"Studying the Sands"
Novelization verison by: Reba Grayladyfalcon
Written by: Erin Weinstock

I don't hold any of the copyrights in this story, and this story was made without profit.
A few months earlier in a cavern ruins there was almost no lighting at all. There are two people, a man and a woman moving about in the cavern with flash lights in hand as they move cautiously about. The cavern is in shambles, debrie lying everywhere.

"I say this isn't worth it. I highly doubt any of these people are still alive," Kelly said glancing around at the chambers scattered through out the cavern.

"Give the 21st century some credit, will you. We wouldn't be where we are today without the advances it gave us," Rick replied shinning his flashlight at Kelly.

"Boom," Kelly said throwing her arms up in the air.

"More than that happened during the 21st century and you know that," Rick said.

"Well if we do find some primitive alive in here, at least it's a good thing the Defense Directorate has given us weapons to defend ourselves from it till it's been properly educated," Kelly said.

"One of these days, Kelly, I'm going to sit you down and teach you some history. These people weren't beasts. And even if we find one here we won't need any weapons against him or her. They'll need to be taken back to the Defense Directorate to get properly revived," Rick replied.

"A trip to our moon took these people months to reach. Surely the Directorate can't be too serious about making one of these people into a fighter pilot, when a simple trip into the big black to their eyes is something all too overwhelming to them," Kelly said with sarcasium in her voice.

"Oh the Directorate knows what it's doing and was right to send us." Rick hesitated. "I just found a live one," Rick yelled loudly shining his flashlight onto one of the chambers.

Kelly walks quickly over to Rick. Rick holds his flashlight on the chamber in front of him, Buck behind a dirty pane of glass with his eyes closed.

"And we're in luck, he wasn't just a fighter pilot. He was a captain," Rick said smiling.

In the cavern ruins Buck lights a lantern and sets it down on the floor of the ancient room. Buck and Fox moving about, holding lit mini-lanterns, putting them in places were the light is dim.

"I hope you're right but the chances of it," Fox said.

"I know it's an inspiring thing to believe it's possible, but I have to find out if there are others," Buck replied walking around.

"I think my dad or Kelly would have told the Directorate if they found any others like you," Fox said.

Buck walks over to Fox. "Fox, this place is gigantic and in total ruins. You said all they had to guide them was flashlights; we have lanterns. I say we have a better chance of finding more survivors than Rick or Kelly," Buck replied.

Fox gives a smile to Buck. "I'm crossing my fingers," Fox replies while crossing his fingers.

Buck turns and starts walking further into the cavern placing lanterns where needed.

Fox gives a good look around where he's standing. "You shouldn't be alone," Fox says nervously as he rushes to catch up with Buck.

In the room with the health regeneration chambers built into it, a man whose face has turned pale with death. Fox and Stevens are merely standing by the dead man who's encased in a glass pod with devices attached to it, Buck has his hands pressed on it and is staring down into it.

"You can bring him back; you brought me back!" Buck shouts.

"I can't, I'm sorry," Stevens replies.

Buck speaking soft and weakly: "But,you brought me back."

"You were near death. This man, however well preserved, has been dead for some time. The chambers cannot treat dead bodies back to health," Stevens replied.

"Drew Forsey," Buck said softly.

"What?" Stevens asked.

"That was his name, Drew Forsey. I knew him," Buck replied with his hand still on the glass pod.

"I'm sorry, Buck," Stevens said lowering his head.

Buck with tears swelling in his eyes, looks down at Forsey, then storms out of the room.

In the hallway just outside of the room with the health regeneration chambers, Wilma, De-Pas and Twiki are standing by the door as Buck storms out.

Buck gives Wilma a mean look as he passes and walks quickly down the hall.

Wilma, who looks very concerned, Twiki with his expressionless face. And De-Pas, who is looking a bit curious but is still concerned. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Chapter 1

Inside the study center De-Pas scans one of the walls holding library chips. He presses one of the labels and it produces its main title, "Earth as we knew it 100 BC to 2006 AD. By: Harry Lipmen." He presses the label a second time and the book chip comes out, he removes it and takes the chip over to a computer at one of the tables. Sitting down he places the chip into the computer and views its contents.

Later in De-Pas'es living quarters, De-Pas is lying down on the couch while Ge-Ja and Beu-Pas are on the floor. As De-Pas holds a pad computer, Ge-Ja is playing lightly with Beu-Pas, who is holding a letter-block in her hands, is biting at it with her teeth and is trying her best to move up her feet to kick at it.

"Ge-Ja, what do we know of our people?" De-Pas asked.

