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Journey's End

Authors: Barry Quick
Show Year: Y3
Rating: PG
Date: 1998
An entity returns the Moon to Earth in 1970. But in exchange for the favour, the Alphans must change history...
Average Rating: No reviews.

The original 30k version of Journey's End was written as my idea of a final episode of Space:1999. It was read by a good friend and fellow Space:1999 fan who picked some very large fleas of my story. I realised that what he said was right. There were several unanswered questions and the odd plot discrepancy. To this end, I've completely re-written the story. The original 30k has now become a whopping 122k, just over four times the original length! I hope you find this version of Journey's End more satisfying than the original.

Thanks.

Barry Quick.

"Moonbase Alpha Status report. Chief Medical Officer Dr Helena Russell recording. We have been wandering through the Cosmos for the past 25 years and still we have found no suitable Planets to colonise. We have grown old and weary from our travels. We are now of the belief that we will never find a place to call home and that we will all eventually die of old age on the Moon. This acceptance of our fate has caused many of our number to become emotionally unstable. Without hope, we have no real reason to continue living"


The Moon wandered aimlessly through the inky blackness of space. The grey sphere gave no indication of where it was going, nor where it had been. Only the pock marks of craters stood testament to the battled past of this wandering rock. The stars ignored it. Gas clouds let it pass by without hindrance, but the errant Moon was not alone. Something within the vast empty Cosmos trailed the wandering rock. A large ball of light matched the Moon's speed and course as if it was being towed by an unseen force.

Victor Bergman peered through the Telescope that sat in the Commanders old office. The room was darkened to allow more light from the following ball to enter the instrument. Victor stood up and sighed. The Telescope wasn't going to tell him anything. He needed the main computer to give him something to work with, anything would do. He pulled his Commlock from his belt and pointed it at the doors that opened into Main Mission. As Bergman walked towards the closed doors, he pushed the appropriate button and walked through the opening doors.

Main Mission was deserted except for the few staff that looked after the remnants of Alpha's primary functions. Paul Morrow sat has his console directing a maintenance Eagle across the Moon to repair monitors at what was left of the Nuclear Waste dumps. Dave Kano sat at a work bench soldering iron in hand, repairing what was left of his beloved computer. Dave rued the day that it was decided to relocate to an underground bunker. They picked up most of the computer and moved it underground. They even took the memory that contained his Chess program with them. All they left him with were the parts that monitored the defunct Waste Dumps and Gravity towers. Anything that couldn't be taken was remoted. Dave had no control over it. He hated that. He never forgave Verdeschi for suggesting the move. Even Paul hated the jumped up Security Officer. Paul only managed to last a week in the Command Centre before storming out and calling Tony a 'demented overbearing Dictator'. The two hadn't spoken to each other since. The only time that Paul ever cheered up was when Yasko had spent a Months tour of duty in Main Mission and was replaced by Sandra who had spent a month in the Command Centre. At least Paul was happy every other Month. As for Yasko, she only ever knew Paul as a moody person. She hovered around, clipboard in hand, filling out reports to be sent down to the Command Centre. Her Month was nearly up. She would be glad when she could go back 'downstairs'.

Bergman halted at the top of the steps that led down to the Control Level. He look over at Dave Kano and asked "Has Tony released any of the computers functions yet. We really do need access to the long range sensors".

"Sorry Professor" Kano replied. "Tony refuses to release any of the computers functions because of the 'threat'". Kano pointed towards the trailing ball of light with his finger. "He says that its intentions must be discovered before we find out what it is".

Victor shrugged his shoulders. It wasn't the first time that Tony wouldn't release the functions of the computer for research. As far as Tony was concerned, survival was more important than research. Victor felt redundant. He thought about asking John Koenig for a little computer time, but even John had become more interested in staying alive since the move to the Command Centre. Victor felt even more alone and useless. He walked back into the old Commanders office and closed the doors again.

As the doors closed, Paul looked up at Dave and said "I should've clobbered that Verdeschi before I came up here".

Kano sighed. "I'm with you there Paul. He's got a lot to answer for".

Yasko said nothing. Even she had noticed that everyone in Main Mission had been getting grumpy over the past few days. Even she had started to feel depressed. Perhaps it was the effects of working with a bunch of what she thought were manic depressives. She would be glad to get back to the relative calm of the Command Centre. She didn't have long to wait.

The silence within Main Mission was broken by the sound of footsteps coming up the corridor. Yasko and Morrow turned towards the doorway. They were both hoping that the approaching footsteps belonged to the same person, abet for different reasons. The offending clatter that echoed up the corridor sounded a little too fast and heavy for Sandra. Normally, her footsteps had a light tripping note to them. Either it wasn't Sandra, or something was wrong, very wrong. Paul and Yasko turned and looked at each other. "Something's up" said Paul.

Sandra Benes burst through the doorway. She looked haggard. She marched up to the console where Paul and Yasko were stood. "Boy, am I glad to get out of that hell-hole for a Month"! Sandra now had everyone's rapt attention.

"What's going on" Asked Yasko. Her eyes were agog and her skin was beginning to pale. The Oriental was beginning to have visions of utter horror down in the Command Centre. She didn't relish the idea of going back there.

Sandra drew a deep breath and began. "It is strange and I do not understand why, but everyone is getting on each others nerves. Fights have started to break out and the Commander and Tony are starting to openly shout at each other".

"Hoo-rah for the Commander" quipped Paul.

Dave Kano put down his soldering iron and nodded in agreement with Paul. "Thanks to Verdeschi, we get treated as outcasts".

The doors to Koenig's old office slid open. Victor walked to the top of the steps again and said "Ah, hello Sandra, What's the latest from the Command Centre"?

Sandra couldn't manage a smile as she answered the ageing Professor. "Not good. It is almost like World War 4 has broken out".

"Hmmm" mused Bergman. "What's the fuss all about? is it connected to the reasons of why we can't get any resources from down below"?

"Hard to say" replied Sandra. "Everything is so confused. People are becoming angry for no reason. Fights start over the littlest things. It is a living nightmare"!

"Well" mused Bergman, "I could use a change of scenery. I want to have a word with John as well. Something's happening and nobody is telling us anything about it. That will not do". Victor paused and then turned to Yasko. "I Think we ought to go down to the Command Centre together. It should be a little safer".

Yasko smiled. As the pair walked towards the exit, Sandra called out to them "It is best to let Tony know that you are coming. Just in case".

Bergman just waved one hand in the air without even turning around. Yasko silently mouthed 'Thanks'. The two vanished from view.

Paul looked up at Sandra, "So, how about a few more details. We seem to be completely out of the loop up here". He then turned to Dave Kano to get a nod of approval which Dave duly gave.


The ball of light continued to follow the errant Moon. The pure white light flickered slightly. It was almost as if something inside was reacting to something else. There were no signs of intelligence, nor were there any signs that the glowing orb was anything else than a sphere of pure light. And yet, something stirred.


The Command Centre was not a haven of happiness. Tony Verdeschi was pacing up and down behind the console operatives, frustrated that nothing could be found out about what was following them. Alan Carter was having an argument with Koenig. Alan wanted to take an Eagle and get a closer look, while John was having none of it. If people weren't arguing with each other, they were swatting buttons on control panels. They were all feeling very unhappy.

Tony was still pacing when his Commlock bleeped. Feeling put-out, Tony snatched the device from his belt and pressed the appropriate button. "What is it"? Tony snapped without looking at the image on the screen.

"Err. It's Victor. I'm err, escorting Yasko to the Command Centre. Is that O.K"?

"I'm sorry Professor. I shouldn't of snapped, but things have gone pear shaped down here. I expect that Sandra told you about it". Tony tried to smile. He didn't manage a very good job of it.

"Well" Started Bergman. "Sandra told us a few scant details, but nothing solid". Victor paused. He decided to try and be helpful. "Perhaps I could lend a new perspective to the problem" Victor lied. Victor knew damm well that if he was wanted, he would've been asked by now.

"I doubt that you can help Professor, but you welcome to review any data that we have" offered Verdeschi. "By the way, stay in the Travel Tube when it arrives, I'll send somebody to escort you and Yasko here. Things are getting a little ugly".

"Fine and thank you" replied Bergman.

Tony replaced his Commlock and looked around for someone suitable to send to the Travel Tube terminal.

The Travel Tube car hissed slightly as it came to a halt. Bergman patted the back of Yasko's hand lightly saying "I don't think the situation is all that bad". He smiled a little, which was difficult. Victor was just as unhappy with the situation as was everybody else. At least he could try to keep up some sort of pretence.

Yasko didn't answer. She didn't feel like going back into the bowels of hell. She rather liked being up in Main Mission, but even she had noticed the change of mood lately. She got up and took her Commlock from her belt. She aimed it at the doors and pressed the 'open' button. Yasko was taken aback when she saw when was on the other side of the door way. There, sat on the floor was a larger Doberman Pincer. The dog looked up at Yasko and drooled slightly. Yasko froze. "Errr, Professor" she said "We have company".

The still seated Bergman peered around the edge of the seat at the dog. "Ahh" he started "our escort has arrived".

"How do you know the Maya hasn't come to eat us then Professor" questioned Yasko.

"Simple" replied Bergman. He pointed at the dog. "She's wagging her tail".

The Doberman walked backwards into the corridor and then turned and trotted a few paces towards the route that led to the Command Centre. Feeling slightly more relaxed, Yasko said "I think that Maya wants us to follow her".

"I think you're right" said Bergman. He stood up and joined Yasko who had now stepped into the corridor. Together, all three travelled along wondering what was around the corner.


Once again, the ball of light flickered. Almost invisible variations of patterns of light criss-crossed the glowing orb. It was as if some hidden intelligence was conscious of the situation on Alpha. It was as if the light had some sort of purpose. If there was an intellect within the light, it knew that it was soon time to act.


The trio continued to walk to the Command Centre. They could now hear angry voices from around the corner. As they turned the corner, they saw two Pilots arguing. Another Alphan was on the floor bleeding from the head where he had been struck with something. Two Security men were wrestling with somebody from the Technical section. Over the Commpost boomed Tony Verdeschi "Medical team to corridor 24 ASAP"! The announcement was ignored by everyone. The injured Alphan lay motionless, the arguing Pilots completely ignored him. The Security team were now beating the Technical section man senseless.

"This is insane" said Bergman. "The whole place is falling to pieces. Where the hell is John. Has he totally lost control"?

The two Pilots stopped arguing and turned to face Bergman. "What the hell do you know about that ball of light then Professor? We've been stuck down here and nobody has told us anything!" yelled one. "Verdeschi won't let anyone take an Eagle for a closer look. Carter has been in the Command Centre for ages trying to see the Commander, but he's saying nothing!" complained the other.

"Ahh, I know as much as you do" offered Bergman. "I've heard nothing from the Commander myself. That's why I'm down here".

"Don't give me that" yelled the taller of the two pilots. "You're still chummy with Koenig. You and the Command Staff are in this together! You're hiding something and I intend to find out what"! The Pilot started towards Bergman. The Doberman stepped forward and growled. The Pilot backed off slightly.

From around the corner came the Medical team. Dr Mathias and an orderly rushed up to the downed Alphan and began treating him. The Pilots turned to look at the Medical team. While they were distracted, the Doberman leaped onto the Pilot who had threatened Victor. The other Pilot ran off. Pinned to the floor, the Pilot look horrified. The Dog bared its teeth and growled loudly while holding its muzzle only inches away from the Pilots face. The Pilot screamed in terror. His skin had turned white with fear.

The two Security men dropped the hapless Technical man next to the Medical team. They walked over to where the Pilot was pinned down by the dog. The two burly men looked at the terrified Pilot and smiled. The dog moved off the Pilot and rejoined Bagmen and Yasko. The Security team picked up the Pilot and dragged him off around the corner.

Bergman walked over to Bob Mathias. "I'm surprised to see you down here. Are thinks really that bad"?

Dr Mathias looked up and said "It's hell Professor. Ever since that ball of light turned up last week, things have turned ugly. Dr Russell transferred me back down here three days ago. There just isn't enough Medical staff to cope with all this". The Doctor continued to work while the Orderly turned his attention the beaten up Technical man. "Dr Russell and Ben Vincent have had their hands full for several days now". Bob Mathias looked up again and said "If this goes on for much longer, we'll end up killing each other. I don't know how much more of this we can take".

Bergman just shook his head and walked off to rejoin Yasko and Maya. The trio started to walk down the corridor again. As they passed the junction where the Security team had dragged the Pilot, Yasko noticed the two burly Security men were now beating up the Pilot. Saying nothing to anyone, she turned back and continued walking.

The atmosphere in the Command Centre was tense. Tony Verdeschi continued to pace up and down as he had done for the past week. Even this situation had gotten to him. Dr Russell would wander around asking if everyone was OK and offering everyone coffee just to break up the monotony. Only one person did nothing. Sat at the back was John Koenig with his elbows on his desk. His head resting in his hands, he looked blankly at the main view screen. He hadn't said anything for hours. All he did was stare at the ball of light that was on the view screen.

