INVASION

Author: Karl
Rating: PG - 13 (Moderate violence/langage)
Notes: I would suggest reading Passage. It is where Ulric Selton is introduced. If you read Passage a long time ago you might want to go back and reread it I have added a few new pictures and the story has been cleaned up a bit. <G> Thanks Karl (6-01-01)
Summary: Memories from the Aurora chair give John a chance to go home, but will he have a home to return to?
Part: | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 |
 

Part VI
Chapter 2, Return to Earth

I Have a Plan

John rose and placed Enra’s lifeless hand back at her side. He looked tiredly at Zhaan and Aeryn, feeling as if his last hope of going home was about to evaporate. "Assemble the troops, I have a plan." He walked from the apothecary without looking back.

Chiana and D’Argo were first to arrive in Pilot's den. "What’s going on Pilot?" D'Argo grumbled. "Couldn't this wait ‘til the morning?"

John walked in to the Pilot’s den behind them. "Sorry, my friends, I have no time to waste."

A smile bloomed on Chiana's face as he entered, "Glad to see you’re back on your feet, Crichton." Her head rotated away from him so she could only see him out of the corner of one eye. "So…what’s going on?"

"Thanks, Chi," John said in a monotone. "Chi, can you make sure Jack doesn't come down here? I got a couple of questions for Pilot and I don't want him overhearing them."

Chiana was about to burst into protest when she caught Ka D'Argo’s stare. "This is one of those times, isn't it?" she smiled at the big Luxan. "Remember? I listen without a question only once a cycle."

"Thanks, Pip." John brushed past her and continued, "Pilot, when was the last time Moya communicated with Talyn?"

"She had…When we were…" Pilot turned away from John’s stare and nervously dropped his eyes to the console, "Why do you ask, Commander?" He looked apprehensively toward the access hatch as Ulric entered with Zhaan and Aeryn at his heels

As John glared at Pilot, the simmering anger that had been with him for almost a quarter of a cycle slowly came to the surface once more. Through clenched jaws he spat, "Answer my question, Pilot."

"Tell him, Pilot," Ulric moved up past the others, "He deserves to know."

"I don’t need your help, Ulric!" John spun around to face the former PK. In his anger, his hand brushed against his gun as if he was prepared to draw the weapon on this ally. John was startled by his own actions and he raised his hand from his holster to look at it. "What the hell…" He looked back at Ulric, who maintained such a cool stare that it shamed him.

John looked back at his hand. "I really have changed," he said in a startled tone. As soon as he uttered those words, the mindless rage slipped away. Something was going on that John couldn’t explain, it seemed as if he had no control over his feelings "Ulric… I’m sorry. I could use your help." John looked at all of them, this group of friends he had fought with for almost five cycles. "I will need all of your help."

John turned and looked at each of them as he spoke. "Enra unlocked the message from my dad, er- the alien that looked like my dad. "If I go back to the exit point…" he said in an almost dream like state. They all noticed the odd change in his tone as he said the words.

Aeryn stood at the rear of the small group. She was weary of this. Something in her head told her this was wrong, she knew on an instinctual level that John was wrong. She was about to interrupt when she questioned herself, Do you not believe him or do you WISH not to believe him. Mired in her own thoughts, she remained quiet.

John's voice seemed lighter then it had been in a long time. "Please, Pilot, when was the last time Moya…"

Pilot looked at Ulric, then back at John. "Moya has a…Moya is in contact whenever she pleases… They…they have a form of communication that..." Pilot looked down, once again ashamed that he had violated the covenant between him and Moya yet again. As Pilot opened his mind to her, he was surprised by her response. Moya approved of his acknowledgment of this highest of secrets! Pilot felt a wave of reassurance emitting from her that filled him. Thank you, Moya.

D’Argo stepped up next to John and his deep gravelly voice echoed in the pilot's den, "I don't see what this has to do with you getting home. What’s your frelling plan?"

John smiled and punched the big Luxan in the shoulder at D'Argo, "That’s my man, D'Argo, right down to business.!"

D’Argo looked at John, a smile creeping onto his face – he had almost forgotten this John Crichton.

"OK, he said the key is to return to the exit point. Return to where I entered your space. Drum role please please…you see, the wormhole is still there."

