Chapter Two:

"…And From The Sidelines Watch Me Fall"

Artemis Sector
28556-65325 North, North East of bull's-eye
Wednesday May 28 2065
0700 Hours

The 58th spent a quiet morning patrolling in the Artemis Sector. Surprisingly, despite being a hot zone, the area was so far clear of all enemy activity. The two-week shore leave had been great for most of the 58th, as it gave time for them to spend what little they had with their friends and family, and it also gave them an opportunity to live a brief civilian life for once.

"Hey, who's up for a round of poker tonight? I'm feeling lucky" Shane said excitedly. Despite her growing tensions with West, Shane still manage to have a great time with her sisters during the two weeks, which brought her spirits up a bit.

"We're still in a hot zone Captain, we're suppose to be on radio silence right now and you know it." West said blankly.

"What crawled up your ass?" Vansen said with an attitude.

West just took a deep breath, ignored Vansen and continued to fly. All of a sudden several Chig fighters came out of nowhere and began a dogfight. Because the 58th were attacked so suddenly they were forced to split into two groups: Vansen and West, and the rest of the others. Since there were only two pilots to attack, the Chigs decided to concentrate more on trying to kill both Vansen and West. The other members of the 58th tried to help the Captains but they were also occupied with chig fighters themselves, and couldn't help anyone.

"Good going Vansen, you've just set an entire chig cavalry on us!" West shouted over the COM sarcastically and shot another chig down.

"Oh shut up West, you were talking over the radio as well!" Vansen screamed back, as she blew away another ship.

"That was only make you stop talking Vansen, admit it, you gave away our position!" West yelled over the COM.

Suddenly, fighters were swarming all over West, singling him out. Vansen blew the last two on her tail and saw that West was pulling off his best moves just to dodge whatever the Chigs were shooting at him. But instead of immediately going to help West, Vansen just stayed in her position.

"I can't shake them, they're all over me, and my laser cannon is low!" West yelled desperately.

"Vansen, what the hell are you doing? Go and help him you're clear!" Hawkes yelled, while shooting at the fighters, which were on his tail.

"Vansen! Shane? You okay?" West yelled.

"I hate you." Shane said steadily.

"Shane, this isn't the time or the place! I still can't shake them, they're all over the place, and my number 5 engine is out!" West yelled desperately again.

"I hate you for leaving us, I hate you for doing what you did to Paul, and I hate you for giving up hope on us, I hope you die!" Vansen said with a passionate anger.

"Shane, please I can't outrun them." West pleaded.

"Goodbye, West." Vansen replied, while the others were screaming at her to go and help West.

With that, the Chigs had blown away West's left wing, leaving him a sitting duck. Circling around West's jet, they prepared to make the final blow, with that Vansen could hear West breath hard with fear.

"I'm sorry, Shane." West whispered, with that, a missile impacted the back of his jet, and smashed it into a million of pieces.

"I'm proud of you Shane you have done well, yes you have…yes you have." Shane heard the voice in her head over and over again. With a start Shane woke up in her bunk, drowning in cold sweat. Those dreams were becoming more and more realistic, she thought. She remembered that the only dreams that she was suppose to have were the ones where her parents were murdered, but for past week, ever since she got back from shore leave, she had been having dreams only about West dying because of her. And there was that strange voice that kept on telling her strange things after each dream. Still, she couldn't quite put her finger on it, as to who was this person who was saying these things, it sounded familiar but she just couldn't remember anything that actually happened like that.

Shane looked over at West, who was sleeping soundly. Although their relationship was still strained, Shane noticed a change in Nathan ever since shore leave ended. He seemed more quiet, depressed and secluded than usual. She knew that it must have been the guilt that has been bugging him for almost a year now, but there seem to be something else that was happening to West, she just didn't know what it was. There was only about half and hour until the morning klaxons would sound off, and knowing that it was impossible to sleep anyways, Shane decided to take a shower, before their 0615 briefing.

U.S.S. Saratoga - Briefing Room B-34
Artemis Sector
28556-65325 North of bull's-eye
Wednesday May 28 2065
0615 Hours

"OK this one is in the air, your mission's an easy one today: you are to patrol the Artemis Sector for six hours, giving you enough time to loop around it at least three times since it's not very big. You will take this route east of the planet Y68 for the first route, then the southwest route for the second time, and finally the north route for the third time where you'll rendezvous with the Saratoga at 0730 hours, ready, ready hack!" Instructed McQueen.