"There are sixteen breeds at the moment." Ge-Ja glances down at Beu-Pas. "I'm sorry Beu-Pas, seventeen breeds at the moment." Ge-Ja tickles Beu-Pas'es stomach which makes Beu-Pas drop the block then grin. Then Ge-Ja looks up at De-Pas again. "The others, the Jomidi, the Eldo, Driy, Shem, and Tay, the Humdos only have them bred to work around the vertical equator's north end, while the rest are bred to work throughout the rest of Miahgo. The earliest breeds on record are myself and the Frillor," Ge-Ja replies.

"No, that isn't what I meant, and that's my point," De-Pas said.

Ge-Ja's playing with Beu-Pas calms down as Ge-Ja gets a concerned look on her face.

"All we really know about our people comes from what the Humdos have brought us up within knowing," De-Pas says.

"History is to those who write it then, huh?" Ge-Ja asked glancing up from Beu-Pas.

"There has to be more to our people than what the Humdos have led us to believe. There has to be!" De-Pas said loudly.

"But there aren't any records," Ge-Ja replied.

"Yea, and I'm certain the Humdos have seen well to that fact. But there could be Candos that have been keeping records!" De-Pas said.

Inside Dr. Huer's Office, Huer is sitting at his desk while De-Pas with Nuisance as ever is sitting on De-Pas'es shoulder. Ge-Ja is also standing by holding Beu-Pas, who's sucking away at a bottle.

"You make a good point but I can't let you go, I'm sorry," Huer said.

"But there have to be unbred wild Candoses out there! I'm certain of it! What if you didn't know where it was you came from! Wouldn't you then like to know who your people really are?" De-Pas asked.

"You can't leave the Defense Directorate, I'm sorry," Huer replied in a stern voice.

Ge-Ja taps De-Pas on his shoulder. De-Pas turns and looks to her.

Ge-Ja's eyes go down to the baby then back up to his.

De-Pas smiles, then turns back to Huer. "But Ge-Ja can go, and I can look after Beu-Pas," De-Pas said.

"This could be a very dangerous thing you're about to do, going deep into the unspoiled lands of your home planet, Ge-Ja. You're not trained to deal with unknown dangers the way a Defense Directorate employee is," Huer said with some concern in his voice.

"The Humdos may think they've bred out all of our instincts, but trust me we still have them. I'll know how to handle myself when I get there," Ge-Ja replied.

"Ge-Ja, you may still have your instincts but they haven't really been put to use in eons. I want someone with the Defense Directorate to accompany you on your journey," Huer suggested.

"I know of someone who would be good to travel with her," De-Pas said smiling.

Down on the planet of Miahgo, is a thick forest covering small mountains, and just beyond that a city. A shuttle makes it's way to the town, landing on a make shift landing pad. On the edge of a town that is bordering on the woods. There's a variety of Candos and Humdos going about their business. Inside the shuttle, Buck is wearing some very leisurely looking clothes while Ge-Ja on the other hand is wearing a tight-fitting tan outfit.

Ge-Ja is fixing her hair into a bun on the back of her head.

"We're going to need help getting deep into the woods," Ge-Ja said.

"Why's that?" Buck asked.

"When entering the forest, it becomes a very treacherous place. Filled with dangers the Humdos have created to keep undesirables out," Ge-Ja replies.

"Undesirables? What do you mean, like invaders from another land?" Buck asked looking over at Ge-Ja.

Ge-Ja gives Buck a knowing look as she puts a hat on her head. "Animals," Ge-Ja replies.

Buck acknowledges her meaning and starts heading for the back of the shuttle.

At the shuttle landing pad, Buck and Ge-Ja exited the shuttle, as they do the shuttle vanishes into thin air. Buck stands close to where it disappeared, Ge-Ja walks up to Buck. Something catches their attention. A boy Humdos that looked to be about 8 to 10 years old is standing before Buck and Ge-Ja sucking away at some sort of candy.

"Well hello there," Buck says as he starts walking towards the boy, followed by Ge-Ja.

The little Humdos boy looks at Buck and then to Ge-Ja, before turning back to Buck.

"Is there something the matter?" Buck asked.

The boy reaches into a pocket and produces some coins to show Buck.

"Will this do?" the boy asked, showing the coins to Buck.

"Do for what?" Buck asked.

"I've always wanted a Candos, I like how fuzzy they are. Is this enough money for her?" the boy asked.

Ge-Ja growls softly and says to herself, "There's no place like Earth. There's no place like Earth."

"I'm sorry runt, she's not for sale," Buck replies.

"Runt? What's a runt?" the boy asked.

"Not important kid," Buck replies

"Kid?" the boy asked with a confused loook on his face.

"Leave us alone thoffer!" Ge-Ja says in a growling voice.

The boy drops his candy in shock and runs away.

