Wahoo! The last chapter in MFoZ Book One! It was a total of 17ish pages on my computer, my longest chapter ever. I'm still debating if this should be one chapter or two.

BlackOrigin


The Mainframe of Zen

Chapter 13- .:The Plot Thickens:.

Standard Date: 12-16-0069-2100

Wow, I haven't typed on my computer in freaking forever. Of course, I've had good reason not to! Hunting down all the Connections, being shot at by crazy thugs, and almost being killed. It can take a lot out of a person. It's been another week since I woke up from my short lived a coma. I've been studying Terraforming harder than ever now, to ensure I don't repeat my almost death act again. I saw Origin was on my ship after I'd left the Sickbay and she thanked me for saving her, telling me that she was indeed the Tessitorian we'd been looking for (I knew sheer dumb luck would win in the end!). She then proceeded to tell me that my journey for the Connections was almost over and that she would give me one that she knew. 'Always follow what your heart says, for it knows more than your brain does.' She then went off and vanished right in front of my eyes...yeah, very strange. However, I'm almost getting used to it now. So, now we're off to Kelborn! Oh, and I have yet to tell everybody else that Darrius has now become a permanent resident on our quest. I'm still not sure how Wood will take it. :End report:

-Jetarain Orms, Military Cybernetics Student


"Hmm." Jet sighed and stretched her arms. It was good to just sit here and type, not having to worry about a thing.

"Dinner is ready!" Oro's voice yelled throughout the ship, "Dinner is ready! Hõŕktā lĕ ćůe!"

"Ah yes," Jet said happily, "and life is even better when there is dinner to be eaten!" Jet quickly shut off her computer, hopped out of her seat, and bounded over to the door. How nice it was to have a dinner. Before Oro had come onboard, Jet would usually only eat ration bars because she was too lazy to fix anything herself.

"Hey what's for dinner, kid?" Jet asked as she skipped onto the bridge.

"Breū Steak with a Haktari Mix salad and a loaf of Torib." the child said proudly and placed the food on the table where the sofa was. Or, where there were now two sofas, one on each side of the table. Jet had to keep making her ship bigger and bigger. Soon she'd have to add on another room for Darrius, but that could wait until later.

"What's a Torib?" Wood asked as he strode in and slapped Jet on the ass.

"Wood!" Jet screamed and threw herself on him. After a few moments of struggling Jet had Wood in a headlock and was efficiently suffocating him.

"Ah! I'm sorry Jet!" the young man choked, "I'll never—ack—do it again! I can't breath!"

"You'd better never do it again if you want to keep living!" Jet yelled and threw Wood into the sofa.

"Wood." Oro sighed, "Torib is a special type of bread that Oro has created, and it goes great with any type of salad."

"Hey, sounds good to me." Jet said and looked around. Again, Darrius wasn't joining them for a meal, "I'll be right back." She told Oro and headed over to the Sickbay, which was where Darrius had taken up residence, "Yo." Jet said as the automatic door opened. Darrius glanced up to Jet as did Saxon, who was sitting on the opposite bunk, "Dinner's ready." Jet stated.

"I know." Darrius answered.

"You gonna join us?"

"No, I'll just inject some nutrient solution."

"Uh, yuck," Jet grimaced, "That's all you've been eating since you got here. I don't think I've ever seen you eat a real meal."

"Probably because I haven't eaten anything in about two months, but I'm fine with nutrient solution—"

"That does it!" Jet yelled and grabbed Darrius's arm and hauled him up, "You're going to eat! Whether you like it or not!" she said and lugged the boy onto her back, "I'll bring him back later Saxon." She said mildly.

"Put me down, woman! I don't want to eat!" Darrius yelled indignantly.

"Just bring him back in one piece." The computer said. Jet exited the room and, with some difficulty, went back to the Bridge.

"Darrius said he'll be joining us today." Jet said as she dumped the boy on the ground.

"Really!" Oro said excitedly and ran to get another plate. Darrius got up to object but Jet threw him on top of the couch, right where Wood was lounging. Sending them sprawling on the ground laying on each other. Both men stared at each other for a moment before realization kicked in and they screamed.

"Jet!" Wood shouted as he squirmed quickly away from Darrius, "Augh! I've been contaminated!"

"I don't think I'll ever be clean again." Darrius choked and suddenly glared at Jet, "You're dead woman!"

