Buck Rogers in the 26th Century
"Time and Again"
Written by: Erin Weinstock
Novelization verison by: Reba Grayladyfalcon
I dont hold any of the copy rights in this story, and this story was made without profit . =======================

Buck searches frantically for the right switch. Hes holding the steering handle with one hand. His eyes search over his control panel. In the glass window of the cabin, he could see the earth rushing up to him. He holds out his free hand over the controls in his search. He presses a button off to his far right in the cabin. He smiles at finding what he needed, but that changes one moment later. A computerized sound of the boom filled his ears. He closes his eyes and drops his hand from the control throttle.

"That reaction time needs some improving Captain Rogers," a female voice says.

He takes off his head set, and starts to unhook the safety harness. "Its a flight simulator not a real jet," Buck replies in a frustrated tone as he starts climbing out of the hatch.

"Im guessing the great captain has more important things on his mind right now?" VO asked.

Buck still climbing down off the simulator, answers the voice without turning back to look. "Jennifer, you know whats on my mind right now," Buck replies. He gets to the bottom of the ladder and hops down. He turns to see Jennifer walking towards him. He tries to hug her but she pushes him back.

"Not now Buck, you need to do this again, at 2100 hours," Jennifer replies.

Buck trys to embrace Jennifer once again, only to be pushed away again. He drops his hands to his sides. "Do I really have to?" Buck asked.

"William Buck Rogers, the air force needs you. Pilots are needed now more than ever and you need to be brought up to date on the latest high tech fighters," Jennifer replies.

"Im no bird Jenny, I love the water, and you know that. Besides Im fully up to date on the whole air force flock," Buck replies.

They start walking away from the simulator. "The only reason youre not a bird and you love the sea is because of that mistake you made on the U.S.S. Highstone in your landing," Jennifer said looking in to Buck's eyes.

"Larson told me after hed helped get me out of the jet. Id taken him back to his days of recovering mercury astronauts from their capsules," Buck said with a chuckle.

"And you havent flown since, you're not up to date on the latest birds in the flock," Jennifer replied looking at Buck.

"So I havent been in the air a few years, the NAVY loves me. Cant you just tell them to find somebody else?" Buck asked.

"The NAVY thinks if you can weather the oceans with flying colors, surely you can return to the air, and do the same," Jen said.

He puts his head down a little, and rubs his forehead with two fingers. "Thomas, Penner, Reinking, Cook, Vigil -," Buck answers.

She turns to him, then gives him the kind of hug he was looking for earlier. "They want you, your friends on the water have to wait their turn. Theyve never been up in the air like you have." She hesitates then gets closer to him. "I need you," Jen said looking in to Buck's eyes.

"Oh Heaven is a Pizza on Earth at 7:00 pm tonight?" Buck asked with a smile.

She breaks her hug, and recontinues walking. "Stuffed shells in your company, I cant wait," Jen replies as she walks off.

Chicago, sunset partly cloudy, just outside of Oh Heaven is a Pizza on Earth.

At the Oh Heaven is a Pizza on Earth. People were sitting and enjoying their meals while some listened to the news. "And in national news U.S. tensions heated up even more with the oil bearing countries in the middle east," the news reporter said.

Buck and Jennifer are sitting at a table, multiple tables off to the side at a bar where they can see the TV. The two already have bread sticks, water at their table, plates with food on them, most of the way eaten. Theyre trying to talk, but the TV is being too loud.

TV was loud in the back ground. "The president is due to have talks with the top representatives in these countries tomorrow, but many doubt hell make good head way in the talks due to the accidental bombing of fifty civilian homes, near to what the military had believed was a nuclear weapons manufacturing base," the report announces.

While the two are talking, in the background we can faintly hear the restaurants music playing. It was the symphonic music from the 70's and 80's..

"I dont see how thats going to help things, Jen. Theres no way Im going to this guinea pig program theyve set up," Buck said taking another bite of his dinner..

"Bucky, the scientists are sure there will be no harmful effects from this. It will boost your stamina, sharpen your concentration, give you a good nights rest," Jen said as she takes a sip of her wine.

"Ill do it if youll wake me with a kiss?" Buck said with a grin.

"Tomorrow at the base, Ill confirm it with your commander," Jen replies having to talk a little louder over the news up date.

Buck was also getting really annoyed "One second, Jen." He stands up and shouts across to the bar. "Will you turn that down, god damn it! Some of us dont want to hear about worlds suffering right now." He sits back down and returns to speaking low. "As you were saying?"

"Ill set it up, Ill even wear that red dress you like when I wake you up," Jen replies with a enticing smile.

A moment later the waiter brings the bill and places it on the table.

Buck looked at the waiter. "You make me look forward to being put under," Buck said taking the bill.
Chapter 1

In the doctors office. Buck is sitting straight up on the patient bed, looking around the room. The door opens and the doctor enters the room.

Buck looks at his watch. "Not bad, that only took just over an hour," Buck said still glancing down at his watch.

"You not the only person on my list mister," the doctor replies as he grabs up the chart and starts scanning through it. "William Rogers?" the doctor asked.

"Please, call me Buck," Buck replies.

"So Buck, have you ever participated in a drug testing before?" the doctor asked glancing up from the chart at Buck.

"No, Im only doing this because Im told this will help me in flight," Buck replies.

"The drug should. You know when you sleep, thats your bodys time for recharging. What this stuff does is it pushes the brain in to producing more of the chemicals. You need throughout the day to think straight and to stand on your feet longer," the doctor said walking over to Buck's side. The doctor pulled out a small container of pills and placed one in to a clear bag for Buck to see.

"But pilots sit," Buck said joking as he examined the pill.

"Hogwash Rogers, you know what I mean. Besides I bet you have another reason for doing this," the doctor replied with a smile on his face.

"And that is?" Buck asked.

"That girl I saw that came in with you. She had such a sound of worry in her voice for you. Shes your girlfriend, right?" the doctor asked while taking the pill out of the small bag.

"Well, she's kind of like a ..." Buck stopped and started to blush.

"I thought so, doesnt want to see her man get hurt now does she?" the doctor asked placing the pill in Buck's hand.

Buck quickly changed the subject. "You say this will put me out for just two hours?" Buck asked holding up the pill.

