Chapter 1
The Beginning. The End.
Another Goodbye
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:: Corridor, USS Isannah

Jesa walked back slowly. The energy which propelled her hasty departure to the Starbase was now completely gone upon her return. And she still had to make it to dinner with Ethan later. She shook her head. 'Too much to think about, too much I don't want to think about.' She thought, not really paying much attention to where she was going.

Once she noticed one of the crewmembers stop and look at her. Jesa frowned; looking back at her almost like she was a specimen that was being watched. The crewmember averted her eyes and continued on. Trying to forget about it, Jesa continued about her business, allowing her thoughts to wander as much as her feet were doing in the corridors.

Then, someone else stopped, this time a man by the rank of Chief Petty Officer. She knew him; he usually worked in Transporter Room five. He looked at her for a moment, and opened his mouth to speak, but then upon seeing her looking at him, thought better of it and walked hurriedly on, like she had the plague or something, but he didn't want to give it away that she did.

Jesa's frown grew deeper, and she walked quicker to her... or rather, Buck's quarters, entering them quickly and then leaning against the closed doors. 'Why are they looking at me like that?' she asked herself silently. Just then a small noise grasped her attention. It was miniscule, almost too small to be heard so at first Jesa wondered if she really had heard something.

She crept silently into the darkened quarters, not calling for the lights. Her movements were silent, catlike in their stealth. There was no anxiety in her. For one who had lost everything, what had she to fear? Jesa looked around carefully then spotted a dark shadow in the corner. It stepped forward and spoke quietly. "I thought I could find you here."

"Computer, one quarter lights." She said. The light level increased slowly to the specified level, revealing the features of Commander Richards. His eyes, pale grey, and his pale skin normally made most people's skin crawl, however, Jesa hadn't been most people, and neither had Buck. Jesa suppressed the urge to gasp. "Richards!" she exclaimed "I was told you were gone..."

"I am, or... I soon will be, I mean." He said. Jesa breathed a deep sigh and slid into the seat of the chair, pulling her legs up to her chest. "I'm sorry, Richards, I'm not in the mood to set up an inquiry..." she said wearily, holding her head in her hands in a symbol of distress. She shook slightly, somehow the mask of confidence and leadership she wore, simply slipped from her being. Jesa looked like a little lost child, curled up away from the dangers of the world.

Richards looked at her sadly for a moment, he knew more than anyone how close they were. Buck had confided in him several times, and Jesa even took his place as XO, when she was reassigned with most of the Isannah crew to the Madrid; he stayed behind to command the Isannah, with a whole new crew. Walking across the room, Richards lifted a blanket from the couch, then wrapped it around Jesa, completing the motion by sitting on the edge of the couch closest to her.

She sighed deeply. "Thanks." It was all she could say, everything else seemed to difficult at that moment. She could feel the apathy slipping over her, its silent fingers clutching at her being. But she couldn't stop it. Richards leaned forward, resting his elbows on his knees and rubbing his hands together gently. "I'm leaving, Jesa."

"Tell me something I don't already know." she said bitterly, then went silent. "Sorry." A silence lingered for a few moments. "I'm glad you're okay..." she offered quietly. "I hope I did... what I should have, in your absence from the chair."

"Hm?" He looked up, and then realized what she had said. "Oh... Jesa, you did fine..."

'No I didn't, if I did... Buck would still be here.' She bit back the thought as a tear slid down her cheek. She wiped it away angrily, hiding it behind the edge of the blanket. She would not cry! Not in front of him! He stayed silent for the longest time, immersed in so many conflicting thoughts; so she asked the predictable question. "Why are you leaving?"

"I... can't tell you the whole story. But there is trouble back home, on my planet, and my family is deeply involved. I must help." He explained, looking at her, there was something else he wanted to say, but couldn't bring himself to say it.

"I see." Jesa said, telling more than anyone could have guessed in those two words. They were bitter, saying that she understood, but she wasn't at all happy with the turn of events. Luke Richards had been the closest thing she had to a friend outside of Buck, and now he was abandoning her too.

He reached over and touched her arm gently. "I wanted you to know that I'm so very sorry about what happened to Buck. If I could---" he began, and she cut him off angrily. "Yes, you're sorry, EVERYONE is sorry. The whole SHIP is sorry. But it doesn't change the fact he's gone, does it!? It doesn't change the fact that my heart is completely destroyed... and it doesn't change the fact that you're leaving. Sorry doesn't matter... it only makes it worse."

Jesa trailed off, pinching her eyes shut tight so as not to burst out into tears then and there. Richards fell silent; her words really did hurt him. He spoke again, not reaching out to her this time. "I know you're angry, Jesa... but I can't leave my family back home. They need me." His words were meant to be soothing, caring, and they were, but somehow they just cut her deeper.

When she spoke, her voice was quiet and teary sounding. "I need Buck, but he didn't stay." She wrapped her arms tighter around herself, squeezing her eyes shut against tears.

His face grew sadder; there wasn't anything he could say to that. He reached out and touched her arm again, as she cried softly, her face hidden from view. "Jesa..." he began.

"Go, just go... I understand... but just go..." she said, her voice quivering. Her body shook beneath the blanket. He looked sadly at her, then stood, removing his hand from her. Quietly he walked to the door then looked back to the huddled figure in the chair. His face was sad, and he shook his head slightly, leaving the room slowly.

As soon as the doors slid shut, she regretted her words with as much feeling as she could muster beyond the hurt. This was probably the last time she'd see him again, and she not only hadn't spoke to him, she had wounded him and sent him away. She lowered the edge of the blanket and looked at the door. 'It's too late now...' Jesa thought, that simple contemplation enough to send her back into tears. 'Everything is too late...' she couldn't help it, it was the way she felt. It was like everything was sent into absolute chaos and destruction.

Loaded: 03.10.2004

¤ Reload Frames ¤

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