Onward With Love…

Chapter Four: A Snake in Paradise


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.





The Vicinity of Planet Mira

EDF Space Battleship Endeavor

April 27, 2205

0740 Hours


Nova stood on the observation deck looking out into the dark sky. What was he thinking? Could nothing have gone on like he said or maybe something could’ve happened?Or was about to happen? This is confusing me. I know he had feelings for her back then but could he still have feelings for her now? I don’t know what to make of it. This makes no sense whatsoever! Nova thought while trying to hold back tears. Is Derek the honest, good man I thought he was? Or was I just fooling myself? Or did he just mean well to Tolbert with his old good nature and she took advantage of it to…I don’t know….


“Oh I’m sorry, I was looking for Commander Sandor,” Lieutenant Commander Julie Tolbert said as she tapped Nova on the shoulder. “Is he here?”


“Sorry he’s not here; I think he went to the communication room to see if he can help fix the systems.” Nova said, looking at Tolbert with anger


“Nova, I’m sorry that you had to walk in on that before I just wanted to.......” Nova cut Tolbert short with a hand up in the air.


“That’s Lieutenant Commander Wildstar, and to be frank, Captain Wildstar already explained everything to me. So you don’t have to make any excuses for him,” Nova said calmly.


“He did, well I’m surprised that you are okay with it. Some wives would have been already filing for divorce, I mean.....”


“What are you saying?” Nova seemed confused. “What happened in there?”


“I’m not saying anything happened, but we were starting to get really close on this mission, he was just kind enough to let me ......”


“Nova!” Howard walked in while Tolbert was in mid sentence. “Hey, Tolbert! I thought you were looking for Sandor?”


“Yes, I was. I just found Nova. We were having some girl talk, that’s all,” laughed Tolbert.


“That’s strange, because Commander Sandor said he just walked by you and you didn’t say a thing to him. What’s up?” Howard looked puzzled.


“Oh, really?” Nova was quick to figure out what she was up to. What a stinking liar, Nova thought.  Do I see a little agenda forming here, dear? A snake in Eden? “Well, maybe now is the time to get things out in the open, Julie. What really went on in there with you and the Captain?”  Nova looked at her with piercing eyes. 


Howard stood even more confused as to what was going on. “Nova is something going on? Should I come back later?” Howard said, not trying to get involved.


“No, please stay! I want someone else to listen to this just in case she decides to change her story. Her…bullshit story…” Nova, said, not backing down one iota. Nova now had an idea what was going on, and while she was still angry with Derek, her anger with Tolbert made that anger seem like a minor annoyance in comparison. No one had ever tried to take her man from her before, and she was not going to stand for it!


“There’s nothing more to say, you’ll just have to ask the Captain about it, ma’am. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have work to do!” Tolbert said, trying to flee from the two women.


“No, I’ve already questioned him, I’m now questioning you!” Nova grabbed her by the arm. She wanted to make sure that she didn’t walk away from this one, like she walked away from Derek so long ago when he needed her support.


“Like I said,” Tolbert replied with some heat in her voice. “You’ll have to ask the Captain that, now let go of me, you stupid cow! Or should I say, you stupid fucking gold-digger? You just married him for his money and fame, didn’t you, you slut?”  Tolbert yanked her arm away from Nova.


With fire in her dark eyes, Nova lunged for Tolbert when Howard pulled her back. “Nova she’s not worth it, let it go!” Howard never saw Nova like this. She knew Nova had gotten angry before but never once did she turn physically violent.


“Listen to your friend Lieutenant Commander! We don’t want to make a scene, now, do we? Especially because Derek and I have already made one! Ta, TA!” Tolbert said with a grin on her face and walked out.


“Why that little bitch! Why did you hold me back, Howard? I could have taken her. I could have slapped her vulgar mouth to next week! How dare she call me those things?” Nova yelled at Howard.


“First of all it wouldn’t look good for you or Wildstar. Second of all, what were you two fighting about?” Howard asked.


Nova was so angry that tears rolled down her face. “I walked in on her and Derek. And it didn’t look like they were playing Gin Rummy, either! It looked more like a friendly game of Hearts!”


“You what!?” Howard was shocked. “That can’t be, Derek would never do that to you, Nova. I may not have known Wildstar long but he is not one to cheat on you, Nova. And with her!? Her? I mean, she has on weird purple lipstick, and her hair looks like she uses it for a mop! Do you honestly think he would cheat on you…and with that tramp? Derek worships the ground you walk on, Nova! He’s never said a bad word about you once on this mission! He has something that amounts for reverence for you! I can see it in his eyes every time he talks about you, and he speaks only good of you.”


