Phantasm

Episode 17B, Special 11

IDP 2020

vakashdarkbane

Fara awoke with a start.

She was breathing heavily and her nightgown she slept clung to her. She threw her covers off and she struggled to remember where she was. Her mind was racing terribly and she couldn't get a hold of it. Was it a nightmare? No just some strange feeling of things just not being right.

She sighed and slowly sat up and tried to shake the sleep from her mind. A soft very subtle tone sounded signaling the hour. She blinked and saw the wall chronometer showing it was 03:00.

She felt alone. Got up and walked over to her main terminal and tried to call Nikolai only for the terminal to report, as it always did, that theAether was out of range. She simply shut it off, she's already left enough messages and letters at this point.

She sighed heavily and drew her knees to her chin in her chair trying to just get this feeling of unease to go away.

Even though she was awake, things just felt off.

Fara was walking down the habitat corridors of starbase 186 she had thrown on slacks, a t-shirt and some saddles to just try to walk and tire herself out. Everything felt otherworldly and strange with the dim night lighting in the corridor. Her footsteps, although not very loud echoed eerily through the dark halls. There were no signs of life, why would there be? The night shift crew would be at their duty stations keeping a quiet vigil over those who preferred to work during the simulated daylight hours.

It didn't take her long to reach the promenade which was also draped in darkness. She could hear a few revelers making their way home from the clubs in the distance. Their voices echoing eerily in the vast chamber. With another sigh she put her hands in her pockets and slunk along passing by the darkened shops and kiosks. She suddenly stopped when she spotted the fortune teller tent that had been gone for over a month was back in its place. There was strange music coming from it playing on the air.

It was a bit unsettling but everything was yet she felt oddly drawn towards it. Cautiously she approached it. "Hello? Is anyone in there?"

No one replied so she slowly slid the flap back and stepped inside.

She was sat between Nikolai and Terri as the little dragon like creature touched Terri and Jack's paws

"Well?" Fara asked.

"That was amazing.." Terri said, a bit dumbfounded.

"Yeah…that barely covers it." Jack said rubbing his eyes and blinking like he'd just woke up.

"What was?"

"Well, it said it's our future, so don't share it." Terri said blushing slightly. "It talks in your head, it shows you things."

Jack nodded in agreement. "That was definitely a trip."

"Well what did it show you?" Fara asked, a little annoyed.

"It said not to tell so it's our secret." Jack said, shrugging. "Sorry."

"Kill joys." Fara said.

The creature then ambled over towards Fara and Nikolai.

Fara suddenly felt very uneasy, like a sense of deja vu with dread.

"Wait.." Fara said feeling the unease grow stronger. "Somethings not…" She looked up and saw that her friends and Nikolai were now gone and it was just her and the little creature in the tent. "Right…." She glanced down at the little creature that stared at her intensely, its tail whipping back and forth.

"What do you want?"

"What is it you want?" It replied, speaking in a strange rumbling voice.

"I don't know, what is your problem with me?" Fara said. "Why can't you give me my future?"

"You don't have a future, your time has passed."

"The fuck does that mean?" Fara said indignantly.

"You are not whom you think you are." It replied, staring at her intensely.

"Excuse me?" Fara said, confused. "Why are you being so cryptic I know exactly who I am."

"Do you?." It replied

Fara found herself walking down the vaulted marble corridors of her family's mansion, it was spring the light was bright and coming in through the open side doors allowing the place to air out.

As she walked the setting flickered from pristine and beautiful to dark and dilapidated as she approached the central atrium. She could remember a large open room with a fountain but as she approached it it was suddenly different, it was filled with books and tools and her father's desk had been relocated to near wear the fountain had been and a roaring fireplace.

This wasn't right, why was her dad's things here and why was the library here and what had happened to this once gorgeous room. She could see both images of both times overlapping and it almost became painful, nothing was right about this room she wanted out. It was becoming terrifying.

She started to scream for it to stop as the entire room started to collapse around her.

She found herself stepping onto the bridge of the Raptor, why was she here.

It was still new, the seats still had their plastic covers over them protecting them from dust and the smell of brand new ship still filled her nostrils. Why was she here, oh yes, and intruder.

She stopped at the back seeing a black long coat with red trim draped over the back and a dark furred echidna sitting in the chair.

"Admiral?" Fara said relieved. "What are you doing here, I thought the first inspection wasn't for awhile."

"Fara." Admiral Kramer said standing up and smiling his small smile at her. "Looks like you have been making some progress." He grabbed a cane and leaned on it. To her he looked very ill.

"We have, I came up here because you triggered an alert." Fara said.

"If i hadn't you wouldn't have come running." He said smiling. "I was passing through the sector and wanted to see how you were coming along, I must say. You are exceeding expectations."

"Thanks." Fara said. "Well I guess keeping things on the downlow wouldn't be that bad of an idea." Fara said running her hands along one of the consoles and then hopping up on it. She wasn't worried about hurting anything, it wasn't even hooked up yet. "Any questions?"

"As long as things are proceeding along schedule I have none." raising his arm to his muzzle to cough a few times.

Fara waited before she responded. "There have been a few little setbacks but nothing we can't work around."

"That's good." Kramer said nodding. "Have you kept in touch with your father?"

"Yeah why do you ask?"
Kramer shrugged. "It's not a bad thing to do so, being wrapped up in work one can isolate themself from things they don't necessarily want to deal with."

"I am a fine, admiral, really."

"I would think after your miraculous recovery months ago you may have wanted to reconnect with your old life." Kramer said. "Try to find a foundation to build upon with your new life."

"Not really, I barely remember anything." Fara said. "It was just dumb luck that I happened to come around and run into and take this opportunity and get away from all that."

Admiral Kramer nodded and tapped his cane. "Luck isn't always what it seems."

"What does that mean?" Fara asked.

"Nothing." Jon said flatly. "At the moment, Maybe someday when you take time for yourself you'll understand."

"Do you always like being so cryptic?" Fara asked.

Admiral Kramer smiled but there was no amusement in it. "I need to be going, carry on with your work Mrs. Phoenix, we will meet again soon enough."

"It's good seeing you again, nice to know you still care." Fara said sincerely.

"You as well." He said grabbing his coat and draping it over his shoulders and he left the bridge.

Fara watched him disappear between the doors of the forward port doors.

She found herself in a pasture filled with clover and tall grass, she felt disoriented but she was sure she was on Corneria again. In the distance maybe less than a mile away she could see a two lane highway for hover vehicles. Ahead of her lie a path through the weeds, not knowing what else to do. She followed it.

