By Lynn Taylor
1. ...How Stephen Sandor became the man he is...
Stephen Sandor was the most serious man. He was an engineering genius and tended to keep his head in his books. Though he liked to look at girls he never approached any. He treated each and every one like a sister. No one knew why he was this way.
Actually Sandor became the quiet studious man over time. After an accident on a roller coaster. He lost his legs and arms to the accident and would have lost his life if not for a protector. When it happened she saw him fly off and ran toward danger to help him. Her name had been Eri that is all he knew about her. The loving little face that looked into his and told him to keep awake.
Artwork: “Young Eri” © 2011 by Lynn Taylor-All Rights Reserved
Eri had thrown herself on top of his chest when burning debris had fallen. She kept telling him to stay awake. And when they were being searched for she called out telling people were to find them. Eri had heard his name and kept calling to him. "Come on Stephen! Stephen Sandor stay awake for Eri. I will get help keep awake." Eri had said.
He kept hearing the girl call out. "He is here… Over here."
So when they removed the debris from off of them Sandor looked at her tearfully. "Eri you remember I am your Stephen. You are my girl you know that." Sandor had said.
"Yes! Stephen Sandor!" Was the sweet little voice’s reply.
But the poor boy watched as they put the little girl on the gurney back upward. She was burnt badly. He again became horrified when she was covered completely with the sheet. His protector his girl had died. This grief affected him very much then to find his sister had been lost that day also. Sandor became a sensitive man concerned about others first. Like his friend Alex Wildstar whom he met after he got out of the hospitals, when he joined the EDF Cruiser
When he found when he was still young and in the hospital he was to get bionic arms and legs he started distracting his thoughts with study of engineering. He threw himself into it and by the time he was 20 he had designed new legs and arms for himself. Realistic and functional.
From time to time when he went out to be with his friends he would think of his Eri. He had thought her dead and His family wouldn't let him read or see the news about the theme park in which it happened. They didn't want to upset him. For the newspapers had graphic details about his and the little girl’s injuries. So he never knew she survived. He never knew her name was Tatsuo Eri.
So many years later he comforted himself with a special toast.
"To My girl Eri!" Sandor said holding up a cup of Some of Captain Avatar’s special spring water.
He had not known that Alex his best friend came up behind him. "Your girl? I didn't know you had a girl. What is she like?" Alex asked.
"I don't anymore. It is a toast I do to honor her." Sandor said.
"To honor her?" Alex said looking at him surprised.
"Yes she saved my life a long time ago." Sandor said not elaborating.
"Wow. I would like to honor her too. To Eri your girl who saved my best friends life." Alex said.
So it was from time to time they would toast Eri. He had told only Alex the story of what had happened that day. For the most part Stephen Sandor was a private man.
It had been nearly 18 years now since he had been injured and he never went a day without thinking about Eri. So he was alive due to her and he was a good engineer due to his studding so diligently.
2. ...Sandor of Space Force...
Sandor became part of Space Force and quickly became a very important member of the Corps of Engineers at Okinawa shipyards. Being a genius his mind was being challenged all the time. He thrived under this type of stimulus.
It had been at this time when once in a while he would hear a female’s voice call out his name when passing a crowd. Sandor never saw her but smiled for the others got that kind of reception also. So he never thought of it much. Not till Alex smiled at him.
"Wow Sandor that was a real cute girl calling your name." Alex Wildstar said.
"Really where?" Sandor asked puzzled.
But the girl was gone and there was nothing to be done for it. To Sandor felt that no girl would have him if they knew about his cyborg implants. Then to he didn't have time to think about it much for the very next time they went out to fight the Gamilons Alex and his crew were reported dead at the battle at Pluto.
Again Sandor had to worry about what had happened. He worried it had been his fault sending them out to soon not effecting repairs good enough. He felt sad and lonely and was transferred to the Argo so he could get her ready. For the Argo was the only ship left in the fleet.
This was how he met Derek Alex's brother. He felt like a big brother to Derek, because of his friendship with Alex. The loss of Alex made him feel the loss of Eri again. He became more diligent and efficient yet again.
One more time Sandor heard the female’s voice as they were ascending the Argo to head to Iscandar. He didn't see anyone he knew. He knew it was the same voice for it was a particularly musical one.
3...Eri the girl who became…
Eri had been a little over 8 when she met Stephen Sandor. But it was under some very sad circumstances. For the roller coaster they had been riding malfunctioned. Eri watched as the boy was tossed and batted around finally coming to rest on the ground looking dead his arms and legs in dreadful unnatural angles. She had not seen the girl his sister. And to this day she wished she could have saved the girl to.
Eri who was used to climbing trees jumped down from where her car had rested in the ride. She scaled it to run to the boy. Hearing a woman screaming for a Stephen Sandor she wondered if it was him.
So she said his name. "Stephen… is this your name? Stay awake for me Stephen till they come to save us. Stephen! Stephen Sandor" Eri said softly to him.
"I'm Stephen! I hurt. I feel so tired." Sandor said through half closed eyes.
"No no don't sleep keep awake till the adults come get us." Eri said ducking due to the falling debris.
She didn't see the burning debris she only saw it falling so she covered his body with hers. Her mother was a nurse and she had told her things to do to keep people safe till help came. So when he looked as if he was going unconscious she did mouth to mouth resuscitation.
"Now keep awake Stephen. Tell me about your family. Tell me about what you want to do when you grow up?" Eri said.
The last thing she remembered was the words "Remember Eri you are my girl." Sandor had said it as they picked her up and took her away.
"Yes!" was all she could say back.
She woke to hear them saying to keep the sheet over her so the wound would stay clean.
"Stephen! Is Stephen Sandor alright?" Eri said.