"Shane you look like you've seen a ghost what's up?" 'Phousse asked.

"Nothing really, just had a rough night again." Shane replied and smiled flakily.

Though, not admitting it, Shane knew that she had to be experiencing some sort of dejavous. There was no way that her dream had taken place at exactly where she was going to fly today. But it's nothing probably she thought, it was most likely just a coincidence, nothing more. She knew that she resented West a lot, but not enough for her to him kill him, that was just wrong and even she knew that.

"You know what you have to do." Startled Shane turned around to see who was talking to her, no one. "Captain, are you ok?" Asked Lt. Melissa Brown.

"Yeah, I'm fine." Vansen replied.

"Ok then people, mission is in 45 minutes, dismissed!" McQueen said. Shane started to get slowly out of her seat when McQueen asked her to stay behind.

"Vansen, you seemed distracted during the briefing, what's up?" McQueen asked blankly while he put away his files.

"Nothing sir, just having trouble sleeping again." Vansen answered.

"Those dreams about your parents?" McQueen asked.

"No sir, not this time." Vansen answered nervously. McQueen immediately looked up at Shane confusingly.

"Then what about?" McQueen asked

"They're about West sir." Vansen said as she looked down.

"What about West?" McQueen asked concerned.

"I've been having dreams about him dying because of me sir, and what's worse is that I seem to be relieved every time I see him die. I know it's not right, even though my relationship with him is strained, but I don't know how to stop them. I feel as though, someone in my mind is telling me…forcing me to want to feel this way, and I'm letting them." Vansen replied worriedly

"Vansen, I think it's probably because you need to extinguish these feelings of resentment that you have towards West. I'm not the only one who has noticed it, but you've become increasingly agitated around him. Shane you need to talk to him, and work this problem that you have with him out. It's unhealthy for the both of you to continue on like this, and Shane; I know what it was like to be a POW, and I know the things they say and do to you, but you've got to get the fact that you being imprisoned wasn't West's fault." McQueen said concerned.

"Why is it that every time that I have a problem with West sir, that it's my fault?" Shane said accusingly.

"Because it is, Vansen." McQueen stated, while a shocked look came across Vansen's face. But before she could answer McQueen said: "Vansen I've tried to be patient with this matter, but I can't anymore. What you're doing to him is affecting him greatly. He's completely guilt ridden, and he shouldn't be at all. He did the right thing a year ago; he had to make that choice between leaving you, Damphousse, and Wang, and he made the right one. There was a job to be done Vansen, and he did it. Let go of this, and drive on." McQueen ordered. With that McQueen didn't even bother to dismiss Vansen, he just left.

He's right, she thought. It wasn't Nathan's fault at all; in fact she didn't even know why she had blamed him on something this stupid the whole time. After all it was her decision too, she told him to take Kylen home, and she told him to leave her. No you're wrong, because he left you, you had to suffer for many months, and you had to endure pain because of him…Shane suddenly took a sharp breath, not knowing who was talking to her. She decided to keep the voice and the dejavous dream a secret, after all people might think that she had gone nuts, or something and it was probably nothing, they had been working hard lately, and it was probably just fatigue that's all.

Artemis Sector
28556-65325 North, North East of bull's-eye
Wednesday May 28 2065
0900 Hours

"This is Brown, reporting that there's no enemy activity on the LIDAR" Lt. Brown said.

"Roger that, Brown. Let's have radio silence starting now until we reach the north pathway. Do not, repeat do not engage on a conversation unless it's an emergency. Vansen out." Vansen said.

The next half an hour was pretty quiet, considering the territory was still a hot zone. The good news was that, her dream wasn't as coincidental as it seems, they were almost home free and they were on radio silence and she hadn't opened her big mouth yet.

"Price to Vansen." Lt. Price said nervously.

"This better be an emergency Price." Vansen replied.

"It is, I've got fighters coming at us everywhere." Lt. Price replied.

"Can anyone confirm, at the end?" Vansen asked.

"Confirm! Confirm! An entire chig squadron, about twenty fighters, the odds are three to one!" Confirmed Lt. Porter.

"Okay people, we're not going to divide up no matter what, we'll be better fighting them off as a whole squadron." Vansen ordered.