"Ge-Ja, what did you just say?" Buck asked turning to Ge-Ja.

"Long old story, the term thoffer comes out of, I guess on Earth it would be called a fairytale. It's what would happen to little Humdos children when ..." Ge-Ja stopped.

"I think I get the idea," Buck replied smiling.

As they walk a little further, Buck gives a good look around.

"Do you know someone here who could help us in?" Buck asked.

Ge-Ja scrunches her shoulders and gives him a grin. "I've never lived in this province," Ge-Ja replies.

Outside of a shuttle rental shop. On the front of a two story building, a sign on its door that says, "The S.S.S.L by Star, by Sky, by Sea, by Land, we'll get you there cheaply." Buck and Ge-Ja walk inside.

"Could we rent one and hire one of you guys to take us where we need to go?" Buck asked.

"We're not a taxi service," the Humdos manager replies.

"I know that," Buck replied.

The Manager looks to be in thought. Then looking at Ge-Ja, "I'll talk with one of my staff. If they're willing to do it you can work out a price with them," the manager replies.

"Sounds good," Ge-Ja replies.

The Manager eye-balls Ge-Ja then walks towards the back room.

After a moment, he comes back out with another Humdos.

"I'll rent you the taxi for 50 enes," the manager says holding out his hand for payment.

Buck, turns and looks to Ge-Ja. "Thank goodness for the Defense Directorate giving us that currency exchange before coming here," Buck said smiling.Buck grabs some money out of his pocket then counts it out in one of his palms, then puts a large amount of it on the counter before the Manager. "I think that's right, right?" Buck asked.

The Manager looks over the money before saying. "Yes, it's correct," the manager replies.

The Driver looks at Buck and Ge-Ja. "I'll take the job, when will you be ready?" the driver asked, looking at Buck.

"We're ready right now actually," Buck replied glancing over at Ge-Ja.

"Then I'll be getting my son and we'll be off," the driver replied as he turned to leave.

"Your son?" Ge-Ja asked.

"It isn't good for him to be left alone, he tends to get into trouble real easily," the driver explained.

Ge-Ja turns to Buck. "I wonder how De-Pas is doing taking care of Beu-Pas alone?" she asked softly.

Buck turns his head towards Ge-Ja and whispers back. "I'm sure he's doing fine, he's really fast on the pick-up," Buck replied.

In the kitchen of De-Pas'es Living Quarters, Beu-Pas is sitting in a high chair and De-Pas in one hand is holding a spoon filled with baby food and in the other hand the jar of baby food. He's all ready to feed her, when he sniffs the air. He gives a sour face and feeds Beu-Pas the contents on the spoon.

"I wonder if Human babies do both at the same time?" De-Pas asked himself.

He puts the empty spoon in the jar, and takes Beu-Pas from the high chair.

In the hallway outside of Wilma's Living Quarters. De-Pas knocks on Wilma's door holding Beu-Pas bundled up and a clean diaper.

"Who is it?" Wilma asked.

"De-Pas." A moment later, "If you don't mind could you help me with something?" De-Pas asked.

Wilma pokes her head out of the door, and looks at De-Pas holding Beu-Pas. Wilma gives De-Pas a stern look.

Chapter 2

Inside the hovercraft van, Buck, Ge-Ja and their belongings sit on a piece of carpet. The little Humdos boy is staring out it at Buck and Ge-Ja, still eating some type of candy. Buck turns to Ge-Ja.

"I don't like him," Buck says softly.

Ge-Ja turns to Buck. "You think you don't like him. I have eons of family history why I don't like him," she replies softly.

"Okay, aside from the fact the tadpole runt has manners that only a pig could outshine, what did I tell you about judging the whole of a people?" Buck asked.

"I'm trying, De-Pas is trying. But I think it's going to be a long time before we will truly be thinking that way," Ge-Ja replied.

The Humdos boy still looking at Buck and Ge-Ja turns his head to something that catches his attention.

Light suddenly shoots into the back of the van from behind Buck and Ge-Ja. The van stops and the driver gets out and walks around to the back and opens the back door. The driver stands off to the side while Buck and Ge-Ja start climbing out.

"Destination met, sir," the driver said.

Buck and Ge-Ja looks towards the Driver.

"Thank you for the ride, you never did tell us how much you wanted back in return," Buck said.

The Driver moves into the back of the van. "You two, while I don't know your final destination, seem to have quite a journey ahead of you from the looks of your belongings. I'll take care of them for you," the driver replied ignoring Buck's reply.

"Oh no, that won't be necessary. You've done enough for us already," Ge-Ja said.

"Move away from the vehicle fuzzy," the driver said in a harsh voice.

