Yamato: The New Adventure - Episode 6

Episode 6 of 7 of a mini series type format.


5. part 5

“Damn, when are they going to show up?” Major Miller thought, as he tried to contain a yawn and over-watch of his target.



     “…It looks like I have been reactivated to duty, assigned to a new mission and heading out into space on a classified project. I probably will see you soon babe, if the mission is as it sounds. It seems like it is a suicide mission.” Seth said, and he paused, fighting back the pain of heartache in his chest. It pounded like a piston engine in his chest, and he could hear the blood in his ears.



     “You would never believe how much Earth has changed. We made it almost two hundred and five years past the end date of the project, making it into the twenty-third century now. Earth seems to have had advanced so much and I wish you were here with me. It's no fun to share this alone.” He shuddered with the brisk sea breeze and glanced to the surroundings.



     “Whatever happens, I may see you soon, and wherever I go and do, I still will always love you.”



     From his jacket, he withdrew a long stemmed red rose with a shaking hand, and placed it at the foot of her tombstone. He placed the rose on the ground, on her grave. He then placed his fingers to his lips, kissing and then placing them on the cold stone mouth of the granite face carved on the tombstone. Behind him, Marla had backed off and walked toward the other graves under the obelisk and the statue. Seth and his companion did not sense the surviving Yamato crewmembers arriving at the memorial, coming here before every mission into space. The Major of the future saw the rose, and he nodded his head, smiling.



     “Just like Seth.” He thought, “A gentleman.” He turned his head, peering through the scope as he saw others arriving at the memorial.



     “Shit.” The Major murmured, “It’s time.” He had glanced at his chronometer on his wrist, and confirmed the time. In exactly twenty minutes, all hell would break loose here at the memorial. He prepared himself, already mining the memorial with claymores set for robotic entities and now his mission was clear.



     As always, the Yamato crew gathered here to pay their respects to their friends lost aboard ship and always coming here to visit before a mission or when they needed inspiration. Together they walked clustered in a small group, toward the memorial, and the group that made up the Yamato crew had not been expecting Major Aguilera to be here or the young Sergeant with him. As usual they had been laughing, joking and carrying on as they crested the hill, their voices and footsteps echoing off of the granite pillar in the center of the memorial. When they saw Seth and the young Sergeant, however, they stopped and glanced at each other, before walking forward toward them.



     The group consisted of Stephen Sandor, Derick Wildstar, Nova Forrester-Wildstar his wife, Dash Jordan, who arrived from Mars, Thomas Orion, Christopher Eager, Homer Glitchman, Cory Conroy, Chief Toragawa, Angie Stethem, and Mitty Mc Donald. They were all confused by the single officer's presence at first, but suddenly realized what he was doing. The Yamato crew remembered, practically never forgot, when Thomas Orion had been here tending his father's grave, doing the same thing.



     “Who is that?” asked Derick, exchanging a look with Nova, who managed to shrug. The group stared at the officer, the dark hair, bearded face, and dark eyes. Nova had not recognized him as they had walked up to the memorial or the young enlisted woman who panned a look at the Yamato graves in stunned silence. Mitty turned her head, smiling broadly when she recognized the newly appointed Major and the Sergeant who had guided him through the city.



     “Whoever he is, he's quite handsome.” Nova commented, suddenly grimacing when she recognized the young man from the past. He had been the one, whom she had been introduced to, before a funeral at Hero's Hill, a few months ago after he was awakened from stasis. She also cast a look at Sergeant McGivers who stood in front of the Yamato graves.  She turned, snapping to attention.



     “Attention on deck!” She shouted and Seth looked up at the group from the graves where he had been kneeling in silent prayer. Derick, who led the group, took a step toward the officer.  He nodded to the Major who stood several feet from the graves that were located under the obelisk and statue of Avatar. Here, he turned his head and acknowledged the young Sergeant with him. She saluted sharply. Nathaniel nearby got a glimpse of the Cybertron in the bushes, and took aim.



     “I see you…” He murmured, “Time to play.”



     “Carry on.” Nova told her sharply, “Relax it's a social call here.”



