Part Four - 39 - Allan

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   "Ito Min-Hee's journal, entry 810. I can't love anymore. I can love my friends, I can love the crew, but romance is now out of my reach. I tried and failed. I think I gave it my all years ago, and now I am just happy it's over. It's not sad, it's freeing. There is so much more to life than romance. Sex is easy. Sometimes, when I feel the itch, I just knock on Lucas' door at night. I think he is like me, gave everything years ago and his life is now colorful enough without needing romance. What we's not love. It's friendship. The rest of the crew doesn't need to know. They would make a big deal out of it. I prefer life like this, simple. Yes... I am not in love with a person. But I am in love with my life."

Allan really hated goodbyes. His crew knew it; it was in his rules. Yet they were all being all mushy and emotional. Some of the rebels were even ugly-crying as they bowed to Kala. He made a disgusted face. The twins were now crushing Kala between the two of them.

"Okay, enough!" raged Allan. "We're just leaving her for three weeks. Stop being so dramatic." He grabbed each twin and pushed them toward the ship.

Jessie rolled her eyes and ignored him. She hugged Kala, whispered something in her ear and then brushed past him.

Hopper kissed the girl with more tongue that Allan would have ever liked to see. His scars started glowing immediately. Then he followed the rest of the crew and rebels back to the Voyager-whatever. Kala waved at them.

She would stay on the planet and train with the alien ship's weapons and technology while the rest of them flew toward the Zerura gate, just at the border of the Rim, leading to a neutral system named Sema. She had enough food to last her months. The hardest part would be to lose touch with her the farther they traveled. This was one of the big problems of uncharted territories, there were no communication relays between systems.

Allan ushered the last crew members inside the ship. Then he took a step but stopped. He turned for one last glance at Kala. She was standing alone in the dry soil of the planet. Behind her the storms raged in the sky, lightning illuminating her small figure. He could not see her face like this. Allan groaned and then ran back to her. She yelped when he embraced her.

"Be careful, kiddo," he said, chin resting on top of her head.

"Okay," her small voice was muffled, her face squashed over his chest.

"Promise me you will be careful, or I won't let you go."

She laughed faintly, "I promise..."

"Very well," he let her go and cleared his throat awkwardly.

The second time he ran to the ship, he didn't look back. Once the door closed behind him, he let out a shaky breath. Of course, the rest of his crew had been waiting for him, all with annoying smiles on their faces. He pushed them out of the way and found his way to the bridge for the take-off.

* * *

It was the three longest weeks of Allan's life. The tension in the whole ship was so thick you could butter your toast with it.

Hopper was quiet and grumpy. He held on to Kala's energy as if his life depended on it. The focus needed to keep it in his skin became second nature and he could even sleep without losing any. When Allan asked him why he was doing it, Hopper answered, "It's like I am keeping a part of her with me at all times, even if she is light-days away. And who knows, it might come handy during the fight."

The twins were insufferable. Jessie was anxious, and the rest were restless. At least they had reached the borders of the Rim two days ago, which made communication a little easier now, and the rebels were busy organizing rebellion stuff and were out of his hair. Knowing a big battle was coming didn't help. Allan was himself itching for a good fight. To be honest, he had been itching for a fight since the Capricieuse crashed. His blood was slowly boiling, simmering with resentment. Thankfully, the next day was the big day. They would make their move.

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