Spirits Within: Gaia

Disclaimer: Merely what I think should have been on the end of the movie. I do not own any elements of it.

Aki lay on her bed and stared up at the ceiling with glazed eyes. She watched the light flash over the silvery grey. Tears filmed her gaze. Gray. She blinked and they spilled, running down her cheeks, making the pillow wet under her head. Gray. What did she do now? Nearly everyone was dead. There were few enough people left around. The military would issue an order. She'd be forced into a marriage for the state, to start reproduction immediately. The thought made her sick. The man she had loved, still loved, laid in the next room, dead, his spirit stolen. It had been returned to Gaia…at least she hoped it had and that the Phantoms hadn't used the spirits as an energy source. What awaited her on Earth just wasn't good enough now. She flipped onto her side, her skin brushing the soaked fabric, and pressed the intercom.

"Doctor Sid."

"Hello Aki. Nice to see you're awake." She hadn't slept. He knew she hadn't.

"Doctor Sid, I want you to turn this ship around and go back to the meteor landing site," she said with conviction.

"What? Why?"

"I'm going to have a talk with Gaia."

"You're crazy! If Gaia touches you you'll die!"

"I'm willing to take that chance," she said grimly and turned the intercom off.

"Are you sure about this Aki?" he crackled over the headset. She didn't answer, just navigated herself down the side of the cliff, the gash in the earth, a gaping wound that revealed its inner workings – Gaia. She tried to focus on the crumbling earth in her hands and not what awaited her down there. Each handful of the cliff was a danger, one rock too loose and she'd fall.

It was with a sigh of relief that Aki touched down on the ledge. She wouldn't get any closer to Gaia than this. She unclipped the rope and went to the edge, kneeling in the dirt. With a flick of her finger she turned off the headset and spoke to the mother spirit, one-on-one. There was only them, nothing outside.

"Gaia," she started, her voice full of respect, "I've come to ask you something."

How was Gaia supposed to answer her? Suddenly it was a stupid idea, a pointless risk.


Aki started. It wasn't a word. More a feeling of the word. A tickle in her mind.

"Gaia, the Phantoms stole many spirits from us, I need to know if they're back with you."

They are

Again no words but the feel of them.

"Then Gaia," she said boldly, knowing she couldn't leave until it was asked, "will you consider giving the spirits back to those that tried to protect you and suffered violent deaths for their pains."

You ask me to return the dead

It sounded unnatural. Was she being selfish?

"Just a few."

The ones you knew

Aki blushed. "It is selfish I know." She looked up at the ship hovering above her and remembered what it contained. Her heart wrenched.

"Aki, this is foolish."

She inhaled sharply as another presence entered the conversation. "Gray?"

"The beam killed me Aki. I would have died anyway."

"You don't know that."

"We all die."

"But we never had the chance to live…not together."

Maybe you wasted the opportunity

She winced.

"Go home Aki. Live."

His thought was laden with sadness.

"Then," Aki said to Gaia, determined to get something from this visit, to help someone. "Please send the children back."

Which ones?

She got a vague slither of hope; it gave her courage to continue.

"All those lying with their spirit just departed. Those whose spirits are able to return to them."

Very well

Aki gave a small smile. "Thank you." There was no answer but a strong feeling to leave. Aki got up, bowed to the spirit and turned to go, not daring to look back but silently saying goodbye to Gray, the tears calmly sliding down her face.

"Did it work?"

She swiped the tears away and answered Sid.

"The children are being returned," she pressed the head set to her ear. "I'm returning back to the ship."

"Right." She heard the unspoken question in his voice but chose not to answer

If you had the chance would you go back?

"To my body? Yes."

Even if the chances of you surviving are minimal? Could you cause her the anguish of seeing you die a second time?

"Return to the base Sid," Aki sighed leaning in the doorway. Her mind wandered as Sid steered the craft through the atmosphere. "I think Gaia's going to bring back the children," she thought aloud, "and hopefully they will be enough to prevent the reproduction act from coming into effect."

Sid looked at her carefully. "What about Gray?"