     “Nice to see you again… Lieutenant Aguilera!” Wildstar called out sharply as Seth approached the duo. Derick saw the gold oak leaf on his collar.



“Excuse me, Major.” Nova smiled, as she stood beside him.



     “Oh, Hey Chief… How's it going? Good Afternoon Commander McDonald… and Captain… uh… Have we met miss?”



     “Stethem.” Angie replied, “Angie Stethem… You must be Seth, nice to meet you, finally at last.”  



     “A pleasure young Captain,” Seth said, taking her hand and bowing kissing her hand gently.



     “May I present Sergeant Marla McGivers. My intrepid young guide.” The young sergeant smiled at Seth.  



     “It is nice to meet you Sergeant,” Derick told her, “First time to the memorial?” The young woman nodded slightly.



     “I never thought I would see the graves for the Yamato crew in person. I read about your exploits in school and I never thought I would meet anyone from the Yamato.” She replied, “It is an honor to meet you all.”



     “So Seth, you were promoted today, according to Commander McDonald, Congratulations.” Nova said, and murmured congratulations rounded the group.



     “I just was reactivated today.” Seth replied casually, “I am assigned to a combat group that is going to Aquarius. General Singleton is eager to get this group formed, briefed and dispatched to the water planet without delay.”



     “Yes, he is very much so.” Mitty said casually, “Funny Captain Stethem and I received a message saying that there was a point of great of need we are here at the memorial, but I surely don’t see it. If there is no reason to be here, we need to return to Headquarters.”



     “Come on Commander, Stay.” Sandor said, “Join us please.”



     “You are welcome Commander, Captain.” Derick said, “Anyone is welcome to celebrate and remember the sacrifices of Earth.”



     “Thank you all for your invitation.” Mitty said, “But this is sort of interfering with my duties.” Angie nodded in agreement.



     “So Seth, what about your friends…” Nova asked, “Are they going on your combat assignment to Aquarius?”



     “No. Only Sergeant Major Parry, myself, and a small group of Marines will be going. The rest will stay here on Earth.” However, before Seth could reply further, a voice interrupted them. Nearby in the bushes, the Major from the future kept a sharp eye on the Cybertron who was gathering here at the memorial. Time was clicking down and about to change.



     “I’ll take them when Seth charges the guns to protect Nova.” He thought, and his finger found the trigger. He put his thumb on the safety. He was ready for instant action. 



     “Ah so you have come!” Sane said, and Homer was first to turn his head as Doctor Sane arrived at the memorial. A big smile appeared on his face, and the same smiles appeared on everyone's faces as he approached. The doctor arrived with two young women, holding onto his arms on both sides. Seth recognized them to be the two of the members of the stasis crew. The young Major smiled broadly, as a ripple of laughter sprinkled through their group.



     “Just like Doctor Sane to make an entrance with beautiful ladies on each arm.” Homer commented and laughter cycled through the group. Amy and Melinda colored slightly as they met everyone's gaze and smiled largely when they met Seth's smiling face. Both of the young women broke from the Doctor's arms, and rushed toward him. Amy embraced Seth first and then Melinda followed suit. Both of them kissed the young Major on the cheeks and he blushed. Amanda embraced Seth as well. Manual backslapped him. Doctor Sane was shaking his head. There were questioning looks by all hands, as they watched a touching reunion of old friends.



     In the bushes, Major Miller from the future, watched the reunion of the Yamato crew in placid interest, but he stayed on high alert, as he also noted the stasis crew and the reunion of old friends that was about to happen between Angie, Melinda and Amy. He watched old friends of Bellbrook who had not seen each other in a very long time. Not since they were together in school back east when he was there with them.  He smiled as the stasis members ran toward Seth.



     “Damn. You win a few and you lose a few.” Sane exclaimed, and the Yamato group heard him, laughing loudly as they clustered around him, greeting their fellow shipmate warmly.



