Disclaimer: All original movie characters, lines, settings etc. Belong rightfully to their creators. I own nothing except Rachel Velsing.

Chapter 1 - 8 Days

A R M A G E D D O N

What are we fighting for?

Rachel cracked her neck wearily, she stopped midway through a yawn as she heard gunshots fire. Rachel looked up from her job on the pipes, knowing instantly it was something AJ had done to seriously piss off Harry this time. Rachel stood up, taking a step onto the main pathway. She began walking in the direction of the gun fires and only moved quicker when Grace screamed,

"HARRY THIS IS NOT FUNNY!"

Rachel broke into a jog as she saw Harry up ahead with Grace screaming again at him and AJ on the move.

"Harry! Put the gun down! Your acting insane!"

Rachel noticed Grace only had a jacket wrapped around herself, and then she instantly knew what happened. Harry finally caught them. Rachel at that point made a mental note to not let Harry find out about her knowing when it all began.

"Now, honey go get some clothes on, and get out of the way."

"You can't control my life!" Grace shrieked.

Harry now looked at her in severe irritation, "Fine! Clothes. NOW!" Grace hurried to her barracks to get her clothes on, knowing Harry would probably kill AJ if she wasn't around.

Rachel fell in next to Chick and spoke, "Uh…AJ?"

Rachel didn't even need an answer when AJ shouted,

"You know what STOP! Alright! I-it was funny for a minute, but now it's not funny anymore-"

Rachel jumped to the side in shock as Harry again fired the gun, narrowly missing AJ and sent it ricocheting off the metal tubes. AJ crow hopped in an attempt to escape the bouncing bullet,

"YOU'RE OUT OF YOUR MIND!"

Rockhound took a step forward as Harry cocked the gun again, "H-Harry this is illegal man!"

"I'm temporarily insane, Rock, it's alright."

Rachel shot a wide-eyed look at Chick who shook his head at Harry's response. Harry began walking towards the tower as AJ screamed on his descent 'George of the Jungle style'. He landed a little rocky and immediately sprinted into the towers pressurization tubes and tanks holding area. Rachel spoke,

"Harry!-"

"What, Rache?! I've gotta a gun, and I am not in the mood for rationalizing things."

Rachel took a deep breath and nodded her head. Who in their right mind would want to screw with Harry Stamper, when he had a gun? She wasn't involved and she wouldn't involve herself. And AJ was the poor sap that gets the brunt force of Harry's rage.

Harry shot a glance at Chick and spoke, "Do I look like I am crazy to you?"

Chick took a breath, "Well…."

AJ was found cowering behind a propane tank, he shouted, "Harry! Alright just cool down!"

AJ had to duck again as Harry pulled the trigger the bullet hitting the notepad and then bouncing between the metal. AJ screaming,

"STOP! STOP! Alright Stop!"

"Alright now listen! Man to man!… I'm serious, I love her."

"WAY WRONG ANSWER!" Shouted Harry in response. Without hesitation he fired the gun again, the bullet struck a light hanging down and bounced skimming AJ's leg. He screeched over and over grabbing his leg. Rachel shot Bear a wide-eyed 'Holy hell' look, Bear returning it.

Chick spoke, "Whoa, Whoa, Harry, it's gettin' real."

Grace came from behind screaming, "HARRY! HARRY!" She shoved through us, running up to AJ.

Harry spoke calmly, "The bullet never got close, it's just a ricochet."

AJ growled, "You know it's all funny until someone gets shot in the leg!"

Rockhound suddenly shouted, "HEY! PUCKER UP WE GOT FLYING CUSTOMERS IN!"

Rachel looked at Grace fussing over AJ, she shook her head,

"God damn, I thought working on an Oil drilling rig would rid me of drama."

Harry muttered, "With my daughter aboard, there will always be drama."

Rachel rolled her eyes, "Oh yeah Harry, you shooting AJ in the leg with a double barreled shot gun has nothing to do with the drama."

If looks could kill, Rachel would have dropped dead on sight from the look Harry shot her. Rachel muttered,

"Ah, damn, not a good way to start off the morning."

Chick laughed and clapped a hand on her back as she went in the opposite direction towards her post.

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"Where did Harry go? I need him to sign some papers for me."

Chick looked up, "Harry had to leave. Here's your pay."

Rachel frowned, "We're getting it early?"

"Yeah, I dunno why, Harry just told me to do it."

"Ok, no complaints from me. I'm outta here."

Chick laughed, "So is everyone else."

