Epilogue

Tira smiled to herself as she made her way through the streets toward the Temple. Reconstruction was nearly complete, thanks to the technological advances made by the Piirian people, since joining the Federation. Had it really only been one orbit since she had run through this part of the city, meek and scared? Now she strode confidently along, her happiness emanating from her and drawing others in.

She was especially pleased at this moment, because she had just received a transmission from Jason. He would be coming to visit her and Jana in two rotations, assuming the Spectrans remained quiet. But any kind of offensive move from the Followers of Pector was unlikely. Once other subjugated worlds had heard of events on Piiri, the Federation had been bombarded with requests for 'protection' and membership. Within half an orbit, the Spectran Empire had lost many of its conquered worlds, and with them, most of its resources. It was Tira's understanding that without these resources, the Spectrans were spending most of their time simply sustaining themselves, and didn't have the capability of launching further attacks. Lothar had been brought to Riga for a Federation trial, but had managed to take his own life while imprisoned there. Tira knew that it was a flaw in her Spirit that she did not mourn his passing, yet she could not help but sigh with relief at the thought that Lothar could never return to Piiri.

Unfortunately, Keyop would not be joining Jason this visit, but he would at a future time, on a later date. It had been nearly a hundred rotations since she had seen Keyop, and Tira missed her friend.

She grinned with surprise as she went through the Merchant District, noticing that many of the shop signs were now written in both Piirian and Federan. Word of Piiri's beauty and peace had reached other Federation worlds, and now many visitors came to see this remarkable part of the Crab Nebula for themselves.

In the rotations after G-Force had driven the Spectrans from Piiri, Tira had worked with the Zark robot, helping him create a database of the Piirian language. Once it had been completed, Federation computers had been able to download the program and converse with the Piirian people. Tira had felt some relief at having someone else, or something else, take over her duties as translator. Since that time she had been teaching at the Temple, instructing anyone who wished to learn about the Federan language. She had also continued her own studies in the evenings, thanks to the data link Zark had set up for her, and now she was as proficient with Federan as she was with her native tongue.

Tira's position as primary contact with the Federation, and with G-Force, had earned her respect amongst the local community, and with the Priestesses at the Temple. She was able to earn a good living with her new responsibilities, which helped her to support her mother. This was fortuitous, as Tira and Jana no longer had Dantar's income to rely upon. Tira's father had been one of the dozens of citizens who had died when the people of Piiri had fought back against the Spectran occupiers. He had been shot by a Spectran weapon, protecting his mate from an attack. Tira found that she missed Dantar, and she appreciated that he had done his best for Jana, right up until his end. At last, she had found forgiveness for her father… and acceptance of herself.

She knew that what made her special wasn't being a daughter, or an Initiate, or even a friend. Her true value was within herself, and she was the one who made herself worthy. This knowledge made her confident, and happier with her life, and herself.

And in the end, that was the most satisfying thing of all.

The End