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.

Close to the edge of a small pond. The water is boiling fast enough to form tiny bubbles that are as small as the grains of sand that lie on the floor of it. Walking up to it is a small animal that looks like a pale lobster with long pinchers. Just after it hits the edge of the water and is sitting on the sand a hand reaches down and lifts the little animal up into the air.
The sky is an amazing red. The trees have no leaves, and their bark has a burnt look to it. Just beyond the pond is a space ship. A transport vessel with the same ridged look, but no place on it for firing. It has smaller jet-rocket ports and it's back is used for loading and unloading. Buck is holding the small creature, flat palmed. Taindair is standing nearby. Buck watches as the creature waves its claws around in the air.

"What you're holding could be the last of its kind," Taindair said.

"Could it survive elsewhere, on another planet?" Buck asked still looking at the creature in wonder.

"If you like it, it could be taken to Sanopp. I'm sure it might have a chance at life there," Taindair replied.

"The heat on your home world?" Buck asked with concern.

"No radiation. Remember it's the combination of the two that's killing all life here," Taindair replied as he glanced around.

As they started to walk over to the shuttle.

"Do you have any idea why they don't want to leave this place?" Buck asked.

"From the reports I heard, they don't see it as a threat. Maybe they just don't care what the supernova is doing to the planet," Taindair replied.

"I really hate to think you're right about that. But I think nearly every living being fears death. These people have to know what's going on around them. They can't be that dim not to know what's happening," Buck replied.

"They could be. My people did conquer them long ago," Taindair said.

"Taindair!" Buck said with a surprised look on his face.

"I'm sorry," Taindair said.

As they reach the shuttle. They walked around to the rear of it. Taindair reaches up and touches the access pad, making a doorway appear. Buck and Taindair stepped up in to the shuttle. Taindair starts to moves around the inside looking in various places of the ship.

"There has to be something making these people stay," Buck said placing the lobster like creature in to a containment carrier.

"And what do you suppose that is?" Taindair asked.

"This is their home, it's all they know for living life," Buck replied.

"To the land of heated sands, that makes no sense, Buck. To want to live on a dying world just because it's the only place they see as home. There are plenty of other planets out there. They know that, they've known that for hundreds of years," Taindair replied glancing over at Buck.

"Because it's home," Buck replies still watching the creature in the carrier.

"Maybe that makes sense to you, but not to me." Taindair turned to Buck. "It's called a thick scale," Taindair said.

"Thick scale?" Buck asked.

"The creature you were holding, the thick-scaled one with the fanned tail," Taindair explained.

"Out of curiosity, Taindair, what if we can't get them to leave?" Buck asked.

"Then we call on greater forces to help us get them to leave. We are doing this by order of the Defense Directorate, by order of the queen of my home world. This planet has been nearly forgotten by all with time. But it still belongs to Sanopp and its people. And they have a responsibility to it," Taindair replied.

"These greater forces, what are you saying when you say that? That we call up the Directorate? Ask for pilots to come here bearing arms to drag these people onto carrier ships if need be?" Buck asked.

"If it comes to that...yes," Taindair replied looking Buck in the eyes.

"Armed?" Buck asked with concern.

"Without firing upon them, only to scare them into obeying us," Taindair replied.

Buck stares at Taindair with a worried look. Then turns away and walks out of the ship. Taindair, who looks puzzled by Buck's action. After a moment of talking to himself.

"That's not how you think we should take action is it?" Taindair asked as he walks out of the shuttle after Buck.


Chapter 1

In a prison cell on a TV floating in the air. There's a nature show on, the TV camera is focused on an alien creature moving around. Talking in a calm voice.

"The Amvin seen here is acting against its own nature. It's awake during the daytime and moving about on open soil exposing itself to predators," the narrator says.

The TV screen clicks to a new image. The image now is a talk show. Showing three quests and one host.

"That's incredible, these stories I'm hearing! How you people survived in that totally Jovian planet!" the TV host says in an surprised voice.

The TV screen clicks to a new image. It's a music video that's just begun. Small print can be seen on the screen, giving some very basic information about the video. Where it says in this information who the band is, it says, "Andromeda." Techno music can be heard blasting. The TV screen is alive with oddly colored strange shapes.

Joelin is sitting on the lower bunk of a bunk bed. Fiddling with a device that's snugly resting on his head. As he's doing this,he looks to be in deep concentration and is agitated. His roommate lying back in bed holding a remote control. Looking very bored, the bunkmate clicks the remote after another moment. The TV produces some noise, then another moment later, the bunkmate clicks it again. Joelin looking more annoyed is still working away at the device. After a moment he smiles and looks to the TV.