"You mean the boy you protected? He is alive. He will need surgery." the paramedic had said.
"If you can call that living." Her father said.
Her father was General Tatsuo Hero. He had never been one for small talk or tact. He looked at his daughter with some pride.
Artwork “Eri Wounded” © 2011 by Lynn Taylor-All Rights Reserved
After this she was allowed to find out with the help of her father just what happened to the boy Stephen Sandor. They made him a Cyborg. He has artificial legs and arms. One report had told them.
This was when the skin grafts started. She felt strange for from this point she spent most of her life in hospitals. Her hair had saved her head and her neck but her back suffered. She felt the scars when she moved sometimes not that it was painful it was just uncomfortable.
Eri's mother thought her daughter would become a doctor or nurse like herself. But to everyone's surprise even her fathers she started studying engineering. She was a couple of years behind Sandor in school. But like him she had plenty of time on her hands to learn. All of her time went into learning it. And though she learned First Aid she did her Engineering classes most diligently.
When the war with the Gamilons broke out, she had been in hospitals again for more work. Eri had even graduated Schooling while at the hospital. And she got small jobs of engineering to do for the hospital while she was there.
She had been moved into the underground city very early on because her father had her moved to those hospitals. So unlike a lot of people she didn't suffer from the radiation poisoning that those who stayed on the surface suffered.
But In all Eri recovered slowly but was happy. For it was the promise that she was Stephen Sandor's girl that made her have hope. She even took to finding ways to be like him. Eri had no idea she was cute. That men paid attention to her for she was Stephen's.
When the Argo left was the day of her last skin graft She refused to get it done till she could see Sandor off. For her father had told her Sandor had joined its crew. Her healing took nearly 6 months and she would think about what Sandor was doing now.
Eri joined Advanced Engineering School so she could be ready to go on the ship the Argo to be with Stephen. So when she joined the Engineering Corps almost a full year later she had a impressive profile. One thing she noticed too, was that females rarely got on. So while filling out the profile papers she saw some of the men didn't sign their full name or put in their gender.
So Eri filled hers out E. Tatsuo and left the gender box blank. She added schematics of things she was working on attaching them to her papers. To she had some schematics of things Sandor had made that she did some upgrades of. She figured this would impress anyone. It did and little did she know that Sandor was sent the upgrades done by E. Tatsuo and was very impressed.
She had to be in the Corps some 6 months before she could ask for a ship to be assigned to. So her hopes were to join the Argo when it came back.
Everything Eri did was so she could become the right woman for Stephen. She knew that he would understand her horrible scars on her back. He would be proud that she used her times of being in the hospital to educate herself.
Unknown to her father mother or friends she even found out what he liked to eat so she could make it for him. All the way down to his favorite Sushi. She hated the fake fish and hoped as soon as the Argo got back she would be able to make it proper after the oceans recovered.
4....The Argo's return...
Sandor watched as earth became larger and larger. He was so proud that they had accomplished there mission in such a timely manner. He looked at the reports and saw that the Argo would have to be in dock for a long time for repair work. His engineering talents were to be put to better use designing other ships. Mechanics could fix the Argo he had faith in Orion.
Sandor sat back reading copied readouts of the upgrades that an E. Tatsuo had done to some of his schematics. How had he not met this man? He was brilliant. He had come up with a lot of things to fix his work for better efficiency. Sandor looked at the Age of the Guy just two years younger. How come he had never heard of Tatsuo Second Engineer of the Shipyards in Okinawa?
Sandor even before he had got to earth had put in for a Post at The engineering Corps. He had received his answer some days ago and he was to have his own team. He could pick and choose who he wanted. He decided he wanted E. Tatsuo as one for sure.
He looked up to see Nova following Derek the clue less kid. How Sandor wished his Eri had not died so that he could have someone to care for and be cared for like that. Derek was in love with Nova but he had never told her. Sandor was not that kind of a man. He told someone if he liked them. He felt it was important to do so. For who knows what could happen and regretting not saying I love you would have been too painful.
"Landing in 10 minutes," Derek's voice announced all over the ship.
Sandor smiled for now they could save earth. Just how long it would take he didn't know but he was pleased. Eri would be so very happy and proud of him he thought.
10 minutes later he was walking down the gang plank waving to the crowds that had come to see them. That was when he got the biggest surprise ever. A girl came running up to him putting her hand on his chest smiling very prettily at him.
"Hello Stephen how are you doing this morning? It is so good to see you are home safe." Her musical voice said.
Artwork: “Eri and Sandor” © 2011 by Lynn Taylor – All Rights Reserved
"No nothing! Just wanted to say hi. Also to see how you were!" She had said. Her face at first looked disappointed then she smiled so pretty.
"See you Later Stephen! And you to Sir." She sang swaying alluringly away after touching his chest again.
Sandor had totally forgot Derek Wildstar was standing next to him. And he was still un-aware that his face was red. The sensation of her little hand touching his chest made him blush even brighter.
"Sandor who was that cute girl?" Derek asked to curious for Sandor's likes.
"I don't know Derek But she was very cute!" Sandor said puzzling as to whether he had ever met her before.
"She really seems to know you! She even used your first name! Are you sure? Oh well! Hay you headed to Engineering Corps? I heard you say they had a real smart guy a Tatsuo." Derek said he was still watching the girl walking off.
"Yes an E. Tatsuo. I liked his work and will be asking for him on my team. I will be checking that out in the next day or to. I have to sign in first and get my residence. But only after the Cosmos D.N.A. is off loaded." Sandor said he admired the sway of her hips and the pretty hair in a pony tail that swung with her every move.
