Coming to the Jupiter 2 campsite

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They were about to enter the Jupiter 2 when John and Don stopped feeling they were being watched so the two men slowly turned around. They saw Smith letting go of a young woman's hand while keeping a grip on the child's hand and a young tall man let go of the woman's hand. The young adults were in white and blue uniforms. The two vanished abruptly before Don's eyes that was alarming. Their hands reached toward their laser pistols. The man was taller than the short woman by his side and they seemed to be military more than anything to Don's eyes. They seemed to be friendly at first sight holding their hands up shaking them. The men lowered their laser pistols.

"Hi, I am Chris," Chris said. "And this is my sister, Laura."

"How you do," Laura said.

"We're from the Space Academy," Chris said, then gestured over his shoulder. "we've parked it several hundreds of miles away."

"Where did Smith go?" John asked.

"You exiled him, remember?" Laura asked. "He brought us here only as a favor and decided to go see the treasure vault for himself."

Chris rolled a eye, bemused.

"He just likes to randomly teleport now that he knows Loki can do it," Chris said, with a laugh.

"That does sound like him," Don said.

"And you thought not approaching us in the morning is wise?" John asked, disturbed. "We could have shot you."

"It's pretty important enough," Chris said. "You see," he glanced toward his sister then back. "We are going to be in a space battle breaking orbit to face Emperor Dragos Evil and his large army in two weeks."

"Doctor Smith told us that it wouldn't be right leaving innocent civilians out of the loop and leave them unprepared for it," Laura said.

"I have to give it to him," Don said. "Pissing off a space emperor? I never saw that coming."

"No, no, no," Laura said. "Emperor Dragos has always been after destroying the academy and Star Command with it."

"It's a daily occurrence," Chris said. "Jason and his friends handle those problem on a day-to-day basis."

"This time he succeeded," John said.

"No," Chris said. "Yes, maybe, we don't know."

"How can you not know?" Don asked.

"Commander Gampu, the head of the academy, was in battle control distracting the emperor and his army from going after us," Laura said. "Jason, Samantha, Professor Parsafoot, and Deputy Commander Stone are still out there. We can't risk going out there because for all we know he could have a squadron waiting to shoot us down if we try to take retrieve them."

"There's a catch to it," Don asked.

"No one really wants to take over," Chris said. "The professors don't want to be the one who makes the mistake."

"And your doctor shares a uncanny resemblance with Gampu," Laura said.

"Except he's very young," Chris said. "But the resemblance can still pass. I mistook your doctor for him."

"He's not our doctor," John corrected. Chris and Laura looked at the man, confused. "Stowaway."

"And he is growing a beard," Laura said.

"So we like to use him for two weeks," Chris said.

"With payment to him," Laura added.

"So that no one will panic," Chris said. "We don't need that after surviving the Battle of Duo Lunas."

"That's a nice idea but who's in charge while using Smith as a cover?" John asked.

"Blue team 1 at your service," Chris said, with a nod. "He won't be with us when we leave this planet."

"It's not his time to be," Laura said. "Somewhere above this planet is a void that connects to where we came from."

Will came down the platform.

"Dad---" Will stopped. "Hey, that's what Doctor Smith was wearing in my dream."

"Will, go back in," John said.

Laura stared long at the boy then her face turned to horror as though she had seen something. Will looked at her oddly then returned into the Jupiter 2. Her eyes shifted toward her brother as she called out his name through their telepathic link. Chris placed a hand on her shoulder, comforting her, as the young woman shook her head.

Peepo has sent a galactic emergency beacon, Chris reminded her. Standard procedure. There is rescue ships headed his way with medical staff waiting to get their hands on him to treat his burns.

He is really hurt, she briefly closed her eyes. We could lose him.

The Academy will not lose him, Chris replied, we won't lose him on our graduation day.

"Is there something we should know?" John asked.

Chris turned in the direction of the men.

"We're twins," Chris said. "That's all you need to know. I am a pilot and we are going to make sure over ten thousand people get back home safely."

Loki reappeared behind them with a bright smile.

"Ready to go?" Loki asked, a moment after Laura and Chris recomposed themselves.

Laura nodded.

"Not yet!" Don came down the platform. "TEN thousand people!"

"Give or take," Chris said.

"That sounds like a city not a campus," Don said. "Your professors should be trained for this. You need military minds on this problem or someone trained for it for that matter. You don't have the experience for war."

"We don't have to," Laura said.

Chris approached Don then came to a stop.

"Teachers are not meant to have their hand lasers in their classrooms," Chris said. "Does the Academy Council have the mind to approve some regulations for the Academy? Yes. Approving of teams and how many people are in them." Chris paused before he continued. "Are we to send a thousand out there or just a few who can work together at ease and solve the problem? We send a few. Do we use cadets instead of officers and send them to their deaths with someone who has never been in a planetoid battle and leave it all to chance that it works? No," he shook his head. "we don't."

"Chris," Laura said.

"Instead, we're putting people who care and find a third way out of it where no one is going to die," Chris said. "People not interested in death like your friend Doctor Smith. We compromise with the situation and find some diplomacy in it to save lives. That is where I am from," Chris gestured toward the night sky that was getting lighter and lighter. "You're from a era where Earth doesn't make those compromises. We do have a war semester but that is in Fleet Command regarding strategies. What we will do today will be history not just for me but for you. We were above this planet when the battle broke out. We don't know what happens after two weeks but what we do know is that there is life. And when there is life, there is hope."

"Chris!" Laura said. "Stop it!"

"We're not trained for war, Major," Chris said. "we are trained for stress and how to keep peace. We're not military and never will be." He turned away from the man then came over toward Loki.

"You're a space peace corps?" Don asked, slowly approaching Laura at the end of the ramp. "Is Earth finally stable?"

"It took Earth awhile to be this stable," Laura said, with a smile.

Laura joined Loki then took his hand so they vanished in a red light before his eyes.

"Awhile?" Don sounded worried. "Why does that sound ominous?"

"Because it is," John said, watching the figures appear and disappear in the distance. "Let's not ask any more questions about that."

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