"What gives, the TV just blacked out?!" his bunkmate yells.

Joelin removes the device from his head and places it down on his bunk,and rises up to his bunkmate's view.

"There shall be no more TV," Joelin says with a mean grin.

"What?" the bunkmate replied.

The hand of the bunkmate that's holding the remote starts quivering. The bunkmate looks in pain and drops the remote.

"W-what's going on?!" the bunkmate asked.

The remote, lifts into the air and a moment later, starts to crack and break up as it twists itself into pieces.

In the town square, a man who could be in his 50's or 60's stands on a platform talking loudly to the crowd in an enraged voice. Buck and Taindair walks through the crowd slowly.

"When! If they come again, you must stay and pass this! This test of faith that has fallen upon us! We are all followers of the great Soil, Wind, and Water that are our makers! Only those who have let themselves be tainted with the blood of Sanopp, left! And for that our makers have it so! That they are doomed to die in the blackness that lies beyond our beloved three!" Kaleel shouts.

Buck and Taindair still moving slowly towards the center of the crowd.

"Can you believe this?" Buck asked.

"And I thought I could hold a grudge against something," Taindair replied.

"But we shall not perish! For our numbers are more than they appear!" Kaleel's attention is caught by someome standing in the crowd. "They've come back to proceed with the test! Dressed in Sanopp's blood in all its blackness! Another has come for us! We must stand strong!" Kaleel shouts pointing out from himself and into the crowd.

Everyone turns to face Buck and Taindair.

"Oh isn't this lovely, Taindair? We've only been here a few hours and already these people love us," Buck says sarcastically.

The crowd of people surrounds the two.

"Stranger, leave the one of Sanopp before it taints you!" Kaleel shouted loudly still pointing at Taindair.

"Taindair and I work together. We're not here to bring any harm to you or your followers. We're here to help you," Buck says.

"You're here to take us to the Darkness that our makers do not move upon!" a woman said.

"We won't join you, tainted one!" another woman shouted.

"You offer no help we could want! Leave us now!" a man yelled out from the crowd.

"My people left this planet long ago. We're no longer what you must still think we are. We are all allies now. Sanopp's rule over this planet is in name only. We only wish to take you to safety," Taindair replies.

Kaleel starts walking towards Buck and Taindair.

"Your planet is dying," Buck says as Kaleel stops in front of them.

"Our makers are immortal. You say "my" makers are dying? Were you not born in their faith?!" Kaleel shouts pointing his finger at Buck.

"I was not born of this world, but I still care for the fate of it's people," Buck replied.

"A liar, tainted from the Darkness beyond the three," Kaleel says loudly then turns and faces the crowd and looks around at them.

As he returned to the platform, Kaleel speaks as loudly and as demanding over his shoulder. "They shall be made example of! Take them to the Weeping Sands, but make sure the tainted one is second! So he shall see how the one of Sanopp has misled him to his fate! To die in the clutches of Soil and Water hand in hand giving their vengeance for those of no faith!"

"And you don't want us to truly force them?" Taindair whispered to Buck.

Buck leaned over and whispered, "Their opinion of us isn't very high now. Do you think that will help?" Buck asked.

"They want to kill us," Taindair whispered back.

Just then some very sturdy men take hold of the two and start leading them off.

"In quicksand," Buck said whispering.

"Boiling quicksand," Taindair replied whispering back.

Buck tried to stop his forced movement forward. "AND WHO IS TO SAY YOUR LEADER ISN'T TAINTED!" Buck shouts loudly.

The men clutching Buck and Taindair stop moving. "He is of a line straight from the depths of our makers!" one of the men replied.

"We must quiet their voices, the one of Sanopp and his tainted underling!" a woman said.

"Don't you know anything of astronomy? Your sun has gone supernova. We're trying to sav..." Buck and Taindair are knocked unconscious simultaneously by the men.

Inside the prison, the bunkmate is behind the force field. He's furious, looking outwards. "You can't do this! Let me out, we're cell mates!" the bunkmate yells.

Out in the hallway. Moving all along one side of it are jail cells, Joelin stands outside of his former one. Looking at a few buttons next to the force field enclosed door to the cell.

"We're not cell mates any more, you feeble little mouse," Joelin replies.

"You'll regret this! I know where you're going!" the bunkmate said loudly.