When the Chigs came they didn't even stand a chance, half of them were wiped out before they could even fire. Knowing that half of the fighters were taken out, Vansen gave the order to divide the squadron up, West, Brown, Price on her side, and Hawkes, Porter, and Damphousse on the other. West was on a role, as he shot down plane after plane, and was about to get his fourth kill, when what Vansen dreamt about was beginning to come true. Three fighters decided to converge on West all together and wouldn't get off his six.

"I can't shake them, they're all over me." West said calmly while juking to his left.

"I could use a hand…" West began to say.

"I'm on it." Vansen said quickly, as she converged on two of the fighter jets and shot them down. Vansen didn't want that dream of hers to become reality, that and she didn't want a court martial so she quickly decided to save West.

The rest of the flight back home was uneventful, but the squadron was glad that their long patrol was over. Most of them were starving by now, especially Hawkes, who had been craving the weird cabbage that they served at the mess hall. Unfortunately for the rest of the 58th, they would be suffering later from the flatulence caused from it. West quietly thought to himself on the way. Why did Shane jump to the chance to him like that? It wasn't like her to do something like that, well not like her "anymore" that is. But the thing that concerned him most is that, she might have forgiven him for his mistakes in the past, but he won't let her. Not if he can help it, getting close to anyone now was the thing that he couldn't really do. Probably the only exceptions to that were Brown and Hawkes; they were the only people left he could have a normal friendship with, without all the awkwardness he felt with most of the squadron.

Tired and exhausted from the mission, Vansen got out of her cockpit and was about to leave when West intercepted her.

"What?" Vansen asked tiredly

"What was that?" West asked.

"What was what?" Vansen answered irritated.

"It hasn't been like you to come straight to my rescue like that. In fact Damphousse was the closest to me, and was about to intercept, I saw her coming, so the real question is; why were you so eager to save me?" West stated.

"It's my job to protect anyone in this squadron anytime they're in danger Captain, and thanks for your gratitude." Vansen replied and walked away.

"Anytime." West said to himself.

U.S.S. Saratoga - Tun Tavern
Artemis Sector
28556-65328 North of bull's-eye
Wednesday May 28 2065
2000 Hours

West sat by himself at a porthole table quietly thinking. He watched the other personnel, who were in the bar; not a care in the world, he thought. That made him feel a bit bitter then, because it reminded him of how things use to be. How at the end of the day, everything was going to be okay, because there was always going to be someone there that he was fighting for, that was waiting for him to come home. But now, he would have done anything to have someone to talk to. To able to feel something, because for the longest time he felt like he wasn't allowed to feel, because that would mean he would have to care, and caring about people would only make them disappear out of his life faster. But the thing he hated most about himself was the fact that there was nothing in his life anymore that was worth living for, except for one thing; Paul. He was probably the only thing left in his life that he was fighting for back home, but was it enough for him? To go out day after day, risking his life, to avenge another? He didn't know anymore, in fact, he didn't know a lot of things lately. Lt. Melissa Brown walked into the Tun tavern. The others were having the usual poker game, and immediately invited her over to join them when they saw her. Brown, told them that she would join them later as soon as she saw Captain West, sitting alone in the corner.

"This seat taken sir?" Asked Brown, but West didn't look up.

"Sir?" Brown asked again, as West suddenly looked up.

"Sorry Brown, sit down." West offered.

"Sir, is there something bothering you again? Brown asked.

"God, Brown I'm only about two years older than you, leave the formalities at the door when you enter this place okay?" West said jokingly.

"Yes…S, I mean Okay, but you still haven't answered my question yet." Brown said.

"Am I that easy to read?" West replied.

"Yeah you are, now stop avoiding the question." Brown said.

"Just tired of everything Brown." West replied.

"That's not good enough, you've been like this for months now, and it's gotten worse in the past two weeks, and it has to be something, or else you would have moved on already." Brown replied.

"Nathan? Nathan West?" A man who just walked in said. West turned around and looked up to see who was calling him.

"Ben Mitchell? Oh my god, it's been a long time, how are you?" West responded.

"Good, good, what a small world huh? So how long? Ben asked.

"Well since high school, it's been six years, a while back ago huh?" West answered.

"A whole different life, kinda eh?" Ben Replied.

"Yeah, so it seems. So what have you been up to since then?" West asked.