"Just two hours, and after that when you wake up and youll feel more awake n live then any bear thats been asleep a full long winter," the doctor replies as he's handing Buck two glasses of water. "Drink a half a glass now then the other glass and a half when you take the pill. I'll tell you right now, you dont wanna taste how that pill is going down," the doctor said.

Buck drinks a half a glass of water as the doctor recommended then he places the pill in his mouth and starts to drink more of the water. But after realizing he was having trouble swallowing the pill he started to gulp the water. Finally after all most both glasses of water it finally went down. "That tasted terrible," Buck said as he swallowed a couple more times to get the bad tasted out of his mouth.

"I told you it would. Now go to bed. Its going to be in room four, just before the end of the hall," the doctor said pointing down a small hall.

"You mean I dont get to sleep in here?" Buck asked.

"Of course you cant sleep in here. What made you think you could?" the doctor asked with a puzzled expression on his face.

"I waited in here for over an hour, sleeping before taking that horse pill you just gave me. Yes, it did occur to me that you'd want me to sleep in here to watch over me," Buck replied getting off the patient bed.

"I hope you have pleasant dreams. The others that took the pill said they had nice dreams," the doctor said with a smile.

Buck leaves the room, shutting the door behind him. In the hallway, he moves slowly down it, till reaching the door the doctor had mentioned. He opens the door, and goes inside. Inside he finds a bed and some monitoring machines in it. Standing next to the doorway was a nurse.

"If youll just lie down here, Ill begin with your preparation," she said softly.

"Preparation for what?" he asked as he lifts off the bed covers and sits down on the bed.

"Ill need to hook you up to these machines for monitoring while you sleep. Theyll be recording of your breathing, pulse, and amount of brain activity. Could you take off your shirt please?" she asked.

Buck smiles.

"I cant hook your shirt up to the monitors. I need your bare skin for it to monitor right," she explains.

He takes off his shirt. "I dont think my girlfriend would like this too much," Buck said jokingly.

"All this is, is a job to me. Youre just another fly boy who needs some much needed rest, Rogers," the nurse replies. While shes saying this shes attaching lines to him from different machines and explaining what each one is for. "These two lines go to monitoring your breathing and pulse," she explained as she hooked them up to Buck. "And these go to monitoring your brain activity. Now, if you'd please lie down I can turn on the machines," she said.

Buck lies down and covers himself up.

"Im going to leave now, and when I do, Im going to turn out the lights to help you go to sleep faster. The machine on your left hand side has a round blue button on it. When you awake, I need you to press it. That will tell me its time to come and get you. Do you have any questions?" she asked.

Buck looks over to the machine with the button. "None," he says softly. Finally the light go off, and he heard the door shut. Buck turned over and lays on his side. His eyes were getting harder to keep open, he slowly closes his eyes.

"Ow..." Buck moans, and slowly opens his eyes. Hes in complete darkness. He tries to move but can barely manage it. White flashes before him one moment, and then he feels more pain. Suddenly above him he sees his name, his age 34, his birth date July 08, 1972, his race. Then darkness again, which quickly changes to a picture of a mushroom cloud above him, then darkness again. He places his head on his forehead. This is where the pain is coming from. Two lines are on it, but instead of stickers at the ends, he finds small needles stuck to his head. He feels his way down the wire to the end then rips them off. Seconds later the pain goes away. After a few more moments in the darkness two green squares of light, and a red triangle of light appear once more above him. The lights are formed out like a face.

"Hello Captain Rogers, why have you disconnected the information transmitters?" a strange voice asked.

"What? Where? What are you?" Buck asked in a confused state of mind.

"My name is Doctor Theopolis. I am the supervising intelligent computer of Earths Defense Directorate. You are in a health regeneration chamber," the strange voice replied.

"What? Youre a doctor? Supervising computer of Earths Regeneration chamber?" Buck asked even more confused.

"Im sorry. You must have many questions that need answering. If you had left on the information transmitters, youd have known about what I had just told you. I have been told by some humans that the information transmitters can cause a very small amount of pain. That must have been why you removed them. Your body has been returned to what we at the Directorate believe a good state of health for your species. I will release you now from the health regeneration chamber," the voice said.

Moments later a small amount of light eluminates around Bucks face, then a door starts opening at his feet. Suddenly the tray he's lieing on starts sliding backwards. It slides him in to a room with a very morgue like feel. There are many small white closed hatches on the wall that maybe just large enough for a body to be fitted inside. He shields his eyes from the bright light of the room. The tray hes on stops moving when hes fully out of the chamber. When he sits up and starts to get off the tray, he realizes hes in a medical gown. He grabs the back of the gown with his hand. He places his feet on the floor and walks round the room, looking around still holding the gown closed. The room aside from looking morgue like, also has a very sterile look to it. Theres what he believes to be a door on one side, but it really doesnt look it much. More like an outline of a door. Theres no door knob, or latch, nothing. The door like the rest of the room was white. All that is near this door is a panel with light behind it. He walks over to this and touches it but nothing happens. On another wall there are a set of three light panels set into the wall, once more set up in a face lay-out.

"Since you do not want to use the information transmitters to be brought up to date on the current state of the world, I have sent for Doctor Huer. He will provide you with an ambuquad, who will bring you up to date. Do you wish to have me send for a set of clothes to replace the medical gown youre currently wearing?" the strange voice asked.

"Yes, Id like some clothes! What kind of joke is this? Why cant I speak to you in person, where are you?" Buck asked looking around.

"Youre already speaking to me directly. Remember I am the supervising computer at the Directorate," the voice replied.

"Whos playing me? Whats going on?" Buck asked still searching for the person speaking.

Buck soon noticed that the door were changing colors from white to gray. Doctor Huer walked in followed by Twiki. Dr. Huer looked a few years older than Buck with grey hair and a thin built. Buck also noticed a small robot following the Dr. Twiki stood just about a foot higher than Bucks waist. The robot or ambuquad was very sleek looking. The head was "T" shaped with a mesh looking eye near the end to each side of the "T." There was a mouth hole near the bottom of the "T." The arms are not all intact, the lower halves are separate but are connected by fluttering electricity.

