Onward With Love…
Chapter Two: Hot Water and Confusion
By Yuki Wildstar
With much appreciation to Fred Kopetz , he encouraged me to go for it. With his collaboration in this story about Derek and Nova it has turned out to be better than I thought it would. His vision with detailing and added script has made this so much more fun than expected. You and Gail ROCK! Thanks for everything and I am so blessed to have a partner in writing.
I. BACK INTO THE HOT WATER…
Space Battleship Endeavor
Approaching Planet Turoc
March 28th 2205
The Endeavor, which was just coming out of a warp in Sector 8, made the trip on time as noted by Wildstar.
“Okay everyone, great job. We should be coming up to Planet Turoc in about 10 hours so get prepared for docking. Lieutenant Pratt, how’s our radar looking? Is there anything in the area that we should be worried about?” Wildstar asked.
“No sir, it all looks clear,
it’s just the stars,” said Pratt. Pratt had taken over Nova’s position on this
mission. Pratt was a skinny kid, very tall, with dark hair. He was from a small
town in New Nevada near
“Very well then, Lieutenant Commander Tolbert, you can take leave of the bridge and go eat something. Who knows what’s out there, and who knows when you’ll able to eat or sleep.” Wildstar ordered. “But don’t take too long”
“Yes, sir,” Tolbert sighed. She thought, About time… I thought he’d never let me off this bridge!
“Lieutenant Miamato, take over the ship. I need to get some work done,” Wildstar ordered.
“Yes sir. Assuming command, the Captain is now leaving the bridge,” Miamato announced.
Derek went up to his quarters and sat behind his desk. Then, he turned to his laptop and was about to turn it on when he heard a loud booming noise and was thrown to the deck.
He got up, yelling, “Now what the hell was that?” He grabbed for the Telecommunication microphone. and yelled into it. “Miamato, what was that? It feels like we took a hit!”
“Sir the ship is under attack, I think you’d better get down here quick!” yelled the Lieutenant in reply.
Wildstar grabbed his officer’s peacoat and he ran to the bridge. Lieutenant Commander Tolbert also heard and felt the impact, so she was right behind him when he got to the bridge.
“What’s going on Captain? It sounded like a missile hitting the ship!” Tolbert called out.
“I’m not sure…hurry up, would you?” Wildstar yelled back to her. “How did we get caught with our pants down?”
“Sir, they came out of nowhere! They must have warped here,” said Tolbert as she stood next to Pratt and whispered to him. “I am told that our radar didn’t even pick them up until they were right in front of us! We had no time to react, sir!”
“Send out the alert,” snapped Derek as he got his microphone up. “Attention all hands, attention all hands….the ship is now under attack! I repeat…the ship is under attack! All crew members to your battle stations, repeat all hands to your battle stations!” Wildstar yelled into the microphone.
“Lieutenant Ortiz, get those guns going, Lieutenant Miamato, get the Black Tigers out there NOW!” Lieutenant Commander Tolbert yelled.
“Ortiz…fire at will! Give them what we’ve got now!” Tolbert ordered.
“Aye, aye…Ma’am!” Ortiz yelled. Then, he said, “Artillery crews…aim guns to 63N starboard, range 10,000 kilometers set! Ready to fire. FIRE!” Ortiz screamed to the Artillery crew.
“Artillery guns to port 54S hold there, ready ..... FIRE!”
“Direct hit” Lieutenant Pratt yelled. “One enemy ship destroyed!”
“Where are our pilots, now?” asked Wildstar
“They’re leaving the dock now, sir!” Tolbert answered.
“Pratt, how many bogies are there?” Wildstar asked
“Sir, so far just 20 fighters are on my radar,” Pratt answered.
“Enemy fire at starboard!” yelled Tolbert. They could see a massive explosion off to one of their flanks.
“Sir, we’ve just lost the destroyer Yellowbird," Pratt cried, looking at the radar. “The enemy fleet’s moving on to port to attack the destroyers Young and Thunderhawk! The frigates are trying to put up a defensive screen!”
“Get the rest of our pilots out there, we need to cover the rest of the fleet, and NOW!” Wildstar ordered.
“Sir all pilots are out, we need to use the main guns,” Tolbert said.
“Mister Ortiz, use the main guns…give them full power!” Wildstar yelled.
“Yes sir!” Ortiz replied. “Artillery, open main guns on target 85 degrees at the Port side range 5.0 megameters!”
Pratt then yelled, “We’ve lost the Young! The Thunderhawk is retreating while returning fire!”
Ortiz ordered to Gunnery, “Ready, FIRE!”
The Endeavor’s guns went off. The destruction was major; three Bolar space battleships fell in an instant. However, with pilots in flight and many guns firing, the battle went on.
“Report!” demanded the rough voice of Prime Minister Bemlayze on the Bolar flagship, an ugly-looking vessel known as the Lalanda.
“General Procyon, how goes our conquest of what the Earthers call Sector Eight?”
Procyon, the Bolar commander present, responded with, “Very well, sir. We have brought down six Terran destroyers, four frigates, and many planes. The Earthers’ so-called Fleet is now down to one space battleship, two frigates, and two destroyers. I expect to demand the surrender of the Earth flagship shortly.”
“Good! You must hold this sector at all costs. The Earthers’ scummy allies, the Gamilon-Garuman Empire, are trying to challenge our supremacy here. Just like them to use the Earthlings as shock troops, eh? Let them die while Desslok laughs.”
“The Earthlings are a threat…they have brought down four of our destroyers and four battleships and two carriers.”
“What? Can’t fight them off?” snapped Bemlayze. “Win this battle or I will leave you out there to die like a rat, Procyon!”
“Of course, Lord…”
The Bolars fought back with renewed force. On the Endeavor, Pratt called out more bad news. “Sir, we’ve just lost another frigate, and the Riegal has been badly damaged, she says she may not make it back.”
“Miamato, how are the Tigers holding up?” Wildstar demanded.
“Heavy casualties,” he responded. Then, Pratt spoke again. “Sir an enemy destroyer just warped into our space! She’s 5045 kilometers out to our stern and coming in fast!” Pratt said, now yelling because of the noise.
“Okay? We’re screwed if they hit us at that range! Any ideas? I’m kind of open right now.” Wildstar spoke out. “Well, anyone?”
“Sir, maybe if we make a small warp towards that planet over there, we may be able to surprise them and reverse the situation,” Tolbert said.
“Enemy destroyer, range, 2000 kilometers!” Pratt yelled. The destroyer began firing a moment later. Miamato yelled, “We’ve taken damage to the port auxiliary engine! She’s still running, but another hit might kmock it out!”
