"Mate, I need to talk with you about something." Carter had called to Tony Verdeschi over
his console screen in Command center, "In private."
They decided to play handball together and, during their dinner break, the men found
themselves decked out in the proper gear, batting a small regulation ball against a
Plexiglass wall in Alpha's gymnasium.
"She kissed you?" Verdeschi nearly missed the ball but recovered quickly enough to bounce
"And I liked it." Alan smacked the ball firmly, in distress and angry with himself.
"Are you out of your mind?" Tony caught the ball and held it, facing Carter. "What the hell
are you thinking?"
"Don't get the wrong impression. I know John and Helena are an item and I'm not looking to
break up anything or have an affair or anything like that. I just wanted to talk to you
because - well - you kissed her too and I wanted to -- er --."
Verdeschi tossed the ball, "Alan, when I kissed Helena we were both under a spell." It was
true. Magus, the alien who wanted to be God, had paired him with Helena and John with Maya.
It was one of those rare moments when Verdeschi was with a lovely woman and he felt agonized
over impure thoughts. "It was totally beyond our control."
"But you liked it, right?"
"Of course I did. I wouldn't be a man if I didn't." Verdeschi brutally beat the ball
against the Plexiglass, "John's a lucky devil." Verdeschi summed up, somewhat irritated. *But
now there's Maya*, he thought, *and some day she is going to have my children*.
Alan returned a volley, "The funny thing is, before now, I never thought of Helena as
anything more than a friend. I respected, cared and even loved her in a fashion ... but
always as her *friend*. Why suddenly does a little kiss make such a difference?"
Verdeschi shrugged as he lunged for the ball. Lately, he felt as if he was becoming
everyone's favorite shrink. "Maybe it's vulnerability. The fact that she is always confident
and strong and now can be harmed. You feel sorry for her and to some men that can be a potent
They finished the game and returned to their posts.
Alan felt only a little better.
Tony thought of Maya and the question he would some day ask her..
Alibe Gundersen sat in Sandra's chair in Command Center and watched the Big Screen. Stars
... stars everywhere. Did Sahn or Yasko ever get lost in those tiny flecks of light in front
of them? Alibe started out as a chemist but when Alpha began its quest, she decided a career
in communication was for her. Then, after she married Don, an efficiency expert, she returned
to her lab and only came to Command Center to spell whoever was on duty during the evening.
It was quiet now, around dinner time. Only a few Alphans were about, checking calculations
or monitoring various levels through Main Computer.
Reaching forward, curious about something written on Sandra's desk note pad, Alibe fine
tuned an instrument. Yes, the mysterious object was still out there, headed towards Alpha.
The Commander suspected it might be a meteor but was also wondering if it was the mate to the
spacecraft Koo had been in. And, if it was, could they expect an invasion?
Alibe placed a hand on her belly and hoped for the best. She wanted to have children some
day and now it could really happen. If Dr. Russell's plans ... Oh yes, poor Dr. Russell. Now
that she lost her memory would the proposal be ignored? Alibe shook the selfish thought from
her mind. How could she be so self-centered when the doctor was reported to be barely hanging
on to her wits by a thread?
Yet, it was still on everyone's minds. Babies. Should she approach the Commander herself?
Maybe YOU should take on the task. Alibe suddenly jumped. Why hadn't she thought of this
before? She was part of the committee that kept Helena on her toes about the whole idea. As a
matter of fact, Doctor Russell usually came to her first about what she had learned and how
the Commander was feeling and ... You SHOULD do this, Alibe.
Alibe, snatching a pen from its clip, enthusiastically took notes. Don would be proud.
Helena stared in wide-eyed wonder at the black feline as it hopped confidently into her
arms and purred contentedly. "I don't believe it!" she whispered in awe. "You're amazing."
The cat mewed lazily, rubbing its dark head against the doctor's jacketed shoulder.
Deciding it had enough, the creature jumped from Helena's hands. However, before hitting
the ground, a spindle of bright yellow light surrounded the cat. In a mind numbing flash
Maya stood once again before the dazzled doctor.
"And this comes naturally to you?" Helena inquired, an easy excitement in her tone.
