Always Comes Back to Haunt Us

Dragonlots aka Dana Bell

Chapter 24

"Commander."

Apollo glanced up from the report he and his executive officer Sheba had been looking at. "What is it?"

"Sir, we have an unknown ship entering the system." The officer stood before a bank of computers lining the lower part of the bridge, images dancing across the screens.

"Show me." Apollo put the report aside, tugging subconsciously at his dark blue uniform with silver trim. Sheba wore a similar one. They'd been commanding the Pegasus since Commander Cain's and Colonel Tollen's death. Her father's had been difficult on his wife. He'd been there to support Sheba through her loss.

A small speck crawled into view. "Any contact?" he asked.

"No, sir," his deck officer Moki answered. "It doesn't match any known Colonial design."

"Where did it come from?" Sheba demanded, her long brownish blonde hair pulled back and out of her face.

"Just appeared. One Micron it wasn't there and the next it was."

"Lightspeed?" She turned her eyes to her husband.

"There was a flash," Moki continued.

Apollo shook his head, his normally black hair starting to show tones of silver. "No idea."

After their long journey, he'd hoped they'd find peace in this solar system that had been offered to them by the welcoming reptilian leaders. The Council of Twelve had been suspicious until they learned the ancient beings were slowly going extinct despite their very long life spans. The ruling Elders explained they wanted a younger race to take their place.

Why they'd chosen the Colonials proved to be a favorite topic among the warriors, officers and populace, all too weary of space travel to care whether or not they actually discovered Earth. The weight of their flight from the Cylons had tired them out and a chance to settle in an entire solar system appealed to everyone.

"Try to contact them," Apollo ordered, feeling a slight shiver of fear along his spine.

"They're not answering, sir."

Sheba's hand rested on his arm. "Remember how long it took us to learn to communicate with the Draconians?"

"Meaning they may not understand us." She nodded at his understanding.

"Uh, sir," Moki took a step away from his screen. "You need to see this." The officer's fingers flew across the keys transferring the image to the main communication screen on the upper level.

Apollo's green eyes widened as the read the excerpt he knew well from the Book of the Word.

Whoever had contacted them knew about the most holy book kept by the Colonial people. "Get me Commander Athena and the Quorum." His sister and father, who lead the council, would need to know about this. He just hoped the ship approaching proved friendly.

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Benton kissed Marari's forehead and continued to hold her. At least she'd stopped crying. He rocked her like he might if Jonny or Hadji had a nightmare. The time after Rachelle's death he didn't care to recall. His son had the same reoccurring dream for weeks afterwards. Race had suggested a therapist and reluctantly he'd agreed.

By the time of the conference, Jonny had improved, much to his relief. The normal wandering off and getting into trouble would have been upsetting to other parents. Not to him. It was a healthy sign his son had begun to recover from the loss of his mother.

"Benton?" Marari's voice interrupted his thoughts.

"What is it, my love?" He dreaded what she might say next.

"I don't blame you." She shifted, pulling her skirt over her legs. "I've been," Marari paused.

"Been what?" Maybe if he kept her on track she'd share what she was feeling.

"Been part of the intelligence community long enough to know," she stopped again. "I've seen Mattie having to make some very difficult decisions."

His arms tightened around her. "I have as well." Not shooting at Dr. Zin when he'd grabbed Rachelle had been the hardest thing he'd ever done. Watching his wife die in an explosion, he shuddered. Even now, he hated remembering it.

"Are you all right?" He felt her hand lightly touch his face.

"Just bad memories."

"We're both haunted by those."

"I'm so sorry."

"Not your fault."

"I think it is." His guilt threatened to overwhelm him. He'd caused Marari one of the worst heartbreaks a wife could experience.

"You only did what you were told." She wiped at her eyes. "I lived every day with the fact my husband might not come back. I'd accepted it." Her eyes looked away. "Still, when General O'Neill came to tell me." Marari took a deep breath. "It came as a…shock."

"I understand." He didn't know what else to say.

"I know you do." She leaned her head against his shoulder. "Either General O'Neill or Colonel Sheppard can marry us."

Her abrupt change of subject caught him by surprise. His next words needed to be chosen carefully. "I suggest you take some time to absorb what you've just found out."

"I knew the general hadn't told me everything. At least now I know why."

"We need to wait until the fate of city and everyone here is decided." His fingers touched her cheek, enjoying her soft skin. "Call me selfish, but I want as much time with you as I can get."

"They're fighting over you," she whispered.

He snorted. "Ridiculous as that sounds."

"We don't know enough." She started to pull away. He refused to let her go. "Benton."

"Not yet." He wanted to sit with her for a while longer.

"Stubborn," she accused, a slight teasing smile touching her lips.

"I have my moments," he replied before daring to kiss her.

"We do need to get married."

"I want to marry you properly."

"Sentimental too."

"Let's just say," he kissed her again. "I have every intention,"

"Oh, shut up." She kissed him.

He figured what else he wanted to say could wait until Marari was ready to hear it. For the moment, being with her was all they both needed.

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

"Do you think they got the message?" Julian asked.

"They're not firing at us," Barnabas returned.

"What are those?" Julian pointed at the set of symbols below the words.

"I have no idea." The senator frowned. They looked familiar though almost like, his dark brown eyes widened. "It's a gate address."

"To where?" Julian's gaze swept his bridge as they drew closer to the two ships.

"Kobol perhaps." It was the only thing that made sense.

"How old are these stargates?"

"Old." He'd never heard an exact estimate. "Dr. Jackson seemed to think the Ancients built them."

"And if the translation you have is correct?" Julian smiled slightly.

"Then we're all children of Kobol."