"Oro got another plate!" the child said happily and ran in between Jet and Darrius to set the plate down on the table. Then she sat down and shot a confused look at Wood, who was shivering with a horrified look on his face, and then to Darrius, who has his fist raised as if he were about to punch Jet, "Uh, dinner is ready." She repeated.

"Go sit down." Jet ordered and Darrius threw her the dirtiest glare Jet had ever seen, but he complied.

"Díă! Now eat!" Oro cried gleefully and dug into her steak. Wood, after casting an exasperated look at Darrius started eating his as well.

"So," Jet said as she stared at Darrius, "you ever gonna eat?" At her comment both Wood and Oro looked up from their plates and stared at Darrius as well.

"Um," Darrius began but faltered when his eyes landed on Oro, "I'm not hungry." He said lamely. However, as luck would have it Darrius's stomach choose that precise moment to give an exceptionally loud growl.

"Yeah, I can tell." Jet said flatly, suppressing a smile.

"Darrius does not want to try Oro's Breū Steak?" the child asked, sounding a little hurt.

"What? Um—no. That's not it!" Darrius said quickly and looked around for a moment before hanging his head, "Yeah, I'll eat it. Smells pretty good." He admitted and his stomach gave an even louder growl making the boy color a bit. After throwing a glare at both Jet and Wood, Darrius carefully cut into his steak and pulled away a small piece. After hesitating a bit longer, he placed it in his mouth and started chewing, and abruptly coughed and swallowed.

"It was bad?" Oro asked.

"No," Darrius said quietly, "it was good. Really good." Then, deciding he'd already lost all the dignity he had the boy dug fiercely into his steak. Jet saw Oro brighten up considerably and join the boy in his eating frenzy as she attacked her steak viciously. Jet then shot a look at Wood, expecting him to laugh at Darrius, but she was surprised. Wood was actually regarding Darrius with a strange look Jet had never seen on his face before.

"Well," she started. This would be as good as time as any, "I've decided, after talking with Darrius, that he shall join us in my quest for the Connections! Starting now he's a permanent resident." Jet got mixed reactions but they were about what she had expected. Darrius looked up at her quickly, turned bright red, and continued eating. Wood seemed to choke on his steak for a second, glared at Jet, and then sighed. Oro threw Jet a wide-eyed look and then pounced upon her.

"Yay! Darrius stays! Qǚî!" she shouted then resumed eating. Glad that's over, Jet thought gratefully to herself and started eating as well. So far, besides almost being killed a couple of times, Jet's quest had been going well. She had already found four Connections and Origin had said that her quest was almost over. Jet was still trying to figure out if that was a good thing or not. She had known going out that there wouldn't be billions of Connections out there, otherwise it would have been just as bad as contemplating the meaning of life. Still though, only five or six Connections? That almost seemed disappointing to Jet. After going through all that trouble and near death only to find there were six Connections, it would be surprising that no one else had found them. A real shame, and she's almost been killed by Kal's men!

Kal...

Should she try to tell Sky about what had happened on Celestial? They had seemed to think her as a bargaining chip for Sky. Which she wasn't. Was she? It was too hard to say at the time but Jet realized she probably should tell Sky, just to warn him that Kal was on the move again. Which could mean another war or worse—another biological virus.

"Well, I think I'll call Sky." Jet announced as she finished up her steak, "I haven't talked to him for awhile."

"You think we could call Father?" Oro asked from around her salad bowl that was covering her face.

"If we have time." Jet said and walked over to the cockpit up front and slapped the Communications button, "Dawn, send a transmission to Cameel!" Jet ordered and sat down in her pilot chair.

"Must we?" Dawn asked tiredly but complied anyway. After a few minutes of waiting the screen popped up with Sky sitting on his stool that he always sat in when he talked to people over transmissions.

"Hi, you've reached Kylle Sky." He said, "As you have been able to deduce so far this is just a message. Either I'm away right now or I just really don't feel like talking to you. Leave a message and I'll probably get back to you as soon as I can."

"Figures." Jet said under her breath as a pinging sound came from the screen and Jet saw herself appear on screen, "Yo Sky. It's Jet. Man, you need to learn how to answer your freaking phone. Anywho, I'm just reporting in and I'm off to Kelborn now, I'll try to call you again after we're done searching the planet. Um," Jet dropped her voice down a notch, "I have something rather important to talk about with you. Just call me back or wait until I call you again. Later." Jet finished and hit the End Transmission button.