"We have to be taught but nearly any Psychon can learn." Maya winked.
It wasn't by accident that Helena came to be in the Psychon's quarters. She had hurt Maya,
whether intentional or not, and Helena wanted to make amends. "Maya, I must apologize again
for being so rude to you. I just ..."
"There is no need, Helena." Maya assured with a reflection of a warm smile. She watched
Dr. Russell as she made herself at home, sitting on a chair in the living area. Maya was a
short distance away, now in front of a lighted mirror, straightening the red neck of a fresh
uniform she had just slipped into before Helena's arrival, and the demonstration of her
A few hours ago, after she left Tony, Maya felt much better. She had stopped, as Tony
advised, to realize the turmoil Helena must be going through. The woman had to be terrified.
Helena knew nothing of the past three years, and there she was - an alien with the
intelligence to rival all of the most brilliant minds on Earth - behaving like a little lost
girl. She was feeling sorry for herself and this realization angered Maya far more than any
mere slight by an unsuspecting friend.
"If anything, Helena, you are an inspiration. You're holding together so well." Maya said,
watching her friend's reflection in the mirror.
Dr. Russell glanced up from the photograph album Maya offered her earlier and gazed at the
young woman, who was now running a brush through her stunning auburn hair. "You have a date
tonight, don't you?" she asked suddenly, with faint humor.
Maya twisted about, "How did ...?"
"I'm not so old that I don't recognize evidence of a girl preparing to see her young
man." Helena's smile turned into a mild sulk. An odd, slightly uncomfortable yet familiar
feeling came suddenly to her. She shook it away, "It's Tony, isn't it? I can see it in your
eyes when you look at him."
"Yes." Maya, both intrigued and leery, quickly changed the subject, "Are the pictures
helping? I started taking them around five months ago and some people think they're quite
"They are *very* good." Helena said, brightly. "The portrait shots are particularly
beautiful. I recognize many of these people but I don't know if it's because I knew them
before Breakaway or if I'm identifying them from a week ago." Sighing, Helena shut the book
she was browsing. "Alan's been trying to help me too. I've been through two hours of ping
pong and gymnastics disks and about three hours of basketball and racquetball on video."
"Are they helping?"
"No, not really." Then, she thought, "Although there is one section on the basketball tape
that looks vaguely familiar to me. I keep rolling it over and over again but can't quite pin
point what it is I'm identifying with. Maybe it's nothing." Helena shrugged and slipped her
hand into a jacket pocket.
Doctor Russell felt the audio disk John had given to her. She hesitated listening to it.
Helena knew she should be anxious but for some reason she couldn't fathom, there was fear.
She acknowledged Maya's sympathetic gaze and stood. "Well, time for you to get on with your
life, Maya. I'll go to my quarters and try to put mine back together again."
Maya desperately wanted to tell her some things but they were out of the question. Mathias
and the other doctors would have her drawn and quartered if she went against orders. And, if
something happened to Helena, John Koenig would never forgive her. Maya wouldn't risk it,
although her heart broke for her confused and distraught friend. "Take the album with you,
Helena. Maybe later you will recall something."
With a mild smile, Helena walked over to meet Maya, who stood and took one of her hands.
"You are a good friend, Maya." She leaned forward and hugged the Psychon, "Thank you."
Shyly, feeling content despite herself, Maya lifted a hand to touch Helena's cheek then
left her and entered a washroom to finish her regimen.
Helena reached down to pick up the album, which she had laid on Maya's make up table, when
her eyes suddenly caught sight of another photo book underneath a small endtable - seemingly
hidden from view. While Maya was out of sight, busily running water in a sink, Helena lifted
the book and flipped through some heavy pages.
These pictures appeared to be dedicated to special events. Candid shots taken at parties
and award ceremonies. Why hadn't Maya shown her this? Smiling, Helena flipped the pages,
seeing herself with friends. She honestly couldn't recognize any of these trapped moments but
the photographs gave her a sense of the life she'd been living. These were good, happy times.
