Faced with the destruction of what had become a home for them, the colonists almost immediately began to repair and salvage any craft they could. Using the station's old communications unit, they broadcasted a distress call that they hoped someone, anyone would pick up.
Please, if anyone is listening, someone find us before its too late. Damon thought to himself as he finished up repairing the Megashipís damaged circuits. In hindsight, Damon silently cursed the fact that he hadn't rushed to repair the Megaship before, but it was too late to worry about such things now. They hadn't thought they'd be needing it so soon again, and so hadn't thought about repairing it. But now, their lives depended on whether or not he could finish the job. He had confidence in his co-workers abilities, however, and knew deep down they would do what it takes to get the ship repaired and operational.
"DECA, I'm going to test out your navigation systems now. I need to make sure all your navcharts are still present in your memory core."
"Proceed," came Decals cool voice. Damon tapped a few keys on the Megashipís main console, and a star pattern materialized on the screen next to him.
"What system is this?" He questioned. Many of the stars looked vaguely familiar.
"It is a chart of the stars in Mirinoiís galactic sector." The computer paused, then continued, "Estimate is that there are several planets capable of supporting human life forms." Damon almost jumped for joy. Now they wouldn't be flying blind, at least. Oh well, back to repairs. Can't waste any time, he thought. At this rate, he would be finished repairs within a day or two, however, there was not enough room on the Megaship for everyone from Terra Venture, Mirinoi and the former slaves.
"Well, Lieutenant Kyenin, how many ships do you feel we should deploy to investigate?" came the reply of his superior, Captain Korin.
"Uh-" he stuttered. "I believe two ships will be enough to deploy. It doesn't sound like they are a threat, but it could be a hoax. In which case, the rescue ship could use a backup." The young man could almost hear the nod of assent in his superiors voice as the reply came.
"Alright, Lieutenant. I want you to take the Chimera to the location of the signal, and have the Sunkeeper accompany you."
"Me?" the lieutenant asked, letting his surprise slip through the mask of professionalism he usually kept. Regaining his composure, he turned to the navigator. "Track the signal, and set a course, Lista," he ordered the Dreian woman. She nodded, her webbed fingers rapidly tapping calculations onto the keypad in front of her.
"Course laid in." she reported.
Kyenin glanced at the viewscreen as the ship accelerated and hit
My first real command, he mused, and already I'm part of a
operation. Not a bad day at all.
"Pretty darn good," assured the mechanic. "I've managed to get DEC A's star-charts online, it's only a matter of time before long range communications and full engine power is restored."
"Speaking of long range communications," spoke up someone from the crowd. "Has there been any response to the distress call?" Stanton shook his head sorrowfully.
"I'm afraid not. We're going to have to assume we're on our own for now,"
"What about using portal travel?" suggested a Mirinoian villager who had seen Maya's portal open back before the first time they'd been "attacked" by the transformer-stone. Jera shook his head.
"Only Rangers, or former Rangers, can use it safely, and even then, only with a clear destination in mind. There's no telling what could happen if they," and he swept an arm at the seven former Rangers, "tried to open a portal and ended up in the middle of nowhere, in space." The villager nodded, though he clearly didn't like it. It seemed like they were out of options.
"What was that?" Maya asked, startled. It came again.
"Attention, whoever sent...tress signa..we recei...are intercepting...will arr...two days time..Chi..era out." Kai quickly moved up to the old communications unit, and fiddled with the controls.
"This is the planet Mirinoi." He broadcasted on the frequency the incoming communication had originated from.
"Mirinoi, we are receiving," came the reply, much clearer this time. "This is Lieutenant Kyenin, in command of the Treaty ship Chimera. We intercepted your signal, and our ships will be orbiting your system within two days,"
A loud cheer erupted from all present as the news sunk in. They were saved!
Twelve hours later, on Chimera's bridge.
"Sir, we have a problem," Lista reported. "There's an ion storm up ahead, right on course."
"Can you change course to avoid it?" The Dreian shook her head.
"Impossible, it's too close. We'd still be caught in it." Her statement was proven true as the ship was rocked by a fierce blast. The crews of both ships continued to be knocked about for a few minutes before they passed out of range.