“Derek and her dated back before he and I got together. He was about to propose to her, but she left him for another pilot, an already commissioned officer…a slightly older guy named Hartcliffe.”


“Oh, so that explains it all! I’m assuming she wants him back. She’s crazy. But crazy like a fox. After all, he has made a name for himself in the EDF. Nova, do you really think he would?” Tolbert trying to convince her she could be lying.


“I don’t know Denise there’s always that little voice that tells you there could be a possibility,” Nova said in a low voice. “I just need to be left alone for a while to think things out. Derek tells me one thing and she is insinuating another. He was almost naked and she was getting her clothes on. I can’t get any more evidence then that. My eyes don’t lie.”


“Oh Nova I’m so sorry. If you want I can have her dealt with, Pesci has connections,” Howard grinned at the thought. “Julie could be outfitted with a pair of cement high heels.”


Nova couldn’t help but laugh at what she was suggesting. “No, Denise I’ll take care of this in my own way. Thank you very much though, it’s a nice thought,” Nova grinned.


“Lets' go see what Pesci is up to, you need space from both of them. I’ll keep you busy elsewhere,” Howard said, pulling her towards the flight deck.


“Oh, okay, I guess you’re right,” Nova smiled at her friend.



“Wildstar what’s going on, what happened back there in your quarters?” Sandor said trying while to make heads or tails of it. He had seen it, and had heard rumors. But he knew the Derek Wildstar he knew would never cheat on Nova…or even think of it.


“Oh nothing Sandor, it’s just a misunderstanding. I just have to give her some time. Nova can be very stubborn when she is mad. It’s best to stay out of her way.” Wildstar said with a sad voice. How could have this happened?


“It look pretty bad, do you think that Nova would come around? It didn’t…uh…look good?” Even Sandor couldn’t get over what he saw.


“I hope so, when are you heading back to the Phoenix?”


“We should be finished here with the communication systems in about 3 hours, I think you need to talk to her before we head back. I’ve never seen her that mad….even IQ-9 is staying out of the way” Sandor suggested.


“I guess I should. Are you going to be okay here with this, Sandor?”


“Sure you go, I can handle it” Sandor turning to the systems “IQ-9 get over here and give me a hand and no, you can’t go after that pretty nurse in the skirt!”


“Yes, Sandor,” IQ-9 burbled back.




The Vicinity of Planet Mira

EDF Space Battleship Endeavor

April 27, 2205

1122 Hours


Wildstar went looking for Nova. He stopped in the dining hall and the medical unit. He looked over at the observation deck, but he could not seem to find her. He decided to stop in his quarters and pick up some reports that he left for Sandor, so that he could take them back to the Phoenix with him to look over. They concerned Sector 8 and Planet Mira. He didn’t even notice Lieutenant Commander Tolbert sitting on his bunk until he was leaving. “What the hell are you doing here?” he snapped. “You’re not welcome up here in my cabin unless it is related to duty.”


“I’m sorry Derek, but I just had an awful fight with your crazy wife Nova, she accused us of having an affair. She nearly tore my arm off! You married a crazy woman with a violent temper!” Tolbert began to cry.


“You know what, Tolbert? I really think you should leave, this is not the place to talk about it. You’ve caused enough problems for me and I don’t think I care to listen to your allegations. And that’s Captain Wildstar and Lieutenant Commander Forrester you are speaking of. You and I are not on a first-name basis. Is that understood?” Wildstar was agitated with her.


“They’re not allegations, they’re true, and she tried to assault me! What are you going to do about it?” Tolbert stood in front of him, blocking his way.


“Me? Nothing, not a damn thing. If she tried then you’d best believe that you deserve it. It takes a lot for her temper to get to the point of violence. So get out of my way I need to get something to Commander Sandor. And when I get back I want you out of here! I am relieving you of your duties at once.”


“What?” yelled Tolbert. “You…you can’t!”


