Legacies (Part 3)
David J. Duncan
November 2002

For notes & such, please see Part 1

Chapter 9 (Spoilers: Smallville-"Ryan")

The Smallville contingent sat in the observation desk pensively waiting for news about Clark. They paced the strange room, staring at the walls, the unusual décor, and the views of the slipstream outside of the window.

To the Kents, this waiting was unbearable. Since they had received the call earlier today, they had been on pins and needles, hoping for the best but knowing that this situation might just be more than their son could handle.

For Lana, she sat quietly in the corner meditating and trying not to think about the situation. Their relationship, so long in the making, lay on life support several metallic levels down. Is this what it's going to be like? Worrying everyday if he's going to come home safely? Clark's worrying the same way about me? Is it really worth it? Then she thought about his smile, the sparkle in his eyes, how safe she felt around him. Of course it is...don't give up on him. He would go through Hell and back for you. Mouthing a silent prayer, she secluded herself back within her own inner thoughts.

Across the room, Lex and Chloe observed the proceedings trying to keep their own spirits up. For a pair of control freaks, sitting helplessly and watching their closest friends suffer was agony.

Chloe sulked and shook her head. If only I had stepped forward. If only I could have spared Clark and everyone else this torture. This is all my fault.

Lex rubbed her shoulder. "Hey, no guilt trips now. "

She looked up at him. "I could have prevented this, Lex. The professor was going to pick me instead of Clark."

"Chloe, you can't blame yourself."

"Can't I?" she doubted, rubbing her eyes. "Clark's always being the hero, you know. He's always saving us from this and that. Yet, when it counted, I choked!"

He hugged her tightly and exchanged looks with the Kents. Damn McLanden for this! He didn't even want to imagine what he might have done if the blond reporter had come back comatose or worse from that trip. After allowing the dark thoughts to dissipate, he took a deep breath and teased, "Yeah, my girlfriend, the chicken choke artist."

She glared at him silently. 

He smirked. Figures. The only way to keep her sane is to piss her off. "Oh right, you choked. Listen, Sullivan, if it weren't for you, Clark would be wasting away in some nut factory probably right now, with scientists trying to find out what he is. Remember what happened to Ryan?"

She nodded sadly recalling the sweet boy who just wanted a family but died from such lab experiments.

"Well, if McLanden had dragged him off to Flagstaff, he'd be there right now. Well, maybe not...knowing Dave and Steve. The point is you saved the day. You're one of the reasons we're here giving Clark a fighting chance," he continued.

"How do you figure that?" she wondered, still wiping her eyes.

"You got a hold of Lana and help. Then, you held off McLanden and helped the Ranger to keep Clark safe until the others could get him to Sanctuary. If that's not the mark of a hero, I don't know what is. I'm proud of you, Chloe. Now, let's think positively, all right?" he explained.

"All right," she agreed. "Are you always this persistent, Luthor?"

"Yeah, but I learn from the best," he gibed, kissing her.

"Thanks, Lex," Jonathan indicated, joining them along with Martha.

"For what? Oh that. Well, I meant it. They had no business being up there. Clark and Chloe were heroes today on that ridge. They kept their classmates out of danger and contained that lunatic's damage. Unfortunately, my best friend is down in the medical clinic because of that. But I do believe he's going to make it, Mr. and Mrs. Kent. He still has a destiny. We all have a destiny yet to fulfill. There's a lot of good that needs doing in the world, right?"

"That's putting it mildly," Martha admitted, managing a smile. "You're being such a good friend to us all."

"Hey, Clark's the reason I'm sitting here, right?" Lex replied, trying yet again to stay upbeat for everyone else's sake. "I'm not giving up on him. Not now. Not ever."

At that moment, the doors opened allowing Adam to enter the area. Seeing everyone look anxiously at him, he shook his head and rubbed the sides of his nose. "No change as far as I know. Trance is still working on him."

"Where are Dave and Xena?" Emma asked from where she had been standing off to the side of the room. "We thought they were with you."

"Xena and Gabrielle, I guess, are off training in the gym to burn off steam. Dave took a different turn and disappeared about three floors down. He looked as if he knew where he was going so I didn't stop him," the team leader told her.

