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Nicola's Story

Authors: Philippa Sidle
Show Year: Y2
Rating: PG
Date: 1996
The youngest member of Moonbase Alpha, Nicola, recounts her first adventure.
First published in the fanzine "Far Side of the Moon"
Average Rating: 5.0/5 (based on 1 reviews)

My name is Nicola Brown and I am eight years old. I used to go to Hayshead School, Arbroath, with is in Scotland, Great Britain, Europe, Earth, the Solar System, the Universe, but I do not go to Hayshead any more. I have not gone to school for a long long time, ever since I was six and I was in Primary Two. This is because, as you will see, I live now on Moonbase Alpha which is on the moon but not anywhere else now. Mummy is dead and Daddy is on Earth, which means I can't see him any more because we're not in Earth orbit any more and therefore can't go back to Earth. So you see I can never go back to Hayshead, even though I should now be in Primary Four.

I am good at English and not good at maths. Because I am good at English, Miss Pulcher says I must write a story about what happened to me last week. I like writing stories if they're not silly things about a windy washing day, because we don't have Windy Washing Days here or Autumn Leaves or A Rainy Day or Fun in the Snow here. Miss Pulcher told me just to write about being kidnapped and held to ransom and all the rest, and I shall also write about Me, because I know about me more than anything else. And no-one else knows as much about Me as I do.

Miss Pulcher teaches me English. Because I am not good at maths I have a pocket computer and won't have a maths teacher. This is an advantage of not being at Hayshead any more.

Moonbase Alpha is a nicer place to live than Arbroath. Mummy brought be here a long time ago because Daddy was away on the oil rig and she was coming here to write an article for her magazine. She said we were supposed to be staying for a week but the day after we got here the moon blew up and went flying into space. I did not understand that then because I was only six, but now I am nearly nine and I know that the nuclear waste exploded. Mummy was killed then and I do not remember her very well for some reason. I remember Daddy clearly.

This is how I, Nicola Alice Brown, come to be here. I shouldn't really be here and there are no other children at all on Alpha except a baby who is too little to play with. So all my friends are grown-ups, but I don't mind that at all. I like grown-ups better than children anyway. Sometimes things happen here that didn't used to happen in Arbroath, but nothing has ever happened to me until last week when it happened very much indeed.

Every Saturday I go swimming, just like I used to do in Arbroath. Last week on Saturday the pool water was being changed and so I couldn't go swimming so I was bored. Lesley who is the lady who looks after me told me to make myself scarce because I have found that every morning a technician called Michael comes to visit her. Therefore I had nothing to do, so I went to Command Centre to talk to people there. Mr Carter is very friendly. Sometimes he takes me flying in his Eagle and I can peer out the little round porthole and see the moon on one side and all the stars on the other, and Moonbase Alpha from the sky. Then Mr Verdeschi (I call him Tony because I can't say his name and I've just been all the way to Command Centre and back to ask him how to spell it) lets me play with his computer if I sit on his knee and ask very very nicely. Maya is nicest. She has a computer too but she's more fun as herself because she's magic. By magic I don't mean great but really magic, like you get in Cinderella. She can turn herself into every sort of animal I ask her to, when she's in the mood for playing.

The only person in Command Centre who is not friendly is Commander Koenig, who is our leader. I used to be frightened of the Commander but I'm not now as you will see. I was scared of him because he frowns a lot and does not speak to me unless I speak to him first, and then he answers as if he didn't want to talk to me. When I was frightened of him Dr Russell told me that I had to respect him all the same because he is our leader and a great man, and I told her that I'd rather like him for being himself, and she laughed, and gave a hug which was nice. You see Dr Russell is my very favourite person of all. This story I am about to tell you is about her so I shall tell you more.

Dr Russell is our doctor and she is pretty and has golden hair. I have looked closely at her eyes and they are green with little bits of gold and silver. Other people are afraid of her but I am not because I have seen her crying. I wish she were my Mummy. I like her enough for that. She comes from America and speaks in a lovely American voice, and she looks after everyone when they are hurt or ill. This is because she is Chief Medical Officer, which means she gets to boss everyone else around, even Commander Koenig. Last week she was in the Command Centre when I came in although she is usually in the Medical Centre being bossy.

Everyone in the Command Centre looked very worried and everyone was staring up at the big screen, so I looked as hard as I could but I couldn't see anything. What could they be looking at? I asked myself because all I could see was a sort of blackness. When I first came in no-one saw as they were all so busy gawping at absolutely nothing.