The air was cool with a little bit of humidity, but not frigid. As if it had just rained an hour before, sighing at the apparently normalcy of the situation she continued along her way. She tried to clear her thoughts, or at least recall why she came here but there was just nothing, just a sense of nothingness. The path wound down towards the highway drawing it a little closer. She spotted a rather nice looking vehicle heading eastbound on the road and spotted a large transport coming from the opposite direction it seemed to be swerving a bit. She didn't pay it that much attention still trying to figure out her own situation.

Suddenly there was a loud crash that interrupted her from her thoughts and she looked up and saw that the semi truck had struck the oncoming vehicle. Fara stood for a moment aghast and then suddenly started feeling a horrible feeling of dread. "No.. no no no." She said running through the grass towards the smaller vehicle that hand went tumbling end over end through the field a head of her. The damage looked bad, the vehicle was literally pancaked to half its size and she knew if she didn't get there soon the fusion core would soon become unstable.

She ran up to the ruined vehicle and could hear a child screaming and crying in terror.

"I'm coming, keep making noise so I can find you oh god." She said scrambling around trying to find the child wondering how much radiation she was taking from the damaged core that powered the vehicle. She found what looked like the door and tried to pull it opened but she wasn't strong enough to pull it free. She saw a gap near the ground and she tossed off her lab coat and tried to wiggle through it. The child was strapped in her seat upside down and Fara quickly reached into her pocket grabbing a pocket knife and cut the female kit free and quickly riggled out as she started to hear the core start to overload.

"Mama, Mama! Save my Mama!" The child cried.

Fara glanced towards the smashed forward part of the cab but all she could see was a mess of blood and twisted metal, she wriggled out and got to her feat and sprinted as hard as she could to try to get clear. The radiation was going to be bad enough without being disintegrated on top of it.

She held the child tight as it screamed and pleaded for her to go back but she knew it was hopeless for the mother.

As expected a loud explosion soon followed and all that remained of the vehicle was a burning hulk and the secondary fires of the ignited plant life around it.

Fara panted heavily hearing the sound of emergency vehicles approaching, fearing for her own safety as well as the childs.

"It's ok little one, you're safe now." Fara said, reassuringly trying to catch her breath.

"But my mom… she was in there."

Fara looked down at her and found her own face, just younger, staring right back at her with tear filled eyes.

Fara awoke with a start, she yawned and blinked feeling a pressure on her shoulder. Where was she, right, engineering.

"Chief, are you alright, why are you still here?" She heard Harry ask her.

"What? I was… I .." She said trying to get her bearings. She was in engineering but only the stand by lights were up. It was just her and Harry in the gloom, she was seated at the master systems display and apparently fell asleep.

"We got the hull patched finally.." She said, yawning. "I was just finishing up making sure the msd was back up and running."

"Chief it's 0600." Harry said patiently.

Fara blinked and looked at the wall chronometer. "I guess it is, oh shit.. I missed the.."

"Don't worry about it." Harry said. "It was just a debriefing with Captain Stiles about the explosion I had you covered. Just don't make it a habit."

"I'm sorry Harry." Fara said. "I guess I passed out and didn't know it."

"It's not like any of this has been easy." Harry sighed. "Are you hungry?"

"Yeah I could use some food, maybe freshen up too." Fara said.

"I'll give you a few hours before you need to report for duty." Harry said gently. "Just don't make it a habit. I'm sure I can get Knackt to start without you."

"Thanks." Fara said appreciatively.

"Come on lets go." Harry said motioning for her to follow.

They arrived in the replamat really quickly. "Do you want the old standard?"
"Eggs, toast, meat would be fine."

"Coffee or juice?'

"Juice, I feel too on edge for coffee." Fara replied, sitting down glancing around the replimat. Strangely enough she felt a weird sense of Deja vu as she waited on Harry to return with her food. The sound of some quiet chatting caught her ear and she glanced over at three crewmen from her engineering team seated around a table. She recognised them as her warp engine specialists Soora, Daniels and Kovak.

They were a pretty tight group and usually stuck together, keeping to themselves for the most part. She smiled at them but suddenly felt a strange sense of unease and dread.

"Chief, we've got a problem!" Lt. Soora yelled over the cacophony of compressor bolts against the hull.

Fara quickly scrambled over to the warp plasma flow monitoring station and braced herself. "What is it?" She asked.

"There's a severe fluctuation in the pressure levels in the starboard engine." the blond Cabarren said, quickly running her fingers over the controls. "I can't seem to lock it down.'

"Shit." Fara cursed. "Can we do anything to correct it."

"Other than venting plasma I can't think of anything." Soora said. "But if we don't get this locked down we're going to have a major problem.

"Kovak I need your know how we got a problem!" Fara shouted.

The Altairan approached and glanced at the screen.

"The starboard plasma conduit is having pressure fluctuations, any ideas." Fara asked.

Kovak glanced at the screen and frowned. "Perhaps." He said with his heavily accented accent. "We might be able to attune the regulator in the starboard nacelle, we can't do it from here. I would need some assistance as well"

"Fine great , do it." Fara said bracing herself again as the Raptor was again buffeted by heavy weapons fire. "Daniels!" She shouted to the Cornerian canine who was at the master systems display. "We got some dirty work to do, go with Kovak and Soora and get that problem treated immediately.

"Yes chief!" They all three said in unison heading for the starboard doors in engineering leading deeper into the bowls of the ship.

Fara blinked as she watched them eat and they all suddenly stopped and looked at her and then all three of them began to slowly fade away.

"Chief!" Harry said suddenly.

Fara snapped out of it in a daze and smelled her food in front of her.

"You checked out there for a second, are you feeling well?"

"Yeah.." Fara said, trying to clear her head. "Just a lot on my mind."

Harry nodded in understanding. "I can tell."

Fara poked at her food disinterestedly, trying to regain her appetite.

"I appreciate what you're doing, but if you need a day or two just to try to catch your breath,get back on point, you are more than welcome to ask for it." Harry said. "I know what I said to you earlier about needing you to take ownership of this, but I don't want you to kill yourself over it. You aren't a machine Fara."

"It's just stress I'll deal with it." Fara said taking a small bite of her food and finding it not nearly as good as she hoped. "Isn't that what you do?"

Harry sighed. "I suppose so."
Fara scoffed. "Look, I'll be fine, you should be more worried about what you are going to be doing now that you don't have a ship to tool around in."

"I'll admit, trying to keep myself busy is a bit trying." Harry sighed. "In a way I do envy you."

"Not if you had to look forward to pulling those damaged warp coils." Fara chuckled.