"He may be out doing some form of business." Wood said from behind her.

"Maybe." Jet conceded, "It's just that he doesn't like leaving the house unless he absolutely has to."

"Then maybe he didn't feel like talking to you." Darrius suggested around a bite of steak. His second steak, Jet noted.

"That sounds more like him." Jet agreed and felt a twinge in her heart. So he didn't want to talk to her, she shouldn't take it so seriously. He may have been talking with someone else at the time and had been unable to answer. Oh well, he'd get back to her eventually or else she'd call him again, "Ok." Jet yawned, "I think I'll just take a nap until we get to Kelborn. Wake me up when we get there Dawn, or whenever morning is." Jet said and got up from her chair. Wood bounded up and followed her.

"I'll wake you up from your nap, love!" he offered, "Or I could join you in your nap."

"I'd rather die." Jet replied flatly and Jet heard Darrius snort with laughter into his steak, "Dawn, you wake me up. You and only you."

"Got it!" Dawn replied and shot Jet a military salute from the ship's main screen. Jet smiled and walked into her room, the door shutting silently behind her.


"Jet?" a voice called out. Jet rolled over and threw the blankets further over her head. She was far too tired to get up now, "Jet?" the voice called again.

"No." Jet moaned, "Leave me alone. I want to sleep."

"Jet!" Dawn's voice suddenly screeched in her ear, "You told me to wake you up! It's morning!"

"Oh my god!" Jet screamed and threw her pillow the ceiling, "I told you to wake me up when we got to Kelborn!"

"Whatever! You told me Kelborn or morning! Now up!" the computer screamed and the ship shook violently, knocking Jet out of her bed and onto the floor.

"I'm gonna fucking kill you!" Jet roared and ran out into the hallway and onto the Bridge, "Just you wait Dawn! I'm gonna—ah..." Jet paused, as she was halfway over to the cockpit. Everybody else was already awake and seated at the table. Both Darrius and Wood were giving Jet a strange look, "Oh, hi guys." Jet said mildly as Oro came out from behind the counter carrying a large plate of bacon, "Ooh! Bacon!" Jet squealed and sat down next to Wood, "I love bacon!"

"Oro knows," the child stated, "that is why Oro made it this morning for Jet."

"Aw, you're too sweet kid. See Dawn, Oro's nice! Unlike you!"

"Well shoot me for following orders." The computer griped. Jet sighed to herself and was about to bite into a particularly crispy looking piece of bacon when she noticed Wood and Darrius were still giving her that weird look.

"What?" Jet asked angrily, she did not like being watched while she was eating.

"Um," Wood started and broke off suddenly. Jet raised an eyebrow and looked down at herself. She was just wearing her pajamas, which consisted of skintight shorts and a sports bra. It was nothing, in Jet's opinion, to get excited about. In the army, everybody had taken showers together, men and women, "Uh." Wood tried again and failed miserably.

"Put some clothes on will you?" Darrius asked bluntly.

"Why should I?" Jet asked stubbornly and started attacking a piece of bacon viciously, "What if I like wearing these types of clothes, huh?" Sky had been the same way after Jet had first met him; actually, now that Jet thought about, almost all other people thought it was weird wearing little or no clothing. Unless you were a model, but they didn't count. The only people who had never not found it strange were fellow military soldiers.

"Um." Again, Wood tried vainly to talk but Jet noticed his eyes kept slipping up and down her body.

"I find it hard to believe that a prostitute would get nervous at a woman with barely any clothing on. Thought you'd be used to people stripping."

"Jet!" Wood cried and Jet gulped. Darrius had not known what Wood used to be.

"You were a prostitute?" he asked ludicrously and started laughing.

"Jet." Wood whined, "Why'd you tell him?"

"Sorry, I forgot. It slipped my mind." Jet apologized, and she meant it too. Something personal like that was not for her to tell.

"Jet!" Dawn shouted suddenly and appeared on every screen in the room, "We're heeere! We've reached the planet Kelborn!"

"Yes!" Jet yelled and jumped up, "Let's see what this planet looks like!"

"As you wish." The computer said and the main screen flickered and suddenly showed Kelborn.

Puffy white clouds slowly circled around in the planet's upper atmosphere showing patches of green and brown vegetation of the planets surface. Nestled amongst the many mountain ranges and forests could be found the occasional spark of a city, usually with tiny little ships buzzing around. Hundreds of SPARC Space Stations could be seen lined up around the planet, thousands of people living in them just to see Kelborn everyday when they woke up. Between the continents of land spanned hundreds of miles of oceans. The most beautiful sapphire colored oceans Jet had ever seen in her entire life. It was rumored that fifty percent of fish found on the markets of other planets were from these oceans.