The empath scanned the ship level by level, searching and seeking her friend's aura. Finally, in a room five floors down, she locked onto him. "He's alone and he's beating himself up mentally right now."

"Lex, how about the three of us go down there? I think he could use some company," Martha requested.

The billionaire looked at them curiously. There's a loaded proposition. On the one hand, I agree with her. Yet, he could be ready to lash out. "The last time I tried that, Mrs. Kent, I nearly caused a meltdown."

"Lex, you can't stop trying, remember?" Chloe advised, turning the tables.

You enjoy that, don't you? Seeing her manage a smile, he agreed, "Let's go." With that, he followed Jonathan and Martha downstairs.


Even as the others sought solace in each other, Dave sat alone in the midst of Trance's plant collection. As with the last trip aboard the spacecraft, Andromeda had medieval arias wafting through the background, attempting to soothe the professor's nerves. Still, he sat for hours listening to the music and brooding in the dimly lit area. Despite the others' assurances to the contrary, he still felt guilty for what had happened to Clark and could have happened to the other students.

Finally, the door slid open softly, sounding almost like a breath of cool air to most ears.

"Who's there?" he snapped.

"Dave, it's Eve. I was wondering how you were doing," the religion professor said.

"Death is a funny thing, isn't it?" he replied morosely. "That scythe of his sure goes nuts sometimes."

"We cannot understand why things happen, Dave," she noted. "We can only have faith."

He snorted. "I try to have faith, Eve. I try to believe. Yet around me, I see the good hurting all around me. My family is blown up. My closest friends are murdered. Finally, a kind young man is lying downstairs fighting for his life because of an act of heroism. Why do people like that hurt while the wicked live on? WHY?"

She sighed deeply, remembering all those she had wronged as Livia. His heart cries out in pain. Still, he won't let the Child out. How do I assure him? Eli, how do I help this man who has already endured more pain than anyone should in three full lifetimes? "Life is never easy, Dave. Some of us are tested more than others. We can't lose faith."

"I still believe...but why is everyone I love suddenly dropping like flies? What did I do to deserve this? What?" he wondered in exasperation, throwing his hands up in the air.

She embraced him assuring, "One day, it will all be apparent. Meantime, you have all of us. You're not alone, all right? Let it out."

He sobbed for almost fifteen minutes before the change occurred.

The Child looked at her. "Thank ya fer that."

"You're welcome," she replied pleasantly, trying to keep her voice calm and soothing. "Remember, everyone's going to be fine."

"Indeed," Lex agreed, walking into the room accompanied by the Kents. "It's a bit dark in here, isn't it?"

"Ah like it that way!" the Child replied tersely.

The two nervous parents' anxiety went up another octave.

"It's all right. Just be careful of what you say to him," Lex advised his companions.

"If you say so," Martha agreed. Suddenly, she recalled her husband's words from that fateful day in the hospital about David's mental condition. The psychiatrists worried that this would happen.

"M...Mar...tha?" the Dark One called.

"Yes, David?" Martha responded.

"Not Big Brother! Ah'm mah own person!" the Other hissed.

Martha jumped back three steps, her eyes bulging at the seething rage burning in the man's eyes in front of her.

"We know that. They just don't understand," Eve informed him.

Lex looked him in the eye. "What's going on with you and Dave, huh?"

"We screwed up," the Child confessed. "Made promise. Couldn't keep it."

"How's that?" Jonathan asked, steeling himself to come closer.

"We couldn't pr'tect Clark." The Child's left eye watered a bit.

The farmer shook his head. I don't know the first thing that's going on in his head right now, but it's obvious that he's feeling responsible for what happened. "Look, you can't be everywhere. All right?"

"We know that you try as hard as you can with the kids, but they're college kids. They go off campus and do other things," Lex agreed.

"We shoulda stopped that twit 'fore the trip!" the Child protested. "Now, it's too late."

"Mr. and Mrs. Kent, I assure you that charges will be filed in this matter," Eve added. "The Ethics Board will meet as soon as we get back. Meantime, well...."

"Yeah well fat lotta good that does Clark!" the Child growled. "We let 'em down!"

"No, you didn't," Martha assured him. "We're here, aren't we? We're on the way toward a cure for Clark."

