The Loss – Part 4

Awareness had been growing exponentially as the lost Moon drew closer. On the planet, alien minds united together and explored the consciousness of the approaching satellite. Unknown to the inhabitants of the moonbase, they were under scrutiny and had been for some time. Their actions, thoughts, hopes and dreams, all observed and monitored by inhabitants of a planet, they had yet to know, even existed. Linking with Computer, tendrils of alien awareness, gained knowledge and understanding of the planet called Earth, the home of the beings that lived on the moonbase. They explored the history of the human race and learnt about the events that led to the humans' expulsion into outer Space. They delved into the minds of the Alphans to understand how they had adapted to their new lives on the lost satellite, what predominant emotional energy they possessed? This knowledge was absorbed and filtered and allowed to permeate into the fabric of the alien society.

John was holed up in his office, pretending to be busy...but actually he was brooding. The last few weeks had been difficult. Since the morning she'd left his bed declaring their relationship, a mistake, Helena been out of his reach. Unprepared to talk, she'd closed herself off to him. There was no smile in her eyes anymore, no connection between them. They'd had a few heated discussions when he'd persisted in trying to change her mind, but they'd escalated quickly into all out shouting matches. Their last row, over a week ago now, had finally made him realise that there would be no going back. He had yelled and sworn and he'd wanted to shake her, he was so frustrated. But his temper had had no effect on her. She'd just watched him rant with a blank expression on her face, her eyes laced with contempt, then she walked away, cool and distant. She'd treated him with politeness ever since, but refused any of his attempts to talk about 'them'. It was clear to him that as far as she was concerned 'they' didn't exist anymore. Throwing down his pen in frustration he rubbed his eyes and cradled his head in his hands, massaging his aching temples. He couldn't concentrate. He almost envied her ability to switch off her emotions. He'd underestimated how much he'd come to honest John...depend...on her presence in his life and right now he was feeling angry with himself at his weakness. His console bleeped to life and Sandra's face appeared on his monitor. New pictures were coming in of the planet they'd been monitoring for the last few weeks. He'd asked to be notified when this happened. He jabbed at a button, opening his office doors and joined Sandra at her workstation to begin looking at the new data. They were now within contact range which meant they could start broadcasting a message, begin hoping again that this planet might become their new home.

Helena heard the news as she worked through pilot assessment reports in Medical. The new planet was within range. Alpha was now broadcasting to the planet, hoping for contact. Paul made the base wide announcement and immediately she became aware of the tension his words ignited amongst her staff, that peculiar mix of excitement and trepidation that they were all learning to live with. An instrument tray clattered to the floor scattering sterile instrument everywhere. Nervous laughter and forced jovial banter covered the mishap. A nurse had moved toward a viewport and was staring out into the blackness, lost in thought. Helena guessed her department was no different from any other section and that Paul's announcement had had the same effect on the whole base. Everyone's hopes and fears starkly evident in drawn faces and shaky hands, as they tried to carry on with their duties, tried to remain calm even as their stomachs churned and the unknown raced toward them. This was their new life and it was full of stress and fear. Distracted from her work she couldn't stop herself from wondered what John was he really felt about the new planet. Of course it had been discussed at length during recent command conferences, so she was 'au fait' with all current data, but this time there had been no private discussions over coffee late at night, where he'd share his personal worries with her. Where, after a long day of being commander and portraying an optimistic and confident facade, he could just be himself and admit to his worries and fears. She could picture him now, deep in conversation with Sandra and Victor, engrossed in facts and figures. She knew how fearful he'd be of making the wrong decision and bringing harm to Alpha and she wanted to go to him. Show her support. She missed him so much. It had been the hardest thing she'd ever had to do...end their relationship, and she could still sometimes forget that they weren't together anymore. The only way she'd been able to survive so far, was by hiding away behind her old persona, reverting back to the cool distant woman that he'd first met. She knew how angry he was with her and she felt torn apart inside, but it had been her only option and one day she hoped he'd come to realise that. And yet, even knowing she was doing what was best for him and Alpha, she still had to fight down the impulse to go to Main Mission and be close to him. Giving herself a mental shake she told herself that he probably wouldn't want her around anyways. You made your you've got to live with it. Making an effort to clear her mind of the distraction John Koenig represented, she turned her thoughts back to her work and tried to concentrate.

