"The Seeker of the Searcher"
Written by: Erin Weinstock
Novelization verison by: Reba Grayladyfalcon
I don't hold any of the copyrights in this story, and this story was made without profit.
This story was written in the memory of Jane Forgey.
"This isn't Earth. This is a planet we made to resemble Earth. It's over eighty thousand light years away from any alien settlement and well past where any species from Earth has ever traveled," Raycor said.
In Space, the new Z-87 is heading away from the Sunfall. Fox's Z-87 is seen heading after it.
"Guys I know you said stay with the ship, but this doesn't seem right. I'm going after this unknown eagle," Fos said.
In Huer's office. "That attack is something I'm sure their media will milk for ages to come. The term "Unknown Eagle" was coined due to attacks that up until now have only been on Earth ships. And even then, only Earth ships carrying Humans. We don't know where these ships come from, or who's in control of them," Huer said.
In the Locker Janus. "Doctor Huer wasn't the Director of the Defense Directorate back when this was built, Asimov was," Fox said.
"Heard of Asimov once before. A real old war horse right?" Buck said. Buck is once more standing before the time machine.
"A retired war horse, the Defense Directorate hasn't seen or heard from the man in years," Fox said.
By the Holographic Training Simulator.
"True, but you were told to keep your actions on that mission low-key, which is a fact you failed at miserably. You even took Twiki along!" Huer said.
"I didn't ask the robot to join me, he decided to come on his own!" Buck replied.
Huer starts walking towards the airlock door and Buck follows him in turn. "Buck, I'm sorry but I can't have you doing any work for the Defense Directorate till I can clean up the political mess you helped make on your last mission," Huer said.
In Huer's Office. "All of our ships have known for ages not to enter the Altaira Galaxy," Huer said.
"But you've still sent ships," Aleekeyta said.
"No, the Defense Directorate has not sent any ships. The only Earth ships that have gone out that way are ships that are independent of any Directorate. To what I've heard they've just been single passenger ships and research ones, some of them even loaded for bear," Huer replied.
Huer as he's walking towards the entrance to the interior of the Defense Directorate. "I must sit down with him at some point, have a talk with him man to man. I just have to get eye to eye with Buck, for his good and maybe for my own," Huer said quietly to himself.
Buck and Huer have just entered a bar. Huer is in the lead towards the bar stools.
"Buck, it will be my treat," Huer said as he sat down.
"Sure, but I never figured," Buck said.
"There's more to life than work you know?" Huer said.
Buck takes a stool beside Huer. "We've never really talked, I want to get to know you," Huer said.
"Well what do you want to know?" Buck asked.
"Two beers please," Huer said to the bartender then turns his attention to Buck. "You were saying?" Huer asked.
"What do you want to know about me?" Buck asked.
"All I really know about you is what I know from your work file and what others have told me." Huer settles into his seat more. "I've had a few talks with Rick, but due to having heard you say the history files are wrong on a few points I'm not sure I can trust everything Rick says," Huer said.
The Bartender places two glasses of beer in front of Huer and Buck. "Thank you," Buck said to the bartender who nodded and walked away. Huer raises his glass in appreciation to the barkeep and takes a drink.
"I grew up mostly in Minnesota with my dad Frank and my mother Heather. I had a brother named Ben who years later married a woman named .."
Buck was interrupted by some guys who look like the wrong sort to mess with watching Buck and Huer. "The old one looks like a light weight, wanna take bets?" David asked loudly.
"Tammy, towards the end of high school he talked me into joining to Air Force. This didn't last long but Jenny then talked me back in years later and again," Buck said, keeping a watchful eye on the guys who made the remark.
"What's the Air Force?" Jacob asked glancing at his friends.
"This Air Force, it was a lot like the Defense Directorate right?" Huer asked.
"The Defense Directorate is bigger, much, much bigger," Buck replied.
"Ten on the old man," Trent said.
"Why did you flip in and out of the Air Force that way?" Huer asked.
"Doctor Huer, you really don't want to hear about the first time and the second, I got forced," Buck said.
David, Trent and Jacob look to each other and all at once. "Fifty we can get what we want."
The trio gets up and moves over to Buck and Huer. Buck looks to Trent as he puts a hand on his shoulder, Huer is looking at his drink.
"Want a better seat? We need a couple more players for a game we want to play," Trent said.
"Doctor?" Buck asked.
