildstar with messy, albeit shorter hair standing there beside a young woman with reddish-blond hair in a nurse's minidress. That must be Alexander and Ariel Wildstar, Derek thought. Then, as they passed the Argo's bridge tower, Derek and Homer saw IQ-9 standing there, along with faces that looked a bit older but were recognizably Eager, Homer, and Tim Orion from Engineering. Next to Homer was his spouse Wendy Singleton, in an EDF green staff officers' uniform.
On the forward auxilary gun turret, Stephen Sandor (with grey-streaked hair) stood there beside a tall woman with red hair in a Star Force Engineering uniform; his wife Diane.
On Main Turret Number Two stood a slightky older-looking Commodore Mark Venture, in a black Admiral's peacoat over his Star Force uniform, standing there with a vision in blue with flowing blond hair…Trelaina herself, who gleamed slightly and stood looking very solid as they figured out that here, somehow, she was alive again and back with Mark.
Last of all, on Main Turret Number One, Commanding General Gil Alexander stood there in his forest-green uniform in the traditional hand-over-heart salute, and not the hand-to-brow salute that the Comamnder of the Earth Defense Forces had traditionally used when seeing them off. Next to him stood Admiral Derek Wildstar, in his peacoat and Captain's Cap, with his white scarf hanging out jauntily as he stood there in the hand-to-heart salute…
…and to his right stood Nova, who had changed into her own black Commodore's peacoat, old skintight black on gold Living Group Uniform and boots, and a Captain's Cap of her own…with her hand snapped up to the brim of her cap in the traditional Commanding General's honor salute. She and the others held that salute until the Yamato left the cave and cruised out into the open sea.
Then, when they were out on the sea, Commander Wildstar ordered them to take off. They did so, blasting up out of the sea as Homer said, from his post, "Commander, signal from the Black Tigers!"
Just as they were spotted on radar, they heard the sound of a jet plane from the inside over the speakers as an authoritative voice snapped, "Commander Wildstar, this is Lieutenant Commander Shigeru Sakamoto. Request permission to land aboard Yamato with my eleven fighters."
Derek then said, "Lieutenant Commander, welcome to the Star Force. You and your pilots are granted permission to land."
"Thank you, sir," said Sakamoto, all business, and very stern-sounding.
The planes landed, and, at that, the Yamato blasted up towards space, heading towards the place where they had warped.
Finally, Commander Wildstar himself took the helm at this point, and he flew the Yamato carefully along the course that Nova had put into the computer with her uncanny new power. He followed the course to a point on the Astro-Compass and then he snapped, "All hands, secure for space warp!"
When the warp preparations were completed, Wildstar pulled back the throttle (with a slightly shaking hand) and snapped, "WARP!"
The Yamato jumped into warp as the stars blurred and everything distorted.
A moment later, they slammed back, very hard, into normal space. Empty space, that is.
Derek could tell by the stars that they were at the place they had meant to warp to in the first place when they had warped out that morning…their intended destination…
….in their own universe and time.
This chapter was written by Freddo, I owe him much for this chapter. Thank you my friend.