He was thinking to himself she did know him. But from where? He didn't know her but wished he did. She was adorable. He hadn't heard his name said like that in a long time. Sandor looked up to see Nova coming smiling at them and he realized Derek was still staring at the girl.
"Ahh Nova! Isn't it exciting?" Sandor said waking Derek from his gaze.
"Yes it is and so many people came to thank us. That girl came to see Sandor. She even knew his first name, "Derek said taking Nova's hand smiling.
"Really? How nice! Who is she?" Nova asked.
"I was telling Derek I didn't know her." Sandor said. And he walked off not letting ether comment.
Sandor went to the dock and watched the offload of the Cosmos D N A. Then went to the ceremony for their return. He thought they would have been better off to see if it worked before partying. But such was the way of Pomp and circumstance.
Sandor didn't remember the dance or the speeches. His mind was on a girl who so totally derailed him. He hadn't remembered that Nova wore a ball gown and danced with him. Nor that every other girl in the building danced with him and the others of the crew.
He had gone home then to work the next day. He was doing a last minute check on the engines he had done three times when he finally heard Derek.
"Sandor! Sandor?! Sandor!!!!" Derek asked.
"Did you say something Wildstar?" Sandor asked puzzled.
"Yes I was asking how the engines are." Derek said coming up putting his hand on Sandor's shoulder.
"Oh! I am sorry. My mind must have been wondering." Sandor said. He knew he had been thinking about the girl’s cute swaying walk. Her smile on her face when she asked how he was. And he had even daydreamed he had kissed her. He also kept mentally kicking himself for not asking her name.
"Wondering? Are you Ok? The Doctor is still aboard want me to get him for you?" Derek asked worried.
"Ah no I am fine. I have all the repairs listed that Orion needs to do here. I am finished here." Sandor said looking up not realizing he had blushed again cause he got caught thinking about the girl.
"No now you must go get checked out. You look like you have a fever. And Nova said you were distracted last night at the ceremony." Derek said.
Venture had came up looking at him to and Sandor felt so strange. He had not had this much concern over him in years. Not since that day. Not since Eri had saved him.
Sandor felt his thinking of the girl go out of his head all of the sudden. It was thinking about Eri. His girl Eri he nearly had let her slip his mind. He stood composing himself looking at them. "Not to worry I am fine now. Just distracted." Sandor said.
"You do go to Engineering Corps today don't you." Venture said eyeing him.
"Yes I will be in a different uniform when you see me next." Sandor said confidently.
"All that blushing for the loss of a uniform?" Venture asked puzzled.
"You are a sentimental fellow after all aren't you?" Derek said teasing.
Sandor left that day relived that his thoughts couldn't be read. He was to get his uniform this day and show up for duty the next morning. Sandor distracted himself with thinking about meeting Tatsuo and exchanging ideas about engines and other plans he had.
He had a twinge of guilt at thinking about another girl other than his girl. So it was he decided to throw himself into work. He figured he wouldn't have to worry about it much because he probably wouldn't ever see her again. He was very mistaken.
The next day Sandor went to the Corps of Engineers at Okinawa shipyards. To meet up with his team. They were to be waiting for him in a particular room. So when he got there he was surprised to see them working already on a project. Two guys were standing annoyed at a third under a console the only thing you could see were the uniform legs. Sandor saw that all six were accounted for When he made known he was there.
Three had been sitting looking at a schematic. And two were standing to either side of the person under the console and had obviously been arguing with them.
"Ok Let’s get started I am Sandor your group leader. I will call out your names and you raise your hand or call out." Sandor said. “Cassidy! Here. Marco! Here. Wagner! Here. Bog! Here. Harada! Here. He had restrained himself by not calling Tatsuo first. Now he grinned and turned his attention to the legs coming out from under the console.
"So that leaves this one under here to be Tatsuo." Sandor said tapping the knee of the person under the console. He saw the men all smirking and laughing to themselves. And wondered what they had against this Tatsuo.
"E. Tatsuo!" Sandor said again and the girl slid out from under the console.
"Oh sorry, Stephen Sandor, sir. I didn't hear you!" She said as she looked at the men who were laughing harder now.
"You are E. Tatsuo? The Engineer who worked on my engine specs? Your papers don't say you are a female why?" Sandor asked.
"Yes Stephen. I didn't put my gender ‘cause if I had no one would have hired me here. It is Eri Tatsuo, " Eri said.
Sandor went a little pale. First it was his admirer. And second of all the men were laughing and smirking very overtly now. Then Sandor had heard the name of the girl and he just couldn't call her by it. Not after losing his Eri so long ago.
"Yeah you tell her Stephen! Females don't work as engineers! Make her go home where she belongs." one of the men said laughing.
"Why is that?! I have seen Tatsuo's work and she was brilliant." Sandor said.
"Thanks Stephen you could call me Eri," she said brightly her smile like that of a couple of days ago he nearly lost it. Especially when she placed her hand on his chest.
"I will call you Tatsuo it is not appropriate to call you by your first name in a business situation." Sandor said.
"Oh I never thought of that! So what do we call you?" Eri asked still bright eyed.
"Why Sandor is fine. We will call each other by our last names," Sandor said.
Eri had been so upset when he didn't remember her. She then thought about how she looked when she was young and how she had grown.
She had been tomboyish as a little girl. Now she was soft looking and dainty. Often she wondered if it had been the injury that had stunted her growth, Or was it the size she was supposed to be? Her face had retained its big eyed little girl look and she could look clueless if she wanted.
She knew that guys thought she was cute but none of them mattered to her. She had only wanted to know what Stephen Sandor thought of her. He had been flustered. Blushing brightly he had done this when she had did resuscitation when he was little. So this made her happy.