Aeryn, who was still battling the strange feeling that had assaulted her, finally spoke., "How can you trust him. I mean after all he did to us…To you…"

John laughed slightly, tapping the side of his head as he spoke, "I have seen it, Enra released the message.."

D'Argo's temper flared asnd he shifted in his stance., "What does Talyn have to do with any of this?"

John smiled at his old friend., "Moya couldn’t get me that deep into PK territory. But Talyn could."

"John, you could use my Marauder. It wouldn’t be that difficult to…" Ulric knew that it would be dangerous, but he had done it before and felt confident that he could do it again.

"I thought of that already, Ulric. The problem is, it's not big enough. No, I need somethin-big., Ssomethin-really big. Big enough to hold my module." John turned back to the others, his eyes locked on Aeryn’s.

Aeryn spoke the name aloud, "Talyn"

John laughed slightly., "Ding! Ding! Ding! Ms. Sun wins! Talyn can easily hold my module, get in and get out with out a hitch. And he could kick some butt along the way, too, if he so chooses."

Just the suggestion was like fire running though Aeryn’s veins., "John, you can't just take Talyn… He is not…"

As if ignoring her words, John broke his stair from hers. "Pilot, can you project the system where we.. …" He chuckled again, "where you escaped from the convoy?"

"Yes." As the projection filled the room John walked through the image to the system where they had made theire escape so long ago. As john walked, he spoke., "Space, the final frontier. These are the voyages…" He came to a stop at the system he sought. Small yellow star, seven planets, with three prominent asteroid belts. He looked at the PK hieroglyphs that floated over the system. and it took a second for the translator to transform the holographic pictograms into English letters invetro. John looked stunned as he read the name allowedaloud. "Drathor Prime!"

Long distance Distance Call

Narra walked across the large central court of theire new home. The citadel was still over a quarter cycle from completion., but it even in its uncompleted state it was a marvel to behold. She stood near the center and looked up. Far above her, the Trinneluim dome protected them from aerial attack. They would never know where to look for us…She hoped. From the surface, the dome had been planted with indigenous ground cover. Their burrow was safe. The Trinneluim dome of the citadel also shielded theretheir EM emissions. No, they were safe here in the citadel, for now... The citadel was unlike any construction made on Casival. There, towers of stone, glass and biostructures touched the sky. But for a race now hunted, underground was the only safe places. The citadel was a huge inverted cone. It had a spiral thoroughfare that slowly climbed the walls of the cone to a circular road that met the large arms that supported the dome. Hanging off of this thoroughfare were shops and homes grown from the biomass generators. The organic look of the buildings was transforming the interior of the Citadel into what Narra mused as were some type of huge insect hives. She enjoyed coming out this late at night when none but the sentries were out. Narra glanced at her kronos, "Frell!" Her little jaunt was going to make her miss the hyperlink with the Castra. She ran quickly from the courtyard back to the bunkers that housed the command station.

Hyperlinks with the Castra were dangerous and unstable. A tight beam linked the small world to the partially living warship. Narra sat at her desk as two techs tried to lock on the small signal.

She heard his voice before the image appeared. "By the Gods, Narra, you are a sight for sore eyes.," Gorran said affectionately.

She blushed slightly as his image finally correlated coalesced on the projector. Narra was stunned by his image. Gorran sat at his station with his first and second behind him. They were dressed in imperial uniforms. The black with the red garnet of her imperial seal. "Where did you get those!" Looking at them dressed so formally, she felt the pangs of for home looking at them dressed so formally…

Gorran straightened slightly. He had gotten used to the loose fitting work clothes they had made during theretheir flee from Casival. "Chancellor Kyev Narra Borhon, I wish to report that the Defender, Castra, is repaired and we are on a course that will intersect with you in less then three weekens.

Narra composed herself. "Gorran, where did you get those uniforms?"

"When we stopped at Commerce planet 189-990-002, we discovered seven cargo barges in orbit, each filled with all sorts of things from Casival. It would appear the PKs haven't kept raiders from pillaging our world. He looked sheepishly at Petra then, trying to hide his guilty grin. "We produced procured what we could carry here on the Castra."

"I see… "Narra smiled and looked past him at toward the grinning first officer. "Did you? She shifted back in her chair. "I hope you were able to procure something of value?" Her smile widened, "besides the pretty uniforms."

