ONLY FEW TECHNICAL COMMENTS ON THE END – WORDS IN CURSIVE BETWEEN OR MEANS WHAT IS SOMEBODY THINKING, BUT NOT TELLING, OR WHEN REFERING TO FIREBALL AS TO HIM. – BECAUSE OF FF IS GOING A LITTLE CRAZY TWO POSSIBILITIES. MY ENGLISH IS SAME BAD AS TILL NOW, SO PLEASE BE TOLERANT, IT IS DIFFICULT TO WRITE IN A DIFFERENT LANGUAGE, WITH DICTIONARY PERMANENT ON MY KNEES I TRIED TO PUT AWAY AS MANY MISTAKES AS POSSIBLE, BUT STILL....AND MOST IMPORTANT, I DO NOT OWN ANYTHING, I JUST LENT SOME TO ALL OF US VERY WELL KNOWN CHARACTERS AND PLAYED A LITTLE WITH THEM IN MY CRAZY MIND. ENJOY READING, WINTERMAGE
Chapter 8 - Answers
Simona sighed with relief when hearing the car coming. Jesse with hands full of tools and Marco holding Samantha wrapped in blankets entered.
"Is she – "
"She's fine, she only fainted after seeing your brother's face."
"Oh...good, take the armor off from her and put her in bed, we have to go now."
"And the car?"
"Leave it here, our agent is already on way. Target – Mother Earth. Maybe also you two can go sleeping. It was an exciting night."
"No, I'll stay by her."
Jesse threw a worried look on Marco, who was pale and obviously before collapse. "Marco, she's not in a state to see you. And the last days took all your power away."
"Yes, brotherheart, you need rest."
"No, I stay by her." he repeated and left.
"Stubborn, too stubborn is your brother..."
"Mhh...what can we do. Good night, darling.
Samantha found herself on a bed with a source of weak light somewhere behind her.
"Where am I?"
Despite what has he said before, was Marco too exhausted to stay awake for the whole time and fell asleep sitting in an armchair by her bed. Her voice did not wake him completely.
"Shhh, baby, it was just a dream..."
Samantha sat up on the bed when hearing THAT particular voice and started to scream.
Jesse, who was sleeping in the next room, reached the wild duo as first. His presence didn't calmed her much, of course, so when Simona came in, the following scene was going on in front of her: Half dressed Turbofreak Fireball, only to few people known as Samantha Hikari was sitting on bed, pressing herself to the wall and screaming for her life, while looking on the Commander of the Outriders – Jesse Blue and his future brother-in-law and previous captain of the Starsheriffs in one person – Saber Rider. Both boys were torn from sleep and especially for Saber was it difficult to orient in the situation. He didn't know if he should run away, huge Samantha or hide behind Jesse.
Simona bit in her lips to suppress the coming laugh and solved the situation instead of them.
"Out of here, both of you!"
"Out, have I said!"
It was usually Jesse or Marco, who was giving orders, but this time both of them obeyed and left to the second bedroom.
Simona decided, this is not the right time to come in Samantha's near, so she stayed next to the door. "Samantha, I know, this must be a ridiculous situation for you, but please, calm down and let me explain."
After the boys have left, also Samantha's overworked nerves calmed a little and she stopped to scream. Actually, she has already come to the conclusion, that Saber is alive, but after last events was she not able to think logical. Now was she carefully observing the woman in front of her. Finally, finally, the so long searched key was standing in front of her and offering all answers. She recognized the woman from the desert and later Jesse's girlfriend. Now she understood, why was the stranger always wearing a hut. Tall, slim, her eyes, her face...
No doubt, she's Sabers sister. And we thought, he's having a brother…
Only her hair was not blond but red.
No wonder Mary recognized her so quickly in the story. She's her daughter...
"We can postpone it on tomorrow, if you're too weary."
"What time has passed since has Ramrod attacked the base?" asked she with astonishingly calm voice. The absence of Jesse and Saber was obviously having a good effect on her.
"About a week."
"Most time of this week have I spent sleeping or being unconscious. I'm not going to fell down. Not this time."
"Fine, then maybe we can go to control center. The boys are really exhausted, they need some rest. Follow me!"
There was no sign of previous weariness, Samantha was following without problems. The only residuum of the last adventure was a feeling of cold, so she put a blanket over shoulders. Controls were not far away. Once being there, the stranger pointed to one of the seats. When sitting down, a loud sound from Samantha's stomach broke the silence.
"Sorry." she reddened.