"I actually didn't mind doing that back on my days on the Phoenix." Harry said reminiscing. "Every damn day I'd bust a knuckle, get zapped or covered in something just trying to keep that old rustbucket going." Harry sighed. "Life was easier, just had to focus on keeping the damn thing from flying apart. I miss that sometimes."

"What made you change your career path?" Fara asked, taking a few more small bites.

"A lot of things." Harry said. "I lost the Phoenix, my friends save one, everything. I needed a change." Harry smiled. "Afterwards they gave me a medal, and my pick of postings. I took the Neosho and headed for the frontier."
"You don't really like to talk about that whole incident do you?" Fara asked.

"Not really. It wasn't how I really wanted to end my time on the Phoenix." Harry replied sadly. "Seems to be a trend lately…" He muttered.

"Huh?" Fara said not certain what she had heard.

"It's nothing, I have some things I am pondering as well." He said, taking a drink of his coffee.

Fara found herself in the back seat of a hover car, although she was herself, was this a memory?

"Where are we going Mama?" She asked.

Her mom looked back at her through the rear view mirror. "It's a surprise Fara, just enjoy the ride."

Fara nodded and smiled then noticing someone in the seat beside her mother, it wasn't her Father, but it was someone she knew.

It was Jack Land, he looked pale and sickly as if and suddenly everything just seemed wrong she felt very frightened.

"Relax Fara, we'll get there soon enough." He said, smiling at her she suddenly heard a loud horn and saw a cargo truck veering into their lane to hit them head on.

Fara screamed and sat up in her bed. She was breathing heavily and her nightgown she slept clung to her. She threw her covers off and she struggled to remember where she was. Her mind was racing terribly and she couldn't get a hold of it.

Fleeting images of terror and sadness raced through her mind.

"Computer Lights full illumination."
The computer replied and her quarters were filled with a blinding white blare that helped bring her back to full consciousness although it temporarily blinded her. She got out of bed and rubbed her eyes until they could focus again.

Where was she? Starbase 186, in her quarters, that was right.

Everything seemed as she could recall, her overcoat was tossed haphazardly on her couch. Her take out boxes sat on the table, her boots kicked off into some far flung corner of the room. She glanced at the wall clock. It was 0500, as horrible as that nightmare had been she wouldn't have time to attempt to get to sleep again. "Computer Open shutters." She said going to her replicator and making some coffee.

The computer complied and the mechanical motors softly whirred as the viewports looking out onto the bases bay were revealed to her. The cup in her hand she walked over and looked out into the bay. She could see the Raptor, moored properly in it's bay and a few smaller ships passing in and out of the station. The station's internal running lights were dimmed, still simulating night time for its inhabitants, it wouldn't be long before that would change.

She hated when she had these nightmares, usually everyone else was asleep and not really in the mood to talk to her. Terri would on occasion, usually due to being an early riser but now she was gone.

Fara sighed sadly, she missed her friend, with her gone Fara had way to much free time on her hands. Over the last year she had made space in her life for Terri, to exercise with in the morning, and spend time with her at night when they were off duty. Lately their whole gang that they had seemed to had fallen apart. Even Michelle had been absent making excuses of varying kind when it came to getting together, and Jenna Rydel was ok in small doses, but they had more of a friendly working relationship, and with Terri gone, it stayed that way.

Nikolai was gone to gods only knew where.

For the first time, at least in the times she could recall, she felt truly alone.

She stared down into her coffee, feeling sadness well up inside her but she choked it down and drummed her fingers on the cup.

Jack's face popped into her mind's eye.

"You stuipd idiot." she muttered feeling a sob building.. "Why did you go do that to yourself?"

She knew it probably had something to do with the breakup, probably.

Or not, maybe he just didn't want Harry to take the risk.

It was hard to tell, people sometimes did things on a whim with no logic or reason. Unless they explained it all you could do was sit around and speculate.

She wiped the tear from her eye and took a sip of her coffee.

Was everything that happened lately just playing hell with her mind?

That's all she needed right now was getting unhinged so she decided to put in a request to see consoler Modorro.

The dark haired female Cabaran listened to her intently as she described her dream and didn't say a word until she had finished.

"So… what do you think it means."

"That is hard to say Fara." Consoler Modoro replied. "Dreams can represent repressed feelings as well as memories. Do you recall how your mother died?"

"No, I really don't." Fara said flatly. "I'd have to ask my father, and he doesn't like speaking of it."

Modoro nodded. "I think with all the recent changes lately your mind is just trying to process everything, how long have these nightmares been persisting."

"Maybe the week we got back." Fara replied. "I don't remember but i'm sick of having them. All I know is I"m not sleeping well and if it wasn't for the fact things have been unbearably quiet it would really be messing with my work."

Modoro nodded. "I'll set you up with something that will help you sleep." she said typing something into her data pad. "I also suggest during this down time some meditation try to give your mind a break once in a while, and try to set up a new routine. I know that with your friend gone you aren't getting out as much as you used to and I think that was good for you. You should try getting out a bit more and do something besides work and your quarters."

Fara nodded. "I'll try."

She walked around the promenade level, she felt better talking to the counselor but still not exactly even keel. She noticed a slight commotion as a a crewmen ahead of her dropped a box of loose items.

"Please try to not break those things, if Land does return i'm sure he would like his stuff back." Harry Martinez said patiently.

"Yes, sir sorry sir I just lost grip."

Harry saw Fara standing down the corridor and nodded at her.

"So… this isn't your place, what are you doing?" She asked.

"It isn't, it's just Jack has been off active duty long enough HQ is complaining the quarters need to be vacated." Harry said dryly. "I volunteered."

"Oh… need help?" Fara said.

"Sure it's just scanning items and boxing them up for pattern storage." Harry said letting her in. "I've got most of the loose stuff picked up. I'm just boxing up the rest and the personal items."

She was shocked that his quarters were actually clean, she had expected a bit of a pigsty or maybe something worse than hers but they were actually clean. She supposed Terri's time with him had something to do with that. "They are really pushing to get this place cleared out huh?"
"Fleet regulations, more than four weeks of not being active duty your items must be stowed and the quarters made available for active duty officers." Harry said paraphrasing.

"Kind of a dick move huh?" Fara said picking up some comic books and tossing them into a box.

Harry hmmed and nodded. "It can seem like that. Yes."

They set about boxing up more loose itesm, vid discs, magazines, knick nacks posters without saying too much to each other.

"Harry, Can I ask you something?"

"Sure." Harry said carefully, rolling up a few posters and putting them in cylindrical storage containers.