     The Yamato members glanced several times at the young women, Seth's friends. They had been in the arms of the doctor and behind them had been the other two, a red haired young woman and young man. Doctor Sane smiled as Mitty told them of Seth's promotion and the important assignment he would be taking on. The Yamato crew had gasped, glancing at Seth in surprise. Sane had been surprised by Angie’s presence, and had walked up beside her.



     “I thought you weren’t supposed to be here.” He whispered, “Not yet, at least.”



     “I had a dispatch inviting us here, Doc.” She replied, “Of matter of great urgency.”



     “A matter of great urgency?” Sane repeated, and she nodded. “I have no idea or know who sent something from this group like that but it wasn’t from here.”



 “Strange, the dispatch was just a reminder and invitation to celebrate the remembrance of the Yamato crew and the stasis crew today.” Angie replied, “Mitty got one too, but I am glad you guys asked. I appreciate the gesture and the break in the monotony.”



     “Now I know for a fact I didn’t send that, or the others.” Sane whispered, “I think someone has just pulled your leg or something Miss Stethem.”



     Sane turned his head, frowning and he shook his head, making Angie gasp. The young woman cast an uneasy glance around the memorial. There was another possibility… It was a trap!



“Sweet Jesus, it might be a trap by you being brought here… Is Nathaniel coming over here from the docks?” Sane whispered and this time Angie shrugged.


     “We’d better inform Commander Mc Donald, QUIETLY.” Sane suggested. Together they walked casually toward the Commander who was talking with the Wildstars and Sandor in a small group. They relayed the information to Mitty. The Commander turned and stared at Angie in disbelief, and muttered a curse as she grabbed her radio from her bag.  



As for the stasis group, they clustered around Seth and their voices of question assaulted him from both sides, catching up on the old times they shared together. They told him what happened in the debriefing and everyone given the choice to join the Earth Defense Force.



     He stared at his friends warmly. Melinda and Amy sported new ranking on their collars. Melinda wore a single bar on their collar, marking her as a First Lieutenant and wearing the green and gray of the EDC Armed Forces. Amy sported double bars on her collar marking her as a Lieutenant for the Space Corps, clad in the unfamiliar blue and dark blue trimmed uniform. Amanda wore a gold bar on her collar with two red spots, marking her as a Warrant Officer One and Seth noted that Manual did not seem to have a promotion. He did not know that Manual had turned one down to become a Warrant Officer. They had given him two more stripes, marking him as a Sergeant Major. The Major of the future, adjusted the disk on a stand nearby, and continued to listen in. He was waiting for the key point that he would change, and pitch in, staying out of sight.



     “Well they activated me too.” Seth said, “I know what went on.”



     “Well this is the future then?” Melinda asked, “We are really two hundred years past our time?” Major Aguilera shot her a look, but nodded slightly.



     “How the hell did we get here?” Questions rippled about the young man, who tried to answer each of them with what he knew, which was not much. Only thing he told them was what he had been told. Seth had been working with the technical people who had been examining the chambers, and he knew it would be no use to tell them what they already knew. He remained silent instead, contemplating the answer.



“It was a glitch, a fluke.” He said finally, “I am guessing that something must have happened, and we were not taken out of stasis.”



     “That's no answer Seth and you know it.” Amanda shot back sarcastically.



     “I really have no idea what and how this happened.” Seth grumbled, “But you asked.”  There was an uncomfortable silence.



     Melinda, standing beside her, decided to change the subject, seeing the anger in her friend's eyes as they jabbed back and forth with their unruly banter and flaring tempers. The young woman could see this was getting out of hand and decided to be a peacemaker.



     “So this is where everyone is buried?” asked Melinda, turning to pan a silent glance across the memorial. “We saw this on TV. I did not know it such a large place.”



     “You saw all of that?” asked Seth and they all smiled.



     “It was very sweet what you did for everyone.” Melinda told him, and managed a smile. Amy turned her head, nodding slightly as did Manual and Amanda.



     “…Well I have an announcement and it is official.” Wildstar shouted, “I'm going to be a father!” He said and a cheer echoed through the Yamato group. Nova blushed very deeply as he held her around the waist. Congratulations circulated through the group.