"Oh, I've forgotten, it must be a long time, since you ate. Charenster is having many extraordinary abilities but being a good host was never one of them. Unfortunately, I can serve only with instant dishes."
Sam nodded. The stranger vanished in corridor and in a minute returned with a tablet, on which were standing few cups.
"A soup." she gave one of the cups to Samantha. "But sip slowly, your body has to recover first. Stomach including." she added with a little smile. "Till, I forget. I've sent Marco back to the bedroom. He was not sleeping for the whole time and now is falling on nose..."
"You promised to explain."
"Yes. Comfortable? So now I can start. First, my name is Simona and I'm Mar-Sabers younger sister, as you have already noticed, I suppose. The whole story started almost 30 years ago. Mary, our Mum, was about 17, when she got tired from the life of Earth aristocracy and ran away from home. For two years was she traveling through the galaxy, doing jobs like stewardess on spaceships and so, till she got to Calishia. There, she met a young engineer-scientist. They fell in love, she stayed with him and after she got pregnant, they married. Marco was born and two years later, I.
Dad had a colleague, a good friend, whose wife died by car accident. He stayed alone with a small child, almost same age as Marco. Job of our fathers was pretentious, there was a lot to do and he was not really able to take care about a small child, so Mum decided, that if she can care for two children, she can do it also for three and we were growing up together. I see what do you want to ask. Yes, it was Jesse.
The idyll lasted for few years, then, the so-called reformists grabbed the politic power to their hands. A dictatorship has started. Of course, a wave of discontent rose up, but their bloody practices suppressed most activities. Only a small group of rebels was left. Our fathers including. For a year were they collecting supplies, weapons and people. Unfortunately a traitor infiltrated the organization. Information came out short before the final strike and again bloody revenge followed.
It was a massacre! Our fathers belonged to first victims." for a second forgot Simona the world around her and returned back in time, to the moment when her childhood ended.
"Warning has come in last minute, a good family friend helped Mum with us to escape, but..."
Astonished Samantha was listening. She knew for longer time, that Saber was not having an ideal childhood, but this was more, than she was able to imagine even in wildest dreams. Simona focused back on Sam, sighed and continued.
"It is difficult to run away with three children and no wonder, that I and Jesse got lost. Only a miracle helped us to survive. Later, the same family friend found us and took away. Mum with Marco dared to risk and stayed for few days in Calish, the capital city, to wait for news. Soon, have they come. In newspaper has been written, that the soldiers eradicated successfully the rebels forever, no one stayed alive. I don't dare to guess, how many people were satisfied or horrified with this action.... anyway, Mum with Marco left Calishia and returned to Highlands, giving all hope up.
The family was more perplexed than glad to see Mum again. They were making her life to hell, till she could not stand it any more and decided to use the first opportunity to leave them again – marry Edward Rider. He fell in love for her from the first day he saw her. He could not oversee the fact, Mum's feelings for him are not the same, and she's only trying to find a hiding place for her and for her son. Despite it, he asked for her hand and they married. Mum had only one condition – he will never ask about her past..."
"So Edward was indeed not Saber's father!"
"We were wondering, how is it possible, that there is no similarity between him and Saber. We came to the same conclusion, but it was a just a hypothesis..."
"I have never seen him, but Marco says, he's an adorable man, patient, helpful...he started to treat him like his own son very soon. After discovering his fencing ability, they were practicing every day. During one of the practices Edward has called him Saber. Later, everybody started to use this nickname as a real name, so step by step were all hints on our real father forgotten."
"Mary has not done anything against it?"
"No...she was having no actual information from Calishia, but she knew very well, that one day will they come here... "
"And Edward still doesn't know?"
"Well, after the weird Highland episode Mum broke her silence and explained him everything. They're living as a real happy married couple in these days. You will see it with own eyes, at all."
"We will stay in the Highlands in next days. That's the best hiding place."
"WOW!" was Samantha's only commentary.
"Back to the story, information which the Calishian media received were true only on 98 , the reminding 2 , those few rebels, that survived the massacre, together with me and Jesse left the main planet. Aside, we could slowly recover. A new center was slowly growing...Our leaders recognized our weakest point. We were not an equal opponent for the dictator who already broke the traditional barrier between Calishia and the rest of the world and started to trade also outside our solar system. We could cause him problems, a lot of problems, but not enough for a victory...we needed an ally, someone, who will support us from outside.
"I thought, Calishia has been discovered only two or three years ago."
"Officially yes, but the Calishians started to communicate with New Frontier much, much sooner. Your ex-husband is a good example."