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Day 15

"Ok, I'll go and get AJ, I know where to get him. We need one more person, and I think Rache would be great, but I don't know where we would be able to find her."

Truman spoke up, "What's her full name? I can have one of my men track her down."

"Rachel Velsing."

"Hatcher!" Truman called out.

"On it!" was Hatcher's response as his fingers began immediately flying across the keyboard.

Truman looked at the screen as an attractive woman's face appeared. She had dark hair and viridian blue eyes, Truman's observation was cut short as Harry spoke,

"Yeah, that's her."

Truman's eyes scanned over her record, he frowned, "You sure you want her?"

Harry's forehead creased, "Yeah. I practically helped raise her, and since she has worked with me, she has proven to be pretty reliable."

Truman still frowning responded, "Yeah, well she was in Civil Air Patrol, impressive, ROTC too, again impressive. She has been awarded the Bronze star, very impressive, But she was dishonorably discharged for the hand in a murder of a fellow soldier…? She wasn't imprisoned because there wasn't enough proof. She's a coward Harry, and apparently by Military commanders has been deemed a murderer too."

Harry's face fell into a deep frown, "Now, I don't know much about her history between the two times we have met, but Rache is not capable of murder. I guarantee it. There must have been some mistake…"

"Or she has tricked you."

Harry growled defensively, "No one tricks me, Sir. I want her on this mission and once you meet her you will know why."

Truman sighed, "Alright. She lives, amazingly near El Paso, our men should be picking up Oscar soon and can pick her up while they are at it."

Harry nodded his head, "I'm gonna go and get AJ now."

Truman nodded his head as he sent in a call.

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"So we're going to pick up Rache?"

"Yes."

Oscar sat back, "Oh ok."

They pulled into a dirt road driveway, a few horses were out in a pasture and Rachel was no where to be seen. The screen door to the house slapped shut indicating she had just gone inside. The FBI agents exited the vehicle, Oscar staying inside examining the landscape with interest. He knew Rachel better than anyone, as the two of them work on the same station and were very much alike in qualities. But like most everyone else, he knew nothing of her past, she simply just wouldn't say a thing about it. If you ask her she would say something simple to fill in the blanks but say nothing at the same time. Oscar was pulled from his thoughts as he looked out the car door window, the FBI were approaching her door…one of them picked up a baseball that was randomly leaning against the wall.

Suddenly the screen door burst open as Rachel came jogging out, she skidded to a halt her eyes falling upon the man which was nearest to her holding the baseball bat. Out of pure instinct and pure reactions, Rachel grabbed the bat, swung her leg around taking out the man's knees. With the baseball bat she took down the other, and midway was able to grab his gun out of the holster.

She stopped cold holding the gun to the last man's head, she spoke coldly,

"Who the hell are you guys, and why are you here?"

The man trembled as the other two groaned on the ground. Oscar opened the car door and spoke,

"Holy crap! Rache that was amazing!"

Rachel's head snapped in his direction, she spoke incredulously, "Oscar?!"

"What the hell is going on here?!" She held the gun firmly at the man's temple as Oscar spoke calmly,

"Oh, Harry's called us in."

Rachel suddenly saw the man's badge, her eyes widened, "Ah shit! You guys are FBI agents? Damn it!"

She immediately dropped the gun and backed off, the third man launching cuffs onto her hands as the other two stood up.

He shoved her towards the car angrily, she spoke,

"Ah…well I'm gonna arrive in style Oscar."

Oscar snickered, "You were amazing! You just single handedly took down three trained FBI agents! Where did you learn to fight like that?!"

Rachel shrugged as she was shoved into the car roughly, "Ah, it was a long time ago, training you know. Just stuff like that."

Oscar's forehead wrinkled as she again dodged a question, though said nothing more. He was however jittering in excitement to tell the guys what he had just witnessed.

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Day 14

Rachel stepped out of the car, her hands still in cuffs. Rockhound spoke incredulously,

"What'd you do?"

Rachel smiled as Oscar spoke enthusiastically, "You should've seen it! She took down 3 FBI agents single handedly, it was amazing!"

Rockhound shot a look at Rachel, "God damn."

Rachel looked up with a smile, though it quickly faded as she caught Harry's look. She grinned and shrugged as the FBI agent dug the key into the hole, unlatching the cuffs. She smiled sheepishly,

"Thank you."

He said nothing and walked away, Rachel grimaced. Not gonna look good on her already damaged record. Bear and Max ran up to each other like pumped football players echoing "Wassup." As they walked up the steps, Bear spoke,

"What's up, Harry? Did NASA find oil on Uranus, man?"