Then, at the turn of one more page, Helena nearly dropped the album. "My God." she
breathed. The title of this selection was Valentines Day. And there she was, dancing a slow
dance, wearing that pink revealing gown she had seen back in her quarters, with Commander
Koenig. This wasn't enough normally to frighten her or even make her a little ill at ease -
but what Maya had caught with her camera a few frames later was. Helena and John were kissing
as they danced. No simple chaste kiss, but something very personal and passionate. A kiss
which held the promise of desires to be fulfilled.
Helena felt a bit dizzy and shaken as she pulled the picture from the album and replaced
the binder underneath the end table.
"Why didn't you tell me!?" Helena unceremoniously stormed as she entered the Commanders
Koenig was alone, studying a spacecraft schematic Carter had left for him. He looked up
from his lighted table to see the woman charge in, "Helena." Had Terra Nova done this to her?
Did he make a mistake, giving her the disk?
Then, Helena placed the photograph on the table top and slid it so he could take a good
"Where did you get this?" John asked, his jaw tightening. He had no idea that a picture of
them together like this even existed, let alone the photographer allowing it to fall into
Helena's hands when she was most vulnerable.
"It doesn't matter." Her arms were crossed in front of her and Helena took on the persona
of a woman who was clearly bitter. "You had every opportunity to tell me that we meant more
to each other than what I was led to believe, John. Why didn't you? Why didn't anyone ...?"
"We were scared." Koenig said simply, "Maybe it was wrong, Helena, but we were afraid you
might not take well to the idea of having a personal relationship ... Especially with the
Commander of this moonbase. Bob mentioned how you reacted after he told you about the moon
leaving Earth ..."
"I know how I reacted." Helena snapped. "And *that* is why you chose not to tell me
"Doctor Mathias thought you'd eventually figure it out for yourself."
"Which I did."
Neither of them spoke for a count of about thirty seconds.
"I don't know what to say, Helena." Koenig finally whispered, "I didn't want to hurt you.
I didn't want to lose you. I didn't know what to do other than do nothing.'
An expression, just slightly yielding, came to her. "I feel so stupid." Helena looked
down, feeling the sting of tears form in her eyes. "I know you, all of you, did what you
thought best, but I'm so embarrassed, John." Helena took a ragged breath, "It's bad enough I
don't remember recent history but to suddenly discover I've had a lover ..." She shook her
head back and forth, looking down at her boots and wishing it all a dream.
Koenig reached for her, "Well, at least now you know. Now we can get on with ..."
"What?" Helena lifted her head. The anger and frustration returned. "Do you really think
we can just pick up where we left off? You don't seem to understand what has happened here,
Commander." She stepped back from him, anguished, "I don't *feel* anything for you. I know at
one time I must have ... but now - NOTHING."
Koenig felt as if someone had just stabbed him through the heart. He didn't know how to
Helena continued: "And ...I feel horrible about it!" She flinched when sensing he wanted
to touch her. "I have to think about this." She moved around him, "I must go." At a sudden
run, as if she thought he might come after her, Helena was out of his quarters.
Koenig stared at the closing door behind her then, bringing a hand up to cover his eyes,
he bowed his head in grief.
Terra Nova and Lee Russell.
Helena, in pajamas, stood shakily to her feet and moved away from the sofa, walking over
to her compost. The woman's breathing was shallow and she felt, for a brief moment, as if she
might faint. But it wasn't like her to do that. She had told John Koenig, during a quiet
moment alone, that it must have been all the stress and strain. After all, it wasn't everyday
your husband came back from the dead.
But that was years ago ... Her report never said how long it took to get over losing Lee
This was all just a bit too much for one night.
Leaning heavily against the compost, striving to clear her thoughts, Helena looked up at
the screen. A red light was flashing, telling her the videotape she'd watched earlier in the
day was still installed. Numbly, Helena pushed the play button and watched the basketball
segment that so disturbed her. Why did this movement, a typical slam dunk, with the crowd
screaming happily in the background, seem so familiar?
Then, revelation hit and Helena caught her breath. Carefully, she paused and fine tuned a
frame. "Oh ..." She stepped back shaking, her left hand lifting to touch her throat.
Awakened from a fitful sleep, he heard a rustling which - at first - alarmed him. But then
he caught the scent of her perfume (Or was it a body lotion? She had to keep reminding him)
and he immediately knew who it was.