"You also k-"
"Let, me continue, I will explain it. Your story is not such well-known fact as you're probably thinking right now. Anyway, two teams have been built, to find someone suitable behind borders of our solar system. I decided to join one of them and Jesse the other. Despite our youth, no one was against it, because only few people could speak English – the official language of New Frontier fluently. Not necessary to elaborate, that we wanted to find Mum and Marco.
I was luckier and we met accidentally on one of the New Frontier planets. He was traveling a lot in those times. He covered it under the name other-cultures-recognizing, but he was trying to find a way, how to get to Calishia. After 20 minutes was he our, he could remember the massacres too good to stay impartial. He started a carrier of a rebel spy. His first bigger discovery was a trading partner of the Calishians, a man named Osakura."
"That's how he found out about me. I have never really believed to the story with seeing my photo!"
"Yes. To continue, it was a special moment to meet Mum again. Of course was she less happy about the fact that all of her children are working for the rebels. Later has Marco joined the Cavalry. His first idea was to find a way from inside to establish a connection between Cavalry and rebels. Unfortunately, after getting to the near of your leaders, he ended in the Ramrod team. No, don't take it bad..." added Simona quickly, as she saw Samantha's reaction. "You did a great job against the Outriders, but sending Marco away from Yuma has reduced his possibilities how to continue...
It was not exactly the way he was imagining his time in Cavalry. Later, he said, he was horrified when Eagle called him and offered him the work in Ramrod. He was afraid of Eagle finding out everything about us and was not sure about the consequences."
"If you take it from this side, his time in Ramrod was really a wasting..."
"That's not true and Marco is the last one who is considering it as wasting. As a Starsheriff in Ramrod team has he really helped us to find a nice number places suitable for bases with strategic meaning. And, the first thing we all learnt was, that the Outriders are also a powerful but untrustworthy group and it wouldn't be bad to have also a spy among them."
"Clever! But his work was much harder then Marco's. It was necessary to have a believable reason to join the Outriders, so first he had to join the Cavalry and start the whole traitor story with all its negatives..."
"April and Trista?"
"He's not proud on it, believe me."
"April will be fine after her ego recovers, I'm more worried about Trista. She vanished after the accident and no one heard about her since that. We were trying to find her..."
"She's hiding on Earth. We helped her to find a job, anonymously of course and one day will also she able to return, I promise it, Sam. Now, you're having at least a general picture of the whole situation, I hope."
"Mhhh, you can go straight to the most interesting part."
"Good, only one short trip to our history, till I start. All the Calishian inhabitants are having an Earth origin. Our culture is not older then 200 years. One of the first transporters that left Earth was having a bigger group of people dissatisfied with their life conditions. They decided to form a new community, totally independent from Earth, with a different language. One of them was a little crazy, really fascinated with an old revenge-act of the aborigines in Pacific. The act itself is not interesting any more, but they used a special drug, that slows your metabolism, heart rate and breath frequency so down, that a laic would consider the victim death. After 72 hours the body recovers, but usually is it too late for the poor victim. Actually, such drugs were widely used in middle-age, now only this one is still known in Calishia and there are enough people, who know how to use it."
Sam shivered when hearing those words...
"So, during the war with Outriders the Calishian agents revealed Marco's true identity. Because you were flying from mission to mission, they had enough time to prepare. You know about their conditions."
"The copies were from you, I suppose."
"Yes. Marcos idea. It was easy for him to hack into the Cavalry main computer and supply us with news about you."
"We were suspecting it's Jesse."
"Mhh, logically. He was the only one able to deliver it to your hands. Anyway, later, after you won the war, the Calishians understood, that diplomacy is leading to nowhere. They were after Marco. He knew he has to vanish. We decided to use the old strategy, already several times used by our people. Lack of time prevented a longer preparation, we had to do it quickly. After he knew, that we're with Jesse in near, he took the drug. You know what was following."
"Yes, but why have you chosen that particular place?"
"There were several reasons. It was less dangerous for Jesse to get there. It was on periphery of the Calishian interests and most important, the whole place was suffering from lack of medical care. Even a real good doctor without any technique could notice he's not really death."
"That's why were you forcing us to hurry with the burial."
"How do you know it was me?" asked Simona with a smile.
"Oh. Consequence of an injury during our escape for years. To continue, in night, we get Marco out and burnt the coffin. We tried to left hints on Satanists, to hide clues after digging and puzzle you."