Both Buck and Ge-Ja backed away from the van. As Ge-Ja backs away, she glares at the Driver. Buck and Ge-Ja is standing behind the van waiting for their belongings, then with a quick snap the rear of the van seals itself up tight.

Buck hits on the back of the van. "What the hell! What are you doing in there?" Buck yells.

The Humdos boy pokes his head out from the passenger-side window and smiles at the shocked Buck and Ge-Ja. Then the Driver sticks his head out the driver's side. "Call my son a thoffer, your belongings are my payment, fuzzy!" he shouted and he drove off.

"This is why I got out of bed this morning," Buck said while shaking his head.

It's the early evening and Buck and Ge-Ja, flashlights in hand, are making their way forward through the forest's thick underbrush.

"De-Pas and myself, in fact most everyone you socialize with at the Defense Directorate, thought it would be best if you joined me for this," Ge-Ja said.

"And the WHY to that is?" Buck asked.

Ge-Ja stops walking and holds up two fingers on one of her hands. Buck stops walking and looks over at Ge-Ja.

"One, all you've been doing over the last several days is moping in your living quarters. Mainly in your bed, as Twiki has told me," Ge-Ja replied putting down one of her fingers.

"Second, you enjoy this sort of thing," she says as she puts down the second finger.

Buck starts walking again, as does Ge-Ja.

"I wasn't meant for this Ge-Ja. This isn't how my life was supposed to turn out," Buck says.

"Fate does interesting things to all of us, Buck," Ge-Ja replies.

"Ge-Ja, if this was meant to be my fate, I would have been born in the 25th century and not the 20th," Buck says glancing over at Ge-Ja while they're walking.

"You haven't really accepted this gift, have you?" Ge-Ja asked.

"What gift?" Buck asked.

"That you're alive, when many you once knew were killed in fiery atomic blast," Ge-Ja replied.

Buck doesn't answer as he then proceeds to randomly shine his flash up into the foreground.

"Buck," Ge-Ja says softly.

A moment later Buck stops walking and turns to face Ge-Ja again. Ge-Ja stops and looks at Buck.

"My brother would have been better suited to my fate than I am," Buck said softly.

"I didn't know you had a brother," Ge-Ja replied.

"Ben Rogers, but about half the time he was always called by his nickname Benji." Buck hung his head. "He was born for this sort of thing, not me," Buck said.

"What would have made him better?" Ge-Ja asked.

"It was his wish to reach for the stars, to visit alien planets, not mine. He was an astronaut, Ge-Ja, as at home with the stars as I am with the sea," Buck replied as he started walking away.

"But you've been doing so well in this century. You've done so many good things. You're seen as a hero," Ge-Ja said looking at Buck.

Ge-Ja watches Buck flicking his flashlight.

"What are you doing with your flashlight?" Ge-Ja asked.

"I haven't eaten since we left from Earth and I'm hoping to find something that looks eatable in this forest," Buck replied.

"I thought you knew how to find food in the wild?" Ge-Ja asked.

"On Earth, yes," Buck replied.

On Ge-Ja's face becomes a knowing smile.

Buck gives her a confused look.

Ge-Ja waves around one of her arms to indicate the trees that are surrounding them. "Their leaves are eatable," Ge-Ja says pointing to the trees.

"Do you mind if I..." Buck was interrupted by Ge-Ja.

"No, I can get them, you've had a tough day," Ge-Ja says.

Buck glares at her.

Giving Buck a look of innocence. "I, at least my ancestors, we evolved in woods like these. I was built for doing things like this," Ge-Ja said smiling.

Still glaring. "But I'm the one that's .." Ge-Ja cuts him off.

Ge-Ja pats Buck on one of his shoulders. "I was built for this sort of thing. Don't you go worrying your pretty little head about it. I'll get you your dinner," Ge-Ja says.

Buck glaring still, watches her walk away.

Ge-Ja walks over and stands at the base of a large tree, looking up into it with her flashlight shining. She sets her flashlight down on the ground and then proceeds to take off her shoes, to reveal her toes are just as abnormally long as her fingers are. She starts climbing up the tree.

Buck hears some rustling in the tree just behind him. He breaks his attention from Ge-Ja to the new noise.

Buck shines his flashlight in the direction the noice came from. At the end of a thick limb that is very crowded around its tip by smaller limbs and a heavy amount of leaves, his flashlight revealed an animal. It jogs away as fast as it can from the beam, further into the tree limb's canopy. Buck strains his eyes to see a creature that looks to be a cross between an anaconda and a centipede. The size being that of the anaconda and limbs that are reptile in nature.

It crawled to with in a few feet above Ge-Ja. Ge-Ja finds the spot where she wants to be in the tree and starts looking out towards the leaves she wants.

