Disclaimer: I don't own it.


Biting flies, Trip had never seen so many. Eating snake meat-snake meat!-and drinking recycled sweat was not his idea of a good time.

The cap'n certainly seemed to be handling it pretty well. If Trip didn't know better, he would almost say he was enjoying it. He understood the necessity of survival training, but he could have done without a lot of the particulars.

They had been there for over a week, and Trip was reaching the end of his rope. He headed over to where Archer was sitting on a dune.

''Cap'n, remind me why we're doing this again.''

Archer turned to Trip, and replied with a sigh, ''Oh, come on, Trip, it's not that bad.''

Now it was Trip's turn to sigh. ''Cap'n, I don't think I can take anymore snake meat, and I'm not sure there's any part of me the flies haven't bitten.''

Archer looked thoughtful for a moment, and then said, ''So, you need a reminder.''

Trip pursed his lips, and said, ''It would help.''

''Trip, look up.''

He obeyed, and what he saw took his breath away.

The Milky Way arced overhead, it's brilliance showing in the dark sky like a glowing band. The number of stars almost seemed beyond counting. Trip wondered how many worlds were out there, waiting to be discovered.

Archer looked over at Trip, and said softly, ''That's why.''

Trip nodded, feeling awed by the beauty of the night sky. Maybe it was worth it, after all.

''Cap'n?''

''Yes?''

Trip glanced over at Archer, who was smiling at him.

''Thanks for the reminder.''

Archer patted him on the shoulder. ''Anytime, Trip.''