Huer still looking at the drink. "What kind of game?" Huer asked.
"Mushroom," David replied.
Huer looks at David. "What's Mushroom?" Huer asked.
"It's a drinking game, the winner is king of the bar if he wins," David replied.
Huer looking to Buck. "What the hell?" Huer said, as he started to get up from the bar stool he was sitting on.
Buck got up and the trio leads them over to the table they were at earlier. As they all sit down, David pulls a deck of cards out of a pocket and puts them on the table. "Two pitchers please, one here and one on stand by," Trent yelled to the bartender.
Jacob holds up a card for Buck and Huer to see. "Everybody gets an even amount of cards," Jacob said, as he starts to divide the cards between everybody. David sets a glass in the middle of the table and sets one of his cards on top of it.
"We go around the table, each of us places one of our cards around the card already on the glass. The loser is the one who makes all the cards fall. The winner is the one who placed the card on before the winner. But in the mean time as each card is placed on the cup we ask the card layer a question he must answer and the card layer also has to take a drink," Jacob said.
"You think you could handle this Doctor?" Buck asked, looking over at Huer.
Huer refills his glass, takes a drink and lays a card on the card already stacked. Huer turns to Jacob. "Ask," Huer said.
Back in Huer's Office, Huer is at his desk with his head on it.
"Doctor Huer, are you all right?" Theopolis asked.
Huer not lifting his head. "In five to six hours I will be," Huer replied.
"Are you sick?" Theopolis asked.
"I can't remember last night," Huer replied.
"Then the news I have for you should refresh your memory," Theopolis said.
"Tell it," Huer said, with his head still down on his desk.
"The triple capacity shuttle you ordered to Palso Heights has arrived, but the supplies and weapons won't arrive there till tomorrow," Theopolis said.
Huer shoots his head up from his desk with a look of sudden horror.
Buck is passed out on his bed on top of its covers wearing yesterday's clothes when loud knocking and Huer yelling came from Buck's door.
"Buck!? Buck, please let me in, we need to talk, it's urgent!" Huer shouts loudly.
Buck moans and picks himself off the bed and is walking slowly towards the door.
"If you're not awake I need you to wake up now!" Huer shouts.
Buck pushes a button on the door's access panel. "Doctor Huer, you can come in now," Buck said.
Huer rushes through the door and runs into Buck who stumbles backwards. "Sorry Buck," Huer said.
Buck just waves Huer off and goes to his couch to sit down. "I'm not awake yet, what's the emergency?" Buck asked.
Huer sits down with Buck on the couch. "What do you remember about last night?" Huer asked.
"Getting really drunk," Buck replied.
"Besides that," Huer said.
"Playing a game of Mushroom that resulted in us getting really drunk," Buck replied.
"Do you remember when I made that deal with those guys about the ship?" Huer asked.
"I remember that, that was neat, they're going to find that lost ship thanks to you," Buck replied.
"Buck, you can't tell anyone about those men, what I gave them and their hunt for the Searcher with it," Huer said.
"Why not?" Buck asked.
Huer takes a deep breath. "It could cost me my job," Huer replied.
"How so?" Buck asked.
"I funded them with money and supplies from the Defense Directorate. Their hunt for the Searcher isn't business of the Defense Directorate. These facts can and most likely will get me fired," Huer replied.
"Just tell them you made a mistake and get everything back," Buck said.
"I can't do that," Huer replied.
"Bad pickle," Buck said.
"What?" Huer asked.
"Bad situation," Buck said.
"I can't take back what I've given them. They might tell others what I did job still lost!" Huer settles in to the couch more. "I need you and maybe one other to contain the situation," Huer said.
Buck turns to Huer and speaking slowly. "What are you saying?" Buck asked.
"I need you to join them in their mission to find the Searcher, make sure they keep things under wraps," Huer replied.
"It's into the Altaira Galaxy," Buck said.
"You can take someone with you, but don't reveal to them where the supplies came from unless necessary," Huer said.
Buck and Wilma are standing together looking forward.
"They've painted it?" Wilma asked.
"Camouflage," Buck said, smiling.
Wilma turned to Buck. "In outer space?" Wilma asked.
Buck turned to face Wilma. "It'll be fun," Buck replied.
"To the Altaira Galaxy," Wilma said.
They start walking forwards the triple capacity Defense Directorate ship. It looks like a Defense Directorate shuttle only with its ridges very faded out into the body, larger and more windows.