The animal has started moving itself back into the beam of Buck's flashlight. The animal starts moving forward off the branch towards Ge-Ja.

Buck still staring up. While still holding the flashlight in one hand, with his other he begins to take hold of his blaster hanging in a holster off his belt.

The animal that has moved a little further off the tree limb and into open air. It now is starting to curve its back up a little like it's about to make a striking action.

Buck, takes careful aim at the creature, his finger begins to slowly pull back on the trigger. Buck keeping an close eye on the creature. Then all of a sudden it sprung into mid-air towards Ge-Ja.

Suddenly the animal gets snapped backwards in a twist and falls to the ground having not completed its leap.

Buck who's open mouthed and staring at his blaster.

"Thank you Buck, I didn't see that Vicefir coming," Ge-Ja says.

"It wasn't me," Buck replies, looking at the blaster in his hand.

Ge-Ja looks down from the tree, to the dead animal laying on the ground.

Buck's flashlight's beam is moving all over the wilderness. A moment later the beam hits a creature hidden deep in the bushes. Its eyes shining in the beam of the flashlight. It stands for a moment staring into the light before running off. The remains of the Vicefir that has been near picked clean.

Buck's sound asleep with his head resting against the base of a tree. Ge-Ja, who's also sound asleep. Her head is resting on a bedding of leaves.

A hand with short, tan and gray colored fur reaches through the bushes and touches her steak colored hair. The whole body is covered in the same tan to gray to black fur as seen on the hand. In some places like on the arms the fur comes out more from the body. Its limbs are long, its legs have an animal look to them and its toes are long; there's a long thick tail. The face has a long downwards look. Its ears stand up on its head, where they end in points.

"Studying the Sands"

Chapter 3

It's morning, Buck is just beginning to wake up. Ge-Ja is sitting with her knees nearly touching her forehead and her arms wrapped around her legs, weeping softly.

Buck stands and walks over to her.

"What happened?" Buck asked.

"Beu-Pas," Ge-Ja replied a she sniffs a little.

Buck crouches by her side. "What about Beu-Pas?" Buck asked softly.

"Every morning, she's there in the morning. She's my first order of business and she's not here," Ge-Ja replies.

"You'll be with her again soon, you left her in good hands," Buck says gently touching her back.

"I miss her," Ge-Ja says as she sniffs again.

"What's that?" Buck asked, pointing towards the necklace in Ge-Ja's hands.

Ge-Ja holds up the necklace. "You've never seen a necklace before?" Ge-Ja asked.

"No, I've seen necklaces before, it's just I don't recall seeing you with it before," Buck replies.

"I didn't have it before, I found it lying beside me when I woke up," Ge-Ja replied pointing to the ground next to her sleeping area.

"Something was watching us last night," Buck said as he stood and looked around.

"What?" Ge-Ja asked standing up.

"Someone, something was watching us last night. I caught sight of it after it killed that snake-a-peed creature you called a Vicefir. It must not have left the area after I saw it run off," Buck replied.

"Humdos?" Ge-Ja asked.

"I didn't get a very good look at it, but I've never seen a Humdos with a tail, so I don't think that's what our watcher was," Buck replied.

Ge-Ja gets a shocked expression on her face. "Candos had tails long ago," Ge-Ja informs Buck.

"How do you know that? I thought your people had no well-noted historical records in Humdos society?" Buck asked.

"That's true, it's just on a rare occasion a Candos will be born with a tail. The Humdos when this happens with a new-born, cut off the tail, and for the rest of that Candoses' life they are forced to wear the tail around their necks to show the world of Humdos buyers that they are more "primitive" than other Candoses and they're worthless," Ge-Ja replied.

Buck closes his eyes and gives the look of he's trying to repress the rage he's feeling.

"I know Buck. I know it all too well," Ge-Ja said.

As Buck regained a normal facial expression, he opens his eyes. "I think it would be best if we continued on our journey right now, Ge-Ja," Buck said.

"First let me collect the Vicefir's bones. I know it doesn't look it but there's still more nourishment left in that animal's remains," Ge-Ja explains.

"You know of something around here that could be fashioned into a marrow scoop?" Buck asked looking around.

"I'm sorry," Ge-Ja replied.

"What for?" Buck asked.

Ge-Ja puts up one of her hands and looks to her long fingers on it which she's put into movement.

Buck looks at one of his hands and moves around its fingers. "I see," Buck replies.

Ge-Ja after a couple of minutes, stops in her tracks and has a look of fear in her eyes as she looks at something ahead.

"Is something wrong?" Buck asked looking at Ge-Ja's expression.

A moment later Ge-Ja starts to slowly back up, her eyes still fixed on the object ahead.