"Captain Rogers I presume?" Dr. Huer asked as he walked over to shake Buck's hand.

"How did you do that?" Buck asked looking over at the door that has changed back to the color of white.

"Do what?" Huer asked following Buck's eyes to the door.

"You walked through a wall!" Buck said with a shocked expression on his face.

"Oh forgive me. I forgot the fact you are not familiar with how doors work. Am I right Rogers?" Huer asked.

"Call me Buck." Buck hesitated still looking at the door. "I know how to work a door! That wasnt it.. it's just that there was no way of opening it! No door knob, no handle, nothing!" Buck replied looking at Dr. Huer.

"Door knob?" Huer asked with a puzzled look on his face. "Please, hold out either of your hands to me," Huer asked.

"Why, what do you want?" Buck asked with concern.

Huer takes a device out of one of his pockets. It looked like something Buck had seen in the grocery stores to scan for prices. But it looked a little wider.

"I need to scan your hand print in to Earths population database. When this is done, youll be able to open any door that will permit access when the time for it is allowed," Huer replied reaching for Buck's hand

"What?" Buck asked even more confused.

"Just hold out one of your hands please. Theopolis are you here?" Huer asked glancing over to the far wall.

"I am integrated in to almost every location of this complex, Dr. Huer," Theopolis replies.

"I need to talk to you about our coming guests, it is of the utmost urgency," Huer said.

"I think you have more pressing matters already here, doctor," Theopolis replies.

Buck cautiously and slowly does as he was commanded. Huer scans the hand Buck had given to him once, then Dr. Huer flips Buck's hand over to the other side for the finger prints.

"I must apologize again to you, I don't have the time required to answer all your questions. "Twiki, this ambuquad here, is the one who will do that for me. Hes also here because as of today hes been assigned to you as your companion. Hell help you with anything within reason you could want," Huer replies as he scans Bucks other hand. Huer glances over at Twiki. "Say hello, Twiki," Huer commanded the ambuquad.

"Biddi biddi biddi."

By this time Huer is done with his scan, and has placed the device back into his pocket. Huer sighs. "Twiki is fresh off the assembly line. Hes only programmed with what the company that made him gave him. He may be a Crichton series ambuquad, knowing all that there is to know. But he knows nothing what so ever of how to interact with others. Im afraid youll have to teach him how to do that," Huer said glancing back over at Twiki.

Huer walks over to the door, turning to Buck. "Just place your hand on the lit panel, and youll be able to leave here," Huer said showing Buck the panel.

Huer turns to Twiki. "Twiki, will you show Captain Rogers, I mean Buck to his living quarters?" Dr. Huer asked.

Twiki gently grabs the nearest of Bucks hands to him, and starts to move to wards the door.

"Ive touched that before, it doesnt do any thing," Buck said walking slowly with Twiki towards the door.

"It didnt work before because you werent in the population database. Thats why I scanned your hand," Huer replied.

Buck pressed his hand against the panel. "My living quarters? Listen I was told the drug would have no ill effects, that I'd be able to drive home. I dont need some robot to show me the way," Buck replied with some anger in his voice.

"I dont know of what drug youre speaking of. But trust me when I say this, without Twiki you wont know how to get home," Huer replied.

Before Buck can answer he started moving through the door way, Twiki pulling him along. He has a shocked expression on his face as he passes through. Twiki walked along side Buck as he showed him the way to his quarters. They came to another door with no handle. Buck pressed his hand against the panel and the door opened. Buck entered and started to look around. There is very little furniture in the room, just a couch, a table, and a picture of a woman in a dress holding a flower.

"What is going on here?" Buck asked looking at Twiki.

Twiki still near the doorway. "What do you mean by ..Whats going on here?" Twiki asked.

"This place, Doctor Theopolis and Doctor Huer, the Defense Directorate whatever?!" Buck said looking around.

"This building is used for the Defense Directorates staff of operators and fighter pilots as a place of residence. Doctor Theopolis is the supervising intelligent computer of the Directorate. Doctor Huer is Director of the Defense Directorate," Twiki explained.

"And what is the Defense Directorate?" Buck asked looking at each corner of the room.

"It is the establishment of this planet meant to serve as its protector from outside aggressive forces," Twiki replied.

"How come Ive never heard of it?" Buck asked glancing back at Twiki.

"Because it was established in 2258 on March 17. 252 years after you were put into stasis," Twiki replied as he watched Buck.

"Come again?" Buck asked as he turned around quickly and looked at Twiki.

"Because it was established in 2258 on March 17. 252 years after you were put into stasis," Twiki repeated.

Buck is taken back a little but then he laughs. "Good joke, great joke wheres the camera?" Buck asked looking around trying to find the hidden cameras.

"Biddi.. what joke? What camera?"

He walks over to the little robot still amused by what he thinks is false information. He starts looking over Twiki. "Come on, wheres the antenna?" Buck asked looking over Twiki.

"Biddi.. what is "antenna"?" Twiki asked seeking an explanation.

"Someone is controlling you, aren't they?" Buck asked as he walked around the small ambuquad. "Robots dont talk. They make cars, roam around Mars and hump rocks, theyre overpriced metal dogs," Buck replied.

"I am an ambuquad, not a robot," Twiki replied with a small amount of attitude.

"Cant seem to find it," Buck said as he gets up shaking his head at the bot.

"Who made you? You dont look like you were manufactured in the United States," Buck asked.

"I was manufactured in the Northern American Continent, country of The New States of United America, in the city of New Fort Worth, Texas," Twiki replies.

"Cute," Buck said smiling. "Whats with this "New" United States of America, and this "New" Fort Worth?" Buck asked.

"In the year 2006, The United States of America was bombed and turned in to a nuclear waste land when talks failed between the country and another that had in a lesser matter been attacked."

Buck taking all this information in couldn't believe what he was hearing. His eyes reflected his thought that maybe what this ambuquad was saying might be true.

Chapter 2

"Once the United States had fallen in to a state of total dilapidation due to the nuclear bombing, life changed for all of its citizens. They no longer cared for land and energy the way they once had. All that mattered to them was survival, nothing else. It was many years later in the year 2141, that the New States of United America gained recognition as a present country to be accounted for," Twiki informed Buck.