“I can. I’ll make the call to the EDF and have you reassigned. You can go back with the Phoenix and try to give Captain Zarzour a hard time if that is the sort of thing you enjoy! You stink as an officer! We still have a mission and I don’t need any drama or distraction from an ex-flame that thinks crying wolf is going to get my attention. Besides, I didn’t want you here anyway as my executive officer. I wanted my wife on board as my executive officer but I got stuck with you! I do not want you on this ship again, and after the trouble and discord you have caused among my crew, and the trouble you have caused in your attempt to wreck my marriage, I would not care if I ever saw your ugly face again! So you will leave! GOT THAT?” Wildstar stormed out of the room, so angry that he was seconds away from slapping Tolbert across the face for her insubordination, just like Captain Avatar had once slapped him on the first mission to Iscandar.


“Derek!” Tolbert yelled out but Wildstar was already gone.



Wildstar found Sandor on the Endeavor’s Second Bridge a few minutes later.


“Sandor have you gotten the communication systems up yet? Wildstar asked.


“Just a few more minutes and we should have everything on line. Have you talked to Nova, yet?” Sandor was hoping that he smoothed things out with her.


“No, I haven’t seen her yet. We need to get the communication systems up ASAP because I have to call the Commander and request an emergency crew change at once! Please inform me when you do; I’ll be on the bridge.”


Sandor nodded and continued to work on the system as quickly as he and IQ-9 could.


A few minutes later, in a very dark mood, Derek Wildstar sat on the First Bridge at the Captain’s Chair looking into the black sky while hoping and praying that Nova didn’t leave until he made his call to Headquarters so that he could begin to repair the damage from this stupid misunderstanding. He felt alone without Nova. Utterly alone.


Derek thought, I knew Julie would be trouble. I should have never allowed her in my quarters. It was a stupid mistake and to have Nova walk in at the most unexplained moment. Oh Nova, please believe me...I would never cheat on you, and especially not with a woman I can barely even stand to look at. What did I ever see in Tolbert? She’s grown up to be a treacherous little snake. I wouldn’t wish her on any man now. 


“Captain, Commander Sandor has fixed the communications system…we are back on line, sir.” Miamato told Wildstar.


“GREAT! Lieutenant, put me through to EDF headquarters directly to Admiral Singleton now! I’ll take it up in my quarters,” Wildstar commanded.


“Yes, sir,” Miamato replied.


As Wildstar enter his quarters he looked around, good she’s gone. Wildstar sat at his desk and order Miamato to put the Admiral through. “Sir, this is Captain Derek Wildstar.”


“Captain,” said Singleton. “It is good to see that all is well. Tell me…what is our situation in Sector 8?" Admiral Singleton asked while getting to the point.


“Sir, our suspicions are confirmed. It is the Bolar Federation, but, sir it looks like the remaining Cometines are also involved. With the down fall of the Comet Empire and Bolar Federation on the run from Desslok, they must have joined forces to co-exist. I think that we will have to work with the Gamilons to keep this Sector safe,” Wildstar informed the Admiral.


“I see. Of course I will have to run this past the Earth Defense Council before making that decision. Please have the Phoenix return back to Earth. I think keeping in touch with Desslok while you’re out there will be of great importance. I’ll get back to you our response as soon as possible,” Singleton told Wildstar.


“Thank you, sir. However, sir, there is another matter that I must discuss with you. It’s about Lieutenant Commander Julie Tolbert. Sir, I wish to relieve her of her command as Deputy Captain due to extreme personal reasons.”


“Captain, I’m sure that the two of you can work things out. I cannot just allow you to drop an officer because you do not like her,” Admiral Singleton sighed.


“Sir, I do not think so. She has been causing discord among the entire crew and has been spreading vile rumors that are beginning to compromise my command abilities. Her efficiency ratings are also very low, maybe in the high sixties. She is a drain to this ship and this crew. I also think that she will not be able to put her differences aside and will not be able to carry out the mission.”


“I thought her efficiency ratings were better than that,” sighed Singleton.


“Sir, her poor performance caused damage to this ship and led directly to the deaths of several crew members. She does not belong on a first-line space battleship like this, sir.”


“All right,” snapped Singleton. “Who would you replace her with?”


“Sir, I have Lieutenant Commander Stephen Sandor here. He can more than replace her. And also, I have Lieutenant Commander Nova Forrester, who would be vital to the mission in the analysis and interpretation of enemy data, as well as for diplomatic considerations, because Nova has always been very good at helping me negotiate with people. Considering that we have all dealt with Desslok in the past, I have found that he will only trust those he has worked with before. I request those officers for that reason. Tolbert can be sent back on the Phoenix in Sandor’s place,” Wildstar reported. “Also we are now short a pilot. I am requesting permission to have Lieutenant Denise Howard as that replacement.”