"Well, I went college for a few years in San Francisco and it didn't work out for me, so I went to Loxley and joined the marines, the war broke out and so here I am. I was stationed on the Lincoln, but my squadron was killed during a mission a few months ago and I was transferred here." Ben said sadly.

"I'm sorry about your squadron, who were they?" Nathan asked.

"The 224 Archers. Anyways enough about me, what about you, weren't you going to be a physicist or something? And hey, are you still with Kylen? You two were pretty close back in high school." Ben said.

"I got a football scholarship to George Brown, and another to UCLA for science. I chose science, anyways I went there for a year and a half, and got an advance degree and I heard about the colonist program and being so ever since I was old enough to read, I've always wanted to go up in space and this was the perfect opportunity to do that, so I applied to the colonial program with Aerotech, and I was accepted to the advance training program." West answered.

"And, why are you in the marines then?" Ben asked puzzled.

"I was one of the ten that were kicked out just before launch, and this seemed the next best thing." West answered sadly.

"Right. I heard about that, must have been a drag, but hey at least you didn't become a POW for a year right?" Ben said optimistically.

"I wasn't, Kylen was." West answered.

"Oh my god, she's not…is she?" Ben asked concerned.

"No, she's fine. She just finished her rehab, and she's back home right now." West said.

"And…?" Ben asked.

"And what?" West asked back.

"Are you two still together, after all this time?" Ben asked. West paused for a second and answered.

"No, it's over" West said a little sadly. Suddenly Brown looked up at West, who didn't make eye contact with her.

"Hey, I'm sorry things didn't work out between the two of you. Anyways, I need to be getting back to my quarters now. But for future reference do I call you by you first or last name, or your rank or sir?" Ben asked.

"Guess it depends what rank you are then" West replied.

"1st Lieutenant" Ben answered.

"Captain." West answered back.

"Ok then, I'll be seeing you around…sir." Ben said and left. Before Brown could say anything to what she just heard, West interrupted her.

"Now you know why." West simply said.

"I'm sorry sir." Brown said sympathetically

"Thanks, but I appreciate it if you kept this to yourself." West added

"Okay, but on one condition." Brown said.

"And what's that exactly?" West asked confusingly.

"That you talk about it, because forcing everything that you've been through inside of you doesn't help, and if you don't want to think of it that way, think of it as blackmail then." Brown said.

"You know Brown, ever since you got promoted to a full lieutenant you've gotten more annoying than usual." West said, but Brown gave him "the" stare and he quickly said: "Okay you win, I'll start talking, as long as you don't tell anyone." "Deal." Brown answered. With that, West told her the whole story of what happen during shore leave. To Nathan it seemed like a relief because he didn't have to literally hide everything deep inside anymore, well not as much anyways.

U.S.S. Saratoga - 58th Quarters Locker Room
343445-2345456.76 North Orbit of Planet 2063 Yankee
Monday June 2, 2065.
0515 Hours

"Wait a minute are you telling me that Captain West, OUR Captain West was both a jock and a brain? Talk about the wrong combination for both high school and for the marines" Porter said to Brown and Price.

"Well, it's what I heard him say." Brown said.

"Are you sure you were listening on right, I mean you weren't drunk or anything were you?" Price asked.

"No I wasn't, it's what I heard him say, but don't go blabbing it on to anyone, I don't want the Captain thinking I'm nothing more than a gossiping idiot." Brown said angrily.

"Okay fine, but I still can't believe that the Captain was a jock and a brain." Porter said.

U.S.S. Saratoga Briefing Room B-34A
343442-2346456.79 North of Planet 2063 Yankee
Monday June 2, 2065.
1200 Hours

"You know what you have to do, you know what you have to do…" Vansen immediately snapped back into reality as she heard the voice again, and closed her eyes in frustration. She hadn't slept for the longest time, and instead of the voice in her head driving her insane and scaring the living hell out of her, it was now beginning to just flat out annoy her. She looked down at the row of people that were sitting beside her and saw West. It looked like he was in dreamland too. The only thing was that he should be having nightmares, not dreams she thought bitterly.

"Hey West, West hello! Earth to West, you there dude?" Hawkes asked West.

"What? Oh sorry Hawkes, I was just thinking, what is it?" West responded.

"Well, you looked like a freaking zombie, that's what." Hawkes responded.