"We didnt strike back?" Buck asked as his eyes started to swell with tears.

"The United States did launch an assault to counteract the missiles. As a result of the bombing, other countries allied with the United States also took action against the one who had been the aggressor. The result was World War three, where no one was the winner. Most of the world fell in to the same state as the U.S," Twiki replied.

"This isnt real," Buck said to himself. "Twiki, what year is it now?" Buck asked.

"2518," Twiki replied.

"I need to get some air," Buck said as he headed for the door.

Twiki started to follow Buck towards the door. Without turning his head back, Buck paused and lowered his head. "You stay here," Buck ordered softly.

Twiki stopped his pursuit as he was ordered. Buck pressed his hand against the light panel, and walked out.

Dr. Huer was sitting at his desk. A woman about Bucks age with shoulder length brown hair, slender built was standing next to Dr. Huer's desk.

"I dont see why Im the one who has to go get him," Wilma said.

"Its been a rough day for him and a rough day for myself. Our uniting with the Draconian Empire is just two days away. I have miles upon miles of paper work that needs to be tended to. Not to mention, talks between their transmissions with the computer council. Hes just woken up after 500 hundred years of stasis. And from what Ive been told by Twiki, hes not taking the news about his new predicament very well. I just want you to talk to him, he needs to see a human face right now. I doubt hearing about his whole world being destroyed by an unfeeling machine really has him in a good state of mind at this moment. Youre going to be his squadron leader, he needs to build respect for your command," Huer informs Wilma.

Wilma sighs. "Yes sir. Where was he last seen?" she asked.

"Twiki informed me that he was last seen heading for the old ruins, just outside of town." Huer hesitates then smiles. "Thanks for doing this Wilma, I wish you good luck," Huer replies.

"And I you doctor," Wilma replies as she turns and leaves.

At the old ruins, Buck slowly walked up the dirty street with cracked cement, and wreckage from miscellaneous things. Buck stopped and leaned against the corner of a marble wall. He looks over at a worn looking street sign. Beyond that nothing but small grouping of charred dead trees and bushes. He gently shakes his head and lowers it. A moment later he heard something coming up behind him

"Buck ... Buck!" Twiki calls out. Twiki being followed by Wilma. The little robot stops when he gets to Bucks side.

"Why?" Buck asked looking around at the devastation with tears falling down his cheek..

"The United States launched an assault to....." Twiki started to inform Buck again.

"No, that wasnt what I was asking." Buck hesitated and looked at Twiki. "Why was I put in to stasis? Why was I brought back?" Buck asked with tears in his eyes.

Wilma slowly walked over up to Buck. He turned back around and gazed at Wilma. "Im told by Dr. Theopolis, that the air force had put you under some type of sedation. And that shortly after that at the request from another with in the air force, you were put into stasis to keep you from harm during the bombing," Wilma explained to Buck.

"Jenny," Buck replied softly to himself.

They stood in silence for a moment. Buck continues his stare towards the sign.

"The Defense Directorate is in dire need of new fighter pilots. Not many have come forward because of what some believe to be a high casualty rate. Because of your rank as captain, it was decided that you already had enough flying experience to serve in sort missions," Wilma said watching for any expression on Buck's face.

Buck gleems at Wilma after hearing that. Then he motions for them to follow him. They go in to an area across the street. He raises his arm and points at what appears to be the remains of a house that was totally destroyed. "My home, 1039 Sir Kay Avenue. You say you want new pilots? Well, you can tell the Defense Directorate they can sit on it. Im not your man!" Buck replied with rage.

"Captain Rogers, the peace of the world is at stake. Your planet needs you," Wilma informed him.

"I dont care, because you know why? I have nothing left to care for! Everyone and everything I ever cared for is gone! Why didnt you just leave me in stasis?! I bet I would have been happier in there!" Buck shouted loudly.

"You were on the brink of death when your chamber was found. The stasis chambers that were used back in the early 21st century tended to fail easily, youre lucky to be alive!" Wilma replied.

"Tell me how this is luck?! My whole world is gone, everyone that meant anything and everything to me is gone!!" Buck yelled.

"Youre a survivor, and a window for the rest of us in to a more simpler time. The world is not what it once was. Who knows, maybe youll find this life better, Captain Rogers," Wilma said trying to understand what Buck is going through.

"Do you know how I gained the title Captain?!" Buck asked with anger.

"For being a member of the air force?" Wilma asked.

"No! It didn't have anything to do with me being in the air force! I gained the title of Captain on the sea in the NAVY! The only reason why I was listed in the air force at the time I went to sleep was because they needed pilots, and I had a small background in the air! Now just get off my case, lady! While I go and try to find something of a life for myself. Not in service to some government!" Buck said as he walked off heading further in to the wilds of the woods mixed in to the ruins of his former home.

"You leave me with no choice, Rogers," Wilma said as she starts to pull her weapon out from it's holster, and aims it at Buck.

"You're going to have to shoot me lady. Because I'm not going back with you," Buck says as he turns and starts walking away. Wilma takes careful aim and fires. A moment later, Buck feels a stinging sensation, then he clasped in to unconsciousness.

The next morning in Buck's quarters, Buck is laying on his bed. He moans and slowly starts to open his eyes. He slowly sits up holding his head. "What happened?" he asked. But soon answers his own question. "She shot me!" he said.

"Are you feeling better today, Buck?" Dr. Theopolis asked.

Buck slowly turned his head in the direction the voice was coming from. "Just tell me one thing, what year is it?" Buck asked still holding his head as he slowly stands up.

"Why its 2518. What an kind of odd question is that?" Theopolis asked.

"Because the last time I was put to sleep I didnt wake up for 500 years, and I was hoping this was just all a dream," Buck replied sitting back down on the edge of his bed.

"Oh none of this is a dream, Buck. You'll begin your flight training at 08.00 hours today. Should I have Twiki bring you in something for breakfast?" Theopolis asked.

"Training? Dear God in heaven, you wont give up on making me one of your new fly boys will you?" Buck asked then hesitated for a moment. "Did you say some breakfast? That sounds pretty good about now. I think Ill have some scrambled eggs and maybe some pancakes," Buck replied.