Bergman, Yasko and the Doberman walked passed the Security guards by the entrance and entered the Command Centre. Yasko thanked Victor for the company and walked over to her station. The dog trotted off behind a console and vanished. Maya stood up as if she had picking something up when Bergman and Co had arrived. She smiled a little.

"Many thanks for the escort" said Bergman. "It was most appreciated". Victor waved his thanks.

"I hope your trip back to Main Mission will be uneventful. I for one am hoping that you can shed some light on this situation" replied the Metamorph.

Bergman frowned. "Well" he started. "I have absolutely nothing. I came down here to try and make something of what you had". Bergman paused. "What do you have"? he asked.

"The same as you" interrupted Verdeschi. "We've thrown everything at it. Every test in the book and some that aren't. Every time the computer tells us that the thing out there, well, isn't there".

Victor scratched his chin. "How come you haven't taken an Eagle out there yet".

"Simple" replied Tony. "We don't know if that thing exists or not. The amount of unknowns are far to great to risk it".

Victor was even more puzzled. If there was anyone who didn't mind a risk or two, it was the Commander followed closely by Alan Carter. "What has John had to say about all of this?" asked the Professor.

Dr Russell joined the two men and answered "I'm afraid that John has lost it, Alpha is falling apart, there's no substantive information on our glowing friend. In short, he has nothing".

"I can't believe that" protested Bergman. "John has always had a clear and decisive mind". Victor looked over to where Koenig was sat. Koenig was staring at the Main Viewer. "How long has he been like this?" he asked Helena.

Dr Russell drew a deep breath and sighed. "For the past day or so. He hasn't slept, eaten, or done anything. He's just sat there. Victor, we're all getting old. We just don't have the energy any more. Even Tony is going grey". Helena pointed to Tony's greying thatch. Tony squirmed, but he had to admit the truth, he was getting old.

"I'll try and talk to him" offered Victor. "I may be old, but I still have some energy left". Victor walked over to where John was still sat. Victor squatted down besides him. Victor winced as he crouched, his arthritis was getting worse with his advancing years. "Hello John. Things aren't as bad as they seem" said Victor calmly.

John Koenig stirred. Without moving, he replied "Victor, I'm in Command of a base that's been wandering in space for 25 years. Everyone is angry that we haven't found anywhere to live and I don't blame them. Now this ball of light turns up and we can't find anything out about it. Is it friend, foe, naturally occurring or what. It's all hopeless".

"Well John. You can't blame yourself for our situation. Yes we have to entertain the possibility that we will all die of old age on the Moon. But there's always hope".

Koenig dropped his hands to his desk and looked Bergman straight in the eye. "Victor, I'm fresh out of hope! Everyone on Alpha is out of hope. We've lived on hope for the past 25 years and it's run out!". Koenig stood up and pointed furiously at the still squatting Bergman. "If you had managed to figure out that magnetic radiation was responsible for ruining the Meta Probe mission earlier, It would've been Gorsky stood here instead of me!".

Bergman stood up to face his old friend. Victor's face was now beginning to turn red with rage. How could John do this to him after all that they had been through over the years. Without thinking, Victor drew back and delivered a right hook squarely on the Commanders jaw sending Koenig crashing to the floor.

The Command Centre fell silent. Everyone was stunned. It didn't matter what had happened to the Alphans over the years, Koenig and Bergman had always remained the best of friends. Now this happens. There truly was no more hope on Alpha.

Out of the corner of her eye, Maya noticed a change on the View Screen. The Metamorph turned to look at the wall mounted screen. Her jaw dropped. The object was getting larger. She spun around to face the others who were still staring at Bergman and the floored Commander. Terrified, Maya screamed "The ball of light. It's coming right at us!".

The ball of light engulfed the errant Moon. Whatever controlled the light had sensed that it was time to act. It was if something within the light had waited for a single moment to pass. Whatever that moment was, it had transpired. It was time to act.

The light filled every nook and cranny of Alpha. The light seemed to be coming from everywhere, and yet it seemed to come from nowhere. Alphans all over the Moonbase were blinded. They stopped what ever they were doing, whether it was fighting, treating wounded, or even playing Chess, they stopped and shielded their eyes.

The Command Centre was thrown into confusion. Bergman lost his balance and fell over. Tony blindly pressed at buttons on the console in an attempt to get status reports from others. Yasko buried her head in her hands, as did Dr Russell. Maya was still screaming her warning when a disembodied voice spoke.

"Alphans. I welcome you into the light". The oddly Female voice was soothing and calm. "There is peace and tranquillity within the light".

The punch that had floored Koenig had sharpened his mind. Although the Commander was old, his vigour had been re-newed by Bergman's actions. Koenig got up and shielded his eyes with his arm. Totally blinded, Koenig shouted into air "Who are you"?

The voice replied as calmly as before "Names are not important as I have many".

The voice sounded as if it was being whispered into Koenig's ear. The only other sounds that he could hear were the crashing of bodies against equipment and equipment falling onto the floor. Koenig called into the air once again. "Why are you here and what do you want with us"?

The voice replied. "I have watched over you for many years. I have guided your path throughout the cosmos, ensuring that you reached the end of your journey. The time has now come for your wanderings to cease".

John squirmed. Something in the back of his mind was working overtime on something, but he couldn't figure out what. "Why should we believe you"?

The voice answered "We have met before John Koenig, and we have spoken before. If you do not trust me now, you will never trust anyone again".

Bergman was blindly groping around on the floor. Although he couldn't see anything, he had the foresight to throw a question into the air "Are you God?" he asked.

"I am who I am" replied the voice.

"Are we dead"? Bergman asked.

"That is a bridge that you have yet to cross" replied the voice.

Koenig peered over his arm trying to make out the source of the voice. "You said that our wanderings are over. What's going to happen to us"?

The tone of the voice didn't change. It was as sweet as ever. "I have taken almost everything away from you during your trek around the stars. If you give the one last remaining thing that you have, in return I shall give you what you want most. I shall grant you your deepest desire".

Koenig yelled back "We have nothing left to give. Even our hope is gone"!

"You have John Koenig". The voice admonished. "You all have, but are you prepared to give it". The voice faded and with it, the light.

With the blinding light gone, Koenig dropped the arm that was shielding his eyes. He looked around at the others. Victor Bergman was still on the floor where he fell over. Koenig walked over to where he was and offered him his hand. "You pack a mean punch Victor".

"Sorry about that John. I just lost my temper" Bergman replied.

"No" started Koenig. "I deserved it. I shouldn't have said it". Koenig paused. "I'm sorry Victor". Koenig smiled. The smile was genuine as well.

Victor smiled in response. He took Koenig's hand and pulled himself up. "We better see how the others are" he suggested.

Helena Russell was already checking on the others in the Command Centre. Tony Verdeschi was already peering over Maya's console trying to make contact with other areas on Alpha. With the stumbling around, some of the electrical equipment had blown fuses. The main view screen was blank and most of the consoles were fritzed. Yasko was trying to mop up some of Dr Russell's coffee that got spilt on her. Suddenly, Yasko's Commlock bleeped. Yasko picked up her Commlock and switched it on. Paul Morrow's face appeared on the screen. "Hello Paul. You wouldn't believe what's happened down here" she blurted.

"If you're talking about bright lights and strange voices, yeah, we've had the same thing. Paul's face shifted position on the tiny Commlock view screen. "Listen, I couldn't contact the Command Centre via the normal link, is your equipment OK?"

Yasko looked around the Command Centre. Everyone was still picking up the pieces. "Afraid not Paul. We've had a fair bit of equipment failure. How about you"?

The image on the monochrome Commlock paused. "So you don't know yet" Morrow enquired.

An increasing number of the Command Centre crew had started to take an interest in the conversation that Morrow and Yasko were having. They began to gather around her straining to hear every word that Paul was saying.

"We don't know about what?" said Yasko sounding confused.

"I think you and everyone else had better get up here and see for yourselves." Paul paused. "We appear to be in orbit around the planet Earth." With that, Paul couldn't hide his joy anymore. He broke into biggest smile that he ever had. Paul then terminated the link. The screen on Yasko's Commlock went blank, except for the reflection of a group of stunned faces.

The Atmosphere in Main Mission was one of joy. Kano, Morrow and Sandra Benes all had their noses pressed up against the glass windows of the redundant Operations Centre.

"This is fantastic" yelled Kano wildly.

"It's a turn up for the books" replied Paul.

Despite her age Sandra got an attack of the giggles. Even though she tried to stifle them with her hand, she couldn't stop. Tears of joy began to roll down her cheeks. After the hell of recent times, the sight of Earth had reduced her to a giggling wreck.

One by one, other Alphans entered Main Mission. They all went up to the windows to gaze at the Earth. For the first time in many years, Main Mission was filled with the sound of laughter. All thoughts of the darker days of the past had now gone. Even the two burly Security men laughed with the heavily bandaged Pilot whom they had beaten up earlier.

The Command Staff walked through the entrance. They looked over to where the windows were and saw that people were there three deep. Bergman waved his Commlock and pointed to Koenig's old office. The Command Staff followed the Professor across the floor and up the steps to the office. Bergman opened the doors and they all filed in.

John Koenig peered out of the window at the blue ball that was the Earth. Although he was glad to see it, something in the back of his mind told him all was not well. He'd been through far too much to take this situation at face value. So had all of the others. But at this moment, he wouldn't let on. He'd let everyone have their moment of joy after the agony of despair.

"I think this calls for a celebration" mused Verdeschi.

"If that involves drinking your vile concoction, then I'll pass" retorted Helena.

"Oh, come-on" said Tony, "You've just forgotten how awful the real stuff is." He smiled widely. Even Dr Russell could see the joke.

Koenig drew a deep breath and spoke "O.K people, we're not home yet." He turned to face the others. "We've been this position before and it came to nothing. Before we do anything rash, we have to get Alpha operational and get as much data as we can before we do anything." John then turned his attention to Tony and said "Tony. Get back down to the Command Centre and get it working. That may be Earth out there, but I want to know everything about it."

Tony sighed. For the time being the party was over. It was back to work. He didn't mind too much. The Earth was a sight for sore eyes. "Come-on everyone, back to work."

There were many sighs and minor protests from the others, but they followed him anyway.

Koenig then walked to the top of the steps that overlooked Main Mission. He called over to the crowd that were still be the windows. "The Party's over for now. We've still got work to do." He then turned his attention to Paul Morrow. "Paul, I want a full status report a-sap."

Like the others, Paul sighed and returned to his console. Dave Kano and Sandra Benes did like wise. One by one the Alphans filed out of Main Mission until only six people remained.

Helena Russell stood next to the Commander and asked "What did the entity mean by granting our deepest desire"?

Koenig frowned. "I'm not sure."

"Well for what it's worth, I'll tell you what my deepest desire was" Helena smirked. Seeing that John's face didn't react, she sighed and said quietly "To go home."

This time Koenig did react. He turned to Bergman who was still in Koenig's old office and asked "Victor. What were you thinking when the entity said she could grant you deepest desire"?

Victor stopped looking through his telescope and stood up. Without hesitation he called back to the unseen Commander. "That's easy John. I wished I never set foot on the Moon and that I stayed in bed the day we broke away."

Koenig paused again. He turned to Dave Kano and asked "Kano. Did you hear the voice of the Entity?"

Dave looked up and replied "Yes Commander. It was weird. I could hear the entity, you and Victor."

"What were you thinking when the entity asked about deepest desire?" said Koenig curtly.

"Home" was Kano's reply.

"Same here" added Morrow.

"Me too" said Sandra.

Dr Russell looked at John. "What were you thinking?" she asked.

Koenig stood deep in thought. Then he looked at the Doctor and said quietly "The same."

Down in the Command Centre the Alphans were happy although the situation was confused. Tony Verdeschi paced up and down behind the operatives wondering why things weren't working properly. Technicians scurried from panel to panel trying to repair any damage, but there was none to really speak of. The normally up-beat Verdeschi was beginning to feel frustrated.

"This is insane." He stood right behind Maya and peered into the monitors that were in front of her. "The entity couldn't have caused that much damage."

The tension in Maya's voice was obvious "I'm sorry Tony, but everything outside of Alpha is no longer working." The Metamorph punched buttons and twiddled knobs, but to no avail. She sat back in her seat and shook her head in frustration.

Tony patted her on the shoulder and said "O.K, just keep trying. I'll check with Main Mission to see what they've got." Verdeschi pulled his Commlock from his belt and tapped on the button. Dave Kano's face appeared on the tiny screen. "Hi Dave" started Verdeschi. "Were having a few problems down here. The computer doesn't want to communicate with any of the sensors outside of Alpha. Can you help"?

Dave Kano looked surprised "We're getting the same thing up here. Although we have fewer and lower priority sensors, there's no data coming in from beyond Alpha's Gravity Towers."

Tony frowned. "Does the Commander know about this?"

"The Commander knows about our situation, but not yours." Kano paused for a moment. "I'll tell him. There may be a connection."

"O.K, thanks Dave." Tony said.

"Oh, by the way" Kano interrupted "I've a strange question for you and I think I know the answer."

Verdeschi was intrigued. Dave Kano wasn't in the habit of making small talk with him. He still hadn't been forgiven for making off with most of Dave's precious computer. "Sure Dave, ask away."