"Yes, Madame Chancellor." Gorran raised his data tablet and read off a list of Medical medical supplies, Data fibers and assorted Casival trinkets." Gorran paused for dramatic effect. " …And seventeen volumes of The Toll."

Narra shifted back in her chair as if Gorran’s words had physically pushed her. "By the gods!" The Toll consisted of twenty two volumes of the written history of Casival, each volume covered covering a thousand cycles. A treasure they had all thought lost.

"How…" Narra found it hard to find her voice speak.. "Why, it’s priceless…"

Gorran became somber. "Only to us, Narra. " He broke his gaze of the beautiful woman. "The PKs would have no use for any of it. It’s alien to them."

Trenton interrupted Gorran,. "Madam Chancellor, there is one other gift the captain has been reticent to share." Gorran shot Trenton a disapproving glance. Trenton ignored the prod and activated the recorded data fiber. "This is the greatest gift we return with…" The images were of the PK ship closing in on them, and. Narra was speechless as she watched as the Nulshift weapon destroyed the Peacekeeper Cruiser.

Gorran turned his view eyes back to Narra., "I was going to wait untill our return before telling you. We had no choice, we didn’t want them following use back…"

Narra raised her hand toward his image. "Not necessary, Starric Gorran Reht. I will share this image with the rest." She lowered her head in respect. When she raised it again, Gorran saw it for just an instant. The sorrow that filled her eyes. As if conscious of his detection, she cast her stairstare away from the screen. "Safe journey to you and to your magnificent crew."

"Thank you, madam Madam Chancellor. On behalf of…" She cut the transmission. "Leave me.," she spoke said softly to the technicians that who had been present during the transmission.

Narra sat at her desk looking at the blank projector, the haunting images of the PK ship being annihilated by the Castra played over and over again and again in her head. It struck a sour chord., she, like all, wanted vengeance, but at what cost? Their survival was tenuous at best. She stood up from her desk "No, we will not become what our enemy is." We will fight, but not today. Narra needed to know that her people were safe before any thoughts of retaliation were even entertained. She quickly started to write.

We stand on the edge of extinction. By our actions in this time of uncertainty we will decide our fate. She did not hear Tau enter her chamber.

"So, I have heard the glorious news, Narra." He heard the sounds of her frantically writing franticly. "What are you doing?"

She placed the writing crystal down and looked at the haggard old blind man,. "I am writing a speech for tomorrow."

"Good. We will need the support of all the support for the retaliation." A slim smile came to her advisor.

"No, Tau. , We we are not going to retaliate further."

"What!" The anger boiled up in his throat.

"Silence!" Narra stood from her desk. "We will hide here for as long as we can. We will work to make sure this place is safe for our children. That is what we are going to do. "

"But Narra…

"Starric Tau Reht, if you are unwilling to follow my rule, I will find another advisor. There are others of the Clan Starric that who would be willing to take your place at my side." Narra fought to maintain her cool tone. "These are desperate times, Tau, I will not allow us to become extinct in the name of vengeance! Now leave me." She watched as the old man turned and exited, then . Narra looked down at what she had written. She had never felt so alone in her life…

***

Barbara walked across the large central court of the Rose Garden., the White House looming behind her. She stood in the center of the garden and looked up. Far above her, the two astronauts were preparing to for an attempt to generateing a wormhole. She looked at her watch, "SHIT!" If she didn't hurry she would miss her chance to talk to them. She ran quickly back up the path towards the White House. She heard the sound of the her two personal agents running up after her. Stopping in her tracks, she and turned back to her guards. , "Its OK, boys, I didn't realize the time. I got have to make a quick phone call,. so you can disappear back into the woodwork." She shot them a brief grin and headed for her office.

DK looked up from his tablet,. "Look, if you don't get the temp down in the sensor pack, we could fly straight through the freaking wormhole and not even know it…"

"Hell, its not like I’m asking you to get it to absolute Zero or anything."

The tired voice from ConCom of the Sagan Interferometer answered., "Yes, sir, we will see what we can do."

DK smiled at Barry, who just rolled his eyes and muttered something about physicists.