So when he called the men down for saying she couldn't be a real engineer she was pleased. Till he refused to call her by her first name. Stephen started calling them all by their last names. "Just a carry-over from Space Force." Eri told herself so she wouldn't be so disappointed.
She got to work daily with him and smiled at his approvals of her work. She would put her hand on his chest or back when she wanted him to check her work and found he seemed not to mind this. She would bring him his lunch every day and she liked that he liked eating it. Eri didn't know he thought it was food supplied at the lunch room at work.
It wasn't till the day she was gone that he realized she had made it special for him. He was waiting to talk to her when she came in the next morning. "You make my meals for me? It is to much to ask of you." Sandor said looking at her.
"No it isn't it is fun and I like cooking for you. Today I made your favorite Sushi!" Eri said.
"How do you know what my favorite Sushi is?" Sandor asked surprised.
"It is easy. Computer records are easy to access. Food you purchased and how often you purchase it is easy to find and not restricted." Eri said.
She didn't look up till he was very quiet. He was looking at her with a odd smile on his face. "Do you find this kind of information out about all your friends?" Sandor asked.
"No! Just you Stephen. I mean Sandor! I wanted to make you happy." Eri said.
"Look Tatsuo! It is not appropriate for you to do this for me. Just make your own food people will think you are wanting something from me otherwise." Sandor said.
"So you don't want the sushi I made?" Eri asked annoyed.
"Well no I will have whatever is at the lunch room today. Thanks anyway." Sandor said he was sorry for saying it for even now he saw tears forming in her eyes.
Artwork “Eri and the cats” © 2011 by Lynn Taylor-All Rights Reserved
"Fine," Eri said walking to where she had the box stored. She was upset and walked to where the cats lived on the shipyard. Opening it and calling the cats she sat sadly watching them eat it.
Eri didn't know what went wrong and she was sad he didn't remember her. She still liked him after all these years and wanted even more to earn his love.
She saw Sandor standing there watching her. He seemed sad and lonely and she felt she could relive these symptoms from his heart if only he would let her.
Sandor knew he had hurt her feelings when he had said it. To he regretted it for the cats liked the Sushi so much. This along as with the taste of the cardboard tasting food he had got at the Lunch room made him regret even more. But he didn't want to increase her feelings for him. How could any girl like him if they knew about his legs and arms? Nova knew but she was a nurse on the Argo and found out by accident.
He also couldn't take the look Tatsuo gave him. He liked her and he hated seeing that look on her face. So it was the end of the day he called her over. "I am sorry about earlier today. I am afraid I don't know how to act around females. I didn't intend on hurting your feelings. It is just this. There are things about me most people don't know. And if they did they wouldn't like me. So I tend to be private." Sandor said.
"I know all about you. You are Sandor or Stephen Sandor. You are an amazing engineer and a great person to be around and work with. And if you think you having artificial legs and arms would scare me off you are mistaken. It is one of the things that you need not worry about." Eri said.
"How did you know? I don't tell very many people." Sandor said.
"I am the daughter of General Tatsuo. He has kept me up on your progress since your accident many years ago." Eri said she had again put her hand on his shirt front.
"Do you know how many died that day? How I was saved?" Sandor said.
"I know only one died. I am so sorry about your sister. Than you nearly did You were the only one who nearly died." Eri said.
Sandor looked at her shocked. Only one died his sister? How come no one knew about the girl. "Are you certain no one else died?" Sandor asked.
"Yes it was in all the papers of the time. You were the only one who almost died. Come I can show you." Eri took his hand and took him to a computer.
She punched up information and the data from a old antiquated paper came up. She showed him the information and smiled kindly at him. "How come you didn't know?" Eri asked.
"My parents said it was ‘cause they didn't want me upset. They told me the graphic descriptions of my injuries would bring on bad memories." Sandor said.
"I suppose that was the best. The articles made me have nightmares. Weren't you curious?" Eri said.
He didn't answer at first but changed the subject quickly.
"How did you learn to hack old files and my grocery lists to find my eating habits?" Sandor said looking up at her with a mirthful look on his face.
"It is amazing what you learn on a computer in a hospital when you are bored." Eri said.
"Hospital?" Sandor asked.
"Never mind. I learned when I was supposed to be doing school lessons. I have to go home. See you tomorrow." Eri said leaving him looking at her curiously.
Sandor looked up more things from those papers. No mention was made of a dead girl other than his sister. He too did have sad memories haunt him from that day after this. He wrote down some stuff to look up further on. There had been 13 sent to burn trauma centers but no one that was said to have died.
Sandor wanted to find out for sure. Leaving the paper next to the computer he hoped to have Tatsuo help him the next day.
Sandor liked her a lot and he found working with her a breath of fresh air. No irritating mistakes she did exactly what he wanted and when he wanted it.
Sandor liked how she was helping with the smaller wave motion engine. He liked how she was grasping his concepts so easily. And from time to time he found himself watching her. Sandor didn't know why but he couldn't help but like her. And from time to time he found her grinning when she handed lunch She had made to him. He knew he shouldn't have eaten them but it so tasted better than the cardboard lunches that the rest of the crew ate.
Sandor would just watch sometimes cause she was protective of his work also. He came in one day to hear the dispute between her and one of her co-workers. "No take that off. No changes are to be made if Sandor doesn't approve of it. He didn't I know it cause it has not been changed on the schematic. So take that off." Eri said.
"I wanted to impress him. You just want to monopolize his time and mind." the man said.
"I never do any changes unless I send them to him first and he approves of it. Just like when he was still on the Argo I sent my work to him for approval. “Eri said.
"You sent them? I thought it was Space force leaders who sent them." Sandor said.
"I have connections.” Eri said smiling.
