Zenon IV: Second Chances
It has been one full year since Greg Andrews and Zenon Kar were engaged. In that time, Margie had given birth to a beautiful baby boy, which they named after the child's grandfather.
Zenon and Greg wanted to hold the wedding a week after Margie gave birth, but Margie respectfully requested—demanded, Zenon said in her journal—that she be allowed to regain her previously svelte figure after gaining some particularly inky baby fat.
In that time, Nebula and Cassie got married—Nebula to a back-up dancer for Microbe, Cassie to a college classmate. Even Dasha had a boyfriend, a fellow student in Greg's first period American History class.
Finally, the day of reckoning had arrived—Zenon and Greg's wedding day.
In Zenon's quarters, Nebula, Cassie and Dasha were doing Zenon's hair and nails, while Zenon's mother was giving her only daughter some last-minute advice.
"Zenon, I understand that, by the end of the day, you'll be Mrs. Greg Andrews," Astrid said. "But, always know that you'll always be my baby girl."
"Thanks, Mom," Zenon said. The door chime rang. "If you're not Greg, come in," Zenon added. The doors slid open to reveal Proto Zoa and Cosmic Blush.
"Aidan, Danielle, thank you for this stellanarious gown," Zenon said, indicating the wedding gown she wore. "No problem, Zee," Proto Zoa said. "It belonged to my mother, Gabriella, who wore it when she got married."
"President Bolton is your mother?" Zenon said. "And yet, you speak with a British accent. Why is that?"
"Well, love, it's like this," Proto Zoa said as he sat down. "Fifteen years ago, my father, Troy, was killed in an automobile accident in my true hometown of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Mum and I moved to London to start over following Father's death. My father's last words will remain with me until the day I die, however."
"And they were?" Nebula said. "Well, before he died, Father was recounting the last thing he heard before the car hit him. Someone said to him, 'This will show Zenon Kar not to mess with me,'" Proto Zoa said.
"But I was only five years old and had just arrived here on the spay-stay at the time," Zenon said. "Who at that time would know my name?" "Only one person," Astrid said. "Parker Wyndham."
"How, Mom?" Zenon said. "It's possible Wyndham might have gotten a hold of a time machine or something, gone back in time and killed Mr. Bolton," Judy said.
"I have an idea," Zenon said after assimilating the information for a moment. "But, let's get back to wedding business for a moment. I'll tell Greg the whole story."
Zenon pressed a control on her zap-pad. "Lieutenant Kar to Command Deck. On my authority, transmit the following text message to the Zoans. Use all language forms and frequencies," Zenon said before writing a message.
Then, tapping the "Send" control, Zenon smiled. "P.Z., if my plan works, your father will live again. Consider this my ultimate 'thank you' for all you've ever done for me," Zenon said. "Your father deserves to see you become the success you have become."
Tears began to fall from Proto Zoa's face as he embraced Zenon. "Thank you, Zee," he said. The door chime rang again. "If you're not Greg..." Zenon said before the doors slid open, revealing Zenon's father.
"Everything's ready in the mess hall, Zenon," Mark said. "Let's go and get you married."
Zenon smiled, then linked arms with Mark and left her quarters.
In the mess hall, Greg stood with his groomsmen and General Hammond as the mess hall doors slid open, revealing Zenon. She looked angelic in the gown Proto Zoa lent her. As soon as Zenon reached the altar, Mark put Zenon's hand in Greg's and sat next to Astrid.
General Hammond smiled, then began the ceremony. "It is my honor to join this man and this woman in the eternal bonds of matrimony," he began. "But, before I continue, I have a few things to say about the bride."
"Ten years ago, I came aboard this station at the behest of then-President Chelsea Clinton to administer the military's interest in this station and its operations. At the time, Lieutenant Kar—soon to be Lieutenant Andrews—was just thirteen years old. I asked her to look after my daughter and do whatever Margie asked," Hammond continued.
"Later, Margie told me that Zenon had kidnapped her and took Margie to Earth. I eventually learned that Zenon had not kidnapped the mother of my beautiful grandson and that Zenon was right—that aliens had indeed contacted her and asked for her help."
"Since that incident, Zenon and I have built up a working relationship and friendship that has only grown and grown. That makes me very proud to oversee this ceremony," Hammond finished.
"Gregory Karl Andrews, do you take Zenon Astrid Kar to be your lawfully wedded wife-to share all the difficulties and the beauty that your lives will offer? Do you swear to keep her as your one and only love for however long you two live?" Hammond asked Greg.
Greg looked at Zenon's veil-covered face, then back to General Hammond. "I do, sir," Greg said. Hammond then turned to Zenon.
"Zenon Astrid Kar, do you take Gregory Karl Andrews to be your lawfully wedded husband-to share all the difficulties and the beauty that your lives will offer? Do you swear to keep him as your one and only love for however long you two live?" Hammond asked Zenon.
Zenon closed her eyes for a moment, heard the voice of Sage in her mind ("It's all right to hold on to them, but there are times when you must leave the memories alone. Live in the moment, Zenon Kar. Be happy with Greg."), smiled, then said, "I do. Very much so."
Hammond looked at the assembled audience, then said: "Gregory Karl Andrews and Zenon Astrid Kar, under the authority vested in me by the President and citizens of the United States of America, I hereby pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss the bride."
Greg folded back Zenon's veil. The two lovers closed their eyes, then shared their first kiss as husband and wife. The audience stood and applauded.
Hours later, the new Mr. and Lieutenant Andrews stood at the airlock to the Wonder Bus and smiled. "It's nice that Mr. Zoa is letting us borrow the Wonder Bus for our honeymoon," Greg said. "So, where are we headed?"
"Uh, Greg, it's not as much a matter of 'where' as it is a matter of 'when,'" Zenon said. She proceeded to explain what Proto Zoa had said to her before the wedding.
"You're serious," Greg said. "My husband, have you ever known me to be anything else?" Zenon said. "We need to go back in time and save Proto Zoa's…I mean Aidan's…father."
"So, how are we going to go back in time?" Greg asked. A rainbow-colored light flared in the viewports. Zenon and Greg looked over and saw a Zoan. A tendril of the Zoan's body lanced out and touched Zenon on the arm.
Zenon closed her eyes and nodded. "This Zoan will open a temporal anomaly, targeted three days before the death of Troy Bolton. It is about that time, Aidan said, that Parker Wyndham appeared and set up the accident that killed Mr. Bolton," Zenon said before the Zoan withdrew its arm and flied away to open the anomaly.
"Shall we go then, my wife?" Greg asked, gesturing to the open airlock. "Let's go indeed, my husband," Zenon said before kissing Greg and following him onto the Wonder Bus.
Five minutes later, the Wonder Bus sailed into the anomaly. Zenon Kar had begun her greatest adventure.
So ends Zenon IV: Second Chances.
However, the adventure continues in Zenon V: The Final Stellinarious Adventure.