The crew erupted into laughter, Rachel and Bear bumped elbows with devious grins. Harry chuckled as Truman shot him a smile/grimace.

"Nah, guys. Just follow me."

Rachel frowned, Harry's voice was unusually calm and that worried her. Last time Harry's voice was really calm was when he had a shotgun and was after AJ. The crew walked through several corridors before stopping as Harry opened a door.

"Oh geeze, a conference room. Gotta be something big."

"Don't you know it." Replied Bear.

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"None of you have to go. We can all just sit here on Earth, wait for this big rock to crash into it, kill everything and everybody we know. United States government just asked us to save the world. Anybody wanna say no?"

"20 years. Haven't turned you down once. Not about to start now. I'm there." Chick said sincerely.

Freddy spoke soon afterwards, "Guess I can't let you go up there alone."

"I'm with you." Bear said deeply, his head nodding in all seriousness.

Oscar was fiddling with the space shuttle model on the table he spoke immediately afterwards,

"Man, this is - this is historic. Guys, this is…like…deep blue hero stuff! Of course I'm in."

Rockhound muttered, "While I don't share his enthusiasm, you know me. Beam me up, Scotty!"

Max's head fell into his arms and just laid there, as Harry spoke, "You all right Max?"

Max responded in a breathless, stammering voice, "I-I don't, I-I don't….Whatever you think."

Harry nodded his head and then looked at AJ and spoke, "What about you?"

AJ spoke simply, quietly, "I'm in."

Everyone turned to look at Rachel who's arms were crossed across her chest, she looked up. Her eyes connected with the curious, daring ones of Harry. Without him saying anything, she spoke,

"Ah, you know me. I'm already there."

"All right then. We go."

"I don't mean to be the materialistic weasel of this group, but do you think we'll get hazard pay out of this?" Rockhound asked.

A smile crossed Rachel's face as she shook her head. Harry shrugged,

"I dunno, uh, you guys can write down your requests."

Nearly immediately everyone picked up the pens before them and began writing down things. Rachel however didn't move. She thought, wondering what she could possibly ask for, that they could do. She would like her history wiped, but then everything would have to be wiped…And even if her history was wiped it would still be there. There to haunt her. Suddenly Oscar spoke,

"Do you think they would accept none of us ever having to pay taxes again?"

Rachel laughed, "I like that one!"

The crew echoed in agreement, Harry spoke, "Yeah, I'll put that in."

Chick spoke, "I wonder who actually killed Kennedy…?"

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Kimsey spoke in a near hissing voice, "If you're trying to make me feel better about this scenario, give it up."

Truman argued, "To tell you the truth, I'm kind of encouraged. This guy Chick here was an Air Force commando for six years."

Kimsey opened the folder in his hands and spoke, "We've got robbery, assault, arrest, resisting arrest. We've got a collection agent for the mob. Two of these guys have done serious time!"

"Look, they're the best at what they do." Truman responded wearily.

"So am I. And I'm not so optimistic. We spend 250 billion dollars a year on defense. And here we are. The fate of the planet is in the hands of a bunch of retards I wouldn't trust with a potato gun."

The group immediately quieted down as Harry approached cautiously. Truman turned and spoke,

"So what's the verdict?"

Harry stopped and responded, "They'll do it. They've made a few requests though."

"Such as?"

Harry riffled through sheets of paper and spoke, "Well, there's uh, few things here, uh... nothin' really big, uh, just- Well, as an example, uh, uh, Oscar here, he's got some outstanding parking tickets. Wants them wiped off his record."

Oscar shouted from the balcony, "Fifty-Six in seven states!"

Harry replied, "I'll-I'll tell 'em Oscar, you got it."

Rachel looked at Oscar, "Holy hell, fifty-six?"

Oscar shrugged with a small smile.

"Uh, Noonan's got two women friends that he'd like to see made American citizens no questions asked." Freddy grinned, rubbing his hands together happily as Harry continued.

"Max would like you to... bring back eight-track tapes. Not sure if that's gonna work, but, uh, let's see what else….Uh." Truman glanced at Max with a look of disbelief.

"Um, Chick wants a full week's Emperor's Package at Caesar's Palace. Um - hey, you guys wouldn't be able to tell us who actually killed Kennedy, would ya?"

Silence ensued, as the men just stared at him. Harry turned and shook his head.