“Good idea Tolbert, prepare for warp, call back the fighters!” Wildstar yelled
“Sir we just lost our last destroyer!” Pratt said as a Bolar destroyer rammed the EDF destroyer Thunderchild. “We are down to two escorts now and one is heavily damaged!”
“Countdown to warp, all secure, hold on to something guys…this is going to be a quick one!” Wildstar ordered.
“Ready 5 ..... 4..... 3 .....2 .....1 Warp!” Tolbert cried out.
The Endeavor flashed out…and then reappeared a moment later. Within seconds, the Endeavor was behind the enemy taking them by surprise. “Get the pilots back out there! Open all guns!” Wildstar yelled.
Finally, with all guns going, the Endeavor had the upper hand. The Cosmo Tigers started picking off each of the enemy fighters, as they continued to fire all guns at the enemy destroyer. “Let’s just hope that the rest of the fleet doesn’t show up now,” Wildstar said.
“Sir, you’re not going to like this one bit…” Pratt announced to Captain Wildstar, “…but the remaining fleet just popped up on our radar. But sir, they’re being chases by someone.”
“WHAT!” Wildstar said surprised.
“Sir, it looks like another fleet in the area” Pratt said.
“Captain, let’s call back our fighters and what’s left of our fleet. Let’s see how this pans out. I think now the enemy is more concerned with the other fleet then they are with us,” Tolbert said.
“Yeah I think you’re right, Tolbert,” Derek mused. “Miamato, call back our fighters and tell our remaining fleet to back up to coordinate zero sixer three. Let’s see what these guys are fighting about, huh? Try to put me through to the first fleet…I need to make sure of something,” Wildstar commanded.
“Yes, sir,” Miamato called back. After a moment, he said, “Sir, I have the commander of the first fleet on the line. Should I put him through to the main video panel?” Miamato asked.
Wildstar nodded. Then, he waited as an image of a rather ugly-looking Bolar officer with a scarred face came up on the screen. “This is Captain Derek Wildstar of the Earth Federation Space Battleship Endeavor…who are you?”
“I am General Procyon of the Flagship Lalanda from the Bolar Federation! You are in our space and you are intruding here! I have claimed this in the name of the Bolar Federation! Get out before I make you get out!” Procyon said. “This will be your only warning, you meddler in our internal affairs!”
“Sorry General, but this sector is claimed by the Earth Defense Federation, and you are now in our sector. I am telling you to leave, along with the other commander,” Wildstar demanded.
“If you tell him to go, that would actually be appreciated,” snapped Procyon. “Then, you get your rotten little fleet out of our space with him…before we have to destroy you!”
“Sir I have General Lugin of the Space Battleship Epsilon on the other screen,” Miamato cut in. “They say they’re from the…”
“Switch it over, Miamato,” Wildstar snapped.
A moment later, a man with a blue face came up on the screen. He had dark brown hair with a few grey streaks and a bit of a beard. The crew gasped as they recognized the dark green and white tunic he wore with a red and black cape over it. “Gamilons,” muttered Tolbert.
The second officer said, “This is General Lugin of the Garuman-Gamilon Imperial Space Battleship Epsilon. You will identify yourselves at once! We have business with these Bolars and do not appreciate being interrupted!”
“This is Captain Derek Wildstar of the Endeavor. You are both in EDF space. You must retreat from this space.”
“Ah, Captain Wildstar, is it? I have heard good things about you from our Emperor Desslok. We are sorry that this is occurring here in your sector, but as you can see the Bolars are losing the war and are they trying to retreat to your section of the Galaxy to find new rat-holes to hide in like the vermin they are. We must stop them before they try to take over your section of the galaxy,” Lugin said. “It is to your benefit that we are here. Please stand back and let us do our job and exterminate these…pests,” said Lugin with a charming but cold smile.
“I cannot allow you to pursue this; we have control of this sector and we must fight back to defend it! We would appreciate your help if we were in Garuman or neutral space, but you are not wanted in this sector either! I demand you leave!” Wildstar spat back.
“If you so wish, be it on your own head! Then you can deal with these infidels and meet death, fool, since that it what you seem to want!” Lugin snapped. “Emperor Desslok will be sad to hear of your death!”
With that the screen went black.
“Captain Wildstar, what was that about?” Tolbert asked.
Derek sighed and replied, “Tolbert, we cannot allow them to fight in our part of the galaxy, or else it will become a habit for the Gamilons to do as they please. Desslok knows that we have an understanding.”
“The Gamilon fleet is retreating, sir!” Pratt yelled out.
“Sir I have General Procyon on the video monitor!” Miamato said.
“Put him through,” Wildstar commanded. “General Procyon, you and your fleet must remove yourselves from this part of the galaxy. Earth does not want a war with you but if we must fight…so be it….we will fight you and we will win.”
“Captain,” sighed Procyon. “You must and shall understand this…we are only trying to survive and fend off constant attack from the Gamilon Empire. So, we must claim this part of the galaxy in the name of the Bolar Federation. However, I will be lenient with you and overlook your past crimes when you fought on Desslok’s side years ago. Therefore, since you have helped us by giving us time to escape from the Garumans, then we shall retreat from here. I have heard about you and how you helped our Captain Ram from Berth many years ago. But note that we are not one to turn and run,” General Procyon said. “We will be back to reassert our territorial rights!”
“Captain it looks like they are also retreating from this sector.” Pratt called out.
“Captain Wildstar, do you think they will come back?” Tolbert turn and faced Wildstar.
“You can bet on it, Lieutenant Commander,” Wildstar said. “You see, they have only retreated to let the Gamilons think that they won, but they did so only to repair their ships. They’ll be back. Trust me on this. Lieutenant Wright, what is our damage?”
“Sir we have lost four frigates and three destroyers. We are down to two frigates and two destroyers now, and one destroyer, the Riegal, is badly damaged. The Endeavor has suffered damage to her port side and some of the main guns have been hit, along with the long-range communications antenna mast. We are now in the process of repairing all damage. The Riegal needs repairs badly, so she must return back to Pluto for those repairs,” Wright said.
“So we are pretty much on our own; just our ship, two frigates, and one destroyer,” Wildstar sighed. “Eight hundred men and women killed on those other ships…and for what?”
“Yes sir, I’m sorry to give you the bad news,” Wright reported.
“Very well then, give the Reigal orders to return to Pluto for repairs.” Wildstar said. “I know Commander Connolly won’t like taking his command home, but so be it.” Derek then closed his eyes. Then, he said, “Lieutenant Commander Tolbert, please report to my quarters. Lt Miamato, you take control of the bridge,” Wildstar said with a tired tone.