Ray’s voice broke the unusual silence,. "OK, boys, watch your language. You have a special call coming in."

Barry looked back at DK, his shoulder shrug was lost in the heavy P suits. There was a moment of static, then they heard her. , "Just give me the damn mic, I can hold it myself. What! What’s on? Oh… Barry, DK, are you there?"

Barry tried to stifle a laugh. , "Yes, Barb… Madam President, we are here."

"So its time… I hope you get some useful information from this little test drive. So how many probes are you going to send through?"

Barry rolled his eyes at her question. , "Four, Madam President. Each one will enter the Crichton anomaly Anomaly and will record what they can. then they will fire their solids to get them back Hopefully in one piece…"

"I don't even want to know what each of them cost."

Barry’s smile widened,. "They are merely altered weather satellites, but they still come with a healthy price tag."

"Enough about work…" Trying to sound as cheery as she could. , "DK, I had a wonderful time with your wife and kids. They are going to stay here with me for a few days. I love having the little ones running around here. Makes this place seem alive."

"Thank you Madam Pre…"

"Cut it, DK, let's drop the formalities, shall we."

"Thank you, Barbara."

"Barry, I have a box of Cubans waiting for you when you get back."

"Barbara, isn't that still considered illegal contraband?" He he laughed.

"So sue me!" She she laughed sickly. She knew her political career was crashing down around her. "One more thing. I promised the board of Columbia Space Lines that when all this is over, they would be getting ALL SIX space planes back with out a scratch. Boys, you understand? Barry, I will hold you personally responsible. With… Oout…A… Scratch!"

"Hell, if this works, Madam president President, I will pay for a full tank of gas for one of these babies."

Barbara laughed. , "Ya sure, Barry., I know what you get paid by the IASA."

"OK, boys, I have talked enough. Please be safe…"

"Thank you, Barbara,." Barry and DK said in unison."

"OK, boys, back to systems check." Ray’s voice was a sharp change from the boisterous, booming voice of the first female President of the United States.

Barbara sat back in her chair she and called for Bob to join her. she didn't want to be alone when they tried to reform the anomaly. She was always good at making light of a situation at the most dire of times, and for the few who knew, this was possible probably one of those times. But was it? Could it be possible that they we're were wrong about the beings that who looked some much like us? Hell, this ain't no star Star Trek, this is real. Maybe the Peacekeepers were as their name suggested. No! Her eyes glossed over. She had been listening to Barry too much. She had seen all the records from the ISS. No, they were not here as friends. She heard the sounds of Bob in the outer offices and quickly composed herself.

She scribbled a note quickly… We are on the edge of a great abyss. Not since the Cuban Missile Crisis has humanity faced such uncertainty. The unknown of what lays lies ahead of us can either destroy us or sharpen our resolve as human beings to fight. Fight for our future, not as a nation, but as a race…

Bob moved up closer to her desk he and repeated the question., "What are you doing, Barbara? Writing with a pen? I don't remember you ever doing that." He chuckled as he folded his arms and sat on the corner of the couch., "It must be important?"

She did not look up. "If this does work and we can use the Crichton anomaly as a weapon, and if they are returning to invade, I want to have my Declaration of War ready."

Bob smiled nervously at her. "Well, aren't we in positive spirits today."

Call to the wild

"You said my father destroyed Drathor Prime.." John spat as he looked at the former Peacekeeper. He sensed the slightest hesitation in Ulric’s poker face. John’s anger started to rise again.

"Yes, he did. It had nothing to do with the wormhole. It was like I said, the Progenitors, the Builders, had a structure there that the Peacekeepers were studying."

Ulric’s mind raced as he calculated the best way of lying to these people. These friends. He heard Enra’s words you’re getting soft in your old age, Uli… Ulric broke John’s stair he and stepped up to the base of Pilot’s enormous console. "Pilot, the anomaly that John's craft generated, was it fixed? Did it have a fixed position?"

"If you mean did it hold to the norms of relativity, no. That’s how it was so easily detected. Each time we have witnessed one, they all have the same traits. They fluctuate in space-time."

"Each time?" Ulric looked back at John.

"It's a long story. What are you trying to say, Ulric. This megablast bomb my dad used to… What did you say? Remove an entire system?… would not effect the wormhole?" John Scoffed scoffed at the concept.