"Think again, mouse. You can't do anything from where you are. However I can do nearly anything from where I am," Joelin replied running his fingers across the buttons with a smile on his face.

"What do you mean by that?" the bunkmate asked.

"So many buttons here, which to choose from? Sleeping gas, no. Releasing the pressure locks, no. Th, no, ful, no, dco, no. Carbon dioxide from the air filtering system?" Joelin glanced up at the bunkmate. "Which one do you like best?" Joelin asked with a evel grin on his face.

"Sleeping gas! Sleeping gas!" the bunkmate said repeatedly.

"Nah, not as fun. I want to get rid of you for good. Carbon dioxide, that should be an entertaining way for me to watch you go," Joelin said as he presses the button he knows is right for the job.

Joelin turns and starts walking down the hallway, listening to the bunkmate gasping for air as he leaves.

At the quicksand pool, a rope laying on top of the quicksand starts moving with a pair of hands gripping it. Buck is gripping the rope and moving along out of the pool of quicksand. Holding on to the other end of the rope that's helping Buck get to shore is a woman named Osjewelco. As Buck climbs out of the quicksand pool his skin red and irritated from the boiling sands.

Buck turns to the woman. "Thank you." Then turning his attention back to the quicksand. "Taindair?"

Taindair's head is the only thing sticking out of the pool. He looks very content where he is. Speaking slowly. "What's the rush?"

"You'll die if you don't leave," Buck warns.

Still speaking slowly. "But it feels so good," Taindair replies in a content voice.

"Dressed in Sanopp's blood, he is a strange one," Osjewelco says.

"For him this is heaven because he's cold blooded. Though NOT QUITE BECAUSE HE'LL DIE IF HE DOESN'T LEAVE IT!" Buck shouts out loudly in Taindair's direction.

Taindair lets out an annoyed sounding hiss.

"Remember the job at hand, Taindair?" Buck asked holding on to one end of the rope while he throws the other end out to Taindair.

"Thanks but no thanks, Buck. All Saurians are excellent swimmers," Taindair replies as he swims to shore in a grace unthought of for being in a pool of boiling quicksand.

"You are different, you?" Taindair asked.

"Osjewelco," Osjewelco replied.

"It seems that since the last time a Saurian ever set foot on this planet. Your people have built some more interesting words around us," Taindair said as he shook off the sand from his body.

"You are the evil that tried to kill our makers years ago. But I don't believe you are the evil now testing our faith. Many others dressed in Sanopp's blood have come in recent weeks. Making claims we're all doomed if we do not follow them. Maybe, maybe the blackness that lies beyond my makers isn't all we've been brought up to believe it is. We're dying, you yourself are a being of death. I'd rather die seeing the evil killing me, than die at the hands of one that does not show itself," Osjewelco says.

"Osjewelco, my kind, we do not wish to hurt your kind any more. We haven't hurt your kind for many eons. Please forgive my people for what they did long ago," Taindair said looking into Osjewelco's eyes.

Taindair puts out an open hand to Osjewelco. "Take my hand if you forgive," Taindair said.

Osjewelco stares at the hand and then at Taindair's face. Looking in panic, she moves away fast from him and Buck. Scurrying up a sand bank and out of sight.

Chapter 2

In the prison hallway, Joelin is standing outside of another jail cell and is looking into the cell.

"Just give me ONE reason why I shouldn't kill you now?" Joelin asked.

"Because I know the prison better than you do. Because I've nearly escaped it four times," Barney replied.

"Nearly escaped," Joelin replied with a sarcastic voice.

"Well with your help I could, we could. I've heard you're a man of some very interesting talent, Joelin Quince. Now I'm sure if we combined our talents. Leaving this place would be just a breeze," Barney said.

"We're under five thousand tons of water. How do you think we could get out with out drowning?" Joelin asked.

"Not a problem for you my man," Barney replied with a smile.

"Just testing. If I help you, what's in it for me?" Joelin asked.

"A loyal right hand and I'll share my hidden stash with you," Barney replied with a grin.

"Hidden stash? okay," Joelin replied.

"How do you think I got in here, pickpocketing? No, I robbed the, now get this. The Crayiceion central storage center, Greax ambuquad inc., New Fort Knox," Barney replied holding his head high.

"Greax ambuquad inc.?" Joelin asked.

"Jolly jiving Joelin, ambuquad parts can be worth a fortune when dealing with the right buyers on the black market," Barney replied.

"Ambuquad, when I'm out of here I need to find some friends of mine. You can come with, so long as you never leave my side the whole time we're working together," Joelin said.

