The stringy green clouds streamed by at an almost unnatural speed in the dull yellow sky. It was evening, and the planet's binary suns were descending. One sun had already set halfway over the horizon, the other sat in the top, left corner of it. It was very windy-a storm was blowing in, along with a cold front.
Trystan Wolsey was lying on the top of the hull of the ship she and Michael shared. One of her legs was bent up, the knee pointing straight up into the sky. Trystan stared into the sky, her mind lost-wondering. She was dressed in all black, for she was Gothic. She had a shiny, leather jacket on that stuck tight to her with tight, black leather gloves-and, of course, matching pants. She wore a black trench coat over it. Her hands lied rest on her stomach. Her dyed red hair was spread out over the hull like a spider web. The immense cloud that hid the setting suns from view over the frozen sea that made the horizon shadowed her milky-white skin.
She was indeed in deep thought.
As the clouds began to move out of the way and a clearing was made in the sky above her, she began to see the stars. The first of the planet's binary suns had set completely, the other beginning to.
The wind was blowing against Trystan's right side. It was blowing so hard, it began to blow her trench coat over her body. She moved one of her hands over it and flattened it back out over the hull. She kept it there to make sure it didn't blow over again.
She turned her head and looked into the wind.
There was an aura of sadness about her. She was a tough person when she wanted to be, but inside she was a scared, lonely little girl-though she was 23 years old. She and Michael were the only two on that ship. It was big enough to support a crew of three hundred, and it was unusual for a citizen to posses such a ship of size, but her and Michael had pooled their money together to buy it.
It was a refit version of the Selene class starship-the Orion class 21A. In a way, both Trystan and Michael had named it. Trystan had decided to call it Wolsifier, as was painted on the hull. But Michael had come up with the name. A couple years back, he had added the word "fire" to Trystan's last name, only he took out a letter or two, and switched the R with the E in "fire". So Michael always called Trystan Wolsifier, and Trystan liked it so much she named the ship after it.
It was a fine ship, the Wolsifier. One of the best in design out of the Terran Space Force (T.S.F.) construction yards. It was also one of the few ships classes that was constructed with the hardest metal found in the known galaxy, a polycarbon aluminum alloy. Trystan had made sure they got a ship with it because it's the only blue colored hull plating they use. Most of the starships in construction used the basic silver hull plating.
Trystan very much loved her ship; she held it close to her like a mother would a child.
She heard Michael's footstep along the hull, but looked as if she didn't. She still stared into the wind, her mind lost within it.
He stopped, looking down on her.
She still pretended not to notice him.
"You plan on lying out here during our trip through space?" he teased. "If you do, I'd advise putting on a suit at least."
She remained motionless.
"Will you lye with me?" she said passionately.
Michael looked confused. "Lye with you?"
Now she looked up at him. She grabbed his hand and pulled herself up with it, but she still held it when she was up. She leaned in close to him, her eyes locked in his.
Michael still looked as confused as ever.
Then Trystan kissed him. And kissed. And kissed. And, after kissing, they kissed some more.
That evening, they made love for the first time on the hull of the Wolsifier.

Michael found Trystan sitting in the pilot seat on the bridge. They had slept together in Michael's bed that night. Trystan had gotten up before him. She had taken a shower in her own quarters afterward then came to the bridge. They had meant to leave last night, but...never got the chance.
Trystan was sitting balled up in the black leather chair with it turned facing left.
"Good morning," he said.
Trystan said nothing, she simply looked at him with a slight smile. She turned in her seat around to face the console and flipped a few switches. "We need to go. I have a meeting with the assistant director of my department at 3 this afternoon."
"And it's 7:32AM," he said looking at his watch. "We have plenty of time."
"I don't care, let's go." She got up and headed out the door.
"Where are you going?" he asked.
"I have to reinitiate the antimatter reactors in the engine room. I shut them off when we landed to conserve energy."
"All right," he said. "I'll be up here."



The engine room was dark. The only light was emanated from the tachyatic fluid in the containment core-it shined a bright, lime green light. Trystan tried switching the lights on, but they wouldn't. "Damn lights," she whispered.
She left the door open and used the light from the hallway to find a computer and turn it on. When she did, light emanated from it, which she used to see the controls on the reactor control consoles. When she reinitiated them, the lights came on around the containment core, brightening the room.
She began to head back out but out of the corner of her eye she thought she saw something move. When she looked behind her she felt her heart sink when she saw the shadow. Someone was in the system analysis bay behind the main computer controls and next to the containment core.
"Who are you?" called out Trystan. She started to walk slowly toward it.
There was no answer, but the shadow remained.
"Who the fuck is there?" she was getting impatient.
Still no answer.
When she made her way around the corner and looked into the bay where the person should be standing, she saw nothing. "What the hell?" She looked at the wall again, the shadow was still there, moving even, but when she looked in the spot where the person should be, there was nothing.
When she looked back at the shadow on the wall again it had brought up its arm and looked at it as if looking at a watch then turned and ran out of the light. It was gone.
Trystan stood there confused, her mouth gaping. She closed her eyes tightly and shook her head. "You're loosing it-I'm such a dumbass," she said and left, forgetting anything had ever happened.