"Officers on deck!" Porter said and stood in attention, followed by the rest of the people in the room. The room was as full as ever, with six squadrons brought in from the 5th wing, Intel officers, bridge officers and to add to it now were the Commodore and Colonel McQueen.

"The following mission is highly classified and does not, I repeat, does not leave this room. You have been chosen to participate in "Operation Avenger." The mission is highly dangerous, and some of you might not make it back. The mission involves the 65th, 47th, 57th, 35th, 62nd, and the 58th entering high enemy territory on the planet 2063 Yankee where each squadron will be place strategically to destroy a communications centre taking out three-quarters of the Delta 463 Sector. This will give us the upper hand when we capture the rest of the sector later on. Colonel McQueen." Commodore Ross said as he hand the podium over to the Colonel.

"Thank you Commodore, okay people this mission is going to be surgical and precise. Keep in mind that under no circumstances are you screw up at all. Everything that we're doing on this mission, we've got only one shot at. The 57th, 62nd and the 65th will be patrolling the space above where the COM centre is located. The Intel officers will scan the area continuously for enemy activity, and will be using a new device, which will camouflage both the flight patrol and the landing parties from radar. The 47th and the 35th will then divert the enemy allowing the 58th to enter the facility where they will place heavy C690 bombs in different locations, which will be detonated when they're airlifted off the ground. Now here's the catch, once the explosives have been detonated they will emit an ionic charge, which will destroy the camouflage, and not only will the enemy be alerted from the blast, they will also have you on LIDAR, you will have to reach within 200 MSK's of the Saratoga before you'll have cover fire, so don't get shot down." McQueen instructed while he pointed to the diagram on the board.

"The mission will start tomorrow night at 2200 hours, you will be transported to planet 2063 Yankee, and if the mission should be proven successful, it should end at about 0400 hours in the morning. You won't know what to expect for this mission so check your sixes, and your squadron's sixes constantly. Keep in mind that the area is high in both Chig, and A.I. activity, good luck and come back alive all of you. Dismissed, except for the 58th." McQueen added.

As soon as the rest of the squadrons, and INTEL officers left, McQueen stared at each of the 58th carefully. He knew that he had to brief them on some extra information about the mission, but he wanted to take a moment to look at them carefully, since it could be the last time he saw them altogether like this. They were all so young, yet they seem to have aged so much during their time in the war.

"I think it's obvious why our squadron was chosen to be on the inside of this mission." McQueen said and paused.

"You're the only ones who have been the nearest to the planet, and two of you that are sitting have been on the surface." McQueen said as he looked at Damphousse and Vansen. West just looked down.

"You will be buddy up with one another while you're down there, that way it'll take up less time. Porter and Price you're with Damphousse, Brown you're with Hawkes, and Vansen you're with West. You'll both be directing the landing party on the planet." McQueen said while he looked at Vansen and West, but the entire squadron were still in shocked that McQueen would put Vansen and West together on a mission.

"Here are your instructions on where you are to go and place the explosives. They are not to be shared about to anyone else on this mission." McQueen said while he handed each team a set of further instructions. "I recommend that each of you write a letter to your families before you go on this mission, I know from personal experience how much it means to a person. See you at the docking bay at 2200 tomorrow." McQueen added and dismissed the 58th.

Vansen stayed behind while the others left, but before she could say anything, McQueen interrupted her.

"I told you that you were suppose to deal with it, and drive on, and I meant it Vansen." McQueen said and left.

U.S.S. Saratoga - Rec. Room
343442-2346457.90 North of Planet 2063 Yankee
Monday June 2, 2065.
1500 Hours

Instead of the usual poker game that the 58th usually had, each of them sat in their separate corners and wrote their letters home to their families. Hawkes and West sat together while the others were busy. Hawkes looked at West and felt rather guilty. He had been getting worse lately, and he hadn't been there for him. However, he knew that West wouldn't do anything irrational when there was something wrong, that was one of the things that he envied about him. He knew that he could never control his emotions as well as West could; it was probably his strongest trait as a marine, yet it was also his weakest as a person.

"What?" West asked.

"You seem kinda sad that's all." Hawkes stated.

"I'm fine." West responded looking down at the table.

"No you're not. Otherwise you would be writing a letter to your parents instead of sitting with me at this table." Hawkes said.

"Am I that readable Hawkes?" West asked and thought of the similar thing he said to Brown a few days ago.

"You are." Hawkes replied.