"Well, you see it wasn’t really and explosive. It shifted all matter from this space-time to ah… Elsewhere? The real violence happens as space-time tries to fill the void left by the detonation." Ulric smiled uncomfortably at them.

Pilot interrupted. "John, you know the aperture is temporally fluid. It's only anchored when the aperture of the event horizon is open. Like when you flew through it. If this device was detonated while the aperture was closed, it should have no effect on the anomaly."

"Thanks, Einstein… So what you’re saying is that there is a chance that the wormhole is still there."

"Yes!" From Pilot and Ulric in unison. Chiana walked in behind the group. She had left Jack to play on the command tier. She had been tried to follow what was going on over her com. She stood next to Aeryn and smiled at her,. "So what’d I miss?"

Aeryn did not look at Chianna. "Crichton’s trying to get himself killed…Again, and Ulric is trying to figure out a way to kill us all, and Talyn as well."

"I guess I missed a dren load,." She chirped as she tried to follow their conversation. Chiana could not help notice the ear to ear smile on John's face. The smile gave her a slow simmering sadness she realized that, for all his trying, he might really be leaving them.

"So it might still be there!" John slapped Ulric on the back. An act that Ulric remembered Jack doing on occasion, and an act that Ulric had always hated.

"Yes, John, now all we need is to get Talyn to agree to your plan." Ulric looked back at Aeryn. He had noticed her baleful stare earlier. , "Aeryn, do you have something to add?"

"Yes, Ulric," she stepped forward, past Zhaan and D’Argo. "How do you know he will want to help?

Ulric was surprised by the question. In all the time he had known of his ability, he never questioned whether a biomech would offer help. It was in many ways their downfall. " All we need is to have Moya ask him. She is his mother, correct?"

As he spoke, Aeryn’s baleful stare turned to a smug smile. " He is nothing like the others. They have always treated him as an alien, an outsider. He follows none of their rules."

"But Aeryn, he’s a Biomechanoid.

Pilot uncharacteristically interrupted their banter. "This is all pointless, Moya will not ask Talyn to help. She feels it is too dangerous." Pilot turned to face John. He understood the disappointment that John was facing. "I am sorry, John… I have to agree with her. Talyn is still too young to chance traveling that so deep into Peacekeeper territory."

John looked up at his friend, he had to swallow hard against the lump that was growing in his throat." I understand, Pilot." John bit his lower lip, he felt the bile churning in his stomach, John turned to leave the pilot’s den. He did not look up at his friends; he didn’t want nor did he need their pity. John knew this slim chance of ever getting home had evaporated in front of him.

"Wait, John!" Ulric smiled slightly as he turned to pilot. "Pilot, I think the decision should be Talyn’s, not Moya’s."

Pilot looked at Ulric,. "Moya has made her decision."

Ulric stepped back form the pilot's console. , "If she is not willing to at least ask Talyn, then I will."

"Enra said that direct communication was dangerous." Zhaan grabbed Ulric’s elbow. He pulled from her grasp, "This is important."

John stepped towards him. "Look, Ulric, we will find another way. You don’t need to do this."

Ulric raised his hand as he closed his eyes. "Your father could never stop me." He he smiles smiled at the poor human. , "Neither will you."

Aeryn was next to react to what see she was witnessing. "Ulric, stop. I am warning you, leave Talyn out of this." She pulled her pulse gun from the holster and she raised it to fire. Aeryn felt the sting on her neck as blackness descended on her. D’Argo caught the limp body of Aeryn Sun as she fell unconscious. He looked at Chiana like a guilty child. Chi laughed slightly,. "You are not sleeping in my bed tonight! when she wakes she is going to hunt you down and I don’t want to be there when she does."

 

Ulric called. He felt Talyn’s presence almost immediately and he collected his thoughts. Help… Talyn… Return… Family… home. Ulric knew that Talyn got the message and he descended deeper into the link. He tried again friends… help… Moya’s friends a child lost… Go home Ulric was about to start again when the response tore through his mind like wild fire.

Ulric stood in front of them and John stepped closer. He looked back at D’Argo holding the lifeless body of Aeryn’s. "She’s gonna be pissed that you did that, big guy. He shot the Luxan a guilty smile,. "But thanks!" John turned his attention to pilot. "Pilot, can you detect anything?"