Kelborn was a Class 4 planet because of its huge Seafood market and beautiful scenery. Millions of artists came to the planet each year hopping for inspiration to hit them and make them famous. However, because of the planet's beauty it was often fought over. The Centrally United Systems' had control over it for the moment but Jet knew that would only last for so long until a Black Market gang would snatch it up. Obviously some else thought the same for the planet was surrounded by a Quadraplux Aeon Shield XI and backed up by what appeared to be ten Gaia 75 Ion Cannons.

"Whew, that's some serious defense out there." Darrius sighed and pretended to look bored but Jet could tell he was impressed, if not a little intimidated.

"Yeah," she agreed, "You can never be too careful on Kelborn."

"I thought it was a harmless planet?" Wood asked suspiciously.

"Oh yeah, the planet's harmless." Jet assured him, "The people aren't. Because this planet's so damn popular, it's a huge tourist attraction, and that means thieves and pirates."

"Damn, I hate Pirates." Darrius cursed.

"Yeah, so do I, unless I have money, then they're my friends." Jet said, nodding to herself, "This is why I'm gonna be leaving you and Oro on the ship."

"What!?" Oro cried in dismay and abandoned her last piece of bacon, "Oro wants to go! I don't want to stay on this ship!"

"Don't worry, you'll be fine. You're gonna be with Darrius." Jet soothed.

"Wait! You're gonna leave Oro here alone with this psycho killer and rapist!" Wood asked, looking shocked and angry. Darrius spun around and faced Wood with rage written all over his face.

"Look! I may be a murderer but I was never a rapist!" he yelled furiously. Both men locked eyes and glared at each other for several long moments, "I would never rape anyone." Darrius said more quietly and dropped his eyes to the floor.

"Yeah," Jet agreed after a few more tense moments of silence, "That and Dawn will also be staying on the ship."

"I am?" the computer asked blankly.

"Yes you are." Jet said, "I need you to guard the ship and have it constantly ready to lift off the moment I say so. I don't expect to run into any trouble but you never know and I'd rather not take chances."

"So it's just going to be you and Wood exploring?" Dawn asked disbelievingly.

"It will?" Wood asked excitedly.

"No, Saxon's coming with us."

"Aw man." Wood sighed unhappily.

"No!" Dawn screeched, "I refuse! I refuse to put your safety in the hands of some second rate computer!"

"Dawn calm down! Sheesh!" Jet sighed, "Saxon's had military training and is more than capable of protecting me, or whatever. It's not as if I need protection. I was bringing him more for Wood's benefit."

"What!" Wood cried indignantly.

"Alright, fine." The computer said grudgingly, "But you run into any sort of problem you contact me immediately!"

"You'll be the first to know." Jet promised and the ship suddenly shook a little, "Better landing this time, nice work Dawn. Oh!" Jet said as she was about to head over to Sickbay to get Saxon, "If Sky calls tell him I'm out exploring and I'll be back in around three hours, I don't want to stay here too long."

"Roger!" Dawn said.

"Alright Saxon!" Jet yelled down the hallway, "Let's get going!"

"I'm all ready." The male computer said as he hovered out of the Sickbay in Dawn's probe droid form.

"One scratch! Just one and you're dead!" Dawn threatened menacingly.

"I shall try and remember that." Saxon said mildly and the exit door fell down and became a ramp, landing on the dusty ground of Kelborn. Jet stood still and suddenly the wind swirled around her, her clothes warping until she had on her usual daytime attire, complete with her Amber Pistol and Moonblade.

"Alright! Let's go!" Jet yelled enthusiastically and shoved Wood outside, Saxon trailing after him. Jet herself was about to leave when an arm grabbed her and spun her around, pinning her body close to theirs. It was Darrius.

"A Connection, if I may." He whispered into her ear, "Something I've learned painfully over time."

"What?" Jet asked seriously and she bent her ear a little closer to his mouth.

"Monsters are not born. Monsters are made." With that said Darrius let her go and Jet walked out of the ship. A weird sense of premonition had hit her when he'd said that. In addition, what the heck did it mean?

"Jet, you ok?" Wood asked and Jet turned and nearly bumped into the man.