The face on the tiny TV screen became more serious. "What were you thinking when the entity wanted to know your deepest desire?"

Tony paused. He looked at Dave's image and asked "This is a wind up isn't it"?

Dave shook his head. "No Tony. The question is valid. The Commander asked us all and we all gave the same answer."

Tony though about it for a moment. He then looked straight into the Commlock and said "I wished I was locked in a Brewery and drowning in a vat of beer. In short, I wished I was home."

Kano smiled. "You don't think that much of your home brew either then." Kano the began laughing. "Anyway, we all had the same answer. We all wanted to be home"!

Tony was stunned. He didn't mind anyone poking fun at his beer, but he didn't realise that other people thought the same thing at the same time as he did. After regaining his composure, He looked at Dave again and wagged a finger dismissively at him. "There isn't a tank big enough on Alpha for me to brew enough beer for me to drown in. However, the home bit is true. Thanks for the information." Tony switched off the Commlock and replaced it on his belt. He just stood behind Maya completely lost in thought.

Sat in the semi gloom of Koenig's old Main Mission office was Koenig, Bergman and Dr Russell. The double doors that adjoined Main Mission were on Mission were open. The light open. The light streamed in causing long shadows to be cast in the office. Bergman tilted a note pad towards the light, trying to see the notes that he had scribbled while looking through his Telescope. Helena Russell sat facing the window. She gazed at the bright blue marble that hung in the heavens. Koenig just sat there, deep in his own thoughts. The light that struck him made him look even more pensive.

Without moving Dr Russell said "John. I wonder if the reason why we're here is connected to the Entity." She noticed that Koenig didn't speak, so Helena added "Can she be believed? Was she sincere?".

Bergman squinted at his notes and then turned to Dr Russell. "Well. I don't know about the Entity's motivations, but that certainly is the Earth out there."

Koenig stirred. "We've been here before. Every time we've come close, we've been disappointed. We've been hurled back into the Cosmos and yet, something tells me that there's a difference about this and I can't quite put my finger on it."

Bergman put down his notes and rubbed his ageing eyes. "I admit there is one thing that bothers me. If the entity was going to grant us our deepest desire. Why are we still on the Moon?".

There was the sound of footsteps coming towards them. Dr Russell turned towards the approaching sound and saw Sandra Benes.

Sandra came to a halt by the table and said "Commander. The Command Centre is having the same difficulties as we are. We have lost all contact with our sensors beyond the Gravity Towers."

Koenig sat back in his chair. "This situation is getting out of hand. We get moved through space by something unknown. We get asked questions by the same unknown. Our equipment goes down for reasons unknown. There's far to many unknowns and I'm going to do something about it." Koenig stood up and virtually marched past Sandra and into Main Mission. When he got to the top of the steps he stopped. He looked straight at Paul Morrow and asked "Paul. Can we still launch an Eagle?".

Paul pushed a few buttons and replied "No problem Commander. Launch Pad 5 is fully operational."

"Right" started Koenig. "Get Alan Carter to take an Eagle loaded with spare sensors to all areas. Tell him to take Verdeschi with him." He then turned his attention to Dave Kano. "Kano. See that planet out there". Koenig pointed out of the window towards I to know everything about it. Co-ordinate your efforts with the Command Centre."

"Yes Commander" replied Kano.

Koenig turned around and walked back into the office. As he sat down he said "We're not going to get caught out on this one. We're going to do things by the numbers."

Victor looked up and said "I think you're right John. But I get the feeling that we've over looked something."

Helena leaned forward and looked around as if she was searching for something. "We've been brought this far, but what is the missing piece of the puzzle. Could it be something that the Entity said?".

John sighed. "Maybe when we have enough pieces to the puzzle. We can figure out what the remaining parts are."

"The question remains" started Helena. "Just how many puzzle pieces are there and how many do we need to figure the rest out?".

Alan Carter was doing the pre-flight checks on the Eagle when Tony Verdeschi entered the Pod. Tony had to ease himself around the piles of boxes that contained sensor and telemetry equipment that the Technicians were bringing on board. Tony shook his head in disdain and made for the cockpit.

Alan Carter looked up as Tony walked in. "Hi Tony" he said. "Welcome to Maintenance."

Verdeschi parried the comment as he sat in the Co-pilots seat. He looked over at Alan and said "I thought I've would've been of more use in the Command Centre than going around playing at 'Mr Fixit'".

Alan Carter smiled as seat slid into the Flight position. "You don't know what you're missing. It's a pity we're not doing Navigation Beacons, they're a real laugh."

Tony looked puzzled. "How so?" he said as his own seat slid forward.

"Simple" Alan chuckled, "We take a Freighter pod, load it with Navigation Beacons that are inside old waste drums, and then.. Here comes the best bit. We play Bombers with them, by attacking mounds of Moon dust"! Alan started to laugh out loud.

Tony rolled his eyes in disbelief. "I take it we're not playing 'Dambusters' today."

"No mate" Alan replied. "We've go to go over to both the waste areas and replace the Monitoring Sensors."

"Don't you mean one burnt out waste area and one big hole in the ground?" Verdeschi retorted.

Carter sighed, it was back to reality. "Not all the waste ignited when the dump went up. Quite a few drums were dispersed before hand and many others were scattered during the blast. It's those drums that require monitoring."

Tony paused as he did up the seat straps. "I suppose I ought to work in Maintenance a little more often."

A Technician poked his head around the doorway and looked at Alan. "All loaded Sir" he said.

"Thanks mate" was Alan's reply.

The Technician gave a mock salute in acknowledgement and vanished.

"Alan" Tony asked. "Can I ask you a question?"

Without hesitation Carter replied "Home"! He paused for a moment before continuing. "I don't think that there's a single person on Alpha who thought any different. Well, not that I've found yet."

Tony smiled. He'd lost count of the times that he'd been asked that question in the past half hour. Everyone was talking about it in the Command Centre. Every time some walked in, everyone would ask that question in turn. Well almost everyone. So far, Maya hadn't said anything on the subject.

Maya gazed blankly at the panel in front of her. She didn't move. She didn't even blink. She was oblivious to the people around her. Within her own mind there was a voice. It was calling 'What were you thinking when the question was asked?'. The voice within her head received no answer. Again the voice called 'What were you thinking Metamorph?'. Maya could hear her own weak and feeble voice reply 'Home'. 'But you have no home do you. Psycon was destroyed'. Maya's minds eye voice began to tremble 'I know'. The disembodied voice continued to question Maya 'What is to become of you, alien'? There was no reply.

Eagle 1 flew low over the surface of the Moon. The Sun shone brightly on the upper surface of the battered Transporter. The years had taken their toll on the ageing craft. Repair panels and welding marks littered the exterior of the Eagle. The only thing sharp and new about this craft, was the shadow cast by it, as it travelled to its destination.

Alan Carter twiddled with the flight controls, while Tony tried to locate any working navigation beacons.

"I keep telling you" moaned Carter. "They're all fritzed. That entity must've done something to them."

Verdeschi looked over at Alan and said "I can't believe that she knocked out every last monitor on the Moon. That would take an enormous amount of energy."

Alan peered through the Eagles screen at the horizon. "Never mind eh, We're almost at Waste Disposal Area 1."

Tony sighed "Welcome to burnt out radioactive hell. Have a nice stay."

Alan smiled. He eased the Eagle into a low turn to avoid a crater. His smile began to turn into puzzlement. His eyes checked and double checked his view out side the view screen. In utter amazement, Alan looked at Tony and cried "It's gone."

Verdeschi looked at Alan and then his instruments. "This has to be a mistake. You've must've wandered off course."

"No way Tony" Said Alan feeling rather hurt. "I know this area of the Moon like the back of my hand." Alan's voice was beginning to sound urgent. "The waste dump just isn't there. It's gone"!

Verdeschi looked at Carter accusingly "Alan, Nuclear Waste Dumps don't just vanish! There has to be a rational explanation. Since all sensors and monitors out side of Alpha are out of action, you've must've made a navigational error. It's the only explanation."

Alan sat back in his seat and fumed. He'd never been questioned about his navigational skills before. However, he just might have made a mistake. Alan turned to Tony and said "I'm going to check back with Alpha. The entity may've fritzed the navigation controls." Carter knew damm well the controls worked fine. They were part of the pre-flight checks, but anything to keep Verdeschi happy.

Main Mission was a scene of either frantic activity, or tedious boredom. Paul Morrow sat at his control panel drinking coffee. With all areas outside Alpha blinded, he had almost nothing to do. Sandra Benes was watching Dave Kano wincing at whatever he was listening too. Sandra couldn't hear anything as Dave was wearing a pair of headphones. Sandra had a hard time not to laugh, as Dave was pulling some strange faces.

From the now fully lit Commanders office, Victor Bergman walked into Main Mission and crossed over to where Dave Kano sat. "Any news yet?" Victor asked.

Dave looked up and took the headphones off. "This is harder that I thought Professor. The only information that I can give you is that there is plenty of life on Earth and that I think that we've travelled in time."

Bergman paused. "What makes you think that" he asked.

"Well Professor" Kano started. "I've been listening to radio stations, which is a tough task as many station use the same frequency. But from the snatches of songs and other bit of music that I can recognise, I'd roughly put the year at about 1970."

Bergman scratched his chin. "Now that is interesting" he said thoughtfully.

Sandra looked puzzled. "Why would the Entity send us back in time?"

Bergman stopped scratching his chin and replied "I've have no idea."

Paul Morrow jumped when his console bleeped. Alan Carter's face appeared on the monitor. Paul took a quick look around Main Mission to see if anyone had noticed his lack of attention. Satisfied that nobody saw him jump, he calmly threw the Intercom switch. "Go ahead Alan."

"Paul" Alan paused, he didn't want to sound foolish. "We've seemed to have lost Waste Disposal Area 1. According to Eagle 1's instruments, we should be over it right now and it's not here"!

Paul's jaw dropped. You just don't lose a massive Nuclear Waste Dump. Alan was a top class pilot. You don't forget your way around the Moon in a hurry! "You're joking of course" inquired Morrow.

The image on the monitor changed to Tony Verdeschi. "Paul. I tend to think that the navigational controls are down." We're coming back for another Eagle."

Paul was beginning to become annoyed. Although the joy of seeing Earth again had softened his mood. Seeing that arrogant Italian had reversed the process. Paul was just about to give Tony a mouthful, but Victor Bergman beat him to it.

"Tony. Can you do me a favour and come back via Tranquillity base. I have a small theory."

"Professor" Tony complained "The Eagle's navigational controls are down. How are we going to find something as small as Tranquillity base, if we can't find a massive Nuclear Waste dump"?

The Image on Paul's monitor switched back to Alan Carter's. "No problem Professor. Everybody knows that tourist trap"! Alan sounded far more cheery.

Paul lightened up a little now that Alan was in control again. "Check in when you get there Alan."

Alan Smiled "No problem mate." With that, the image in the Monitor vanished.

Paul Morrow looked up at Victor who was now standing behind him. "What's this theory of yours then Professor?"

Victor looked down at Paul and replied "I'll let you know when Alan and Tony reach Tranquillity base." With that, Victor walked off towards the Commanders office to rejoin Koenig and Dr Russell.

Paul Morrow looked completely bemused at Sandra and Dave who were still over the other side of Main Mission. Dave and Sandra looked at each other and then back at Paul totally confused.

Eagle 1 had already crossed over into the light side of the Moon. Despite the Transporters age and state of repair, it could still travel at a fair rate of speed.

Tony Verdeschi sat back in his seat with his arms folded. He couldn't see the point of this diversion. As far as he was concerned, the navigation systems on board this Eagle were out of order. The longer they delayed the deployment of new equipment, the greater chance of being of Alpha being in some sort of trouble. Playing a game of 'Needle in a haystack' wasn't going to help matters. However, this was a situation he was stuck with, so he had to make light of it. Tony thought of a mad idea. "Hey Alan" he said. "Fancy a bet."

The smiling Alan Carter replied "Yeah. What have you got in mind."

Verdeschi began to smile himself. He was confident that he could wipe the smile from Carter's face. "I'll bet a gallon of my finest Beer that you won't find Tranquillity base".

Carter winced at the thought. Tony's beer was rough at best. He couldn't stand the idea of drinking a gallon of it. "I've a better idea" replied Alan. "If I find Tranquillity base, you drink that stuff, if I fail, I'll drink it".

Tony looked wounded "Come-on Alan, it's not that bad. It's the best stuff on Alpha"! Having said that, thought Tony, it's the only stuff on Alpha. "O.K then, you're on". Somehow, Tony was now hoping that Alan would find the old Moonshot base.

Maya wandered down the corridor towards her quarters. She has a completely vacant expression on her face. Although everyone else had stopped asking the question of what they were thinking when the Entity was present, the voice within Maya's mind wouldn't be silent. 'Well alien' it said. 'The Humans are almost home and you're doomed. No salvation for you'. Maya's own conscience didn't reply. The voice baited her again 'What a pity you're not Human. Maybe you would live. Never mind Metamorph, welcome to oblivion'!. A tear started to roll down the cheek of Maya's distressed face. The corridor was empty. Her life seemed empty. Why had the Entity not thought about her. She felt abandoned. If only she was Human. The tears were now streaming from her eyes. Maya could hardly focus when she used her Commlock to open the door to her quarters. Once open, the distressed Metamorph closed the door behind her and then collapsed on the floor.

