After getting the information that I needed from Issac, Zaranazi and I proceeded on our way to find Eric and Amberle. It wasn't long however before the two of us ran into James, Darla, and Summer.
"Hey Robert, Zebra Nosey, over here!" yelled my twenty six year old brother Jim, who was walking causually down one of the ships corridors with his wife twenty seven year old Darla, and their seven year old daughter, Summer
"It's Zaranazi." Zaella said correcting my brother.
"Still sounds like some kind of nasal condition to---
"Jim, Darla, want to join Yeoman Zaranazi and myself?" I said. "We are going after Eric and Amberle and after that it's on to the med section to visit with Patricia."
"That's where were headed ourselves." Darla replied. "Sure, we'll tag along with you."
"Zaranazi, I have a question to ask you about something that has been worrying me." I said as I gazed down at my neice.
"And what would your question be Captain, sir?" my yeoman asked, as Jim, Darla, and Summer listened.
"Yes, Yeoman, it's about the children aboard this ship?" I began. "The Orion's not going to be a very safe haven for them once we engage the Zaleens in an all out space battle."
"Neither were the planets safe that they all called home, Captain." she answered.
It's a crying shame that neither side that fights against one another gives thought to their children and how any battle will affect them, before they decide to kill one another off. "Some great role models that we are to our children. The dead that fought to have, have lost all, and those that are still alive have to clean up the mess and suffer to fight again another day. Why do we not try to live in and at peace with one another in harmony?" I asked, as Zaranazi gazed up at me in deep thought.
"Captain, when we encounter the Zaleens, they will care for nothing, for they believe that with the passing of time, they will be the only life left in this galaxy." Zaranazi explained.
"And we just happen to be next in line for extermination." my brother James uttered, as he picked a wrapper up from the corridor deck. "Our children aren't safe any where."
"Now, Captain, do you understand why we have come to Earth to seek you out?" Zaella asked, as she looked me straight in the eyes.
"If it's for experience in commanding a star ship, no. If it's because I care about my family, relatives, friends, both from earth and elsewheres, yes, but caring does not qualify me to command this ship or to give orders to kill another soul without justification." I said as we moved along in the corridor.
"And when do you determine that the killing of another soul is justifiable, Captain?" my yeoman asked.
"Whenever the Zaleens want to take our childrens lives and futures away from them, and that includes our home worlds." I answered. "I still believe that you've made a mistake in choosing me for---
"That poses a problem, Captain, you do not have faith and you do not believe in your self." Zaranazi replied.
"How's Patricia, Robert, or I mean---
"I know what you mean, Darla." I answered as we passed by our fellow galaxians in the corridors leading us to the medical facilities aboard the Orion. "The last account that I recieved was that she was still out of it."
"I know that I'd want to be right now. She's probably much better off being out of it, come to think of it. I would hate to think what would be going through her mind at a time like this." Darla replied.
"Lets just face the facts as they are, we're all in deep doo doo up to our knee caps." my brother Jim said as he handed the wrapper back to the alien that dropped it.
"You drop something?" he asked the Sanartan.
"Don't tell me that you touched it, earthling?" the Sanartan asked in return as we made a sudden stop in the corridor.
"Yes, why, is there something wrong with my having picked it up?" Jim asked with a worried look on his face.
"No, not at all, I just wanted to see the reaction that you would give me." the Sanartan answered and began to laugh. "I'm Doctor Seladan Sarn, at your---
"Doctor, there will be no littering on this ship. Use a waste receptacle!" James thundered.
"That's an order!" I said, before the Sanartan physician should happen to want to drop it again.
"Yes sir, Captain, I was just checking his phys---
"Excuse me, I'm sor . . . Candice, it is you, James, it's Candy!" I said excitedly after having bumped into our twenty one year old sister.
"Robert, James, Darla, Summer, man am I ever glad to see somebody that I know here in this mad house of freaks." Candy asked with tears in her eyes. I pulled out my handkerchief and passed it to her. "Thanks, where the fu . . . oh, I mean where the hell are we, and are you guys dressed up for a party or something?"
"Sis, where have you been hiding?" I asked, as she stood there wiping her eyes.
"Hiding, yeah, I've been in hiding alright." Candy answered, as she passed my handkerchief back to me. "This place scares the sh . . . sorry, hell out of me."
"No sis, you keep it, I'll get another one, and tell me something?" I asked.
"What do you want to know." she replied as she stood there with us.
"You mean to tell us that you've been in hiding all this time and have no idea where you are?" I asked.
"Yeah, I've been in hiding, and no, I don't know where the fu . . . hell I am, so tell me, if it's not going to be to hard to believe." she answered and I grabbed her by the shoulders.
Come along with us, because if Patricia's awake then she'll want to know too." I told her as I let go. Let's be moving a little quicker I've got to find Eric and Amberle before their bed time."
Finally, after locating Eric and Amberle, we made it to the med bay area and all of us stood just outside Patricia's room in the corridor.
"Yeoman, stay out here until I call for you, I'm not sure as to what kind of reaction Patricia would have at seeing you with us right now." I ordered before entering my wifes room with James, Darla, Summer, Eric, Amberle, and Candice.
"Hi honey, how are---
"Robert, where am I?" she asked right off the bat. "And why are you, Jim, Darla, and the children, all dressed the same, except for Candice?"
"I'm just a party pooper." Candice said as she walked past the foot of Patricia's bed and dropped herself into a chair while Eric and Amberle found places to sit on both sides of their mothers bed.
"How are you feeling?" I asked as I bent over to brush a loose hair from her face with my right hand. Patricia's green eyes darted about the room, gazing at each and every one of us before she spoke again.
"I ... I ... I guess I'm feeling okay, just a little disoriented, that all." she replied as she gazed up at me. "Wow, what a crazy amusement park ride the children and I were---
"Mommy, we're on a space ship." Eric said as he lay his head on his mothers left arm.
"Yeah mommy, a real space ship." Amberle added.
"Robert, where . . . are . . . we?" Patricia asked nervously as her heart went to racing.
"We're all here with you Pat." Darla said, as she sat down on the bed and took Patricia's right hand in hers.
"Where's here at, Robert Andrew?" she asked, really wanting a truthful answer from me and James decided to give it to her.
"Well, it's not the hospital." Jim answered for me. "At least not the one back home on Earth any way."
"Not . . . on . . . Earth, Robert Edward Lee Andrew Jackson, where are we?" she asked having used my full birth given name, letting me know that I was in a heap of trouble.
"Patricia, we are on a real space ship in the orbit of Earth under clo---
"For real Robert, you and my brother Donald need to grow up." she said as she managed to sit up straight in bed.
"Has any one here informed you as to where you're---
"No, and I'm scared." she answered.
"You're not the only one thats scared, Patricia." Candy replied as she stood up from her seat and began pacing the floor.
"Have you seen any unhuman looking doctors or nurses since you've been here?" James asked as he placed his right hand on my left shoulder. "Like they're all dressed up for Halloween or a costume par---
"No, I haven't, just Doctor Henderson as usual." Patricia answered as I sat down on the edge of her bed.
"She's scarey enough." James said.