Koenig lay in bed, looking up at Helena Russell as she stood there gazing down at him.
"Helena, why are you here?" he asked, softly concerned.
"I've never rushed into an affair in my life. I had to know and trust you for sometime
before ... And to stay together for as long as we have I must love you ..." Her voice was
fueled with emotion, "I ... I ...don't want to be alone for the rest of my life." she broke
His hands and torso instantly raised for her, his arms embracing the uncommonly fragile
woman, as she fell into his bed and soaked in his strength. John pulled the covers up over
her and kissed Helena's forehead. As she began to fall into an exhausted, troubled and
numbing sleep he stroked her hair. "That's it." he murmured. John wished there was more he
"Are you scanning?" The hooded alien asked the operator at her computer console.
"Yes, sir." Her fingers touched switches and buttons, "I do not read Duc's life signs.
Yet, his craft is definitely on this moon."
"They have him there somewhere." He stared at the screen with Earth's moon hovering before
it, "And we must find him before it's too late."
"How do you feel?" He asked her as he walked from the bathroom, after a morning shower and
Sitting on the side of his bed, pulling on her right boot, Helena smiled over at Koenig -
almost shyly. She'd found the uniform and accessories in his closet, where he told her they
would be. "Good," she said, "and a little strange." Helena stood before him and hesitantly
reached up to touch his cheek as he met her, closing his fingers over hers. "Thank you."
"For what?" Koenig's hand dropped from hers and his arms loosely held Helena.
"For not taking advantage of the situation." Reluctantly, Helena turned from him, again
feeling slightly disappointed when their physical contact was broken. With her back to John,
she said: "You could very easily have done whatever you wanted with me last night and I would
have gratefully let you. Instead, you allowed me to just cling to you and ... you were very
John chuckled, "I'm not going to lie and say I wasn't tempted, but I guess it just goes to
show you that not all men are the animals we're made out to be."
With a laugh of her own, Helena turned once again to him and laid a hand on his arm. Then,
a bit more seriously, "I know none of this has been easy for you, John. Not only do you have
me and my incredibly erratic behavior to deal with ... but you are also faced with a dead
alien and a mysterious meteor or space invasion. How do you manage to keep your ... sanity?"
Slowly, he grew serious and his face drew close to hers. "I don't always manage to keep
calm but -- I have my friends - people I love - around me. They support and encourage me."
Helena, appearing starry-eyed and dazed as he drew ever closer, said - "And you have an
honest iron will. That's hard to discount ..."
Their lips almost met when a call came from his compost:
"Commander!" It was Maya, "Come to Command Center immediately! We have visitors!"
He stood in front of them, underneath Command Center's Big Screen, lifting his hands in a
peaceful gesture. A tall alien, he was clad in a long, shimmering hooded robe. Behind him
were two bulky body guards, similarly attired. When he loosened the hood and allowed it to
fall behind his shoulders, few were surprised he looked like an older version of Koo. "We
have come for Duc, my mikaf ..." He grimaced, struggling to recall, " ... my nephew." The
voice was slow and steady, as it might be from anyone learning a new language, but the tone
contained the same inflections as Koo's.
Koenig glanced at the screen briefly, noting the spaceship hovering above Alpha. It was
the same design, perhaps a little larger, as the craft now being examined in Alpha's Eagle
hanger. "Did you know Koo ... *Duc* crash landed on this moon?"
"We are aware." The alien's red rimmed eyes narrowed just slightly. "My name is Councilor
Duaor and we, of the planet Taldrof, wish your people no harm, Commander." He paused, "I only
wish to see Duc. He was ill when he left us."
"Ill?" Dr. Russell stepped forward. She had been watching the alien warily from behind her
Commander. This sort of encounter might be an everyday occurrence for the rest on Alpha but
it was new for her and Helena felt nervous, yet fascinated.
"Nothing contagious." Duaor quickly assured, "A fever. He was delusional." His expression
was calm but bordered on the edge of discomfort.
For the moment Koenig accepted this, "He was unconscious when we reached him. When Duc
awoke he said 'Mati ..'." He paused, attempting to recall the words.