The scorched remains of an old Lunar Module sat alone in a desert of grey dust. The blackened upper surface indicated that its usefulness had come to an end. Nobody cared any more. Not event the flag that had been planted some metres away took any interest. It just stood there motionless. There never would be any breeze to flutter its proud banner and to proclaim its origin. Nobody took any interest, but something hadn't forgotten the artefacts. Away in the distance, a white dot appeared above the horizon. The dot appeared motionless, but then again, it was growing. As the dot grew, it began to change shape. It became wider and flatter. The shape wasn't stationary at all. It was approaching the derelict site. As the shape approached, it turned into something familiar. The approaching object was Eagle 1.

Even though Tony Verdeschi was pleased that Alan had found Tranquillity base, he thought he wouldn't let on. "Well" he started. "I expect that you're feeling pleased with yourself".

"I said I knew the Moon like the back of my hand" said a very smug Carter.

"Yeah fine. But what do we do now"? Tony commented.

"Check in with the Professor" replied Alan. "I expect he's got something in mind".

Verdeschi leaned forward towards the centre console. Before he managed to place a call to Bergman, he noticed something. "Hey Alan" Tony pointed at monitor on the console. "Take a look at this. This isn't right".

"What's up mate" asked Carter.

Tony gazed at the small monochrome screen. "What's left of the LEM is still there, but everything else is gone. The beacon, the landing area, and that joke sign saying 'Keep off the grass'. It's not there"!

The smug look on Alan's face vanished. He took a quick look at the repeater monitor on his side of the console. "Your right. There seems to be fewer footprints as well". Carter paused before he spoke again. "I'll circle and you get hold of Bergman. I reckon he knows something we don't". Carter pulled at the controls and the Eagle began to circle around Tranquillity base.

John Koenig was trying to get his old console to work in his old office. He wasn't having much luck. Parts of it had been cannibalised by Dave Kano in order to keep the last computer sections in Main Mission working. Koenig sighed. He missed being in the lofty open spaces of Main Mission. Sadly, they had to move. Main Mission was too vulnerable to attack. John stood up and looked out of the window. The blue orb of the Earth looked back at him. He thought he'd never live long enough to see it again. But was it really the Earth? He had to know. He didn't want to built up false hopes, only to have them dashed like they had been before. Once again, he turned his attentions to the wrecked console.

Koenig's labours were interrupted by Victor Bergman, who appeared in the doorway. "John" he said softly. "I think you should see this".

The ageing Commanders curiosity was piqued. He stopped what he was doing and followed Victor into Main Mission.

"Alan and Tony are at Tranquillity base" said Bergman. "From what they've seen, I now know what has happened to us". Victor led Koenig over to the monitor that sat in front of Paul Morrow. "Alan" Victor asked. "Tell John what you've seen".

The black and white image of Alan Carter began to speak. "Well Commander, it's sort of hard to explain, but there's no evidence of anyone ever being here except the original mission team. It's like Alpha's existence here has been erased".

Koenig looked over at Victor. "You said that you know what happened Victor".

Bergman nodded.

Koenig looked back at the image on the screen. "Alan, get yourself and Tony back here. Victor's got an answer to all this. It's pointless wasting anymore time out there".

"Right you are Commander. Eagle 1 out". The image of Alan Carter flickered before turning into the double 'A' Alphan logo.

Koenig turned to Victor who was waiting for him to ask the burning question. "O.K Victor. Let's have it".

Before Bergman spoke, everyone else drew closer to the Professor. Even Dave Kano removed his headphones so he could listen in. Victor looked around at the others. He smiled a little before he turned back to face Koenig. "Well John" he started. "This isn't Alpha's Moon. We've been transported through time and space to Earth's Moon".

Dr Russell looked puzzled. "How come Alan and Tony managed to find Tranquillity base if this isn't our Moon"?

Victor waved his finger "Ahh, that's simple". Bergman paused for breath. "Everything that the two Moon's have in common is present. Everything peculiar to Alpha is missing, with the exception of Alpha itself".

"Somehow the two Moons have been merged" commented Koenig. "The question remains. Why"?

"At least we know when" offered Sandra. "Well, more or less when".

"It's the 'why' I don't like" admonished Koenig. "There's always a reason for everything. We can see what the puzzle looks like, but we still have pieces missing and I don't like it".

Helena Russell began to fidget. "Why take Alpha only back in time. There has to be a direct connection between Alpha and the year".

"I think there's more to it than that Helena" Koenig said. "If the Entity was going to grant us our deepest desire, why are we still on the Moon"?

The others look perplexed. Home was just within their grasp, but something was missing. Koenig was right. Why would the Entity leave them on the Moon? They were all missing something!

Koenig drew a deep breath before speaking. He turned to Dave Kano and said "Kano, I want that date narrowed down. 1970 isn't good enough". He then turned his attention to Paul Morrow. "Paul, see if you can find anything in the computer that might effect Alpha during that year". Dr Russell was next. "Helena, when Alan Carter gets back, prepare Operation Exodus. We might as well cover as many options as we can". Bergman was last. "Victor, something's been missed. Find it". John Koenig then turned and began to walk out of Main Mission. "I'll be in the Command Centre if you want me".

Everyone just looked at each other. The Commander was right. They were helpless until more information was known about their situation. But so little was known about their situation, they didn't know where to get the information.

Sandra Benes broke the silence. "Situation normal then"?

Maya slowly stirred as she woke up. She was still collapsed on the floor of her quarters. Her mind was out of focus, her body seemed disconnected from reality. Even as she opened her eyes, she couldn't figure where she was, or why she was there, until the voice reminded her. 'Hello again' it taunted. 'Feeling better. You won't be for long. Your friends will all go home and you'll be all alone, because you're not one of them'. Maya tried to resist by calling back 'I won't be alone! They wouldn't leave me here!'. The voice within her mind laughed loudly. 'How do you know that alien'? it ranted. 'How many of your Human friends have told you that you are going back with them to Earth'? Maya stopped and froze. The voice was right. Ever since the Earth was spotted above the Alphan sky, everyone had forgotten her. They knew that she was an alien, but they were afraid to think of her fate. It was 'We're going home', never 'We're all going home'. The voice was right. She was an outcast. The Humans had shown their true colours at last. They only cared about themselves. After all these years working and living with them, they had shown themselves. Even the Entity only cared about the Humans. The Entity was sending the Humans home. Maya was to be sent to oblivion.

Maya had a new resolve. With massive effort, she slowly picked herself up from the floor. In her weakened state, she staggered across to her bed and sat upon it heavily. The tears began to stream down her face again. Her eyes wouldn't focus on the furnishings in her room. Blindly, the Metamorph fumbled for the bedside cupboard. Her hands probed for the drawer. Maya's vision was completely distorted by tears as she opened the drawer. Her sobbing became more distressed as she reached into the open drawer and withdrew a Stungun. Maya clutched the weapon tightly in her hand. She had had enough. The voice was right and she was going to do something about it. With her free hand, she pushed the change button from Stun to Kill. Maya's mind was reeling. The voice within her head was laughing and laughing. Slowly and deliberately, Maya pressed the four barrels of the Stun Gun into her neck. One press of the trigger and it would be all over. Her pain would end. Her thumb began to reach for the trigger...

John Koenig wasn't having much luck in the Command Centre. Most of the Computer banks were taken up with information that was learned from their many years of wandering through space. Earth's history wasn't perceived as important, so most of it was erased. Hell, John thought, what did a research station need with extensive library on Earth's history for anyway. The grey haired Commander paced back and forth behind a haggard looking Yasko. "There must be something in the Computer that can give us a clue".

"I'm sorry Commander" replied Yasko, "The only records that we have are of a scientific nature. If you can think of a scientific question, we may well have the relevant records".

Koenig waved his hands in frustration. "O.K Yasko. Just keep trying. It's all you can do".

Yasko continued to punch buttons.

Through the doorway walked Verdeschi and Carter. As they walked over to were the Commander was stood, Tony noticed the vacant seat that was normally used by Maya. Tony looked puzzled, but said nothing.

"Hey Commander" called Carter. "What's this theory that the Professor was on about"?

Koenig stopped his pacing and turned to face Alan. "It seems Alpha and Alpha only has been merged with the Moon from a different time period".

Alan paused. "I suppose that's why nothing Alphan or Alpha related exists outside the Gravity Towers"?

Koenig sighed. "That's right Alan. The problem is we don't know why Alpha has been dumped on the Earth's Moon of 1970. We've managed to figure out that it has to be Alpha related, but we can't find out what".

Tony Verdeschi interrupted the conversation. "Has anyone seen Maya"? He looked around the Command Centre.

Yasko looked up at Tony and said "She left her post about an hour ago. I expect she wanted to see the Earth".

Verdeschi pulled his Commlock and paged Maya. He pressed the button several times but got no reply. He looked down at Yasko. "Do me a favour and key in the over ride on Maya's Commlock.

Yasko typed in the over ride pass number on the keyboard.

Tony looked at the screen on his Commlock again. The picture has saw looked strange. He could see the end of a bed and the bottom half of Maya. Tony figured out that the Commlock must be on the floor and that Maya must be in her quarters. "I think that something's up with Maya" Tony announced. "I'll go and see what's up". Still looking at the Commlock screen, Tony Verdeschi left the Command Centre.

Carter and Koenig paused and watched Verdeschi leave. Neither of them had noticed that Maya was missing. At least Tony was the right person to sort things out.

Alan Carter broke the silence. "As you were saying Commander. You want to know what happens in 1970, that effects Alpha"?

Koenig gave an emphatic "Yes".

Alan smiled widely. "Oh well, that's easy. In 1970, Apollo 13 lands on this site. The survey data from that mission leads to Alpha being built here". Alan looked about the Command Centre feeling pleased with himself. The smile soon vanished from his face as he noticed the looks of horror on the faces of the others. "Is there something I don't know"?

Koenig placed his hand on Alan's shoulder. "Alan. You were aware that we've been transported back in time. We now know when. Thanks to you, we now have a good idea of what going to happen".

Alan looked gutted. "It's 1970 isn't it"?

Tony walked quickly towards Maya's quarters. He never took his eyes off the image that was on his Commlock screen. The image never seemed to change. It was just the bottom half of Maya, sat on her bed. What was she up to? Tony turned up the sound a little and brought the Commlock closer to his face. He strained his ears as he listened to any sounds that came from Maya's quarters. He could hear very little as he marched down the Alphan corridors. The only sound that came out of the Commlocks tiny speaker sound like crying. Verdeschi became even more concerned. This wasn't like Maya, he thought. She's normally quite happy and well balanced. Tony dropped the communication device a little. What the hell was wrong? He looked into the tiny black and white screen again. Without warning there was a loud, sharp noise coming from the speaker. It sounded very much like a blast from a Stungun. It was followed by the image of Maya falling backwards onto her bed. As Maya's back hit the bed, her outstretched arm dumped a Stungun directly in front of her floor bound Commlock. Tony was horrified. He stopped marching. He ran. He ran like hell!

Dr Russell was walking towards the Command Centre. She must have missed Alan Carter at the Travel Tube. Although she thought that organising Operation Exodus wasn't a good idea at this time, not knowing all the facts, it was st ill an option that had to be catered for. Better to have all options ready and then drop them, than to choose one option and be to late Helena thought. She couldn't see operation Exodus being used. The Earth of 1970 wasn't ready for a fleet of Eagles landing on somebody's doorstep. The more Dr Russell thought about it, the more she became amused with the idea. It was hard to keep a straight face imagining a fleet of Eagles landing at Roswell and the U.S Government trying to cover that one up.

The plaintive bleep of her Commlock brought Helena Russell back to reality. She stopped and picked the device from her belt. She pressed the receive button as she lifted the Commlock. Before she could see the screen, she heard the frantic voice of Tony Verdeschi.

"Dr Russell, Medical emergency Maya's quarters. I think she's shot herself"!

Helena's mind was brought sharply into focus. "I'll be right there. Dr Russell out". Helena pushed another button which switched the face of Tony Verdeschi for Bob Mathias. "Bob, is Ben Vincent there"?

"Yes Dr Russell" Dr Mathias replied. "Is there anything wrong"?

"Bob. Send Dr Vincent an emergency Medical team to Maya's quarters fast! I'll join him there". Before Bob Mathias could reply, Helena Russell closed down the channel and started back down the corridor towards Maya's quarters.

Tony Verdeschi skidded to a halt outside Maya's door. He knew that his Commlock wouldn't open the door and there wasn't enough time to get the Command Centre to over ride the door lock, so he had grabbed a Security Guard as he ran towards Maya's quarters. Tony pointed at the door mechanism and told the Security Guard to blast it. The Guard took out his Stungun, aimed and fired at the lock. The lock burst into a shower of sparks and flames. Both Tony and the Guard forced the disabled door open.