"I'm thinking about taking a trip home… and I don't really want to go by myself." Fara said. "It's something personal I need to look into, would you come with me?"

"I suppose you want to use the Talon." Harry asked.

Fara nodded.

"Do you have leave available?" Harry asked.

"Yeah."

"I suppose I can arrange something. Starbase 186 is going to have at least a dozen ships hanging around here for the next couple of weeks. Puls they brought their own escort and nothing seems to be pressing us back out into the field." Harry said, finishing cleaning out the closet.

"Thank you Harry." Fara said relieved. "I really appreciate it."

"It's not a problem. When I get done doing this grave duty I'll be glad to get out of here for awhile." Harry replied.

The next morning, Harry had contacted her early and told her they had permission to go and he would explain when they met at the Raptor's airlock.

Fara packed lightly, she wasn't planning on staying long, she just had a nagging suspicion she needed to alleviate. A few things from her nightmare stuck in her mind, the images of her mother and the hover car accident, the strange layout of the mansion. She didn't want to tell her dad she was on her way. The rest was hazy but she could recall seeing some faces of the dead mixed in with the blurred memory of the bizarre dream.

She was glad Harry could go with her, she didn't really want to go alone.

She was also glad the Urtheans were being quiet again, probably more due to the increased activity around Starbase 186 than anything else.

The lift she was on stopped at the Raptor's dock and she stepped off seeing Harry waiting by the main airlock. They were both dressed in civilian garb, which was weird seeing Harry that way, she had convinced herself that all he ever did was wear his uniform.

"So… are we all good to do this?"

"Actually yes." Harry replied. "Just got to run a little Errand for Fleet Command. Need to just go the the Capital apparently there is some issue they want me to resolve."

"Feh, I'm surprised they aren't sending the Raptor." Fara groused.

"Nothing that serious." Harry said walking up to the airlock and opening the door. "I wasn't given that impression." He said slinging the strap of his bag around his neck.

The Airlock opened and the corridors were only illuminated by dim lighting giving the ship a very eerie feeling as they passed through it. Fara tried not to dwell on it as they walked deeper into the ship.

"I also figured I might do some sight seeing while I'm there too while you do your thing."

"There's not a lot to see, the whole planet is a dump. Decades of war does that to a place." Fara grumbled.

Harry humphed. "That's partly what my little visit is about. The Recovery process is nowhere where it should be. They want me to see what the hang up is."

"You want to speed it up, go up to the bridge, fly us over and drop one photon torpedo into the Cornerian Administratum building. Trust me no one will notice or care. That's where your problem is."

Harry looked a bit horrified at her suggestion. "I don't think and extreme measure would be necessary."

"Do your superiors want the problem solved or do they want to keep getting strung along while the privileged few who run the planet live high on the hog."

"You seem rather up to date on what's going on." Harry surmised.

"I talk to my Father often enough to stay up. He's one of the few trying to push things forward." Fara replied. "He was working with Admiral Kramer up till the Admiral Decided to piss off wherever he went to."

"I see." Harry replied. "Think you could get me in to see him."

Fara chewed her lip. "Possibly but I am doing this on the downlow. I don't want him to know I'm coming."
"Oh? Is something wrong?" Harry asked.

"It's personal, I don't really want to get into it." Fara said keeping her eyes forward as they walked through the quiet ship. In a way she was glad Harry was with her. In her current state of general unease his presence was welcome.

"Fair enough." Harry said. "Anything I can help you with?"

Fara stopped and regarded him.

"What makes you ask that?"

"Your body language, your ears are down, you look on edge." Harry said. "Last I saw you like this, you were calling me late at night on a vid terminal."

"That was a long time ago Harry." Fara said, smiling.

"Yeah but if I remember you got a bit reckless and got yourself hurt."

"It's nothing that bad, look, Modorro says I'm just trying to work through some things and this is just part of it. I need to go home to try to figure out some things that are bothering me."

"See was that so hard now?" Harry said.

"No it wasn't and I want you to know that I really appreciate you doing this for me, just coming along is a big help." She said.

Harry nodded in understanding. "I can relate, my last trip home was… enlightening and harrowing at the same time."

They stopped the conversation as they went down a stairwell that lead down to deck four and then the ramp down to the shuttle bay where the Talon sat in waiting.

They both regarded it for a moment.

Fara let out a breath. "You know … I didn't think it would bother me taking it."

"Yeah." Harry said. "I feel that."

"I mean we could take one of the class sixes.." Fara said.

"Already booked the flight." Harry said. "Even if Jack never comes back, it's not like we can mothball it. It's fast, it at least has beds, a shower.."
"Medical Facilities.." Fara added.

"Yeah." Harry said.

"I see your point, can't just stow it because of what happened." Fara sighed. "Let's get her fired up."

The interior of the Talon had been restored to pristine condition, the seats had even been reupholstered. Fara hadn't set foot on it since the incident with the space amoeba, she was afraid she'd catch a whiff of Jack's scent and start crying. The Altairians had gone above and beyond fixing everything for them in gratitude for saving their world.

She glanced over at Harry and even though he was powering up the ship's sub systems she could tell he was going through his own gamut of emotions as well. "Say, Harry, you want to fly her?"

"Sure.. I guess I can."

"Make you a deal, you take her half way, I'll make lunch, and we'll switch tomorrow."

"Deal." Harry said heading to the pilot seat. "Besides I'd feel better if you did the preflight checks anyway."

"Right?" Fara chuckled. "Don't worry I'll make sure we're in top shape, although I doubt we'll have anything to worry about."

Twenty minutes later the Talon slid out of the Raptor's shuttlebay, out of Starbase 186's doors and blasted into warp.

The trip had been fairly quiet for a few hours. Harry kept an eye on the navigational computer and reviewed a data pad that had the issues he had to address with the Cornerian Government. He heard movement behind him and felt Fara approach from behind she rested her hands on the back of the chair.

"Problem."

"No.. Just wanted to see the stars streak by." Fara said, looking out the cockpit viewport "Can't really see them back there. If there was a problem I'd be yelling anyway." She chuckled.

"This is true." Harry said.

Fara took a breath and gripped the back of the chair. "Harry, I'm having nightmares again."

Harry put his padd down on the console and then rotated the chair around and she stepped back and then sat on the small bench behind the pilots console. "I see. I thought you said you were getting treatment."

"I am. They just keep recurring." Fara said. "They're confusing, don't make a lot of sense but their are some things I remember from them."

"Like what?"
"It's weird it's like they are this weird farrago of real memories and fantasy." Fara sighed. "Sometimes I see Jack." She paused. "In fact a lot of times I see him."