"Um, Bear would like to stay at the…White horse?" He glanced up at Bear who then spoke slowly,

"White. House. White House"

"White House. Yeah, he'd like to stay in the Lincoln bedroom of the White House for the summer. Stuff like that…"

Truman nodded his head slowly, "Sure, I think we can….uh, take care of…some of that."

Rockhound turned and shouted, "Harry!"

Harry nodded his head and held up his hand, which he slowly dropped. "Yeah, one more thing, um…none of them wanna pay taxes again…Ever."

The three men stared at him. Harry grinned and shrugged.

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They all sat in the medical examining room, all in hospital gowns, and all sitting on their own gurneys. Nurses and Doctors passed through with oversized needles, passing through doors and occasionally into the back room. Rachel was all set up to go last, she wasn't sure why, and quite frankly she didn't care. She would like to postpone the stabbing of the needle as long as possible.

She watched on happily, watching her fellow oil drillers antics. She had only known them for four years, yet she loved them so dearly. Rachel's father had worked in the Stamper oil drilling business and amazingly, she remembered some of them from her childhood. Bear, Harry, and Chick were all there when she was a kid. Her father was killed in a drilling accident…So Harry and Chick took over for a few months until her mother took custody of her. Bear wasn't really a father to her, just one of the greatest friends she's ever had, he was always there and even though he is enormous, he was just as he was nicknamed a big teddy bear.

Max spoke, "Who's that for? Mr. Ed? You stick that thing in me, I'm gonna stab you in the heart with it. You ever see Pulp Fiction?" The doctor stared at Max, almost fearfully.

Rachel nearly erupted in laughter, she loved Max. He was a bit of…a… not an airhead but something else. It was hard to explain, but she loved him for it. He was the bully type, but then he wasn't. Max was a mixed character, but one thing that always stayed the same was his loyalty. And Rachel couldn't help but admire that.

Rachel's attention diverted to Oscar, who was playing with the medical equipment and spoke,

"We're losin' him, we're losin' him, Clear!" He acted out the shocking of his body sending Rachel into a few snickers. Oscar was her favorite, they were like best friends, had the same type of humor…It was impossible not to love Oscar, and almost certain to love him a little differently also.

Chick had been watching Oscar, but then turned to see Freddy hunch over in pain. Wheeling his own IV along,

"Freddy!" Chick called out. "You all right?"

Freddy responded incredulously, "Does this look okay to you? Does this look okay?"

Max jogged past Freddy and spoke, "It's not too bad. It's kinda tingly."

Rachel grinned at Max. She and Freddy weren't real tight, but they had the same sense of humor so they got along ok, They both did love ganging up together on the crew in some prank or other. Like most everyone else she cared for him like a brother.

Nurse Helga stuck her head out of the room and spoke, "Mr. Chapple, you're next."

Chick spoke calmly, "Aw, gee lady. I just came here to drill."

The nurse smiled, "Oh! So did I." Her sentence ended with a satanic look and a big ass needle.

Chick paled and gave her a frightened look before jumping off his gurney and walking in the opposite direction quickly.

"Your triglycerides are way high. And your bad cholesterol is shockingly bad."

Bear began to stand up on his table as Max spoke,

"Gotta lay off of those pork rinds Pooh Bear."

Bear ripped off his gown and spoke, "Pork rind this! Pork rind this! YEAH!"

Bear began dancing on the table, Rachel couldn't help but laugh, and laughed even harder when he pulled down his underwear to reveal one butt cheek. The room erupted into wolf whistles and cat calls, She shook her head, smiling. And at that moment wondering what the hell Truman thought of them. The thought of that made her smile.

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Day 13

Suddenly Rachel was in a room, built from triangles, the edges pointing outwards. Apparently it was supposed to create anger, fear, or discomfort. It didn't bother her a bit.

She sat comfortably, the shrink staring back at her. Rachel raised her eyebrows,

"Are you gonna start, or just stare at me?"

"How do you feel about yourself?"

"What are you a therapist too?"

The shrink opened his mouth but then closed it, and spoke,

"How did your military career go?"

Rachel didn't respond, her mouth closed and held firmly as her eyes narrowed. The shrink again blinked in his own discomfort, "Anger issues?"

"No."

"Ever murdered someone?"

Rachel's eyes narrowed, as she knew where he pulled that question from. She crossed her arms and again remained silent. The shrink spoke,

"Schooling?"

"Went to a normal public school, and I went to A&M for two years of college, and then transferred to West Point for my remaining two years."

"Majors?"

"Math and Science."