"Status report, Lista." Kyenin ordered.
"Communications are still functioning. Navcharts and engines are offline. Life support is nominal." Kyenin sighed. It looked like there would be a delay in rescuing the Mirinoians, after all.
"Are the navcharts salvageable?" He asked hopefully.
"Negative. They were completely erased by the ion storm interference."
A very long delay. "Contact the Mirinoians. Tell them of our...predicament." He sighed.
"And how long will that be?" she asked, trying to keep her voice from shaking. They had so little time left...
"A week at best." came the regretful voice at the other end of the communication. A week. We could all be turned to stone in a week, with no magic spells to free us this time. Maya realized. Suddenly glad she'd been the one assigned to monitoring the communicator for tonight, she knew what she had to do.
"Chimera, keep a communications link open. I'll be back in a few minutes," she said, then slipped out of the room. Once outside, she went in search of the other former Rangers. Within the promised few minutes, she'd gathered them in the conference room, around the communications unit. After the other Rangers were briefed on the rescue ship's situation, she outlined her plan.
"I'll open a portal to the alien ship, and take a hard copy of DECA's navcharts with me." She explained.
"No way, absolutely not." Leo shook his head adamantly. "Remember what Jera said? Without a frame of reference, we can't use the portals." He glanced at Kai, expecting his usually conservative friend to back him up.
"Actually.." Kai began. "Remember the Galactabeasts?" The others nodded. "Maya could 'hear' them call to her from a long distance. It's possible she could lock onto one of the members of the Chimera's crew and open a portal."
"But she didn't open a portal when she went to rescue the Galactabeasts!" Leo insisted, banging his hand on the table. "Damnit, Maya, you're eight months pregnant, you can't go hopping around the galaxy!"
"Leo," Maya said gently. "I know you're concerned about me, and the baby. But the fact remains that only I can hear things from a distance, and I'm the one most experienced in opening portals." She placed her hand atop his, which was still trembling. "I promise you, nothing bad will happen."
"Well," Leo mumbled grudgingly, "As long as you promise," Maya's face lit up with a smile and she kissed him firmly on the mouth, causing him to blush almost as red as his shirt when he remembered the others were watching. "Maaaya." he muttered, "We're in public."
"I know that," she whispered in his ear, grinning wickedly, though she pulled away, albeit reluctantly. "Now," she said, composing herself. "We've got a job to do. Damon, can you copy DECA's navcharts for me?" the former Green Ranger nodded, and Maya turned back to the communications unit. Switching it to the Chimera's frequency, she hailed them.
"Chimera here," acknowledged their leader.
"Chimera, we're going to attempt something. Keep an open communications channel, and most importantly, keep talking," stressed Kendrix. "In a minute or so someone from our planet will arrive through a portal. She'll be carrying navcharts for your database."
"Portal?" The alien commander sounded confused. "How is that possible?"
"It's...hard to explain." Mike said. "It's a way of travel that even we don't really understand. Like we said, just keep talking so she has something to centre herself on." Damon returned to the conference room, a hard copy of DECA's charts in his hand. He passed the small computer to Maya, who nodded her thanks.
Maya closed her eyes and focused on the voice coming through the small speaker. She cocked her head to the side and reached out. There... Very faint, almost undetectable. She listened harder, slowly tuning out the room around her as she focused on the bridge of the far away ship. Behind her, the air seemed to swirl and turn in on itself, until a whirling portal was formed. Maya stood up and walked through, leaving the portal to close behind her.
"I love you," Leo whispered to her retreating form.
"I'm Lieutenant Kyenin," he grinned. She smiled back, and he liked her instantly.
"If you'll direct me to your navigation console, I'll begin installing the new component." He pointed to Lista's console.
"That's Lista, my communications and navigation officer. Standing by the console is my head engineer Iris. If you'll give them the computer component, they should have it installed in under two hours," The two officers turned towards their visitor, and Maya handed Iris the new navcharts. "Do you want to talk to your friends?" Kyenin asked, gesturing at the communications console sitting next to navigation.