"Uh, yeah." Jet said and shook her head. Well, that was the fifth connection. Supposedly one left, or two, or three. Origin had just said her journey was "almost" over. Almost could mean anything.

"What'd that punk do to you?" Wood growled, sending Jet back into the present. Suppressing a smile Jet ruffled Wood's dark red hair.

"He was just telling me to be careful and trying not to lose any dignity while doing it." Jet lied, or, to be more precise, stretched the truth.

"Oh. Ok." Wood said but still shot a dirty glance over at the Celsius.

"Shall we get going?" Saxon asked politely and Jet nodded. It was time to get down to business.

"We're here to relax." Jet explained to Wood, "But we're also looking for inspiration about where to go to next. To find another connection."

"I know how to relax!" Wood piped up, "All we need to do in get ourselves a hotel room and then—"

"Wood!" Jet yelled and slapped him across the face, "No sex!"

"Sex!" Saxon asked and his probe body spun around facing Wood, "You're having sex with this boy?"

"I'm not a boy! I'm twenty three!" Wood protested.

"Come on Saxon, I'd never have sex with this man, besides, he's already got a boyfriend." Jet explained.

"It's more of a friend with benefits relationship."

"Yeah, right." Jet said flatly and looked around and the scene around them. Trees were everywhere, some even higher that the buildings that swarmed around the place. The ground was covered in a layer of dirt and the scent was that of right before it was about to rain. A place Jet could definitely get used to. She was a nature lover, what could be done about it?

I'd like to live here, maybe.

"Jet, you have over protective computers you know." Wood complained loudly. Ok, maybe I'd like to live here alone. No, not alone. With someone, being alone was not something she wanted to repeat. A huge crowd of tourist walked into Jet, loudly talking about the place, and how it smelled weird. Jet sighed and quickly slipped through them.

"You know what I could go for?" Jet asked rhetorically to the others, "Some coffee." She answered and looked around for a second. There! A Buulbo Coffee Tap. Just like the one on Cameel that she and Sky would always go to when Jet had been younger. Of course, there'd be a different manager and workers, which probably meant the coffee wouldn't be as good but Jet hadn't had coffee in what seemed like forever, "Let's stop over here you guys!" she yelled and ran into the coffee store. Lapping up the scent of coffee with her nose. Now here was a place she could live!

"Hi." The cashier said in a pleasantly accented Standard, "What can I get for you?" Jet looked up at the screen and saw that everything was in Basic. Perfect. Not like Celestial at all.

"Um, I'll take an Azhert Mocha Blend please!" Jet said and glanced behind her, "You want anything Wood? Uh, Wood?" Jet asked and spun around. She'd lost Wood and Saxon! Not again...

"What size Miss?" the cashier asked, oblivious to Jet's dilemma. Jet sighed and threw a weary glance to the ceiling. Who was it that liked to punish her so?

"Better make it and extra large with a shot of espresso as well." Jet said sadly as the person punched in the numbers.

"That comes out to eight point five Units, Miss." He said and held out his hand. Jet took out her Card and gave it to him. As the man proceeded to charge Jet's card she glanced around the store one more time, hoping it was all one big joke, but Saxon would never do something like this, "Here you are!" the man said cheerily as he handed Jet her card and drink, "May life bring you pleasure!"

"Yeah, I wish it did too." Jet said and walked down to the window counter, maybe the boys would see her if she just stayed by this window, "Why does life have to be against me?" Jet wailed and put her head in her hands.

"Excuse me, are you alright." A cultured sounding voice said next to Jet. She looked up and got a shock. It was Sky.

"Sky?" Jet asked loudly, "What are you doing here—uh. Wait." Jet said as she looked closer at the man, no, not the man. A boy. That looked almost nothing like Sky, except perhaps in his eyes, "You're not him, never mind." Jet said and took a huge gulp of her coffee. Great, now she was going crazy with delusions. Of Sky...oh dear lord.

"My name's Alikz." The boy said politely and offered his hand to hers, "You seemed distressed, is everything ok?"

"Oh, everything's fine." Jet assured him and took his hand, "Just having a self pity moment."