“Captain, I agree, so be it. You will have Lieutenant Commander Tolbert return back with the Phoenix and the remaining officers, namely, Sandor, Forrester, and Howard, stay on board. Good luck Captain. I will contact you as soon as the EDF comes to a conclusion. Singleton out!” They both saluted and then the screen went black.



“Well, Wildstar you’re back on line,” Sandor said. “I guess I’ll be heading back to the Phoenix. Nova and Howard are waiting on the flight deck…would you like to come and bid them goodbye?” Sandor asked him, hoping that he could get Nova and Derek, talking if only for a minute before she left the ship.


“I think I will, and Sandor…I think there is something you should hear,” Wildstar said while walking to the flight deck.


“Hmmm?” Sandor said.


“I’ll tell you when we get there,” replied Wildstar.


In the meantime, Howard came down to the flight deck with Nova to leave.


Nova shook her head and said, “I don’t know what is wrong with Derek?”


“Yes?” said Howard.


“He didn’t even come down to say goodbye,” she said with a hitch in her voice. “Maybe there is something to this…maybe he’d prefer to hand out with…her…”


“Nova, I’m sure it’s not that,” said Howard. “But I don’t know where he is…”


“I’ll communicate with him at a later point from the Phoenix, then, if he does not want to talk to me face-to-face. We’ll probably have some very…very formal things to say to each other. Right now, I have to think this out,” she said as she turned on her heel and walked quickly into the cockpit of the shuttle, trying to keep from either openly crying or kicking something. I don’t care how mad we are at each other, Nova thought. He’s never let me go without at least saying goodbye! What is wrong with Derek? Or…is there nothing to this and did I just bring all this on myself and make him angry at me? If so…I don’t know how I can face him.


Nova went into the cockpit and sat there staring through the windscreen at the grey bulkhead of the flight deck, as if an answer to her many questions would come from there….


She gritted her teeth a moment later when she looked down and saw Tolbert approaching. She wondered why Tolbert was carrying a seabag and her suitcase. Maybe she’s moving in with him, Nova thought in her rage and depression. Well, if that’s the way Derek wants to play this…I don’t ever need to go back to Earth, she thought as she considered her Astro-Automatic for a moment at her hip. Maybe I’ll just go back to the Phoenix and shoot myself, she thought. If Julie gets on this ship, maybe I’ll shoot her first, Nova thought in a black daze. Or maybe I won’t. Maybe I’ll just jump her and kick her butt. Then let Derek put me in the brig! Hah! This is out of character for me, Nova thought. But, they say that a woman scorned is…



“What are you doing here?” Howard asked Lieutenant Commander Tolbert as she watched Tolbert walking towards the shuttle carrying her seabag, personnel jacket, and suitcase.


“I’m being sent back to Headquarters, on Derek’s orders! Like you didn’t know, you dumb bitch!” Tolbert spat back.


“So the Captain caught you at your little plan, hmh?” said Howard with a smile. “Well, the only thing I regret is that we all have to be on the same ship going back. And maybe this time I won’t hold Lieutenant Commander Forrester back. That was cheap and low what you did to them. Remember one thing…you reap what you sow, you scum!” Howard let her have it.


“Oh shut up, you fucking airhead!” snapped Tolbert. “Anyway, where is the almighty diva Forrester? Maybe we’ll share a bunk together.” Tolbert grinned.


“If you say one word to her, you won’t have to worry about her kicking your ass back to Earth, you’ll deal with me. Got it!” Howard put her face in front of hers.


From the cockpit, Nova watched Howard and Tolbert yelling, and she thought, Now what is that about? Nova was so curious (and confused) that her black thoughts of murder and suicide momentarily slipped away as she watched the two women screaming at each other. Tolbert even shoved Howard, and Howard shoved back!


Nova was about to run outside when she saw Pesci running up first.


Outside on the flight deck, Pesci yelled, “Ladies, ladies, what is going on here?” with a laugh. “Why must we bring out the claws over me? My heart is only for one woman, and I’m so sorry that it’s not you, Lieutenant Commander Tolbert.”


“Oh shut up all of you!” Tolbert said as she started to put throw duffel bag into the medical ship.