"Ok, tell me what you see in these pictures."

"You call that a picture? I call that a blob of ink."

"How about this one?" Asked the shrink.

I looked at the next one and again spoke,

"What the hell? That is the same blob turned upside down."

The shrink frowned, "This one?"

"Again, a blob is a blob, turn it whatever way you want to, and it will still be a fucking blob."

The shrink covered his hand over his mouth in restraint from laughing. Rachel smiled rocking on the hind legs of the chair,

"Are we finished?"

"Yeah we're finished."

"Good."

Rachel stood up and left the room without hesitation, the lighting or something or other was starting to get on her nerves in there. Just a brain wiring problem, most likely. Ah, who the hell was she kidding? She failed that.

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"Fail. Fail. Depressively fail!" He dropped the folders on the table.

"One person, one person of your entire team passed. And that was by the skin on her teeth, .1 percentile, that is it. And even with her passing she refused to answer questions of her past, or her career in the military. She is as stubborn as a bulldog, tough as one too, though I worry. Rachel Velsing, doesn't appear to be NASA material, and I believe the only reason she passed is because she holds some degree of intelligence and standing unlike all the others."

"One toxicology analysis revealed Ketamin, that is a very powerful sedative!"

Harry frowned, "Sedatives are used all the time, doctor."

Banks looked Harry in the eye and responded, "Well this one's used on horses."

Harry shrugged, "Some of these guys are pretty big."

As Kimsey glared Harry shrugged, "What?"

"You know, it would normally take 18 months to psychologically prepare pre-screened, viable subjects for space travel. We have seen evidence of a wide variety of territorial aggression."

Truman sent somewhat of a glare at Harry and then cut off Banks,

"Can they physically survive the trip? That's all I need to know here, okay?"

Banks sat back in his seat, "Personally, I don't know how they survived the tests."

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Day 12

"Good morning, I'm Colonel Willie Sharp."

"In addition to flying one of the X-71 teams to that rock, my job is to teach you how to deal with the mental and physical rigors of working in space…So you don't freak out on the asteroid."

The room was silent, everyone was either hunched over or slumped over in their seats. Rachel twirled her pen in her hand listening carefully.

"United States Astronauts train for years. You have 12 days. Do we have any intelligent questions before we get started?"

Chick raised his hand, Sharp nodded his head in his direction. "What's an X-71?"

"You're the first civilians to ever see her." Spoke Truman, he then turned and led them towards the large hangar.

As they entered, Truman again began speaking, "We call them the X-71's. It's a top secret joint venture with the Air Force. She and her sister ship in Vandenberg are leaving tomorrow for launch prep in Florida, but I thought you ought to have a look."

"The two shuttles going up are the Freedom and the Independence. Her titanium alloy impenetrable skin covers the toughest, meanest, most sophisticated space vehicle man has ever made."

Everyone stared in complete awe of the massive shuttle, Rockhound whistled lowly under his breath. Rachel muttered,

"Holy shit."

Harry smiled, "Holy shit's right."

A group turned to look at them. They held a superior look about them, looking down almost in a lowly fashion. Truman spoke,

"Air Force Colonel Davis, NASA Pilot Tucker will command the shuttle Independence."

One of man nodded in a greeting, there other simply stared. Though their faces seemed kinder than the others.

"Air Force Colonel Sharp, NASA pilot Watts shuttle Freedom."

The woman nodded her head.

"Munitions specialists Gruber and Halsey will supervise the nuclear ordinance." Both men of this group nodded their heads towards our group.

"Anyway, uh, I just, uh, thought you guys should meet." Spoke Truman in discomfort.

As the two separate groups stared at each other, and few began crossing their arms. Glares seem to start to form. Rachel muttered,

"Oh great, here we are with superior-thinking-Astronauts."

Rockhound grunted in agreement. Upon the feeling of their eyes upon us. I rolled my eyes, looking away trying to avoid their looks, I knew I would end up mouthing off. And now just wasn't the time to do that.

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Day 11

They stared down at the rippling water, when a voice spoke,

"Gentleman welcome to our weightless environmental training facility."

Rachel muttered to Oscar, "A.K.A Big ass pool."

Oscar snickered, making her grin. Suddenly Watts spoke,

"Something you would like to share with us, Velsing?"

Rachel's head snapped up, "Uh. No, no, actually I think, uh, I think I'm good. Thanks though."

The crew erupted into quiet laughter, as Rachel smiled sheepishly. Watts glared temporarily, but Rachel caught the edges of her lips twitching. She continued,

"Split into groups on either side of the pool, so you can be fitted with the weightless suit."

