FOR THOSE WHO KNEW

She used to be happy. She was the most beautiful woman ever, in his eyes. She would laugh at his lame cracks and quirky sense of humour. She had a smile that dazzled even the most seasoned officers, especially him, she had a special one for him.

Anything that stood in her way, any problem she came to, she conquered with ease. She saw no boundaries, except the regulations, she never crossed THAT line if it could be helped and even then only so far - she was smart that way. But she wasn't just smart, she was in a league of her own.

She saved our lives …… no … not just our lives the whole world, maybe even the galaxy (with a little help from us), too many times to count. We lived the best life, the four of us, together forever … well that's what we thought. And we got away with being like that too, young and …. Well not so young but definitely naive. We roamed the stars, getting out of any sticky situation. We had a knack for that kind of thing, we found it was something of a miracle on most occasions.

Then it happened. How it happened no one knows but she still blames herself. She said that it was her fault, that if she had done something different it wouldn't have happened.

She didn't talk at the memorial service, she just stood there blank faced, but I guess most of us were like that. He wasn't the only one lost, the whole place went and took them all with it, we only just got out before it blew. Before the service we had sent a probe in the vain hope that we may have been mistaken, that maybe someone else had survived, but we weren't, the picture we received was one of total destruction. Where there had once been a thriving city now lay only ruins and rubble. I think that's when reality finally hit and she realised that hindsight could not actually alter the past.

She changed in the days that followed. We all watched her slip, day by day, too consumed in our own grief to worry about her; we didn't stop to think about what she might be going through, we had drifted apart. So we just watched, as she died with him. It was as if she had lost her soul, her will to live. The General was the first to act on this and we were put on leave.

She didn't come back.

When we went to look for her we found a horror that no friend should find. What we saw there on her living room floor were the things that scary movies are made of. The things that cause sleepless nights in fear of the dreamings to follow, forcing us to face our past. We cursed ourselves for not coming sooner but we were afraid of the scene that would confront us. We found her - amongst the broken glass and stained carpet, a red wash picture of 'the team' held tight in her hand and close to her heart, a shadow of her former self.

We picked her up, helped her make amends and all the way we thanked the gods (impostors or not) that we conquered our own fear and got there when we did, if not we would have lost her.

She made it through, to the light on the other side, and left the past behind her where it belonged, we all did. We never once forgot him, just what had happened. It wasn't easy but, we stuck together, and once again we were the 'flagship team' number 1, but now she was our leader.

Content, she wakes up every morning and readies for work. She puts on her beautiful face and paints on her still dazzling smile. She laughs and jokes with the best of them, but it's not the same. Most would say that she is back to her old self again but we can see that she is missing that sparkle in her eye - she doesn't smile that smile.

Now she hides her scars

The scars of the past

That demand to be hidden

Kept in the dark

They may no longer weep their crimson regret

But remain as an unsightly reminder

For all those who knew