"That would be nice," Maya smiled. "Leo?" She asked tentatively into the voice transmitter.
"Maya?!" His familiar voice, full of worry, came through the speaker.
"Don't be such a worrywart. I made it through fine. They're installing the new navcharts now. We should picking everyone up in less than two hours," as she said this, she felt a wave of almost unbearable pain. She cried out in alarm, and doubled over, clutching her sides.
"Maya, what's going on?" Leo asked, panicked. Kyenin slapped the intraship communications button.
"I need a medical team up here, now!" he commanded.
"Medical team?" Echoed Leo. "Would someone please let me know what happened?"
"Leo.." Maya gasped out, as a medic reached her side and prepared to inject her with a sedative. "I think I'm going into labour."
"This is not happening. This is absolutely not happening." Leo muttered to himself as he paced back and forth across the room nervously. "My wife is millions of kilometres away on an alien starship giving birth to my first daughter, and I won't even be there,"
"Will you calm down, little bro?" Mike asked, grabbing his brother's arm and forcing him to sit down. "Sit. Wait." He ordered. At that moment, the communications module crackled to life.
"Leo," came Kyenin's voice. "Thanks to your wife, we were able to repair the damage done to our navigational circuits. She's in the medbay, sedated for now. When she wakes, she'll go into labour normally. There should be no complications in the birth," hearing these words, Leo felt like a great weight had been lifted from his chest.
Elated that there would be no problems, he went outside, just in time to see the sun begin to rise above the mountains. He knew that every one of the colonists had been busy last night packing their belongings for the journey ahead of them. They were not even aware of the complications that had arisen during the night. Leo sighed as he realized he'd have to inform the council members of Maya's journey to the ship. They probably would not be pleased, to say the least, but he knew deep down it was the only thing they could have done. To wait was to risk endless limbo as a stone statue, something he was sure he didn't want to experience. He smiled as a little girl bounded outside, her suitcase in hand.
"Mommy mommy!" she called. "I'm all ready to go! I'm gonna take my stuff to the luggage shuttle!" It was so unlike Earth here, where children could run the streets without being subject to worry like they were in cities. Everyone watched out for everyone else, and he hoped that didn't change, wherever their new home may end up being. Similar scenes were taking place at all the other dwellings along the streets. Leo approached Commander Stanton's house somewhat gingerly. Almost as soon as he finished knocking, the door was yanked open by an enthusiastic Jodie.
"Hi Leo!" she said excitedly, literally bouncing off the floor.
"Hey Jodie," he reached down and ruffled her hair playfully. "Is your dad around? I've got to talk to him about grownup stuff." Jodie made a face at the mention of "grownup" stuff, but turned back towards the inside hallway and hollered "Daaaaad! Leo's here! He wants to talk 'bout grownup stuff!!" She grabbed Leo's arm and pulled him inside, practically dragging him to the living room and sat down with him on the couch. "Dad told me all about the spaceships that are coming to get us! It's so cool, I have everything ready. I can't wait!" At that moment, Commander Stanton entered the room. Sensing she wasn't going to included in the conversation between the two, Jodie bounded off to her room to gather the last of her belongings.
"Uh, sir..." Leo began. "Um, last night, Maya was monitoring the communications, like she was supposed to...and, well...the rescue ships got into a little..accident. And then the only thing that could fix the problem was if they had new navcharts," he took a deep breath and continued, "so Maya got Damon to give her a copyoftheMegaship'sandsheusedaportaltotraveltotheirshipandfixit." He said the last part as fast as he could, hoping the Commander wouldn't really understand what he was saying.
"What?!" Uh-oh. No such luck. "Portal travel is dangerous! We should have been informed!"
"I know it's dangerous, don't you think I told her that?" Leo insisted, the distress evident in his voice. Commander Stanton felt the anger in his mind evaporate, to be replaced with sympathy for the young man. Of course he would be upset enough already with his wife going off on a mission like that, he didn't need to add more stress. He placed a hand on the younger man's shoulder. "Maya can take care of herself. She'll be all right. And we all appreciate what she did for us. Now, Leo, don't you think it's time you finished getting all your belongings to one of the luggage shuttles?"