"I get those sometimes too." The boy said knowingly and gestured to the seat next to Jet, "May I?" he asked and Jet hastily nodded, she'd been starring again. The boy reminded her strongly of Sky, even though he looked like he was fourteen. He had wide brown eyes that were like two tiger-eye gems that looked as if he was piercing her soul. He had luxurious, straight, dark gunmetal-gray hair that was cropped short and spiked up in a careless manner. He was shorter than Jet but looked as if he were in the middle of a growth spurt and had a graceful build. His skin was slightly tanned and he seemed rather skinny, but all teenagers usually were.

"How old are you?" Jet asked, unable to resist any longer.

"Sixteen." Alikz replied easily, "How old are you?"

"Twenty one."

"Oh." The boy said and his jaw dropped a centimeter. He quickly composed himself and put on a winning smile, "May I tell you, you look good for your age."

"I'm not that old!" Jet yelled and threw her wooden stir stick at Alikz. The wooden projectile landing with a little slap on his forehead.

"Ouch! I'm sorry, it's just that I thought you were seventeen or something!" he cried and rubbed his forehead, "Besides it's not like I was hitting on you. I'd never do that to a random girl!"

"Well you're more of a gentleman than some others I know." Jet said with a smile. This kid was kinda classy.

"I'm sorry for the misunderstanding. I'm pretty bad at telling people's ages, but the galaxy's a confusing place." He said apologetically.

"You bet it is." Jet agreed and took another huge gulp from her coffee, "So what's a kid like you doing in a place like this?" she asked conversationally.

"Oh, I'm with a friend who's on business here. I really have nothing to do but wander and look around myself. You?"

"Business." Jet answered, "Looking for some damn inspiration that doesn't appear to be coming."

"Having some bad luck are we?" the boy asked confidentially.

"You could say that," Jet admitted, "I got separated from my friends I was traveling with."

"What do they look?" Alikz asked.

"Well, one's this guy named Wood and the other is my computer called Saxon." Jet explained.

"Does Wood by chance have short red hair and is traveling with a round probe droid?" Alikz asked innocently.

"Yeah! How'd you know?" Jet asked suddenly.

"Because I think they're standing outside this store." Alikz pointed out and Jet saw that Wood was indeed outside the coffee shop. His face was drawn out in concern and he kept turning around looking every direction.

"Wood!" Jet yelled as she ran to the door and opened it up, waving her arm frantically, "Over here!"

"Jet!" Wood yelled out in relief as he and Saxon made their way over to her, "You're ok! I thought the worse when we lost you!"

"It was difficult work keeping him calm." Saxon told Jet pointedly and she smiled. Wood always seemed to be worried about her but, for some reason, it felt nice to know that someone besides her computers cared.

"It's ok, I was freaking out too when I lost you guys but Alikz and I have been having a nice conversation." Jet told then as she led them back over to where she had been sitting, "Alikz this is Wood and Saxon. Guys, this is Alikz." She introduced.

"Hi." Wood said with obvious distain.

"Thank you for your help." Saxon said.

"No problem." Alikz said and sat up straighter as he saw Saxon, "Hey?" he asked Jet, "Did you build him?"

"Yeah." Jet said. Saxon had been her first computer she'd built so there were tons of mistakes. She hoped Alikz didn't notice any of them.

"Wow! He's awesome!" Alikz practically squealed, "Can I see him?"

"Uh, sure." Jet said, nonplus. Nobody had ever really admired her work like that, except Sky on occasion. A very rare occasion, but often enough that Jet knew he genuinely meant it and it was something he wanted her to continue.

"Jet?" Wood asked and pulled her aside as Alikz was admiring Saxon and asking him multiple questions very rapidly, "How about we go now?" Wood suggested and Jet thought she saw a hint of something in his eyes.

"Are you jealous Wood?" she asked skeptically. Wood's face went scarlet and he furiously shook his head.

"Wha-what! Of course not! Me, jealous of a kid, yeah right!"

"Then why do we need to leave. I kinda like the kid." Jet said, "He's polite and very much the gentleman."

"What?" Wood said, looking slightly distressed that a boy was scoring more points on Jet than he was, "I can be a gentleman too! Besides, that's not the point." Wood explained and dropped his voice a bit, "I've been hearing rumors that Kal is on this planet, or if not him then one of his top men!" he hissed quietly and Jet felt her blood run cold. Kal was here! They had to leave now then!

Shit!

"Thanks Wood." Jet whispered to him and turned back to Alikz, who looked like he wanted to take Saxon home with him, "Well, Alikz, it was a real pleasure meeting you but I have to get back to my business." Jet said a little sadly. She's really liked the kid, "I hope we'll meet again."