Harry nodded. "What happens when you see him?"

"It's… hard to explain. I'm riding in a hovercar and my mother is driving. I don't know where we are going." She said wringing her hands. "But he's there in the front seat and he looks terrible. He tells me I'll get where I'm going soon enough and then there is a head on crash with another vehicle."

"Do you recall being in a crash?"

"No, I don't." Fara said, shaking her head. "There's other parts, I see you, Admiral Kramer sometimes, some of our shipmates that have passed. Sometimes I'm on the station, sometimes I'm home. It's just really messed up. Counselor Modorro thinks it might be a form of PTSD."

"We've been through a lot Fara, in a short time, it's only natural for your mind to try to make sense of all of it when things are slow like they are now."

"I know you said you had weird dreams sometimes." Fara said.

"I do." Harry said.

"About?"

"Friends I've lost. Nora more recently." He said trying not to choke up saying her name.

"What do you see?"

"Well… It's just our last night together after we graduated." Harry replied. "We rode out to a lookout to watch the sun set and have a few beers like we had done every weekend during our time at the academy. However as we're talking, she tells me I was always a good friend and then she just fades away." He said. "I don't wake up I just feel really sad and usually after that it's done."

"Lucky." Fara harrumphed.

"We all handle grief differently." Harry shrugged.

"Do you ever see Jack?"

"No."
"I thought you guys were friends?"

"We were." Harry replied. "I don't know why I don't see him." Harry sighed. "He's probably afraid I'll chew him out for what he did." Harry said wryly. "I miss him all the time but I don't have dreams about him."

Fara nodded. "It's probably me just being a wreck."

"You are fine Fara, as long as you are trying to work through it." Harry reassured her.

Fara sighed. "That's what everyone tells me." She stood up and headed back up the ramp into the cabin. "I guess there are no easy answers are there? Any ideas on what you want for lunch?"

"Surprise me."

They arrived at Corneria the next day, Fara was at the helm while Harry took care of the minute details. As they approached Fara could see a ship in orbit, it was the Monitor, under the command Commodore Striker, was still in charge of oversight for Corneria.

"What a horrible posting." Fara thought she wondered what the old sourpuss had been up to in the last few years. Not that she wanted to pay him a visit, he always seemed to keep her at arms length even when they did work together on the Pathfinder project.

His image popped up on the viewer in front of her and she quickly toggled it over to Harry's screen before acknowledging it. "Incoming call from the Monitor." She said over her shoulder.

"Thanks Fara. I've got it."

"Commander Martinez, We appreciate your timely arrival, I trust Captain Stiles provided you with the adequate information for your visit." She heard the Commodore's voice over the speaker.

"That he did, sir."

"Good I need you to beam over to the Gideon and we'll discuss the matter in further detail." Striker replied. "You can place your vessel in our cargo bay."

"Actually my pilot has some personal business they would like to attend too while here, they will pick me up after I signal them." Harry replied.

"Very well, you are cleared to traverse Cornerian Airspace, just be mindful that their are still hostile elements that like to take potshots at our craft."

"I don't thin that will be a problem, the Talon is more than capable of handling itself." Harry replied.

"Ah i see now." Striker replied. "I'm glad to see the concept craft has been pressed into service. Very well commander we'll beam you over when you are ready. We can signal your pilot when you are done."
"Fair enough." Harry said. "I'm ready to beam over." He said getting out of his hair and strapping over to the small transporter alcove."
"Very well stand by." Striker's voice said over the com.

"Good luck Fara, I'll let you know when I'm ready for a pick up." Harry said, grabbing his duffel. "Looks like it's right back to work for me."

Fara gave a mock salute. "Have fun."

"Please be careful, with the Talon."

"Who do you think you are dealing with here." Fara smirked.

"Right." Harry replied. "Martinez to Monitor I'm ready to beam out."

Fara watched him dissolve away in a swirl of transporter energy and then brought up the Talons shields and plotted a course to reentry. She was hoping he could go with her but it looked like her little journey was going to have to be undertaken on her own.

The Atmosphere was turbulent with spring storms and the high winds buffeted the Talon about. Fara finally managed to plunge through the clouds to the damp world below heading towards her family's estate. Being aware of what happened last time she came home she kept the shields up just in case as the Monitor had warned. Most raiders weren't industrious enough to be out in this cold and damp.

Fara scowled as she flew the Talon low over the surface of Corneria, something about this whole affair just soured her stomach and made her uneasy. As she looked out the cockpit window she saw an old highway that seemed to be covered with craters rolling though a landscape of abandoned fields. Something started to gnaw at her as she passed quickly over them. Giving into her growing sense of worry she quickly spun the craft around and lowered it down to the ruined highway. She stared hard out of the viewport. Something about this area was familiar in a vague ephemeral way.

The alon touched down on the cracked and shattered pavement and the back door opened to the wet misty Cornerian spring Air. Fara replicated a hooded jacket and headed out into it.

She stepped around to the front and other than a lot of wear and tear this was the place from her dream. Although the ruins seemed way older than they should be as she walked along. The crater and cracked plant filled surface of the damp highway looked like it had been long forgotten and abandoned.

Fara fished the tricorder off the belt of her jeans and scanned for any particular patterns of broken metal shards, plastics or anything. She did find a peculiar spread of some after a few passes and getting significantly damp. She spun herself around till she could roughly match what she remembered from the dream.

"This is the place." She said with a shudder to no one in particular. She roughly turned trying to gauge some of the things she could remember. She did another scan and wiped the mist away from the tricorders viewer as it scanned. Again the readings were faint but there appeared to be a debris trail leading up into one of the fields from the highway. She followed it up to an area that showed there had been a fire a long long time ago. Among the higher plants there was an area of low grass, indicators that something had fouled the area stunting the growth of the grasses. Scans indicated trace amounts of lubricants, a taint of resident radiation centered on the clearing, and small pieces of shrapnel buried in the dirt.

Fara wasn't a detective, far from it, but she was pretty sure there had been some sort of accident in this area long ago. She closed her tricorder as thunder rumbled in the distance and the cool air became even more cool and she made her way back to the shuttle.

She sat in the pilot's seat and lifted off engaging the shuttle's cloak and sat for a moment trying to decide what to do. She thought about checking the central archives. Maybe they had something about the accident. It seemed like a reasonable diversion before she headed home and she had plenty of daylight left in the day. She gunned the shuttle's engines and headed for the capital city.

The trip to the archives had been more frustrating that anything.