"Ah…Yes your father." Sandor said laughing.
"Bingo! You got it." Eri said.
"Anyway! This piece will cause a catastrophic failure if you use it. It is 10.9% off of angle it should be at. Plus it is 2% to large." Eri said doing calculations in her head.
Sandor and her coworker looked amazed and she didn't seem to notice. Sandor noticed things like this all the time and he was impressed. Her mental acuity was almost as astute as his. Even when she was mistaken she didn't get upset she sat back and learned.
This was how it was the whole time. He really liked her. But still he tried to find out the names of the others who were hurt the day of the accident. He had been having no luck.
7....Sandor's search was finally over...
Sandor had been looking up on the computer about that day for close to 8 months now. He had no success. So one morning he had come in early for he couldn't sleep. He had another angle and he wanted Eri Tatsuo to help him look up information on the hospitals.
He had just closed his eyes to rest them when he heard her footsteps. He heard her walk up to where he was and after a moment he felt her lips on his forehead. "Is that what you think happened? Oh my no wonder you poor dear." Eri had said She too had put her hand on his chest again.
Sandor was surprised at what she said and he pretended to still be asleep. Letting her walk off he sat up wondering what it all meant.
Sandor didn't have time to think about it when he saw the mishap that was about to happen. Marco was standing behind the new wave engine. And Cassidy was looking suspiciously at the ignition unit.
It was Eri who was first to get there. And as the engine ignited Eri had flattened Marco to the ground pushing him down flat as she could get him. Sandor got there in time to grab Cassidy's hand and turn the engine off.
"Hay I was testing it." Cassidy said looking up miffed till he saw it was Sandor frowning at him.
"Yes! And you nearly killed Marco doing so. Why didn't you do safety precautions?" Sandor said in a scolding manor.
"Stay down Marco the engine is still hot!" He heard Eri say.
"Tatsuo and Marco are in the line of fire and you didn't do safety checks. You are on report. You may still be fired." Sandor said angry.
When Eri and Marco stood Sandor headed in their direction. That was when he saw Eri slap Marco in the cheek. "Stop it I only did it to save your life." Eri had said.
"But you saved me I really appreciate it." Marco said.
"I like someone else and I did what I should have done. Be thankful you are alive. And if you ever pinch me again I will hurt you!" Eri said.
Sandor watched as she turned to see him standing there and she blushed. Her shirt back was discolored and she had turned pale.
"Are you two alright?" Sandor asked for they were both on their feet.
"I am fine. “Eri said.
"Me to." said Marco as Eri's eyes rolled up into her head and she fainted.
Sandor grabbed her up looking at her in a loss. "Stephen it is ok I am fine. “Eri said.
"No you are not I am taking you to the medics." Sandor said carrying her toward the door.
"I will be back. Don't you touch another thing till I get back." Sandor said.
He had been so surprised at her reaction that as he drove her he spoke softly to her. "Stay awake. What do you mean you are ok? You seem to be in pain." Sandor said.
"I am fine it wasn't an injury I had from today. It was a old injury that hurt when I strained to keep Marco down." Eri said.
"If you don't beat all. None the less you are getting checked out. Your shirt is burnt from the engine. Now no arguing and don't sleep till we get you in where they can help you." Sandor said patting her knee. He knew he sounded like his Eri of long ago trying to keep him awake.
Something tugged at his heart about this woman. She made him like her with her demeanor and her skills and now with her selflessness.
When he got her to the emergency center he carried her into the room. "I think she has a burn on her back. She fainted even though she said she was fine," Sandor said.
A older doctor came out looking at her. "Oh my it's Eri? Her back? Poor girl." the doctor said having the orderlies roll her away on her stomach down a hall.
"I will come check on her later. Here is where to get a hold of me if she is bad off." Sandor said.
"Stephen Sandor of the Argo? I am honored! I will tell if anything comes up." the doctor said.
"Yes sir. Thanks. Say you know her?" Sandor asked curiously.
"Yes she had to come often up till a year and a half now. Too bad it is more burns. How did she get this one?" the doctor asked.
"An accident she saved a co-worker," Sandor said his mind distracted.
"She is a brave girl. She didn't change much," The doctor said.
"Well you take care of her I will be back." Sandor said.
He walked away his mind was making connections. Eri had been burned before? On her back? She told him herself it was a old injury that was bothering her not a new. And the thing she said when she had kissed his forehead still played around in his mind.
He had known many people with the name Eri. Most had been males. This Eri and his Eri were females. The only thing that made it hard to think of this girl being his girl was his girl had been a tomboy. But Eri Tatsuo was a delicate pretty woman. She didn't look old enough to be his girl.
So when he got back he looked at the men Marco and Cassidy were glaring at one another. Wagner, Bogs and Harada were looking over the specs and arguing.
"Ok men Tatsuo is being checked out. I don't know anything yet but she fainted twice after the accident." Sandor said watching them.
"Figures a girl in engineering it is a bad omen," Cassidy said.
"Bad omen? You almost killed me!" yelled Marco.
"I agree most of the mess ups have been you pushing ahead and not using safety precautions. Not her. She is quite honestly the most valued member of my team." Sandor said angry.
"You just say that since she likes you. She has a crush on you. It is favoritism I tell you." Cassidy said.
"She is a kind and considerate woman. It is unlikely that she has a crush on me." Sandor said looking down at his papers.
"You got to be kidding! It is only you she makes special food for. And it was you she smacked me for." Marco said groaning.
When Sandor blushed all but Marco and Cassidy laughed. "He is a genius and he didn't notice?" Wagner said smiling brightly.