"You're doing exactly what you said. Besides, you protected his secret yet again today, as you did at the Moore house last month. Don't beat yourself up. You're not the one that I'm angry at," Jonathan informed him.


"Of course not," Martha continued. "Come here." Overcoming her own misgivings, she allowed her maternal instincts to take over as she embraced him as well. "Shhh...It's going to be all right. It's going to be all right."

Feeling particularly safe, the Child smiled and allowed the change to happen again.

"Martha? Jonathan?" Dave asked, rubbing his head.

"Yes, it's us," she replied. "What happened just now? We were talking but it wasn't you."

"I have two personalities, as you saw that night at the Talon," Dave admitted. "I deal with them."

"And the Other is no threat to the students," Lex quickly added. "Speaking of welfare, how are you doing?"

"Still feeling like a heel for what happened," Dave stated.

"Well, stop it, all right?" Lex declared, shaking him. "It's going to be fine."

"Sorry, Lex. I'll believe it when I see him walking around again," the professor told his friend.

I'm sure. "Hey, as I told you in their loft, sulking isn't going to help you. Come on, let's go find the others," the entrepreneur suggested.

"All right," the medievalist agreed, climbing to his feet and following the others out of the room. I hope he's right.



Xena and Gabrielle circled each other warily, their staffs held in ready positions. For the past hour, they had parried and battled, trying to burn off their anxiousness. For the most part, they managed to pretend it was another Amazon training session. As such, they made sure to hold back a bit so as not to hurt one another. They twirled, ducked, struck out, and avoided each other. Even as they went through the motions, the knots of nervousness loosened a bit.

"I hope David's all right," Gabrielle hoped, parrying a strike.

"As soon as he gets over his guilt phase, he'll be fine," Xena assured her, moving her staff into position again.

"I can tell Francesca's worried about him," the bard replied.

"Yeah? Well, try dealin' with Angela. She's a nervous wreck right now-not being able to help with Clark and all. Personally either way, I'd be more concerned about that other professor and what David does to him when we get back," the Warrior Princess noted, executing a flip, caroming off of a wall and landing behind Gabrielle.

The other warrior, however, had followed the motion with ease and parried the thrust from behind as well. 

"You're getting better," Xena admitted. 

"I've had plenty of practice," her companion replied, walking off to grab a towel. "Want one?"

"Yeah, thanks!" the warrior accepted, catching the white towel out of the air and wiping her brow with it. She smiled. "You can come in now, Tyr."

The Nietzschean skulked into the room. "That's good. I made no sound and yet you detected me."

"Ancient Amphipolan secret," she commented. "So what do ya want?"

"I wanted to see how you were both getting along...trying to be the good host," he suggested.

The two Amazons smirked at each other.

Yeah right. He just wants a good view. "Trying to learn about combat skills, are we?" Xena teased, her brow arched and the grin widening on her face.

"I'm always trying to work on my skills," he agreed, grabbing a staff. "Are you still up to getting some exercise?"

"Bring it on, Big Guy," Xena challenged, stepping back a bit. "I need to work out a few more kinks and yer it."

"So what's with the boy in Medical? He doesn't seem like anything special," he wondered.

"Shallow as always," Gabrielle muttered to herself.

"I heard that!"

"Goodie for ya!" the Warrior told him, slamming his leg with the staff. "Now, pay attention!"

He growled at having let his guard down. "Grrrr!!" Swinging his staff, he missed her.

"Come on, Tyr. Hit me if ya can!" she cracked, the sarcastic smile spreading across her face.

"Stand still!"

"Now where would the fun be if I did that?" she teased, giving him a kick in the backside and sending him into the padded section of the wall.

By the Maker, she is good. Better than any other human female. Too bad she's not from my time. Getting up, he snarled, "Time to end this!" He rushed her...or rather, where she had been seconds earlier.

"Oh, you're sure, are ya?" she laughed, delivering two well placed blows.

Fortunately, he managed to deflect them. For ten minutes, the two combatants parried themselves before they declared a truce.

"Had enough?" she cracked, toweling herself off again.

"Never!" he exclaimed, grinning. "You never answered my question, Xena."

"If you mean Clark, yeah, he's definitely special all right. Come on, Gabrielle, let's stop by the clinic and see how he's doing," she urged, leaving the gym.