"I dont know about scrambled eggs and pancakes, but Ill see what can be done," Theopolis replied.

"So who are we at war with?" Buck asked as he attempted to stand again.

"No one, why do you ask?" Theopolis replies.

"Some lady I was speaking with yesterday. She said the Directorate had some great need for fighter pilots. And that there was so much risk in the job that not very many were applying for it," Buck said.

"There is a great need for fighter pilots because of what has been said regularly to Earths Transportation Directorate. Pirates have been attacking their unarmed cargo crafts for years now and we are in such need of supplies that the Defense Directorate has been called upon to escort the cargo craft to ensure them safe passage," Theopolis replies.

"Pirates? Youve got to be kidding me?" Buck asked with a shocked expression on his face.

"I am not kidding you. Why would I kid about something like that?" Theopolis replied.

"Real Pirates in this day and age, Ill be darned. Who said the past was dead," Buck said with a light chuckle. Thinking for a moment "By the way, whats the name of Ms. Ray-gun?" Buck asked.

"Excuse me?" Dr. Theopolis asked.

"The lady I was speaking with yesterday, the one who shot me. What was her name?" Buck asked.

"Her name is Colonel Wilma Deering, she is your new squadron leader."

There was a buzzing noise at the door. "Enter," Theopolis said. Twiki entered Buck's quarters carrying a tray. "Ahh, hello Twiki, did you find something for the good Captain to eat, to his liking?" Dr. Theopolis asked.

"Poached eggs with a side of hash browns," Twiki replied handing Buck a tray and a cup of water.

"Thank you Twiki," Buck replied taking the tray and water. Buck sits back down on his bed with the food, and picks up part of it. "It doesnt look like eggs, or hash browns. In fact, I'm not sure what it looks like. Twiki ? Are you sure this is eggs and hashbrowns? It looks more like kind of a pancake," Buck said examining the strange flat objects on his tray.

"That's poached eggs and hashbrowns Buck. Just like you wanted. Did you want anything else?" Twiki asked

"Yes, if you dont mind my asking," Buck asked with his brow is furrowed in thought.

"I dont mind, ask me," Twiki replies.

Buck holds up both his food disks in each hand to Twiki. "Could you tell me which one of these is the hashbrowns, and which one of these is the poached eggs?" Buck asked with a puzzled look on his face.

Twiki pointed out which one was the eggs and which one was the hashbrowns. Buck, not sure if he should eat this strange food place the tray back down and shook his head.

"Buck, you have approximately 15 minutes to get to the main hanger to start yout training," Twiki informed Buck.

"I'll go when I'm darn good and ready to go," Buck replied with a sarcastic attitude.

Twiki walked over to Buck, grabbed him by his hand and pinched down lightly. "I was ordered to escort you over at 07:45," Twiki said as he pulled Buck towards the door.

Buck feeling some pain from Twiki's grip. "All right, I'm ready to go. You can let go of me now Twiki," Buck said.

Twiki released Buck's hand and escorted Buck to the main hanger. Inside Wilma is walking across a line of men, women, and aliens. Everyone was dressed in flight suits. A long with Major Dantin, whos standing before the line watching. Theres also a line of doors off a small distance behind the line of trainee pilots. While shes walking shes checking off a list in her hand.

"Well thats all except for..." Wilma said. Before she could finish her sentence Buck walks in.

"Did I miss anything?" Buck asked looking over at Wilma. Unaware of Major Dantin and the trainees behind him.

"No, youre just in time," Wilma replies as she makes another check mark on the list. Buck turns around to see the other pilots. Upon running his eyes down the row,he comes to his first alien. Its a Saurian; its scales look like green/blue beads. The top of the head is loaded with many crocodile-like ridges. The chin sticks out forward some, and the eyes have a glassy pearl-blue look to them.

"Godzilla! Godzilla!" Buck says laughing. Everyone stands there and looks at Buck, not knowing what he's talking about.

"Get in line Rogers," Dantin orders.

Buck does as hes told, and walks to the end of the line.

"Now that youre all here, Id advise you to put on these gas masks. Wilma is going to hand you before entering the holographic training simulators. Any questions?" Dantin asked.

Wilma once more walks along the line, handing out what almost looks like tight-fitting surgical masks to each trainee pilot.

Buck raises his hand. "Huh, sir?"

"Yes Rogers?" Dantin asked.

"Holographic training simulators?" Buck asked.

"The rooms contain solid holograms that through an intercom system in to the room. Ill be able to tell you and the others how to pilot and control your ships," Dantin explains.

"Ships?" Buck hesitates. "Never mind."

"Training begins now. I want you all to find an unoccupied holographic training simulation room. Located behind you along that wall," Dantin said pointing behind the trainees so they know where hes talking about.

The trainees start heading off towards where they were pointed to, some of them putting on their mask while walking. One heads towards Buck whos moving along with the others. Its a man that looks a few years younger than him. He looks bright eyed and full of life. He walks a little faster to catch up with Buck.

"Youre that man from the 20th century arent you, Captain Buck Rogers?" Fox asked.

Buck looks over at the young man. "Well I was born in the 20th century if that's what you mean," Buck replies.

"Right, and you were put in to stasis just before the War. It is so cool meeting you. Is "cool" the right word? It meant neat, or keen in your day, didn't it?" Fox asked.

Buck lifts his eyebrows at Fox. "And what may I ask is so cool about meeting me, mister?" Buck asked.

"Fox, Hieronymous Fox. But everybody just calls me Fox," Fox replies holding his hand out to Buck.

"With that mouthful of a first name like that I can see why," Buck replies shaking the young man's hand.

"My father is a historian, as was my grandfather. Its not what I plan for my future as you can tell. But meeting you is like meeting one of the pages from the history files they have and had been making all these decades. Youre a walking file folder of history," Fox says hoping he didn't insult Buck.

"Whatever kid," Buck replies while he starts to put on his mask.