Sane had turned when he overheard the announcement. Mitty laughed and stayed in the middle of the large group as much as possible. She had a communications device with her, and she called for a Marine detachment to be deployed to the memorial at once.



     “What!” He asked, gasping as he walked toward them.



     “You are!?” Sane shouted shrilly and Nova nodded.



     “The Mars doctor sent the records.” Nova said, “Your office has them by now!” There was laughter and cheers. The stasis group looked on in confused silence. They were together in a small group and talking quietly among themselves. Sane of course, broke briefly away from the group and stood in front of the statue of Avatar to stare up at it. He nodded, before he turned, as if the statue spoke to him.



     “Star force! Fall in!” He shouted and the Yamato crew gathered at the graves quickly. Commander Mc Donald and Captain Stethem joined he ranks quickly, even though they were not a part of the Star Force.   



     The stasis group stood nearby as the remaining Yamato crew fell into neat ranks. Sane turned to the stasis crew, who stood nearby.



     “You guys too. Don't be strangers we are honoring your friends too.” Manual motioned to his friends and they took up a position on the side of the Yamato crew, making up an L-shaped formation. Nova looked around for the young Major, and saw he was nowhere to be found.  He had wandered off to the sea and stood alone staring out at the blue water, feeling the stiff wind that hit his face. He turned to sprint back to the formation. He nodded to Sergeant Mc Givers who hung back and motioned her to join in.



     “Crew Atten-hut!” Seth shouted and the stasis crew listlessly snapped to attention.



     The Doctor glanced at him, as did the others. “Once again we have gathered here, and honor you Captain Avatar and those who lay to rest here in the name of peace. We honor you, the one hundred and fifty-six of the Yamato crew who lay here at rest. Also the seven from the stasis project, whose deaths will never be in vain, and as you and they will live forever, and shall be remembered forever. Pray for the swift response of Yamato. Pray for the quick response of stasis crew two-fourteen.” The stasis crew turned and stared at Sane. Each member of the two groups stared at the graves and remembered their friends.



     “Okay. Bring them on.” Major Miller murmured, as he watched the entire exchange.



     “Prayer finished.” Sane shouted, “Salute!” Stiffly the members of the stasis crew raised their hands in salute, the old-fashioned one compared to the salute across the chest as the Yamato crew had done. They held the salute, each one remembering their respective groups and their time together as comrades in arms.



     “Return Salute!” Sane bellowed and they all dropped their hands in unison.



Afterward, the crew of both worlds broke off into small parties where cups distributed among them and Avatar's spring water freely poured. Here they also included the stasis crew, treating them as they would fellow crew aboard ship. They sat in silence as the stories flowed from the Yamato crew and joined in uncertainly at the laughter and banter. They were trying to be polite, and try to fit in, as this was now a long stretch ahead of them. They had accepted service over release, having nowhere to go in this century.



     As Melinda and Amy sat together with Manual, Amanda and the young Sergeant Mc Givers, they sat talking with among themselves and the Yamato crew. Melinda had eyed the young woman with Commander McDonald in wonder. The young woman looked very familiar to her. Here she nudged Amy.



     “Doesn’t that look like Angie Stethem who was with us at Bellbrook?”  Melinda asked suddenly and Amy shook her head, turning to look at the dark blond haired woman in silence.



     “Yea, but that can’t be. She’d be long dead by now.” Amy replied.



     “I know, but the resemblance is too uncanny.” She replied, “I wonder.”



Melinda stood up, walking a few steps to stand over Angie. She waited until the blond woman turned her head and was looking up at her from where she was seated with the Yamato crew members and the youthful Commander whom she had been shadowing at Headquarters since her awakening at stasis a year ago. They had given her Captain, as thanks for her service. Even though she was really attached to the Earth Defense Forces but wore the familiar uniform of the Space Corps.



    “Uh… I have been meaning to ask you… are you Angie Stethem?” She asked, “Is that you Angie?”



Angie turned her head, “Huh?”