"Everything just seems wrong lately, Hawkes lately that's all. You know me though, I'll get over it; I always do." West said.

"Look man, I know I haven't really been there for you lately, and I'm sorry, but I'm here now, so if you need to talk about anything." Hawkes said.

"I'll be fine Hawkes really, and I was planning on writing the letter a little later, I just don't know what to say." West said, but lied.

"Ok then, but I still don't believe you, just promise me something?" Hawkes asked.

"What?" West responded.

"That you'll talk about this when you're ready?" Hawkes answered.

"Promise." West answered back.

Planet 2063 Yankee
343432-2346465.23 North, northwest of bulls-eye
Monday June 2, 2065.
2230 Hours

It was a perfect dark and cool night for an attack. The landing party were positioned exactly one and a half clicks away from the communication centre. The only trick was that they were not to engage the enemy until the 58th were inside and had successfully planted all the explosives, then they were to engage the enemy, and while the other two squadrons did that, the 58th would sneak out while the attention was diverted, but were to hold an extra bag fill with a useless piece they could use to fool he Chigs into thinking that they had taken something that was of some value.

The 47th were left a click to the extraction point, and the 35th followed the 58th to the rest of the way to the communication's centre. With more than twenty personnel left the greater the risk became as to alerting the Chigs. But being the top squads in the fleet their skills prevented them from being noticed. As soon as the two squadrons had reached the COM centre, Vansen instructed the 35th to keep a look out silently. She then instructed each team from the 58th to spread out and enter in the facility in different entrances. On cue, the INTEL officers above space first cut the lighting from the facility, allowing the 58th to go in without notice. Exactly fifteen minutes later each team had found their area in which they were to plant the explosives and began to plant them.

"Ok this is it, let's plant the explosive." West said.

"You know what you have to do." Vansen let out a gasp and felt a headache come on.

"You okay?" West asked.

"Dandy." Vansen said sarcastically.

The two continued to plant the explosive, and as soon as they were done they sent an encrypted message to the rest of the squad saying that they were finished. Another minute later, the rest of the squadron members sent messages that they were finished planting the explosives as well, and the final message was sent to the 35th notifying them to start engaging the enemy.

"Okay, let's get out of here." West said. At the second, Shane felt as though her head had exploded.

"You know what you have to do. He needs to die. He deserves to die, remember what he did to you? What he did do to Damphousse? What he did do to Wang? You know what he has done to you. NO, please, I can't…!"

"Hey, you okay?" West asked while reaching to grab Shane's shoulder. But missed it as Shane began to walk away outside the room they were in.

"Vansen!" West whispered loudly, while following her outside. He saw a hidden door open, as Shane walked in; she looked as though she didn't know what she was doing, like she was possessed. Worried, West followed her inside the room, and tried to call out to her, but it was no use, Shane remained standing still at a corner, and looked as though she didn't hear a single word that Nathan said. The room was dim, and was filled with a lot of electronic equipment, and in the centre, there was what looked like a surgical table that stood.

"I'm glad that you finally decided to stop by Captain Vansen, and you must be Captain West I presume? I've heard a lot about you." Snider said. The A.I. was eerie and menacing looking, but West stood where he was looking as confused as ever.

"I'm sorry Captain West, how rude of me? I'm Snider 9634; I had the pleasure of keeping Captain Vansen company during her time here on 2063Y. In fact I think I should begin by saying thank you to the both of you." Snider said creepily.

"Thank us?" West said still confused and angered.

"Why yes, if it weren't for the both of you, our allies wouldn't have learned about the many human behavioural patterns that you both had demonstrated these many months. The guilt, depression, happiness, sadness, and the list just go on." Snider said eerily.

"How the hell do you know all this?" West asked while reaching for his handgun.

"Well, we decided to plant a chip inside the lovely Captain's head, during the time she was here at the communications centre, and then you found her back at the penitentiary, is that not right Captain? " Snider said.

"You did this! You mean to tell me that you basically planted a chip in her head to see us go at each other for a year? You're sick!" West said as he pulled out his gun and aimed at Snider. At that moment he was knocked over by Shane with a blunt object, who then took his gun and disarmed it by snapping all the bullets out of the clip.

"You see Captain West, we're actually almost done observing yours and Captain Vansen's behaviour. We just needed to see one more emotion really." Snider said darkly.