“Lieutenant Howard, please remove your things from the Phoenix’s Medical Shuttle and return to duty on the Endeavor at once!” Wildstar yelled as he walked onto the flight deck. “Howard, where is Lieutenant Commander Forrester?”


“She’s in the cockpit, sir” Howard informed him. “Should I get her?” Howard said, grinning in the direction of Tolbert.


“Yes please do, Lieutenant,” Wildstar said. “I have an announcement to make about some crew changes! Forrester needs to hear this! If she mopes or refuses to come out, tell her that it’s an order from me.”


Howard went into the cockpit, ignoring Tolbert at the port side, and she said, “Nova, you are ordered by Captain Wildstar to come out to the flight deck at once. He wants to see you.”


“What the Sam Hill is going on?” Nova said, mad at Derek all over again as she saw him grinning outside.


“You’ll find out,” said Howard as she grabbed Nova’s arm with a smile. Angry, confused, puzzled, and shocked all at once, she shrugged and said, “How dare he order me around after what happened? Okay, I’ll go out…”


Nova walked out of the ship with Howard. She looked Derek right in the eye and snapped, “Now, what is this all about? I was about to go back to my ship. Why are you giving me orders, Derek?”


“Because you are now a member of my crew, that’s why,” Derek snapped back with a slight grin. “New orders from the Commander. You, Lieutenant Howard and Lieutenant Commander Sandor are ordered to stay aboard the Endeavor until further notice. Deputy Captain Tolbert has been relieved from her duties on this ship and is being sent back to Earth at my personal request on the Phoenix for reassignment. She has created too much discord on this vessel and she is a terrible officer. So, she is leaving us at once. Sandor will now serve as my new Deputy Captain!” Wildstar announced. They all stood there in shock. All were called to serve on the Endeavor again.


“Tolbert, front and center!” snapped Wildstar.


“I don’t have to listen to you!” she snapped.


“You are still under my command until you leave this ship,” Derek snapped back. “Get over here, or would you prefer it if Mrs. Wildstar-Forrester, my new Living Group Leader as of now, writes you up on charges at my orders?”


“Sir,” she said as she came to attention.


“All right,” said Derek as he glared at her. “You are heading back to Earth for reassignment. Until then, you are at Captain Zarzour’s disposal on the Phoenix. Don’t give him any trouble. You do not need that on your record. I have already written you an adverse fiteness report, unless you care to appeal it?”


Tolbert glared at Derek. “No, sir.”


“Then, good luck Lieutenant Commander Tolbert; you are dismissed from my command,” Derek said as Tolbert and he exchanged final salutes in a very curt fashion. “I hope I never have to see you again or serve with you again. I have had enough of looking at your face on this ship!”


“Likewise, sir,” snapped Tolbert.


At that, the shuttle left.


Nova stood in shock, thinking, What was he up to?And where do I stand in all this?


“Well my love” Pesci said to Howard “I guess the Captain has done us a favor and we are now together once more. Let’s go get your stuff from the Phoenix and then get something to eat, shall we?”


Howard laughed at Pesci and they both went off to another shuttle to fly over and to retrieve her things.


In the meantime, Sandor looked in Wildstar and Nova’s direction and decided that he had better slip away so that they could talk.


Derek came up to Nova, who saluted him and said, formally, “Reporting for duty as ordered, sir. I wish I knew what was going on in this little drama. I really wish I knew, Derek…”


Derek put his hands on Nova’s stiff shoulders as he looked hard into her eyes. “Nova, please hear me out. Nothing happened between Tolbert and I. I promise you that. I don’t know what possessed Tolbert to act that way…it was unprofessional of her. I would never in a million years let you think that there was anything going on between me and any other woman. I love you Nova. I can never hurt you that way. Please believe me. I have no interest in Tolbert at all. Never did. Never will.”


“Yes, Derek, but I saw a different story? You were half-undressed together like we…usually were,” Nova said in a soft but angry voice. “How could I think anything different after seeing that? When I walked in there and saw what I saw, well, my heart just hit the floor. And the worst part was that she led me to believe that you and she did have something going on. I wanted to hurt her badly….maybe even lethally…because she knew that she got to me with the innuendoes. Derek, I love you, but if there ever is a woman other than me in your cabin again on anything except official ship’s business, we are through, through, through. Do you understand what I’m saying?” Nova said in a calm voice.


“Yes Ma’am, you can count on me for that mission,” Derek smiled and winked at her in hopes that she would smile back.