"I'll deal with him," she said stiffening. With grim determination she went into the medical room where he was laid out on the table. His skin was ashen and white. The room had been suspended so no decomposition had taken place. With a heavy heart Aki kissed her fingers and placed them gently on his forehead then turned to seal off the area so the body would be incinerated.

Something grabbed her hand, causing her to spin around.

"You've not given up on me yet Aki?"

She gasped in amazement as Gray's eyes met her own. His skin was still white but the wan colour was gone and his chest had begun to rise and fall. She couldn't move from the shock.

"Not happy to see me?"

Her face split into a smile and her hand gripped his harder.

"Gaia sent you back."

Pain wracked his face.

"It appears so…although – it may just be – for a second goodbye."

He passed out on the table.

Aki immediately pulled out several machines and instruments from the walls. "I won't let it," she whispered, slamming her fist down on the intercom. "Doctor Sid! Put the ship in orbit then get in here quickly!"

Aki opened her eyes blearily and put a hand to her head.

"Urg!" she muttered roughly, trying to ignore the sandpaper taste in her mouth. "Sid?"

"Good morning Aki," he said via the speaker.

"What happened?"

"You've been asleep for the last forty-six hours."

"What?" she groaned. Now she remembered. Sitting at Gray's side after she and Sid had finished with him. Rejecting Sid's warning that he might not live. Never taking her eyes off Gray in case something happened, letting the fears swirl around in her head in the dim light until she had dropped off. Somehow Sid had got her back to her room.

"Why didn't you wake me?"

"I considered the fact that you'd fought Alien ghosts, been cured of a terminal illness, defeated a Gaia, lost your love, spoken to another Gaia, bargained for lives, regained your love and then had to fight to keep him alive in my calculations when considering whether to wake you."

She had to grin at that though her face felt dry.

"How's Gray?"

"Have a drink then see for yourself."

She gave a relieved sigh. Clearly Gray was in a stable condition otherwise Sid would've said something.

Aki got up stiffly and walked into the control centre. She rubbed her head as she plonked herself down and grimaced at how greasy it felt.

Sid was swivelling in his chair, operating the ships controls, "I'm trying to find a place to land away from the military." He glanced at her. "You look awful."

She screwed up her nose. "Thanks." Heaving herself up she grabbed a cup and pressed the button in the ship's wall to release the water. She gave a wry lopsided grin at her reflection. Rumpled clothes, scraggily hair and shadows under her eyes. She took the water back to her chair and sighed in relief as the cool liquid bathed her throat with soothing refreshment. She closed her eyes to savour the enjoyment, able to rest without a single shred of worry for the first time in years.

There was a light touch on her shoulder and a breath of air on her skin.

"Hey. How are you doing?"

Aki smiled and reached up to grip Gray's hand on her shoulder.

"You should still be in bed," she whispered chiding.

"Maybe you should too." He gently massaged her shoulders, easing out the tension.

"I didn't die and come back to life," she retorted, not moving.

"Its really not as tiring as everyone seems to think." He gently pressed a kiss to her neck but she pushed herself away.

"You're not fit to be trying that sort of thing."

"I hear it's very therapeutic."

Aki folded her arms and pointed to the door. "Go on. Back to bed."

Gray gave her a mournful look and sighed before trooping out despondently. Sid was giving Aki a knowing look.

"We're not at war anymore," she pouted before laughing. "I'm getting something to eat. Try and avoid the military as much as possible. Gray needs to recuperate before we face them."

"Hello commander," Aki smiled as Gray entered the room in his uniform. "Welcome home."

Gray swept her into a hug and placed a kiss on her lips.

"Its good to be back."

Three children, of around eight and nine years, ran into the room.

"Aki, Aki, she took my teddy bear!"

Aki put on her stern face, something that always amused Gray, and went to deal with the orphans. Aki had taken it upon herself to take care of the children whose parents had died in the war, including those who'd had their spirits returned. As she sorted out the dispute a fourth child toddled into the room. Gray smiled as he scooped up his two year old daughter and went to join his wife with the children.