Buck puts on his mask and goes inside an air lock which leads to the holographic training simulator. He closes the door behind him. Buck's standing inside it, soon another door opens on the other side of the one he entered from. This newly opened door shows another flight hanger. Only this one has a strange looking space ship inside it. The ship looks like the paper part of a Japanese fan folded into a half cone. With another half cone coming up the rear, theres an opening into rear. Meant for space as the jet-rocket propellant hole. Theres a window in the middle of the large half cone, with latches. This is where the pilot climbs in. Also theres two small fins coming out to both sides of the ship. In the front of the ship theres a hole cut into the dead center. This is for when the ship fires. These fins come more out of the ship when its in space. When theyre out, they show two more jet-rocket propellant holes. In front of the space ship theres a long tunnel.

"What is that?" Buck asked.

"Thats your training ship," V.O. Dantin replies.

"Thats a ship?" Buck asked with a sarcastic tone.

"Thats an Z-87 Wolf fighter space ship. The latest from the Defense Directorates top engineers. Get in it Rogers, we dont have all day to do this," V.O. Dantin replies.

"Put a sock in it, Im going," Buck replies as he walks towards the ship.

"What?" V.O. Dantin asked.

Buck doesnt answer as he heads for the Z-87. Then climbing on to it he finds the latch on the cabin window. He opens it and enters the space craft. After hes in he pulls down his cabin window door and locks it back in to place. Inside the Z-87, Buck looks over the controls of the Z-87. "Wow, its like a Curtiss A-3," Buck said softly to himself. Not knowing that Major Dantin heard him.

"What is a Curtiss A-3?" V.O. Dantin asked.

"Its a plane my grandfather used to fly back in the 1920s. I got to take a look at it once. The controls in the Wolf are like the Curtisss," Buck replies as he smiles to see something kind of familiar.

"Except this isnt some antique air craft. Its a state-of-the-art space craft and I want to see you fly it out that launch tube this minute," V.O. Dantin orders.

"Where's the button to start this thing?" Buck asked looking around the panal. He moves one of his fingers pointing to each switch around the Z-87s dash board.

"Its the one most near your center, and by the way. Where "do" you want me to "put a sock in it?" V.O. Dantin asked.

Buck smiles. "Forget it teach," Buck replies as he presses the button.

One moment later the Z-87 rushes forward into the launch tube. Buck is in shock at the speed of the rush. He sees the tube moving further back, as the image of space quickly comes forward. He grips the control throttle tightly. Once out of the tube and in space, he takes off his mask to catch his breath. Only to find he cant.

Chapter 3

Several hours later a couple of the trainees began leaving the air locks that lead to the holographic training simulators. Wilma and another woman were walking side by side heading towards the simulators doors. The other woman is Princess Ardala. She's wearing as business like dress. The ends of her dress had a fancy trimm of lace to it. As they were walking, a medical team rushed pass them and over to the air lock that lead to Bucks holographic training simulator. All of the medical personnel were wearing masks similar to what the trainees were wearing.

"So are all of these pilots fresh recruits?" Princess Ardala asked watching the medical crew enter the simulator.

"No, there is one that has logged some flight time in the past," Wilma replied with a concerned look on her face.

"Oh? And which one is that?" the Princess asked as she looks around at the other trainees that are out in the flight hanger.

Wilma stilling watching where the medical entered the simulator. "This isnt good," Wilma says softly walking towards the simulator at a faster pace. Princess Ardala followed close behind her.

Wilma peers in the open doorway. "What happened to him?" Wilma asked with concern.

"He took off his mask! Clear out, we need to get him out for medical attention!" one of the medical technicians yelled out.

Wilma moves out of the way of the door, Ardala keeping her distance too. The team comes rushing out, holding up Buck. One is holding an air mask over Bucks mouth.

"Buck Rogers," Wilma says under her breath.

"He took off his mask in a holographic training simulator? I dont see how that makes him any better than all the others," Ardala said as she looks over at Wilma.

"I should have told him. He didnt know that was dangerous," Wilma explains.

"Its common knowledge that the Rarcom particles dont fully contain the gasses that build the images, how can he be so dumb?" Ardala asked.

"Hes not dumb. Hes a man out of his element. Princess, that man is from the 21st century," Wilma replies watching as they carry Buck from the hanger.

"That isnt possible, Colonel Deering, I am not dumb. I have been .." Ardala is interrupted by Wilma.

"He was found in a stasis chamber nearly dead. We brought him back because he held the rank of Captain back in his day," Wilma explains.

"Captain, really? A commander of the sky," Ardala replies with a smile on her face.

"Actually, he told me his rank of Captain has to do with the sea, not the air," Wilma replied glancing over at Ardala.

"How interesting. Colonel, Id most like to meet with this man later. When he has recovered from the gas," Ardala requested.

Several hours had passed and Buck is standing before Huer. Still a little hazy from the gas in the simulator.

"I should have been told!" Buck shouted.

"Im sorry Buck, all of the other trainees knew of the danger. Were not used to people being unaware of the gases seeping out of containment," Huer explained.

Buck looked over at Dr. Huer. "And another thing, there must be something of great importance going on soon. I doubt you would have woken me up if there was just some common need for fighter pilots," Buck said watching Dr. Huer's expression.

Dr. Huer hung his head. "There is, do you know what Therbidian Crystals are?" Huer asked.

"No, why? Should I know?"Buck asked.

"Therbidian Crystals make energy. They power almost every kind of electrical and mechanical device we use. Until recently the only way to get these crystals was mining on foreign planets. A job considerably dangerous, but now theres new technology that lets us make Therbidian Crystals artificially," Huer replies.

"They power everything, even the Z-87 Wolfs?" Buck asked.

"Almost everything, the Z-87s are powered by water," Huer replies.

"Water powered vehicles, that was on the start back in my day," Buck replies.

"In order to make these artificial crystals, and ensure new safety on Earths shipping routes, an alliance has been formed between Earth and the Draconian Empire. Both sides are needed to provide technology for the artificial crystals. And the Draconian Empire has agreed to help the Transportation Directorate in defense against the pirates," Huer comments.

"So then why does the Defense Directorate need new pilots if the Draconian Empire is doing the protecting for us?" Buck asked a little confused.

"The alliance has not been made solid yet. When we bring our half of the equipment to the Albersay Space Station it will be." Huer stands and walks over to Buck. "We need the fighters to act as an escort for the ship carrying the technology to the station. We need to ensure this happens because otherwise we stay in the trouble weve been in for the longest time now with supplies not reaching Earth," Huer explains.

