“What are we going to do?” I demanded as soon as the pair of them were gone from the ship.
“They’re turning around and leaving. The ship is too damaged to pursue.” Allan responded.
“We’re going to lose them? What about Ryan?”
“I feel guilty as well for bringing him into this situation.” Allan sighed, and then a smirk appeared on his face. “Which is why I left a transponder coordinator in him.”
“Wait, a what?”
“It’s a device that allows me to synchronize Ryan’s location. I can communicate with him on an untraceable algorithm.”
“So… something like a GPS phone?” I tried to understand Allan’s words as he excitedly began typing quickly on a nearby terminal.
“Not just a GPS; the transponder will allow me to ascertain information. Like … the frequency of the shields they beamed him through, and phase shift variance parameters for the transporter resonance.”
“I understood … some of those words. Are you saying it’s good?”
“It’s good,” Allan responded simply.
“Hey, guys!” I turned back to Andrew and Rune. “It’s good!”
“Yeah!” Rune made a mockingly dry attempt at excitement.
Meanwhile, Andrew had a dark look on his face as he was contemplating something silently.
“Oh, Andrew…” I instantly recalled that this was a lot more personal for him. “Your uncle…”
Andrew shook his head, seeming to snap out of it. “It’s fine. If I want to find out what’s going through his mind, I’ll have to get it from him myself.”
“Do you think …” Rune suddenly broke in, sounding uncharacteristically serious, “that he has a point? That angels and demons are bound to fight? That you and I will one day be on opposing sides?”
Andrew’s mouth fell open as he turned to Rune with a surprised look. “That is… a possibility…”
His eyes turned to me before turning back to Rune. Rune’s eyes followed that look and then Rune gave a small smirk and nodded his head.
“Yeah, I guess you might be right. War might be the only option.”
“I might not have a place to speak here,” Allan interjected, “but the federation typically believes in cooperation over the war. You may think that fighting is the only choice, but if you talk it out, you may come to realize that a compromise could be reached.”
Both boys broke into laughter while Allan cocked his head in confusion. He glanced over at me as if to ask what the boys were laughing at. I could only shrug and shake my head.
“Don’t look at me. I have no clue what they’re talking about. Boys are downright confusing.” I responded. “Anyway, are you saying we can blow up their ship now?”
“No.” Allan sighed. “You’re not really getting the point of Star TREK. You’re like the fracture group that tried to reboot Star TREK a few years back to make it more action-orientated. We’re not doing it that way.”
“Okay, okay, we’ll do it the Star TREK way. What is that way then?”
“We’ll sneak onto their station, rescue Ryan, disable their tractor beam, and then escape back to earth.”
“Yeah, doesn’t that sound more like Star Wars?” I responded bitterly.
“Look, if we make a frontal attack, they’ll just change their frequencies and we’ll have accomplished nothing. If we sneak on the ship, we might have a chance. Are you prepared for one more infiltration?”
“Let’s do this!” I declare.
“Stop! Don’t do it!”
A voice caused the three of us to spin in the direction of the hallway.
“Daltom!” My eyes widened at the sight of my… um… living companion?
“Sister!” Daltom took a few steps towards me with his arms outstretched in a hug.
“Nope!” I dodged his arms.
While he didn’t have features as delicate as Ryan, he was still a very attractive boy. He had brown hair and brown eyes like me. However, if you looked closely, you’d see a tinge of red in his eyes. He had darker skin and a small frame but was very beautiful to look at. I shook my head, refusing to look at him.
Alex may have somehow wormed her way into my family, but the verdict was still out on this guy. Add to that the fact that his arrival had left me grounded for the last couple of weeks and I was in no mood to cater to his desire for skinship. On top of that, I always felt a little weird around him. He was too familiar with me, while I seemingly knew very little about him. He was also not very forthcoming on information, using excuses like the space-time continuum would explode and all matter in the universe would cease to exist. The guy was just full of excuses.
“Sister…” Daltom looked over at me, teary-eyed, and for a brief second, I almost cracked.
I mean, as long as I didn’t see him as having any familial relations with me, then it’d just be me embracing an attractive boy. Crap; that only made it worse! Why was my heart beating faster? Why was I imagining him on top of me that one time I was naked? Stop, brain, stop!
As my brain collapsed into a black hole, it was Andrew who spoke up. “Daltom, why are you here?”
Daltom gave me one last lonely look before responding, but I was already staring vacantly into my own existential nightmares. “I’m a time traveler, of course. I know what’s going to happen next.”
“Wait, let me get this straight.” It was Allan who took a step forward. “You’re a time traveler and also Jane’s brother? That still doesn’t explain how you got on my ship.”
Daltom winced a bit. “Ah, well, I’m not really her brother. I call her sister because we are the same. I am brother, and she is sister. We’re two halves of the same coin.”