“Yes, sir,” Miamato saluted. “Captain leaving the bridge!” he snapped.
II. AN AFTERMATH…
Space Battleship Endeavor
Near Planet Turoc
March 28th 2205
Wildstar waited in his quarters for Lieutenant Commander Tolbert. He sat behind his desk looking at Nova’s picture. I have to see if I can get in touch with her soon… I don’t care what time it is over there. I miss her voice so much. He turned his chair to face the stars.
He sighed as his mind ran back to the recent past. I remember that night here in my quarters with Nova… it was such a special night. Lieutenant Commander Lee was so kind to do that for us. It’s a shame he couldn’t handle his loss. I guess I can understand that if I lost Nova I’d probably go nuts too. He didn’t know what he was doing when he kidnapped Nova that time. Nova and I bear him no hatred for that. The man was sick. Derek made it a note to go visit him in the mental hospital when he was on Earth. He did so to check on him once a week to see how he was coping. Even though he had done what he did, he and Nova still had some respect for him.
Lieutenant Commander Tolbert knocked on the Captain’ hatch. I wonder what I did wrong now, she thought.
“Enter!” Wildstar snapped.
“Sir Lieutenant Commander Tolbert present and reporting as ordered!” she said as she entered the room and stood at attention.
“At ease Lieutenant Commander…you’re not in hot water,” Derek said. “You’re here to be commended today. I just wanted to let you know that was great thinking on your feet today. That’s what I’m talking about. You are a very good officer. Just show your confidence and don’t let anyone second guess you. But don’t show too much of it. You can be a great Captain someday if you just go with your gut. Good job,” Wildstar said.
Lieutenant Commander Tolbert stood there in disbelief. Is this the same Captain that told me that the cooks can do a better job? I guess I was wrong about him. All Tolbert could say was thank you. She was ready to pivot and leave when she turned to him, “Sir, Request permission to speak!”
“Yes Lieutenant Commander…what is it?” Wildstar asked.
“I’m sorry that we had to start off on the wrong foot, sir. I was sure that you still had a grudge against me about leaving you so many years ago. We were both so young. And so stupid.”
“Think nothing of it Lieutenant Commander! That was the past…and we’ve both moved on since,” said Derek. “I am now happily married to Nova. And you…are you married?” Wildstar asked.
“No sir, it never happened for me,” Tolbert said with downcast eyes.
“No? What happened to that pilot you were dating after me? That British guy?” Wildstar was a little curious.
“Well, he left me for some younger model after two years of dating and when I happened to mention that I was pregnant,” Tolbert lowered her eyes. She was close to crying.
“You have a kid?” Derek said. “I’m sorry. Where is the little one now?”
“Well no, sir…I lost it later
in my second trimester. I guess it wasn’t meant to be. He didn’t even come to see
me when I was in the hospital recovering from the miscarriage,” Tolbert said
with tears in her eyes as she remembered how painful it was. “That
“Sorry to hear that, Julie. I always wanted the best for you.” Wildstar said.
“And you Derek, any kids yet?”
Derek smiled “No not yet…Nova and I have only been married a short time. We both still want to wait another year. But lately, I’ve been thinking about it. When I get back home, I’d like to talk to her about it.”
“I’m happy that you found someone to make you happy. I never wanted to hurt you. Does your wife know everything about us?” she asked
“I told her that we were an item once, but I never quite told her how close we were. Nova is a very special person and I don’t want her to worry. She’s my life now,” Derek said while looking at her picture.
“Well Captain she is a very lucky girl, you were always a great catch. It’s a shame that I threw you back,” Julie winked at him.
“Well I guess you should be getting back on the bridge…you have some work to do, I believe?” Wildstar was starting to feel uncomfortable. He wanted to let the past remain buried and dead.
“Of course Captain, permission to report back to my post,” Tolbert stood at attention and saluted.
“Yes, dismissed,” Wildstar said, waving her out.
Derek sat at his desk. After Tolbert left, he reached for his iPod and turned it on to Firehouse’s ‘When I look into your eyes’. Then, Derek turned his chair to the window and thought about Nova before trying to attempt a video call to her. He was like that for a while…
Nova had been forced to work a double shift that day in Pediatrics with the kids. She was bone-tired, and it was already the next day; the 29th of March, around midnight.
Nova yawned and took some coffee at the nurse’s station. She thought, Just one more hour of work to go, and it’ll be over soon. She pulled on a white sweater over her nurse’s minidress; it got cold in the wards at night. It had been warm that morning, and she had broken out her open clogs for the first time in months. Now, Nova had her toes up near a heating vent under the desk; her bare legs and partially bare feet were very cold.
She was very depressed for two reasons. One: no Derek.
The second reason: little Trish.
Trish was seven. She was a young leukemia patient on the ward whose condition went up and down like a yo-yo. One day, she would almost seem to be well, and then she would have bad days.
Nova had been in to check on Trish a while ago. The little girl was asleep, but one of the other duty nurses had done a write-up in her chart; her vitals were not bad but not good, either. Since Trish was so small, any drop in her vitals would be dangerous for her.
Trish had recently had a bone marrow transplant. There had been some improvement, but her condition was still very delicate.
Nova read her chart, and then she sat up when she heard little Trish screaming.
Nova ran into her room to find the little girl kicking her blankets off and crying horribly in her sleep. “Don’t!” she screamed. “Please don’t, please don’t, please don’t, PLEASE DON’T!” she screamed.
Nova held the little girl, who was very thin in her hospital gown. Not all of her baby-fine platinum blond hair had come out yet after the last round of chemotherapy she had been forced to endure before the operation, but some of it was falling off like snow into Nova’s lap as Nova held her and looked into her terror-filled eyes as she opened them.
A moment later, two other nurses ran in with a crash cart, making Trish scream and sob more as Nova rocked her.
“Missus Nova,” she lisped. “You’re here!”
“Yes, I am,” she said as she took Trish’s pulse. “Her pulse is elevated but her heart rate feels steady,” Nova called out.
“We need to hook her up to the EKG,” said another nurse.
“Those mean, sticky things HURT me!” Trish sobbed.
“I’ll help,” said Nova as she gently pulled Trish’s hospital gown a little to bare her thin little chest. “Hand me the sensors, Kate, she trusts me,” Nova said.
“We could do this faster, ma’am, if we pulled the gown completely off and worked on her all at once,” said Lieutenant Kate Marsden, one of Nova’s other nurses.