David, Trent and two others known as Sam and Zack are loading crates into the ship. As Jacob watches them working he works on a checklist. Buck and Wilma have just walked in.
"What are you doing here, Rogers?" Jacob asked.
"Wilma, you find your place here, I need to have a talk with him," Buck said as he points to Jacob.
Wilma watches Buck for a few moments as he heads towards Jacob before heading elsewhere in the ship. "Jacob, we need to talk," Buck said.
"It's my ship now," Jacob said.
"I know that, I'm just here to make sure nothing bad comes of that fact," Buck replied.
"What's that supposed to mean?" Jacob asked.
"How many people know about this mission of yours and this ship?" Buck asked.
"Many know of the quest we have to find the Searcher, Rogers. But only my friends here know where this ship came from. We even painted it so people wouldn't look at it and automatically think of your Directorate," Jacob replied.
"And both Wilma and I are staying with you to ensure it stays that way," Buck said.
"What if I don't want either of you to stay on board?" Jacob asked, drawing a blaster on Buck.
Buck draws out a blaster on Jacob. "This used to be a Defense Directorate shuttle, Jacob. And as the result of that I know the ship inside and out. This information can be used to either a good or bad purpose, know what I mean?" Buck said.
Jacob withdraws his gun. "I understand," Jacob replied.
Buck withdraws his gun as Jacob puts out a hand for shaking. "Welcome on board the Seeker, Rogers," Jacob said.
Buck shakes Jacob's hand.
Wilma is staring out a window watching outer space and stars streak by it. Her belongings that she brought, along with a mat for her, are on the floor by her.
Buck walks in and Wilma turns to him. "Flat out, Buck, tell me why we're "really" here," Wilma said.
"I promised Doctor Huer I wouldn't say," Buck replied.
"I understand the need to follow orders but that doesn't make me feel any better about this." Wilma walks up to Buck and speaking softly. "I don't trust these people, this crew," she said softly. Wilma looks down. "There's just something wrong about it all."
Buck lifts her head up. "Do you know why we're out here?" Buck asked.
"You know I don't. To ensure this ship doesn't do anything it shouldn't to spoil the Defense Directorate's name?" Wilma asked.
"And?" Buck said.
"You'll tell me now?" Wilma asked.
Buck stops touching Wilma's chin. "A ship named the Searcher, a research ship armed in case of the unknown, the unwanted unknown, set out ten years ago to locate planets in the Altaira Galaxy rich in minerals to be mined like gold, silver, barberite and therbidian crystal. No one has had contact with the ship since shortly after it started its mission. We're here to help find it," Buck said.
"That's what Huer didn't what you to tell me?" Wilma asked.
"No, but it does clarify some of this, doesn't it?" Buck asked.
"A little, but I still don't like it that the full picture can't be told to me," Wilma said.
"Doctor's orders, Wilma," Buck replied.
Outside of Wilma's Room, Sam is at Wilma's door with his ear pressed up to it. After a few minutes he turns his head away to Trent who's by him.
"Well?" Trent asked.
"He won't trust her and the fact he's a fighter I don't trust him. There must be a reason they're here that isn't being talked about," Sam replied.
"Any idea what that could be?" Trent asked.
"No, but I think we should stop him before he does whatever it is he plans to do," Sam said.
"And what about her?" Trent asked.
Sam smiles widely.
"You let me have her first, then you get her," Trent said with a grin on his face.
"How soon?" Sam asked.
"When he's alone. I don't want her to see it," Trent replied.
Sam knocks on the door, his voice returns to normal volume. "Hey, Rogers could you come out here a moment?" Sam asked.
A moment later and nothing happens Sam takes on an inpatient look. "Rogers, come out!" Sam shouts.
Trent hits Sam's head into the door.
Buck pops his head out. "Yes?" Buck asked.
"Sam wasn't using his head right, we need to talk .. alone," Trent said.
"Rogers, you're knowing these ships in and out, we need your help," Trent said.
"I lied," Buck said.
"What!?" Trent asked, with a surprised look his face.
"I only came here for that first reason I told about," Buck replied.
"Why you!" Trent said as he reaches for the door to strangle Buck.
Buck quickly moves his head back into the door.
"Is something wrong?" Wilma asked.
"Made a mistake by telling them." Buck turns to Wilma. "I lied about knowing this ship inside and out," Buck said.