But all Nova did was give him a quick kiss. Then, she walked away. He knew then that she was starting to break down. He knew that there was just one more step he would have to take to win her completely over again.


And he would have to do it soon to seal the reconciliation.



Later that day, Wildstar sat at the bridge looking down at his updated crew. Miamato was now the new helmsman and Lieutenant Pratt took over communications, for after all everyone was train to take on different duties for situations like this. Nova resumed her job as radar tech.  I have people that I can trust now, Derek thought.  I don’t have to worry…are they comptenet to do their jobs? I know they are. And now, that I have my dear wife back with me I have no worries. “Okay crew…our new heading is back to Garuman-Gamilon. Miamato, how does it feel in that chair?”


“Sir it feels great…I’ve been looking forward to this for a long time,” Miamato replied with a wide smile.


“Good, then to our new heading, prepare to warp in 5 minutes. Attention all hands…attention all hands…this is your Captain speaking! Prepare for warp in 5 minutes! Secure all quarters and make sure you are in warp position. Miamato…it’s all in your hands now.”


“Yes sir!” This is what I’ve waited for… I can’t let the Captain down…not now! Miamato thought. “All personnel make final preparations for warp. Start count down at T-minus 15 seconds. All systems check out sir, continuing count down, 10…9…8…7…6…5…4…3…2…1… WARP!” 


The Endeavor burst into the Fourth Dimension right on schedule, roaring through subspace back towards the center of the Galaxy, where Garuman-Gamilon was located. 



They made three extended space warps back to back to get to Garuman-Gamilon. Miamoto was happy, but exhausted when the space battleship emerged from her final warp with the huge green planet and its verdant blue twin world Starsha hanging before them.


“Job well done, Miamato. The transitions were a little bumpy but you’ll get the hang of it yet,” Wildstar informed Miamato.


“Thank you sir, I’m sure I will,” Miamato replied knowing that it was a compliment coming from the Captain. He has worked with the best so that was a big deal to him.


“Pratt, please set up communications with Garuman and tell their ruler that Captain Wildstar and his crew would wish to join him for dinner,” Derek said.


“Yessir,” replied Pratt.


Wildstar looked in Nova’s direction and smiled… now for plan B, he thought.





Planet Garuman-Gamilon

Gamilon City

Desslok’s Palace

April 27, 2205

1900 Hours


“Wildstar, twice in such a short time and I see that your lovely wife has found you.  I am honor that you will be joining me for dinner,” Desslok said. “Sandor, how are you and I remember these young people here, Lieutenant Pesci, Lieutenant Delvechio and the lovely Lieutenant Howard.”  Wildstar was always amazed that Desslok had such a great memory. He never forgot a name. “I am honor to have you all here. Please enjoy yourselves while the Captain and I speak.  Nova, Sandor, please come join us.  So my friend to what do I owe this pleasure?”


“You never skip a beat, do you Desslok?” Wildstar laughed at him.


“To run an empire you must be three steps ahead of everyone else, with the exception of my worthy and oldest friend.”


“Well Desslok, considering that we are now dealing with the same enemy, I was hoping that offer stands with the joint union of our forces to eliminate both thorns from our sides.”


“What do you have in mind, Wildstar?” Desslok was intrigued.


Well, I think Sandor can explain it much better then I.” At that, Wildstar motioned to Sandor.


“Well Emperor Desslok, you have been fighting the Bolars for many years now and Earth has been grateful for your help in keeping them from coming to our part of the galaxy. But we feel very strongly that eventually we are going to have to join forces to stop them from forming a co-existence. If the Bolars and the remaining Cometines join together it can be a huge threat to both our nations, and we cannot let this happen. Prime Minister Bemlayze will do anything to get back what’s left of his empire and to enslave anyone that will get in the way. Your officers and their crew can help us in flushing out what bases they have with in both of our parts of territorial space.  Our Admiral will be approaching the EDF council for further support in this war.”


Desslok interrupted, “And if your council refuses to participate in this little escapade?”


“Well then my friend it won’t be the first time we disregarded orders,” Wildstar stated. “I feel very strongly that if we do not stop this threat, then both of our parts of the Galaxy will be in more danger.”


“I agree,” Desslok said.


“I do too,” Sandor said.


“Nova, are you in?” Wildstar asked.