“We’d also have a screaming little girl we’d have to hold down,” Nova said as she carefully but gently put the sensors on Trish’s fine skin. If she wasn’t so sick, she’d be beautiful, Nova thought as she carefully put the sensors on Trish’s chest while pulling her into her lap. Nova kept the gown around Trish’s waist to give her at least a little modesty, pausing to tickle her belly button.
Trish giggled softly through her tears as Nova put up her own long, bare legs so that Trish’s leg would be ready for the sensor that Kate put there. Nova saw the third nurse, a young Hispanic woman known as Lieutenant Barbara Tejeda, setting up the EKG unit itself and carefully gathering up the wires. To distract Trish from the scary-looking machine, Nova began to play with her toes. Trish giggled, and then looked down at Nova’s feet. “Your little dress and your legs and white shoes are so pretty! I can see your piggies, too, Missus Nova! You painted your nails pink!”
“Yes, I did. It was nice out today.”
“When can I play outside again?” Trish said.
“One of these days,” Nova whispered as tears came to her eyes when she spotted the EKG tracks. Kate and Babs were just setting the unit up to record the rythym of Trish’s weakened little heart, but Nova recognized the pattern at once. Characteristic of congestive heart failure, Nova thought. Poor baby, her blood’s becoming too thick for that little heart to handle, she thought as she recognized the signs of an opportunistic heart failure caused by radiation-induced leukemia. I can’t make the diagnosis, but…the chart says she has been sick ever since 2199…in the underground cities. We did all we could for her, but…
“Why are they doing this?” Trish asked. “Can they record my dream?” she asked.
Nova said, “No, this is for your little heart. It’s sort of weak right now,” Nova said in a soft voice.
“I had a scary dream when you came,” said Trish.
“What about?” asked Babs.
“I want Missus Nova to hear it first. It was about a skeleton man,” she said.
“My God,” whispered Kate.
“Nova, in the dream, the skeleton man was coming for me,” lisped Trish.
“You shouldn’t talk about this,” said Kate.
“Let her talk; it might help,” Nova said as Kate gently put a thermometer into her mouth. Kate took it out a moment later. “Nova, she has a high fever…”
“Get some medication, Babs, and get an orderly to bring some cool water and sponges,” Nova said. Nova then got a towel from the crash cart while Trish sat in her lap and began to whine a little. Nova kissed her and got a towel under her and tenderly got her gown off her, tickling her little tummy again and making her smile. Babs came back with the water and sponge a moment later as another nurse came in and looked at Nova and said, “Ma’am, some of the other children on the floor got awakened. Hiroshi-kun and JoJo are scared; they heard the screaming.”
“Try to comfort them, Ensign,” Nova said. “I’ll pop in to look at Hiroshi-kun and JoJo in a few minutes.”
Trish looked Nova as she began to bathe her, and then she said, “Missus Nova, the skeleton man had on a black robe and a big mean stick. Is he Mister Death? Hiroshi-kun said when you die, they put you in a box called a coffin and worms and bugs eat you up. Does it hurt to turn into a skeleton in that box?”
“That happens to the body of someone who dies,” said Nova as tears ran down her face. “The real you, known as your spirit, goes somewhere else. It goes to a nice place, especially with little children…where some wise men say you live forever, while other wise men say that you come back again as a new person.”
“Is that Heaven?” said Trish as Kate shook her head and couldn’t look at her anymore.
“They say it is,” Nova said. “I sort of know about it.”
“I might have been there once, but I don’t know if I went there or dreamed it,” Nova said softly. “When we had the first space war against Desslok, I was on the Yamato, which they had renamed the Argo then. The Argo got into a very bad battle as we were coming home with the Cosmo-DNA, and Desslok and his men were bad men then. Desslok’s bad men shot the Argo full of a radioactive gas that put you to sleep. I went onto the Cosmo-DNA machine dressed almost like this, except that I had my boots on like the other day when it rained.”
“Those were pretty, too,” said Trish. “Can I have pretty boots like yours when I grow up?”
“We’ll see,” Nova said softly as she thought, You poor little angel, how can I tell you that you might never grow up now? That mean little boy Hiroshi-kun!
Trish said, “Tell me more of your story!” in a soft voice. Nova’s gentle washing seemed to be cooling her fever and making her sleepy again. Another nurse came in with some baby aspirin, which Nova gave to Trish. Then, she continued with, “Well…I turned on the machine and saved everyone, but I breathed in some of the gas and became very sick and went into a deep, deep sleep. I think I dreamed of a beautiful grassy land when I was asleep, and there were birds there, a river, and a shining city off in the distance. I dreamed that I wanted to run there over the grass in a nightgown and bare feet. The land was beautiful; it looked like Planet Iscandar. In my dream, a young man in a white shirt and pants came to me and he said I could not go to the city yet; there was still work for me to do. Lots of work. Then, the beautiful land faded, and I drifted in the dark for a while until I woke up in the arms of my Prince Charming, my future husband, Derek Wildstar, in the blue nightgown I had on in my dream. I showed you his picture once. He’s in space again. I couldn’t go with him. I miss him.”
“I miss my Mommy,” said Trish. “Can she come and see me again?”
“We’ll try,” Nova said as she began to towel off Trish. She was shivering, so Nova took off her sweater, which was far too big for the little girl, and she wrapped her in it with a hug. “You look like an angel now,” Nova whispered.
“If you die, is it like dreaming?” said Trish.
“Sort of. I was very sick then. I don’t know if I had a dream or was about to die and saw those places and then came home like the young man said,” Nova said. “But other wise men say that people have been about to die and have come back after seeing all sorts of nice things, except for some bad people who…well…let’s not talk about that.”
“Am I going to die?” Trish asked with simple, childlike honesty and bluntness.
Nova shut her eyes and wiped away the tears. “Maybe,” she said softly. “Doctor Fritz can talk to you about that in the morning,” she said. Nova then looked at the EKG screen and nodded sadly to herself. I know what is happening now, she thought. Your poor tired angel, your little heart is just slowing down like an old windup clock.
Nova looked at the last page of Trish’s chart and sadly shook her head. Here’s a clear DNR order…DO NOT RESCUSITATE from her parents, she thought sadly. Kate, did we need to scare her with this machinery? The EKG shows there is not much we can do now. Why not just let her go to sleep? She’s so tired…poor thing…
“I’m tired,” said Trish.
