The Nemesis Vector

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 26 (v.1) - 26

Submitted: August 23, 2017

Reads: 192

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Submitted: August 23, 2017

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Chapter 26

The next morning Sahara is up early and in the kitchen fixing Rory’s favorite breakfast of French toast, bacon and two eggs over easy. He smiles when he sees his beautiful wife resting one hand on her, now bulging belly as she turns the bacon with the other. The near eight weeks he has been gone, made such a difference in the size of the baby and it feels very real now… their baby will soon be here. The thought of that little one’s arrival brings both joy and dread to Rory as he recalls all of the events of previous days.

Taking a break from his thoughts, Rory asks, “Baby, did that warm oil massage give you any relief from that back pain?”

“I think it did help a bit… but most of all, it just felt good to have you touch me. I’ve missed your touch.”

“I know what you mean. The best place in this world, or out of this world, is to be snuggled up against you.”

Flashing a warm smile, Sahara tells him, “Your breakfast is almost ready.  Would you like coffee or OJ?”

“Just a cup of coffee, please. Breakfast smells SO GOOD, but you really should have let me make breakfast for you… after all, you’re the one that is doing all of the work carrying our baby!”

“You can take a turn tomorrow if you promise not to burn the eggs,” she smiles. “Careful… honey, it’s really hot.”

As Rory sits down, he remarks, “This is great! Real eggs; not those horrible powdered eggs we are forced to eat on the station.  They are more than terrible.” Scooping up another bite, he laughs, “You do know that I married you for your cooking, don’t you?”

“Rory Scott, you are such a bad liar. You married me because I smell good,” as they both begin to laugh.

Talking, laughing, and sharing… Sahara and Rory catch up on all that has been happening on the home front. Sahara shares pictures of the baby gear she and her mother have gathered and the latest pictures of the nursery.

“Wow you and your Mom have really been busy… decorating, shopping… it’s amazing just how much you two have accomplished during the last few weeks!”

“I know… and it’s been fun. We’ve grown much closer and she is truly excited to be a Grandmother; truly excited for us.”

“That’s wonderful, baby… absolutely wonderful.”

“You know Rory… I’d really like to have you go with me to pick out just a few more things for the nursery as I hear they have a wonderful baby emporium here… that is, if you have some time today. Also, we need to talk about the birthing classes and how we can schedule those in over the next couple of weeks when we get home… we are truly running out of time and I’m going to need to practice my breathing and whatever else with you… that is unless you have changed your mind about being my coach,” she smiles.

With her words pulling him back to the reality of what must be done over the next two weeks, Rory’s eyes suddenly turn down, and the joy of the moment drains from his face.

“What is it Rory? What’s going on and why that look? Is there something you haven’t told me?”

“Sahara, can we sit down? There is something; a pressing matter we need to talk about… and it’s important.” 

Sahara feels a blanket of dread fall over her as Rory takes her hand and they walk back into the kitchen to sit at the small oval table still cluttered with breakfast dishes.

“Sahara, I do not know exactly how to start this conversation, but it’s important that we talk about some things...”

Trying to lighten the mood, Sahara, with a nervous laugh interrupts, “Like maybe what we should name our baby? Right??”

“I wish,” his eyes still down turned. “It’s about what has been going on over the last few days.”

“What do you mean, ‘what’s going on’? What is it that you are trying to tell me, Rory?”

“You know… I think it would be better if we sit over on the couch… do you mind?”

Without a word, Sahara gets up and moves to the couch and Rory sits down beside her and putting his arm around her; somehow hoping this gesture will ease the blow of his news.

“What I’m about to tell you Sahara, is going to be difficult to understand, but it’s all true.”

“Did you get fired or something?”

“No… I didn’t get fired. This evening, the President will be making an announcement at a nationally televised news conference regarding the events of the last few days at the ISS.”

“An announcement… by the President?  What kind of announcement?”

“Nearly four days ago, the space station was attacked by an alien force and our President, as well as the leaders of all countries around the world will be making a similar announcement to let the public know that the Earth could be a target as well. This potential global threat has put every nation’s military on high alert.”

Sitting with a look of shock on her face and the color draining out of her cheeks, Sahara looks away from Rory with glazed eyes.

“So that’s why your return was such a big secret… why they flew me here… why I couldn’t get any information and why I didn’t get the normal call regarding your return… what else Rory?”

“That’s all I know, right now.”

“Rory Scott… you’re a lousy liar. You were there, what else? Did everyone get back safely?”

“I’m sorry honey… national security… I can’t discuss what happened with anyone… not even you. I’m sorry… but I’m here… safe… with you.”

Waiting for the other shoe to drop, she asks, “Yes, but for how long… how long Rory? You’re not going up there again, are you?”

Sitting silent, Rory cannot look at Sahara.

“They are sending you back up there, aren’t they?  TELL ME! Aren’t they??”

“Yes Sahara, they are. I’m going back; I have to. There is no other choice for me; orders are orders.”

“When… when Rory? Is that why they brought me up here... to see you before you leave on another mission; to spend time with you, just in case you don’t come back?”

“Honey, it’s not like that; please understand.”

“Understand? UNDERSTAND?? Our baby is going to be born in a matter of weeks, and you are asking me to understand that you are going back to the space station and to face an enemy… an enemy not even of this world? Whose conscious are you trying to ease; NASA’s or yours, Rory Scott?”

Sahara putting her hands to her face begins to cry. Rory tries to hold her, but she pulls away sobbing harder. Hearing the horn for his ride to the meeting, Rory tries to get Sahara to look up, but as the horn sounds again, he quietly rises from the couch.

“Look Sahara, I’m sorry, I have to go to an urgent meeting this morning and the car is here to pick me up. Please try to relax and get some rest. I will see you later today and we can talk more about this then. Remember, I love you and I love our baby. We will get through this… together… I promise you.”

Without looking up, Sahara continues to cry as Rory walks out to the waiting car, closing the door behind him.

***

Opening the car door, Rory sees Rex, already in the back seat shuffling through some papers.

“Hey man, good morning!” Rex greets Rory as he looks up.

“Yeah… morning…”

“Wow… that was not much of a greeting. What’s up?”

 “Guess…”

 “You talked with Sahara, huh?”

“Yep… she’s probably still crying there in the house. Last night was bliss with her, and this morning was holy hell.”

“Sorry to hear that but I figured it would go that way. Are you having any second thoughts about going on this next mission?”

“Nope… no second thoughts.”

“Are you sure? You know we can send another astronaut in your place… you know that right?”

“Yes, I know that. No one else is going to take my place; I’m all in with this plan… but for God’s sake, don’t tell Sahara that! She would never understand why I have to do this. I want our future as a family to be a safe future… she would NEVER understand that I NEED to go.”

“I get it man… I get it. I just wanted to make sure that you know you have that option and that no one is going to think any less of you.”

“Thanks Rex… I’ve already told Sahara that I am going… besides, I couldn’t trust any other safety monitor to watch your back like I can,” he smiles as the car pulls up in front of the logistics center where the meeting is to be held.

“Well, here we are; another meeting.”

“And, I’m sure it will be just as interesting as the last four or five.

“Oh, I don’t know Rory… the meetings with Dr. Rice are never boring in my opinion. That crazy old man is interesting to be around. Just to watch him makes me wonder where in this universe his mind goes.”

“I hear what you’re saying. I will… really try… try to look at it differently,” Rory chuckles.

“Good to hear!” as Rex scoots through the door first and Rory responds with, “Go, ahead… after all, it is age before beauty!”

 

 


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