I said hello as loud as I could because I thought perhaps they were all suddenly deaf. Everyone jumped and Maya said to be quiet or go away and preferably both, which I thought was not very nice of her. When I asked quite rightly I thought what was the matter, the Commander said to Dr Russell to get rid of the damn child and she said John (the Commander's first name is John and Dr Russell gets to call him that because they are friends). I said that I was not a damn child and I wouldn't go away until they told me why they were all so grim and I think Dr Russell laughed. She took me by the hand anyway and put her arm around me as if trying to stop me running away. I said there's nothing out there, which was true and the Commander said, "Don't you think there ought to be, Nicola?" And I said no, I didn't think so, nothing but space. Dr Russell said, "Yes, but can you see any space?" and when I said in reply to this that I didn't think you could see space anyway the Commander growled and walked across to the othe r side of the floor. This is the sort of thing that you can see why I used to think the Commander didn't like me but I know better now as you will see. Dr Russell left me alone and went to stand beside him.

Tony used a lot of big words which I can't remember but meant there was something coming. (I shall write him Tony because I keep having to look back to remember how to spell Mr Verdeschi and anyway Tony is shorter and my hand gets tired as it is without having to write out great big long names when I have the choice). Everyone stopped looking at me and started looking at the big screen again. I looked too and saw a lot of light where there hadn't been anything before. It was very white and frizzly like a floodlight firework, and it made a horrible noise which jabbed right into my ears. I put my hands over my ears as hard as ever I could and turned away from the light on the screen and saw Tony hitting the button which says Red Alert. Usually when there is a Red Alert it is quite fun and scary in a nice way. Lesley turns off all the lights except the little red one which never goes off and we sit under the table and wait until we hear the all clear, and Lesley plays word games with me. I had never been in Comm and Centre when there was a Red Alert before and therefore I did not know that everyone was so scared, even Dr Russell. I wasn't frightened because the horrible noise was hurting my ears too much. When it stopped there was a ringing sound in my ears which took ages and ages to go away.

Anyway it did stop and lots of security men had come rushing in to Command Centre and there was a lot of shouting and running about for a bit. The Commander shouted and everyone went quiet, and Dr Russell ran over to me and asked me if I was all right.

None of this is very interesting but you must know what happened first of all so you will understand the bit of the story which is interesting so I am trying to write down everything I remember happening.

I said there was a singing noise in my ears. She patted my head and said it would go away soon. Just at that moment Sandra who is the communications officer said that there was something coming through and the Commander told her to put it on visual which means that we can all see it on the screen. The lights had gone away before, and now a face came onto the big screen. It was a very long and thin face and was all decorated like the Ancient Egyptians we were doing at school before I left. Because I knew that I said he looked like Tutankhamen and everybody but the Commander laughed which was odd because it wasn't a joke.

The pharaoh on the screen started to speak and then everyone was very silent, even me because he scared me a lot with his voice. I think Dr Russell was scared too which shows you just how frightening the voice was. She kept holding me very tightly with one of her arms. I was squashed against her side and I could see when I wasn't looking at Tutankhamen that she was holding hands with the Commander. I have never seen grown-ups doing that before and it was more frightening really than the pharaoh because like when you see grown-ups crying you think there must be something really the matter. When Tutankhamen finished speaking the Commander started shouting back at him and there was a lot of this, Tutankhamen then the Commander and Dr Russell saying John whenever she could. I did not understand most of what they were saying but the Commander was getting very angry and when he gets angry his face goes dark and everyone is frightened of him except Dr Russell usually. So I thought the pharaoh was very brave not to m ind getting the Commander angry. Anyway the pharaoh went away after saying something not at all nice to the Commander and nobody spoke for ages.

I asked what that had been all about and everybody turned to look at me again as if they were angry. I could see that the Commander was angry. He said get rid of the little nuisance and I think this time Dr Russell was going to take me out which I didn't want to do but anyway she was stopped when Tutankhamen suddenly appeared - whoof! - from nowhere actually standing just below the screen. He was dressed in a long golden cloak all shining and sparkling like glitter on a Christmas card. Dr Russell didn't take me out then but went to the Commander's arm instead so again I was left on my own which I liked better because I wasn't at all scared of the pharaoh. Dr Russell was and I thought she was silly to be frightened by him especially when she isn't frightened of the Commander.

