Intense pain. The twenty six year old pilot moaned, rolled over in bed, and let out a screech as he slipped off the edge and fell to the cold metal floor. He let out another groan and opened his eyes. Recognising his surroundings he sighed and sat up. After using the bed to pull himself up, he stumbled over to a cabinet on the other side of the room. Jerkily he stepped up to the door, unlocked it and swiped a bottle from the shelf at eye level. He swallowed two pills dry, then put the bottle back. When he had finished rubbing his eyes to remove the sleep he collapsed back on his bed and stared at the same old grey steel ceiling.

His ship. His girl. His life. There was nothing else but the Millennial Jewel. The pilots thoughts reverted to the pain stabbing at his temples.

"Too much to drink last night?" he wondered.

"No, just one," he answered himself.

He shrugged it off as the pain killers began to disperse and block all feeling in his body, making his numb. Quickly he stood and pulled on his black flight suit. The zipper clicked noisily as he zipped it up, then he pulled on a black leather jacket overtop and glanced in the mirror. His grey eyes shone in the relative darkness of the room and his dark brown hair stood out at all angles. After running his hands through his hair he left the room and trekked down the hall, unaware of the boxes he had left by the storage room. He tripped in the dark and fell on the metal once again. He let out a vicious scream then mumbled something under his breath.

"Jewel, lights."

There was an affirmative beep from the computer and the lights came on. The young mad picked himself up and continued down the hall which wrapped around the entire ship. Doors lined both sides of the hall and the pilot smiled contently as he thought of what his ship was stocked with. He walked faster as he neared the lift. The door opened as he neared and he stepped in. The doors swished closed behind him with a click.


The lift dropped to the belly of the ship and a small module dropped down to touch the ground. The pilot stepped out onto the cement pad and pressed his hand against a small screen on the side of the ship. It read his hand print with a green light and the module lifted back up into the ship. Outside, the sun was shining brightly, though it was to the south and only 11:00 in the morning. The pilot put his hands in his pockets and began walking toward the exit, but stopped a few meters away. He turned to smile at his baby. She towered above him. All her edges rounded, streamlined and shining. She stood on three pointed legs and had six in-atmosphere thrusters and three lightspeed engines. A good set of legs. With a content sigh and a smile the proud owner turned and left. He walked out of the landing pad area and onto the streets he knew so well. Instinctively, he wondered into Jesu's Diner. The door was pushed open easily and chimed as it closed.

"Hey Jason, how's it going?" Jesu yelled from behind the counter in the kitchen.

"Not bad, Jesu. Splitting headache, but I'm hear aint I?"

Jesu snorted. He sat down at the counter and rested his arms on it and let his legs swing freely.

"How 'bout you?"

"Oh, can't complain given the circumstances," Jesu said with a wink. His face shone youthfully, lying about his fifty-some years. He wiped his hands on his apron and leaned over to Jason who stared at the hover projector in the corner.

"If your lady isn't working I'll help you fix her."

Jason looked back to the older man and gazed intently into his eyes.

"What? When has the great engineer ever offered to help me? And why would she be broken?"

Jesu shrugged. "Well, your not gone yet."

The young pilot leaned back and raised an eyebrow. "Pardon?"

Jesu leaned in closer. "You haven't heard?"

Jason remained motionless and continued staring at Jesu. A woman ran past the diner screaming.

"Not bad news, please."

Jesu let out a laugh. "The world is doomed. It'll blow in an hour or so."

Jason stared, then shifted his gaze over to the holoprojector. A man spoke of the impending destruction of the planet.

"Well then Jesu, pack up your moola and let's go."

The older man stood up straight and looked down. He shook his head and without meeting Jasons gaze, spoke. "Go on without me, boy."


Jesu finally looked up to Jason. "Get out." Jason stood and raised his hands incredulously.

"I wont leave without filing the Jewel to capacity. I'll take perfect strangers too, but even if I have to knock you out with your own frying pan and drag you, you're coming with me." Jesu blinked, but continued to defy the younger man.

