Published: 27th October 2004 •
Updated: 27th October 2004
|Setting: It has been fifteen cycles since John was able to quiet the war between the Sebeceans and Scarrans. With his wife, son and 100+ Eidelons in toe, he and Pilot made the decision to return to Arnessk. They knew the original temple had been destroyed but felt confident that a new temple could be erected for the remaining Eidelons since their world had too been destroyed during the siege that claimed thousand of lives, including that of Ka DíArgo.
Their lives have been spent in relative quiet helping the Eidelons build a new temple and city. John has also been trying to find out more regarding the Human/Sebecean connection using the information Hierarch Yondalao gave Aeryn before he died. It was frustrating at first because Jool didnít continue the research as she said she would so he was basically started from square one or one triangle, as the case may be. Pilot was able to have the DRDs reconstruct the triangle he found on his previous visit to the island from his memory.
John entered maintenance bay 4. The module was covered with a tarp. His son was standing in front of it. He could hardly believe this 5í6Ē gangly kid with ocean blue eyes and shoulder length dark hair was the same tiny baby he brought into the world what seemed like yesterday to him.
John: Whatís up kid? Pilot told me you had something to show me.
DíArgo: I have something that I designed for the module that is going to knock you on your ass.
John looked at him with a fatherly frown.
John: Do you remember those English words I taught you that I said you could only use when you were older?
John: That was one of them.
DíArgo grinned. He grabbed two corners of the tarp and yanked. John stood there staring at something that looked like a gadget from an episode of Buck Rogers attached to the dome of the module.
John: What is it?
DíArgo: When you told me I could start making some changes to the module, I studied the spects to your design, which were good, although a bit primitive.
John: Give the old man a break. I come from a primitive universe.
DíArgo: The Moya parts you put on it increased its power and speed but I wanted to do something to increase its defensive use.
John: (concern in his voice) What? Are you saying that is some kind of weapon?
DíArgo: Better. I took a look at the scanner that Sikozu installed to pick up peacekeeper signals. It was a good thought and I am sure assisted in its limited capacity. I found a way to enhance it.
John: (laughing) Limited capacityÖSikozu.
DíArgo: I had to rewire nearly the whole thing.
John: What does it do?
DíArgo: Not only can the module pick up peacekeeper signals but any signal coming in our direction and with the modifications I have made to tweak the power it has an even longer range for scanning than Moya in circumference and longitude.
John walked over to the ship and climbed up the ladder. He looked over the attachment.
John: Looks pretty complicated. How did you figure this out?
DíArgo: I had help from Pilot and 1812 for the larger calculations but the rest just sort of came to me.
John looked down at him.
John: Ass knocked on.
DíArgo: There is one thing left to do.
DíArgo: I have used it to pick up things from the planet but I am sure I will pick up much more if I could take the module out for a test run out of the planetís atmosphere.
John stepped down off the ladder.
John: We could take it out after I help you mother rewire the conduit you blew out trying to repair the force field.
DíArgo scratched the side of his head.
DíArgo: That should have worked. I have to take another look at that when I have time.
John shook his head.
John: I look forward to trying it out though.
DíArgo: Dad, I was actually thinking that I could take it out on my own for a test run.
John looked at him.
John: Your mom would never agree to that.
DíArgo: That is where you come in.
John: Me? Oh no, last time I went to bat for with her you set a chamber on fire with your chemistry experiment.
DíArgo: Mom treats me like a baby. She refuses to see that I am growing up. Besides she was younger than me when she started flying prowlers.
John: Who told you that?
DíArgo: You did.
John laughed softly and shook his head. He looked up at the module.
John: I was just thinking about something your Grandpa Jack said to me about fathers and sons the last time I saw him. He was right.
John turned toward the door.
He stopped and looked over his shoulder.
John: I will talk to mom but I make no promises.
DíArgo: Thanks. I owe you one.
John: Just one?