"Well why would you ever tell them such a thing to begin with, knowing the ship?" Wilma asked.
"He pointed a blaster at me and we needed to stay on the ship," Buck said.
"Let me handle this," Wilma said as she walked towards the door.
Outside Wilma's room, Jacob is still there and he has a blaster trained on Wilma's door.
Wilma steps out of her door and sees the gun. "Fine greeting," Wilma said, looking at the blaster.
"I want Rogers out here," Trent said.
"You're not the only one here armed with one of those. I came out to help you with your ship, I DO know a few things about Defense Directorate ships and Buck and I will be working together. Put down your gun," Wilma said, sternly.
"You aren't lying to me too, are ya?" Trent asked.
"I helped to design the Z-87 Wolf fighters. It shouldn't be hard to arm this ship if you have the right tools and oxygen suits," Wilma replied.
Trent lowers the gun giving her a dirty look. "Follow me," Trent said as he turned and started walking away.
Wilma turning towards the door. "You can come out now," Wilma said.
Buck comes out from the door. "I could have handled him," Buck said.
"Sure you could have," Wilma replied as they start to move in the direction Trent went.
Buck gives a half grin and follows Wilma.
In the storage room, a pile of weapons and parts for installing on to the ship. Buck and Wilma, Trent and Zack are looking at the weapons..
"I think this will more than do," Buck said.
"Buck do you know of any Human who ever came out of the Altaira Galaxy alive?" Wilma asked.
"No." Buck turns towards Trent. "Planning to take down every unknown eagle there is?" Buck said.
"Get to work," Trent replied.
Wilma bends down to lift up a part. "This needs to be installed onto the end of the underside of your left wing." Wilma points to different part on the floor. "Buck, we're going to need that part for it too," Wilma said.
Buck bends down to get it. "Where did you meet these people?" Wilma asked whispering.
"In a bar," Buck replied.
Inside the airlock, Buck and Wilma have their backs to each other and have started putting on the spacesuits over their normal clothes.
"I've never known you to be a drinker," Wilma said.
"It wasn't my idea to go there," Buck replied.
Wilma pulls the suit on herself nearly full when Zack comes up behind her, as she's trying to zip up her back. Suddenly Zack grabs the zipper and starts running it up her back along with his other hand with one finger pressing her back moving up as if guiding the other hand.
"I can do that for you," Zack said.
Wilma tries to turn around to him but he stops her. "Get off!" Wilma shouts.
Buck turns to Zack and Wilma and takes on an angry look. Buck forces Zack away from Wilma. "Don't touch her," Buck said.
"Touch me and when you go out that airlock it won't be in a spacesuit," Zack replied. Zack makes a smile and a kiss face to Wilma. Trent crosses his arms, Buck balls up a fist. "The same goes for you if it's in the wrong way," Zack said.
Buck hits Zack, who stumbles backwards.
"You dung head, what is she yours or something?!" Zack asked.
"Don't touch her," Buck repeated.
Zack with both hands picks up one of the larger weapons from the floor, meant to be used on the ship. He then looks around on it for how to work it.
Zack sets it aside then pile drives a punch in to Buck's stomach. Trent turns to Wilma as Buck and Zack fight. "My bet's on Zack," Trent said.
Wilma gives Trent a dirty look, then David walks into the room. He sees what's going on and fires a blaster close by Zack and Buck. "Break it up you two!" David shouts.
Buck and Zack stop fighting.
"What happened here?" David asked.
"Nothing," Zack replied.
"He tried to touch her," Buck said.
David turns to Wilma, looking to her to confirm this. Wilma shakes her head yes.
David turns back to Buck and Zack. "Zack." David then turns to Trent. "Trent, can either of you install the weapons?" David asked.
"I can build hand weapons," Trent replied.
"We're going to be in the Altaira Galaxy soon, so learn fast how to install them into the ship without the Defense Directorate here," David said.
"Dave!" Zack said.
"Since you can't get along with them in this work, I want you to work alone. It will be on your head if something happens to us now," David said.
"Sir um, Captain? I think that would be highly unwise," Wilma said, with a concerned look on her face.
"They'll work hard, they'll get it done, is that understood?" David asked, looking at Wilma.
"Clearly," Wilma replied.
"Defense Directorate babe and Buck, I think both of you should know I don't want you here. One cabin for the two of you for the rest of this mission and I don't want to see either of you for that matter as well," David said.