"Wait here for the Medical team" Verdeschi told the Guard.

The Guard nodded in acknowledgement and stood by the ruined doorway, while Verdeschi went inside.

Inside, Tony took stock of the situation. The Commlock and the Stungun were on the floor. Maya was lying on her back across her bed. There was the acrid smell of burning in the air. Tony looked at Maya's body. She appeared lifeless. Without any more delay, Tony rushed over to her side. He looked at the Metamorph's face and noticed that she had been crying. Her eyes were red and puffy. Tony was about to pick Maya up when Dr Russell charged into the room followed by Dr Vincent and the Medical team. "I think she's dead" Tony said softly.

Helena Russell walked over to where Maya was lying. She picked up Maya's arm and felt for a pulse. Her fingers probed Maya's wrist, searching for a sign of life. Tony Verdeschi began to look frantic. To him the seconds that past seemed like hours. The tension was becoming unbearable.

"She's alive" Helena said softly.

Tony gave a deep sigh of relief. "Thank God for that. I thought I'd lost her".

Dr Russell looked reassuringly at Tony. "We're all glad she's still alive Tony. Our lives wouldn't be the same without her".

Tony smiled.

Ben Vincent walked gently over with the Medical team. One of the Nurses unfolded the sides of the Gurney that Ben was towing and made it ready to take Maya back to Sickbay.

"Ben" Helena said.

Ben Vincent turned to look at Dr Russell. "Yes Doctor" he replied.

"Take Maya back to Sickbay and give her a sedative. Run the usual tests and have the results ready for when I get there". Helena allowed Dr Vincent to collect the comatosed body of Maya and leave the room. She then turned her attention to Tony Verdeschi. "Don't worry, she'll be O.K". Helena got up and walked towards the door. At the doorway she stopped and turned towards Tony again. "Why don't you come over later and see how she's doing"?

Verdeschi got up himself and replied "I'd like that. I'll see you later".

Dr Russell smiled and left the room.

Tony started to leave the room himself when something caught his attention. He stopped and turned to see what it was. Along the wall of Maya's quarters was her dressing table. It wasn't the dressing table that interested him. It was the mirror, or rather what was left of it. There was a blackened hole in the middle. The hole was surrounded by the melted edges of the glass that made up the mirror. The rest of the mirror had shattered, but the melted sections were holding the broken parts together. Small wisps of smoke were still rising from the charred plastic that backed the glass section.

Verdeschi went back and sat on the bed. He positioned himself so he could look into the mirror. From this position he reckoned that Maya would have a good view of herself. The question remained. Why would Maya try to kill her own reflection?

John Koenig sat on his own in the Travel Tube as it made its way to the nearest Terminal to Main Mission. His mind was still coming to terms with the idea that the Entity had moved them through time and space to 1970, only to destroy everything with a paradox. It didn't make sense. Why would the Entity say that she would grant the Alphans deepest wish, only to destroy them at the last hurdle? The Apollo 13 suggestion that Alan Carter made just didn't make sense! Koenig sat frustrated in his seat. He was sure that the Entity hadn't lied to them. That voice seemed so familiar. John racked his brain trying to remember. The Alphans had come across God-like entities before and none of them could be trusted, but this one? Koenig shook his head. He just couldn't remember.

Main Mission was quiet. Since the two Waste Dumps, or rather one large hole in the ground and a Waste Dump had vanished, Paul Morrow had very little to do. Sandra Benes was much in the same position. The Clipboard with the Servicing Schedules sat on the table ignored by everyone. Sandra was passing her time playing Chess with Paul. At least Paul and Sandra were happy. The pair spent more time gazing into each others eyes, rather than concentrating on the game.

Dave Kano sat at his rotating station deep in concentration. He was still wearing the headphones. His hands would wander over his computer terminal keyboard pressing buttons. Once every so often Dave would wince as if he heard something nasty, but other than that, all was quiet.

Commander Koenig marched into Main mission. He went straight over to Dave Kano's station and leaned on it right in front of him. Dave looked up and gently removed the headphones. Once Kano had put the headphones down Koenig looked him straight in the eye and said "Kano. What frequencies have you been listening too"?

Kano replied in a matter of fact manner. "Television and Radio broadcasts Commander".

Koenig was looking just as stern when he asked "No Military or specialist frequencies"?

Kano began to look a little lost. "Err, no Commander. Since those users tend to use coded transmissions or abbreviated speech only, it would take longer to deduce the date".

Koenig was unmoved. He pointed a single finger at Kano and said. "Kano, I want you to start monitoring NASA frequencies and NASA frequencies only. Understood".

Dave still looked as if he was missing something. "Commander" he asked. "What exactly am I supposed to be listening for"?

Koenig relaxed a little. It seemed that the rumour mill hadn't gotten this far yet. "I want to know if there's mission in progress. I want to know if Apollo 13 is on its way here".

For a moment, Dave was stunned. Even Paul and Sandra looked up. Rapidly, Dave replaced his headphones and started to punch buttons again.

"Commander" Paul called from across the room. "If Apollo 13 lands here, the Lunar Module and Moonbase Alpha will be destroyed. You can't have the Module and Alpha in the same place at the same time".

"I'm well aware of that Paul" Koenig replied. "But I don't believe the Entity brought us this far promising to return us to Earth and then deciding to destroy us".

Sandra looked concerned. "Commander" she started. "We have been involved with other entities that have claimed to be Gods. They have always let us down".

Koenig tried to smile. "Sandra. I'm just trying to make sure the Entities intentions are true. We need to everything about our situation before we make our next move".

Sandra smiled a little, but she wasn't quite reassured.

Victor Bergman appeared at the entrance to Koenig's old office. "John" he called softly, "I've a few ideas about our situation".

Koenig looked up at Victor. Even though Victor was the oldest member on Alpha, he hadn't lost the ability to make everybody feel relaxed, even though he punched pretty hard as well. John smiled, he needed some good news. He walked towards Bergman. Victor walked into the Office followed closely by Koenig.

The two men stood by the window. They both gazed out of the window at the Earth that hung like a bright blue marble in the black Alphan sky. John turned slightly towards Victor and asked "Well Victor, what do you have"?

Victor tapped a pen against his chin. "It's not good news John".

Koenig sighed. "The Entity lied didn't she"?

Victor put the pen on the window sill and replied "No John. I believe the Entity was telling the truth at all times. It's just that we've interpreted something the wrong way".

Koenig frowned. "It all seemed pretty clear cut to me. It seemed clear cut to everyone else as well". Koenig turned to face Victor. "What the hell did we miss"?

Victor Bergman picked up the pen again and began to toy with it. "Consider this" he began. "Between the Moon and the Earth there is a large gap. What do you put into a gap in order to get across that gap"?

John looked puzzled "Victor, this isn't the time for games. Alpha could be in serious trouble and you want to play games".

Unfazed by Koenig's reaction, Victor continued. "It's a bridge isn't it. You get across a gap using a bridge".

"Yes, the answers a bridge" said Koenig testily, "but what's your point Victor"?

Victor stopped playing with the pen and looked Koenig straight in the eye. "What did the Entity say when I asked her if we were dead"?

Koenig paused. He tapped his chin with his finger. Koenig's mind whirled for what seemed to be forever, but was only in fact a few seconds. John looked up and replied "That's a bridge that we have yet to cross".

Victor tried to smile a little. "That bridge we must cross very soon". Victor looked out of the window. "John. I believe that Apollo 13 is coming here. I also believe that it must not land".

"That's absurd" replied Koenig. "If we destroy Apollo 13, we destroy ourselves. There has to be another way".

Victor gazed back out of the window. "There isn't John. Think about it. The only way that we can truly go home, is to never leave there in the first place". Victor pointed out of the window at the Earth. "Right at this moment John, there is another John Koenig and another Victor Bergman. In once sense of the word, we're already home".

John Koenig turned away from the window. He knew that Victor was right. The Entity had kept her promise. She had granted their deepest desire, from a certain perspective. All they had to do now was to tidy up the loose ends. John turned back to look out of the window again. "Are you saying destroy Apollo 13 and Alpha will never be built? Are you saying that the Moon will never be blown out of orbit and into space? Are you saying that 'we'", Koenig pointed out of the window at the Earth "will have our lives back again"?

Victor gently placed his hand on John's shoulder. "I think you already know the answer John".

Koenig forced a smile. "If our Alphan existence's are to be erased, Apollo 13 should be damaged only. I won't take the lives of three innocent Astronauts".

Bergman smiled. Even at the end, John was thinking about others.

Koenig reached for his Commlock. As he brought the device up to where he could see the tiny screen, he thumbed the transmit switch. "Alan" he said. "How well do you know the Apollo spacecraft"?

The tiny face on the black and white TV screen looked confused. "Err, as long as you don't ask me to fly one, enough to get by on". Alan Carter narrowed his eyes a little. "Why do you want to know Commander"?

Koenig drew a deep breath before replying. "I need to know how to damage it to prevent it from landing in the middle of Alpha. Any ideas".

The image on the tiny screen squirmed a little. "Not as yet Commander. It's been a few years".

"O.K Alan" replied Koenig. "Get up here as fast as you can and work with Professor Bergman on the problem".

"On my way Commander" answered Carter. With that, the image faded.

"Don't you think that you should be getting back to the Command Centre" asked Bergman.

"No Victor" replied Koenig. "I started the journey here in Main Mission. I think I'll end it here as well".

Tony Verdeschi walked into the Sickbay quickly. He looked about him for Dr Russell. He spotted her over by a row of beds near the back of the Sickbay. he walked over to her and asked "How is she"?

Helena Russell looked down at Maya who was lying in the bed in front of her. "I'm not sure Tony" she replied. "Although I'm sure that She's in a coma, the readings I'm getting suggest that she's in some sort of deep REM sleep".

Tony looked confused. "Well that can't be right" he protested. "Maya wouldn't just shoot at her reflection and then fall asleep"!

"Don't you think that I know that" Dr Russell commented. "It's just that the readings I'm getting suggest that". She pointed to the readout on one of the monitors that was hooked up to the Metamorph. "Her brainwave patterns are well above normal. If she was in a coma, her brainwave patterns would be well below normal". She turned to face Verdeschi. It's almost like she was dreaming".

Tony looked deeply into Maya's face. He could see Maya's eyes moving rapidly under her eyelids. "I wonder what she's dreaming about"?

Dr Russell sighed. "I've no idea. After all these years, there's still much I don't know about Psychon physiology. It's just so alien".

Tony paused. He hadn't thought of this before. After the Entity's visit and the appearance of Earth, he hadn't given a single thought to the fact that Maya was an Alien. Maya didn't come from Earth. Tony wondered if the Entity had forgotten Maya, or it had something special in store for her.

Helena broke the silence. "Tony, why don't you stay a while".

The distracted Verdeschi suddenly came back to his senses. "Yes, I'd like that. If it's not a problem".

Helena smiled. "I don't think the Command Centre is going to miss you for a while". She pointed to a vacant chair that was next to Maya's bed. "Here, sit down. I'll get some coffee".

Within the black abyss of Maya's mind stood a single figure. It was Maya. She looked all around her. She could see nothing, but she could hear the disembodied voice. 'Hello Metamorph' it called. 'Couldn't you do the right thing and blow your own head off'? Maya said nothing. She groped her way around in the darkness of her own mind looking for the owner of the taunting voice. Once again the voice called 'Looking for something alien. Where are your Human friends now'? Maya spun around. She couldn't see anything. The owner of the voice had to be somewhere in here, but where?

As Maya crept forward a figure appeared out of the gloom. The figure was wearing a dark cloak that covered the figures head and face. The figure approached her. The Scythe that the figure held in its hand was held like an upright staff. The bottom would be tapped against the floor with each footstep that the figure took. Maya stopped in her tracks and stared at the figure. The hooded figure continued to walk up to her, tapping the Scythe on the floor as it came. Maya didn't move. Fear kept her rooted to the spot. The figure approached until it was right in front of her, then it stopped.

"Who are you" Maya asked.

"Don't you know Alien"? the figure asked.

Maya froze. She knew that voice. In fact it sounded very familiar. "Who are you"? she asked again.

"I am your fears. I am you loathing. I am you doubts. I am your hatred. I am everything negative about you".

Maya had to know the identity of the cloaked figure. Slowly she reached out her hand towards the hood of the figure. The figure did not move. Maya gripped the edge of the hood and then suddenly threw it back over the figures head. With the figures head revealed, the figure threw away the Scythe and the cloak. Stood before Maya was another Maya!

The Anti-Maya threw back her head and laughed loudly. Maya, with her suspicions confirmed confronted the evil that stood before her.

"I thought it might've been you" she yelled. "I looked in the mirror and saw the negative image of myself. I always knew what I wanted before the Entity asked the question, but when the Entity asked, you were there to cloud my thinking".

"Oh" cooed the Anti-Maya. "What are you going to do about it now then"?

Maya narrowed her eyes. "Confront my demons"! With that, Maya attacked.

Alan Carter breezed into Main Mission. Ever since he started the Apollo 13 rumour, he had been man of the moment. Alan walked over to where Paul Morrow and Sandra Benes were playing Chess.