“Yes sir, but we have to give the crew a chance to agree. This is not the Star Force, it was a different time when we all went off together, Derek. The EDF has more of a hold on these officers. So we must be careful as to who we approach. We can’t ask them to risk their lives because of a mere hunch that the Captain has,” Nova said. “You know how the EDF is; they will want to talk about it and analyze everything before they even consider taking action, if they even take action, that is, Desslok. Bureaucracy. The usual impediment to action.”


“Nova, I agree with you. It is a shame that a bunch of pompous men can sit around and not protect the people they swore to protect. I cannot let that happen to my people, they depend on me to keep peace in our galaxy.  And I will not let the Bolars or the Cometines take what I have worked hard to achieve.”


“Desslok, are you not afraid that your council may one day try to take over as a united forum and over throw your ideas and ways?” Sandor asked.


“My friend, I will never have to worry about someone trying such a thing,” Desslok laughed at the thought.


“Very well then, we are all in agreement?” Wildstar asked everyone one last time.


All nodded yes and the unification was formed, Gamilons and a new Star Force.


“Desslok,” Wildstar pulled Desslok to the side. “I have a favor to ask you.”


“Anything, my friend…” Desslok respected his old friend and would do anything for him.


“Uh, I kind of screwed up with my wife and need your help in making it right. I just need to keep her distracted so I can set things up on ship for her,” Wildstar wanted to make things right with Nova again, and he needed Desslok’s help in doing so.


“You do not need to ask. How long should I keep her busy and mind you, this is not a favor. To steal a beautiful creature such as Nova is an honor, not a favor. I only hope that someday I can hold such a love that I would move heaven and earth for,” Desslok smiled with envy.


“Thank you, take about 1 ½ hours…I should be ready by then, and mind you Desslok she is my wife, so no real stealing her from me” Wildstar patted Desslok on the back.


Desslok walked over to Nova and grabbed her by the waist “May I borrow you for a moment, Mrs. Wildstar?” Nova looked in Derek’s direction and he nodded okay. She had no clue that they both were in cahoots together.


“If I must Desslok, Captain Wildstar may let you steal me for the moment but he will look for me if I’m gone too long,” Nova said with a laugh.


“I’m willing to take that chance,” Desslok winked at Wildstar. “Wars have been started for far less. Please come this way; I’d like to show you something, Nova.”


That was Wildstar’s cue to depart back to the ship and get things ready for Nova and at least a night of apologies. At that, he left, grinning quietly from ear to ear.


“So Nova, how are things with you and Wildstar?  I am so glad that you two came to see me. I was beginning to feel unwanted.  Come this way…I have something incredible to show you.”


Desslok guided Nova to another part of the palace that opened into a grand room. In the middle of the room there was a huge statue of Starsha, Alex and an infant in the arms of Starsha which represented Sasha. 


“Desslok, it’s beautiful.” Nova looked on with admiration.


“Yes I know, it reminds me that there are other things more important in life than the conquest of other worlds. I know that Alex was Starsha’s love and I’m willing to accept that, but it also lets me know that when I am given a chance at love to grab it. That is something I did not act on with Starsha.  I’m so glad that you and Wildstar took that chance. Don’t let it go Nova…love is something that doesn’t come often…especially a great love like the sort Wildstar has for you and the sort you have for him,”  Desslok told her.


Nova thought hard at what he said to her. Desslok was right…you can’t let love pass you by.  You have to take a chance and she did that with Derek. She loved him from the day they started working together up until now. “Thank you Desslok, you just made me realize something very important.”


Nova then thought, He loves me. He really does. I have to stop holding this grudge against him. I know him. He would never cheat on me with someone like…Julie. We have to heal this rift in our marriage…and the sooner, the better…


“Desslok, would it be rude to ask you to walk me back to the dining hall where Derek is?” Nova asked.


“Of course not, it will be a pleasure to walk a beautiful creature such as you back to Captain Wildstar,” Desslok said while smiling at her. Wildstar you’re a lucky man.


Desslok and Nova headed back to the dining area and talked about the statue that he created for Starsha and Alex. It touched Nova’s heart that he still carried a torch for their mutual dear friend; even though Starsha had married Alex and had a child with him. He always carried that respect that she chose to take love in her heart and married a man that she thought the world of.  He would never let that happen again.  Once back at the dining area Nova noticed that Derek was not there. Desslok saw the panicked look on her face and told her “It will be an honor for me to walk you back to the ship, Nova…” Desslok already knew that Wildstar would have everything ready for her when she returned.