“Let’s tuck you in,” Nova said. “No more bad dreams for you. I’ll do my best to keep them away. Even when I can’t be there…my sweater will help keep them away…it’s magic…”
“Never let them take this off me, Missus Nova,” Trish whispered. “I don’t want to go to sleep with no clothes on like I did in that unit where they hooked all those things up to me. They scanned me all the time in there and kept on poking me and putting things in me and I had no clothes to wear under that one sheet. Is that the Icy Room?”
“ICU,” Nova said, gently correcting her.
“It was cold in there,” said Trish as she yawned. “I never wanna be cold again. I’m so sleepy…”
Nova kissed her and rocked her for a bit, wishing that Trish was her own daughter, and wishing that she had powers like Trelaina to just knock this damned sickness out of her, repair her little body, and let her be well again. Finally, Trish opened her eyes weakly and said, “Nitey-nite, Missus Nova. Tell my Mommy and Daddy I love them…so sleepy now…”
“Nitey-nite,” said Nova as she kissed her. “Sweet dreams, Trish…”
Trish kissed Nova back and fell asleep smiling as she cuddled Nova’s sweater. She would still be smiling a little around sunrise, when they would find her after Nova went home.
Nova kissed Trish and walked away, shivering a little herself as she guessed she would never get her sweater back.
She would be right.
As Trish went to sleep, she would never wake up again in this life; she would be destined to have her weakened little heart give out mercifully in her sleep around sunrise.
Trish would be buried in a pink dress and Nova’s too-big sweater a week later.
After finishing her shift, Nova drove home in her Mini Cooper in a quiet, angry daze. These rotten wars, she thought. We have to fight, sure, and Gamilon was dying, too, back in 2199, but I wish I could just sit Desslok down and make him watch as I put little Trish to bed and try to find a nice way to let her know she may not wake up tomorrow morning! Thank you, Leader Desslok, for another wonderful little gift from your cruel planet bombs, Nova thought sarcastically. At least I gave her my sweater. I wish I could rip my own heart out and give it to her.
In a daze, Nova got home around 2AM, stripped, showered, and put on a plain white nightgown. Then, she opened the fridge, found part of a leftover bottle of wine from the other day, and she poured herself a big glass of it to help her sleep. Then, she took the wine glass, threw it into their fireplace with an angry gesture, and she went into the bedroom and cried herself into a merciful sleep, missing Derek’s arms around her more than ever. He was so good at comforting her after a bad night like this at the hospital.
Nova finally went to sleep and had a strange but sweet dream about running through a grassy field with a heathy Trish with both of them in light white dresses, laughing as the wind blew through their hair. Nova dreamed of blowing dandelion puffs into Trish’s face until she screamed with laughter.
It was about the same time that Derek finally got up the nerve to call her on his comm system from the Endeavor.
The video phone rang twice before Nova picked it up.
“Hello?” It was three in the morning and she had just gotten home an hour ago.
“Nova is that you?” Derek said.
Nova sat up quickly, smiling through her shocked tears as she saw him on the screen “Derek, Derek is that really you? Thank God! I had a horrible night at work!”
“Yes baby, how are you? I miss you,” Derek said as he smiled at her. He didn’t care if she was sleeping…he just wanted to see her and hear her voice.
“Oh, Derek I miss you too. How’s it going up there? Any word on what’s going on?” Nova was fully awake now.
“Yeah it’s exactly who I suspected. The Bolars are trying to get control of our sector. The Gamilons have them on the run.”
“Gamilons. Bolars. So does this mean you’ll be out there longer?” Nova asked.
“Can’t say for sure, I guess we’ll have to see. Nova I wanted to ask you something.”
“Yes Derek what is it?”
“When I ...... home ....I ........to ......”
“Derek you’re breaking up…what is it?”
“Sorry ... oney......get ....ad .....recep .....call ......la.....,” then he was gone.
“Shit…I hate this, but at least I got to see him and talk to him,” Nova said in frustration. “But I couldn’t even tell him about that little girl…or hear what he wanted to say.”
Nova looked at a picture of him that she had put on her night stand and passed her finger over it.
I miss you my love, she thought. Then she place her head on his pillow taking in his scent of Drakkar and trying to fall back to sleep.
The Next Day
Nova started her rounds again the next day at 9AM; she was yawning from the lack of sleep she had last night. She walked thru the Pediatric floor in a daze. “Nova, you look like hell are you okay?” Dr. Fritz asked her.
“I’m sorry just didn’t get much sleep last night. Derek called, so I was up talking to him. Even though it was only for a minute. We got cut off midway. Then I just couldn’t sleep.”
“You know about…?”
“Yes, Babs told me about it before she left,” Nova said. “Poor baby Trish. Babs told me that Doctor Fleck estimated the time of death was about 0545 right before the sun came up.”
“They gave the family your sweater,” said Fleck. “Do you want it back?”
Nova shook her head. “She told me she wanted…she never wanted it taken off her. Can’t be helped…in the morgue, but…”
“I think Tejeda told the family after you told her before you left,” said Fritz. “I’ll make sure they tell the funeral director.”
Nova yawned again, almost falling
out of the Oxford-style shoes she had on this morning. “I’m sorry…just so
“Well, maybe you should go home and rest…you’d be of no use here if you can’t function anymore,” Dr. Fritz told her.
“I don’t know…wouldn’t you be short staffed?” Nova said. “I’ve been doing these long shifts because you need people so badly.”
“No we’ll be just fine… Anyway, hasn’t it been you that has been doing double shifts for everyone? Maybe it’s time someone does it for you so you can get some sleep, particularly after last…”
“Yeah,” mumbled Nova.
“Andrea, can you cover for Nova? She’s not feeling well,” Dr. Fritz asked a male nurse.
The Italian nurse smiled and said, “Sure Doc, anything for her.”
“Okay now you’re set. Go home and sleep…that’s an order!” Doctor Fritz commanded.
“I guess I could use the sleep….thanks Doc…you’re a peach.” At that, Nova turned and left to get her things and go home…
“God, I miss her. I only wish that I was able to talk to her longer…. Derek thought to himself as he lay in bed. He just stared out into the dark sky where only the stars shined. He was almost asleep when someone knocked on the door. “Who is it?” Wildstar asked annoyed.
“Sir, it’s Lieutenant Wright, there’s something you have to see.”
“Oh, all right, come in…” Derek answered. “What’s so important that it couldn’t wait till the morning shift?”
“Captain, we just received a message from Desslok,” Wright informed him
“Desslok? What did the message say?”
“Sir, it reads: Captain Wildstar, it is nice to know that you are near my part of the Galaxy; you must come and see me at once. I shall have a feast in your honor. Best regards, Emperor Desslok.
“What would you like to reply with, sir?”