Rachel stood in line behind Freddy and Rockhound. The suits were stiff, and difficult to move around in. They then came around with the helmets, Sharp spoke,

"Velsing, I'm using you as an example."

"Guys listen up the helmet is put on around the ring, make sure the ring and the ring latching of the helmet is aligned, you will know it is on, when you hear a click. He put the helmet on my suit, I heard the click he was talking about, I slowly hobbled back to my spot in line and spoke,

"Thank God he did mine. I wouldn't have been able to get mine on."

Rockhound spoke, "It's not rocket science. You fit on, and it clicks. A monkey could do it."

"I bet a monkey couldn't do it, if he had a stiff ass suit on. I can't even lift my arms." Freddy muttered.

Rachel snickered as they were lowered down into the water by two's. Soon the entire crew was just floating around. Rockhound spoke,

"So we're going swimming on this asteroid, is that what this is for?"

Rachel smiled as she heard Bear's deep laugh echo over the intercom.

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Day 10

"Here at downtown NASA, we call this monster, Armadillo."

"It's going to be refitted for your drilling arm. There are 208 turtle horses in this aerographic." Spoke Quincy.

Harry crouched down, examining it, and spoke, "Mind if we take a look at it now?"

Truman allowed him to go ahead, we advanced on the machine, Harry climbing inside spoke,

"All these rubber hoses gotta go Max. Count em' up."

Rachel helped Max pull the rubber hoses out, enjoying actually working again. Max handed her some more he pulled, she tossed them over the side.

Harry spoke, "Quincy! Somebody tell me what this is…Plastic ice cream scoop? What'd that cost, about 400 dollars."

Rachel grinned at Harry's comment, tossing it down, Truman and Quincy shied to the side avoiding the bouncing apparatus.

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Day 9

"This is about the sorriest group of people, I have ever seen in all my entire Military career."

"Your space flight is going to be a brutal assault on all your senses. I am here to give you a taste of that. NASA's got some of the finest pilots in the world. They are going to be sucking your eyes to the back of your heads. And I am going to twist ya'. And I am going to flip ya'. Wrack your body until your bones hurt. And when you squeal, I am going to go faster and harder."

Rachel hopped into the F-22 Raptor, willingly. "Let's roll." She said excitedly.

The pilot grinned as the door lowered, and the engine roared to life. They began rolling down the strip, Rachel jittered in excitement, slowly the tip began to rise, quicker and quicker they lifted in the air. Suddenly the pilot veered right, pulling the point up in the air and stalling the jet. They began a three second free fall, when they hit flying air, he twisted the plane in a cork screw.

He dropped down in a straight out dive, pulling up in a spiral at the last second. She felt the jet and heard it's roaring engine whining as it gained more and more speed. It had been a long time since she had been in a jet and felt such forces on her body. She literally felt as if her eyes had been sucked to the back of her head. In another spiral, and stalling she felt the jet begin to slow. It was when the wheels connected to the ground, she felt the blood from her nose.

It was normal to get a nosebleed after feelings such forces, the opening lifted slowly, the pilot who had already unstrapped looked back, "How was it?"

"Fantastic. Got a nosebleed though."

Rachel unhooked herself, and hopped down from the jet, the pilot smiled.

"We should do that again after your little trip."

Rachel smiled, though in the back of her mind she felt a certain dread. She knew her chances of returning were slim next to none. She maintained her smile,

"Yeah we should."

She turned, heading back to the hangar, Chick fell into step next to her. He looked a little pale, but all in all fine.

"How was it?"

"Good."

"Nosebleed?"

"Nah, I just spilled paint on myself in the cabin." Rachel smiled at Chick as she wiped the blood away with a napkin.

Chick laughed.

Chick stopped when Harry came into view, just getting back from his flight.

"How's the rest of the crew?" He asked.

Chick didn't even have to say anything as the others came into view. They all except for Max appeared alright despite trembling and staggering every which way. Rachel couldn't help but smile.

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Day 8

Rachel picked up the screw driver, and carefully inserted it in the wiring, she pulled out a few wires and spoke,

"Ah. Who wired this?!"

Quincy spoke, "I did. Something wrong?"

"Yeah, something's very wrong. You wired the blue wire through the red and white wires, when it supposed to go through the yellow wire. Would you like to know why, the yellow wire?"

Quincy just stared at her.

"Because it controls the breaking system, if I hadn't found this, this thing would just keep driving once on the move."