To the watching alien consciousness, human emotions were strange and incomprehensible. There was love but also so much sadness. So much worry. So much anger. So much fear. They were such a strange race. The overwhelming consensus from the inhabitants of the planet was that the Alphans would not be compatible with the alien world, that they were too flawed as a species to adapt, and that their flaws would destroy any chance they would have of finding a new home on this particular alien world. But no official verdict had yet been reached. The Alphans would have a chance to prove their suitability, to make a home on the planet, but they would be tested and judged and only time would tell, as to the outcome.

Alarms sounding in Main Mission disturbed John and Victor.

"Where did they come from?" Paul's question was directed at Sandra, who had been monitoring the new planet.

"I do not know. There is no indication of them on long range scanners" she was shaking her head and staring at the screen in confusion.

Alpha had been broadcasting a message to the planet for two days and there had been no reply, no indication that anyone or anything had heard it. Now the main screen was filled with the terrifying sight of a formation of Mark XI Hawks, flying in attack formation and heading straight toward Alpha.

As soon as his brain formed the could this be happening...Hawks out in space so far from Earth, John made his first mistake. He cancelled out his doubt. No time to dwell on the unimportant, he could seen they must be there. They were under attack!

Alan was dispatched to investigate and Paul began broadcasting to whoever it was behind the threat.

"This is Moonbase Alpha...we are people from the planet Earth...please acknowledge."

Red alert sirens sounded throughout the base sending Alphans to action stations and the atmosphere in Main Mission was tense with fear as everyone waited for the Commanders next move. John could feel the weight of responsibility on him as the fighting machines came within striking distance of the base and could do little else but give the order to 'fire' when the threat to Alpha was imminent. Main Mission personal watched as the Hawks were obliterated, but their relief was short lived as yet more Hawks appeared on the main screen. Firstly Alphas Eagle defence was wiped out and then the attack on the Moonbase itself began. It was devastating. Explosions rocked the base, crippling launch pads and causing widespread destruction.

In the months since Breakaway this had been John's greatest fear. Attack from an enemy much stronger than them, more prepared for war. Alpha was never meant to be a defence post and there was little they could do to protect themselves from attack. They had drilled for this...prepared for it...but now it was upon them, and a part of John couldn't believe it was happening.

The air was acrid with the smell of burning debris and thick dust made visibility difficult. It was hard to breath and the moans of the injured filled the air. Screams and cries became louder as the base was rocked by yet more explosions. Lights flickered and then went off as power was lost and the carnage continued even as emergency generators kicked into life. Then as suddenly as it had begun the attack was over. The shrill sound of sirens ricocheted around Main Mission and damage reports began flooding in as John gave orders to secure the base. All around him Alphans began to pick themselves up, check for injuries, assess the damage to workstations and data banks. Moving to a screen he opened up a link to Medical.

"Helena. Give me a casualty report?"

A grainy image flicked onto his screen. She was badly shaken and looked strained and pale. He could see fear in her eyes but her voice was steady. "Apart from the Eagle crews we've lost all technicians on launch pad four, we have eleven other casualties and two men unaccounted for." In the drama of the moment they slipped back to first names. "It's bad John."

He stared at the screen for a moment longer without really seeing her. "We're at war!" He said abruptly and cut the link.

Helena stared at the blank screen wishing she could have said something, anything to help ease what she knew he must be feeling right now. Taking a calming breath she suppressed her own panic and turned back to her department where the casualty count was growing rapidly.

The lull in fighting didn't last long. Out in space, Eagles tried to defend the Moonbase but with little success. Alan managed a direct hit but one after another the Eagles were picked off and after a huge explosion, contact with Alan was lost. The situation on Alpha was critical. With launch pads jammed and their last Eagle trapped below ground where it was useless, the base was wide open to further attack. John had scarcely given the command to evacuate all none essential personnel to underground bunkers, when the attack began again. The whole base rocked as laser fire erupted and sections of the base exploded. Those that had made it below ground could only wait and wonder in fear, as the deep rumbles of each new explosion we felt throughout the dim caverns.

On the surface the situation was not good. Medical had been in the process of moving casualties underground when the renewed attack devastated the department. Debris from partially collapsed walls exploded, sending clouds of chocking dust into the atmosphere. Glass from internal window shattered, slicing into those unfortunate enough to be in the way. The area erupted into chaos as smoke and flames filled the air, sparks ignited yet more fires as the base shook from the sustained attack. Helena had been thrown to the floor as the first explosion hit. Pushing away rubble that half buried her she dragged herself to her feet. Her eyes stung from the smoke and it was difficult to breath. Everywhere people were screaming and shouting for help. Above the noise she shouted orders to terrified nurses, they needed to evacuate quickly. She could see Bob across the other side of the unit working to get the wounded to safety, yelling at anyone who could walk, to get out immediately.