"We found out it was just a cover maneuver! If you had done it in a big city, we maybe would have believed, but in such small village? No, that has been suspicious from the beginning."
"Yes, you needed some time and we could get away to the base. Still, the quick exhumation was an element, we were not counting with."
"Why has Saber stayed here, would it not be wiser to leave to your HQ or center or where ever, as far as possible?"
"Would. But I think you can guess the reason, Sam."
"For the whole time was he thinking how to let you know. Unfortunately, no one of us was ready for the reaction of the Cavalry. We could not even send a message to Mum. Eagle was monitoring everything in the Highlands, even transmission."
"He was afraid of Jesse torturing them somehow. If he had know he's only making the situation worse, he surely would ha-"
"Maybe yes, maybe no. Since Marco joined us, there was a risk that Mum will become a possible target of the Calishians. Of course, we're having an agent in near of the castle, who should be able to protect her. Now am I asking, if your enemy vanishes under strange and suspicious circumstances, where would you search for information? My personal opinion is – by a near person."
"It has some logic, no doubt."
"So, that protection from Eagle was not a bad thing. A logic move from his point of view. An unwanted side effect – we were not able to let her know. It took more then a month till the attention fell down a little and Jesse could dare to visit the castle."
"Why have you not called her?"
"Every single call they received was coming through Cavalry computer and worse, the Calishians already infiltrated the CC. They were waiting on information coming right from source. Of course, it was not Jesse, who were they expecting to come."
"I don't understand."
"Somehow, Jesse's true identity is still unknown to the Calishians, despite the fact that he's the only one who kept his real first name. It's just a question of time...anyway. Even in case soldiers would catch him, Eagle and the others could persuade the Calishians, he's just an Outrider commander and this is an act of revenge. Or better, we were hoping, it would be so."
"Because of Eagles overprotected eye, we were the first who brought details of what have happened. Mary recognized you in our story and since that moment knew what's going on."
"We were thinking, you will visit the Highlands sooner. If you would have done, a lot of worry could be spared. Hers and yours...she was seriously thinking about revealing the facts to you. Only Jesse's arrival stopped her to tell you. On the other side, if Jesse has not come, Charenster would have known about Marco sooner and the history would be going in a different way right now."
One week ago would Samantha be mad about such a comment, but after the experience with cruelty of the Calishians she just sighed and nodded to Simona that she understands and she can continue.
"The Calishians decided, it's time to continue with the play with the Cavalry Command. You were supposed to be the next target."
"I know, Charenster told me."
"We tried to save you and the theatre on the Outrider base followed."
"Let me guess, it was Saber's hand I bit in, right?"
"It was funny to observe my dear brother, who was used to have women lying by feet, becoming such treatment from you...."
"It was again him, who visited me in the room, I suppose....."
Sparkle in Simona's eyes was the answer.
"Don't worry, he's the one who should be sorry. Actually, lack of space and people had bad affection on him. He was doing only non-sense in last days."
"For how long was he forced to stay in the base?"
"For the whole time."
"That means almost six months!"
"He knew it wouldn't be easy."
Samantha remained silent. She was thinking about what have happened during the last year. She loved Saber and during the period when she was thinking that she lost him forever, has she found out how deep were her feelings. Now, she was having all the answers, she was looking for. Again a chapter of her life finished. What will be written in the next one? Will these people accept her? Simona and Jesse surely. Both were obviously familiar with her story and still, Sam could not notice any disappointment in their voices.
"You're looking so serious."
"I'm thinking about all what happened. How will it continue?"
"We will stay in the Highlands in next days, there you can fully recover. We all need this. And then, we can speak about what to do next."
"But you're already having an idea..."
"Mhhh, for you and Marco will be the best to go to our HQ, that's the safest place for both of you. Jesse will return to the Outriders and I'll go back on Yuma. I'm supposed to help our agents to establish a connection between CC and us, if it is possible."
"It is! Eagle is trying to do the same for a longer time!"
"No, seriously, he's searching for a way how to do it for months."
"WOW! Interesting times are coming. Looks like peace is nearer than we were thinking. Pity, he never met somebody from us. I'm sure that's the work of Charenster and his bastards."
"Maybe also I can help."
"No, rather not. You should stay impartial if possible, Samantha."
"Do you think I let those Calishians to do such things to me and will stay impartial?"
"I'm not wondering about the name Fireball any more, you're really like fire. But we should put this to ice for some time. After seeing how have the last events affected the happening in CC and Calishia we can decide what will be the best to do."
"One more question."
"I promised to answer every question you have."
