I Have Loved You All My Life

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On Lafa II, on our side of the pond, Polly turned to Otra, "So we've got full restoration?"

"I do believe so."

"Then they'll be getting back soon," Lili said. Malcolm looked at her, and then beckoned. She followed him to their son, Declan's, old room, "Yes?"

"Not to be overly eager, but I would like to test out that tofflin root," he said, kissing her.

"Me, too. I get the feeling this won't take much longer."


Josh Rosen stood on the surface of Lafa II for the first time, ever. "I dunno where to go, or what to do, or who to talk to," he said.

"We all depend on each other. We all cooperate. Everyone helps with the kids, the factory, everything. This is no party," Jennifer said.

"And the natives?" he asked.

"We're all right," Yimar said, looking at him.

"Would I be able to take up with a native woman?" he asked, "I don't know any of them, yet."

"You know me," Yimar said. He raised an eyebrow. She was hardly the nice Jewish girl his parents had hoped he would end up with, but she seemed lovely and pleasant enough. The idea was intriguing.


"This is the Light o' Lo," Yilta said, transmitting to the Wells and Fluxy, "Can we go yet? I don't think we should break our web until we're all resolved, eh?"

Rick smiled, "There's our third," he said to Deirdre.

"So this is it," Hoshi said, "can you tell me how it all works out?"

"Mostly, no," Rick said, "but you'll die in your bed. And so will our son."

"Beam us out of here," Hoshi said, her emotions, again, spinning on a dime, "I never wanna see you again," she said to Rick.

"I can't promise anything," Rick said, "but I won't try to be here again during your lifetime. You're entitled to, I guess, a little peace."

They walked to the back of the Wells and Jun and Hoshi positioned themselves on the Transporter pad. "Good-bye," Jun said, "it's been an education."

Rick saw them dematerialize and then went over to the front of the Wells. He contacted the Light of Lo and Fluxy, "We're clear," he said, "let's drop the web so that the Defiant shuttle can get back, and get ourselves outta here."

"Not a moment too soon," Yilta said, "for here comes the shuttle." She decloaked her ship and waited.

They redirected their pulse shots, each creating small rifts, passageways to our universe. The three time ships slipped through, and the portals shut behind them.


On the Defiant, the Empress Hoshi Sato nearly stepped on a mouse when she rematerialized, and yelled, "Where are the snakes?! Get these damned mice off this ship at once!"

"Yes, Ma," Jun said. Arashi had come to meet them and he nodded. He knew that he, too, would be on that detail.

"I'll be in my quarters," she seethed, getting out of there, double time.

They let her go, and she got to her quarters and locked them. She sat on her cushy bed, the site of so many conquests and began to weep, realizing that no one had ever loved her, and the chances were very good that no one ever would.

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