Then the alarmed voice of an orderly yelled 'Air leak! Help. Help!" The panic in his voice reverberated around Medical and cries for help grew louder.

Bob grabbed at an emergency foam canister and rushed across the room. He began spraying the contents onto the tiny cracks in the glass that splintered and spread at an alarming rate. Feeling her heart rate increase alarmingly, Helena assessed the situation: they needed help...quickly. She flew to a communication panel and tried to get a message through to Main Mission but the comms system was damaged.

Jabbing agitatedly at the panel she tried to keep herself calm. Pushing hair, thick with dust, out of her eyes she felt tears of frustration sting as she tried to make contact with main mission. "We've got an atmosphere leak! you hear me?" The monitor showed no clear picture, just a mass of static. She tried again. "John, we've got an atmosphere leak."

In Main Mission the attack had caused considerable damage. The Commander, Paul, Sandra and Kano had been thrown across the floor by the force of blasts that were rocking the base. Protecting themselves from falling debris, they could do nothing except wait for the devastating bombardment to cease. When the tremors subsided leaving the air thick with smoke and dust, they dragged themselves to their feet, taking in the destruction that surrounded them. A fire was blazing at the main computer terminal and John grabbed at a fire extinguisher to try and limit the damage. He was fighting the blaze when he heard Helena's voice. He could just make it out above the alarms and fire and chaos that surrounded him. Clambering across mounds of rubble he reached a monitor but the system wasn't responding and he couldn't activate the screen to make contact with Medical.

A split second later he heard her voice again. "John, we've got an atmosphere leak." The static cleared and he could see her face for a few seconds, she looked tense. He banged at the unit but his frustration had little effect on the damaged hardware. The screen was filled with static again and then fleetingly the screen cleared and her picture and voice were in sync. "It's under control at the moment but I don't know how long it's gonna hold..." she was running her hand agitatedly through her dishevelled hair, calling for help...and then the monitor cut out completely.

He felt his heart lurch sickeningly as he flicked at a communication switch in frustration, but was unable to get back through to Medical. Turning to Sandra he told her to stay put, then yelled to Paul and Kano to follow him.

More explosions shook the base as the Hawks moved in for another attack. Struggling through corridors filled with smoke and debris, the trio raced to Medical. As they got closer they had to dodge bodies and stretchers and people trying to move away from the threat of the air leak. Another close hit rocked Helena on her feet as she threw herself across a bed and struggled to protect a patient from a falling beam. Screams of pain and panic were melding together as she attempted to hurry the last remaining casualties to safety. Bob was trying to add more foam layers to the crack which continued to grow and splinter, as each second passed.

"Bob." She called out to Bob to leave the leak and get out. She tried to keep her voice calm as she ordered nurses and orderlies to evacuate. "Come on, we have to get everybody out of here. Let's go." Pushing patients towards the door she continued yelling, "Everybody. Come on, come on."

She knew time was running out for them. She could see Bob frantically working on the ever growing crack. She could hear the hiss of escaping air growing louder and louder. There was a body at her feet, moaning. Struggling against his weight and fighting for breath she managed to get the man to his feet and was guiding him to safety as John arrived.

Relief flooded through him as he reached her...and then he followed her desperate gaze to the remaining beds where more bodies awaited rescue. Pushing her toward the door and relative safety, he turned back and entered the unit with Paul and Kano to get the remaining casualties out.

Emergency lighting made it hard to see through the swirling clouds of smoke and dust. The ominous sound of cracking glass grew louder as the three men managed to clear the final Alphans. A hiss of escaping air grew louder.

Bobs cry echoed through the now empty medical unit. "It won't hold!"

HELENA! John couldn't believe what was happening. In the confusion he'd almost missed her as she tried to slip past him, blindly rushing to go help Bob. Christ...what the hell was she doing! He threw himself at her, grabbed at her arm and pulled her roughly to him. "Helena...come on!" His spoke harshly. She was fighting him...screaming at Bob to get out. He kept a vice like grip on her struggling body, holding her firmly as she twisted and fought against him, attempting to break free.

The hiss grew louder still. Dragging her with him he yelled over his shoulder to Bob who was continuing to work frantically on the leak. "Bob! Leave that! Come on..."

Fighting to keep his hold on her, the words were ripped from his throat as the hiss became a roar.