The Wolsifier's engines came roaring on, instantly melting the snow beneath them and charring the ground. The Reaction Control Thrusters came online and started to push the ship up from the ground. It hovered for a moment, then, slowly, moved forward over the glaciers and snowy hills until rising and ascending into the air as fast and elegantly as a peregrine falcon.
Trystan and Michael sat on the bridge, both at the forward consoles just under the viewing window. Trystan was on the left console. Their hands were dancing over the controls, piloting the ship.
"Autopilot engaged," said Michael. "We've cleared the atmosphere." They both took a moment to look up from the controls to the viewing window to see the stars.
"You buckled up?" he asked her.
"Yep."
"Entering the Tachyon Field," he warned. Suddenly the ship jerked violently. The stars in the viewer had been replaced with an almost fluidic-like, lime green tunnel, streams of energy flowing by as the ship flew through the Tachyon Field.
"Well, that's it," said Michael unraveling the buckle from his seat and standing up. Trystan did the same.
"I'll be in my room," she said flatly and headed toward the door, but she didn't make it.
"Wait," said Michael. "Don't you want to hang out, talk, play some games, or...something?"
She stopped and gave him one quick look. "No." She turned and headed for the door again.
"But I thought-," he began.
"Look," she snapped. "I just want some time alone, is that all fucking right with you?"
Michael was a bit taken back. He was used to her getting angry at him because he loved annoying her so much, but he'd never seen her snap at him like that. He finally managed to stutter, "Sure. Whatever, I'm sorry."
She said nothing and walked out the door. Michael looked at the ground, sighed, and fell into the chair at the armament control console.
He had put his elbow on the console and put his head in his hand. Then he happened to look up out the viewer and saw it. It was some sort of black shape ahead of them, slowly growing bigger. "What the hell?" he said getting up and moving closer to the window. This was highly irregular because it was proposed that ships shouldn't be able to run into each other while in the tachyon field.
Michael squinted hard on it. It looked almost like a shadow, pure black, no hull markings, no color, nothing. Then a blue blast of energy shot from the center of it directly at the Wolsifier. When it hit, the ship shook violently. Michael was thrown to the ground hard, hitting his head. He had one breath left in him to open his eyes once more, when he did, all he could see was a horribly bright, white light shining through the window.
Then...darkness.

Trystan opened her eyes only to look straight into a puddle of blood. She gasped and jumped back for a moment. She was lying face down on the floor in an elevator. She had been on her way to her quarters when the ship had shaken and thrown her to the floor causing her to loose consciousness.
She got up very disturbed by the blood. She rubbed her hand on the gash on the top right of her forehead. She noticed the blood on her hands. The gash burned with pain. She had assessed that she had hit her head on the wall when the ship shook...the ship, what had happened? She was anxious.
She spied the elevator controls and punched the button to take her back to level one where the bridge was. She sighed for a moment as the she felt the elevator start to rise, her arms crossed over her chest. She ran her hand through her long, shimmering red hair and rubbed her pale face to check for anymore bruises.
The elevator finally reached level one and Trystan flew out into the hallway without a moment's hesitation. She quickly stomped her way through the hallway. Ahead of her was a robot drone making its way slowly down the opposite direction. When Trystan got to it she shoved it out of her way into a wall and it got one of those humorous- looking confused robot looks as she paid it no attention.
When she entered the bridge she found Michael lying on the floor unconscious. She stopped, annoyed, and sighed. She put her hands up on her hips in front of her trench coat and stared down at him. She kicked him in the side of his stomach with her black, steel-toe boots.