Maya aided, "'Matita. Matita ka. Mattica koo.'." she quoted.
Verdeschi scrutinized their visitors, "What does that mean?"
Duaor looked surprised, "You mean he hasn't translated? Your language is not so difficult
and Duc is a student of dialect. He should have ..."
"He died." Koenig stated flatly, with little tact. The Commander was usually a good judge
of character and he simply did not trust Duaor. The alien was too careful and eloquent in the
way he spoke and he was obviously thinking all of the time. The alien reminded Koenig a bit
too much of Commissioner Simmonds.
Duaor glanced back at his two comrades then again at Koenig, "I see." He cleared his
throat, appearing upset, yet more was there than Koenig could not pin point. Relief? "When he
spoke to you, he was merely declaring his fears. And he wanted to go home. Personally, I feel
Duc knew he was going to die and felt the need to return to Taldrof to declare his Zelim."
Duaor smiled, understanding the Alphans knew not what he spoke of, "It is a religious right
*I don't believe you*, Koenig thought but said nothing.
"Tell me, was Duc alone at the time of death?"
"No he was in Medical Center. Doctors were attempting to save his life." Koenig stepped a
little closer to Helena and touched her arm. He didn't trust the aliens yet he couldn't
ignore the fact that they could help too. "Before he died Koo ... Duc did something to Dr.
Russell. It caused her to lose part of her memory. Is it possible for her to regain it?
Verdeschi, who was standing off to the side, caught a gesture between the Councilor's two
guards. The aliens had glanced at one another, something hidden in that non-verbal exchange,
he was sure.
Duaor smiled, a sudden expression of immense satisfaction flooding through him. He spoke
quickly, "Indeed, Commander. It was fright which caused Duc to strike out at your doctor. We
can take her to our craft and have our surgeons perform a naphlopia. It will remove the
blockage, causing her memory loss." He looked steadily at Helena, "We can leave immediately
if you like."
Dr. Russell smiled uneasily. A glimmer of hope, hampered with fear of the unknown.
"Councilor, we need to talk in more detail." Koenig stated, firmly.
One of Duaor's guards came up behind him and whispered something in his ear. Anxiousness
appeared on the alien's face for less than a few seconds, then he was a diplomat again. "Of
Other matters needed attention as well. Fifteen minutes later, an informal conference was
held between Duaor, Koenig, Dr. Russell, Maya, and Alan Carter in the Commander's quarters.
Carter lifted the bizarre device off of the lighted table so Duaor could get a better look
at it. "What is this? We found it in Koo's ship."
"Duc." Maya corrected, gently. To the alien she said: "We've determined it's verbal or, in
theory, a communications device."
"Yes!" Duaor's tone was excited as he stared at the object, "It is Duc's Katla. What you
would called a journal or memos."
"A diary?" Helena offered.
Duaor nodded at her but kept his attention focused on the Katla, "This is very sacred to
our people. His father, the leader of our people, will want it. Duc's last words, just before
he died, were recorded on this." Then a bit too forcibly, he said: "You must give it to me."
A beat, "Please."
"Why is the journal in code?' Koenig asked, aware of Duaor's diplomatic slip up.
"He isn't speaking your language."
The alien thought a few moments then turned to Helena Russell, "It is more important than
ever to get the doctor to our spacecraft now. I understand what Duc did. He used an ancient
Taldrofian tongue to record his thoughts. I told you he was a language and dialect specialist
and ... he could be an odd child at times. He decided to use Dr. Russell as his interpreter."
Enlightened, Maya said, "I think I understand. We had similar rights on Psychon." She
looked over at Koenig, "What he is proposing to do is hook Helena up to this machine and,
through her, Duc will speak his recorded message."
"And time is of the utmost importance Commander. You say she has been like this for three
or four of your days? We have eight more hours. After the time period elapses we will no
longer hear from Duc and, I'm afraid, your doctor will be blocked forever. Dr. Russell must
come with us so we can perform the necessary surgery -- to prepare her for Katla."
"To your ship?" Koenig looked over at Alan who shrugged, "And I suppose you'll want to
take Duc and his craft with you?"
"Well, yes. Of course, we will want them as well."