For a while, he stood and thought about the two Amazons. They are something else all right. Then he followed as well.

Chapter 10 

Trance continued to watch the monitors to see Clark's condition. He has to last for the rest of the trip. He just has to. Recalling what she had gleaned from the elders growing up, this point in ancient history remained vague in the records. Maybe it's because he vanished without a trace. Just twenty minutes earlier, she felt the Andromeda retransit into normal space before Beka calculated and initiated the second jump. "Andromeda?" she called.

The AI's image appeared in front of her, arms crossed over her burgundy tunic. "Yes, Trance?"

"How much longer until we reach Krypton?"

Andromeda replied, "Approximately two and a half hours barring any problems. How's our patient?"

The golden medic frowned. "Pulse is still dropping. He has about four hours, I estimate."

At that moment, Xena and Gabrielle entered the area, looking at them.

"How is he?" the former inquired.

"We need to get that formula quickly," Trance informed them all. "I wish there was a way to buy some more time."

"There may be," the Warrior Princess told her, sheathing the sword and focusing. In a flash, Angie stood in her place.

"So that's how you do that," Andromeda realized, a slight smile on her face. 

The oncologist nodded and walked over to Clark's side. He's getting weaker. Placing her hands on his arm, she sent healing energies into him.

"What is she doing?" Trance asked, not understanding what was going on.

"This is her mutant ability," Gabrielle noted. "She can heal this way."

For several minutes, Angie kept contact with him, combating and forcing the disease to retreat. "Com..e...on...." She ground her teeth, her brow dampened with sweat, and she gasped for air. "I'm...not...giv...ing...up...." The glow around Clark increased before finally petering out. 

Trance checked the vital signs. "He's improved, but the disease is still there. You bought him another 8 hours probably, Angie."

"Okay," she huffed tiredly before drawing the sword and changing back into Xena.

"I take it we bought him some time, then?" the Warrior Princess inquired.

"Yes. We should now have enough time," the image noted. "I'll let Dylan know." With that, she disappeared.

"Meantime, we'll let the others know," Gabrielle said. "Meantime, is there a place where she can rest for a bit?"

"Gabrielle..." Xena muttered, supporting herself against a wall.

"Come right over here," Trance told the warrior leading her to another bed. "Lie down here, Xena. We'll be in slipstream for a while yet."

"I'll wake you when we're at his planet," the bard promised.

"Yeah...right," Xena muttered drowsily as she dozed off.

"I'll watch her if you want to join the others," Trance offered.

"Fine," Gabrielle agreed. Then she noticed Lana enter the area. "Lana, what's wrong?"

"Nothing...other than my nerves about Clark." Seeing Xena on the bed, she asked, "Is she all right?"

"Angela pushed herself too hard," the bard noted. "She bought Clark a few extra hours, but nearly killed herself in the process."

"Will she be all right?" the brunette worried, approaching the patients.

"I think so," Trance assured her. "She needs rest."

She sacrificed that much for Clark. Fortunately, she's all right. "Gabrielle, if you want to go let the others know what's happening, I can stay here with Clark and Trance," Lana indicated.

"Okay. I'll be back in a while," Gabrielle agreed, leaving the area. "Call if anything happens."

"We will," Trance concurred. "Lana, there's not going to be any change for a while."

"Is it all right if I stay for a while?" Lana inquired.

At that moment, Clark groaned and opened his eyes. "Uhh...."

"Clark!" Lana exclaimed.

"La...na," he whispered. "Whaaa???"

"Shh. Don't talk," she urged, kissing his cheek. "Save your strength. We're on the way to help you."

"H...elp...?" he asked. Seeing Trance, his eyes went wide.

"No, it's all right, Clark. She's our friend," Lana assured him. "She's been helping us. Everyone's here with you. Lex, Chloe, Byron and your parents are upstairs. And I'm here. We're all here for you."

"C...hlo...e, how...?"

"She's fine," Trance added. "I'm Trance and you're safe. Just relax. We're going to help you."

"Her crew mates and her, she means," Xena muttered from where she reclined. "Glad...to see ya."

"Both of you relax, okay?" the medic requested. "Please."

The patients both complied.

"Good," she responded. Walking to the console, she paged, "Dylan?"