Derek then said, “Tell Desslok it would be an honor and that I will be there in 3 Earth days.”
“Yes sir, I’ll have Miamato send out a reply ASAP!”
“Give Lieutenant Commander Tolbert the coordinates; we are going to see Desslok,” Wildstar was happy to go see Desslok, since it’s been a long time since the two of them had met. He wondered what was so important that he needed to see him. Well, Desslok, we shall meet once more.
III. OLD FRIENDS…
Space Battleship Endeavor
April 2nd, 2205
Desslok awaited his long time friend and one-time enemy as the Endeavor neared the port on Garuman-Gamilon. It’s been too long, Wildstar, I wonder about you and Nova. Desslok, still the Emperor of the Garuman-Gamilon Empire, had been successful in defeating the Bolar Federation. There were still many followers of Prime Minster Bemlaze, but slowly his evil Federation was crumbling down. Desslok had them on the run. Unfortunately for Wildstar, the Bolars were moving closer to Earth, hoping to take over the small planet in their name. To them, conquering Earth would give them leverage over Desslok, and Desslok could not let this happen.
“Wildstar my old friend how have you been, it’s been too long?” Desslok approached Wildstar and they shook hands.
“Yes it has been too long Desslok. I see you have done well, you’ve rebuilt your capitol city from the devastation caused by the passing of Aquarius, and it looks better than ever,” Wildstar admired how quickly they could bounce back after the destruction.
“So where is the rest of the Star Force?,” Desslok purred. “And tell me, who is this creature here standing next to you?” Desslok said, eyeing Lieutenant Commander Tolbert. Desslok approached Lieutenant Commander Tolbert and grabbed her hand to kiss it. Tolbert almost jumped out of her skin to be this close to such a man. Namely, the man who had almost destroyed the Earth many years ago, the man who was now a friend of the Captain. With the initial shock, Tolbert was somewhat intrigued about him.
“This is my Deputy Captain Lieutenant Commander Julie Tolbert,” Derek replied. “And this is Lieutenant Jonathan Wright, my Chief Technical Advisor and these two young men are Lieutenant Anthony Pesci and Lieutenant Tony Delvechio, my chief Black Tiger pilots,” Wildstar introduced each one to Desslok with a nod. “The Star Force has been disbanded until further notice.”
“How is Nova doing? I would have thought that you would have brought her with you,” Desslok said.
“Sorry Desslok…not this time. She’s back on Earth waiting for me to come home. So what is the important information that you wanted to give me?” Wildstar smiled at his friend
“My oldest friend you have always been to the point, no, how do Earthlings say it, beating around the tree?” Desslok laughed.
“Well it’s not that, it’s just the sooner we get down to it the sooner I can get back to my wife,” Wildstar missed her so and Desslok could see that in his eyes.
“I see, I can understand that my friend. Please make yourselves at home,” as Desslok waved to the others. Wildstar nodded to them to let them know it was all right.
“So Wildstar how have you really been? I must let you know that my General Lugin has informed me about your run-in with the Bolar General and himself. While I admire your spirit, I do not like the fact that your interference with one of my fleets gave a Bolar fleet an opportunity to escape.”
“I’m sorry about that Desslok, but considering that you two were both in Sector 8 which is part of the EDF’s jurisdiction, I must inform you that you were on our turf. We could not allow your war with the Bolar Federation to spill into our part of galaxy, Desslok…” Derek always knew how to handle Desslok. He knew that he wasn’t a man to beat around the tree as he so said it. He was a man to be direct to no matter what. He did not back down to anyone, and he respected those who stood their ground. Something that Wildstar was, direct and spoke his mind.
“I see I can assure you that in the future all my Generals will know not to interfere with your battles. But if you should need any assistance with the Bolars I would be more than willing to help you and Earth.”
“Tell me something Desslok…have you gained that much of their territory that they must flee into our territorial space? And what about Prime Minster Bemlaze….is he still alive, and…where is he now?”
“Ah the great Prime Minster, yes, after the great war between my Garuman-Gamilon Empire and Bolar, it turned out that he had survived the destruction of his Black Hole Fortress near Earth years ago. We were able to track him and then to defeat him at last on his own planet. Luckily for him, but not for us, he was able to escape from my clutches. He is still out there somewhere floating in space trying to control what’s left of his part of the universe, ” Desslok laughed at the thought.
“So you brought me here for that, I think I could have figured that out, Desslok,” Wildstar grin at his old friend.
“Yes I’m sure you would have. But do you know that he has a large station on Planet Mira? That is why one of my fleets was there. They were trying to drive them out. Defeating him would be in your best interest as well as in ours, Wildstar…”
“Planet Mira? Well that’s a pretty good piece of information. I do appreciate it. I should see to that as soon as possible. Thank you. We will have to leave and take care of this at once.”
“You are not going right away are you? After all, the festivities are just starting,” Desslok look shocked.
“I’m sorry about that but we must see to it immediately. I’m sure you do understand, this is nothing to take lightly.” Wildstar said. “You are right; those Bolars must be dealt with!”
“Of course, you’re right,” Desslok replied. “I guess if I were in your shoes, I would do the same. Very well then, I guess my festivities will be cut short. You must do what you must. Please let me walk you to your ship and I will give you a hero’s farewell.”
“Thank you Desslok, that’s very kind of you,” Wildstar saluted him and then shook his hand.
Wildstar instructed Lieutenant Commander Tolbert to have the crew report back to the ship. Wildstar went up first to check on the reports from Lieutenant Pratt. Once everyone was aboard, he told Tolbert to give the order to get ready for departure, since they were heading to Planet Mira and see about the Bolar Federation base there.
IV. A MAJOR MISUNDERSTANDING BEGINS…
Space Battleship Endeavor
The Vicinity of Planet Mira
April 5th, 2205
They were in the outer atmosphere of planet Mira when Wildstar gave over command to Lieutenant Commander Tolbert. “Lieutenant Commander, take the bridge.”
“Yes Sir, the Captain is leaving the bridge,” Tolbert informed all.
Derek knew that this might be his only chance to call Nova before things got bad. He had a bad feeling about heading to Mira, so he sat down at his desk and started up the laptop computer. I hope she’s home, he thought.
The video phone rang a few times at Derek and Nova’s home before Dr. Fritz told Nova that it was ringing. “Would you like me to answer that, Nova?”
“Please do, I have a hot pot in my hand!” Nova yelled back
“Hello?” Doctor Fritz answered.
“Oh I’m sorry I think I got the wrong connection,” Wildstar said.
“It all depends; who are you trying to call, sir?” Fritz asked Derek.