"Hello cobbers" Alan said. "Getting ready for the apocalypse"?

"That is not very funny" replied Sandra.

"Oh come on" protested Alan "It's not every day you get to wipe yourself out".

Paul frowned. "No, it's usually everyone else trying to do it for us".

"What do you mean by 'wiping ourselves out'" asked Sandra.

"Err, don't you know" enquired Carter. "The Commanders asked me for a way to stop the Apollo landing on the Moon without killing any of the Astronauts".

Sandra was still puzzled. "What is that got do with us wiping ourselves out"?

Paul replied "When the Apollo 13 mission landed back in 1970, it didn't land in the middle of Alpha did it".

"No" replied Sandra.

"So it can't do it this time, can it" retorted Paul.

Sandra still wasn't convinced. "But if you stop Apollo 13 from landing here, how will that effect Alpha"?

This time Paul looked puzzled.

"Well mates" started Alan. "The survey reports from the Apollo 13 mission leads to Alpha being built here. No Apollo 13 Moon landing, no Moonbase Alpha".

"Then why are you so cheerful about going 'poof' goodbye existence" asked Paul.

"Because it's the biggest load of eyewash I've heard in ages" retorted Carter.

A voice spoke out from behind Alan. "Hey flyboy".

Alan turned around to see Dave Kano waving a set of headphones at him. "Yeah, what is it Dave"?

"Take a listen to this can you" Dave replied.

"Yeah sure" said Carter as he walked over to where Dave was sitting. Alan picked up the headphones and put them on this head. Alan lifted one of the phones slightly and asked "Is this the NASA frequency, Dave"?

"Yes" replied Kano. "Trouble is, I don't understand some of the terminology. I just want to know if it's definitely Apollo 13 or not".

Alan Carter dropped the phone back into place and listened. As the minutes passed, the colour began to drain from his face. Over on the other side of the room, Paul Morrow and Sandra Benes began to notice that the smile that Alan had walked in with had vanished. Also his face was turning an ashen white in colour.

John Koenig and Victor Bergman walked out of the Office when they noticed that the banter in Main Mission had turned to silence. Koenig walked over to Carter who was still listening.

"Let's have it Alan" demanded Koenig.

Carter slid off the headphones and placed them on Dave Kano's terminal. Alan looked around him. Everyone was looking at him. Alan turned to answer the Commander. "It's Apollo 13 Commander. It's on its way here".

Koenig remained silent. Even he understood the gravity of the situation. The wheels in Koenig's mind went into overload. He couldn't allow a paradox, the consequences would be shattering. For what seemed an eternity, Koenig spoke. "It can't land here. We have to stop it". He turned to Alan and asked "How much time do we have"?

Alan replied quickly. "Not much Commander. The Lunar landing module has just been extracted from its housing. I reckon it would take two days for them to get here. However, I don't think that we've got two days to come up with a solution and put it in place".

Sandra piped up "But surely, two days is plenty of time to put a plan into action".

Paul gently tapped Sandra on the shoulder and replied "How long do you think it will be before Alpha will be spotted by those Astronauts? Don't forget, the Great Wall of China can be seen from space. There's a good chance that Alpha might be spotted because of its lights and size".

Sandra's face fell. She knew that Paul was right. The further away the

Apollo craft was, the better the chances of Alpha not being spotted and its existence being reported to the Apollo ground staff.

Koenig started to pace around Main Mission in a very slow fashion. He rested his chin in one hand deep in thought. Throughout this ordeal he had this nagging impression that something was missing. No matter how hard he thought about it, he just couldn't figure out what it was. Eventually, he stopped and addressed the group. "I want options. That Lunar craft cannot land here". Koenig's voice sounded urgent. "I want those options within the hour!" With that, Koenig marched back into the Office.

The remaining Alphans in Main Mission just looked at each other. They had been given sixty minutes to come up with something and nobody had any clues on what to do!

Victor Bergman walked slowly over to where John was standing. "A penny for your thoughts John" he asked calmly.

Koenig continued to stare out of the windows that lined one wall of his old Office. "We've missed something Victor, and I've have the strangest feeling that you know what it is."

Bergman peered out of the window and gazed at the object that John was looking at. The Earth. "I'm not quite sure, but I've a fair idea that I know."

Koenig half turned is head towards Victor and asked "Are we dead"?

Without a pause, Bergman replied "That is a bridge we have yet to cross."

Koenig looked at the bright blue orb that hung in the black Alphan sky and said "It's a very long bridge that spans the Earth and Moon."

Victor could no longer look at the Earth. He turned around and looked at the activities of the Alphans who were in Main Mission. "Do we really have to die in order to go home?"

Koenig sighed. The pieces were falling into place. The Entity was clever. The only way to go home was to never leave it.

The Medical Centre was almost deserted except for Helena Russell, Maya and Tony Verdeschi. Ben Vincent had gone 'upstairs' to swop notes with Bob Mathias, the emergency had long passed. All was quiet except for the noises that the Medical equipment made that surrounded Maya's bed.

Tony Verdeschi was still sitting at Maya's bedside. He gently held the Metamorphs hand. He didn't say anything. He couldn't think of anything to say. All he could do was just sit there and hope.

Helena Russell walked over and put her hand on Tony's shoulder. "There's nothing more you can do Tony. You might as well go back to the Command Centre."

Tony turned his head slightly towards Dr Russell. "I'm not needed there any more. Haven't you heard, there isn't a security risk anymore. I'm redundant."

Helena knew that that Tony didn't mean anything nasty in what he said, but moping around the Medical Centre wasn't helping himself any.

Tony sighed. "I can't understand why she collapsed after she shot her reflection in the mirror. There's no injuries, no marks, no nothing. I just don't understand it."

Helena removed her hand from Tony's shoulder. "It may be a long while before we know Tony. Coma's are unpredictable at best." Helena glanced back at one of the monitors that was hooked up to Maya. "Well, she still has plenty of brain activity, so she could well pull out soon."

Tony smiled weakly. He leaned over and looked into Maya's face. Out of the corner of his eye, Tony watched as Dr Russell went to another part of the Sickbay. As the Doctors back was turned, Tony gently clasped Maya's hand and kissed it lightly.

Maya and the Anti-Maya had both changed into Cats. They were both biting and scratching each other savagely. No matter what creature Maya changed herself into, the Anti-Maya would do the same. The air was filled with the howls and screams of animal combat. Once every so often, the two combatants would change back into their original forms and taunt each other.

"You can't win" screamed the Anti-Maya. "We are perfectly matched!"

"Says who?" taunted Maya. "You have no friends to tell you."

The Anti-Maya laughed. "Where are YOUR friends now Alien? Are they still gazing at the Earth? Are they so filled with the joy of seeing their home, that they had forgotten you"?

Without warning, the pseudo-world within Maya's mind shook. Both Maya and the Anti-Maya lurched around the inky blackness that was their world. A new sensation crept over Maya. She couldn't quite understand it, but it felt good. She noticed a tingling sensation that was coming from the back of her hand. Slowly, she lifted her hand to see what was causing this strange sensation. She lifted her hand close to her face. Maya noticed a small patch of moisture. It looked sort of Rugby ball shaped. Maya instantly knew what it was.

"My friends Human HAVEN'T for forgotten me" she yelled at the Anti-Maya. The Anti-Maya twitched slightly, but said nothing. With renewed strength, Maya attacked again.

The lights were on in John Koenig's office. Most of Professor Bergman's clutter had been cleared off the table and replaced with clipboards, pens and coffee cups. Alan Carter and Victor Bergman were deep in conversation while Bergman scribbled away on the perspex planning board that stood between the two ageing men. Sandra Benes was busy making sure everyone had coffee if they needed it, while Paul Morrow shuffled between the office and Dave Kano's computer terminal getting readouts for the Professor. John Koenig sat on Kano's terminal with the headphones on listening to the conversation between the Earth and the Apollo 13 mission.

Koenig slipped off the headphones and handed them back to Dave Kano. Koenig stood up and walked towards the old Command office. As he went, he looked up to where the main viewscreen once stood. It was just an empty hole now, the screen had ended up in the Command Centre. Somehow he had regretted the move. It just wasn't the same, but the move had to be made. One direct hit on Main Mission and a lot of good people would have been killed. Koenig smirked, for the past 25 years nothing had hit Main Mission and nobody had been killed. It felt strange now. Main Mission, the Command Centre, in fact the whole of Alpha was about to be wiped out by the hand of Koenig himself. John put these thoughts aside for now and trotted up the steps that lead into the Commanders Office. Once inside, Koenig paused to look around him. Satisfied, Koenig announced "O.K people, it's time for some options."

One by one, the others sat down. Paul Morrow leaned out of the Office doorway and beckoned to Dave Kano. Once Kano had entered the room, Paul walked over to the table and took his seat. Dave Kano was the last to sit down. Once everybody was seated, Koenig looked at the assembled group. He noticed that someone was missing. Koenig pulled his Commlock and pushed the transmit button.

The bright and cheery face of Yasko appeared. "Yes Commander" she said.

"Yasko, can you send Tony up to Main Mission. It's important" said Koenig curtly.

Yasko's black and white image stopped smiling. "Tony is in the Sick Bay checking up on Maya."

Koenig frowned. "What happened to Maya?"

Yasko was now positively puzzled. "Have you not heard, there's been a incident and Maya is in a coma."

Koenig looked a little displeased. "Why wasn't I informed?" he replied.

Yasko looked hurt. "I'm sorry Commander, but that is something that Tony normally does."

Koenig sighed. "I'm sorry, your right of course." Koenig pushed another button on the Commlock and the Face of Dr Russell appeared. "Helena" Koenig said sounding concerned. "When did this incident with Maya happen."

Helena Russell paused and looked surprised. "It was several hours ago John. Why do you ask"?

Koenig began to get testy. "I wasn't informed Helena. I can't run a base if key members go sick and nobody tells me"! Koenig relaxed a little. "Kindly ask Mr Verdeschi if he would care to join us in Main Mission."

Helena Russell looked over her shoulder at Tony Verdeschi who was off to one side. She looked back at Koenig's image on the Commpost. "John, do you really need Tony? Since we're orbiting Earth, it's unlikely that we're going to be attacked by anything."

John Koenig paused. It wasn't an attack he was worried about. It was the potential panic that might break out on Alpha when they found out that they have to commit suicide. Perhaps he was over estimating the reactions of his fellow Alphans. They had doubted him before. Even thought he was mad. The Entity told them they were going home. He was telling them to kill themselves. Koenig cleared his mind of these thoughts and spoke again. "O.K, Helena, Tony can stay there. By the way, how is Maya"?

The Image on Koenig's Commlock smiled. "She's stable, but I'm not sure what's wrong. I'm working on it."

Koenig smiled. "Do what you can Helena." He pushed another button and placed the Commlock on the table. Koenig looked around at the others who were all looking back at him. "I take it that nobody else knew about this?" The others looked at him blankly. "Main Mission really is isolated" Koenig commented.

Paul Morrow grinned a little. "Nobody wants to work in a place that's very vulnerable to attack. One good hit and 'foom', you're sucked out into space".

Koenig raised an eyebrow. Paul was right. Main Mission was never designed to be base of operations during a war. Koenig sat back in his seat and said "O.K. I asked for some options, so let's have them. He then turned to face Victor Bergman.

Victor Bergman leaned on the table. His elbows resting either side of the clipboard. He twiddled with a pen as he spoke. "Well. Our options are rather limited". He looked around at the others before he continued. "We can't redirect the craft as there will be paradox problems. We can't destroy the Lunar Module, as it's too close to the Command Module. The only way we can prevent a lunar landing is to disable the Service Module." Bergman paused again. "Since the heat shield of the Command Module is designed to withstand a pounding during re-entry, the Service Module can be attacked without harming the Astronauts."

At this point Alan Carter stood up and wheeled Professor Bergman's board over to the table. "There's a bit of bad design work on the Service Module Commander." Carter pointed at a panel on the roughly drawn Service Module diagram. "Most of the life support systems are under this panel. The main air and power routes, including the back-ups are very close together. One hit on this spot" Carter tapped the board for effect "will knock out the Life support to the Command Module."

Koenig looked concerned. "Wait a minute" he protested. "You're going to kill the Astronauts by destroying their life support!"

"Ahh, no so." Interrupted Bergman. "The three Astronauts will be forced to use the Lunar Module life support in order to live. Since they will be using the Lunar Module as a life boat, they can't use it to land on the Moon."

Koenig seemed satisfied with the answer.

"There's some bad news" added Carter. "The Lunar Module wasn't designed to support three people, only two. As a result, the air scrubbers in the Lunar Module aren't able to keep all three Astronauts alive."

Victor Bergman broke in. "The air scrubbers in the Command Module are different from the ones in the Lunar Module."

"Meaning" asked Koenig.

"In short" replied Carter. "If they can't figure out a way to convert one system to another, they could still die."

Koenig shook his head. "This isn't good enough. Those Astronauts must not be harmed."

Bergman pointed some figures on his clipboard. "All is not lost John. I've calculated that the Astronauts might not need to build a new air scrubber. They have enough fuel in the Lunar Module to turn the vessel around and head back to Earth. So they have ample chances for survival."