"I'm sorry Ms." The feline archivist said sincerely. "A lot of our records are damaged from the war other than things that were secretly kept in hidden bunkers for posterity reasons." She sighed typing into her terminal. "I'm afraid trying to pull up minor pre war incidents may be an impossibility."

Fara was leaning on the desk with her head in her hand patiently drumming her fingers. "So you are telling me that all this information is just … gone."

"Unfortunately yes, I am very sorry, but most of our current records start at least a year after we joined the confederation plus anything that we've already managed to upload to the Fednet." She shook her head again as she looked at the terminal returning no results. "I'm really sorry I can't help you."

"It's fine." Fara said standing up and running her fingers through her hair out of frustration. "I am just chasing ghosts anyway."

"Go in peace, I hope you find what you are looking for, Ms. Phoenix."

Fara waved as she left and headed back outside pulling the hood of her jacket up to shield her from the rain that started falling. She looked up and down the newly reconstructed streets of the capital and sighed. It was nothing like what little she could remember of it. It reminded her like a more rundown version of Logopolis on Termia, most of the Termian architecture lay in ruins and Confederation building units stood in their place or were combined with the ruins in odd ways. Several cafes and shops surrounded the planetary archives and there were a few brave souls out in the weather trying to make the best of the day.

Fara headed down the steps of the Archive and headed her way down the stairs. As she did she heard a few chords from a guitar pierce the din of the falling rain and she spotted a musician set up on a wall playing to anyone who would listen.

*The sky is crying, look at the tears roll down the street

The sky is crying, look at the tears roll down the street

I'm waiting in tears looking for my baby, and I wonder where can she be?

Fara stopped and regarded the dark brown furred canine as he sang and smiled at her. He was a bit younger than her and he was dressed in a wide brimmed hat and a long coat to keep the rain off him but it didn't seem to affect his playing.

I saw my baby one morning, and she was walking on down the street

I saw my baby one morning, yes she was walking on down the street

Made me feel so good until my poor heart would skip a beat

He continued to sing swaying in beat to his playing casting the occasional smile her way. Fara stood and listened, tapping her foot to the strange wailing melody.

I got a bad feeling, my baby, my baby don't love me no more

I got a bad feeling, my baby don't love me no more

Now the sky's been crying, the tears rolling down my door

He finished and Fara fished a few strips of latinum she'd brought with her and tossed them into his open case with the others.

"Thank you mam, appreciate it."

"Is this your day job?"

The canine chuckled. "Keeps me in a place, food and medicine."

"You are good. I hope you make it big someday." Fara said, smiling.

The young dog chuckled. "All things in due time miss." He said strumming a few chords as if he was trying to put another song together.

"I like your music, do you have a recording?"
"I sure do." He said stopping and digging a small isolinear chip out of his coat pocket. "On the house."
"Thanks, I could use some good tunes to listen too." Fara said, taking it. "I could pass it around too."

"Much obliged miss, my info is on their. By the way I have solo and songs with my band as well as on there. You have a good day and stay warm."

"You too." Fara said as she turned to walk away he suddenly started to turn the discordant tune into another melody.

**I got a fine little mama

She really's on the ball

I got a fine little mama

And she really's on the ball

She is a red hot mama

And she ain't but five feet tall

Oh yeah, she's got perfect hip and long blonde wavy hair

She's got perfect hip and long blonde wavy hair

Aah, that was not a joke, aah

And in town she ain't no square, oh yeah

"Flirt." Fara smiled blushing as she kept walking away and he kept singing, she continued down the street till she got to the public landing pad where the Talon awaited her. She got back inside and walked up to the pilot seat and rubbed her forehead in frustration. She came here looking for answers and so far, just more questions.

She sighed deeply, and leaned back in the chair beating her head against the headrest.

She felt tired and thunder rumbled outside and the storm picked up again sending rain cascading down the Talon's forward viewport. Suddenly before she knew it she drifted off to sleep.

"Get off the console!" Fara scolded as she quickly hucked a plastic cap of permaseal at him.

Jack ducked under it and it bounced harmlessly off the Talons forward viewprint. "Well I'm just trying to get comfortable, I'm waiting on you."

"There's a perfectly good pilots seat right there you can put your butt in ont on the console, if you did that on the bridge Harry would have your hide." Fara said above him while she worked on the ops console. "Besides you just calibrated it why do you want to be putting your butt on it you goit."

"It's not hurting anything if it's logged off." Jack shrugged coming up from the sunken pilot area.

"You know I brought you down here to give you something to do, your sulking was getting annoying." Fara said. "I didn't expect you to get it done in less than half the time."

Jack went over to the replicator and made himself some sort of beverage. "Give me something hard to do Fara and I won't get done quick. Like recalibrate the engines, overhaul the plasma injectors, something.. Hard." He said taking a drink.

"I would if the Talon needed it but it doesn't." Fara said finishing up her own work and closing the console. "I just thought you might like a change of scenery."

Jack shrugged. "We could take it for a spin if you like."

Fara thought about it. "Yeah we could, it hasn't been very much, save for the trip to Mustafar."

"Why don't we use this more often?" Jack asked.
"I don't know I built it as a proof of concept, and just kind of stowed it down here after we used it." Fara shrugged.

"You know what we could do with it." Jack said with a grin.

"What?"

"Well the Antarian Trans-Stellar space rally is in six months. We could enter this into it. It fits the bill."

Fara paused. "Are you serious?"

"Of course I am." Jack said whimsically. "It'd be fun you can't sit there and tell me you don't want to show this little craft off."

Fara smiled. "I won't deny that I do."

"It'd good rep for Cornerian Arspace and the homeworld too." Jack said. "Especially if we won, we could donate the prize money, what do we need it for.?"

"True." Fara relented. "I'll have to clear it with the Captain, the Talon does belong to Starfleet, unfortunately."

"Hey it's always been something I've wanted to do and it's not like my time is tied up at the moment." Jack said.

"It could be fun." Fara smiled. "I've always wanted to do it myself. I think the two of us could kick the competition's asses."

"Really?"

"My engineering Talents, and your driving, hell yeah." Fara said.

"I thought you didn't like my piloting?"
"I don't like what you do to my engines, but you are a hell of a pilot." Fara chuckled.

"Oh, well thanks." Jack said smiling. "That means a lot coming from you."

"Don't worry about it." Fara smiled. "You're welcome."

Jack suddenly looked very tired and sickly and something felt wrong, Fara had a sudden surge of deja vu and the whole scene seemed like a dream.

"Well…. Looks like we might have to put that off." He said sadly. "See you dreamer..."

"What do you mean?" Fara said feeling everything start to fade away.

