It Wasn't Real

1 0 0

I'll give you all I've got to give

If you say you love me too

I may not have a lot to give

But what I've got I'll give to you

I don't care too much for money

For money can't buy me love

– The Beatles (Can't Buy Me Love)


There was a communications chime. "Tucker here," he listened for a while before responding again. "Yeah, Yimar. See you soon. Tucker out."

"Well?" asked Chip.

"She's coming with a shuttle. And she's already contacted the Tellarites."

"The Tellarites? Why?" Tom asked.

"She's got a plan. But we need to split up into four groups," Tripp said.

"Four?" Jennifer asked.

"One – probably the most dangerous detail – is to go to the main factory on Lafa V and coordinate the transfer. The Tellarites are going to be transporting the goods over to Vulcan and Andoria," Tripp explained.

"So she's got her buyers," Beth said.

"And more," Tripp stated, "they're gonna not only buy, but they'll keep working. We are gonna send our better engineers out with the parts. We might be able to get factories going in all sorts of places. So even if the Lafa System is overrun, it won't matter so much."

"Right," Takara said. "What are the other three groups?"

"One will go to the Defiant. That's, I'm sure, the second most dangerous. And we should be prepared for pretty much anything when it comes to the Empress. The other two are to split up the kids. One group stays here, the other goes to Lafa IX. That way, if the Empress has a little kidnapping in mind, it'll get harder."

"How soon until the Tellarites are here?" Treve asked.

"She said about an hour," Tripp said, "we gotta get our factory team out first."

"Me, I'll go," Beth said, "and maybe Chip." He nodded his assent.

"I'll be going on the Defiant," Tom said, "with the High Priestess and you, Jennifer, right?"

"Yes," she agreed.

"I'll go on the Defiant, too," Takara said, "and you should come with me," she said to her twin brother, Takeo.

"She won't be too pleased to see you," Tripp said.

"I dunno," Takara said, "maybe we can convince her somehow."

"She'll be surprised," Lucy said, "and that could throw her off her game a bit."

"You're my eldest two, and I love you and I don't want you to just throw away your lives," Chip said.

"I know, Dad," Takara said, "but this has gotta work. So we'll send little Chuck to Lafa IX."

"And I'll go with him," said Charlie, Takara's husband, "And I guess Betsy and Ken, you'll stay here with Denise. Keep your family together."

"I'll also handle the factory detail," Lucy said. Chip looked at her plaintively. "You and I have been together a long time. If that factory is bombed, well, I don't want to have to go on without you."

He Stays a StrangerRead this story for FREE!