Koenig tapped his fingers on the Table. "This is cutting it a bit thin. Is there enough materials on board Apollo 13 to make a new air scrubber"?

Carter looked sheepish. "Well Commander, I'm not a Technician. If I was going to do it. I'd need all the help from Earth I could get. But from the materials point of view, the answer's yes."

Koenig sat deep in thought. He couldn't tell the Astronauts how to make a new air scrubber, that would cause a paradox. He could only hope that the ground crew on Earth would come up with the design. He looked straight at Carter. "Very well, go for it. But remember this Alan. You can't be seen by the Apollo crew. If those Astronauts spot you and report it back to Earth, it would cause mass panic. We are NOT Alien invaders."

"Don't worry Commander. They'll never who or what hit them." replied Carter smiling.

Koenig turned to Dave Kano. "What's happening at the moment?"

Dave Kano flipped through some of the pages on his clipboard. "Well Commander. The Service Module has docked with the Lunar Module and they are on their way here".

"It's been a hellish 50 hours" sighed Koenig.

"Somehow, I do not think we have another 50" added Sandra.

Koenig stood up. "O.K people. We've got work to do. Alan, get Eagle 1 ready for lift off. Dave, keep listening to that Apollo craft. If it so much as sneezes, I want to know about it." Koenig paused. "I have to figure out a way of telling everyone what's going to happen."

Victor Bergman stood up and placed a hand on Koenig's shoulder. "Don't worry John. You've always said the right thing."

Koenig looked depressed. "Maybe so Victor, but this time it's going to be the last thing I'm going to say." With that, Koenig turned and left the room.

"There goes a man with an enormous weight on his shoulders" remarked Paul Morrow.

"Can you think of another person who could carry that sort of load?" retorted Sandra.

"No" replied Paul.

Tony Verdeschi was still sitting by Maya's bed when John Koenig walked in. Helena was the first to notice that John was carrying a large bottle of brownish liquid.

"Tony" said Koenig softly. "I err, took the liberty of going into your quarters and err, borrowing this." He tapped on the large bottle. "I think we're all going to need it."

Tony looked up and forced a smile. "It's the end isn't it Commander? Your not letting Apollo 13 land here."

Koenig nodded.

Tony picked up his empty coffee cup and held it out. "Won't you join me?" he asked.

Koenig smiled. Helena Russell brought out two more cups and Koenig filled them all. When all three cups were full, they gazed down at Maya's comatosed form.

"It's a pity that she couldn't join us" said Koenig softly.

"Oh she will Commander" replied Verdeschi "She will."

"How much time do we have left John" Helena asked.

"An hour or so" replied Koenig.

Tony looked deeply at Maya's sleeping face. "We have all the time in the world" he whispered.

Koenig put the bottle down. "I've got to get back to Main Mission." Koenig and Dr Russell both looked at Tony and then looked at each other. Koenig smiled a little and then walked out of the door.

Helena Russell picked up the bottle of beer and said "I'll go down to the Command Centre and pass this around." There was no reply. Tony was miles away. She turned slowly and walked silently out of the Sick Bay.

Tony Verdeschi never noticed that he and Maya were the only people in the room. He still clutched Maya's hand. Slowly Tony leaned forward and whispered in Maya's ear "I love you."

Alan Carter and Bill Frazer were doing the pre-flight checks on Eagle 1. Alan was dressed in an Astronauts suit, whale Bill wore his standard Alphan uniform. The atmosphere was somewhat muted.

"Well, you're ready to go Alan" said Bill.

"Thanks mate" replied Alan.

"I suppose I'll see you in the afterlife then" commented Bill.

Alan paused. "I've no idea of what's going to happen after I pull the trigger Bill" Alan replied.

Bill Frazer tried to sound cheerful. "There's only one way to find out then" he said.

"Yeah right" replied Carter.

Bill Frazer turned to exit the cockpit. He paused as he reached the doorway. Without looking back he said "Good luck" and then walked out.

Alan didn't reply. Even he was having a hard time of the idea of killing yourself in order to save yourself. But like a lot of other Alphans who had figured it out, you couldn't have two of you in the same place at the same time. Even though your two selves would be two different ages, the fact that when you touched each other would cause a massive paradox and wipe each other out just couldn't be justified. It was better for the Alphans to go and save the future of the Moon, than it was to move back to Earth and live you life looking over your shoulder. What had to be done, had to be done. Alan did up his safety harness and pressed the communications button on the centre console.

John Koenig had returned to Main Mission. He was sat at the table with Victor Bergman. Both men were silent. The silence was shattered by the bleeping of Koenig's Commlock. Koenig picked up the Commlock from his belt and thumbed the switch. The face of Alan Carter appeared.

"Commander." Alan started. "I've got clearance from the Command Centre to lift off." Alan paused. "You said you wanted to know."

"Thank you Alan" Koenig replied softly. "Make it a good one."

Alan forced a weak smile. "I won't let you down." Alan's face faded from the tiny screen.

Koenig looked at Victor and said "Well Victor. This is it." Koenig got up and walked to the top of the steps that overlooked Main Mission. He thumbed the Commlock once again. The image of Yasko appeared.

"Yes Commander" she said. Her voice sounded depressed.

"Yasko. Patch me through to all sections. We can't do it from up here" Koenig said softly.

The image of Yasko shifted position as she flicked switches. "You're on Commander."

John Koenig drew himself up to his full height. He drew a deep breath and spoke with the authority that only a Commander could have. "Attention all sections Alpha. This is Commander John Koenig. We have travelled together throughout the Cosmos for the past 25 years. We have seen many strange things and had many different experiences. Our travels are about to end."

In the corridors, Alphans gathered around the Commposts as their Commander began to speak. The only other sound was the light tapping of footsteps as other Alphans appeared from around corners to hear the Commanders address.

"Just over 54 hours ago, we were visited by an entity that promised to grant our deepest desire. I think we all know what that desire was. It was to go home. The joy and elation that we felt when we saw Earth again more than made up for the depression and anger that we felt before we arrived. It was if the Entity had drained us of everything that we had until we had nothing more left to give. The fact that Apollo 13 is on its way here is proof that we have one thing left to give, and that is our lives."

In the Command Centre, Helena Russell continued to pour out Tony's beer into assorted cups as Koenig spoke. There was utter silence from the Alphans as she handed out the beverage. Even the background noise of the computers and terminals seemed less then normal. Everyone was focused on Koenig's voice.

"As we know from our own history, the Apollo 13 survey results were used as the deciding factor in the location of Alpha. The Lunar Module on the approaching Apollo craft if un-checked, will land in the middle of Alpha. As we can all accept, this would cause a major paradox and it cannot be allowed to happen. I believe that this is all part of the Entities plan to forfill her promise. It would seem that in order for us to go home, we must never leave the Earth in the first place."

In the Sickbay Tony Verdeschi could hear the Commanders voice, but he wasn't listening. He continued to hold Maya's hand. Once in a while, he would gently stroke the Metamorphs hair as Koenig continued to speak.

"Captain Alan Carter has taken Eagle 1 to intercept the Apollo craft. Once there, he will disable the craft in such a way that it will make a Lunar landing impossible. I have been assured that the three Apollo Astronauts will return safely to Earth using the Lunar Module as a lifeboat. As a result of this action, Moonbase Alpha will be victim of a paradox and cease to exist. The end result will be, that we will be all back on Earth."

Alan Carter listened intently as he peered out of the Eagles view port. Koenig's words seemed to relieve some of the pressure that Carter was experiencing. As the Apollo spacecraft became visible to Carter's eyes, Alan felt reassured by Koenig's voice.

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your service and you friendship over the past 25 years. Thank you." Koenig let out a deep sigh of relief and thumbed the Commlock for the last time. He turned to Paul Morrow and asked "Do those small monitors still work"?

Paul looked a the bank of three monitors that were located under the hole where the Main Viewscreen once stood. He then looked at his control panel and flicked a switch. The three monitors burst into life. Each one showed the picture of Eagle 1 moving away from the Moon and towards its destiny with Apollo 13.

Koenig just smiled and said "Thank you."

Victor Bergman stepped alongside Koenig. He held up a glass full of Brandy. "I think this will make you feel better" he said.

"I thought we drank all that" replied Koenig taking the glass.

"Oh, not quite" Victor added. "Anyway, it's better that Verdeschi's home brew."

"You've tried that?" Koenig asked.

"Why do you think I moved my room to your old office?" quipped Bergman. Victor walked down the steps filling assorted cups for the other Alphans that remained in Main Mission.

The vector thrusters fired on Eagle 1 slowing its forward speed. Another burst of flame brought the ageing craft to a complete halt. The battered and patched workhorse of Moonbase Alpha hung in space completely motionless. The Eagle may of been still, but something in the distance was headed straight for it.

Alan Carter reduced the magnification on the forward camera. The monitor on the centre console showed the image of the Lunar Module main engine. Alan sat back in his seat, he knew that the Apollo Astronauts couldn't see the Eagle, nor could the tracking systems on Earth. Carter was beginning to sweat, he had been on a few tricky missions before, but this one was different. He had to get it right first time. There was no opportunity for a second go. Alan checked the on board flight systems again, he didn't want anything to go wrong. He glanced at the monitor again, the Apollo craft was getting closer. Once again Carter reduced the magnification. The was little time left and only one other thing left to do.

There was silence in Main Mission. Nobody was in the mood for talking. Sandra Benes and Paul Morrow sat next to each other holding hands. Their free hands were holding the cups of brandy that Bergman had given them. As of yet, they hadn't drunk it. Dave Kano sat back in his seat still listening to the chatter between the Apollo Astronauts and the ground crew. He too hadn't touched his brandy. Commander Koenig and Professor Bergman stood by the windows. They both gazed up at the Earth. Koenig's glass was empty. Victors wasn't that far behind.

"It won't be long now" offered Bergman.

"No it won't" replied Koenig weakly.

"Are you having doubts?" Victor enquired.

Koenig turned slightly towards Victor. "Do you believe that I'm doing the right thing Victor?"

Victor continued to gaze out of the window. "The question is John; Do you believe that you're doing the right thing?"

Koenig sighed. "25 years in space and it would've all been for nothing. I can't believe that the Entity would allow our knowledge, experiences and lives all go to waste."

Bergman smiled a little. "Something out there has been looking after us for a reason. It's all a question of faith."

Koenig glanced over at Bergman. "Faith in what?"

"I have no idea" Bergman replied.

The eerie silence in Main Mission was broken by Paul Morrow.

"Commander" he called out. "Carter's reporting in."

Koenig turned around and marched to where Paul was sat. "Punch it up on the Main Monitors Paul."

Paul flipped a switch and the three monitors that were located under the gaping hole that used to hold the Main Viewscreen lit up with monochrome image of a helmeted Alan Carter.

"Commander" Carter announced. "I'm in position and ready to go."

"Very well Alan" Koenig replied. "Good luck and make it a good one."

"Don't worry Commander" Carter answered. "I won't let you down." With that, Alan flipped down the visor on his helmet and terminated the connection. The monitors changed to the double 'A' logo.

Koenig leaned over Morrows shoulder and flipped another switch. The monitors changed from the double 'A' logo to an exterior view of the Eagle and the Apollo 13 craft.

"This is it then?" asked Sandra who was still holding Paul's hand.

Koenig smiled weakly. "Yes it is."

Sandra squeezed Paul's hand slightly. She flipped another switch to allow the Command Centre access to the pictures from the Maintenance camera.

Koenig stood up, watched the monitors and waited.

Alan Carter gripped the flight controls tightly. His mouth was drying out rapidly. The sweat was beginning to trickle down his forehead. He reached over to the Laser control panel and flipped up the cover to the trigger. He then gripped the main engine throttle. Alan checked the position of the Apollo craft again. Carter drew a deep breath and muttered "Well mate. This is it"! He pulled back the throttle as fast as he could before returning his hand to the flight controls.

The aft belly thrusters burst into life. The Eagle's tail lifted until the craft was stood on its nose. The vector thrusters kicked in and forced the Eagle backwards out of Apollo 13's flight path. The Eagle continued to drift backwards until the vector thrusters fired again and brought the Eagle to a halt.

Alan's mouth was really dry now. He felt that his tongue would crack and fall off. He watched the monitor on the centre console as the Lunar Module slid under the cross hairs of the Lasers targeting system. The sweat began to pour from Alan's forehead. The Command module slid beneath the crosshairs. Alan placed his thumb on the Lasers firing button. Alan's heart was now pounding. The Service Module now slid into view. Alan closed his eyes and fired.

A shaft of bright yellow light pierced the inky blackness of space. The Eagle's laser struck the Service Module blowing away a silvery panel that span away into space. Shards of metal and bright blue sparks danced in the hole that the laser had left. As escaping gas blew away the shards of metal, Eagle 1 winked out of existence.