Her eyes snapped open as lightning flashed and a loud boom reverberated throughout the cabin. Fara rubbed her eyes the memory of the dream still fresh in her mind and felt tears as she did so.

"Gods damn it." She muttered sniffing a few times.

At least that one was mostly a memory and not all messed up and disturbing. She quickly started to power up the Talon and lifted it off into the air. It was the middle of the afternoon and Harry had yet to call her for a pickup yet. If she was going to get this done she needed to get it done now. The Talon lifted off buffeted by the wind of the rain of the store and blasted off into the countryside towards her home estate once again.

The flight wasn't as smooth as she'd hoped, even with the Talon's enhanced systems she still got tossed about in the maelstrom. It got bad enough she had to strap herself into the pilots seat. Engaging the cloaking device she sat the shuttle down in one of the open and abandoned gardens at the estate. The Cloak would be visible with the rain drenching it but only if someone took a real hard look at it. Donning some rain gear again she slipped out the back with a tricorder in hand.

The ground was soaked and she could feel her feet sinking into it with each step and her boots filling with water. She drew the Rain Slicker around her and she skulked along the edges of the estate. She approached and started to scan right away.

However she wasn't aware that she was being watched.

Emillia lockheart sat in the command center watching her skulk along in the shadows rather clumsily.

"Commodore, I've spotted her, she's trying to sneak around it looks like she might be searching for something."

Striker signed on the com screen. "We all anticipated something would trigger her some day."

"What should we do?" Emillia asked.

"Tranquilize and utilise the Omega protocol." Stiker replied. "Don't hurt her, we don't want to raise any suspicions." Striker replied. "Do it quickly and quietly."

"Understood." Emillia said ending the channel.

Fara had managed to make her way towards one of the supposed abandoned wings of the Phoenix manner slinking along the walls and getting some shelter from the eaves although it wasn't much from the storm. Fara checked her tricorder and noticed there was a high amount of photonic energy about.

"Photonic energy?" She muttered looking at the ruins. "That can only mean one thing."

She knelt down and picked up a rock and tossed it towards the darkened form of the abandoned part of the manner. The Rock bounced off harmlessly and the image rippled a bit.

"Son of a bitch…." She muttered. It wasn't abandoned, there had to be some sort of confederation set up back there. Something that had been built into the manner in secret and hidden with holographic camouflage.

"What are you up to Dad?" She said aloud.

"Unfortunately, That's something you're not going to find out, Fara" She heard Emillia Lockheart behind her. She quickly turned and heard some sort of fire arm go off and a projectile stuck her in the chest. She grabbed it and pulled it out seeing it was some sort of syringe dart. She suddenly felt overwhelmed as if she was drugged and before she could utter another word she fell face first into the damp ground.

"Target has been neutralized." Emillia said into a com link. "Prepare the Omega protocol."

"Understood." Another voice replied over the comlink

She found herself walking down the darkened corridors of the Raptor.

"Hello?" She called out only to hear her voice echo eerily down the hall. She looked back the way she came and the corridor stretched and twisted disappearing into the blackness. A darkness that seemed to be moving closer feeling frightened she bolted down the corridor trying to escape the darkness but it stayed on her tail.

She kept running, terrified towards a light that seemed to be growing in front of her, it didn't take too much logic to determine that what lie ahead was far better than what awaited behind her. She kept running even though it didn't rob her of breath, she kept running towards the light ahead of her even has the Red Alert tracers began to flash and a grim parody of the Raptor's klaxon sounded.

She stayed focused on the light running as fast as she knew she could and soon she was in the light….

She found herself standing in the sun porch in her family's manner. She held up her hand to shield her eyes from the light coming inside so they could adjust. She heard a familiar humming. She looked down and she saw her mother sitting in one of the chairs writing in her diary.

"Mom?!" She said moving to the front of the chair.

Her mother looked up at her and smiled. "Fara." She said.

Fara dropped to her knees, tears in her eyes. "Mama… how are you here you've been gone for so long."

Her mom cupped her face in her hands. "What do you mean? I've always been here. I'm always with you dear. Don't be sad."

Fara sniffed. "It's just, I don't know, I haven't seen you in ages, I don't even remember why, I don't remember a lot of things."

Her mother smiled in understanding and stroked her hair. "Fara there are a lot of horrible things you don't want to remember." She looked up as if she heard something distant and far away that Fara didn't catch. "Please, let your past go, be with your friends, enjoy the life you have and take care of your father. I worry for him."

"But I need to know!" Fara cried out.

Fara awoke sometime later, she sat up and looked around, she was in her room in Corneria.

Her head ached a bit and she blinked trying to recall how she got here. Things slowly came back to her. Faces, friends, events. However she couldn't recall how she arrived here. Some faint memory about coming home for some unknown reason drifted across her consciousness.

She noticed a set of civilian clothes were cleaned, pressed and folded on the stand beside her bed. Gingerly she got up and got dressed still trying to clear her mind. A knock came at her door that startled her.

"Come in?" She said adjusting her clothing so it fit properly.

Emillia Lockheart poked her head in. "I see you are up."

"Yeah what happened?"

"You parked your vessel away from the landing pad and you slipped and hit your head on a rock while you were approaching the manor. If it wasn't for the guard patrols you would have drowned in a puddle."

"Oh.." Fara said. "Sorry I don't remember."

"Well if you are going to pay a visit, we need to know to prevent accidents." Emillia said scoldingly.

"Sure…." Fara said, looking even more confused and struggling to remember what had transpired.

"Your father is in the library if you wish to see him." Emilla said. "I have other matters to attend to so if you do go outside please let one of the Marines or myself know."

"Of course." Fara said finding a data chip in her pocket and then remembering that it was the recordings of the songs that young fur had given her. She smiled a bit glad at least something was coming back. She placed it back in her pocket. "That will be all Emillia, thank you."

The other vixen nodded and then disappeared from view.

Fara left her room and more and more came back to her, although other than asking Harry to let her go home she was damned if she could remember why. She walked down the hallway to the study feeling a strange sense of unease as she did so, outside the storm still raged causing the glass and iron wrought doors to creak slightly, It was very unsettling to her but the reasons to why continued to evade her, that knock to her head must of caused her to lose a few marbles. She approached the library and saw a figure standing near the fire. It took her a bit to process whom that was.

"D..dad?" She said as she cautiously approached.

Reginald Phoenix turned to Face her. "Ah Fara you are up, I heard you had a nasty accident outside are you well?"

"Yeah… I think so." She said. "Look at you… standing. I… I don't know what to say. I thought you were stuck in that chair from now on?"