"That is enough! The matter we were discussing was Cassidy's nearly killing Marco. I am of the opinion that he should be put off of my team. How do you all say." Sandor asked looking away from them.
"We vote not to be in his line of fire." Marco said firmly.
"All who agree raise your hand." Sandor asked raising his hand and watching all the others do so.
"You can't do that! Tatsuo isn't here to vote me off." Cassidy said lamely.
"This is a majority voting. But if you think logically do you think she would vote for you? I think she wouldn't. She is all about safety." Sandor said glaring at him.
"I will tell the boss it is that you like her and she likes you. I will get a job on another team." Cassidy said standing and looking angry at Sandor.
"Go right ahead! Not a one of you can say we did or said anything toward one another that would compromise our work. Even if we did like each other it doesn't affect our jobs." Sandor said.
He was afraid that this man would cause trouble. But He wouldn't be bullied. Eri liked him he knew it. He was growing to love her. It had only been the fact that He had promised a girl who saved his life that she was his.
He had a strange feeling that kept nagging him. Two females both named Eri and both protected someone. Could he only hope that the one who he now was around was his Eri? He put his men to work after Cassidy left and he took her profile paper. Her age was now 28 Sandor looked surprised. She was just two years younger than him. She was the right age. He smiled to himself. Was she also the girl who called out to him from crowds? Yes he thought her voice is musical just like his admirer.
He had to find out. He would know when he went to the hospital tonight after work. The wait was almost un-endurable for he figured he would find out for sure.
8....Eri and Her man...
Eri had put up with all kinds of poking and prodding. This was when she got to meet Nova and doctor Sane. For they heard that Sandor had brought her in they were to curious.
"So how long have you known Sandor?" Nova asked.
"Oh since I was 8 years old He was 10 at the time." Eri said.
"My that was about the time he was hurt wasn't it?" Doctor Sane said.
"Yes that was how I met him. He was so hurt and Mama taught me first aid. Poor Stephen was so very injured." Eri said.
"Come on now you two I have to check her back again." The doctor said.
"I don't mind they know My Stephen. I would like to talk to them." Eri said.
"I can help doctor," Nova said stepping forward.
They undid the hospital gown’s back and the doctor removed the small bandage that was on the new burn. Nova gasped at the sight of the size of the other old scars.
"I got those that day. He lived and I have waited to see him again for years." Eri said looking contemplative.
"You said your mother taught you first aid! So you became a medic or Doctor?" Doctor Sane asked.
"No it is all Stephen Sandor's fault too. She started learning engineering and computer hacking and other things just to be able to be near him." The old doctor told them.
"So you work with him now?" Nova asked helping put the new bandage on her back.
"Yes I was thrilled when he chose me for his team." Eri said.
"Wow so he gets to work with the girl who helped him." Nova said dreamily.
"She is the girl that saved him. She threw herself over his body to save him. That is why the scars are so bad" the old doctor said.
"It isn't that simple ether. He doesn't remember me. His family didn't let him read about the accident cause they thought it would bring up painful memories. I think he has no memory of me having any part in his saving. He was so very injured. And losing his sister also. I just want to make him fall in love with me now." Eri said.
"Oh my I will tell Sandor! He will be pleased." Doctor Sane said.
"No what if he remembers the horror of it all. It could change him. It could make him remember things that are too painful. If you are his friends you wouldn't do that to him." Eri said.
Nova and Sane and the older doctor looked sadly at her. And Nova hugged her.
"Besides being close to him is good for me." Eri said.
"Ok it is a minor burn. You can go home tomorrow. You must rest for a week." The doctor said frowning sadly down at her.
Sane and the other doctor went out of the room talking. "It is true if he finds out now it will be to much of a shock on him. He needs his wits to do what he does." Sane said.
"I couldn't be so close to him knowing he had forgotten me." Nova said.
"He hasn't forgotten everything. He thinks I was killed. The memory of them taking my burnt body off would hurt him so very badly." Eri said.
"I was right? You are my Eri? How wrong you are. I remember that horrible day with depressing vividness. I knew you were dead when they covered your head even with the sheet." Sandor said walking into the room with purpose.
"Oh Sandor I am so very sorry. I thought you forgot me. Till the other day I wanted to tell you then." Eri said.
"You think with a mind like mine I would ever forget you? Call me Stephen again My Eri. I moaned the loss of you daily. Do you remember the last thing I told you?" Sandor said.
"Yes you said I was your girl. I said yes I was. That was why I followed your life achievements." Eri said.
"So do you still want to be my girl? I would like another kiss from you." Sandor said.
"For being a genius you can't tell between lifesaving resuscitation and a kiss. I would like my first kiss to be by you." Eri said.
Sandor didn't need any instructions. He put both arms around her pulling her into himself. Her arms slid around him softly and tenderly making him tremble at the sensation.
Sandor remembered this was her touch. When everyone else would put their hand on his arm or his shoulder. Or like women he had known to take his hand. Eri would always put her hand in his back if coming up behind him. Or if coming up to talk to him face to face she touched his chest. It had been a action that puzzled him till now. His body had full sensations his bionic parts didn't. Even with her touches she had been telling him she loved him.
Eri knew his arms were implants. She knew he had more sensation in his original body parts. He knew she wanted him to know she cared. That she knew all about the cyborg implants and loved him still. She never shied away from them but ether for on occasion she took his hand to lead him places.
He kissed her again when he heard someone crying. Looking up he saw Nova crying happy tears and he grinned. "Would you mind Nova I have something important to talk to My Girl about. If we have a announcement you will be first to know." Sandor said grinning especially when he saw Eri wink at Nova.
"Tomorrow I get to go home. But the Doctor said I had to be off for a whole week after that." Eri said.
"It was pretty bad wasn't it? Let me see!" Sandor said.