"Thanks, Commander," Leo said, grinning. "See you later, on the new
world," he added as he left.
The trip back to the Treaty Sector was uneventful. Lista made extra precautions to avoid the ion storm that had caused them so much trouble on the journey to Mirinoi. Leo spent the entire time by Maya's bedside, although the medics had assured him that she would be fine, he had insisted on being there in case she woke up. Someone had given him a Datalink to keep him busy, and while he waited, he learned about the history of the Treaty Sector.
The Sector had been founded when two spacefaring races, the Crystinians and the Dreians, encountered each other for the first time. The treaty they'd drawn up between the two races was at first a simple trade agreement, which evolved later into the trading of ideas as well as goods. The two allied races flourished, and as time went on, they encountered more inhabited planets. Some planets were less developed, and the Treaty Sector helped raise their technological level, and others were more sophisticated, and contributed advanced ideas. They went from being a loose alliance of peoples to an organized federation with one central government. Their borders extended even farther than the Alliance of Good, in the Milky Way galaxy.
About half an hour before they reached Crystinia, an announcement was made over the communications system, informing everyone that they had just now passed through the borders of Treaty Sector's space. Soon after the announcement, Maya began to regain consciousness.
"She's awake!!" Leo shouted "Medic!" He glanced at his wife, and winced at the expression of pain on her face as she endured another contraction. "Can't you sedate her again?" he asked, hating to see her in such pain. The medic on duty shook his head.
"No. A sedative administered once will harm neither mother or child. Twice, and the child may be born sick." The medic, a Dreian named Barayn, explained. "We do not have adequate facilities here to deal with a human birth, it is unfortunate that the sedative wore off. I have never treated a human before, and I did not know the appropriate dose." He sighed. "However, the Orbital Hospital on Crystinia's main docking station has facilities suitable for treating species similar to your own. We are only a few minutes journey from there."
"Can you at least give her a painkiller?" Leo pleaded. Maya, unable to speak as she was busy clenching her teeth, simply nodded in agreement.
"That I can do," said Barayn. He picked up a painkiller hypo and injected it into her arm. Maya sighed in relief as the pain subsided. After making sure she was all right, Barayn left her in the care of a nurse as he placed a call to Orbital Hospital.
"You will have a patient waiting for you at docking area five," he
the communications officer at the hospital. "She is a human, and is
birth to her first child. Have a team ready for her immediately." After
filling the hospital in, he began to prepare Maya for her transport to
the station. It was too dangerous to just teleport her to the Hospital,
as no one quite knew what teleportation did to unborn babies, so he and
Leo helped her to move from her bed to a gurney. They slowly wheeled
down the corridors to the docking bay access doors. Once the
docked, the medical team waiting on the other side took over, Leo
"Father?" He asked, shocked.
"Kyenin?" Replied his father in an equally surprised tone. "What are
you doing here?"
"I could ask the same of you. A young woman we rescued is giving birth. That person over there is her husband." He pointed to Leo, who at the moment was pacing nervously.
"Your mother is having her second child. Your younger sister." The elder Crystinian smiled. "It is fortunate that fate brought you here, your mother will be happy to have both her children with her." He motioned for Leo to come sit by the two Crystinians.
"My name is Yarith." He introduced himself. "Kyenin is my son. My wife is in there, she is also having a child." He smiled warmly. "Is this your first?"
"Uh, yes," Leo replied.
"Do not be worried." Yarith advised. "A child only brings joy and light into a parents life."
"It's a girl," the nurse informed Maya, handing her the tiny baby, wrapped in a soft blanket.
"Hello, Karone." Maya said softly, gazing at the face of her new daughter. Beside her, in the next bed, lay another new mother.
"It is wonderful, is it not?" the other asked. "A new life, so full of possibilities." Maya smiled.
"Yes." Maya agreed. "What's your daughters name?" she asked, curious.
"Sirah," replied the other woman.
"Welcome to the world, Sirah and Karone." Both said in unison. "May
your lives be full of adventure."