"That's it? I'm in? We're working together? That's great! But why don't you want me to leave your side the whole time we're working together?" Barney asked a little confused.

"I want you in my sights at all times, due to the fact that my other friends and myself. We need to pay a visit to a man with an ambuquad who did leave our sights for a moment. You understand my meaning don't you?" Joelin asked.

"I understand," Barney replied nodding his head.

Joelin proceeds punching a combination of buttons beside Barney's cell door.

On the outskirts of town, the setting sun sitting low in the sky over the wilderness of the dying world. Osjewelco stands staring out into the wilderness. Behind her, what remains of the town's populace are making a mound made of various objects, as the people add the objects. Kaleel walks in a circle around it over and over. He has a sack hanging off one of his shoulders. He's repeatedly throwing sand and is chanting softly as he moves around the building mound. Off in the distance is the town. Osjewelco turns her head to look at what's going on behind her. Osjewelco starts walking up to Kaleel. She stops before him.

"What is a supernova?" Osjewelco asked.

Kaleel ignores her and continues what he's been doing.

"What is a supernova?" Osjewelco asked again.

Kaleel continues what he was doing, only now he's not chanting. "I am certain it is the name our makers have given this test of our faith," Kaleel replies.

Osjewelco walks along with Kaleel around the pile. "But the name, it was told by the tainted one. The tainted one, who walks with the pure evil. If they were told the name of the test our makers have given us. Maybe our makers have forgiven Sanopp in its darkness. Maybe they're here to help us move to a place of safer ground," Osjewelco said.

"Our makers will never forgive Sanopp for the evils it laid upon us long ago. Osjewelco, did you talk with them? The one dressed in Sanopp's blood and the tainted one?" Kaleel asked looking at Osjewelco.

Osjewelco looking sheepish doesn't answer. "Answer me, did you talk to them?" Kaleel asked again in a harsh voice.

"I did," Osjewelco replied hanging her head.

"You shouldn't have, Osjewelco. Their words were lies and nothing more. Their only wish was to taint you. Make you believe their lies so they could have you. Thank the gods they are no more, Soil and Water," Kaleel said.

After a moment. Speaking in a low soft voice. "We continue to die," Osjewelco said softly.

"Not any more, they are dead now. The one dressed in Sanopp's blood and the tainted one. Killed by the hands of Soil and Water working together," Kaleel replied.

Osjewelco looks disturbed and is making little worried noises, as to say something's wrong.

"You wanted them alive?" Kaleel asked.

Osjewelco can't find the words to answer him. A moment later he turns around to face her. Stopping what he is doing.

"They are dead, correct?" Kaleel asked again. Still unable to answer him, her eyes start to swell with tears.

"How?" Kaleel asked in a disturbed voice. Osjewelco starts crying.

"You have become tainted, woman! You are as evil as they are!" Kaleel said angrily pointing at her.

Others working around Kaleel stop in the middle of what they're doing and watch the pair.

"Because you have become tainted! Because you have stopped the gods in pursuing their justice on the evil ones! An end shall be put to you so you can taint no one with your lies!" Kaleel yelled loudly.

"How do you think that should be done, Kaleel? She doesn't have any respect for the might of Soil and Water. And Wind has not been of much help to us in recent weeks," one of the men asked.

Kaleel circling around Osjewelco. "Yes, Wind hasn't been helping us much recently. His tunnels of destructive force across the plains have not come in to do away with the evil ones that keep coming before us. Nor his bringing of coldness as reward for us keeping our faith to him. She will die at the hands of the one coated in Sanopp's blood and the tainted one," Kaleel ordered.

"Why would they hurt her? She took them away from Soil and Water's wraith?" the man asked.

Kaleel stops circling Osjewelco and grabs her by her hair viciously. "All those who have come before to taint us! Making us go into the blackness that leads to Sanopp! Have had winged, fire drawn chariots to take us there! They must have a chariot here somewhere, we will find it! And when we do, we shall make her ride in it! Into the blackness, into her doom!" Kaleel yelled angerly as he threw Osjewelco down to the ground.

"But what of the one of Sanopp and his tainted follower?" the man asked.

"We will not come to them to hear their lies! Or if they come to us, we will not hear their pleas for sanctuary from the wraith of our makers! They shall pay for tainting Osjewelco with their lives! Dying of no faith, in the face of the test we are faced with!" Kaleel replied.