Tutankhamen was looking at the Commander and he said that he could destroy all of Moonbase Alpha with one hundredth of the energy he had at his disposal, which means that he wanted to blow us all up as I found out later. He held up one of his arms with the sleeve all falling down like liquid gold and one of the computers burst into flames. This I thought was showing off. Someone took a fire thingy to it and put all the flames out with that lovely messy stuff like bubble bath and Tutankhamen frowned at the Commander thinking I suppose that he should be scared. Tutankhamen must not have known that the Commander isn't afraid of anyone and he looked right put out when the Commander said that he would never do what he asked. I am not quite sure what the Commander wasn't going to do but anyway I'm glad he didn't because it must have been something bad as the Commander is as Dr Russell says a great and good man. Dr Russell looked so frightened, not crying or screaming as ordinary women do like Lesley but just standi ng there so still with her face all white. I was sorry for her and wanted to show her that there was nothing to be scared of and I wanted to feel Tutankhamen's glittery robe anyway. So I went up to him and touched the robe which felt warm and said to him that he shouldn't show off blowing up computers because they cost resources to repair. He looked down at me and his eyes were cold and flat like a dead goldfish's.

Dr Russell screamed Nicola and ran up and caught me. This is where the interesting bit starts. You see I thought I had shown Dr Russell that there was nothing to be scared of which was why she had come near Tutankhamen, but I know now that he was very dangerous indeed and that she was trying to save me from him. This was brave and shows you that Dr Russell likes me, and also that she is different from other ladies like Lesley. As soon as Dr Russell had caught me the pharaoh took hold of her arm and my wrist and wouldn't let go even though he was holding my wrist so tight that it hurt and I told him so and kicked him with my heel. He had what I know now was a gun and was pressing its end against Dr Russell's neck and she stopped struggling to get away and said to me to keep still. I only did that because it was Dr Russell who told me. I wouldn't have done it for Tutankhamen who I had now decided I didn't like at all.

I thought the Commander was going to come running up too but he stopped and didn't. He shouted Helena and the pharaoh who was really hurting my wrist now said, "Let us see if you are prone to persuasion. I think the woman and the child will do nicely. Come one step closer and I will kill them both now. The woman first, then the little girl. You have one hour to decide. Co-operate or you will never see them alive again." I said he'd better not kill us and I kicked him again, as hard as ever I could, right on the leg which I could feel all hard and bony under the cloak. Dr Russell said Nicola then to Tutankhamen that he could at least let the child go. I wanted to help her so I said oh yes the Commander won't care if you kill me because I'm not his friend and Dr Russell is and the Commander doesn't like me. When I said that the Commander looked odd. He went to step forward but just then I felt a funny squeezing and all of a sudden we weren't in Command Centre at all but somewhere else.

Now this bit is very difficult because it is very very hard to tell someone else where it is you have been if they've never been there at all. Miss Pulcher for who I am writing this story will not understand about this space station, but anyway it was big and not at all like Moonbase Alpha after all because where we were could be the Ancient Egyptians' Command Centre and Tutankhamen was maybe their Commander. However I do not believe that because Commanders are good and Tutankhamen was very bad and nasty. So maybe he really was a pharaoh because lots of the pharaohs were nasty killing the Israelites and everything.

All the other Ancient Egyptians turned to look at us which was quite frightening but I didn't want to be scared because Dr Russell would think I was silly. It was also because she was there that I wasn't really scared thought I think she was. Tutankhamen said, "The Alphan leader must be persuaded to see our way. I have brought these hostages." One of the other Egyptians said what good would that do? and Tutankhamen replied, "Commander Koenig is, for all his excellent qualities, ultimately a man of compassion. My observations have moreover convinced me that he will put the life of this woman before his other responsibilities." Dr Russell looked quite angry and she said No.

The Ancient Egyptians looked at us for a bit more then Tutankhamen shouted out like the Commander and two of them came with guns and one of them caught my arm quite hard though not so hard as Tutankhamen held my wrist. So I didn't kick him quite so hard. They had a screen a bit like our one and Tutankhamen stood Dr Russell and me in front of it and suddenly the Commander's face was on it. I think we were on the screen in Command Centre. This was quite exciting and I waved to show everyone not to be worried. However I think the Commander was worried. He said Helena and Dr Russell said John and wanted to go forward but her man with the gun wouldn't let her. The Commander asked if we were all right and Dr Russell said yes, and then we were shoved away and Tutankhamen said to the screen that we had one hour to decide again. Tutankhamen must not have known that the Commander is very clever and does not need things repeated like the bottom group at Hayshead.