Quincy nodded his head, Rachel smiled, "It's a simple mistake. Don't beat yourself up over it."

She placed the screw driver in between her teeth as she pulled the wires carefully out, and began replacing them correctly.

"VELSING!"

Rachel turned her head slightly from her crouched position, but continued wiring the Armadillo. Sharp appeared, she glanced at him, before dropping the screw driver into her hands and screwing the bolts back in,

"Yeah?"

"Truman wants you to brush up on your piloting skills."

"What? Why?"

"You'll be a backup pilot and technical problems engineer on the trip."

"And…he wants me start training?"

"Brushing up. You do remember some things from your training in the Military, right?"

"Yeah, but it's been a long time since I last piloted."

"That's why we are brushing up on a simulator. Follow me."

Rachel grumbled, "Hold on."

Sharp stopped, looking down at the plating she was screwing on. "Can you hand me that wrench over there?"

Sharp picked up a wrench from the edge of the Armadillo, and handed it to her.

"Thanks."

She tapped the plating, and then picked up the screw driver, tightening the plate down a little more. She stood up,

"Ok. Lets go."

As they passed Oscar and AJ, she heard them speak,

"Who do you think you are?"

Oscar spoke seriously, "Han Solo."

AJ responded, "No. If anybody's anybody, I'm Han and you're-you're Chewbacca."

Oscar responded incredulously, "Chewy? Have you even seen Star Wars?"

Rachel smiled as they headed towards the next hangar. "So this simulator-"

"It's like an actual space shuttle, your just not in the air."

Rachel nodded her head as they entered the smaller hangar, Sharp spoke,

"You remember all of the signals and intercom talk, right?"

"Yeah."

"The controls of a space shuttle are similar to a jet's so that should help you out a little. I'll be co-piloting, but won't be doing much. You will give me the commands and I'll execute them, you'll be the main control of where the shuttle goes. The objective is to get to the checkpoints before your time runs out."

"Got it."

Sharp pulled the door open to the machine allowing Rachel in. He shut it behind him. Rachel sat down in the pilot's seat strapping herself in. Sharp took his place beside her. Flipping the switches, the screen came to life. Rachel pushed the control downwards, propelling the shuttle forward, she looked down at her radar seeing no objects.

Rachel gently turned the shuttle to the right, heading for checkpoint one, she glanced down and suddenly saw something being picked up. She frowned seeing nothing on the screen, as she turned again, a large rock appeared. She jumped slightly inside in shock of it's appearance, Rachel spoke quickly,

"Turn thrusters on full speed."

Sharp pushed forward on his controls, the roar of the thrusters rang in Rachel's ears as she narrowly dodged the rock, through a cork screw. Rachel hit the checkpoint just as the time beeped in it's last ten seconds.

Rachel veered to the left heading towards Checkpoint B, she easily dodged a rock the size of a small SUV, but wasn't prepared for all of the debris. "Shit." She muttered under her breath, she tried moving out of the belt, but found it was too long, and too wide to get out of.

Suddenly something hit the bottom of the shuttle, causing it to jump, alarms began going off. Rachel worked quickly trying to find out what happened, she spoke,

"We were hit by a rock downwards, it didn't show up on my radar, Ah, shit, we're going down."

Without the back rudders, they weren't going to be able to navigate the way they want to. The shuttle began to spiral as Rachel desperately tried to dodge the several space rocks that came in to view, a rock hurtled from high up, crashing into the wings on the left side. The shuttle began whining, as it began to lose control, Rachel spiraled it past several other space rocks, until one crashed into the main engines and ripped the whole front half off. The screen went blank.

Rachel sat back and sighed, she glanced at Sharp, who was unbuckling himself. She spoke calmly and seriously,

"A lot of us aren't going to survive this trip, huh?"

Sharp stopped and looked her in the eye, "Chances are slim for trained Astronauts to survive. We've never tried the survival rate of oil drillers in space."

Rachel smiled bitterly as she stood up, "So that's a no?"

Sharp said nothing. Rachel cleared her throat,

"So, besides destroying the ship, how did I do?"

"Better than I thought you were going to do."

They began heading towards the hangar where the guys were working. "Ever been in space before?" Rachel asked.

"Yeah."

"Do you ever answer with more than word?" Rachel asked in annoyance.

Sharp shot her a look, "Yeah."

Rachel growled, "Well you know, we'll more than likely be working with each other a lot more, so isn't a good idea to at least know each other to some degree? I have a hard time taking orders from people I don't know or trust."