In the wilderness Buck and Taindair are walking through a dead forest, tall leafless trees loom over their heads. Dead rotting plants can be seen about their feet. Along with pools of boiling water randomly dotting the forest floor. As they're walking Buck is brushing off sand that's stuck to him. Taindair doesn't seem to mind the sand stuck to him. Buck looks over to Taindair, who looks more content with the situation than he is.

"These people don't want to give up what they know. Soon after I first woke up in this century, I didn't want to live in it. It wasn't what I was used to. When your whole life you've only had one idea in your head for what your reality of living should be. Suddenly when and if someone starts to push a new idea on you for the reality you should be living in. How are you supposed to take it? That's what's happening with these people, Taindair. They don't know how to take it," Buck said.

"Saurians, we haven't dealt with this planet for ages, till recently. Who'd have thought they'd see us this way. Well Saurians, not Humans," Taindair replied.

"They don't seem too wild about my presence either," Buck said glancing over at Taindair.

"At least you look like them," Taindair replied glancing down at him self.

"Taindair, when we were packing to come here. Um, how well did you think they'd take to us being here? Was anything packed that we weren't told to pack?" Buck asked.

"I don't follow on the packing, Buck. But when it comes to thinking about how well they'd take to us being here. I presumed they wouldn't act hostile, because I thought they'd grown used to in recent weeks seeing Saurians come here. Thought why should we be different," Taindair replied.

"Remember the devices Wilma and I used back on your home world?" Buck asked.

Taindair thought for a moment. "I follow, certainly would help the situation here some," Taindair said.

"I can't believe it's come down to this, Taindair," Buck said shaking his head.

"We need help in getting through to these people. Since you don't want to use weapons in doing this, I don't see any other way," Taindair replied.

"On Sanopp, the queen is the highest monarch of the planet's government. I hope she'll come when we call for her over transmission from the ship. Though if she does come, we may, well we hope that her status among your people makes the ones here listen." Buck stopped walking for a moment and turned to Taindair. "I hope they don't act towards her, how they've been acting towards us," Buck said in a concerned voice.

"That's wishful thinking, Buck. But we are protectors, and good ones at that. So if they do act as a danger to her ..." Taindair stopped and glanced over at Buck.

"We'll at least be able to protect her, I know that's great. But I still don't like it that we might be putting her in danger in the first place," Buck said as they started walking again.

Taindair is looking straight ahead while Buck is looking at the ground.

"That's odd," Taindair said.

"But it has to be done," Buck replied.

"No, not that with protecting my queen. The locals, the locals have our ship surrounded," Taindair said pointing towards their shuttle.

Buck looked up and towards the shuttle. "What the heck is going on?" Buck asked.

Gathered around the shuttle are all of the town's folks. Inside the shuttle Osjewelco is sitting on the floor. Her eyes swollen with tears. But at the moment she's acting calm and accepting of her situation. Kaleel is at the shuttle's controls trying his best to make heads or tails of them, he looks frustrated.

"You know what's being done to you is just, Osjewelco. You know this is what the gods want in turn for your evil," Kaleel said still trying to figure out the control console. Now he starts randomly pressing buttons, slowly to find out what they are. After a beat of this. He presses one that prompts the ship to start purring with the hum of power.

Kaleel turns to Osjewelco and smiles wickedly.

Chapter 3

The town's folk started making all sorts of noise when Buck and Taindair began to enter the shuttle. Kaleel turns his attention away from the ship to the noise.

"And just what is it you think you're doing?" Buck asked.

In a growling manner. "Carrying out justice for the gods I know you only spit upon. I'm sending the one you tainted to meet her end," Kaleel replied looking down at Osjewelco sitting on the floor of the shuttle.

"Back away from the controls!" Taindair shouted as he started to walk towards Keleel.

"I take no orders from Sanopp, you scaly devil," Keleel replied.

Buck forcefully grabs Kaleel and throws him away from the controls down on to the floor near Osjewelco. "Believe it or not we're here to save you!" Buck shouts.

"I'll bet, I've never seen you before tainted one. Just how is it you became tainted?" Kaleel asked as he points to Taindair. "Made you betray your faith to our makers. What lies did it tell you that would make you turn your back on the ones who truly love you?" Kaleel asked.

Buck walks up to Kaleel. "I have never been one of your people! I come from another world like my friend does! There are many other worlds out there. And you are?!" Buck asked.

"Kaleel!" Kaleel replied.

"There are many other worlds out there, Kaleel! With many people of many faiths! I do not hate or disrespect yours! But believe me when I tell you this, Taindair and I are not evil beings bent on mocking the good of your makers!" Buck said.