"What exactly is that?" West said angrily as he felt the blood rushing out of his head.

"Betrayal. You didn't think that the COM centre was that easy to get into did you?" Snider said slowly, as he left the room. With that, Shane almost came back to life again, snapping out of the zombie mode that she was in, but she seemed to be hysterical

"How could you? Huh West? You gave up on us, and you never even looked back!" Shane said madly, as she kicked West in the stomach. At that point, West's head was in excruciating pain, but he had one choice left. Without Shane noticing he dialled the frequency to the communication's link to the squadron, and prayed that they would triangulate the distress signal to the room before the OPT. was blown and before Vansen could do anymore harm to herself and him.

At that moment Hawkes heard it and so did Damphousse. Both of them ordered their team to continue on with the mission and leave as directed while they extracted the others. They continued to listen on as they met up with each other to head for the place of the original distress. It was getting worse as they heard Shane screaming at West with nonsense, along with things colliding with one another, as well as grunts that West would make.

"You went out for her, and you couldn't do that for us could you? Could you!" Vansen screamed as she punched West again.

"Shane stop…this isn't you, please!" West said unable to talk properly from the pain.

"Shane stop, you don't know what you're doing, hold on we're coming!" Phousse said on the radio.

At that moment, Shane pulled out her knife and without thinking twice stabbed West in the stomach. West reacted as his eyes opened widely and made a gurgling noise. Shane continued to wail as she stabbed him again this time in his right shoulder. West tried to hold her back but couldn't, as he felt his warm sticky blood oozing out of his body. Shane stabbed him for the third and fourth time in the chest, and was about to stab West in the heart when she was grabbed and tackle down onto the ground.

"GET OFF ME I KNOW WHAT I HAVE TO DO!" Shane yelled as Hawkes grabbed the bloodied knife out of her hand.

"Shane! Shane! Listen to me, this isn't you!" Hawkes tried to reason to Shane, but she continued to screamed like a maniac.

"Move over!" Phousse said, as Hawkes did what he was told. With that, Phousse punched Vansen unconscious. Vansen then began to twitch uncontrollably, as Phousse and Hawkes heard an electronic sound in her head.

"She's on something!" Hawkes said, while he held Vansen.

"Oh God!" Phousse said while she covered her mouth. West was covered in his own blood and breathed sharply as his body shook uncontrollably due to the blood loss.

"Our times up, we have to move out! And I'm pretty sure that the Chigs know that we're here by now!" Hawkes told Phousse.

"Okay, I'll carry Vansen, and you carry West, there's not enough time to bandage him up, but it'll have to do. Let's move out!" Phousse said as she picked up Shane.

As soon as Hawkes and Phousse were out of the COM centre, the fighting continued outside. Luckily they were able to make it back to the position where the 35th, and the rest of the 58th were waiting. Since both Captions were down, Hawkes and Phousse became in charge of the mission. Damphousse instructed that the extraction point was a click away, and they needed to get there safely. Therefore, no one was to be left behind, even if one went down, another would help him or her to the extraction point. With the little time they had before they were going to make a run for it, Hawkes bandaged West enough to stop the bleeding. As soon as they were ready, both squadrons made a mad sprint for the extraction point. Shots were being sprang out of everywhere, and some of the members of both squadrons went down, but as Phousse ordered; no one was to be left behind even if one were dead, they were to be carried. Just overhead, Brown could see the 47th covering there fire so that they could make it to the transport spot, she also saw the ISSAPCs waiting for them to leave planet. Above, air cover was firing over to protect the ISSAPC's as well as themselves up on space.

ISSAPC 35707256
1369753.76-2458904.35 heading north to rendezvous
Tuesday June 3 2065
0330 hours

"The is extraction team Beta 20, requesting cover fire from the Saratoga! We are coming within 200 MSK's off of starboard side. Also requesting landing clearance as well as medical attention for the wounded. " A man shouted as he punched in the landing codes.

"Roger that, Beta 20, permission to land granted, and medical team is waiting, please precede landing pad 5. Oh and keep your heads down for cover fire." McQueen said over the radio. He looked at Ross, who nodded his head; he then quickly proceeded to the landing bay to see if the 58th made it out okay.

U.S.S. Saratoga
Landing Bay 5
Tuesday, June 3 2065
0430 hours

"What the hell happened?" McQueen asked angrily when he saw both his captains in critical condition.