“Huh?” I snapped out my thoughts. “What does that mean? Why didn’t you tell me this before?”
“Well, it’s not like I had much of a chance. I didn’t know how you’d treat me. I feared you’d reject me. Saying we belong together in our first meeting is a little…”
“Belong?” Andrew asked.
“Together?” Rune finished his sentence.
“What?!” I shouted. “What?! What?! What?! You can’t tell a girl that! That’s not… I’m not… you are not telling my future, are you?”
“I wonder.” Daltom replied sheepishly.
“That’s bullshit!” Rune took a step towards Daltom, who jumped back, ducking behind me. “You take that back! Jane doesn’t belong to you!”
“I’m sorry! I didn’t say she belongs to me, though!” Daltom tried to deflect Rune’s angry glare.
“Ridiculous.” Allan’s words cut into our conversation. “This is hardly the conversation that is productive right now. Why are you here, time traveler?”
“Ah, because you missed something. You can’t just go after the Star Cultists and call it a day. There is still Prince Skyf.” Daltom replied, grateful for the interruption.
“We’ve dealt with Prince Skyf. With the defense grid up, he won’t be able to do anything.”
“Prince Skyf has a planet cracker he installed on the moon.”
The blood suddenly drained from Allan’s face and he took a step back, shaking his head. “He wouldn’t…”
“He will,” Daltom responded.
Allan immediately turned to a nearby terminal and started typing very rapidly. “A large power surge building from within the moon’s Thebit crater. He’s seriously powering it up?”
“What is it, Allan? What’s a planet cracker?” Andrew asked nervously.
“A weapon…” Allan shook his head, taking a step back and wiping his face of cold sweat. “A powerful weapon designed to destroy planets. Outlawed by the federation, of course. He must have stolen it from STAR Wars.”
“Are you telling me he’s turned our moon into a death star?”
“Don’t be stupid.” Allan rolled his eyes. “A moon isn’t a star, Jane.”
“I mean, you know… the movie?”
“What movie?” Allan asked.
“Um… Star Wars?”
“You mean, the cult.”
“No, Star Wars the movie.”
“The cult made a movie?”
“Seriously? Come on, Andrew, Rune; help me out.”
Andrew shook his head. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“This is all new to me,” Rune added.
“Freaking seriously! It’s Star Wars. Have you been under a rock for the last 40 years?”
“In heaven.” Andrew shrugged.
“Hell.” Rune nodded.
“Space.” Allan sighed.
“The future,” Daltom added.
I rubbed my temples, feeling a headache coming on. “Alright, fine… we’ll blow up this ‘planet cracker’, rescue Ryan from an enemy base, and let Andrew confront his relative in a battle using glowing swords… seriously, none of this rings a bell?”
“Jane, I think you’re trying too hard to force it,” Allan responded gently.
Why are the four guys looking at me with pity now? Why was I only sane person on this freaking spaceship?
“Nevermind all that. Rather, what’s the plan now? If we split up two and two, that’s not enough.” I changed the subject.
“Therein lies the problem.” Allan sighed. “We don’t have the manpower to deal with both at the moment. We’ll need to give up on the Star Cult and instead head back to the moon to deal with the planet cracker. We’ll just have to pray that STAR Wars is heading in a favorable direction for the rest of us.”
“Not true, Uncle Allan,” Daltom interjected. “In fact, there are many others that can help us in our quest.”
“Uncle?” Allan looked at Andrew and Rune questioningly who only responded with a shrug.
It was my turn for the blood to drain from my face. “You don’t mean …”
Daltom nodded with a smile. “It’s time we brought all my uncles on board.”
“What does the time traveler mean?” Allan asked.
“Ah, well, you believe in science, heaven, and hell, right?” I asked.
“Of course. Even heaven and hell can be explained by science.”
“Well, would you believe in ghosts, werewolves, vampires, and the undead?”
“As a scientist, I can’t in good conscious take anything you just said seriously.” Allan’s tone caused me to draw back a little, but then he gave a sigh. “But I’m starting to see you as a friend and, for that, I’m willing to give you the benefit of the doubt.”
I threw my arms around Allan before I could stop myself. “Thanks, Allan.”
When I pulled away, he was straightening his glasses while wearing a deep blush on his cheeks. “Ridiculous.”
“Ah, Daltom?” I noticed Daltom shaking his head with a weird look on his face.
“Sh-sh-she hugs Uncle Allan, but she won’t even hug her own brother.”
I gave Rune and Andrew a questioning look.
Rune turned his head away. “What? Don’t look at me. Do I look like the kind of guy who wants a hug from a girl?”
Andrew merely shrugged while wearing a weird look on his face. I shook my head and ignored the odd actions of the boys. Rather, we didn’t have time to be dallying. It was time to bring in the reinforcements!