“I’m calling for Nova Wildstar! This is her home, isn’t it?” Derek seemed puzzled that another man would be answering his home phone, It must be a wrong number, he thought.
“Just a minute, I’ll get her, Captain!”
Derek mouth dropped Who the hell was this guy?! Derek thought. And what in hell is he doing in my house with Nova at eight o’clock at night?
“Derek is that you?,” Nova said as she answered the phone. She did not have on a nurse’s uniform…she wore a pink pullover and brown shorts with a white apron over them and she went barefoot in the house. She looked very much at home…Too damn much at home, with some other guy! Derek snarled to himself. “Derek? Are you okay? I miss you so much…”
“Apparently not too much! Who is that guy? And why is he answering our phone…especially at night?” Derek demanded.
“I’m sorry, did I do something wrong?” Nova was a little puzzled. “Derek, what’s wrong? You look very upset!”
“I call to talk to you and I get some guy answering my….Wha….hell…go….ther….why…?”
“Derek you’re breaking up again! Please call me back on a better line, Derek?!”
The line went dead. Nova was only staring at a blank screen.
“Nova, was that Derek?” Denise Howard asked; she and Nova had become good friends after their last mission together, and she was there with Doctor Fritz as Nova had a meeting with her, Fritz, Doctor Spada, and some of their other friends, including Babs and Kate. Nova was trying to cheer everyone up because they had been at little Trish’s funeral earlier that day. It had been very hard for them to watch the little girl’s body being laid to rest in her tiny white casket. “Did he say anything about Pesci?”
“No, sorry I didn’t get a chance, I’ll be right back,” Nova ran into the bedroom and closed her door. Was he thinking what I think he was? Nova thought. Does he think that I had something going on here? It sounded like he was accusing me of something. I didn’t get a chance to explain that I was having a meeting with some of the staff here at the house. Oh God, what could be running through his mind? I have to explain this to him! He jumps to conclusions so often; how could anything be wrong here with two men and three other women in the house with me? I was just trying to cook for all of us!
At his end, Derek sat at his desk baffled and angered at what just occurred; his wife had another man in the house with her. Could this life of theirs be taking a toll on their marriage? I can’t believe that Nova would do such a thing… I need to talk to her. Damn this thing, Derek tried for 30 minutes to get a connection back to her but nothing happened. How could he do his job wondering about this? I have to talk to her. I have to find out what is going on back there! With one sweep of his hand, he threw his computer to the ground. At the same time he fell. Something hit the ship.
“Attention all hands, attention all hands the Endeavor is under attack, all crew get to your battle stations now!” Lieutenant Commander Tolbert yelled into the PA system’s microphone. “Captain Wildstar, come to the bridge at once!”
Wildstar grab his peacoat and ran to the bridge.
April 13th, 2205
The next week, Nova did her duties in a daze, as Spring made things warmer on Earth. Today, she was shaking her head and sighing to herself frequently as she thought about her tense argument with Derek…and how they had resolved nothing at all. Nova wasn’t on her game at work and Dr. Fritz was aware of it.
He turned to her after seeing her drop a folder at the nurse’s station and he said, “Nova is something on your mind? You seem not to be on the ball.”
“I’m sorry sir, it’s just been hard, I haven’t heard from Derek in a week and after our last call he wasn’t too happy with me.”
“Why is that?” Fritz was concern that his best nurse’s mind was elsewhere.
“Oh nothing Doc, it’ll be alright thanks for asking. We had a misunderstanding the night you guys were over for dinner, that’s all.” Nova said, still feeling something was wrong with Derek.
As Nova made her rounds, she played with the kids, especially a little boy there who was called JoJo; he was 5 years old and cute. He had the biggest brown eyes she had ever seen and a smile that would melt your heart. And he was improving, slowly but surely. “Hey there sweetie, how are you today?” Nova smiled.
“I’m okay are you going to give me a shot today Ms. Nova?” JoJo asked with his big brown eyes.
“I’m afraid so…Are you going to need your Mom to hold your hand, sweetie?” Nova asked.
“I’m 5 years old! I’m old enough to take it myself.” Nova laughed at the little boy trying to be so brave .
“Very well then, I want you look the other way and count to 10. When you hit ten I’ll give you your shot. Okay?” Nova said, smiling wide.
“Okay, 1…2…3…4…. Ouch!” Before he could finish, Nova gave him the shot.
“Hey, no fair! You said it would be at ten….that’s not fair. You tricked me!” JoJo protested.
“Sorry kiddo, but sometimes, I forget the next number and I thought 10 would come next,” Nova said with a wink.
“Well, I think you need to go back to school and refresh your mind,” JoJo said with a pout.
Nova laughed at the little guy and she thought of Derek. Working this month with kids just makes me want to run to Derek and ask him to let’s go have a baby. Oh Derek I only wish you would call me so I could explain myself and we could kiss and make up.
Nova left the room and walk back to the nurse’s station when she saw two uniformed Space Marines at the front desk. The receptionist pointed in her direction, Nova stood still as they approached her. “Mrs. Wildstar?” one of the Marines asked.
“Yes that’s me. What can I help you with, Marine?”
“Your presence is requested at EDF Headquarters ASAP, ma’am! Admiral Singleton would like to see you, we are here to escort you back. Please come with us now.”
Nova’s head started to spin, “What’s going on? What’s this about?” she said as she tried to get answers.
“Ma’am, we are not at liberty to say. You must come with us now,” the Marine said.
“Very well then! Andrea, I have to leave, I’m needed at EDF Headquarters please inform Doctor Fritz and Ensign Tejeda, thank you,” Nova tried to sound calm but Nurse Andrea could see in her face that she was stressed. Poor girl, he thought. The only time they send out uniformed Marines like that for you is if someone didn’t make it back. I have the feeling we’re gonna be at another funeral soon.
Nova jumped into the air car with the Marines, and they headed to EDF Headquarters. Her mind was racing as to what Singleton wanted. Was Derek okay or could this be bad news for her? She nearly came to tears just thinking of what could be wrong.
The car stopped in front of EDF Headquarters. As she got out of the car, she saw Sandor and IQ-9 standing outside the door arguing. “Sandor, I do not want to go for my 550,000 Hour check up, I am fine!” IQ-9 said, fighting tooth and nail.
Sandor snapped back, “Tinwit, you're going and that’s that! A lot of the Female Officers are complaining too much about you looking up their skirts, enough is enough, NOW GET IN THE CAR!” Sandor screamed.
“Hi, Nova!” IQ-9 burbled. “It’s so nice to see you again! How’s the legs doing?” he burbled as he ran over to her…
…and pulled up the short skirt of her Medical minidress.