They took us and put us in a little room with no windows and only a sort of bench. Dr Russell sat down on the bench looking sad. I went and said that she didn't have to worry because the Commander would rescue us, but I don't really think that cheered her up at all. She lifted me up onto her knee and hugged me. I liked that. Dr Russell is very warm and soft like my Mummy maybe was though I can't remember her really. She wears a lovely perfume like flowers. After a little bit she said, "Nicola, do you know what that man wants the Commander to do?" I said no, not really. She said, "It would mean the destruction of Moonbase Alpha and the enslavement of everyone on it. Do you understand?" I said yes, sort of. She said, "You're a clever girl, Nicola." I told her I had been in the top group at Hayshead and that made hr laugh a little though it was true. Anyway she hugged me so tightly that I almost couldn't breathe and she said, "The Commander can't rescue us because of that. If he did, it would be the end for us a ll. But I'm going to see if I can persuade him and the man to let you go. You see -" She sat back a bit and looked at me very closely, which is when I managed to see the colour of his eyes "That man out there doesn't realise that the moon will be out of range of this planet and space station very soon. You know what that means, don't you? It means he can't get at us after little while. If the Commander lets him - well anyway Nicola, if the Commander doesn't do what he wants him to do, it won't be long before you're safe."

I knew she was going to say if the Commander lets Tutankhamen kill her and I said so. She just shook her head. I said don't tell lies, you were, and she squashed me again and said in a little whisper that it didn't matter at all if she died if it saved everyone on Alpha. I thought that was horrible and then I really was scared. I started to cry. She told me not to and said I had to be very brave which just made me cry all the more until she took out a hankie and wiped my face and kissed me and gave me a whole packet of sweeties and I had to stop crying to eat them. When I had really stopped and I couldn't speak because I had two large sticky sweeties in my mouth she lifted me onto the bench and off her knee then looked at me very hard. She said, "Nicola, you're a very clever girl aren't you?" I nodded because this is true. "And I know you're a very good girl." I do not know if this is at all right because Lesley is always saying I'm a toe-rag and although I honestly try to do what I'm told I still do things I 'm not told all the time which makes people angry. Anyway it was not a question so I did nothing. Then she said, "Now I want to see if you can be a big girl. You would like people to think you're as sensible as a grown-up as well as being clever and good, wouldn't you?" I nodded because this is certainly true.

She went to the door and started hammering and after a bit someone came and Dr Russell told them to get Tutankhamen. Dr Russell is very good at bossing people about and in no time at all Tutankhamen came and opened the door. He closed it again so we were all alone with him in this very little room which I found quite scary. However I looked very brave because I knew that this was what Dr Russell wanted me to do and she looked very brave anyway. She went right up to him and said, "I know Commander Koenig better than you do and he won't give in to you. You're wrong to assume that he'll put our safety higher than the safety of all the Alphans. I can see that it's in our best interests to accept an alliance with you." This didn't sound at all right but I bit my lip very hard to stop myself from saying anything because somehow I knew Dr Russell didn't want me to. Tutankhamen was looking at her with his fishy eyes. He said did she think he'd let her go? and Dr Russell said, "No, of course not. But my word would per suade him to see reason. If you could let Nicola here carry a letter to him, she could be sent back with a reply as a gesture of faith."

Dr Russell had soon bossed Tutankhamen into doing what she wanted and she got a piece of paper from the little pad she always carried and told him to go out while she wrote a note to the Commander. It took her ages and she kept stopping and crumpling it up and taking another piece and starting again, and I sat there watching her feeling horrible. She finished at last and stood up and gave it to me. Then she bent down and kissed me again and whispered, "The Commander must get that letter, Nicola. Whatever you do don't show it to the man." I said I wouldn't and she gave me another letter to show to Tutankhamen if he asked me, and all on my own I thought of putting the other letter the one that Dr Russell said the Commander had to get underneath my clothes, tucked into the elastic of my pants. She did laugh when she saw this but at the same time I saw there were tears in her eyes. But this did not make me frightened. It gave me a funny feeling right down inside me which made me feel that I had to do as she said or else it would be very bad of me.

I wanted to be brave. It was very hard though when Tutankhamen came back and made me walk in front of him along the corridors of the spaceship because I was all by myself. However I kept thinking of Dr Russell almost crying and I made myself not be scared, even when we got to their Command Centre place and all the other Ancient Egyptians were staring at me. Tutankhamen called the Commander again and I was awfully glad to see him so I waved to him and he frowned. Anyway Tutankhamen said to him to send an Eagle for me and in no time at all I was in the Eagle beside Mr Carter. However I did not feel at all safe and I didn't want to anyway. I remembered and remembered that Dr Russell was still in the space station.