John Koenig's eyes were glued to the monitor. Although he had faced death and danger many times before, a sense of panic overcame him as Eagle 1 vanished. All he could do was to close his eyes and wait for the end. Koenig could see nothing, but he could hear the pounding of his heart and the rasping of his breath. As he waited for his end, he tried to control the feeling of panic that overwhelmed him. His heart rate climbed. His heart was pounding so loudly, he thought that it would burst out of his chest. His breathing became so laboured, it sounded like somebody was trying to start a chainsaw. One thought suddenly entered Koenig's mind 'Am I dead yet'? The panic began to subside as another thought entered his head. 'I can hear my heart beating, I can't be dead'.

John Koenig opened his eyes. He was still in Main Mission. However, he was the only person there. With the sound of his heart still pounding in his ears, he looked around him. Main Mission was completely deserted. Koenig noticed something odd. The doors that led into his office were wide open, but the furnishings of his office seemed to be replaced with different ones. Slowly, Koenig walked up the steps that led into his office. His movements were slow. It seemed that everything was happening in slow motion. He entered the room that should have been his office. The room didn't contain the fittings that he had grown used too, but the fittings of a conventional living room in an ordinary house.

Koenig's heart rate began to climb again as he explored this mysterious room. He looked at the walls that were covered in flocked wall paper. He ran his hand down it to feel the texture. He couldn't figure out where this had come from. Koenig turned to face the way he had come. Instead of the doorway that led into Main Mission, there was another wall that was covered by the same flocked wall paper. Mounted on that wall was a mirror. Koenig walked over to the mirror and looked at his reflection. He seemed different. His grey hair was now black. The wrinkles on his aged face had faded. The Alphan Commander in the reflection of the mirror was younger. Koenig looked down at his hands. He saw that his hands had better muscle tone. His fingers were no longer the spindly digits that he used to have. Again the Commander looked back at the reflection in the mirror. This time, the reflection was no longer wearing a Commanders uniform. The figure in the mirror was wearing a dark grey three piece suit. Koenig was perplexed. What the hell was going on? Is this what death was like?

A new sound entered Koenig's ears. It was the steady ticking of a clock. Startled by this new sound, John turned to face it. Sat on a fireplace mantelpiece, was a Carriage clock. Koenig walked slowly towards it. The ticking of the clock was now louder than the beating of his tortured heart. As he peered at the clock, he noticed that the hands were going backwards! The hands were moving faster than the ticking of the clock. 'I must be dead' Koenig thought.

The ticking of the clock began to slow down. The hands were not moving quite so fast. The pounding of Koenig's heart seemed even louder now. What ever was going to happen, was going to happen soon.

Without warning, the ticking stopped. The sound of Koenig's beating heart and breathing also stopped. The slow motion world that Koenig was in seemed to speed up. Koenig stumbled as the slow motion feeling vanished. The first thing that Koenig did was to look at the Carriage clock. The second hand was counting away the time in the right direction. Koenig now became aware of other noises. He could faintly hear the twittering of birds outside the room. An open window distracted Koenig. John walked over to the open window and pulled aside the lace curtain. Outside he could see houses. Koenig looked from side to side taking in every inch of this new experience. Koenig concluded that he was either dead, or having a very strange dream. He stepped back from the window, but then he noticed somebody was walking down the road. Koenig almost pressed his nose to the glass, straining to see who the figure was. His heart almost missed a beat when he recognised the figure of Alan Carter!

"Alan. Alan"! Koenig yelled.

Alan Carter stopped in mid stride. "Hi Commander. Is this the afterlife"?

"I don't know Alan" Koenig shouted back.

"Well neither do I" retorted Carter. "But at least the beer's good." Alan waved a can in the air. "I came to in a house with a fridge full of the stuff." Alan smiled widely. "It's better than Verdeschi's muck!"

"Wait there" Koenig called. "I'll be right out."

"Hmmm" Carter mused "The Commander must be busting for a decent drink." Carter pulled another can out of the pocket of the jacket he was wearing.

The door of the house that Koenig was in opened. John walked out and looked up and down the road. "Are we the only ones here?" he called.

"Dunno Commander" Carter replied. "I've only been here for a few minutes. I had a weird time getting here as well."

Koenig walked over to where Carter was stood. They both looked around at their surroundings. They were stood on the road in between two rows of houses. The road gently curved on one end, while the road was straight on the other. Alan offered John a can of beer, but Koenig declined. As the two continued to take in their surroundings, they noticed that the front doors of other houses were opening and others were walking out to join them.

"Strewth" Carter commented. "Everyone's looking younger!"

Koenig laughed "Even you have a full head of hair Alan."

Carter laughed. "I'll have to learn how to use a comb again."

Helena Russell ran over to where John and Alan were standing. "What's happened?" She asked. "We all seem younger. It's almost like 25 years of ageing has been reversed."

John Koenig hugged Helena tightly. "I've no idea Helena, but who cares, you look great!"

Victor Bergman and Tony Verdeschi walked up behind Alan Carter. Tony tapped Alan on the Shoulder. "What have you got there Alan?"

"Amber nectar Tony." Alan pulled a can from out of his pocket and thrust it into Tony's hands. "I don't have to drink your vile concoctions ever again."

"Oh I'm wounded" retorted Tony as he took the can. Tony pulled the pull tab and drank deeply. "Hmmm.. I still think my stuff's better" Tony commented.

The entire assembled crowd burst into laughter.

Victor Bergman tapped John Koenig on the shoulder. "John. Are you wearing a watch"? he asked.

Koenig pulled the sleeve on his jacket and looked. "Yes Victor, I am."

"What's the date." Victor enquired.

Koenig drew the wrist watch up to his face for a better look. He was surprised at what he saw. "It's September the 13th" he said.

"And the year?" Bergman went on.

Koenig was even more taken aback at what he saw. "1999."

Others started to look at their own wrist watches. Those who weren't wearing them looked at others who were.

"What does it all mean?" asked a confused Helena Russell.

Weather he wanted it or not, Victor Bergman became the centre of attention. "My best guess would be that We've been merged with our Earthbound selves."

"Well, my Earthbound self has absolutely no dress sense" snorted Sandra. "This frock is terrible."

"Oh I don't know" commented Paul, "But I could think of a better dress to wear."

"And what sort of dress would that be then" Sandra asked knowingly.

"I'll tell you later" Paul teased.

Sandra punched Paul on the shoulder mockingly.

At this point, Tony Verdeschi cut in. "Hey. I'd hate to break up the party, but has anyone seen Maya"?

The crowd fell silent. Everybody started to look around themselves. Although nobody else had joined the crowd for a fair while, Nobody had noticed Maya's absence until now.

"She has to be here somewhere" Tony complained. "Everybody else is."

The crowd remained silent. One by one the Alphans stopped looking around them. Tony was now becoming frantic. He moved among the gathered Alphans searching for Maya. As the Sun began to set, his frustration began to turn to disappointment and then to sadness.

As the sun continued to set, a lone figure was silhouetted against the descending Sun. The figure was stood on the road at the end of the row of houses. The figure didn't move, it stood quite still. The figure then called out a single word "Tony"!

The crowd all turned to face this new voice. Tony Verdeschi pricked up his ears on hearing his name. He began to push his way through the crowd towards the voice. He knew the owner of the voice and he called out "Maya"!

Maya ran down the road as fast as her legs would carry her. Tony exited the crowd and ran up the road. The pair almost knocked each other over as they met. Tony grabbed Maya by the waist and picked her up and swung her around. Maya wrapped her arms around Tony's neck. Together the pair swung around and around until they were almost dizzy.

"I'd thought we'd almost lost you" Tony said.

"I've had the strangest of dreams" replied Maya.

Tony set Maya back down on the ground. "I'm not letting you go this time. Not ever."

"I wouldn't have it any other way" Maya replied.

By now the crowd had moved up to where Tony and Maya were stood. Helena Russell was the first to notice that Maya looked slightly different.

"Maya" Helena started. "Your facial markings are gone. Your eyebrows are different as well."

Maya smiled widely "I can't explain it, but I feel different as well."

John Koenig placed his hand on Maya's shoulder. "If I didn't know any better, I'd say that you were Human and no longer a Psychon."

Maya threw her hands up into the air in sheer exuberance "YES"!

"Welcome to the Human race Maya" Said Tony. Once again Tony picked Maya up and span her around again, almost knocking over Koenig and Helena Russell.

Koenig stepped back a few paces and bumped into Victor Bergman. "This is going to take some time getting used to Victor."

"You're telling me" mused Victor. "Our Earthbound selves have Alphan memories. There has to be a reason".

Koenig smiled "I'm not going to worry about that today, but your right. There has to be a reason".

Helena Russell leaned on Koenig's shoulder. "Well" she mused "At least the Moon hasn't gone anywhere."

Koenig and the others turned and gazed up at the Moon. This time it wasn't going to be blasted out into the Cosmos. "Perhaps there's a God after all" he said finally.


Epilogue.

December 24th, 2001 Alphaville USA.

John Koenig enjoyed Christmas. He was only just getting used to the idea of getting Christmas cards again. Although the only cards he got were from fellow Alphans, it felt good to get them. As he sat by the fireside in his home, he flipped through some of the cards that he and Helena had received. Paul and Sandra Morrow only lived down the road, but he expected their two small children would be riding their new bicycle's tomorrow morning even if they did have stabilisers on them. Victor Bergman had moved back to England where he was now giving lectures on the evils of Nuclear power. Tony And Maya Verdeschi moved to France where Tony was trying to run a Vineyard. Koenig smiled. Tony couldn't stop brewing something. Maya enjoyed meeting Earth's diverse cultures. She ran a Guest house. As far as she was concerned, it was the best way of meeting people without being obtrusive. She never missed the loss of her shape changing abilities.

Koenig loved getting these cards and remembering the people that had sent them. Helena was out delivering the last of the cards from themselves to the remaining Alphans on the estate. The cards to Victor and the Verdeschi's went ages ago.

Suddenly, Koenig felt cold. He looked over at the fire. It was roaring, but it seemed to give no heat. Koenig stood up to check if Helena had come back early and had left the door open, but he never got as far as the front door. He had this strange feeling that he wasn't alone. He turned around and saw a figure dressed in black standing in the corner. "Who are you?" Koenig asked.

"You know who I am John Koenig" a Female voice replied. The figure walked forward and stopped a few feet away from him. The figure slowly lifted the black lace veil that covered her face. The revealed face was of an old Woman. Her long silvery white hair fell across her shoulders.

"Arra. Your name is Arra." Koenig said pointing at her.

"I have many names and many forms, but yes, this form is known as Arra" The old Woman replied.

"Why are you here?" Koenig asked.

"To answer those burning questions that you have had for these past two years John Koenig. The question of why you were thrown out into the void for 25 of your years. The question of what it was all for. The question of why I have given back you youth and your time on earth. The question of why you are here now."

Koenig was fascinated. At long last he was going to find out what it was all about. He slowly sat back in his seat and awaited the revelations.

Without emotion Arra began to speak. "You journey through the stars was pre-ordained since the beginning of time. You were destined to be upon the Moon when I hurled it into the void."

Koenig interrupted "The Moon was hurled into space when the Waste dumps exploded."

Arra replied condescendingly "The explosion was nothing more than fancy fireworks. It didn't have the power to break the Moon out of orbit."

Koenig was riveted. He never doubted that the exploding Nuclear waste was responsible for the moon breaking out of orbit. But now what Arra was saying made sense.

Arra continued. "Your Planet is dying John Koenig. Eventually Mankind will have to leave this Planet and trek among the stars to find a new home. You and your fellow Alphans have had 25 of your years doing the same. Your experiences are valuable to your fellow Humans. Make good use of them."

Koenig was puzzled. "You haven't brought us back here so we would have to leave again?"

Arra Paused. "Mankind will not have to leave this dying orb for hundreds of your years. In a twinkling of an eye you have had an insight into what is out there. You know what to expect and how to deal with it."

Koenig squirmed in his seat. "I can't tell anyone about Moonbase Alpha and the Moon being blasted out into space. They'll think I'm mad".

Arra smiled weakly. "Professor Bergman has found a way. You and the other Alphans will find theirs".

You've appeared to Victor"? Koenig asked.

Arra didn't answer the question. "You now know the reason for your journey through space. You must prepare Mankind for theirs." With that Arra faded.

John Koenig sat back in his seat stunned. Be became aware that the fire was giving heat again. The silence was broken by Helena Koenig opening the door. John didn't move.

Helena Koenig breezed into the living room. When she saw John sitting silently in the seat, she stopped. "Are you O.K. John. You looked like you've seen a ghost."

"Maybe I have" John replied. He looked up at his Wife. "How much can you remember about the space medicine you came up with?"

Helena paused as she took off her coat. "Quite a lot. In fact I've written most of it down. Why do you ask"?

John looked up. "Why did you write it down?"

Helena shrugged "I'm not sure. I just thought it might come in useful one day."

John Koenig smiled "It will come in useful one day. Trust me. It will come in useful".

The small print.

This story is a work of fiction based upon the characters and situations as seen in the ITC series Space:1999. All copyright's to the characters are acknowledged. This story may distributed freely as long as it remains unaltered (spelling errors accepted) and due credit is given to the author. No profit is to be made or sought from this work of fiction. Any comments can be directed to the Author at spudgun @ dialin.net


Copyright (c) 1998. Reprinted with permission.
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