"Ge-Ja?" Buck asked with concern.

"We have a visitor," Ge-Ja says pointing in front of them.

"The one from last night?" Buck asked scanning what's in front of them.

"No, look at where the bones are!" Ge-Ja replied with fear in her voice.

Buck looks toward the remains, his eyes squinting to see what Ge-Ja has indicated.

Gathered around the bones, the air wavers like there was gas moving through it. The wavering air moves around some more and touches the bones and moves one of them.

Buck starts moving slowly towards Ge-Ja, the bones and wavering air.

The wavering air starts moving around the bones more. As Buck and Ge-Ja watch the wavering air, they see it starting to show it has some shape. A long body that's low to the ground, with low and long limbs. The creature fades in and out with the continous movement around the bones.

Buck stands next to Ge-Ja and leans towards her. "What is it?" Buck whispers softly

In the same whispering voice. "I don't know, but I think it's not good," Ge-Ja replies.

"Nonsense, it just must be a creature the Humdos have never noted. And I bet it feels lucky to have never felt the horrid wrath they do onto others. It has no reason to fear us," Buck said.

"But that doesn't mean it won't hurt us," Ge-Ja replied.

Buck places his hand on his blaster, slowly removes it from it's holster and takes aim at the creature.

The creature's faint outline in the wavering air still moving them around. Buck and Ge-Ja now could see more of the creature. The animal has a long skinny snout that it's using to move around the mess below it.

Buck keeps a study and continuous watch of the creature with his blaster still drawn. All of a sudden the creature bites the blaster, breaking it when it does. Buck has been taken aback by what has just happened as he stares at the bitten, broken blaster.

The beast in the wavering air shape becomes more visible in outline. It looks something like a giant walking-stick with a face of an aardvark.

"It's not alone here Buck. I think we can do without the bones and leave here," Ge-Ja says.

The wavering air is appearing in a lot more places now than before. The wavers show where the beasts are and that they are moving towards Buck and Ge-Ja.

"It bit through my blaster," Buck said, looking down at his blaster. He turned and looked at Ge-Ja. "Good idea Ge-Ja, very good idea," Buck said as they both start to back away.

"Fast!" Ge-Ja shouts as she turns and starts to run with Buck running after her.

Deeper in the forest Buck and Ge-Ja still running followed by a mass of the wavering beasts, whose outlines are more developed as they're chasing after the two.

Back in De-Pas'es Bathroom. A bubble forms, then a moment later one of Beu-Pas'es little hands reaches up and quickly pops it.

"You're really not used to this sort of thing are you?" Wilma asked.

De-Pas with his sleeves rolled up is sitting next to the bathtub that Beu-Pas is in having a bubble bath. Wilma, lid down, is sitting on the toilet watching the two.

"No, I'm not. I never knew any of my brothers or sisters. We were all sold six months after we were born into new homes." De-Pas hesitated for a moment. "It doesn't take much to amuse them at this age does it?" De-Pas asked.

"You're lucky that I have a little brother that's years younger than me. My mom used to have me help her with him," Wilma replied.

"I've never met your brother, what did you say his name was again?" De-Pas asked.

"His name is Buddy Deering. The reason you've never met him is he is a chef steward on a Transportation Directorate ship," Wilma replied.

De-Pas reaches deep into the tub near its front and pulls out the stopper to it.

"Could you hand me a towel in a moment?" De-Pas asked.

"You know when Buck and Ge-Ja get back, I'm going to tell them how helpless you are," Wilma replied, as she grabs a towel.

"You wouldn't dare," De-Pas replied.

Wilma smiles.

De-Pas now gives her a stern look.

In another area of the forest Buck and Ge-Ja stand with their back's against a wall of dirt, both of them are holding large sticks to use as clubs.

"I can handle them Buck, so just put yours down!" Ge-Ja shouts.

"You need help; there's too many of them!" Buck shouts back.

"You weren't meant to do things like this, I however am!" Ge-Ja replies, holding the large stick above her head. The creatures encircled them.

"Will you just stop it with that, Ge-Ja! I know the point you're trying to make but it isn't helping anything!" Buck shouted.

"When you were back on Earth you wouldn't get near anyone! You just wanted to live in self-pity, we all thought you were over what happened till a few days ago! Here you are needed! We need each other to survive this! Buck, I'm not going to give up on you!" Ge-Ja said glancing over at Buck.

Buck, ready for battle with the creatures glance over at Ge-Ja. His eyes fixed on her for a moment then the look on his face becomes relaxed.

"If they come at us head on I'll take them from that front, if they come at us from the sides ..." Buck stopped.

"You can count on me," Ge-Ja replied.

