A thrown Stone

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The cold, hard surface of the black floor was the first that Stone noticed. His body ached all over with a few stings here and there all over his body. His vision returned as he raised himself half way up. His legs felt numb and his hands still felt they were burning. What remained of electrical sparks were hanging over his head carelessly. Everything was blurry to his sides as he lifted himself up with one hand then propped himself up against the red chair with a flash of pain coming from his back. He saw a red blur from ahead and the familiar black side panel with gray blips.

"Starfire 1, can you hear me?" the unique child-robot voice had its unique echo. "Remain calm, remain calm, remain calm, remain calm, help is on the way. Remain calm!"

Peepo's unique voice echoed in his mind fading away.

"Remain calm," came a deep, colorful voice. "Help is on the way."

"Peepo?" Stone said.

"Negative," the Robot said. "I am Robot."

Stone blinked, lowering his head staring at the Robot as his vision became even more clearer.

"Robot?" Stone asked. "You could have had me fooled."

"I am not made to fool. . ." The Robot started.

"Commander Stone," Stone weakly said. "From Star Command."

"Commander Stone, I am not programmed to lie," The Robot said.

"It's a human quality," Stone said. "A. . . ah. . ."

Stone was tugged back down into the heavy fog of unconsciousness. He felt very sore. Sore like he had during one of those hunts for Dragos Evil in his youth before joining Space Academy. The years that he had spent were years well spent equipping him to some knowledge of how Dragos worked in the field outside the academy. The academy! The academy! Stone reached his hand out feeling his hand grasp on to a shirt then tugged them forward.

"Did Jason. . . make it?" Stone asked.

"No," John said.

"Samantha?" Stone asked. "Did you find her?"

"No," John said.

"Professor Parsafoot," Stone asked

"Commander, you're the only one," John said.

"Commander Gampu," Stone said. "Did he make it? Did he make it?"

"No," John said, as Stone's vision grew darker and his world shattered crushed by rage.

Rage replaced the weak, vulnerable expression on his face.

He was going to make Dragos pay dearly for this and Jason wasn't going to be there to stop him or Samantha-His mind came to a screeching halt. The memory of seeing the Starfires floating away from him was clear on his mind as the reality sunk in to the man. Dragos had taken his homeworld, killed people who Stone loved and cherished deeply, and now he had sunken to a new low. The emperor had been successful this time around. His bloody, searing rage disintegrated like a bundle of ancient Vegan mines had been sent out with the intention of clutching onto a terran vessel and suddenly deactivated during the trip as the cold hard reality set in.

If the academy made it out then they were defenseless and inadequately leaderless at the time being. A battle that was going to be a losing one should they fly out there back into space to return with the fleet. Even if there was even a fleet left behind to meet up with them should the army have gone after them. A decisive victory uniting what was what few enemies the Galactic had with renewed strength and muscles that hadn't been there earlier. Determination that hadn't been there earlier. Stone's tactics against Dragos required officers not cadets. The ones that he was drawing up at the whim of his mind meant certain death. Dragos Evil was going to come back and finish the planet off sooner or later.

And Stone was going to lead the cadets to their deaths. The very thought made the furious look turn into horror. The wake of devestation before his eyes once more with bodies strewn the scenery, trees on fire, buildings with holes in them that had smoke drifting out, and rubble all over the place. Surrounded by devastation on the edge of the unknown was a feeling that Stone had swore not to be on again. A reason why he joined the space academy then went on to become a officer who wanted to make sure it didn't happen under his watch. It was his way of controlling the situation. His way got him to Star Command where he was introduced to different ways that failure could be avoided. A failure that had finally kicked into gear. And he didn't know how he can go back to that desperation under the values of The Galactic. His vision grew dark and darker as he fell into the dark pool out of the light. And his eyes slowly closed.

"Commander?" John said, placing a hand on Stone's shoulder. "Commander Stone!"

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