When Pilot looked at John, the hollow sadness in his eyes was startling. "No, I don’t have that gift.." It is a talent. only Pilots who have been bonded for a long time are able to hear. It is a communion that I doubt Moya will ever allow considering the way we were joined."

"What about Moya, can she listen in?" Chiana asked." I mean, it is her son. Why don’t you...:

In the violent colors of blues and reds, the simple response NO! was all it took to stop Ulric. Talyn found it strange that he regretted this defensive action, but he was not like the others and wanted nothing to do with this strange being.

Ulric suddenly tensed. His hands clenched as his head shot back. His reaction startled all of them. John grabbed Ulric as his stiff body started to topple and. Zhaan moved to help John him lower Ulric’s body to the floor. Blood still trickled from Ulric’s noise and right ear.

We Are Alike, Jack, You and I

Jack was sitting on the floor in front of the central projector on the command tier. He heard his father call to the staring one. Jack was had been aware of Talyn for a few cycles, but he would never sing. It seemed strange to Jack that he didn’t.

Jack was becoming aware of his dad’s messages Why don’t you just ask, daddy? Why send feelings? Jacks wondered why his father communicated that way. He had no idea that that was the limitations to of his ability. Only when Jack was much older would he realize his father’s limitations and the consequences on his body.

NO!

The return message from Talyn shot through Jack’s mind as well as the violent color he had never witnessed with any of the others. "Ouch!" Hey! What was that for? Jack responded.

Talyn for the first time responded to Jack’s inquiry, Who are you? Jack felt there was more than one that he was speaking to.

I am Jack Selton. I've tried to call to you before, but you would not sing to me.

I don’t sing.

Why? Jack had to close his eyes and concentrate. Talyn was not like the others, it was difficult to maintain a link.

It is their way, not mine. Your are the child of the speaker?

Who’s the speaker?

One called Ulric.

Yes, that is my dad.

You are a Peacekeeper? Jack sensed excitement in his voice and the colors of the communication changed as well. Jack noticed an easing in his link to the strange creature.

I am not a Peacekeeper! Jack took the question as an insult.

You are Sebacean?

Yes! Well… My dad is, my mom is Vladic. I don’t understand…

Jack felt warmth from Talyn for the first time. The colors of the message changed as well and he felt far more like the other Leviathans that he knew. We are alike, Jack, you and I.

I don’t understand, Talyn, what’s going on? For the first time, Jack was scared by his communication with one of them.

You don’t understand now but you will someday. There was an eerie silence in the link. I am sorry, Jack. We-I do not speak to the others, his request was inappropriate.

Jack’s eyes shot open as he felt Talyn’s sadness. What did you do! Jack looked up to the ceiling of the command tier. "What did you do!" There was no response – the link was severed. Jack jumped up from the floor and headed for Pilot’s Den.

A Child Returns

Jack found them running down the tier toward Zhaan’s room where mom was still sleeping. D’Argo and John were carrying Dad. Seeing Dad like this shot fear into Jack’s heart and he called out to his father in terror.. Chiana ran to the small boy and scooped him up in her arms. She tried to comfort Jack as he struggled, but he wanted his father. She held him tight as his struggles waned to sobs as they headed to the central chamber. She tried singing a song she remembered that her brother sang to her when they first escaped Nebari. The boy’s tense limbs relaxed slightly and his sobs for his dad faded. He looked up at Chiana., "Where did you learn that song?"

Chiana was surprised by the question. "What… its just something my brothers use to sing to me when I was sad."

"It’s a lineage song of them."

"Who?" Chiana knew, but had to ask anyway.

"My friends.," Jack touched the floor of the central chamber.

Chiana, for the first time in her life, was speechless.

***

Zhaan looked up at them from the MediScan readings. "This appears to be a common side effect of his linking with them." She pointed to a small device planted deep in his brain. "Some one has set up a bypass system it that elevated the cerebral pressure. It would appear that it stopped a catastrophic embolism."

"Tarf!" Ulric spat as he tried to sit up.

Zhaan's hand easily kept him on the bed.

Aeryn moved up to the bed,. "Devon Tarf?"