"Bob! BOB!" She screamed his name as the viewport shattered and he was sucked out into blackness.

The decompression was violent and without John's firm grip on her arms she would have been dragged away and would have followed Mathias through the gaping wound in the now destroyed Medical wing. Battling against the unimaginable pull of the decompression, John used all his strength to drag her through the doorway. Gasping from exertion and emotion, he slammed his fist against the emergency override sealing off the screaming threat of decompression and allowing the door to slide closed on the scene of destruction.

After the chaos of the past minutes and the roaring of the decompression, the shocked silence that filled the corridor was unnerving. Dust and smoke swirled around and soft moans and sobs began as the dazed Alphans huddled together, coughing and spluttering, aware of how close they'd come to death. Nurses struggled against their own shock to tend to casualties who lay littering the floor and every available gurney.

John held Helena firmly pinned against the closed door until she stopped struggling against him. He could feel the fight leave her as she slumped against the wall in defeat and sobbed Bob's name.

"Yes...I know. I know." He gently touched her face and their eyes met. His hands held onto her shoulders and then his arms enfolded her gently as she crumpled against him. For a split second they stood locked together, Helena in misery and anguish, John in gratitude. Then he slowly pushed her away and their eyes met and held for the briefest moment. There was no time for a more personal exchange but in that instant, as their eyes had locked, they'd both been able to see the pain and anguish present in the other. Looking around, John was appalled at the devastation surrounding him. Then another thought exploded into his head. The attack had stopped!

With a last glance and reassuring touch of her shoulder he moved away from Helena. Giving instructions to Paul and Kano to stay and help out with the injured, he ran back through the base.

The sight that greeted him when he reached Main Mission was like a blow to his solar plexus. The size of the alien bomber on the main screen was incredible. There was nothing he could do to protect Alpha and he stood with Sandra, watching in awe and fear as the bomber grew larger and larger. This was it! He had failed. His fear, a fear that had plagued him since breakaway, had finally become reality. They were under attack and they had no means of defending themselves...they were sitting ducks. There was to be no happy ending, no planet on which to build a new future for them...nothing...their struggle had been in vain. Desolation overwhelmed him. "There's nothing we can do. NOTHING!"

The futility of their fight to survive mocked him as he waited alone except for a trembling communications analyst in the eerily empty space, for the final, devastating attack to bring everything to an end. When the viewports lit up with a vast explosion, a millisecond before he was knocked off his feet, he thought it had started. The end had come! He was sent sprawling across the floor as a huge shockwave hit the Moon. Realization that in fact, it was the bomber that had come under attack and been wiped out, was almost too much to take in, in his befuddled state. John struggled to make sense of what was happening. The sight of the lone Eagle approaching Alpha was almost beyond his comprehension. What the hell! Shaking his head in an attempt to clear his thoughts he pulled himself to his feet. However unexpected, it seemed that, despite the odds, Eagle One had managed to keep under the radar and had been able to thwart the enemy. Badly shaken Sandra gasped out loud as Alan's voice over the comm link echoed around the eerily empty main mission. Hearing Carters voice was a blessed relief to John and, after confirming that his chief pilot could make it back to Alpha, a relieved Commander patched a communication link through to the Victor and brought him up to date with what had happened.

A while later when damage and casualty data had been collated, John called his command team together. Emergency repairs were being conducted and key personnel had been brought up from the bunkers to help keep the base as stable as possible until the full impact of the attacks could be assessed, but the news wasn't good. One hundred and twenty eight Alphans had died. Sucked out into Space! Explosive decompression! Helena tried to keep her voice under control as she explained the situation. Now was not the time to breakdown but she couldn't contain the bitterness that laced her words as she described the needless loss of life. John could see her despair and yet had no words to offer that would make any difference. Kano, Paul and Sandra could offer little hope either. Main generators would take a minimum of four weeks to repair and emergency power, even running on minimum usage, would be exhausted within eight days. Food production and recycling plants had sustained massive damage and the water supply was badly contaminated. It would be months before they would be capable of replenishing their supplies. The attacks seemed to have stopped but that was of little comfort, Alpha was dead anyway. As each new fact came to light, the mood around the conference table grew heavier. Helena was glad she was sitting down. She felt faint. Nausea overwhelmed her as the finality of what lay ahead sank in. Glancing around at the familiar faces, each one tuned into its own personal misery, she wished it could have turned out differently, that they had been able to make it work...somehow. Lost in her thoughts she wasn't really listening to what John was saying and was startled when he moved around the table to stand close to her. Shaking away her confusion she focused on his words. They were going down to the planet. Who was going down to the planet? She hadn't been paying attention. What had she missed?