"If he doesn't want to go you can't make him," a feminine voice called from behind him. Jason turned to see a young girl with long red hair sitting with a small child. The infant hiccuped and the girl turned back to her.

"And who are you?"

"Mary and Sara."

"Hmph, well I'll take you two too!" Jason said belligerently.

Mary turned back to him, a tear in her eye. "You would?"

Jason laughed and nodded, then turned to Jesu and stuck a finger in his face.

"Take notes, old man. Your coming whether you like it or not, the least you can do is be grateful." Jesu shook his head again, then pulled a gun from under the counter.

"Get out, kid."

A moment passed slowly as Jasons hopeful eyes searched the tanned face of the older man. He raised his hands and turned.

"Come on girls. Let's find us some willing survivors."

Mary jumped up with Sara, the small blonde girl on her shoulder. She chased after Jason, afraid to say anything. Jason walked out front of the diner and gazed off into the distance, seeing only tall buildings and the blue sky. He raised a hand to block the sun, then turned to Mary.

"Do you have more family that needs a way off the planet?"

Mary shook her head.

Jason sighed. "OK, do you know where Daves landing pads are?"

Mary nodded.

"I'll meet you at pad 203 in thirty minutes. Collect as many people as you can find."

Mary nodded again, this time a grateful smiled crossing her face. "Thank you."

Jason smiled then turned and began jogging down the empty street. Mary turned in the opposite direction and began walking quickly with Sara, asleep on her shoulder. A handsome man jumped out onto the street, scaring Mary.

"Hey," the man said loudly.

"Hello. Why are you still here?"

He looked down. "Unemployed," he mumbled, then looked up into her eyes. "You too?"

She nodded, then shook her head. "I'm looking for people. There is a ship left here that'll take us."

The man grinned. "I'm Taylor. I would be extremely grateful for a lift out of here."

He extended his hand kindly. Mary took it and shook it firmly.

"I'm Mary and this is Sara."

Taylor smiled again. "I saw someone else wondering in though here a while ago. Follow me."


Jason slowed his pace to a fast walk as he continued down the street. He turned a corner and noticed a man standing in a white lab coat with a device in his hands.

"Hey!" Jason yelled. The man didn't stir. He mumbled something under his breath. Jason got closer and listened to him.

"Soon. They were wrong!" The man looked up to Jason, his eyes wide with terror.

"Do you have a way - "

"He's been like that for the past ten minutes."

Jason stopped mid-sentance and looked down to a young girl sitting on the sidewalk.

"Oh." Jason looked back to the man that was staring at his instrument again.

"Do you have a way off?"

The girl shook her head. Jason pointed to the man.

"I don't think so."

"OK then. Follow me."

A surprised look crossed the girls face as Jason pulled the scientist down the road with him. Quickly she jumped up and followed.

"Do you have a ship?"

"No, I'm just the master of false hopes. Of course I do."

A smile creeped across the red haired teens face. "I'm Carmen."

"Jason. Nice to meet you."


"Marcus, the hoverjet champion."

Mary snorted. "Not much of a champion if your still here. Come on, we need to get to the ship."

The short blonde man glared at Mary but followed her and her baby faced companion, Taylor. Mary led the way back to the landing pad as the men followed. Suddenly a woman stepped out of a building crying. She noticed the group and watched them as they got closer.

"Come with us," Mary said urgently, knowing her time was short. The woman ran back into the building and the group continued on.


Jason pulled the scientist into the landing pad area when a young man with a wrench and a hammer was circling the Jewel.

"Hey!" Jason yelled, leaving the orange haired scientist and running up to him. He jumped back and dropped his tools.

"Sorry, sir! I didn't know if you'd be coming back."

Jason snorted. "Whatever. You can come with me, if you don't touch anything. Come on Carmen, bring the scientist."


Mary, with Sara on her shoulder and the two men trailing behind, ran into the landing pad area and slowed when they saw no one.

"There's no one here!" yelled Taylor as he lunged toward Mary. She yelped and backed away.

"Come here!" A voice yelled from the ship.


The crying woman came around the corner with a bag in her hand. They all ran to the ship where they packed into the lift with Carmen and went up into the ship.