Disclaimer: I do not own Earth2 or the characters portrayed in it
A/N: Hi, this is a standalone story set a few days after All about Eve. It is my take on how Devon could have been cured and the cost to the group. It will be mainly J/A, but all the characters will feature in it. It is a work in progress (I aim for updates go up in a timely manner), so if anyone has any criticism or comments regarding the story or my portrayal of the characters please get in touch.
-voice of John Danziger-
It has been nine days, seven hours and twenty long minutes since we confined Devon to the status chamber. In that time hope has faded faster than the morale. No one speaks anymore, no one wants to go, instead everyone waits, everyone that is but Uly, Alonzo and Julia. While Uly and Alonzo try and fail to contact the Terrians, Julia slaves away all day and all night testing theories and looking for clues, striving to find the answer we pray for. Despite her work, no progress has been made and as each minute passes we are being forced towards leaving Devon and pressing on to New Pacifica. If we leave we risk Devon's life further by the old ship giving up and loosing power, by roaming Grendlers or penal colonists destroying the systems or by some unconsidered risk. Yet if we don't go on we risk the lives of everyone on that Colony ship. I know that if we do press on Julia's productivity will drop and we reduce the chance of saving Devon. I know that both Julia and Uly will fight any decision to move. But ultimately as much as it hurts it is the right thing to do and the only option we really have. That is why it will not go to a vote. This evening I''ll announce my decision to the group, in two days if Julia has not found anything we move on. At least that way it is me alone who will have to shoulder the responsibility of leaving her alone, frozen in time at the mercy of this planet.
"Hey Julia." Danziger said entering the Med-tent.
"John." Julia replied without looking up from her workbench.
"How's it going?"
"Still nothing." Julia said, her voice quivering with frustration. "I'm sorry."
"You're doing the best you can Julia." Danziger said, trying to comfort her. "You should get some food."
"I'm ok at the moment. I need to finish these tests first." Julia replied, still without looking up. Danziger looked down at the doctor, considering his options. Finally Danziger said.
"Look Julia there is a group meeting tonight and it kind of concerns you. I know you'll want to keep working so I'm going to tell you now so not to interfere with your work." The mechanic started before sighing. "I know you have done your best, but our priority has to be towards those families on the colony ship. In two days we move on. Maybe away from here Lonz will have better luck reaching the Terrians." Julia, still without looking up, opened her mouth to reply but she knew he was right. She had failed there was nothing she could do. So she just silently worked whilst Danziger looked on with worry and sympathy. Not knowing what to say he just turned and left.
As night continued to fall across camp Julia went through sample after sample, test after test trying to find the cause of Devon's illness. Everyone may have lost faith in her, but she couldn't give up, not yet. Shutting her eyes in frustration instead of seeing blackness she saw rows of numbers, the echoes of all the results from the tests she had already run. She sighed, frustrated, she knew the answer must be somewhere, she just couldn't find it. She was failing, but she had never failed. She hadn't been made and raised for failure. It was this alien feeling of failing that was eating away at her.
She stood in order to get another sample, but as she did so black spots appeared in front of her and the room spun causing her to sit back down again. Shaking the foggy feeling clear she looked at the flap of the Med-tent and considered getting something to eat. Her body clearly needed it. But she couldn't face seeing everyone. Instead she looked back down at her tests and tried to focus. She was, however, so tired that she could not concentrate. She felt her eyelids become heavy and cursed her weakness. She reached to the side of her workbench to her supply of stimulants. But as her hand hovered over the supply she shook her head and slowly stood, she had already taken too many. Fresh air would have to do. When she was on her feet and confident she would not collapse she slowly made her way to the Med-tent flap. Looking round camp she saw a path, free of the colonists, leading out to a ridge and a bush filled area. Checking the path was clear once more she walked away from camp into the darkness and the solitude. She wasn't sure how far she walked when her legs finally gave up causing her to collapse to her knees.
Crumpled on the floor the previous sleepless, stressful days of failure caught up with her and she could no longer keep her emotions in check. What she didn't know as she kneeled sobbing and shaking was that she was not alone.