"Hadly, what you see is the results of advancements in modern medical sciences my dear." He slapped his legs approvingly. "It's amazing what Confederation Medical can dream up if given enough time.'

"That's great…" Fara said smiling trying to process this. "I'm happy for you."

"So what brings you out here all unannounced."

"I…. don't remember." She said, feeling a little dizzy. "I had a reason but the blow to the old noggin seems to have made me forget. I can't stay too long, I have to pick up my Commander, has he contacted me yet."

"The matter has been tended to he will join us in an hour or so." Reginald replied. "Would you care if I invited your and your commander to dinner?"

"Yeah sure." Fara said frustrated at the lack of clarity in her mind. "I'm glad to see you up and about again."

"Not as much as I my dear." He walked up to her. She noticed that on top of being mobile once again he also seemed to be free of the ravages that the poison had done to his body as well. "Come let us talk so much has happened since we last spoke."

The dinner had been prepared and brought out to the dining chamber and they ate idling chatting. Fara felt very frustrated at her situation, her memory was coming back but their impact wasn't as great. She just felt more frustration over why she had bothered to come to Corneria in the first place.

"Something wrong my dear?" Reginald asked.

"No." She smiled. "Just processing things." She said poking at her food idally. They heard foot steps approaching and she saw Harry appear in the room with Amiella. He had changed back into his duty uniform and he looked like he'd had enough of the day.

"Ah Commander, glad you could join us." Reginald said getting up to greet him and shaking his paw.

"Mr. Phoenix. I heard we had an incident?"
"Yes Fara, had a little accident while she was out and about, I've already had my doctors look at her and her injuries have been treated."

"What happened?" Harry asked.

"Just a slip and a fall, she struck a rock with her head but she is well."

"Are you ok?" Harry asked Fara showing concern.

"Yeah, just a little hazy on what happened up till that." Fara replied feeling relief Harry was here.

"Would you care to join us for dinner Commander?" Reginald offered. "Fara accepted on your behalf."
"Sure.." Harry said. "After the day I've had I could use a decent meal."

"I'll have something brought to you immediately and have a seat will you." Reginald offered.

Harry graciously accepted as Reginald walked over to a wall intercom and called the kitchen staff to prepare a mill and took a seat by Fara.

"So you can't stay out of trouble on your own huh?" Harry asked.

"Apparently not." Fara said shrugging.

"Did you find what you were looking for?" Harry asked.

"I don't know, what did I come here for?" Fara asked.

"Damn you must have really knocked your head. You were having nightmares, you said you thought you might find something here." Harry said gently, trying to remind her.

"Sorry skip it's all gone." Fara said sadly. "I'm sure whacking my head when I already got a plate up there wasn't really a good idea."

"No not really." Harry said.

"How'd your meeting go."

"It was three hours of me trying to tell a bunch of stubborn Cornerians how to meet the expectations set on them by the confederation and them not really listening. At least until i handed them the orders telling them that their current government will be dissolved if they don't show improvement in the next six months. That got their attention."

"Heh." Fara smirked. "I doubt they'll go peaceably."

Harry nodded. "Unfortunately that is one outcome that may have to be dealt with but they have time to think it over. Essentially, they've been given enough rope to hang themselves with and most worlds at this time upon entrance would have recovered fully since in the same amount of time since first contact." Harry sighed. "The Confederation would prefer that worlds govern themselves, but if they prove themselves incapable of improving the quality of life for their populace, well, more aggressive tactics are implemented."

"In my opinion, 10 years is too long." Fara said, taking a small bite of her food.

"I would tend to agree but it's just the way we do things." Harry sighed.

Fara watched as her father disappeared down a side door. "Harry when we get done can we just get out of here?"

"Oh? You don't want to stay."

"Not really, can we just go home?"

"Sure if that's what you want to do." Harry said a look of worry flashed across his face.

Fara nodded.

Later

Dinner was finished and the rain had finally turned to a mist as darkness finally fell.

"Are you sure you want to take off, this is hardly a visit I had expected." Her father said on the landing pad.

"I'm sure, look I'll keep in touch." Fara said in the hatchway of the Talon.

"Thank you for your hospitality Mr. Phoenix." Harry said.

"It isn't a problem. Safe journey back home Commander."

Harry walked up the gangway inside the ship.

"Well I got to go." Fara said wanting to get out of her, the unease had grown evenmore and she wanted to leave. "Love you dad."

"Love you to Fara." Reginald said stepping back towards Emilla who watched on with her arms folded across her chest.

Fara keyed the closed door and started to head up into the ship, as she did she quickly look back and saw her father scowling and saying something tersely to Emilla and her nodding in agreement as the door closed.

She'd never seen her father act like that before and the look Emilla gave her was unsettling, once the hatch closed and they were underway she was glad whatever had happened was behind her.

Fara double checked the autopilot controls and engaged the cloak. They should get home without any trouble and with the cloak up there was little chance they would be intercepted unless they responded to a call for help.

She was in a nightgown getting ready to bed down for the night. After the day she was looking forward to ending it as soon as possible. She felt uneasy, alien and alone fleeting impressions of the nightmares she had dogging her mind. She'd taken her medication and was just wanting to go to sleep and put this strange day behind her. What really bothered her was she felt like something had been taken from her, just removed without her consent. She felt robbed and violated and that look on her fathers face when she left just made her unease worse. She made her way back to the sleeping cabin.

Harry was already back there reading the book he brought trying to get settled down and he regarded Fara as she entered.

"Everything ok?"

Fara nodded. "Cloak is up, autopilot set. Should be smooth sailing." She stared at the retracted bunk deep in thought.

"Alright." Harry said telling by her tone she wasn't feeling very talkative, he went back to his book. However he was startled as he felt weight on the mattress and Fara lay down beside him resting her head on his shoulder.

"Fara what are you doing?!"

"Just shut up… I don't want to sleep alone right now." She sighed heavily. "Just be here for me, ok."

"It's just um… well.." Harry said, a bit shocked. "unusual." He chuckled.

"Our whole relationship is unusual, just deal with it." Fara yawned feeling suddenly very heavy as her medication started to go to work. "Good night Harry."

"Good night Fara." Harry signed and relented and put his book away, grabbed a blanket and draped it over the both of them. He watched her for a little bit as she drifted away apparently sleeping rather peaceably for once. He worried for her, wished he could help her but supposed this was all he could do for now, with that he worked on getting some rest himself.

The End..

*The Sky is Falling © Elmore James, 1959

**I Got a fine little mama © Elmore James, 1960