Sharp laughed bitterly, "You have a lot of mind to say that. If anybody needs to not trust the other, that is me. I've already read your record, I already know you."

"What the hell is that supposed to mean?!" Rachel struggled to keep up with Sharp's long strides.

"You know what its supposed to mean."

"Uh, no actually I don't. I have quite an extensive record."

Sharp rolled his eyes, "I'll say."

"So is that it, your going to keep dodging my question as to why you don't trust me?"

Sharp suddenly stopped, "You abandoned a fellow soldier during combat, left him to die. Do you ever wonder whether he had a family or not?"

Rachel frowned, "What?! I did no such thing, that was a false charge!"

"Military commanders rarely make mistakes, and so far, I'm siding with them."

Rachel growled, "That's not what happened!"

"Oh so you didn't abandon a fellow soldier in cowardice? It was intentional?"

Rachel turned away trying to calm herself. She whipped around and hissed,

"It is none of your business what happened that day, you weren't there, those Military commanders weren't there!"

Suddenly Oscar spoke, "Uh…Rache?"

Rachel turned and spoke, her rage showing plainly, "What?!"

Oscar backed up slightly, his eyes wide. AJ, Rockhound and Bear who had been outside of the hangar watched on. Rachel took a deep breath and spoke,

"We're done here."

She walked away from Sharp and spoke again in a calmer tone,

"What is it Oscar?"

He didn't answer, Rachel looked up from the schematics on the table, he, including the others were eyeing her curiously.

"Oscar! What did you need me for?"

He jumped slightly, "Oh, uh, the computer to the Armadillo is malfunctioning, Harry told me to get you…"

Rockhound spoke, "Yeah, what the hell was that?"

Rachel shook her head, "It was nothing Rock."

She walked away quickly towards the hangar, Harry rolled out from underneath and spoke, "Oh, Hey Rache there's a problem with the computer, It keeps saying different things, I dunno what's wrong with it."

Rachel nodded her head climbing inside the monstrous vehicle. She dropped down in the seat, and sure enough the computer kept popping commands on it's own. Rachel leaned down below the computer and began pulling out certain wires.

Quincy peered down into the cabin, "What's wrong with it?"

"I dunno, something with the wires, can you get me a screw driver please?"

"Here."

He handed her a screw driver, she began digging around in side pulling out the wires. Rachel spoke,

"Ah here's the problem, you wired it wrong again. The black and whites wires are twisted around the red and blue and go into the wrong ports."

Quincy looked irritated by his mistake, Rachel smiled again, "Don't worry about it. It's fixed."

Rachel pulled the wires out and began wrapping them around the correct wires, she plugged them into their ports. The car roared to life, she turned off the settings, and restarted the computer. Rachel jumped out, She spoke calmly,

"It's fixed Harry."

"Something up?"

"Hm? No. I'm fine. What else is there for me to do?"

"You can help Oscar and AJ clean some parts."

"Got it." Rachel turned and walked away without another word. As she approached them again, she grabbed a rag and an oily part. Rockhound spoke,

"I didn't know you were in the Military."

Rachel shot him a stony gaze and shrugged. Rock pursued, "So…what happened?"

She dropped the cleaned part and spoke, "Nothing happened Rock."

"Aw, come on-"

"You know what Rock, I am trained enough in Forensics to melt you from the inside out and leave no trace of evidence."

Rockhound looked at her wide eyed, making her smile slightly. Oscar spoke,

"Except us. Now we know if something happens to Rock, we know you did it."

Rachel looked at them and then spoke, "I took down three FBI agents and disarmed two, I'm pretty sure I can take down three oil drillers."

Oscar spoke, "I bet you couldn't take Bear."

Rachel let out a deep breath, "You know what, shut up Chewbacca."

AJ started laughing heartily at the bewildered expression on Oscar's face. Rachel grinned, she felt the anger slowly ebb away. No matter how furious she was, the crew could always make her the happiest person on the planet.

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

New story. I am following very closely to the line of everything that is going on and just adding Rachel in where she fits. I hope you guys like this story because I've redone 12 pages of work probably, 3 times now. And I finally got happy with the way the characters were portrayed and was able to finish one chapter xP

Yes, I know it's rather long, but, it's the beginning chapter of where it all starts. It'll more than likely start separating out as the story goes on.

Critique is not desired, but if you absolutely have to let me know something is terribly wrong, please do. I'd like to fix it. Be constructive not destructive, please.

Sincerely,

Marinec