"Don't contact them for now. I don't suspect any of them being a traitor, but you never know what can happen. Later, we will see."
Both of them stayed silently for a while. Simona turned the autopilot of for a while, to correct the target. She was concentrated on the controls in front of her, but still was able to notice with one eye how Samantha wrapped tighter in the blanket.
"Maybe now, after you're having the most important answers, you want to have a shower."
" A bath has to wait till we're in the Highlands."
"A bath doesn't hurry, we had to survive without it for weeks when being on mission. I'm used on shower."
"Nice to hear, that someone else is familiar with it. Mum has already prepared some clothes for you, I will lend you some of mine so far."
"That would be kind, thank you!"
After the shower Samantha returned back to the monitor room. Together with Simona, they were talking about this and that, they have not even noticed, how time is passing. After a long, long time was Samantha feeling really good. Simona revealed more from her and Saber's life, so slowly the memory on those terrible minutes in the coffin started to fade.
In the middle of the conversation Jesse entered the room. Simona noticed him as first.
As was Jesse slowly going to her, she was explaining quickly.
"There is one more thing I forgot to mention, J-"
"That you two are together? I have noticed it already a week ago." interrupted her Sam with a wide smile. "Well, it was impossible to oversee."
"I see, you're starting to feel better, Sam. Or should I use Fireball?"
"No, Samantha is fine...Jesse. And thank you, for everything."
"You don't have to thank us, we're those, who should apologize for all what have happened."
"It's OK, it was not only your fault. I would do probably the same on your place. Maybe I should check Saber now..." with those words and a smile has she left the room.
"She's obviously feeling better. Good work, darling."
"We had a looooong chat."
A silent KNOCK, KNOCK
"Mhhh, he's probably still sleeping. This will be the most proper wake up in the history." said Sam quietly to herself and entered.
Saber was lying motionless on the bed. Sam smiled and took the shoes of. As she sat down on the bed and started to remove clothes, two hands from behind grabbed her.
"Looks like someone is needing my helping hand immediately."
A little duel on the bed followed. Sam was faster, but Saber knew, how to break her defend. He pressed her to the bed, so she was lying on back and he was over her, took with one hand both hers and started to tickle her with the other.
"giggle, giggle, stop, giggle, please, giggle, giggle, stop, giggle"
"giggle, no way, giggle, giggle"
He found an extremely sensitive area and increased the effort.
"giggle, giggle, giggle, gi-, giggle, giggle, giv-, giggle, -ing u-, giggle, giggle, -p, stoppppp, giggle"
Now was he pressing her hands toward the bed, while she was gasping for air.
"What for it?" asked Saber with sparkling eyes.
"What do you want?" asked she with same sparkle in eyes.
"I would know about something...."
He kissed her passionately.
"This will be my reward...."
She freed her hands and hugged him.
"Than come for more." she whispered quietly and kissed him back...
A bunch of clothes was covering half of the floor in the small room. Both under one blanket, Sam was lying on back, Saber on side. He was looking in her eyes and playing with her hair. His own darkened a little to a vague shade between blond and red through the voluntary prison.
"Will you ever forgive me?"
"I was always loving you and during our separation has my love to you only grown. Promise me, you will never leave me alone again."
"I promise.....but please, answer."
"A week ago, if I had seen you, I would have said you're a bastard and ignorant that has never really loved me...now..." she sighed, "now, I can't. That monster put me in a coffin and let me run out of oxygen...." she shivered by that memory and a tear occurred in her eye.
"Nothing like this will happen to you again, I swear, never!"
He kissed the tear away.
"I was searching the whole time for a way how to let you know..."
"Maybe if you told me sooner, the things would not go so far..."
"I can hold a secret, you're the one who should know it best."
"No doubt, but as soon as the Calishians would found out, that we're a couple, they would have kidnapped you immediately. Now are you aware of the affectivity of their methods. If you would confirm you know something, you would not come alive from their hands. Being unfamiliar with my history proofed you at least some protection."
"Do you think in that case would I survive?"
"Yes, they would put you in a prison and keep you there. Despite their power, they cannot dare to kill Starsheriffs left right without a real good reason. To get off someone who knows details about the rebels and the whole politic situation is a good reason. To kill someone who knows nothing and her death can cause a massive offensive from the Cavalry not. They could every time make it all looking like a misunderstanding and us would it give a chance to rescue you."
She put hands around his neck.
"Really?" asked she with a teasing voice.
"Sam, you're the most important person in my life. I can't live without you."