NOTE: With the holidays now over, I'm hoping to get back on schedule with my updates. Of course, life throws us curve balls, so one never knows. For instance, I'm tutoring students four days a week, plus reading/editing an original novel for a new teen writer and will soon be part of a group from the MLP forum as we prepare work for the pro market.

Speaking of which, I have a story called 'A Cat's Creation Tale' that has been accepted for an anthology named 'All About Eve', edited by Carol Hightshoe. I don't have a release date yet, but the link to the cover and blurb is on my profile page.

I've also completed the next chapter for 'Left Behind SG1' which I will be completing for ChristianGateFan. It was done with permission. CGF read/edited and posted it. We're working it this way so we don't lose anyone on the alert list.

Now, I have a special request for those of you reading 'Contact'. Is there anything you'd like to see done with the story or any suggestions you have? I'm running into a wall here and need a bit of help. Thanks!


Dragonlots aka Dana Bell

Chapter 16

"What do you mean you aren't going to it?" Jessica hissed through the com device.

"I said I won't kill the plants and condemn these people to starvation." Kit was trying to sound firm, yet Jessica caught the faint tremble in it.

"Nor will I strand them out here in the middle of nowhere," Mason concurred. "You've ordered a lot of odd things and I've followed them without question." There was a brief pause. "But not THIS time."

"I'll have you both up on charges!"

"How?" Mason snorted back. "We're not anywhere close to an Earth base and not likely to be anytime in the future. Sorry, Ms. Collins, you're on your own." His unit went dead.

"And you agree, Kit?" Jessica was furious with them both. They'd pay for their disobedience.

"Yes. You're wrong."

"You don't know what I know."

"And what do you think you know?"

"That these people," she stopped. Kit wouldn't believe her. "They aren't what they think."

"How do you know?"

"I know."

"Well, until you provide the scientific evidence to back up your claim, I'm with Mason. You're on your own." Kit's com flicked off.

Jessica stared at her unit not quite believing the two people she thought she could trust had just told her she was now alone. She sank down on her bed and dropped the useless item to the floor. There had to be a way to carry out her plan to stop them from getting to Earth. They couldn't be allowed to go there. They just couldn't.

"So," Adama motioned his son into one of the chairs. "Tell me what happened."

"We," Lee felt his face burn. "I've been seeing her." His father frowned but didn't comment. He was grateful for that. "I asked her about Atlantis. She," he paused not sure how to continue. "Jessica attacked me. She had me pinned on the floor and I didn't even see her move. She's incredibly strong."

"Like the Cylons."

Lee rubbed his neck feeling the raw skin under his fingers. He winced. "She isn't a Cylon. She's something else. Something deadly and dangerous."

"Do you think I should lock her in the brig?"

He wondered if his father was serious. "I don't know if it would contain her."

"I don't know of anyone who escaped without help."

There had been a number of such instances during the fleets' flight across the stars. None had really been successful.

"I have a strange feeling she would. And if she did, we might never find her again."

"I'm surprised Senator Collins didn't return to Earth," Vala said to her husband as they returned to his office.

"The Senator is here to do a report on the changeover of command and to tell the IOA," a smile tugged at Daniel's lips, "to go take a flying hike through a wormhole into space."

Vala couldn't help herself. She laughed. "Does he have that kind of power?"

"Senator Collins has a lot of backing in the senate and is one of the few respected by the IOA." He nodded. "And yes, he does."

"I'm impressed."

Daniel sat down behind his desk. "What's really on your mind?"

"I watched Senator Collins carry a large container out of medical area and take it to his quarters."

"It was probably his."

"Probably." Her finger drew a pattern on the simple black top of the desk. "Daniel, is he allergic to sunlight?"

"Not that I'm aware of. Why?"

"Because," okay, she was probably going to sound silly, but she didn't care. "He skirted around it when he went into his quarters."

"He might be. You could ask Dr. Keller if it's in his medical records."

"I'd prefer you to do that." She gave him her best winning smile. "Please?"

"Vala." He smiled back at her. "When I get a moment." He glanced up. "Come in Colonel Sheppard."

John Sheppard entered the office confidently, as if he had every right to be there.

It was her cue to leave. "I'll talk to you later."

Collinwood was over two centuries old with a rich history any Collins could be proud of Roger reflected as he sat in his office finishing up various business contracts. He put his signature on them and put them in the fax machine to be sent off.