The table came to life. Voices rose in discord. Alan pushed his chair back noisily and started to talk. Paul was equally vocal. John and Victor seemed to be on the point of arguing. Then John raised his voice. "Just a minute…" everyone shut up.

He turned to Victor who was looking perturbed and gestured to the professor to speak. Choosing his words carefully Victor spoke quietly. "I'd rather thought they were trying to tell us to keep away John."

"Victor. The only reason they've stopped firing is because they don't need to bother. Alpha is dead. Now, unless any of you have a better idea, the only course open is to go down there, meet them face to face on their own turf, and try to persuade them to talk." His words were angry and it was clear that he wasn't going to change his mind.

Alan left immediately to prepare the unarmed Eagle that John required, and Helena rose with Sandra and Kano to leave. John stopped her. "Helena. Stay a moment...please." She nodded and wandered across to a viewport while he discussed emergency protocol with Victor and Paul. Her mind was racing. There was much she needed to do. Her department was in turmoil... she'd lost a doctor...and a friend in the attack. Try not to think about Bob...Helena, not here...not now...but she'd seen the need in John's eyes when he'd looked at her a moment ago and she'd been powerless to argue with him. He was what she needed too. Just to be close to him. She ran her fingers through her hair, which was thick with dust and realised she must look a mess. Staring at her reflection in the viewport she saw the discussion end and turned slightly as Victor approached her. He smiled and squeezed her arm gently in farewell as he passed by and then they were alone. Even with the doors to Main Mission open and in full view of people busy with the cleanup operation, John didn't give a damn. He needed to hold her. He moved to stand close behind her, wrapping her in his arms and pulling her against him. She hadn't been expecting this and instinctively went to pull away but he held her firm and she could see his reflection...see him close his eyes...hear his sigh as he rested his head against hers. After the horrors of the last few hours this was the comfort they both needed. It couldn't hurt...not for a few moments...she told herself. She leant back against him feeling his warmth seep into her coldness, feeling safe for the first time in a long time.

From her console in Main Mission Sandra watched as the Commander took Dr Russell into his arms. She had been hoping that they would be able to work out their problems because she thought, they really did make a lovely couple and it was plainly obvious how much they loved each other, but during the last weeks it had been very awkward to be around them, the atmosphere had been so tense. She glanced around to see if anyone else was aware of what was happening and caught eyes with Paul who gave her a knowing look.

Uncaring of the attention they were drawing, John just enjoyed the comfort he got from holding this woman in his arms. These last few weeks had been hell and the future was looking pretty grim but just for awhile they seemed to have called a truce and this was heaven. He opened his eyes and saw her watching him in the glass. "I'm sorry about Bob." His voice was soothing, gentle.

She nodded but he felt her tense at his words. He wanted to ease her pain but there was nothing her could do. The moment was shattered. She pulled away and he let her go. Her eyes dropped to his hand that had reached out and taken hold of hers. "We leave in a little under an hour." He rubbed his thumb across her wrist in a soft caress. She caught her breath and pulled her hand away.

"Ok..." she nodded imperceptibly, then turned and walked away.

Sandra caught the exchange out of the corner of her eye. As she turned back to her screen she wondered on the hopelessness of their situation, the Commander and Dr Russell and the whole of Alpha in general. What was to become of them all?

This though was occupying Helena as she buckled herself into the co-pilot seat of the Eagle an hour later. She'd left her nurses setting up a temporary Medical facility in a recreational hall and on her way to meet John, had managed to make her way to her quarters for a few minutes. They were pretty much ruined but at least the door responded to her commlock and she was able to shut out the world and be alone for a short while. It was dangerous however...being alone. It gave her time to think...and she didn't want to dwell on what was happening...on the sacrifice Bob had made...on how much she missed John...on how bad things were. She knew that if she gave into her fear she would be lost. Wiping a damp flannel over her face to clean away the dust and running a comb through her hair was what she concentrated on. With a last look at a room she never expected to return to, she'd left and made her way to a functioning travel tube. Now, as John did his pre-launch checks she wandered about the practicality of what they were about to do. What awaited them on the planet? Would they ever return to Alpha? Why did it really matter...when there was no future for them here anymore anyway!

"Do you think they'll believe we're unarmed?" Even she could hear the fear in her voice.

John looked up at her words. He took a deep breath. "Who knows what they'll believe. Helena...I..." He looked grimly at the controls as they prepared for takeoff. "I needed you to be here with me..."