Eri looked at him sadly then turned her back to him. "It isn't pretty. Just minor burns. But it was the skin grafts and the scars that got burned again." Eri said as she felt him untie the hospital gown.
She found his hand softly touching her poor scarred back. "You got these saving me? I am so sorry." Sandor said.
"I would do it all over again just to see that scared face look calm as I talked to you. And to hear you tell me I was yours." Eri said.
"Well Eri My girl…It is my turn to protect you. For you saved my life again. I am no longer lonely you saved me from a lonely sad life thinking the only girl I could love died. I could never have loved anyone else." Sandor said hugging her again.
"Yes Stephen, "Eri said crying.
"Why are you crying we found each other?" Sandor said looking at her accompanying smile.
"You called me Eri! You have called me Tatsuo so long I forgot how good it was to hear you call my name." Eri cried finding him leaning in for another kiss.
"Well it is about time! So this lunkhead finally figured it out?" General Tatsuo said laughing.
"Yes father!" Eri said giggling.
"Lunkhead?" Sandor said holding out his hand for the General to take.
"She called you that once when you didn't seem to recognize her." the General said looking at his daughter who was blushing.
"I called him my handsome lunkhead. And I was upset. It is not fair you told him. “Eri said looking at them sadly.
"Just another reason I have to protect her." Sandor said to her father.
9....Something’s up and the wedding...
Sandor had talked to her father about marrying her. They had plans in 6 months to wed. So her father could have a large wedding and all the trimmings. But strange things started happening.
Derek Wildstar was to be back with the Argo and there was a surge in the electronics that shorted many of the circuits out. Eri who was working with him daily was a puzzled as Sandor.
Then to because of Cassidy Eri kept getting invitations to join different ships. And It was after The Andromeda offered that Sandor went with Derek to the higher- ups.
Sandor looked upset and smiled at Eri as he came up. "Sandor now even the Andromeda wants me as Chief Engineer!" Eri said.
"I wish you wouldn't! Something strange is going on that serge was a message. I may have to leave on the Argo." Sandor said.
"Something strange? You might leave? How long Stephen Sandor?" Eri asked worried.
Sandor sat down pulling her to his lap. "It was a mysterious message about danger to the universe. And we are planning on going to check it out against the leaders’ wishes." Sandor said.
"I should go with you then." Eri said.
"I promised to protect you. If it is a danger beyond what The Gamilons were I don't want you in harm’s way. Stay here. Stay home on earth for me so I know you are safe." Sandor said.
"There is only one way that you can keep me here. One way that you can know I will do as asked." Eri said.
"What is that my dear." Sandor asked looking into her eyes.
"Marry me now! Today before you go. I will wait for you I will make sure to be right here when you get back." Eri said she was touching his cheek.
"Today! That sounds just right. I was going to wait at my home till I heard from Derek. Come now!" Sandor said leaning his head into her hand that was touching his face. Since the hospital stay she had added this touch to her motions she did for him.
They left early from their job and went to a justice of the peace. Knowing her father was one of the ones who was objecting to whatever Derek Wildstar had planned.
They had two days together. They paid no attention to anything else save each other. So when on that third morning Sandor woke to Derek's call he leaned in on her kissing her again. I will be at the docks I will tell you before I leave. Eri Sandor my girl,” Sandor said receiving a soft touch to his chest then his face.
They kissed and he left. Eri hacked the computer to find were the Argo was docked at. She had an idea come to her when worrying during the night and so she started work on it. When Sandor called he told her that they were to leave in 5 more hours she had just finished them.
Eri left Sandor's apartment now as his wife unknown to her father or any of their friends. She got to the docks and people were loading the Argo. Sandor came down the plank and came to her. "Eri! Is everything alright?" Sandor asked.
"Did you think I would let you leave without seeing you off? Plus I have a gift for you," Eri said pulling out a necklace with a small medallion on it.
She had two and he smiled at her. "This one is yours. See this light that is me. Mine has your life form reading on it. As long as it glows that green dot I am alive and ok. Same here as long as you are alive it will glow for me. One light for one life." Eri said.
Eri had taken a small hair sample of hers and placed it in the back of the one for him. "Now it scans for me. It will periodically check on me." Eri said.
She then reached up taking a little sample of his sideburn and placed it in the back of the one for her. "Now I have you. I will know if you are ok." Eri said touching his cheek softly again.
"I am certain I will be fine. But thank you," Sandor said.
"I know but it will comfort us to know we just have to touch it to know the life on the other end is our beloved's," Eri said.
Sandor took her to a secluded spot and leaned in kissing her.
"We will have a proper announcement about our marriage when I return. My little Eri." Sandor said his heart was full and warm and he knew as long as she waited for him that he would be happy he would make it back if he was the last man standing.
Eri had watched them take off and went to her apartment moving her things in Sandor's. She would look down at her necklace and smile at the light.
Sandor went to the observation deck after they took off. After the pressure had died down. He had only a moment to pull out his necklace and look at it and touch it. To his shock not one lite showed up but 2 two glowing green lights shined up at him.
"Eri?" he said surprised. One light one for her. Had he not seen her take the samples and then initiate it herself.
"Oh it failed! It somehow got corrupted!" Sandor said out loud sadly.
"What is wrong Sandor? What got corrupted." Nova asked. He had not heard her delicate footsteps coming up behind him.
"Ah, Nova! Eri gave this to me and it seems to be malfunctioning already." Sandor said showing it to her.
"It is a necklace with two green lights?" Nova said looking at it curiously.
"It is a life form detector this one is supposed to have one green light to show me she is alright." Sandor said.
"She calibrated hers to detect me so she knows I am ok." Sandor said leaning against the wall looking at it.