Even through the distorted look the creatures have, Buck and Ge-Ja could tell the creature was mad. But after a moment its expression seems to sag and it raises its long shout into the air as if it's sniffing.

Ge-Ja and Buck who still look like they're ready for a fight.

"What's it doing?" Buck asked, turning to Ge-Ja.

"You're asking me?" Ge-Ja replied, turning to him for a moment before turning her gaze back towards the creatures again.

Her attention snaps to looking behind the creatures and she drops her stick.

"Ge-Ja?" Buck asked, as he turns his gaze from her to looking behind the creatures. "Oh my," Buck said as he dropped his stick.

The wavering beasts have settled in their movement, behind them are ten of the beings that are like the one Buck and Ge-Ja had an encounter with the night before, wild Candos.

"Studying the Sands"

Chapter 4

Buck and Ge-Ja are in shock to see two wild Candoses coming towards them. Ge-Ja even more so than Buck. The two wild Candoses approach Buck and Ge-Ja. Ge-Ja is giving them a look that's full of wonder. One of the wild Candoses starts to sniff Ge-Ja's necks. Ge-Ja tips her head up so they can get a better sniff. Buck has to be forced by one of them to lift up his neck. The two Candoses stop their sniffing and the one that's at Buck moves down Buck's head and gives a gruff chuckle.

One of the Candos facing Ge-Ja, starts talking in a growling rough voice.

"I'm .. I'm sorry, I don't understand," Ge-Ja says.

"You speak Humdos," the second Candos said.

"You speak Humdos? How could you speak it? You're wild, untouched by them," Ge-Ja replies.

"Out of sight does not have to mean out of earshot, chained one," the second Candos replied.

"Chained one?" Ge-Ja asked.

The second Candos turns to Buck then back to Ge-Ja. "Candos owned by another, that are not free to do as they wish," the second Candos said.

"Oh no, Buck doesn't own me. I'm free," Ge-Ja replies.

"The tables have turned!" the second Candos said.

The first Candos speaks to the second Candos in the same tongue it did earlier. The second Candos talks back to the first Candos in the same tongue it uses.

"If you don't mind, what are you saying?" Buck asked, with a confused expression on his face.

"You are a very odd looking Humdos. My companion doesn't speak your tongue. I was telling him what this lady ..." The Candos glances over at Ge-Ja. "And I have been saying," the Candos replies.

The first Candos speaks angrily and snaps at Buck.

"I wish Twiki and Dr. Theopolis were here," Buck said softly to Ge-Ja.

Ge-Ja points towards Buck. "My friend isn't Humdos, he's Human," Ge-Ja informs them.

"You speak our language?" the second Candos asked.

"No, and it's a true shame on my whole being that I don't. We came in to the woods, these woods because I want my daughter to know where she truly comes from and not just know what all "chained Candoses" have been told for eons by the Humdos of what her people are," Ge-Ja explains.

"Can this "Human" be trusted?" the second Candos asked glancing over at Buck.

"His name is Buck Rogers, mine is Ge-Ja, and I trust this man with my life," Ge-Ja replied.

"Then I will show both of you our history for your young one," the second Candos said.

The second Candos and Ge-Ja walked through the dense forest together followed closely by Buck and the first Candos, followed by the others. The second Candos pointed out various plants, trees and terraine to Ge-Ja. As they got closer to the wild Candos settlement, Buck noticed how the tall trees have been stripped of all their limbs except for the ones at their tops. The ground was nearly empty of wild plants but for bushes that have been grown into clusters. Buck walked up and stood next to Ge-Ja and the second Candos.

"Ge-Ja, I want to make a comment as to this but I have a feeling nobody is going to want me to," Buck said.

"You cannot see who we are, can you Buck-Rogers?" the second Candos asked.

"I see you tend to your plants well," Buck replied looking around.

"Ge-Ja, you do see more than the Human does, correct?" the second Candos asked.

Ge-Ja starts looking bashful at having been asked the question.

The second Candos noticing this. "I'll help you see," he said softly.

The second Candos walks over to a clump of bushes. He takes hold of a few branches and lifts up the bushes in a square patch from the ground, then goes down an unseen stairwell.

"More than meets the eye," Buck says as he turns to face Ge-Ja.

Ge-Ja smiles at Buck's remark.

A couple of moments later the second Candos comes back up holding a large drinking flask that has carvings all over it. Candos Two: "Drink from this and look to the trees, then you'll find out who you are," the second Candos said handing the flask to Ge-Ja.

Ge-Ja looks over the flask for a moment, then uncapping it she takes a gulp of its contents. She turns her gaze to the trees, her eyes squint then as her mouth drops open as her whole face takes on a look of awe. "My ancestors," she says smiling.