It's ok John...I know..." she smiled weakly at him and wondered to herself at the irony of the situation. Crazy really! She'd spent so much effort splitting them up...fighting against there being a 'them'...making sure they weren't together and now...if this was the end, here they were together and it was where they both wanted to be! Her reasons for doubting their relationship, her worry about them being accepted as a couple now seemed ridiculous and she was filled with sadness over the time that they'd wasted and remorse that it had all been her fault. The Eagle left Alpha far behind and the alien world grew ever closer, and both were lost in thoughts of what might have been.

The events of the last hours formed the basis of an experiment, part of an important analysis, run by the alien awareness, as a means of determining the consciousness of those who lived on the Moon. Did they possess within them the ability to evolve? Or were their human traits so deeply entrenched that they would be incompatible with the superior life force scrutinising them. At the conclusion of the experiment it was found that the humans had failed the test and judgement was passed.

The journey was uneventful. Victor kept John up to date with the situation on Alpha and a communication from Sandra notified them that the casualty list had increased to a hundred and thirty one. Helena saw John's shoulders slump slightly as Sandra gave him the figures. There seemed to be no good news. There was little for Helena to do. John had control of the Eagle and after awhile he suggested she get some rest. Her mind was churning and the brief respite was welcome. He was tense and uncommunicative but ever so often, he would look across at her with the hint of a smile and those moments were precious. Even as she steeled herself for the uncertainty of what lay ahead, she was glad he'd brought her along. She'd missed his company...and just being close to him, having him to herself, even in such awful circumstances, was good. Occasionally John would open a comms channel and the sound of Pauls voice would fill the cockpit. Alpha had begun broadcasting a message to the planet as soon as their Eagle had left: an explanation of sorts: Our Eagle is unarmed. Our Commander requests permission to meet, to discuss the plight of our Moonbase and its people. Helena wondered what possible reason the beings on the planet could have had for the attack on Alpha, if anyone or anything down there could understand that they meant no harm.

"We've got to show them they've no need to be afraid of us."

"I think they know that already." His mood was deteriorating. The closer they got the more worried he became. He flipped a switch. "Paul. No response from the planet?"

"Still nothing, Commander. Maybe they're a race of deaf mutes."

John's words were clipped. "Why should they talk. When they can keep us guessing." He shook his head in frustration, he'd hoped for something by now...some response.

The first glimpse of the planet gave Helena some hope. There had been no attempt to attack them and the initial views were beautiful. Onboard data confirmed Computers conclusion, that the planet resembled Earth and that it could sustain human life. Maybe it was too much to expect but what if...what if they could work this through with whomever...whatever called this planet home? Might this be the one? Then John lost control of the Eagle. Not in the 'alarm sounding, critical situation', sort of way...the Eagle just simply stopped responding to his input. It began to fly itself. Automatically they both began running system checks, but no malfunction showed up, but they did establish that communication with Alpha was lost too.

Then a voice filled the cockpit, it was their first, non violent contact, with the alien world. He heard Helena's sharp intake of breath as the voice spoke to them and he glanced reassuringly across at her. In clear, concise English they were told that their Eagle was being guided to a landing zone. The voice told them to relax and stand by for touchdown. Releasing the controls there was little else he could do but sit back and allow whatever force had taken over the Eagle, to control their fate. His mind was whirring. The planet had a voice. It had spoken to them. Which meant it was able to communicate. It had called them 'Alphans' which meant it had knowledge of who they were and where they'd come from. John tensed as the implication of the alien voice registered. He felt his anger increase and fought the impulse to slam his fist into the control panel in sheer frustration. Someone on the planet was able to English, then why the attack? They MUST have been monitoring Alphas pleas. They MUST have known that the Alphans meant them no harm. So why had they attacked the Moonbase...why the senseless destruction? Why had they tried to eliminate his people? His mood was dark as he brooded on what lay ahead and how they desperately needed to ask for assistance from an alien force that so clearly held them is such small regard.

There was no further communication from the planet as the Eagle landed and main systems shut down. The quiet hum of auxiliary power, maintaining basic functions, was the only sound in the cockpit alongside their tense breathing. As the landing procedure completed, John snapped open his harness and pushed himself out of his seat. Following his lead, Helena unclipped herself, her fingers fumbling slightly. "John..." her voice was a whisper.

"It's ok. Follow me."

As the Eagle door slid silently open Helena held her breathe not knowing what to expect.