Obession: Part 2
Space: Above and Beyond is property of Twentieth Century Fox, Hard Eight Productions, James Wong, and Glen Morgan, and all the other important people that I have forgotten to mention. All the characters, settings and situations from the series itself have been borrowed - no copyright infringement intended. All other characters who were not created by the people at S:AAB, were created by me, and may not be used without my explicit permission. On a side note, I'm sorry that it's taken me practically two years to write this chapter, but I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I had written it. I will be posting bits and pieces as I write so stay tuned! If you have any comments, please ask Una for my new email address, Enjoy!
This chapter takes place after "The Day He Decided" and "…and From the Sidelines Watch Me Fall." The brief mention of NCIS belongs to CBS and is borrowed – no copyright infringement intended. This story is rated Pg 13 for mild language and situations.
ISSAPC – 583010592-1234
June 25 2065
An air of uncertainty lingered in the air aboard the ISSAPC while Colonel McQueen and Nathan West sat and waited anxiously for the carrier to land on an undisclosed location. Over the course of a few weeks Nathan West couldn't imagine how much he had gone through; and just as he thought life couldn't get any worse, he found out that he was now a target of a sociopathic AI, and was forced to go into hiding for God knows how long. The only good part was that Colonel McQueen would be accompanying him through his ordeal, so he knew that he wouldn't be alone in this mess – at the very least. West had also been briefed that NCIS would be keeping a close surveillance on his family, but from a distance since they are unaware of the current situation and Snider model being unaware of who they were, weren't considered to be not at risk. However, the worst thing about this entire situation was that he would not be able to do anything. There would be no more air, ground or any missions he would be involved into in this war – and that really ticked him off. West looked outside the window after what seemed to be hours of flying and saw nothing but stars and a vast void of darkness. West suddenly looked up and at an attempt to break the awkward silence aboard the ISSAPC he asked Colonel McQueen:
"Sir, how long is this going to go on for?" He asked.
"I don't know Nathan – I don't know. Are you afraid?" Colonel McQueen asked.
"Well sir, I could really use the time off to do some thinking – you know, get my priorities straightened out." West said in a matter of fact way, while McQueen raised an eyebrow at him.
"I'm terrified." West answered right afterwards.
58th Squadron's Barracks
June 25 2065
The members of the 58th squadron walked into their room after they decided that they had consumed enough alcohol to sterilize even themselves. However, upon closer inspection they had noticed that West's bunk seemed bare. Walking closer towards it, Hawkes looked inside the bunk and saw that his books and other personal belonging were gone. He then instinctively moved towards his locker and opened it and also noticed that it had been emptied out.
"West's stuff is gone." Hawkes said confusingly
"Then where the hell is it – actually, more importantly, where the hell is West?" Shane said.
"I haven't seen him since this morning at 0500" – Porter included.
"We were talking in the rec room this afternoon, he got a delivered message – got up and left" Brown said.
"He could of gotten transferred. It was only a matter of time, with Shane back his efforts could have been needed elsewhere. And not to mention (and no offense Shane) he could of requested a transfer on the account of what happened between the both of you" – Phousse stated.
"None taken, but he wouldn't have left without saying anything." Shane responded.
"Maybe he purposely did that – let's face it, West isn't exactly the same person that he was anymore. Maybe he felt like he needed to move on." Hawkes added
"We should go and ask McQueen, maybe he knows what's going on?" Porter suggested.
"Agreed, let's go find him" Shane finished.
ISSAPC – 583010592-1234
June 25 2065
West looked out the portal on the ISSAPC, still wondering where it was taking him. Not to long afterwards, McQueen sat down beside him and looked at his protoché carefully. West was a good marine – hell, he was a great one; however, his greatest weakness was the fact he bottled up everything on the inside, and that his tough exterior was nothing but a façade. Suddenly, out of nowhere something caught West's eye; it was small at first by grew bigger as the ship approached it and that was when he realized what it was. In fact, it made perfect sense – what better place to hide that would be impenetrable to silicates than earth? Since the Stratahan virus had infected the AI's, Secretary General Chartwell and the U.N. had declared that the artificial silicates were known to have committed acts of terrorism and were banned from even entering the solar system. As the ISSAPC approached earth, West thought to himself about how all the troubles that he had run away from were now once again back in his life and it was something that he was not able to deal with yet. It was also in that instant that he felt like he should be more honest to Colonel McQueen:
"Sir?" West asked.