     Melinda repeated the question and Angie stared at the dark skinned woman for a long time, and then to the ash-blond woman who had joined her at her side. She was puzzled at first who it was who had asked her by her name, and shaking her head, the faces finally clicked, as they had over two hundred years ago in another place. She let out a gasp that if any louder could have echoed across the whole memorial. Tears formed in her eyes as she slowly rose to her feet, staring at a pair of people she had not seen in a very long time, not since school. She smiled, tears in her eyes, as she also nodded affirmatively.



     “Melinda Morris? Amy Pantstingle?” She gasped, and they nodded. “I don’t believe it! Is that you? You were in stasis too? I only heard rumors. I can’t believe you are here!” She warmly embraced the two women as she stepped back, the old banter between them going a mile a minute between them as they talked with excitedly with each other. 



     “…Yea, we were with a second group, Seth here is the leader.” Melinda said, “Amanda and Manual here are also part of the group, we are only part of the few who made it though.”



     “So I heard.” Angie replied, they took a seat and as they began chatting informally, they were being shadowed by the Major from the future, but also by the Cybertron who had now been beamed to the memorial and were on station and waiting.



     Fifteen minutes elapsed and Seth sat alone nearby, staring out across at the sunset, the ocean, and the beginning of stars that now twinkled in the darkening sky. He sat listening to the thunder of the ocean that boomed in the distance, as waves struck the shore, making a fine cool mist swirl about him as he sat deep in thought. There was a party going on with the Yamato crew, and the stasis crew, his team welcomed without question to a new century from which they did not belong. The young officer did not partake too much, staying alone and stared off at the fading sunset as he felt the pain in his guts. His face carried a hard look, as the sting of the cold wind struck his face, and did not hear the Yamato crew tell the stories of their adventures in space.



 The young Major had not been blamed for their mishap or their jump in time. He had just preferred to be alone and wanted to prepare himself for the mission at hand ahead of him. Angie and the others caught up on old times, glad to see each other after a very long time, totally unaware of both projects that had been kept secret from each other. She did not dare mention Nathaniel who was at his ship, the Heavy Cruiser, S.S. Kosheo located at the Dry Docks here on Earth.



     “Excuse me Major. Please come back and partake of the conversation.” A voice said, and a moment later, he felt a hand placed on his shoulders. Seth surprised by the presence, half-turning to regard Lieutenant Nova Wildstar standing over him.



     “I want to be alone. I just don't feel like being sociable right now Lieutenant, with apologies to your friends of course.” He replied dully, “But a nobler part of me lies there at those graves.” Nova glanced at the memorial in pain.



     “I know your pain, and understand.” She said quietly, “I lost a good man here on the last mission, Mark Venture. He was my first love as was she to you. He died protecting us all on Yamato, in the line of duty. Remember that, she died in the line of duty for your project.”



     “Even worse for Derick, myself and the others, that Avatar, who was as a father to us all had to die again. It was even after we thought him dead, coming home from our very first mission to Iscandar. You are not to blame for something that happened centuries ago, and because of something that was tend to malfunction. You are blameless, you should forgive those who left you there and forgive yourself…”



Seth nodded, “I know. I read about your exploits.” He replied, dully.



     “Then, we are the same, you and I. Your team and the Star force.” She continued, “What you need to do is to forgive yourself for what penance you feel you must face, also to just accept, remember them, and move on.”



     Nova paused, seeing his astonishment and then a look of bewilderment. “You can also dismiss their statements as crazed anger and shock of a loss.” She continued, making Seth grimace. He had also glanced up at her in surprise. She smiled and nodded before returning to the group. The young Major thought of her words:



     “Very wise,” He admitted gravely, “Now you need to just forgive yourself.”



     He watched Nova mingle back with the others and his gaze saw something on the other side of the memorial that caught his eye. A gleam of metal appeared from the bushes, near the party. Seth's gaze moved from the metal gleam, his gaze falling on Nova, then back to it. It went back and forth several times quickly, and he realized it was the barrel of a weapon.



     “Holy shit! A gun barrel,” Seth breathed, seeing a shadowy figure in the scrub bushes and with what appeared to be a rifle of some sort. The shooter was taking aim at the young wife of Derick Wildstar. 

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