Buck turns and walks away from Kaleel and takes hold of the piloting controls of the ship. Buck turns his head slightly. "Taindair, we're leaving," Buck announced.

"But the rest of them on this planet?" Taindair asked.

"We're not going to be gone for long. Just long enough for me to make a point," Buck replied.

Buck presses some of the controls and the ship powers up further. Kaleel's eyes opened wider with the look of fear.

In deep space, a small prison transport ship cuts through the stars.

"You keep out of there, that's private stuff!" Barney shouts.

Joelin is at the ship's controls. Barney is sitting in one of the many chairs built into the sides of the ship. Marcus sits across from him, and Charisse stands before him.

"Enjoying Charisse's company?" Joelin asked.

"She's a mind reader! Joelin, I was only going to share my stash with you. Not her. Now she-she knows where it is and more! I don't like this woman, Joelin. I say we get rid of her at the next stop. What do you say?" Barney asked.

"No, we work together," Joelin replies.

"Don't worry about what I'm doing, Beany. I'm only finding out whether or not you're trustworthy," Charisse replies. Hearing her call him "Beany," Barney gives her a dirty look.

"Beany? Never heard you call anyone that before, Charisse. Prison changed you?" Joelin asked glancing over his shoulder at Charisse.

"Beany Barney is the nick name his fellow partners in crime used to call him before he got landed in jail," Charisse replies smiling at the enraged Barney. "Would you like me to tell them how you got that nickname?" Charisse asked.

Barney gives her an evil glare.

"My you're a sensitive one aren't you? I won't tell," she says softly.

Marcus chuckles.

"You find this funny, ya big lug?" Barney asked gleeming over at Marcus.

Pointing at Joelin and then Charisse. "You can move objects with your mind, and she can read minds. What's mister talkative do, try his best to make use of his?" Barney asked in a sarcastic voice.

Marcus gets an angry look on his face.

"I wouldn't provoke him if I were you, Beany. He may not talk much but he can be very good at expressing himself," Charisse warns.

"In what, miming?" Barney asked with a chuckle.

Marcus gets up and stands before Barney in an angry manner.

"He's as strong as ten men and he feels no pain. Want to continue provoking him?" Joelin asked.

Barney gets a look on his face like he's been put in his place. "No no, I'd never think to do anything of the sort from now on," Barney replies glancing up at Marcus.

In the shuttle, Buck half turned to Kaleel, holding on to the driver's seat with one hand. With the other, he's pointing out the window in the front of the ship towards the sun that has gone supernova.

"That isn't a test of your people's faith, Kaleel! That's a star, one of countless many others! With many of them having planets revolve around them! Your star, your sun is dying and with it your planet," Buck explains.

Osjewelco looks very calm and relaxed, while Kaleel looks enraged.

"Our makers, Soil, Water, Wind would never betray us. My home is the makers of its denizens, and all who share it that come from it are its providers! THIS fiery ball that lives in the darkness means nothing to us!" Kaleel shouts trying to hide his fear.

"Kaleel, please listen to him, we're dying," Osjewelco says.

"You are tainted, your words mean nothing to me," Kaleel replies with anger.

"I haven't thought like you or the others for some time. True, the ones dressed in Sanopp's blood did horrible things to us long ago. But that was long ago. The great carvings scriptured in Soil's hardened body have faded by Wind's hand in the ages since they brought terrors to our people. Wind took away writings we once held dear and should still, but they are no more. Over the ages it's people like you who through the ages have been taught what was on the scriptured carvings, to replace what Wind took away. Maybe Wind took away the carvings for a reason. Maybe we didn't come to be as we've been bought up to believe we have," Osjewelco replies.

"Wind may be one of our makers. But Wind is also a trickster, sounding to us falsely to make us move when we hear a storm. Wind took away the carvings to make us listen more to him than his brothers. It's people like me who know all of what the Scriptures say, and not just Wind's word," Kaleel shouts.

"Kaleel, have you ever stopped to think the other gods might be in on this too?" Osjewelco asked.

"Blasphemer!" Kaleel shouted turning his head away from her.

"I think there's more to the skies than what you see in it!" Osjewelco points towards Buck and Taindair. "Have they tried to hurt us? No, but according to you and those who came before you! We should be dead by now, by their hands! Doesn't this fact mean anything to you!" Osjewelco asked.

"Osjewelco, they haven't killed us! But I'm sure they have an agenda to do something evil to us!" Kaleel replied with fear in his voice.