“So my dear, thank you for your company it was a pleasure to have such a lovely lady by my side if only for a moment,” Desslok leaned over and gave Nova’s hand a kiss. “Goodnight….and until tomorrow.”


“Thank you, I had a lovely time” Nova smiled at Desslok He can be such a charmer. Nova thought to herself.


Nova waved at Desslok as he got into his air lift and was taken back to the palace by his armed escorts.


“Ma’am,” Nova turned around to see that Staff Sergeant Booker and another Marine were standing behind her.


“Sergeant Booker how are you? It’s been a long time! How is everything with your wife and kids?” Nova asked him. She liked Booker, especially since he had protected her on their last mission to Planet Dunbar and even though he was a big man, he had a kind heart.  She was like a little sister that he never had and he swore to protect.


“She’s fine, thank you, Lieutenant Commander. But I must ask you to come with me, the Captain and Sandor have been waiting for you in the Captain’s Quarters,” Booker said this to throw her off, being in on the conspiracy.


“Fine Sergeant, I’ll be right up,” Nova told Booker.


“Sorry Ma’am. I have orders to escort you there personally,” Booker told her.


Nova nodded and followed the Sergeant back to the Captain’s Quarters. As they walked to the Captain’s Cabin, they talked and laughed about their last mission and Booker’s kids and wife. Nova had met his wife on the return trip to Pluto from their last mission. She was a funny character and joked a lot with Nova and Wildstar about life with Booker and the kids. They finally came to Wildstar’s Quarters and Booker said his goodbyes. “Thank you, Booker it was nice talking to you again. I’ll see you around,” Nova smiled at him, Booker saluted her and left.


Nova knocked on the Captain’s door “Sir. It’s Lieutenant Commander Forrester, may I enter, please?”


“Enter,” Wildstar called from inside the room.


Nova opened the door to see the room lights dim. There were candles burning on a table while Steelheart played in the background. There were exotic flowers from Desslok’s planet that Nova had mentioned to Derek once, placed all over the room. Nova stood there, wondering what he was planning. “Sir, what’s going on here?”


Derek walked out of the head with his full dress Captain’s uniform on. His peacoat was cleaned to perfection. He had more flowers in hand. He walked over to Nova and looked her in the eye “Hello there, Lieutenant Commander, I’m so glad that you came. I wasn’t sure if you would speak to me again. That’s why I had them tell you that Sandor and I wanted to go over something and why I ordered you to come.  Desslok did a great job in keeping you occupied. I must thank him again later.”


Nova stood there shocked. “Derek, you did all this for me?”


“Yes Nova, I felt horrible for putting you through that business with Tolbert. She turned out to be very vindictive, and you did not need to go through that. I can’t apologize enough to you for even putting myself in that position. It shouldn’t have happened to begin with. She should never have been in my cabin at all, and I’m so sorry.”


“No Derek you were just being you,” Nova said.




“You were being yourself, a kind Captain looking out for his crew, and she took advantage of it. She wanted what you had with her so many years ago. My only fault in this is that I didn’t believe you and I let her get to me.” Nova stepped forward and placed her hand on his face. “I’m sorry, Derek, I’ll never doubt you again. You deserve more than that, I hope that you can forgive me for being so horrible to you!”


“Oh baby, I could never be mad at you. Now the crew’s gotten together, and they collected all these beautiful flowers from Desslok’s Planet, with his permission of course, just for you.”


“So the Emperor had a hand in this also? I must say he was very charming. I only felt sorry for him, he never had a chance to tell Starsha how he felt about her. But I guess if he had, Alex would not have been in the picture and he probably wouldn’t have had a small part of happiness with her. I hope that he finds love with someone and has the same happiness that we have, my Derek.” Derek nodded and then kissed his wife.


“I’ve missed you terribly ever since we’ve been separated by this mission, Nova,” Derek wrapped his arms around her waist and drew her closer to him. “I love you very much. Cookie created something special just for you. Namely, all your favorite desserts. Maybe we can taste all of them on each other.” Derek grinned at the thought.


“You can be so bad at times, Captain, I may have to file a sexual harassment suit,” Nova said while laughing at him.


She kicked off her boots and made herself comfortable in Derek’s cabin…no…their cabin, again. She jumped into his lap and kissed him. Then, Nova whispered, “I love you too, babe. Let’s eat…”