Buck and Wilma look at each other. "I have the larger room, we'll stay in mine," Wilma said.
Buck and Wilma left the room.
Outside Wilma's room, as Buck and Wilma are about to enter. "We're all going to die," Buck said.
"In full Buck, I want you to tell me now why we're here," Wilma said. Wilma disappears into the door followed by Buck.
Outside Airlock, David, Zack and Trent are still trying to figue out the weapons.
"I wanted him alone," Trent said, softly to David.
"For what?" David asked.
"For his death," Trent replied.
"There's no call for that, not for some little fight," David said.
"Rogers can't be trusted, Dave. He and that woman work for the Defense Directorate. They're not exactly on our side," Zack said.
"He's hiding something," Trent said.
"If and when we find the Searcher, when we get its data, depending on how they act will determine whether or not I let you kill him," David said.
"What about what's to be done with the woman? I'd like to have her," Zack said, with a grin.
"And I'd like you to start on installing the weapons," David replied.
Zack starts putting on a spacesuit, glaring at David as Trent does nothing.
"BOTH," David said, as he started to leave the room.
Trent grabs a spacesuit in quick movement.
Zack turned to Trent as he finishes putting on his suit. "It doesn't have to be Rogers, I don't care who it is but before this mission is over I will be shooting someone," Zack said.
Trent starts putting on his suit. "I have your back on that man," Trent replied.
Zack and Trent smile at one another.
Out in space, two people in spacesuits are crouching on a wing, working on its internal hardware with a weapon to be installed.
"They should have taken care of adding the insulations back on Earth. It's insane to do that kind of work out here," Wilma said.
"Wilma, I'm not sure if you've noticed this by now, but these aren't the most sane of people," Buck replied.
Trent's face has a deep look of concentration on it, while he works on the hardware and wires. He holds one green wire in one hand and has just picked up another green wire in the other hand.
Trent turns to Zack who's holding a 26th century style walkie-talkie to him. "Try it now," Trent said, as he touches the two green wires together.
The weapon being worked on fires a shot. Zack shouts in happy excitement at the fact.
"It worked!" Trent said happily.
"Now solder it all up, we might need it working soon," Jacob said.
"We'll get started," Trent replied.
Zack puts the walkie-talkie into a pocket, but as he does he hits a button on it that turns it off.
Zack looks around.
"What?" Trent asked.
"I don't see anything but stars," Zack replied.
Trent starts soldering the wires. "I think they're more of a myth than a reality. Come on Zack, "space birds that attack ships"?" Trent replied.
"But the Searcher and all those others?" Zack said.
Trent now starts working on the hardware around the wires of the weapon, fixing everything in place. "Nobody knows what happened to the Searcher or the others. My bet is it was the Draconians before anyone knew they controlled the pirate ships," Trent replied.
Zack stands up and looks forward, he puts a hand near his eyes. "I see something," Zack said.
Trent, not looking. "Zack, you're imagining things," Trent replied.
"No, I'm not, look," Zack replied, pointing.
Trent turns to Zack and then looks in the direction he's looking in. In the distance a planet with lack of true detail due to how far away it is.
"Just some little planet," Trent said.
Trent turns to Zack. "I don't think it's going to attack us," Trent said as he finishes working on the weapon.
"Trent, I think we should get inside," Zack said.
"What a dumb, Zack of course we have to get back inside. We still need to get the supplies to work on the other wing," Trent replied.
In the zero-g environment Zack tries to quickly move to the airlock to get back in the ship. Trent, noticing Zack's behavior. "It's no big rush," Trent said. Zack makes it inside. Trent looks towards where Zack was looking. Terror starts to fill his face as an unknown eagle comes out of no-where heading towards him fast. As the unknown eagle's talons quickly come towards him and in a flash spiked him and carried him off the wing.
Zack is coming into the ship from the airlock in panic. As fast as he can he clicks the latches of his helmet to take it off, drops it and runs.
In the main cabin, David and Jacob are at the controls. Zack is running down the hallway just outside the main cabin. "They're here! We need to leave now!" Zack yells.
David turns towards Zack who has just ran it to the cabin. "Who's here?" David asked.
"The eagles are here!" Zack shouts.
"Where's Trent?" Jacob asked looking behind Zack.
Zack takes on a look of horror then pushes his way past David and Jacob to try and take a good look outside the window. After a moment Zack leaves the window with a melancholy look on his face. "He's still working out there?" Jacob asked.