*You only thought of your dear, much loved nephew as an after thought*, Koenig mused, his
suspicions growing ever deeper. "Is the surgery dangerous?"
"We've done it many times." Duaor assured, "But never on a human. I can't imagine any
"John, " Helena touched his shoulder, "I'm willing. I want my memory back."
Koenig caught Carter's eye and the pilot suddenly knew what was on his Commander's mind,
"There are too many unknowns involved with this." John turned his back on Duaor and the rest,
"I'm sorry. But I must say no."
"NO?" The alien's tone rose above a light din of general objection. "Commander, you insult
Koenig turned to face him again, "You can give me no assurance that Dr. Russell will walk
off your ship, mind and body intact. I won't take that risk."
Helena exclaimed, "John, I want to!" She stepped forward, attempting to touch his shoulder
again. She was suddenly hurt when he avoided her, rounding his sofa in the opposite
direction. "I would think this my decision ..." she trailed off.
"You have my answer, Duaor." Koenig cut her off, never looking in Helena's direction.
"How dare you?" The Councilor blasted, "Will you make us use force, Commander? We must
have Duc's Zelim and if you do not cooperate with me, my people and all of Taldrof will
converge on this base."
"So, you're not really giving us a choice." Carter countered, in heavy contempt.
Duaor took a deep breath, his anger abated a bit. "I am sorry ..." he managed to squeak
out, "Of course, we will not attack you. I was just upset by your Commander's stubbornness.
We are a peaceful people and would never harm anyone ..." His expression was imploring, "But
please reconsider, Commander. You have no idea how important this is to ..."
"You've already had my answer." Koenig did not budge.
"Then this is goodbye." Duaor stiffened, "Have your people bring Duc's remains to my craft
and we will leave you."
Koenig nodded, studying Duaor. "I am sorry ..."
"I understand." Although it was clear Duaor didn't. "My men and I will be awaiting further
news from you on my craft." He turned about and walked from the Commander's quarters.
When the doors sliced shut, Helena cried: "Why did you do that? I told you I was ..."
"You are not the Commander of this base. I am."
Stunned, Helena was still and silent for a count of ten seconds, looking at John Koenig as
if seeing him for the first time. She glanced over at Maya who also appeared shocked and
puzzled by her Commander's odd attitude. "But, it's my memory ... It's my life!"
He said nothing. Just stared, unrelenting.
Unable to stop herself, Helena whispered - "I don't want to be around you anymore." Then,
she turned from him, pain and confusion marring her brow, and walked from the room.
Koenig gulped as he watched her but managed to keep his expression passive.
"I'll go talk with her." Carter said and exited.
Once they were alone, Maya pleaded: "Be reasonable, Commander!"
Koenig's hands turned into fists as he paced back and forth before her, "Am I an enigma,
Maya? You're asking me to see it from Helena's point of view. I have tried, from the moment
she became amnesiac. I know she is afraid and angry. I understand she wants to know more and,
because we can't tell her all she needs to know, Helena feels patronized. I know all of this
... But try to see it from my point of view. Despite the alien's words, we are still faced
with Alpha's possible destruction and the one person they say can make a difference is
threatened! And she's inviting it! What do I do? Give Helena up to possible death without
really knowing if what I'm doing is for the best or ..."
"You love her," Maya stated flatly, "and are afraid for her and the rest of Alpha. That's
not mysterious, John." For a moment, Maya dropped the formality which made her feel so much
more comfortable in Koenig's presence. Now formality seemed out of place. "I
love Tony the same way and, if I were in your shoes I might act in the very same fashion
..." She looked off, thinking: "I'm not sure. But I do know you have to give Helena the
benefit of a doubt. Tell her you would rather have her on this base alive, with her memory
loss, than away from you - perhaps forever - with it intact. Don't cut her off because of her
infliction. Include her. Tell her what you've told me."
Koenig sighed, "I will, Maya." Yet, how not to feel that over protective tenderness? It
was something he'd have to work on. "But first -- we have a base to protect and a diplomat to
Maya smiled and took her Commander's arm as they walked from his quarters, "It will work
out, Commander. I am certain of it."