"Caption Vansen was trying to kill West sir." Hawkes said glumly.

"What?" McQueen asked confusingly.

"We don't know yet, there's certainly a motive, but we believe that Vansen's been somehow brainwashed, sir." Damphousse added.

"They're trying to figure out what's wrong with Vansen right now, I think she has had a device in her head the whole time telling her things sir." Hawkes said.

"I want all your reports to me in an hour, and I'll see what I can do to get to the bottom of this." McQueen said as he turned around to see the medics carrying both West and Vansen off.

U.S.S. Saratoga
Sickbay Section 34-40
June 6 2065
1400 hours

Vansen slowly opened her eyes, and shut them quickly when she saw that the lights shining above her were too bright. She slowly reopened them again and looked to the side, and saw that McQueen was sitting beside her. She didn't have a clue what had happened down on the planet. The last thing she remembered was entering the communications centre; everything else became a blur afterwards. Her head ached so much, as she felt it bandaged.

"Vansen, do you remember what happened on planet?" McQueen asked.

Vansen shook her head.

"Vansen, it turns out that during your time as a POW you were subjected to an experiment. A chip was placed inside your head, which allowed your most repressed emotions to surface. The enemy as it turns out, was trying to study human behavioural weaknesses, and yours and West's became that experiment. So the feelings that you were having towards West, were the ones that you know aren't true, they were just ones that you probably thought for a split second and forgot." McQueen Explained.

"But I don't hate West, I never did." Vansen said slowly.

"I know that, but he didn't know. He thought your feelings against him were true, and I know on some level he knew it wasn't true, but his guilt made him eventually believe that they were." McQueen said.

"I need to talk to him." Vansen said.

"That's a another thing. Vansen, you were found in a room trying to kill him." McQueen said quietly as he saw Vansen's eyes widen.

"He was found with a severe concussion, a couple of broken ribs, and with four stab wounds. He's still unconscious from the blood loss, and the doctors said that we have to be prepared to wait. Vansen you almost killed him." McQueen added sadly.

"I need to see him sir." Vansen said, and McQueen nodded.

U.S.S. Saratoga
Sickbay Section 36-40
June 6 2065
1445 hours

McQueen quietly wheeled Vansen into the room that West was staying, while Vansen tried to control her tears.

"Can I have a minute sir?" Vansen struggled to ask McQueen.

"I'll wait outside." McQueen answered.

Vansen waited a moment before she took West's hand into hers, and looked at his unconscious form. She wondered how she could ever do what she had done to him. It was horrible, plain and simply horrible. And the worst part was that he was innocent, he did nothing to deserve it, and yet he went through it for God knows how long. She knew that they had a lot to talk about as soon as he got through this, or would he? The real question now, Shane thought was would he forgive her?

"I'm sorry Nathan, I'm sorry." Vansen said while stroking West's hair.

Every day's the same, I feel them merge
I try to separate, resist the urge
But they tell me I'll be fine
That it will all get better
Just try to write it down
Or put it in a letter

But the words won't play
And there's no easy way to say
Goodbye, Goodbye

Keep my head on straight and don't look down
With all I've pushed away I'm losing ground
But they tell me that I'll be fine
That it will all get better
Or put it in a letter

But the words won't play
And there's no easy way to say
Goodbye, goodbye

And from the sidelines
Watch me fall down

And I don't understand the things I do
But I'll probably be fine
As long as I keep moving
I'll try to write it down
So things just keep improving
Still the words won't play
Cause there's no easy way to say
Goodbye, goodbye…

New York Naval Hospital
00478 New York, New York
Wednesday June 6 2065
1445 hours

"I can't believe it! It's a miracle, he's waking up!" A doctor shouted.

"What do you think jolted him?" A nurse asked.

"Who knows? But one thing's for sure, he has a lot of explaining to do when he gets back. Anyways, call his family and tell them the good news." The doctor said.

"Yes doctor, what's his name?" The nurse asked.

"Wang, Paul Wang." The doctor replied.

THE END.

Next Chapter: OBSSESSION.

Spoiler:

"You took our friendship for granted you know. Every time I saw, you just blew me off like the other people you walked by everyday. Its funny you know, ever since I met you all I wanted to be was like you, but know I thought of something even better to be."

"And what's that?"

"To replace you."

"You think it's great being me? You might want to rethink that…"