When we got back to Alpha I ran straight out of the travel tube that comes from the Eagle docking bay and the Commander was standing waiting with some other like Maya and Tony. The Commander looked at me and I stopped, then he knelt down to look at me closer and he said is Dr Russell all right? I said yes but she gave me a letter for you and I pulled it out of my pants. Maya laughed but the Commander didn't. He opened the letter and read it I suppose but the thing is he looked at it much longer than it would take him to read it. No-one said anything for ages and ages and even I was frightened to speak in case I made the Commander angry which seemed very likely I thought. Then Maya said Commander and touched his arm. He didn't say anything to her but he said to me, "Come with me for a moment, Nicola," in such a soft voice that I was almost afraid because I surprised. He took my hand and took me to his office then he sat down behind his desk and looked at the letter from Dr Russell again. Then he told me to com e and I went to him and he lifted me onto his knee which was strange because the Commander is not the sort of grown-up who does that. I said to Dr Russell about that once and she said it was because the Commander didn't know much about little girls because he didn't have any children even when he was married to a lady who is dead. Dr Russell has a wedding ring which doesn't mean however that she's married because her husband is dead too, Lesley says. So I asked Dr Russell about that and she just said Yes. This was not very interesting.

Anyway the Commander seemed so gentle and kind all of a sudden, and he said to me, "Do you know what Dr Russell says in this letter?" I really didn't know at all so I shook my head. He said, "She says I've got to keep you, refuse to do the deal and wait until the moon drifts out of range. Are we going to do what she asks?"

I didn't know what to say because of course the Commander is the Commander and I'm just me and it's the Commander who tells everyone what to do. However he was asking me so after a minute I said everyone does what Dr Russell tells them to do. And he said, "I don't. I'm the Commander. You see, Nicola, if we do what she asked this time these people will kill her." I said yes because Dr Russell had been talking about that. The Commander said, "Now are we going to let them do that?" I said no. The Commander actually gave me a hug! But I was quite frightened because I felt that there was something wrong and he was very sad. He said, "You'll help me stop them, won't you, Nicola?" I said yes of course and he stood me on the floor again and took a pen and wrote a long something on the back of Dr Russell's letter to him. He gave it to me and told me to give it to her.

Everyone was still standing around the travel tube entrance looking spare when we got back and the Commander said to Mr Carter to take me back and everyone was horrified. Tony said Good God John you're not sending the child back and the Commander ignored him. Mr Carter said he wouldn't do it and the Commander said it's an order. Whenever the Commander says that it means the person he says it to absolutely has to do what he says or else. Tony said that's inhuman so I said to him it wasn't because unless I went back they were going to kill Dr Russell.

Then Tony caught me and said I wasn't going and said to the Commander, "If you send Nicola back it will be as good as murdering the child, John! We'll be out of range in half an hour, for God's sake." The Commander said, "Precisely, we're running out of time. Nicola will give us the chance we need to get Helena out of there before then," and Tony said How. The Commander said she can take Maya with her and Maya said Yes.

Tony still had me stuck in his arm so I pulled as hard as I could and kicked him which was a shame because I like Tony. He used a rude word. I said I was going and they couldn't stop me. Nobody tried to then. The Commander said no more arguments and then, "They have to think we've capitulated. Sending Nicola is a token of faith."

Then Maya did her magic thing and changed into a mouse! Tony told me to be careful not to squash her and I put her in my pocket and she sat really still not like a real mouse which would wriggle. When I was about to go into the Eagle the Commander bent down and kissed me on the cheek and said that I was a very special little girl which was nice. You see this is about when I stopped being scared of Commander Koenig and I know I never will be ever again because now I like him for himself.

Anyway Mr Carter who is always so friendly was angry with me I think because he hardly spoke a word to me. Once he said, "You're indomitable, kid." But I did not understand that because I did not have my dictionary there so I only smiled at him but he didn't smile back. He dropped me off when we got to the space station and Tutankhamen seemed pleased to see me and told Mr Carter to wait and I said I had a letter for Dr Russell which I had to give to her and Tutankhamen said certainly and took me back to the little room.

Dr Russell was very angry to see me! As soon as I came in the door she jumped up from the bench and shook me very hard shouting what are you doing back here? I was so horribly scared that I burst into tears and she left off and said she was sorry then hugged me so tight. I said careful, you'll squash Maya and I took her out of my pocket. Dr Russell stopped being angry and laughed but just then Tutankhamen came to the door and noticed Maya and said, "What is that?" in a big thundery voice.