"So what does the Draconian Empire get out of all this? A side from cheap power," Buck asked.

"We be giving them landing clearance on Earth and all of its colony planets for trade," Huer replies.

"Im not so sure thats a good idea . You might be leaving your door wide open to let termites eat your home. The name "Empire" doesnt strike me as a friendly guest," Buck replies looking directly at Huer.

"Buck, theyre not here to conquer, theyre here to help. Besides one of them, one of the Emperors 30 daughters, Princess Ardala, wishes for you to be in her company on board the flagship of the Empire, the Draconia," Huer said.

"And just why does she wish me? Oh ya its because Im so special," Buck answers with a sacastic voice.

"I dont know why she wants to have a meeting with you, although that could very well be the reason. One of the pilots of the Defense Directorate will be taking you to the Draconia soon," Huer replies as he walks back to his desk.

"Nice to know I have a say in what I do with my free time," Buck replies as he walks out the door.

Buck walks back to his quarters and starts to get ready. He soon hears the buzzing noise from someone outside his quarters. "Enter," Buck said.

A man walks in and glances around Buck's quarters. "I'm here to transport Buck Rogers to the Draconia," he announces.

"I'm Buck Rogers, I'll be with you shortly," Buck replies. A few minutes later the pilot and Buck head for the hanger and board the fighter that is to transport Buck to the Draconia.

As they were about to reach the Draconia the fighter pilot sends out a request to approach and land on the Draconia.

"Permission granted," was all that was said. The pilot landed the fighter then he and Buck exited the fighter.

In the corridors of the Draconia, Buck is in the company of a fighter pilot from the Directorate. A few of the Dranconias workers walked past them as they stop at a door. The door opened, Buck and the pilot enters and is met by Ardala. Tigerman is with her. Tigerman has tiger-like tattoos on his forehead, leading back in to black hair. His nose and mouth have a small animal like look to them. But to top it off he stands about 6.7 to 7 feet in height. Buck stops dead in his tracks and watches this rather large and strange looking man walk towards him.

Buck turns to the pilot. "You wouldnt happen to have any animal tranquilizers on you, would you?" Buck asked jokingly.

The pilot gives no reply to Buck, but Ardala speaks up for him. "I wouldnt worry about him, hes just my bodyguard. He does nothing more than what I tell him," Ardala replies.

"Really?" Buck still looking at Tigerman in a type of awe.

"Well most of the time. Hes pretty tame for the most part," Ardala replies.

"Youre Princess Ardala arent you?" Buck asked gazing at this beautiful woman.

"Thats correct my dear Captain. And may I say Ive been looking forward to meeting you greatly," Ardala replied with a smile.

"I wasnt looking forward, I was actually dr..." Buck was stopped short when the pilot gives Buck a light hit in his ribs. Buck glances over at the pilot then continues. "I was actually dying to see the technology youre putting in for the crystals," Buck said while lightly rubbing his side.

"Then after that, maybe you and I should spend some time alone. There is much Id like to know about you, and the world you come from," Ardala replies walking closer to Buck.

"Oh brother, listen, I know this guy named Fox who Im betting knows a great deal more history than I do, besides I dont date younger women," Buck replies backing a way.

"We can take it nice and slow if you like. What do you say about dinner and a movie?" Ardala asked getting even closer to Buck.

Buck looks over at the pilot who looks like he'll hit him again if he doesn't answer the question right.

"As long as the movie isnt about a dooms day plot, Ill be fine," Buck replies glancing over at the pilot to see if he approved of the answer.

After dinner Buck and Princess Ardala made their way to her living quarters. Followed closely by Tigerman. The Princess turns her head slightly, "Stay here," she commands Tigerman.

She and Buck enter her quarters. Princess Ardala then walks over and flips a few switches. Out from no where comes a T.V. floating in mid air. They laid back and watched the 1997 version of "Titanic." As it got to the part where Rose DeWitt Bukater is lying down while Jack Dawson is painting her on a canvas. Ardala moved even closer to Buck, she places one hand on Buck's chest and starts playing with Bucks shirt.

"Does that give you any ideas, Captain of the seas?" she asked still playing with Buck's shirt.

Buck, not being a bit interested in her or the movie. "No," he replies moving her hand from his chest.

"Maybe this will help," she says as she starts to unzip her top.

"No!" Buck replies jumping up from where they were lying.

"Why not?" Ardala asked.

"Listen, I dont like fast women, well no thats a lie. But I just lost my girlfriend and everything else that was important in my life. I need time, so hold your horses will you!" Buck replies standing looking at her.

"Im a princess Rogers! I can have whatever I want, and right now I want .. " Ardala was interrupted by a knock on her quarters door.

"Princess Ardala, I need to talk to you. Theres an emergency on "L"deck that greatly needs your attention," Kane said through the door.

"Im busy!" Ardala replies looking at Buck.

"Whatever youre doing it will have to wait. I need you on "L" deck now!" Kane demands.

"Fine, Im coming," Ardala replies. She turns her gaze back to Buck. "You stay here Captain, I'll return shortly," Ardala said as she walked towards the door.

"Have fun," Buck replies as she leaves the room.

"Love of pete, thank goodness," Buck said as he sat back down. A buzzing noise soon started up. Buck looks around the room trying to find the noise. Getting up again he finds it. Its coming from a half dome looking machine. The sound continues until finally the machine starts up and then Buck hears Ardalas voice.

"This is Princess Ardala of the Draconian Empire. I am out at the moment, but if youll leave a message telling me of your business with me, Ill return your call if I see fit to."

A screen comes up from the machine. On it is the face of some unknown man.

"Princess Ardala, it gives me great pleasure to inform you that operation "Greek Horse" is still going right on schedule. After the alliance has been made solid. Your forward has his forces waiting behind the sun which the Albersay Space Station orbits. Theyll take the station within their hold with no resistance from the Defense Directorate. Just think, just within a few hours well have the technology to make all the Therbidian Crystals the Empire will ever need. Plus well be able to land our forces on Terra and its many colonies. This is a great day in our history, Princess....Lacrow out." Then the screen goes black.

Tigerman enters the room just as the screen goes black. Tigerman turns to Buck and growls.