"She calibrated it to herself? How long ago?" Nova asked.
"Just before takeoff," Sandor said.
"Is there something you need to tell us?" Nova asked.
"We are married. I only had two days with her before we had to leave." Sandor said.
"You spent this morning with her? And you saw only one light at take off? It is not malfunctioning!" Nova said laughing.
"What do you mean? It has two lights." Sandor said.
"Think about it, Sandor! How can a woman be two people? Take note of this day. Use your logical mind." Nova laughed.
Sandor looked down at his necklace and smiled. Now there would be two to care for! Now He was twice as determined to protect The Argo and her crew and The Earth with its Two special people waiting for him.
"I suppose I will have to tell her father at least now." Sandor said.
"He doesn't know?" Nova asked.
"No it was the only way I could keep her from being a member of the Andromeda or Even the Argo where there is danger. She is home and safe. I will do my very best to keep her that way." Sandor said putting his necklace back on looking at it again smiling just before he slipped it into his collar to be seen by him only.
During this voyage during pivotal points he would check it and sigh relived when he saw the light. Like When the Andromeda met her end ramming the Comet Empire. He had got ill thinking she could have been in it if he had not married her. Then to when the Comet Empire had landed in the Ocean. And also then when they had taken off and were now firing on the earth. Eri's lights were still bright and he was comforted.
He was able to fight to protect earth this way no worries.
10. ..Eri meets Jordie Venture...
Eri had not worried till the Saturn battle. She looked at her necklace and it still shined. But she went to Earth force headquarters to see her father and find out about the Argo.
"You knew they were going to leave? I found out you married already! He called me."Her father said.
"So you see why I want to know where he is." Eri said.
"Well as it is we lost all the ships even the flag ship the Andromeda. We have no word from the Argo. We don't know if they are dead or alive." her father said.
"Alive I do believe. Look! At least Sandor is still alive and he is the chief engineer." Eri said showing him her necklace she had designed.
"You keep me appraised. Also you must move into the underground city till the trouble is over."Her father said.
"Ok I keep you appraised if it changes. I am glad now that no one feels that the Argo crew are traitors." Eri said.
To her shock her father uncharacteristically hugged her. She went away wondering what he was thinking.
It wasn't till they announced that they were surrendering to the Comet empire that Eri started moving a few things to the underground city. This was during the panic and she saw a little boy protect a little girl from the trampling crowd.
"Hello there brave little man. You did a good thing." Eri said.
"I am Jordie Venture. Can you tell me why they are so worried? Look how they are acting!" Jordie said.
"They are afraid. Fear does many bad things to people. You and I can be brave and help them like you did the little girl." Eri said.
"I just wished I knew if they were Ok. I mean the Argo. My brother is aboard her they will protect us." Jordie said with happy trusting eyes.
"Well you are Mark Venture’s brother. Nice to know you. I will show you something it may help you not to worry too much," Eri said pulling out her necklace.
Showing him the light she smiled. "That is Stephen Sandor. He is alive and that means the Argo has its engineer still. So she is still up there and running." Eri said.
"You know Sandor? Wow that is so cool." Jordie said.
"Yes he is my husband. Come my brave little man I would love to meet your parents." Eri said.
It was from this day that Jordie would be watching out for Eri. He was her constant companion. She would share all she knew with him. And when the comet empire lifted away she had him and his family come to the underground city with her for she felt something was going to happen. Something evil was going to happen.
Jordie and his family were comforted by her necklace to. Knowing if one person survived then hopes were Mark was among the survivors. It did when the comet empire destroyed part of the city above.
When the light lit the sky Eri checked it again and the light was still there. Then the call from the hospital ships came. "I will tell you all I know when I get back." Eri said.
11....Stephen Sandor… beloved husband, Eri Sandor adored wife...
Eri was afraid when she saw Stephen Sandor was on a hospital bed. But seeing it was just the bionic leg she relaxed. Eri had plans for new ones for him ones were even the toes where articulated and could wiggle. She had even worked on getting the sensors to feel more realistic sensations in them.
"Stephen!" Eri said.
"Eri my girl and hopefully daughter," Sandor said.
"Daughter?" Eri asked. She thought back to the last few mornings and her queasiness.
"Yes see!" Sandor said holding up the medallion with two lights on it.
"Hum works better than I thought! If it is a girl we name it after your sister. If it is a boy we can name it after my father." Eri smiled shyly and sadly.
For in the last ditch effort to destroy earth the comet empire had destroyed the Earth force headquarters. Her father had been there.
Sandor understood and held her tightly. He was so glad that she had stayed here and protected herself.
He knew now she would be ok if he ever had to leave again. And all he had to do was look on the locket.
Once the Argo landed and the full story was told. Sandor looked at Eri who was crying.
"What is it Eri?" He said curiously.
"It is love that saved us. Love for you saved you so long ago. Love for Venture saved earth. Nova's Love for Derek Made Desslok not to harm them and help save Earth. Love for Earth made all of Star Force to go out to protect earth. Love for us as humans is essential for life." Eri said.
"Eri! Love for you made me who I am today. You are my girl and I am the engineer and the man I am today for loving you. You saved me from death and then later from loneliness. And with this you made it so I could do my job knowing you were ok." Sandor said.
There announcement of the marriage and the reception was one of many news worthy events that day.
And Though Sandor goes off from time to time with the crew of the Argo he always is aware of his Eri. He will always come back to her and she will always be waiting for him. They will spend many happy hours together after this.
Neither time or space can remove the love and affection they have for one another. Little do they know that in a short time they will have Alex Wildstar's daughter to raise and care for along with their son Hero Tatsuo Sandor….