"Yes, Trance? What's going on?"

"Clark's awake but resting," she reported. "I'll let you know if anything happens."

"Thanks. Dylan, out," he concluded.

"I'll give you three a minute alone. All right? I'll be close by, getting something to eat. All right?"

"Sure. Thank you for everything," Lana agreed.

Trance smiled and departed the room.

"Th...anks," he whispered.

"You're welcome," Xena murmured. "Just don't die on us, okay?"

He managed a weak smile and opened his eyes. Reaching up with his hand, he extended it toward his love.

She choked back a sob and grinned as she took his hand. And at that moment, she experienced something she had never felt before....



There had been a feeling almost like heat...burning the air out of a blast furnace and then, the almost paradoxical burst of cool wind. Opening her eyes, she saw that she no longer stood on the Andromeda. Instead, she was in the middle of a field of swaying grass. Above her, a solid bank of gray clouds loomed. Off in the distance, their black and greenish counterparts hung back, stalking her. They almost seem like twister clouds. What is this? Where am I?


She turned to see Clark sitting on the ground behind her. His eyes were sunken and heavy. Unlike on the ship, his skin had no sign of the purple splotches. "Hey, how are you?" she queried, hugging him tightly.

"Lana, don't. We don't know if this is contagious or not," he protested weakly.

"According to Trance, it isn't," she informed him, holding him close to her. "It's going to be okay."

"Lana, I'm dying. We both know that. Despite Dr. Dubois' help, I'm..."

Her eyes sparked and she lectured, "Don't go there, Clark! Don't give up on us! We're on our way to cure you. There is a cure."

"There is?" he asked, a sudden flicker of hope in his eyes.

"Yes. We just need to get one thing from...your home," she stated. Seeing the confusion in his eyes, she continued, "Yes, Clark. We know where you're from. It was a planet called Krypton that blew up about twenty years ago according to Andromeda."

"Lana, if we go there, there will be meteor rocks. Lots of them," he explained, suddenly turning white.

"And? What about them?"

"Remember when you used to wear your necklace-the one that Nell gave you?" he inquired.

"Yes. What about it?"

"Remember how I was always so klutzy around you in middle school and freshman year? The meteors make me sick, Lana. Ask my folks or Pete, they know," he explained.

She pondered this revelation for a minute. How could something so small hurt him like that, especially if it's from his home world? There might be something to that. "Clark, I have to ask-the night that Whitney and the others put you out in the cornfield as the Scarecrow: did he put my necklace on you?"

"Yes," he told her. "That's why I couldn't stop them from doing that to me. When Lex helped me, the necklace was lost in the field and I was okay again."

She sighed. So, by going there to get the cure, we may kill him in the process anyhow. She looked at him and assured him, "I need to share this information with the others, but I'll be back. Meantime, can you keep fighting until I get back?"

He motioned her close to him and kissed her. "I will. Tell Mom and Dad I'll be okay. I love you."

"I love you too," she replied, smiling warmly for his benefit even as she started to pull back.



When Lana's senses returned to her, she once again stood in the Andromeda's Medical section. She saw Trance and Xena looking at her curiously. "I'm back," she told them.

"Where did you go? Your eyes went blank as soon as you held his hand," Trance wondered.

"I was in his mind somehow. There was this grassy meadow and the sky was gray. Clark was there and he told me something really important. Can I talk with your captain? It's urgent. It could be a matter of life or death for Clark," the teenager recounted.

Trance nodded and went back over to the console. "Dylan, this is Trance."

"Yes, Trance?" Dylan replied. "What's going on down there?"

"One of our guests has some information about Clark that she wants to speak with you about. My sense is that it's a private matter," the medical officer noted.

"Can we get his parents into the room too?" Lana requested. "They would know this information as well."

"Yes, we can do that. I'll send Rommie down to the observation deck to get them. Meantime, Trance, can you bring Lana with you to my office, please? The others will meet us there. Dylan, out," he concluded.

Trance switched off the communications console and advised her guests, "Xena, while you're resting, can you keep an eye on Clark? Lana, I'll take you to see Dylan, all right?"

"I can watch him," the warrior agreed. "Just get to the bottom of this mess."

"We'll do that," Lana promised as she followed her golden-skinned guide out of the door.