Osjewelco looks directly at Kaleel. "And just what do you think that is exactly?!" she asked.

"It's nothing evil, we just thought that if a high ranking member of the community you live in. Was shown that Taindair and I have been speaking the truth. Then maybe he could convince his followers to follow us to safer ground," Buck said.

"You see, Kaleel, they don't plan on doing anything of an evil nature to us! In fact they need your help to help us!" Osjewelco said looking at Kaleel.

Kaleel is silent in thought for a moment. "Head us back home. I need to present myself right to my people," Kaleel said softly.

"We may be leaving our gods behind for this, but they will always be with us," Osjewelco says.

"You've done the right thing. Your people will thank you for this," Buck replies.

After a moment Kaleel quietly starts moving around. Opening up cabinets built into the walls of the ship, moving round their unseen contents. He looks in deep concentration to find whatever it is he's looking for.

"What are you looking for?" Osjewelco asked.

Kaleel doesn't answer as he continues his search.

"One of Sanopp? Tainted one? What could he be looking for?" Osjewelco asked turning to Buck.

Taindair looks back to the pair. "My name's Taindair Toluo and his name's Buck Rogers. Is there something you require to comfort you, in this moment, for your new outlook on what's to come?" Taindair asked.

Still no answer as Kaleel continues about his activity.

"You're taking this well right? You're up to something good right?" Osjewelco asked.

Kaleel turns to her for a moment and gives her a glare during that time.

"Kaleel, what are you up to?" Osjewelco asked again.

Osjewelco is starting to look a bit worried. After a moment she gets up and goes over to Buck. "Buck, there's nothing on this chariot that's evil right?" Osjewelco asked with concern.

"Why do you ask that?" Buck asked.

"I think Kaleel doesn't plan to present himself in a good way to my people," Osjewelco replies glancing over at Kaleel.

Buck furrows his brow in thought, then a moment later he smiles. "No evil, we didn't come here with any weapons," Buck replies.

"Nothing of evil?" Osjewelco asked.

"Nothing of evil," Buck replied again with a smile.

"Clean excrement, nothing of evil! Osjewelco, once our people see that I have been slain by an instrument of your evil. No one will follow you to your so called "promised land"!" Kaleel shouted.

"Buck!" Osjewelco calls out.

"He didn't want us to bring any weapons to your world. And as the result of this - as he's told you before. There's nothing dangerous on board," Taindair replies.

After hearing those words from Taindair, Osjewelco turns her attention back to Kaleel. Who has just pulled out the carrier that Buck and Taindair had placed in there earlier. Carefully setting it down on to the floor of the ship. He then proceeds to open it up.

Kaleel's expression turns to one of shock.

"What is it?" Osjewelco asked.

"It's .. it's a Brillure, and it's.." Kaleel replied.

Osjewelco leans in to see it.

The little lobster-like animal moving about on transparent flakes of plastic, soaking in a thin layer of water. In one corner of the carrier is a glob of amphibian looking eggs.

"Only when they're most content," Osjewelco says smiling.

Kaleel is holding the carrier with Osjewelco bent over his shoulder. Buck starts walking towards them.

"Not observed for two hundred years. What could have made it ..?" Kaleel asked with a puzzled expression on his face.

"It trusts its surroundings as you should right now," Buck replied.

Kaleel closes his eyes in thought.

"And all who share it are our providers. I think the Brillure is trying to say something to you," Osjewelco said softly placing her hand on Kaleel's shoulder.

With his eyes still closed. "So it is, Osjewelco. So it is," Kaleel replies softly.

Chapter 4

At the gate of the prison, Kellogg, Charisse, Marcus, Joelin, and Thairact stand at the entrance to the prison that up until moments ago held Kellogg and Thairact. They're looking inward towards the prison. Its courtyard is strewn with the bodies of humans and robots. Along with debris of various sizes from multiple objects. It's nighttime and the only light in is from the lampposts that surround the prison.

"It's amazing what we can all do when we work together again as a team," Kellogg said with a smile.

"Force fields and gadgets to make us fall in line. Did they really think they could hold us captive forever?" Thairact asked with a grin.

"Feel like thanking anyone for this?" Joelin asked glancing around at the others.

"Not yet, Joelin." Kellogg hesitated for a moment. "Our little friend?" Kellogg asked.

"Oh that little rat? I don't think he's any sort of problem to us," Joelin replied.

"I wouldn't be so sure about that," Charisse said with a smug look on her face.