As the pages slipped through to be sent, he checked his email. Most of it was business related, with a few spam messages he deleted. There was one from David who was currently on a vacation in the Bahamas with his cousin Carolyn. Roger smiled as he opened it.

Hello Father,

The weather is beautiful and it seems the threat of hurricanes has been averted thanks to the Collins charm. The island house is perfect and Carolyn spends everyday on the beach getting tanned. She's also acquired a number of admirers and is out on a date every night.

I did check into the matter we discussed before I left. The owner of the business might be interested and is willing to set up an appointment with you. It was a good idea you had about me meeting him in person. I think it was the best way to open negotiations.

One fun thing I have done. There's a dolphin sanctuary near here and I took the opportunity to visit it. For a large donation they allowed me to swim with the animals. They are amazing and I think I'll set up a fund to help them. Not only is it something I can support, but it'll look good as tax deduction.

Leave it to his son to mix his own personal beliefs with business. Roger would check with both his accountant and lawyer about the legality of the charitable donation.

You asked me a question before I left that I never answered. I had to think about it for a long while. I will tell you that when Jessica first came, I resented her. Now, I think the situation has reversed. Maybe that is why she took that assignment Cousin Barnabas offered her.

You know, his interest in her seems to be more than it should be as our cousin. I know you don't want to hear this, but I think you should ask Barnabas about his relationship with her. If it's wrong, you need to put a stop to it.

Roger frowned at the insinuation. Barnabas had never done anything improper while under their roof. What David was hinting at disturbed him. Still, Jessica's behavior suggested something was wrong. He'd wondered if it was because she was jealous of David. Now, he wasn't so sure.

The beach beckons and so does the water. I could get used to living down here. I have my own boat and the water is so clear you can see all the fish, rocks and everything else, no matter how deep it is.

Maybe I'll buy a home here. It would a nice change from Maine's cold winters and rainy skys.

He had to agree with his one about that. Perhaps buying a vacation home there would be a good idea. He'd talk to their realtor about it and arrange it while his son and cousin were there.

I love you, Father. I don't think I ever told you that growing up. I'm sorry. And thank you for caring enough to send me away so I got straightened out.

One last thing, have we heard from Jessica?


"No, David, we haven't," Roger said to the empty room. He missed his son and his daughter. Quickly he sent back a reply to David and then started one to Barnabas. He wanted to know where Jessica was and what was going on between the two of them.

"Thought you'd like to know the Deadalus left on time," General Landry informed O'Neill via the phone.

"Thanks for letting me know," Jack answered, trying to keep his cell phone under his chin while he cast his line out into the pond. A wind whispered through the pines surrounding his log cabin. The place was downright lonely without his wife there.

"Did you hear about Hammond?" Landry asked.

The general had died two weeks earlier from a heart attack. Jack had been saddened to hear the news and had flown off to DC to attend the funeral.

"Yeah. President offered me Hammond's job a the funeral." He frowned as something tugged on the line.

"You going to take it?

"No idea. Thought I'd wait until Sam got back and see what she thought."

"And the president agreed?" There was a hint of laughter in Landry's tone.

"Not willingly. In fact," he turned in his lawn chair to see if a car was coming up the dirt road. Nothing stirred the dust. "I'm betting he'll send someone to convince me to take it."

"If they come through here, I'll head them off."

"Appreciate it. Thanks."

"Anytime." Landry hung up.

Jack folded his phone and tucked into his pocket. The line jerked again. Damn pesky fish. He really didn't want to catch anything. O'Neill just wanted to sit there, drink a beer and enjoy the fresh air of the Rockies.

"Can't wait for you to get home, Sam. I miss you."

He pulled in the line, put fresh bait on it and tossed it out. Jack had retired so he could enjoy the rest of his life. He was tired of being shot at, being responsible for the big decisions, and most of all, he wanted to enjoy his wife he'd waited so long for, but according to regulations, he couldn't have.

Going back on active duty could mess things up and Jack didn't want that to happen. He'd tell Sam about the offer of course. Wouldn't be right not to. He just hoped she wanted to stay in Colorado and not hobnob with the big shots at the pentagon.

Then again, there were rumors floating around she might be offered her own ship. Might be a good move for her as well.

"Damn. Can't seem to win." He pulled the line out, put more bait on, and tossed it out yet again. "Pesky fish."