"It was a pleasure meeting you too." Alikz said and gracefully swept up Jet's hand and kissed it, "I also hope we meet again."

"Yeah, nice knowing you." Wood said in a voice that showed he meant nothing of the sort, "We'll be off now. Bye." And with Jet giggling like a little girl, he steered her and Saxon out the store and into the street, "That cheesy little punk."

"I thought he was rather dashing." Jet said, "For a kid."

"Why can't I be dashing? When I tried to kiss you I was kicked in the groin." Wood complained.

"That's 'cause you kissed me on the mouth, not the hand, and then you started tonguing me." Jet explained, suddenly cross, "Now we should probably really get out of here if Kal is on this planet."

"Agreed." Saxon and Wood said in unison.

"Now off we go!" Jet yelled and ran in a random direction. Wood and Saxon raced to keep up.

"Wow Jet! You actually know where you're going for once!" Wood yelled out enthusiastically. Jet turned around to face him and started running backwards for good measure.

"Well, actually I've no idea where we're going." She admitted and Wood nearly tripped.

"What do you mean you don't know where we're going!?" he yelled, "Then where are you taking us! Why didn't you just ask Saxon here to pull up a map!?"

"He's asking some very good questions Jetarain." Saxon said.

"Alright, I get it. Flip on a map Sax—oof!" Jet yelled as she slammed into somebody and fell backwards. That's what I get for running backwards on a packed street. The man groaned and Jet realized that she landed on top of the man, pinning him to the ground, "Oh! I'm sorry, I'm so sorry!" Jet apologized as she started getting off the man, only to find he looked a little familiar. No, not a little familiar, a lot, "Sk-Sky?" Jet asked as she saw the man open his eyes and look at her.

"Jet!" he said and quickly sat up, "You're ok! What are you doing here?" Jet just blinked at him. Was that possible concern in Sky's voice? Actual concern.

"Hey! You're that guy I saw on the Celsius's screen!" Wood said excitedly and Jet snapped out of her shock.

"What am I doing here? What are you doing here?" she asked as they both got up from the ground, "I'm on a quest to venture around the galaxy looking for Connections! I have a right to be out here! What about you? You hate leaving the house, let alone leaving the planet."

"I came looking—" Sky started but then cut off as shouts could be heard off in the distance, "He found me Jet." He whispered in dread, "I tried hard to disappear but he found me anyways. Why do you think he was looking for you? To get to me!"

"Who?" Jet asked but she suddenly knew who, "Kal." She breathed. Sky nodded his head mutely, "But wait," Jet said, suddenly confused, "I thought you were looking for Kal? Now you're telling me you were actually hiding from him?"

"For the longest time I was looking for him." Sky admitted, "But then he suddenly figured it out and realized he'd have to come find me. When I saw what he was doing and realized he was coming after it I had to stop him but I knew he'd try to come after you."

"What do you mean it? What's it?" Jet asked but suddenly saw men running to them and the one in the front was Tristan, "Shit it's Tristan!" she yelled and looked back at Saxon, "Where's the Shipyard?" she asked quickly.

"Head back the way we came, take your second left and your first right and then run straight down until you the Celsius." Saxon supplied and Jet nodded.

"Now those are direction I can follow. Let's go!" she yelled and grabbed onto Sky's wrist and dragged him along as she and Wood started running. Jet slapped her Intercom on, "Dawn, looks like trouble found us again! Get ready to take off!"

"Right!" Dawn yelled without question and Jet shut her COM.

"Jet, I can run fine on my own." Sky said softly from behind her and Jet guiltily let go. She oddly felt very protective of Sky. Suddenly a shot went off in the air and Wood staggered next to her.

"Wood!" Jet yelled and caught the man before he hit the ground.

"I-I'm fine." He said shakily and got up, "I just got hit in the arm, that's all. It was more from shock of getting hit that I staggered, sorry."

"Don't be, now keep running, I'll keep them busy." Jet said icily as she turned to face the men coming at her.

"But we're only a block away!" Wood protested and Jet shoved him in that direction.

"I know, that's why I'm saying go! Now! I'll catch up in a second. Go now!" she yelled and Wood reluctantly took off with Saxon.

"Be careful my dear." Sky said shortly before he also took off. Jet smiled tightly to herself and took out her Amber Pistol. There were five of them including Tristan, not bad odds. Tristan's mysterious friend didn't seem to be here and he had been the one giving Jet trouble.

