Post New Generation
While Rook and Rand finally take the next step in their relationship, Scott and Marlene must face the challenges of becoming parents.
Rick Hunter, Lisa Hayes Hunter and Dr. Emil Lang must deal with a critical situation in which scientific interest and xenophobic feelings endanger the life of the half human, half invid baby.
Scott opened his eyes lazily and blinked trying to adjust to the morning light that flooded his quarters. Amidst hazy thoughts, he distinguished memories of the previous night. He dreamed that Marlene had returned to him. It didn't take long for him to face reality, though. A simple turn of his head had him facing her, laying asleep peacefully on his bed.
Happiness, nervousness, relief and love. He felt many emotions at once. Although he had doubted she would ever want to see him again, she traveled from the far end of the universe to find him.
Before the Regiss took her away, they had shared a deep mental connection. They saw deep inside each other's heart and he felt she had forgiven him. This was a new beginning and he set all his will on not wasting it stupidly.
Fatherhood seemed an overwhelming yet promising prospect. A longing to hold the woman he loved invaded him. Only, caring he might disturb her rest, he stopped short of it. As a future mother, she needed sleep, lots of it.
The Captain's thoughts drifted. Images of his son growing up filled his mind: his first smile, his first steps, the first time he would call him dad. Every detail would be so unique and important. Without noticing it, he was smiling broadly. Then, however, dark thoughts replaced his reverie.
He had seen children of Zentraedi, Tirolean, Triumvirate clone and human mixes. Those races shared similar genetic structures and there hasn't been any significant complications for mothers or babies, either at birth or afterwards. Only, the Invid were different. His son would be unlike any baby he ever knew of.
A swirl of questions took over his attention. What if things went wrong? What if his baby didn't look human at all? Would Marlene lay an egg... or something?! He gulped. What the hell was he thinking! He frowned, mad at himself.
He left the bed as carefully as his current state of mind allowed him. After splashing his face with ice-cold water, he managed to calm down his crazy thoughts. Mechanically, he dried the drops that covered his forehead and cheeks.
The bathroom's door hissed lowly as it sled open for him. He watched Marlene on the bed. She seemed fragile and unaware of any danger as she rested.
An unwanted chill traveled through him as he fought uncertainty and fear. Who would be able to assist her during her pregnancy and at birth? Would anyone know what to do? Moreover, who could be trusted to know about their son's origins?
Marlene stirred faintly. She moved her arm reaching for Scott, but his side of the bed was empty. After a sleepy yawn, she opened her eyes and saw him walking toward her. By the time she focused on his face, his worried frown had vanished.
"Hi" he said smiling and leaned over to kiss her good morning.
As the wind caressed her face, the blond woman remembered warmly the time when they has first traveled together. It had been the time when Rand and her fell in love the deepest.
After the loss of two of their closest friends, Rand and Rook decided it was time they traveled again. The morning following Lancer's departure, they said good-bye to Lunk and Annie, promised the disheartened teenager they would keep in contact and took the road on their cyclones.
They had been traveling for a few days. At the moment, he was guiding her to a place he had found on a small excursion he took alone. They reached an area atop of a small hill. He suggested taking a break and brought her to rest next to him on the grass. The evening was warm. Like in the good old times, they watched the sunset and waited for the dark sky to cover them.
"Nice spot you found," she told him looking at the stars.
"Glad you like it, Rook," he replied turning his head so he could see her. She sat up and stretched, opening her arms wide, then supported her weight on her hands, leaning backwards slightly. He sprung his torso upwards and crossed his legs in front of him. As if unsure of something, he gave her an intent look.
"What is it, Rand?" she inquired noticing his expression.
"I know this is not the best time... With what happened and all... But I don't want to wait any longer..." He hesitated to continue disconcerting Rook; then, without taking his eyes from her, he added simply, "will you marry me?"
Taking her silence as a bad sign, Rand got nervous. "If you don't want to, I'll understand," he said hiding his disappointment. Then, instead of answering Rook pulled him close to her and searched for his lips.
"I will," she said before they kissed.
"Yay!" chirped Annie as soon as she heard the news. Rook was on the phone, calling from a small town where her and Rand had settled in.
"What's going on?" asked Lunk intrigued by the teenager's sudden burst of happiness. She had been dispirited ever since the Invid incident at New Liberty.
"It's Rook, her and Rand are getting married!" she replied excitedly wagging the phone. "We have to get over... Uhhh... Hold on," she paused forgetting the name of the place her friends where at. "What's the name of the town again, Rook?" she inquired over the phone. "Santa Fe, Lunk. We got to be there ASAP," she told him, grinning. "I'm Rook's maid of honor!"
Lunk nodded amused and watched Annie's happiness silently. He was thankful that at last there was some good news.
With the rhythmical humming of engines in the background, they traveled south following the coastline. Lancer felt a secret joy, the joy of having her exclusively for him, the joy of riding side by side, just the two of them.
It wasn't that he didn't miss his friends, in fact he did, deeply. He could not wait to see Marlene and congratulate her and Scott on the news; and of course, he wanted to be there for Rand and Rook. But the time he had with his wife in the forest, after she miraculously returned to him, that time, he would cherish for life.
Sera and her sister had escaped the Invid and returned to Earth. From his wife, Lancer learned that Marlene confronted the mother and somehow forced her to release them. Sera didn't know exactly why the Regiss bent to Marlene's wishes -half conscious, as she was when it occurred- but she did remember it had something to do with the baby and that she had sensed a hint of fear in the collective Invid mind. After the sisters left, their link to their species was severed.
The singer couldn't picture the gentle Marlene he knew forcing the powerful Invid Regiss into submission -in fact, forcing no one... Well, maybe a certain Captain- but Sera's presence was proof, she had.
A mangled and rusty sign carelessly dumped on one side of the road caught his eye. Wanting to take a closer look, he pressed on the brakes and forced the speedy race of his bike to a halt. "Bienvenidos a Santa Fe," read the once pristine white letters over the weathered metallic panel. The city ought to be close ahead.
After a few minutes, he saw it. "This is it," he announced, removing his helmet. Sera followed suit letting a cascade of lustrous light green hair wave freely in the air. They smiled despite the tiredness apparent on their faces. It wasn't just the natural exhaustion from another long day spent under the blazing sun, but something deeper. Living as fugitives had taken its toll on them, they longed for a place where they wouldn't have to hide anymore.
A tabloid reporter had finally pieced the puzzle together and denounced the famous Lancer Belmont's wife Sera was a humanoid Invid. He was away in a secluded forest brewing coffee and planning to go after her when it happened. But then, against all odds, Sera returned. They did nothing but catch up with each other for the following days.
When he finally contacted his personal assistant, she tipped him on the brewing scandal and, after reporting on the state of his finances, she resigned.
"Invid Spy Shares Rock Star's Bed," read the title of the infamous piece and was followed by file photos of them at happier times intertwined with gruesome shots of green-bloodied captured Invid.
After that, they couldn't return home to New York where hate for the Invid ran rampant. They had to keep a low profile with limited access to their assets. Fortunately they both weren't the kind who get attached to material possessions.
Lancer wasn't bothered by the nature of this rough new beginning, perhaps it would do him some good. He had been haunted by the image of his gun on Sera's temple and her fragile hand pressing the trigger. He needed to forget. Perhaps away from New York and their past life he would be able to. At least he had one thing to thank the Regiss for. She had snatched Sera from him, just before the alien princess had a chance of doing it herself, irrevocably.
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