Zack sinks down on the dash.
"Get off of that and go out there to help him," David said, pointing his finger towards the door.
"I can't help him now," Zack said softly.
"Why not?" David asked.
"He's dead," Zack replied, hanging his head.
David and Jacob quickly look out the window.
In Wilma and Buck's quarters, Buck is standing and Wilma is sitting cross-legged on the floor.
Wilma looking cheery. "I cross my heart and hope to die, I won't tell anyone Buck," Wilma said.
Buck starts coming down to the floor to Wilma, when at the sound of weapon fire from outside he stops in his tracks. Buck straightens back up again and takes on a puzzled look. The weapon are heard firing again. Wilma gets up and takes on a serious look.
"More weapons tests?" Buck asked, glancing over at Wilma.
Wilma starts heading for the window. When all of a sudden a massive scrapping of metal and the lights flicker for a moment.
"Not a weapons test," Wilma replied.
"Heck with his orders, we need to get out of here," Buck said, as he and Wilma head for the door.
Buck and Wilma head for the storage room in a rush as they hear more gunfire from outside. "I'm certain when we were in here earlier I saw a few other spacesuits! We need to make sure everyone gets one on!" Buck said.
"Why!?" Wilma asked.
Buck starts going through the storage crates quickly looking for the suits. "Just in case...!" But was cuts off by a loud metal ripping sound that makes the room shift right.
"Wilma, eagles can rip apart whole ships! Remember how the Daffo looked?!" Buck asked.
Wilma starts helping Buck in his search. "It was depressurized," Wilma said.
Buck holds up a suit from a crate. "Found 'em," Buck said. Buck grabs as much as he can hold, Wilma without being asked pulls out the rest. They start running towards the main cabin.
"I think we lost a wing in that last attack, I'm having trouble controlling movement!" David shouts.
Jacob, holding a box in his hands that has controls on it for firing, a few wires extend from it to the ship. Jacob works the controls for firing and more blasts sound off. The weapon installed in the wing earlier is firing off into space. The unknown eagle turns around for another attack. As it moves the gunfire go through it.
Buck hands Jacob a spacesuit. "Get that out of my face, I don't need it!" Jacob shouts.
"This is a fight we can't win! If we lose atmosphere you'll need it!" Buck shouts back.
David looks to Buck and Wilma. "What the hell are you guys doing here?!" David asked.
"Trying to save your lives!" Wilma replied, handing David a spacesuit.
Buck points towards the window. "We need to get to that planet!" Buck said.
"We're missing a wing!" David replied.
Down on the planet of Throm, on one of the cliffs. A young girl who's head is covered in light gray feathers with black at their tips. The feathers on the sides of her head push backwards into tufts that curve upwards lightly. The wind blows at her gently, pushing the feathers as she looks out at a burning wreckage. The wind is blowing its smoke, but the fire doesn't seem to be melting the cracked ice ground it's sitting on in a shallow sea. The young girl looks to be 10 or 11 years ago. She scrunches her face in concentration, her feathers puff lightly and the ones on her eyebrows tighten. She looks down. On the wall of rock and ice, a stairway and near by, a home seated on a lower cliff. It's a dome in shape and it has designs in big bold earth color prints all over it. The girl jumps down without breaking the ice. Looking back up towards the top of the rock face she was just on, smiling. She's a Tangata manu and that jump was nothing to her.
The ship, "Seeker" has been wrecked and if anyone is alive within it, it will look to be a miracle. Inside the wreckage, its crew is unconscious, wearing the spacesuits Buck and Wilma had insisted on. The suits looked tattered and dirty.
The Tangata manu girl stares, she can't see the bodies from where she is. She moves around the wreckage and picks up a piece of hot metal, but quickly drops it. She gets some of the ice water in her hands and swashes it on the metal and it hisses at being cooled.
Inside the wreckage, Zack opens his eyes and slowly moves them towards the sound.
The girl picks up another piece of metal that she's recently cooled. She turns her head to the sound of footsteps moving on the wreckage. Zack emerges with a firearm in hand. She looks at him puzzled. He shoots her, knocking her backwards. Inside the rest of the crew quickly up their eyes up as a second shot is fired.
The girl weakly lying on the ground, her eyes distant looking up towards the shadow above her.