On the prison transport vessel Barney is sitting in the pilot's seat, feet propped up on the dashboard whistling some nonsensical tune. He's happily picking his way through a wallet that didn't belong to him, until he notices the five coming towards the ship. Quickly he takes his feet off the dash and stows the wallet in one of his pockets. Jumps out of the chair and makes his way over to the closed entranceway. Barney, looks nervous for a moment. Then a look of realization crosses his face. He reaches into one of his pockets and takes out a chip-like key and swipes it in a slot by the door. The door opens up and standing within its airlock are the five.

"So good you could open the door for us," Joelin said as he entered.

"I saw you coming," Barney replied cheerfully.

"We knew that," Charisse replies as she and the other enter the ship.

After the five entered the ship Barney extends a friendly hand to Thairact.

"Hi, name's Barney, glad to meet .." Barney started to say but was cut short.

Speaking in a low voice. "It would be very wise of you to return the wallet," Thairact said.

With a shocked look on his face. "You know about that?" Barney asked.

At the landing site Osjewelco and Buck are standing together. Buck has his hand around her shoulders. They're both looking up at the sky.

"I'm scared," Osjewelco said softly.

"It's all right to be scared. What's out there are many new dangers and wonders for you to explore. I was scared too when my whole world suddenly changed around me," Buck replied.

Osjewelco looks to Buck, who then looks to Osjewelco in turn.

"You've lost your whole world before too?" Osjewelco asked.

"I have, but I've accepted how my life has changed because of it. As alien as this all must seem to you now. I'm certain you'll adapt to your new life out there," Buck said with a smile.

Osjewelco looks at Buck for a few moments longer. Then gives him a peck on the cheek. She turns and takes one last good look at her home and heading off for the shuttle. Taindair is standing by the shuttle helping lead the town's folk into it.

Sitting in space is the Prison Transport. Inside the five are having a meeting among themselves. Talking in low, hushed voices. Barney, who's sitting cross-legged on the floor. Annoyed he's not with the others.

"Can I?" Barney asked.

Charisse gives him a look then turns her attention back to her teammates as they continue talking.Then Kellogg stands up and walks over to him speaking in a calm, polite voice,

"We need to talk," Kellogg said.

Barney gets up. "About what? That mind reader you deal with, she doesn't like me and I don't know why. I'm a good person, Kellogg. I know I could help you guys," Barney said.

"You're good guy. Could you keep your voice down?" Kellogg asked.

Suddenly looking sheepish and speaking soft and low. "Yea, I'm the very kind of person that could help you," Barney replies in a low voice.

"As for the matter of you joining us. I'd like to speak to you more alone, in a more private place," Kellogg said.

Still speaking in a low voice. "The bathroom?" Barney asked.

"No, not in the bathroom. A place more tasteful, the airlock," Kellogg replied.

Kellogg and Barney walks over to the airlock and Kellogg motions for Barney to enter. Barney enters but Kellogg doesn't follow him in.

Barney motions for Kellogg to come into the airlock with him, but he doesn't.

"Why not? You said you wanted to talk to me in here," Barney replied.

"You wait in here, I'll be back in a moment. Got to have a word with the rest of the League first," Kellogg replied.

Barney gives a smile and a goodbye wave to Kellogg. Kellogg shuts the airlock door on Barney. In the airlock Barney is giving himself a look over, looking pleased with himself. As he does this he grooms his clothes. Brushing at his pants with his hands and trying to make his shirt look nice and neat.

Kellogg stands before the rest of his companions. Pointing backwards to the airlock behind him.

"Joelin, could you have found anyone more gullible?" Kellogg asked.

Inside the airlock Barney is still grooming himself. He glances up and sees Kellogg outside of the airlock. Kellogg smiles and hits the control panel keys. With in seconds Barney disappears.

After Kellogg hit the close key on the panel he turns and walks towards the rest of the group.

"You all understand why that had to be done, correct?" Kellogg asked as he gives an inquisitive look that no one answers to.

A moment later he starts slowly moving up to them.

"He was a con. True, that's what we all are. But he was a con artist, a fraud. We don't need to have any more fakes among us," Kellogg said.

Charisse looks ashamed of herself.

"Now I know your telepathic abilities aren't what they used to be. But you've served the League well for as long as you've been in it," Kellogg said looking at Clarisse.

"It's because you've been so good to us that I'm not going to get rid of you. However it's because of your lack of mental prowess. That you won't be with the others and myself when we take out our revenge on the one who landed us in prison ...Captain Buck Rogers."

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