He awoke, shaken, his hand rubbing his side where Trystan had just kicked him. "What the hell'd you do that for?"
"Get your ass up and tell me what's happened," she demanded. She looked up at the viewing window and saw the stars. "Why aren't we in the tachyon field?"
Michael was still in the process of getting up as Trystan stepped over him to the controls. She hovered over the forward piloting consoles for a moment. "We're adrift!" She turned to him. "What happened?"
Michael stumbled over to the controls Trystan was at to have a look for himself. He was just as mystified. He shook his head for a moment. "I don't know. There was...something in the tachyon field-"
Trystan stared at him with doubt. "Something in the tachyon field? Michael, are you playing dumb with me? 'Cause you know I don't like it when you play dumb with me. If you're playing dumb with me I'm going to have to hurt you."
Michael shook his head and rolled his eyes a bit annoyed. "I'm not," he said. "There was this black figure I saw ahead of our path in the tachyon field that shot some sort of blue energy at us. The ship shook, I fell to the ground, and the last thing I remember is a bright light shining through the viewing window."
Trystan squinted her eyes. "Didn't you scan it?"
Michael looked down at the console and then behind them at the sensor console. "Um-," he paused and looked at her. "Oops."
Trystan sighed and rolled her eyes. "Get the engines back online, I'm gonna find out where we are."
Michael nodded and took a seat in the chair and began working on the console.
Trystan was seated at the sensors control console behind Michael. "It looks like we're right where we should be if we just came out of the tachyon field-about 150 light-years from the system. And we haven't been unconscious any longer than thirty minutes."
"The engines are blown, they wont come back online," said Michael. "Apparently the emergency anti-matter locks have been jammed in the distribution nodes, the fluids won't transfer to the engines. We're dead in the water," he said grimly.
"I can try to fix them."
"You need to get the medical drone to look at that gash on your head," Michael said without looking away from the console.
Trystan frowned. "I'll be fine.
"It looks like we're close enough to get a communications channel open with a station in the gamma centauri system," she said. "Opening. What the..." she paused.
"What?" asked Michael turning to face her in his chair.
"The channel's not connecting. In fact, sensors aren't showing anything in the gamma centauri system. No electromagnetic frequencies, no-," she stopped, taken back by something she just saw on a screen on her console. "Shit."
"What?"
"Plasma discharge," she said. "It's all over the system." She looked up from the console at Michael. "There was a big battle there."
"Battle?" repeated Michael. "Well-,"
A sound went off on Trystan's console. "Oh, shit," said Trystan. "There's a ship coming at us from behind, and its not one of ours."
A chill went down Michael's spine. He was shaky. "What do you mean?"
"I mean alien," she said. "It's fucking extraterrestrial!"
"But aliens don't exist," persisted Michael. "We've been out here for 600 years and found no sign of aliens."
"Okay, well you take a look at that five million ton spaceship that just stopped directly over us and tell me it doesn't exist."
Michael, disturbed, turned around in his seat to face the console he was at. "What do we do?"
Trystan was just as clueless. "Hail them?"
"Would they understand us?"
"I don't know"
"Well, we've gotta' do something," he said desperately.
"Why don't we just wait until they do something."
"And if that something is to destroy us?"
"Then we won't have to worry about doing anything, will we?" she said unsure. She looked down at her console. "Uh-oh."
"What?"
"They're doing something."
"What?"
"It looks like part of their ship is splitting open," she said. "They're lowering toward us."
"Well, now what do we do?"
He looked at her.
Trystan shrugged. "We could still try hailing them."
"And tell them what? There are only two people on this big, lovely advanced starship? In other words, 'I'm completely unprotected, take me!'"
She sighed and rolled her eyes in annoyance. She got up and walked over to the station next to the one Michael was at and leaned over it. She pushed a few buttons. "Alien vessel, this is the Wolsifier, warship for the Terran Imperial fleets-"
"What are you doing!" whispered Michael.
Trystan shushed him and began talking into the console again. "Our vessel contains a crew of one thousand and his heavily armed. Any hostile action will be assessed and immediate action will be taken. I suggest you pull back away from our vessel now," she paused, searching her mind for something to add. "...Or else." She sent the transmission.
Michael stared at Trystan.
"What?" she said. "Don't look at me like I'm crazy. Like you said, we can't let them think we're unable to defend ourselves."
"And when they find out you lied to them?"
"We'll worry about it when it happens."
An alarm went off on the station Trystan was at.
"We're getting a message." She pushed a button on the console and the message was played. It was a female voice:
"Hey you guys. We have some really bad news about earth. We're going to teleport you aboard and explain everything. Don't worry about a thing."
Trystan and Michael stared at each other, confused.
Suddenly a bright, white light was forming around them.
"What the hell," Trystan said.
No sooner did she say it did she and Michael disappear in the white light.
When the light faded, it was replaced with a circular room filled with consoles and panels. It was definitely alien, but the room was filled with human and alien beings, all in the same uniform.
They appeared in front of a female human who had a broad smile on her face.
Michael and Trystan looked around them in astonishment. Finally, their eyes focused on the woman before them.
"Greetings," the woman began. "It is with great pride that I welcome you aboard the bridge of the interstellar craft Paradox on behalf of the Galactic Federation of Interstellar Peoples."
Trystan stared at the woman in disbelief. Michael however, was sniffing the air. "Is that coffee I smell?"