DíArgo hunched his shoulders and climbed up the short ladder into the module.
John spent a couple of arns with Aeryn working on the conduit. They talked about many things but none had the words DíArgo or solo flight in them. He didnít quite know how to approach the topic with her.
When they finished the conduit, they retreated to their chambers. Aeryn was finishing up her shower while John sat on the edge of the bed pretending to polish his boots. She walked passed him wearing a pair of black jockey shorts and a t-shirt.
Aeryn: May be you should tell me what you want to ask me before you rub a hole in your boot.
He looked over at her.
She was braiding her hair.
Aeryn: John, I know when you are trying to avoid telling me something.
He cleared his throat and put the boot down.
John: Come here honey.
He slid over and tapped the bed. She went over and sat beside him.
John: You know that me and my dad didnít have the best relationship when I was DíArgoís age. He was constantly gone on missions and when he was home we would butt heads a lot.
Aeryn just stared at him blankly waiting for him to get to the point.
John: In fact the best times I had with my dad were when we worked on my old pick up truck.
Aeryn: The one you recreated with Chiana in.
John: I thought we decided not to mention that again.
Aeryn: I was just clarifying.
John: Yes, that truck. (speaking just above a whisper) Her name was Karen.
Aeryn: So far I am with you.
John: Dad and I had some of our best conversations underneath the hood of that truck and thatís what I wanted for me and my son.
Aeryn: DíArgo adores you.
John: I know but that is not the point.
Aeryn: Then may be you should get to it.
John: As much as I loved working with my dad, the best part of fixing up that old truck was the freedom I felt when I was able to drive around in itÖby myself.
Aeryn stood up.
She took a pair of pants off the hook by the door.
Aeryn: He is too young to be out there in the module by himself.
John: Aeryn, do you know how many frequent flyer miles he has all ready logged in the module. He has been flying with me almost since the day he was born.
Aeryn: With you!
John: He knows the module almost better than I do besides you were younger than him when you started flying prowlers.
She looked at her husband.
Aeryn: He gave you that argument, didnít he?
John: Beside the point.
She fastened her pants. John walked over to her and took her hand in his.
John: Honey, I will be out there in a transport pod keeping tabs on him.
She looked in Johnís eyes. He stroked her damp hair.
John: He is not a little boy anymore, Aeryn. He is growing up. It is natural to want to spread your wings at his age.
Aeryn: Do you know why I was so eager to be a pilot?
He stroked her cheek gently.
Aeryn: I knew once I was proficient enough I could get in my prowler and disappear, away from everyone and everything.
John: It is not the same for DíArgo. He is not running away from anything. He is a beautiful, happy, well-adjusted kid, and if I may say so myself, a genius, and that is due in no small part to the life we have given him.
John pulled her into his arms.
Aeryn: The older he gets the more I worry.
John: You donít have to worry. He is just like us.
Aeryn: That is what worries me.
John smiled slightly and kissed her forehead.
Aeryn: Iím okay with it, if you are.
John: Do you want to come with?
Aeryn: I am going to command to help Pilot run the systems check. Iíll be watching from there. Take care of my son.
They kissed. Aeryn grabbed her pulse pistol and belt off the bed and walked out.
John told his son the good news. DíArgo was excited. He couldnít wait to get going.
John: There are conditions, Dee.
John: Donít dad me. I am going to go out in a transport with you. I know that the module can out run a pod so I donít want you more than 1000 metras away from me.
DíArgo: There will be interference with my readings.
John: Well Einstein, I guess you will have to find a way to filter them. The microt you sense anything that doesnít seem right you com me and we head back to Moya.
DíArgo looked down at his feet. 1812 rolled up beside him with antennae pointed skyward. John stood waiting for his sonís response. He finally looked up and held out his hand.
John shook his hand. He tightened his gripped and pulled his son to him.
John: Letís get you suited up.
To be continuedÖ.
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