Dr Russell said, "It's a small creature from Earth. It's Nicola's pet," and I played along and went up to Tutankhamen and held Maya up as high as I could to his nose and asked if he wanted to see. Tutankhamen looked scared and said how disgusting, take it away, and then said we had to go with him to Ancient Egyptians' Command Centre.

When we got there Tutankhamen said to the Ancient Egyptians that the Commander had been persuaded as predicted and when he said that Dr Russell almost squeezed my hand to nothing. Then like before the Commander came onto the screen and Tutankhamen said here they are perfectly safe and ready to be delivered to you if you are prepared to keep your side of the bargain. The Commander said yes I am and went away. I thought Dr Russell would say John because she always does but maybe se kept quiet because she knew he had a Plan because Maya was here. Tutankhamen said, "We will send the ships from Elachna to collect your people, and then you may have your wife and daughter back," and I almost laughed but Dr Russell squeezed my hand again so I said nothing. I saw Mr Carter waiting for us and then I felt Maya tickling and wriggling in my pocket and I thought maybe she wanted to get out so I put her on the floor where she looked awfully small.

The Ancient Egyptians when they saw her were really scared! I think she could just have stayed as a mouse and it would have worked fine but instead she turned into a huge enormous hairy monster with big fangs and teeth and roared so loudly that my ears popped. Dr Russell grabbed me and ran towards Mr Carter and I just saw the monster flattening Tutankhamen before Dr Russell carried me to where the Eagle was and we thought we wouldn't be able to get the docking hatch open but Mr Carter found the right button and luckily it wasn't locked. We shouted to Maya and she jumped off Tutankhamen and disappeared because she had turned into a fly to get to us quickly, and straight away some of the other Ancient Egyptians who had been too scared to do anything were running with guns and we just all got into the Eagle before they could get to us. Then we were scared that they could fire missiles at us but they didn't seem to have any, because Mr Carter said we were sitting ducks and we were as good as dead if they did. May a said Don't frighten the child (she had turned back into Maya by now) and Dr Russell cuddled me. We had to fly back to Alpha as fast as we could go because it was almost out of reach, and Mr Carter had to phone them on the communicator and ask them to send a refuelling Eagle.

Anyway I was worried that Dr Russell was going to be angry with the Commander for sending me back, and I said to her when we were landing at last on the Eagle landing pad that she mustn't be and if he hadn't sent me and Maya back the Ancient Egyptians might have killed her. Dr Russell patted the top of my head and said, "You were very brave, Nicola," but not a word about the Commander so I knew she was very angry with him.

When we got out the Commander and Tony were standing in the docking bay waiting for us and Maya went and gave Tony a cuddle and then she picked me up and said let's go and play changing. I didn't want to at all, not just then because I wanted to make sure that Dr Russell wasn't angry at the Commander. I told her that and Tony said pulling me out by one hand why did such a clever little girl have such difficulty in knowing where she wasn't wanted? I let them take me out to the travel tube then I said I had to go home to see Lesley who would be worried. That wasn't a lie because I did go straight home as soon as I'd run back to the docking bay to stop the Commander and Dr Russell being angry.

However I do not think Dr Russell was very angry after all because when I looked in they were just standing there kissing. I watched for ages to see if they would stop but they didn't so I went away again as they didn't need me. I think I would suffocate trying to kiss someone for so long! I shall ask Dr Russell how come you don't next time I see her maybe.

This is the end of my story and it has taken me a very long time to write but it has been good fun. Miss Pulcher kept asking me if I was writing volume two of War and Peace but I have almost finished now. Writing this story has made me think of things like why don't grown-ups say what they mean? Dr Russell was very angry but when she got back she wasn't so I think really she was very pleased that the Commander didn't leave her with the Ancient Egyptians.

Also I have now decided that I like Commander Koenig for himself. He has been much nicer to me since last Saturday. You see I think he does like me after all and Dr Russell thinks so too because the next day on Sunday when I went to see her she said that he would like a little girl just like me except that there weren't very many other little girls just like me. I think it's a shame he doesn't. Lesley says that no-one will have babies until we find a planet to live on and Dr Russell says that's true.

This I think is sad because I like it on Moonbase Alpha and it is a great place for children to be. I told Dr Russell that and she said Oh Nicola.

Copyright (c) 1996. Reprinted with permission.
Space:1999 is (c) 1976 by Carlton International Media.
All stories are the property of their respective authors.

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