"Ok Trist." Jet said calmly as the men halted in front of her, "This stupid thing comes to an end here and now." That sounded way too cliché for Jet's taste; she'd better come up with some more original lines when she got the chance.

"Oh yes, it ends here." Tristan said menacingly, "For you!" Suddenly all thugs around him charged at Jet with their guns blazing. Two weeks ago, when she'd been exhausted this might have proved a challenge for Jet. But now, when she was fully charged and had been intensely studying Terraforming for a whole week straight, it was almost too easy. The first two Jet shot through the head before they even got within ten feet of her. The second two Jet terraformed the wind around her to jump high in the air, over the men's head and call out a katana, slashing both men in half and covering herself in their blood. Then, there was only Tristan left.

"So Trist, what you say to that?" she asked calmly with a twisted smile playing on her lips. Tristan had gone pale but he glared at Jet nonetheless.

"So you won this round? Big deal, but I'll have you know everything comes full circle, girl. Everything." He spat and Jet raised her eyebrow. Another Connection was it? Wow, two in one day.

"Ok, I'll let you believe what you want. Now ciao!" Jet said and shot off in the direction of her ship. She got there within a matter of seconds, wondering exactly how long it would take Tristan to call up reinforcements. She bounded up the ramp and landed with a bang inside the ship, "Dawn! We're off, like, ten minutes ago off!" she yelled and took the controls of the ship. Things might get nasty out there and if they did, Jet was a much better flyer than Dawn. After a couple of tense minutes, the ship got up and left the planet's atmosphere safely, "Let's get outta here and into Zerospace Dawn."

"Right ho! Where to?" Dawn asked.

"Nowhere in particular—"

"To Scryed please." Sky asked softly.

"To Scryed." Jet repeated and shot Sky a why-go-there look. The stars in the sky suddenly winked out as the ship lurched and went into zerospace.

"We made it!" Dawn sighed as she appeared on screen and sank below the bottom in relief.

"Yeah, thank god." Jet said as she got out of the cockpit chair and looked at the others, "Haha, sorry about that. Everybody this is Sky, he's my teacher and/or mentor."

"Jet." Wood said softly as he looked her up and down. Jet noticed Oro was also on the verge of crying and even Darrius looked a little concerned.

"What?" Jet asked everybody.

"Your appearance, I think, makes them fear the worst." Sky suggested and Jet looked at herself, covered in those men's blood.

"Oh!" she said suddenly, "This isn't mine. It's the bad people's I had to kill." Visibly she saw both Wood and Oro relax, "And that brings us to the matter of why they were there in the first place." Jet said eyeing Sky thoughtfully. He caught her glance and sighed.

"I see no point in hiding." He conceding and looked at them all, "Have any of you heard of the Corrianna Virus?" he asked. They all shook their heads wordlessly, "Well you shouldn't have." He looked at Jet, "You remember the Polar Dust?"

"Yeah."

"Ten times worst." Sky said harshly, "It's incurable and affects all known races. Killing them within a fifteen hours period, instantly, leaving no traces of itself. We're talking about the destruction of the entire known galaxy here if this thing gets out."

"That's what you were talking about back on Kelborn." Jet said slowly, "That was what it was, and Kal wants it. And he knows you know where it is?"

"Exactly." Sky said to his deathly silent audience.

"Worse than the Polar Dust?" Oro's voice trembled and Jet caught a strange look on her face. A sort of fear, but not for herself."

Jet thought a moment to herself. So the galaxy was about to be destroyed basically if Kal got his hands on Sky. Sky knew where the virus was, obviously in its dormant state, and wanted to go destroy it before Kal found it. That brought up many questions in Jet's mind. Such as how Sky knew about the virus when he said people shouldn't, how he knew what it did, and how he knew where it was and hadn't destroyed it yet. However, none of these questions, she knew, could be answered right now.

"So we're going to Scryed?" she asked.

"Yes," Sky said hoarsely and looked as tired as Jet had ever seen him, "The virus is in its dormant state in three separate files on three different worlds. Scryed is the first."

"Ok," Jet said slowly. Six. She'd gotten six Connections. Somehow, that didn't feel like all of them, yet it was all she needed to know. Jet smiled to herself. So that's what Origin had meant when she said Jet's journey was almost over. Her search for the Connections in the universe was over now. The search for the Corrianna virus had begun and Jet knew what she had to do, "Alright then, let's go find Corrianna."