Zack standing over her, smiles with the gun still in hand. A moment later, Buck quickly comes out of the wreckage decking Zack hard and fast.
"What the hell is wrong with you!?" Zack asked.
"Why!? Why'd you do it?! She's a little girl!" Buck yells, pointing towards the girl.
"She's a freak," Zack replied.
Buck tries to take the gun from Zack who refuses to let go. Buck tries harder and with both hands gets him to let go. He throws it away from the wreckage. At the same time Wilma and Sam come out from inside the wreckage.
Turning to Wilma and Sam. "Do either of you have medical training?" Buck asked.
Sam shakes his head no. "What happened?" Wilma asked, going over to Buck and looking at the girl.
Buck bends down to the girl. "He shot her, no reason was behind it," Buck replied, pointing to Zack.
"Is it okay to move you?" Buck asked the girl softly.
The girl weakly nods her head yes.
Buck gently picked her up. "Are there any places nearby that could treat you?" Buck asked.
"Town," she said softly.
"Where's that?" Buck asked.
The girl moved her eyes to the side indicating the direction, then she turns them back to Buck.
Buck's carrying the girl, followed by Wilma, and the rest of the Seeker crew having climbed up the stairs carved into the rock face, took a few minutes to take in the sight.
Ahead of them more Tangata manu and the same type of buildings that were on the cliff. Some of them stare at the crew and Buck with the girl, others go about their business not noticing them at all. One of them, a man with white feathers black tipped and tan floating over the white, comes towards them enraged.
Buck stood with the girl as the enraged Tangata manu comes up to him. "You beast! Give me back my child!" the girl's father yelled.
Buck slowly hands over the girl as to not cause her further harm. "She's wounded," Buck said.
The Dad swiftly looks at the crew and Buck. "Thanks to Humans!" the father replied.
"I didn't do..." Buck started to say but was stopped.
"You won't do anything more, I'll see you die for this!" the father shouted, still holding his daughter gently.
Another Tangata manu walks up and speaks to the girls father. "But remember, first a trial, you'll be breaking the law otherwise," the other Tangata manu said.
In town that night, the sky and the land are lit by the glow of the moon. Inside a very large home.
"I don't want you feeding them," Robin said.
"Just one," Chanticleer said.
"Which one?" Robin asked.
"The one who held Lark," Chanticleer replied.
Chanticleer, who looks to be in her mid-teens, holds a tray with a little food on it standing near Robin who's much older than her. The room they're in appears to be a social room and bedroom at the same time, books line its walls and there's a curving stairwell leading downwards from it.
"Only him, and not all of it," Robin said.
"Thank you," Chanticleer said.
"Why do you want to do this? We don't owe them anything?" Robin asked.
In the basement of the home the rest of the Seeker's crew has their hands and feet bound together. Chanticleer is untying Buck's hands and has the tray of food beside him.
"I don't believe you're all bad," Chanticleer said.
"So you believe us?" Buck asked.
Chanticleer finishes untying his hands. "The woman and you don't act like the others," Chanticleer replied.
"We're here you know!" David said, loudly.
Chanticleer looks to David and then back to Buck. "You can be trusted right?" Chanticleer asked as she hands the tray to Buck which he takes.
"You can, but I'd like to share this with them if you don't mind?" Buck asked. Buck scoots over to Wilma, putting down the tray before doing so that once at her he bends over to it and brings it to her.
"You can't untie her hands or the others," Chanticleer said walking over to Buck and Wilma.
"But you said you trusted .." Buck was stopped in mid sentence.
Chanticleer starts walking towards the stairwell leading up, all the while looking at him. "Not until you've been tried," Chanticleer said.
"Will the judge be fair?" Wilma asked.
Chanticleer looks down due to not wanting to answer, looks back at them, then heads up the stairs.
In the town Court Circle, a dome building cut into a crescent shape facing away. A crowd is gathered in front of the building that has the crew of the Seeker up front and in center of it. Guards stand to their sides to keep them in place.
"Presenting the colony of Throm's high Judge.."
Buck and the rest of the Seeker crew, turned to see a curtain in the center of the crescent shape with a platform in front of it and a podium. An Tangata manu in his early 40's with white feathers and the same spotted look tipping them. The feathers wisping off to the side of his head look ragged like he's been through a lot in life, he looks respectable. He walks proudly to the podium with a cold look of his face directed towards the crowd.
"Hawk," Guard one announced.
Return to Earth