Ge-Ja's new sight showed her the writings covering the tree trunks, all the way up to just before where they have limbs at the top. All of the writing is written in the alien tongue of the wild Candos and was glowing in a bright pink.

"What is all this?" Ge-Ja asked.

"It is the history of our people dating back to eons before even the Humdos took your ancestors," the second Candos replied.

"I wish I could read every word of it," Ge-Ja said placing one of her hands on one of the trees.

"I will teach you," the second Candos said.

"Could I see what you two are, it's still all blank to me," Buck said staring at the tree.

Ge-Ja hands Buck the flask.

"Thanks," Buck said as he opens it and takes a gulp.

Buck's eye sight starts to change, then it quickly fades out and comes back again, fades out then comes back then his whole vision turns to everything being in light colors.

"I.. I don't think I should have done that," Buck said as he stumbles around a little.

The second Candos speaks in the alien tongue to another Candos, then turns to Buck.

"I guess it wasn't meant for Human tongues. While I teach Ge-Ja who our people are, a friend of mine will see you into better comfort," the second Candos informed Buck.

The Candos that the second Candos was talking to in the alien tongue walks over to Buck and gently pulls him over, grabs one of the bushes, lifts it up and escorts Buck carefully and gently down into the ground. At the same time the second Candos starts talking to Ge-Ja and pointing at the trees, switching between English and wild Candos.

"At the top of that tree, the one you see in the center of before you is the oldest," the second Candos said, then he started to speak in wild Candos to her. "It's when we first settled in these woods." And once again he switches to the wild tongue.

Inside the wild Candos home, Buck is sitting in a chair wearing a blindfold. Sitting on a bed next to him is the Candos that led him into this place. The home is mainly contained in one room with another room connecting into it; the walls are covered in dark green jewels.

"I think my eyes are better now, can I take it off?" Buck asked as he starts to remove the blindfold.

The Candos talks in its language and slides the blindfold back down again.

A moment later some noise can be heard, the root door begins to opened and Ge-Ja and the second Candos comes down the stairs.

"Wait till you see this Ge-Ja, it's one of our largest prides," the second Candos says.

Ge-Ja walked into the room and gazed at the stone filled walls. Wearing the necklace she found by her side that morning. "Oh wow, I've never seen so many of them," she says as she gazes at the wall.

"This is why the Humdos came into our woods," the second Candos said pointing towards the stones.

"Ge-Ja?" Buck asked.

Ge-Ja turns her attention to Buck. "Buck, is the blindfold working?" she asked.

"I'm feeling much better now than I was when it was first put on." Buck hesitated for a moment. "I wanna take it off but it seems that isn't allowed," Buck said.

The second Candos talked to the other wild one in the room in their alien tongue, which then afterwards leads the other wild one to take the blindfold off Buck.

Buck as he adjusts to seeing again, then looks around himself. "This place.. this place is incredible, are the other homes like this?" Buck asked.

"All of them, these homes are nearly as old as the trees that surround them," he replied, then he turned his attention back to Ge-Ja. "Ge-Ja, the stones in these walls -." The second Candos goes to the nearest wall. "I want you to have some to take back to your young one," the second Candos said as he started to remove a few of the stones.

"Oh no I couldn't, they mean too much to our people... Your people," Ge-Ja replied shaking her head.

The second Candos stopped and gazed at Ge-Ja. "Ge-Ja, these stones are our people. They've been with us through the ages, they're our pride against the Humdos who never found them when they ventured into our land," the Candos replied as he claws out a few stones from the wall and palms them. He hands the stones to Ge-Ja. "Your young one should have these, because they're her history. And that's something that should never have been forgotten," the second Candos says handing her the stones.

Buck sits quietly and watches.

Ge-Ja lowers her head and reaches out. "Thank you, I ensure you with the reason I came into these woods. I'll tell her and every chained Candos, my husband, who we are. She should know what history these stones contain," Ge-Ja replies as she looks into the eyes of the Candos and smiles.

In De-Pas'es Living Room, Ge-Ja's opens her hand to reveil the stones she was given.

"She's not ready yet for them," De-Pas says gazing at the stones.

Ge-Ja's hand holding the stones closes. "I forgot, her letter blocks," Ge-Ja says.

"But you could start to teach her," De-Pas said.

"She was born to be the start of a new age." De-Pas hesitates. "Only now it's not what the Humdos intended it to be. Because of what you and Buck did, she'll be the dawn of a new age of enlightenment for our people,"

Buck heads for the door and uses the access pad at it.

"Ge-Ja, our daughter is going to change the world," De-Pas said with pride.

Buck smiles and leaves their living quarters.

The End

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