[Dylan's office-Fifteen minutes later]

Dylan sat anxiously behind his desk and looked at all of the artifacts on the wall in front of him. So many different races with so many individual aspects. I wonder how much more there is to learn?

The AI's image appeared next to him. "Don't worry, Dylan. We'll find those materials for him."

"I'm sure," he concurred, sipping on a cup of Terrazian coffee. "Yet, we still have a lot to learn about our Kryptonian guest."

"Indeed we do. Still we do have a great deal in the archives about his planet and society. It was one of the greatest societies known to history before they vanished in the explosion," she replied factually, folding her arms across her chest.

At that moment, the door slid open, allowing Rommie and the Kents to enter the area. 

"I trust you two are comfortable? Lana and Trance will be joining us in just a second," he indicated.

"Your ship is amazing and we really appreciate everything, Captain Hunt," Martha replied. "But, you'll pardon us if we're still concerned about Clark."

"Of course," Dylan responded. "We'll be there in just under an hour."

Jonathan smiled. "Once again, thank you."

The captain nodded, keeping a supportive smile on his face.

Just then, the door slid open, allowing Lana and Trance to enter the room. 

"Please take a seat," he invited. When they all had done so, he asked, "Okay, Lana, what's on your mind?"

"Well, I was with Trance and Clark downstairs in the medical area. I was talking to Clark...yes, he was awake briefly. Anyhow, I took his hand and something weird happened," she started.

"Define 'weird'," Jonathan probed.

"Well..." she winced, thinking about how to say this. "You don't know this, but I'm a mutant. I can see and talk to spirits and people somewhere out there. Well, Clark's alive and yet, I was transported to this place somewhere between a dreamland and the next world, I guess you can say. Anyhow, he told me about the meteor rocks and how they make him sick. Is that true?"

The two parents looked anxiously at each other. Finally, Martha admitted, "The meteors have always made him sick."

"Like my necklace?" Lana sighed moodily.

"Yes," Jonathan told her. "That's why Clark was always...well...shy around you, you might say."

"Among other reasons," his wife reminded him. "Anyhow, yes, they do make him sick."

"Clark wanted me to point out that going near Krypton might kill him," Lana continued. "Is that true?"

"Rommie?" Dylan asked.

The android processed information for a moment before replying. "We will have to come out of slipstream at a safe distance from the accident site anyhow. Once we get there, I'll run tests on the amounts of radiation and verify that our shield strength is sufficient."

"That would be great," Lana agreed.

"Can't you just put him in a lead-lined room?" Jonathan asked.

"Normally, that would be the case," Rommie pointed out. "However, as Lana is correctly indicating, we will be in space littered with the debris from the planetary cataclysm-the meteors themselves. Given the tremendous amount of radiation in the system from those rocks, the odds are indeed very much against Clark."

"So what do we do?" Martha wondered, panicking over yet another potential fatal factor hanging over her son's head.

"Perhaps, Deirdre can take him into the mists?" Trance asked. "Just the same way she brought us to Earth and back?"

"Maybe." The AI's image pondered this possibility for a second. "We will keep that possibility in mind. Perhaps, David could also be of service."

"Okay, People," Dylan said, trying to be positive. "Let's go with it. We have 45 minutes...."

"Actually 38 minutes, 36 seconds," Rommie corrected.

"38 and a half minutes until we reach the system. I'll be in Command. Rommie, can you go with the Kents and Lana back to Medical? Trance, find David and let him know what's happening," the captain requested, standing back up. "Everyone, I'll see you on the Observation Deck in 35 minutes. Thanks."

With that, the others got up and departed the area, preparing for their first view of Clark's home system.

Chapter 11

Even as the meeting went on in Dylan's office, Dave walked into Medical and looked at the two patients. What the heck is Xena doing here? Is she...?

"I'm fine," she muttered. "Angela helped Clark and took a lot of us both."

"How's she doing?" he asked.

"She'll be fine," she assured him. "We just need rest."

"Pro...fessor?" Clark whispered.

"Clark, good to see you awake. Don't stress too much, all right? We'll get you through this," he stated.

The farm boy smiled silently and nodded.

At that moment, Lana, Trance, and Clark's parents entered the area. 

"Professor Dubois, how are you?" Lana asked.