"Yea?" McQueen answered
"Since I don't know how long I'm going into hiding, or if you'll be around for all this, I thought I'd come clean about what's been going on with me" West answered hesitantly, while McQueen looked at him.
"Ok, talk to me. What's been going on Nathan?" McQueen asked.
"Alot sir - I mean, I've been in therapy…" Nathan began to say, but McQueen interjected:
"Nathan, I know you've gone through a lot – but it's been almost a year now. You need to drive on; what happened to Wang wasn't your fault" McQueen said reassuringly.
"It's not just that, sir" Nathan responded, while McQueen looked at him inquisitively.
"Ok, if not that than you need to move on from what happened between you and Vansen. There's a war on, and you know as well as I, that people like us don't get the luxury with grieving and getting over things with time. It can impair your judgment when you're out in the field and you can endanger not only yourself, but everyone out there with you. West, we've had this conversation before." McQueen responded in a caring yet reminding nature.
"Even my family thinks I'm "mentally unstable" for this job – so you're not alone in your opinion, sir" West said calmly and continued: "that's why they wanted me to discharge – but I couldn't; I guess on some level they're afraid that they're going to get another one of those yellow envelopes from the marines one day with my name on it and the thought of losing another son was to much for them to bare. So some things were said – horrible things, but in the end it came down to me choosing the 58th or them. Well, we know how that turned out; needless to say, they don't want anything to do with me anymore." West answered.
"West, you know you're not alone - you have the 58th and there's still someone waiting for you back home…" McQueen began to reassure.
"Who, Kylen? I pretty sure she's moved on – judging from what, or should I say who she was with in her bedroom" West said sadly.
"Jesus, West did you break a mirror or something?" McQueen answered
"I wish. Could we keep this between us, sir?" West asked
"Yeah, does anyone else know?" McQueen
"Just you, my therapist and Brown; well actually, Brown kind of figured it out on her own." West answered and looked out the portal and saw the earth becoming closer into view.
"So why couldn't you discharge?" McQueen asked
"I don't abandon the people I care about, sir" Nathan answered straightly. Suddenly, West and McQueen looked out the window, felt and saw the ISSAPC slow down as it dissented towards the earth. McQueen looked over at Nathan, and vice versa as the younger man of the two knew exactly what his superior officer was going to say next:
"You're not coming are you, sir?" Nathan said
"No, I'm not. My orders were to see you that you made it to earth safely and to brief you." McQueen said while Nathan nodded; McQueen continued:
"When we land on planet you will be escorted from the air base to an SUV with guards. To not look too conspicuous and a helicopter will follow your car to an undisclosed location. There you'll have round the clock security, while the Pentagon figures out the next move into terminating the Snyder unit. Do you have any questions?" McQueen explained while looking concerned.
"So, I'm officially in the witness protection program. Great." West said.
"It's not forever, and it could be worst." McQueen said
"I know sir; but does the 58th have to be in the dark about this?" West asked
"Yes they do, the less they know about this the better; you have to protect them." McQueen answered
"Yes sir – and sorry" Nathan answered
"About what?" McQueen asked
"I got you involved in all of this" Nathan answered
"West, you know I will always be there for you – I don't abandon the people I care about either" McQueen said, as he revealed to Nathan a side which he usually never showed to the rest of the squad.
"Thanks sir" Nathan answered
SUV – 12309854-12312.5
June 26 2065
Nathan tried to look out the tinted window but found it hard to make out any images outside of the car because of the night darkness. There was an air of slight uneasiness as he sat beside two guards on either side of the back seat of a large SUV vehicle. He laughed briefly to himself as he thought he may as well be the president or some important political figure as everyone in the car looked like secret service. Of course, that was all part of the disguise as a marine with a bunch of military guards would look rather conspicuous, so regular civilian wear was preferred, but little did he know that all these efforts would mean nothing in a matter of seconds.