"Yes." Ulric tried to open his eyes, but as he did the pounding hammer in his head grew more painful.

She turned back to John. "He is…or was the personal physician to Bialar." She turned back to him suspiciously,. " How is it that you knew Tarf?"

"I have known Tarf for many years." "Ulric laughed slightly,. "I was good friends with…" Ulric raised to one elbow and opened his eyes. Again the pounding in his head got worse. Ulric focused on John. "I was good friends with Tauvo Crais." He smiled slightly at John's dead stare. "As your father use to say, It’s a small world after all."

A chill ran down John’s spine, old pain resurfaced like a familiar n old traveling companion,. Guilt long forgotten returned. "Ulric, it was an accident!" John said quietly.

Ulric laid back down. he was tired and he wanted to rest. "I know, my friend, and deep down Bialar knows as well." Ulric opened his eyes again. "Where's Jack? I want to see him."

 

 Regret

 

    What is it?

    Nothing

    Don’t tell me you are effected affected by that child?.

    Enough!

    Talyn, you can not be led by your heart. You are too strong than to be swayed…

    Enough!

Bialar doubled over in pain as the second warning slowly eased in his mind, "What was that?" He stood and looked back at the central node. "Talyn, Answer me…"

Bialar looked about the command area. Everything was normal and he stepped back into the central cortex. Talyn you have come so far. I don't understand, what did that child say to you? Bialar never trusted Talyn when he would block personal communication from their link. It added a level of uncertainty in his training. Talyn would commune with Moya for days and Bialar would have no idea what they were discussing.

    I regret my actions.

    No, you told Ulric that you would not help him. I don't see…

    I did more…

    What did you do?

    I did as you would do, Bialar. I reacted to him. I stopped him. I know regret that action.

    Bialar stepped from the central cortex. "Talyn, you are not considering helping them?"

    Bialar Crais, I feel you are no longer needed as my tutor. I fear my selection of the bond of friendship was in error.

    "Talyn! You listen to me!" The pain from the base of Bialar's neck spread through his entire body. As he slipped from consciousness he heard…

    I am done listening to you… The large Biomechanoid battleship changed course for her. He sang openly for the first time. He listened, and heard his mothers song. Talyn was heading home for the first time.

***

Chianna’s com chirped to life. Zhaan’s cool voice filled the command tier, "Chiana, I have a patient here that who wishes to see Jack." Zhaan’s muffed laugh brought a smile to Jack’s face. "Where's my boy!" asked his father in the background.

Jack jumped to his feet and sprinted toward Zhaan's room. He was half way there when he heard him, his song stopped Jack in his tracks. "Talyn!" Jack listened closer. "Waaahoo!" Jack ran even faster. "He's coming, Dad, you did it! He's coming to help…" He ran into Zhaan’s room where his father, still bloody, was sitting up on a bed. Jack fell into his arms. Jack was out of breath and speaking a metra a microt.

Ulric cradled his son. He squeezed his eyes shut How could he I have been so foolish to do that and almost leave you alone. Enra's words haunted him again Think, Uli! You are no longer a Peacekeeper soldier, you are a father!

Ulric realized that Jack was all excited about something, but he could make no sense of what he was saying. "Slow down, son, what is it?"

Jack stopped talking and he looked up into his fathers eyes. Jack had never seen this before. The boy placed his hand on his fathers cheek,. "Dad, you're crying?"

"Its ok, son. I am just glad to see you…" Ulric looked up at the others. John was red faced and looked close to tears himself. But it was Aeryn who was most shocking to view. Her eyes were puffy and overflowing with tears. Ulric tilted his head slightly, "More cracks in the Peacekeeper armor, Ms. Sun?."

Aeryn's mouth opened she searched for the words and found none. Jack interrupted "Dad! It’s Talyn! He's coming…"

They all looked at the small boy. Pilot’s image appeared in the clamshell at the far end of the room. "Moya has just informed me that Talyn is on his way here?" It was obvious that Pilot himself questioned the message himself.

John beamed at the news. "Thank you, Ulric."

"Don't thank me." Ulric looked down at his son again,. "I think this is more Jack’s doing then than mine."

John dropped down next to the young boy. John and looked into his haunting green eyes. "Thank you Dasvalla Jack Selton."

Part 6

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