"I'm hanging in there," Dave responded. "How are you all doing?"

"We just had a talk with Dylan," Trance noted. "Can we have a talk, David? I want to make sure you're okay."

"Sure," he agreed. "We'll be back."


Five minutes later, Trance and Dave walked into an empty room and sat down.

"How are you doing...really?" she inquired.

"Okay. I'm doing better now that I saw that Clark's awake," he responded. 

"Thank Angie for that," she informed him. "She really gave him a boost. It's okay to worry about them, you know."

"Yeah, I know. Trance, umm...sorry about that crack about your skin color before."

She shook her head. "Don't worry about it. I've changed. But then again, so have you. You seem darker yet in control."

He nodded. "Thank Lousain for that one."


"The wizard, one of the three who sicced the Magog on Earth in the first place. After you all left, we had to go into the heart of darkness and deal with him," he explained, staring intensely at her. "Then, my family was killed when a bomb went off under them. And well...I found out that my former girlfriend is actually my twin sister. This happens every day, right?"

She sighed. He's been through so much. No wonder he's so angry. Still, the fact that he's still hanging there shows that he's strong. "We may need your help when we get to Krypton."

"Just tell me what you want me to do," he indicated readily. 

"Okay." She grinned warmly and rubbed his shoulder. "Let's find Deirdre and get ready. We have about fifteen minutes." With that, they walked off to find the priestess.


In the observation area, the others waited to find out what was going on. Adam sat, scratching his head, trying to consider the possibilities. Emma sat meditating and monitoring Dave's moods. Lex and Chloe sat quietly after coming back from a walk of that part of the ship. In the far corner, Byron and Miranda talked in low voices expressing their concerns.

Then, Andromeda's image appeared in their midst. "Everyone, I have some news."

"What's going on?" Lex demanded.

"We will be coming out of slipstream in just fifteen minutes. Dylan's on his way. Meantime, Chloe, we'll need your help as well once we get there."

"You bet," the reporter agreed, a determined look across her face.

"Meantime, Dr. Kane, would you mind following me? We could use your help in maximizing our shields to reduce certain risk factors to Clark," the AI requested.

"Absolutely," Adam agreed and departed along with the image heading for Engineering.

"I wonder how he's doing?" Byron asked hopefully. "With these preparations, I guess he's still with us."

Emma opened her eyes and reported, "According to Professor Dubois, yes, he's still with us."

"How's Uncle Dave?" Miranda wondered.

"He's doing okay," the psionic advised. "He's with the medical officer looking for Deirdre."

"And Lana?"

"She's with Clark and his parents," Emma continued. 

At that moment, the door slid open, allowing Dylan to enter. "How's everyone? We should be coming up on the system in a few minutes."

"We're fine, Captain," Chloe replied. "And ready to help out."

"That's great because we'll all need to work together," Dylan agreed, punching a button on the comm. Unit. "Harper?"

"Yeah, Boss?" Harper asked.

"How are we doing on those shields?"

"Adam's a big help. Give us ten minutes," the engineer concluded, signing off.

"Trance?" the captain called.

"Yes, Dylan?" 

"How are we doing down there?" he asked.

"Clark's holding steady. Xena's awake. Deirdre's waiting here with David and Lana," she replied.

"Very good. Beka?"

"Everything's great here. We have twelve minutes and forty-five seconds left," the first officer stated.

"Thank you. Let me know if anything happens. Dylan out," the captain concluded, shutting off the unit.

"What do you mean 'hazardous conditions'?" Miranda queried.

"There's an additional risk within the system," Dylan indicated. "That's why I have Dr. Kane working with my engineer. Don't worry; everything's going to be all right. Meantime, Miss Sullivan, please join me in Command."

"It's going to be okay, everyone," Chloe assured her companions.

"Take good notes for us, Sullivan," the billionaire requested.

"I'm the eyes and ears of Smallville," she quipped.

"Not to mention the mouth," Lex countered.

She shot him a dirty look. Ooh...I'm going to get you, Luthor. 

"Ahem," Dylan's voice called from the hall.

"Better get moving, Sullivan," the businessman told her.

She stomped out, following the captain. Her mind firmly set on the situation in front of her, leaving the others to hope for the best.

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