Nova stood up on tiptoe in her clogs and screamed as she swatted at the robot as her legs were exposed from the edges of her brief white and pink panties all the way down to her clog-clad exposed toes.
“Your taste in undergarments is still very good, Nova, ha ha ha ha ha!”
“YOU PERVERT!” Nova snapped as she pulled down her skirt and gave the robot a good kick.
“Sandor, he needs his checkup, all right! What would he be doing, pulling this crap at a time like this!” Nova called him over.
“Nova, how are you,” Sandor said. “What brings you down this way? It looks like they dragged you right from the hospital,” Sandor looked puzzled at why Nova looked so stressed. “Is everything okay?”
“I don’t know, I thought maybe you knew; I was about to scrub for surgery when they dragged me here,” Nova said, still looking worried.
“Knew what?” Sandor looking even more puzzled.
“I’ve been called to the Admiral’s office, these two Marines are escorting me,” Nova pointed to the Marines standing next to her. Sandor then knew this was not good news. Everyone knew that if uniformed Marines come to your home it was always bad news. Sandor’s heart skipped a beat.
“That’s not good news” IQ-9 said. “Captain Wildstar must be dead. They must be asking you how you want his plaque at Heroes’ Hill to look, Nova. Don’t worry…I’ll come live with you, and…”
“IQ-9 SHUT UP! We don’t know that yet,” Sandor snapped. “Nova, I’ll go with you, you’re going to need someone there,” Sandor told the Marines that they could leave that because he would escort Mrs. Wildstar to Singleton’s office personally.
All three took the elevator up to the 30th floor. The higher they went the more blood drained from Nova’s face. She was about to cry. It was more evident than ever on her face. IQ-9 was about to play with her skirt again, but he stopped when he saw the look in Nova’s eyes. “It’ll be all right, Nova you’ll see,” Sandor said, trying to console her.
“I know Sandor, thank you for coming with me, and thank you too, IQ-9. Even though I know you are admiring my legs," she said with a pale wink.
“I’ll do anything for you, Nova” IQ-9 said while his lights were flashing.
The elevator stopped and all three of them stepped out. They all walk together in a haze towards the Admiral’s office. Once the Admiral’s aide saw her, she drop her phone and spoke into the intercom. “Yes, sir…she’s here,” was all she said. Then, she turned to Nova and the others. “Please go straight in, he’s been expecting you.”
It felt like a coffin being opened for the first time when they opened the door to the Admiral’s office. “Nova, please come in,” said Singleton. Sandor I wasn’t expecting you…please enter, have a seat”
Sandor held Nova’s hand for support. Because Nova was not in EDF Federation uniform, the Commander addressed her as Nova or Mrs. Wildstar. “Nova, I’m sorry to bring you here on such short notice. But we have got word that the Endeavor has lost communication with Pluto; most of her fleet has been destroyed and two of her escorts returned to Pluto station very badly damaged. We got word from each Captain that when they last seen the Endeavor, she was still in commission. But we haven’t heard from them since.”
“How long has it been?” Nova said.
“It has been about a week since they were last heard from,” Singleton said. “Now they’re not even showing up on basic telemetry readouts. We are about to consider them missing in action.”
Yes, the night we argued, Nova thought. Oh, Derek, what if you’re gone, and the last thing we said to each other was some stupid argument? Her head started to spin; Sandor saw her and went to get water. IQ-9 held her hand with his long mechanical hands. Tears began to well up in her eyes. Sandor came back with a glass. “Here, Nova drink this.”
“I need something stronger Sandor, please. Water won’t do the trick,” Nova said, trying to compose herself.
“Yes I understand, Sir may I?” Sandor said, pointing to the bar on the other side of the room.
“Of course, please do Sandor,” Singleton replied, waving to him.
Sandor came back with a glass of Vodka. Nova took it and drunk it straight down in a few gulps.
“Nova, we are sending a fleet
to Sector Eight to see if we can find him and his crew. You’re ordered to go
with the space battleship
“Thank you sir, I don’t think that sitting here on Earth would do me good. I’ll lose my mind…waiting for news. I want to be there looking. When do we leave?” Nova asked through tears.
“In about 5 hours, so go home and get your things together and get your house in order, Nova,” Admiral Singleton looked at her with a fatherly look. “I’m sure that he is all right. I think it might be either a technical problem, or maybe they took some minor battle damage. Please send Derek my regards when you see him.”
“I will sir, thank you” Nova brushing tears away from her eyes.
Sandor left Nova in the hands of the next Marine team that showed up at the Admiral’s call, and he told her that he would meet her at the spaceport in 4 hours. He had to get his uniforms in order for the trip. They hugged and left in opposite directions. The Marines brought her back to the hospital next to her car. She got into her car and drove home at high speed in her Mini Cooper. Once she was home, she packed her uniforms and, feeling it would bring her and Derek good luck, she threw on her old yellow with black jumpsuit…her old Star Force uniform, which she hadn’t worn in years. After she pulled on her boots, she threw everything in the car and sped off to the dock. While on the way there, she called Wendy and made arrangements to have her check on the house while she was gone.
She pulled up to the port
As she took her things from her
Mini Cooper, someone tapped her on the shoulder. Nova turned around to see
Howard standing there with tears in her eyes.
Denise said, “I guess you got the news too, Nova. Are you going with the
“Yeah, I was given orders about five hours ago…I’m just getting here. Oh my god, Denise, Pesci is with Derek! How are you holding up?” Just then Nova notice that Howard was in full uniform, too, in her blues and boots “Are you going too?”
“Nothing could keep me away. I demanded to be on this mission. The Admiral himself gave the okay for me to go” Both Nova and Denise hugged just when Sandor pulled up with IQ-9 dissassembled in the back seat of his air car.
“Ladies,” Sandor looked on at Denise and Nova. “Nova, who’s your friend?”
“Sandor, this is Lieutenant Commander Denise Howard; she’ll be going with us also. She’s a close friend.”
“Nice to meet you, I’m assuming there’s someone special for you on the Endeavor also?” Both women nodded. “Nova, your car…is it new?” Sandor said this while pointing to her yellow and black air car (which happened to match her uniform) and trying to take her mind off of Derek being missing.
“Yeah, Derek got it for me before he left. He knew how I wanted one, Steve.” She smiled remembering the day he brought it home for her.
“Cute car…it fits you,” Sandor said. “Well ladies, shall we get on board and shove off?”
They each grabbed their belongings and started up the gangway.
TO BE CONTINUED….