Go to Prologue
" What are you talking about?" Kate asked. "What is there?"
"The field. Can't any one else hear it? I hear a hum. I can not see the field but I can hear it."
"Are you sure?" Kate asked softly.
"There is the rock I threw through it yesterday. And there is where I fell when I came through." She pointed to the imprints of her knees and every one's boots. She picked up the rock and threw it towards the field. It went through with a very low pfft before the rock landed on the other side. "Did you hear that?" They all nodded. "Lose those poles." Kacey ordered.
"Doc can these men sit up?" Kacey asked.,
"Yes they have cervical collars and back boards. What are you thinking Colonel?"
"If they go through laying down, they will be in that field longer, but sitting up they will have less exposure."
"That makes sense. They may have internal injuries and their systems could be compromised from prolonged exposure."
"Then standing up will be even better won't it Doc?"
"Yes it would."
"I see what you are suggesting Major." Kacey admitted. "Do it." She ordered. Two men on each pilot. Make sure their feet are off the ground. Somebody grab the tents. We will need them on the other side." The men jumped to follow orders. Soon both injured pilots were supported between two Marines. Kacey took a deep breath. "Wait until I get through." She said and ran through. She stumbled on the other side but stayed on her feet. Kacey felt the dizziness hit the second she stepped into the field, and once through had to lean against a large rock for support. She closed her eyes against the onslaught of images. Kate was the next one through followed by the Marines with the injured men. Soon everyone was through. "Take ten, everyone." Kacey said. She reached for her canteen and found her hand shaking. She crossed her arms to hide the shakiness.
Kate joined her and leaned against the rock. "Hey" she said.
"Hey." Kacey answered. "Almost done. The last leg coming up. We will be back to Andromeda in a couple hours."
"Are you okay? No bullshit Kacey I saw you stumble after you came through the field." Kate stated.
"Just got my balance knocked out of whack for a bit. That is all. Nothing to write home about. It is fading already."
"What about the shakes, I noticed a few seconds ago?"
"You have eyes like mom Kate." Kacey joked.
"Now I know something is wrong. That is the first time in almost three days you have not called me Captain. Doc got a minute?"
"Of course Captain."
"Would you give my sister a once over. That field affected again her more than she wants to admit ."
"That field is definitely not good for your health Colonel." The Doctor joked. "Heart rate is up again." She listened again. "Still up. Seems to be taking longer to came done." She checked again. "It is getting better. Slowly coming down to normal levels. Rest here for a few more minutes."
"How about my men?"
"They came through fine." The Doctor returned to her patients giving the sisters a chance to talk.
"Thanks for caring Kate."
"You are my sister no matter how many times we butt heads. That fact will never change. I will always worry about you. Especially when I see things like how that field affects you. " Kate stated. "When are you going to try to get those stingers out?"
"Tomorrow or the day after. Why?"
"I am going to ask you something and I do not want you to get mad."
"Ask away, but I make no guarantees."
"Please do not go back in there. That field seems to affect you more than the rest of us."
"I can not send my men into something or someplace that I will not go myself. But you are right. I do not know why that thing bothers me but the fact is it does. I could just fly my pilots here and let them pull the stingers through." She thought for a minute as she watched Kate's face. "Or I could do this. Major?"
"Tomorrow will be a day off for everyone on this mission. The day after take twenty men and get the shuttle as close as you can and use the winch to pull them through. I think they will fly once they are past that field. If not then we will have to figure out another way to get them back to Andromeda."
"We will get it done Colonel. If I may say Colonel, I am glad you are sitting the retrieval. I saw you stumble also."
"That is just great. Did everyone witness my less than graceful exit?"
"Not at all Colonel. I think just the Captain and I picked up on that."
"Satisfied Captain?" Kacey asked
"I am Colonel.
"All right everyone lets get back to Andromeda and get those men to Sick Bay. I don't know about anyone else but I could use a shower and something other that survival cardboard to eat. No matter what it tastes like. Move out." She ordered.
To be continued...
Return to the Academy