"What a nice place youve got here," Buck said looking around the room.

Tigerman starts walking towards Buck with his hands reaching out.

"Did you hear what that guy just said? Cause I sure didnt," Buck said as he started to back away from Tigerman.

Tigerman grabs the front to Bucks shirt and throws him against the wall. Buck gets up and rams Tigerman. At this point the fight turns in to fists and feet.

The door opens and Ardala enters the room. "Whats going on here!?" she asked.

Tigerman and Buck stop fighting. Buck walks over to Ardala. "I need to go Princess!" Buck replies as he runs out of her quarters.

Ardala looks at Tigerman, "You scared him off, bad boy! Theres going to be nothing but bones in your food bowl tonight!" she said scolding Tigerman.

Shortly afterwards a Z-87 Wolf sits bobbing gently on the surface in the bay, Buck was inside was listening to some music.

"It took some time to track you down! What are you doing out there, and what is that noise?" she asked cupping her hands over her ears.

"That noise is some music I got Fox to give me. What Im doing out here is refueling," Buck replied.

"Well can you turn it down? And I know you cant be refueling the Z-87s they dont come with saltwater converters," Wilma said as she approaches Buck.

"Youre finally going to listen to me?" Buck asked as he shuts off the music.

"Buck, they would never do such a thing. Whatever you heard, you must have heard it wrong," Wilma replies.

"I didnt hear anything wrong, Wilma. Its what they called "take the money and run" in my time. Thats what theyre going to do. Even in 2518, theres an energy crisis, and war will happen if no one does anything about it," Buck replies as he climbs out of the Z-87.

"That wont happen, theyre giving us a gift of peace, Buck," Wilma informs Buck again.

"Remember I told you part of what I heard was operation "Greek Horse" ?" Buck asked.

"I remember, but what does that have to do with anything?" Wilma asked with a puzzled look on her face.

"Everything!" Buck replied loudly.

"I have no idea what some animal from or living in Greece, has to do with this. Listen, the whole squadron is ready to head out to escort the ship carrying the technology needed in making the artificial crystals needed for making this alliance," Wilma said as she turned to walk away.

"There wont be any alliance, at least in Earths favor. I guarantee it," Buck said looking at Wilma.

"I dont have the time for this. Are you coming with us, or not?"Wilma asked as she walks away.

Chapter 4

Colonel Deering and a squadron of Z-87's glided along side of the carrier

"I dont think hes coming,"one of the pilots said.

"Neither do I," Wilma replies. Then she sees one of the Z-87's break formation and flies past at a high rate of speed.

"Buck is that you?" Fox asked as the Z-87 zipped past him.

"Yes, it's me. You lemmings do what you want, Im going ahead of the squadron to flush out the game," Buck said as he leaned on the throttle harder.

"Where is he going in such a rush?" Fox asked watching Buck.

"Forget him, hes just chasing a shadow of fear that isnt there," Wilma replied watching the Z-87 pull further and further away.

Bucks Z-87 rushes behind the sun, and is now face to face with a fleet of Draconian fighter ships.

One dot on Foxs radar screen comes out of an even larger dot. Still looking at the radar screen. "Did any one else just see that?" Fox asked watching his screen.

"See what?" Wilma asked.

"Something just came out from behind that sun, then went back in. Checking now to see what it was," Fox said as he hits a few buttons, then information comes out on a screen.

"A pirate ship!" Fox said loudly.

"Thats why were out here, in case they attack," Wilma replies.

"Maybe the pirates are Draconian. Buck did say they were going to attack. Colonel Deering, Im going in for a look," Fox said as he leaned on the throttle of his ship and breaks away from formation. He headed for the spot that Buck was last seen.

Behind the sun Buck was all ready in battle with the Draconian ships. His attacks are wide and spread out, hes trying to keep himself from being boxed in. A few of the pirate ships have been destroyed. Buck was coming about for another strike.

As Fox starts to come around the sun, he saw Buck engaging the enemy.. alone. "Thats suicide!" Fox thought to himself. Fox leaned more on the throttle heading in Buck's direction.

"Colonel Deering, Buck was right, Im heading behind the sun now to help him fight off the Draconian pirates. Any help you could give would be much appreciated," Fox said.

"Nice to see a friendly face, who goes there?" Buck asked as he tracks one of the pirates.

"Its me.. Fox."

"Here to help me in a good old-fashioned dogfight?" Buck asked as he took aim on another pirate ship and fires.

"You bet," Fox replied as he started to fire his weapons.

Buck glanced over and seen that they had more company coming. It was most of the Z-87's coming in. "Here comes the calvary," Buck said as he shoots down another pirate ship.

Some time later Buck is sitting in a field of green grass cross-legged. Theres a bag behind his back.Twiki is standing beside him talking.

"In 2360 Nqiy of the Brazilian government handed his royal crown over to J-tal in Argentina. In 2361 Germany and France united, becoming the current power known in Europe as Espergenin. In 2362 ..." Twiki explains telling Buck a summed up version of all the world and galaxy history around Earth thats happened in the last 500 years. Buck glances up and notices Wilma and fox walking towards him. Fox sits down beside Buck, while Wilma stands in front.

"Youll be a commissioned captain again," Wilma said with a smile.

"I told you I didnt want to be a pilot again," Buck replies looking up towards Wilma.

"Buck, you saved all of us. If you hadnt flushed out that ship from behind that sun I would have never noticed what was going on. You may have been a sea captain but the way you handled your Z-87 with very little flight experience was amazing," Fox said placing his hand on Buck's shoulder.

"Maybe you could teach us a thing or two about the tactics of war? The Draconian Empire will be more at neck with us now that we know they hold the pirate ships," Wilma said.

"Fox, do you know what soccer is?" Buck asked looking over at Fox.

"Its a sport that was played by kicking or hitting a ball without hands in to a goal to score points," Fox replied.

"I had a feeling youd be asking me to come back," Buck said as he stood up. He takes out a soccer ball he had in a survival pack behind him. "I'll tell you what.. How about if we play a game a of soccer? Trainees versus pros, trainees win I stay, pros win I go. What do you say?" Buck said tossing the soccer ball in the air a few times.

"I say youre on," Wilma replies with a smile.

The End

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