The Mainframe of Zen

Chapter 14- .:Alternate Choice:.

Standard Date: 01-05-0069-1366

I've been thinking quite a bit about this but, I believe I've come to a logical conclusion: I liked it a whole lot better when it was just my quest and I. It's been way too busy on this ship! I mean, this the first chance I've actually been able to sit down peacefully in the first two weeks to be able to type. It absolutely absurd; Scryed's on the completely opposite side of the galaxy from where we were. Anyway, here's a list of the things I've accomplished so far: upgraded some of Dawn's systems with Sky's help, terraformed two new rooms for Sky and Darrius, and I even cleaned my room! Of course that was Oro's idea at first. Not mine! I've also thought much about this and decided that I shall continue my search for the Connections while helping Sky with this virus problem. I know, it's brilliant. That reminds me though, I've not really asked Sky all that I can on this whole "Corrianna" thing. It's awfully suspicious and he really hasn't said a thing about it. If it's personal that's fine, but if we're going to risk our lives for this virus he'd better open up soon. Or else it could cost somebody their life. :End report

-Jetarain Orms, Military Cybernetics Student

"Wow, what a bad note to end that entry on." Jet said and blew an exasperated breath out, flipping her bangs up. She was sitting at her desk with her computer winking merrily at her, the most surprising fact about this was that her desk was completely clean, as was her entire room. It had all been Oro's idea, to clean the ship and make it look nice. Jet hadn't been too fond of the idea, cleaning never suited her. However Sky and Dawn had agreed and so it had to be done. Jet was surprised Sky had agreed since his house was ten times messier than this ship had been.


Jet would be lying if she said she wasn't happy to have him traveling with her again, but he'd been acting odd since he'd been aboard the ship. Only Dawn seemed to have noticed as well but assured Jet it was nothing to get overly concerned about. Sky was hiding something, that much was sure, and whatever ever it was, it related to this Corrianna virus they were searching for. Basically, what he'd told her was that it was a deadly biological virus that could kill virtually anything within a fifteen-hour period. Great, just what she'd needed.

"Jet!" Oro's voice called out from the other side of her door. Jet sighed and stood up, stretching, and shuffled out the door. Only to be slammed back in onto the floor as Oro launched herself at Jet, "Lookie Jet! Míā! Oro has finished what you requested!" the child squealed and held up a crumpled looking paper with words written across it.

"Um." Jet said and propped herself up onto her arms, taking the piece of paper from Oro and reading it. After scanning the first couple of lines Jet's jaw dropped, "Uh, what the heck is this Oro?" she asked, completely bewildered.

"It's the lines Jet asked for," the child replied innocently, "for when she meets those bad people!"

"O-oh yeah." Jet said as she vaguely recalled telling everybody that she needed better catch phrases, it seems Oro had taken what she said a little too seriously, "Th-thanks Oro."

"No problem!" the child said as she hopped up and saluted Jet and then ran off. Jet put the piece of paper in her pocket and slowly got up, massaging the back of her head.

"You really have a way with kids." A rough voice said and Jet looked up to see Darrius standing in her doorway.

"What can I say, I'm a very gifted person." Jet said as she stuck out her chest and waved her hands in the air, "I'm gifted, beautiful, and athletic. I'm a triple threat, bitch!"

"I wouldn't go that far." Darrius said flatly and walked away without a backwards glance. Jet fumed for a second just to make herself feel good then dropped it. That's just the way Darrius seemed to be. As cold hearted as he made people believe he was Jet had spotted him on occasion helping Oro with cooking or something small like that. It was nice to know that he still had a heart that could be saved, scarred as it was.

Not everybody's heart can be healed...

Some scars were too deep that even time could not mend them. Scars like that Jet knew only one thing that could save it, but if the person had forsaken that thing then nothing could save them. Some people were afraid to get hurt again, but people had to realize that when something healed, it would hurt. Just like pouring alcohol on a wound, it was going to hurt, but it was a necessary step or else you could loose an entire limb to decease or possibly die.

"What sad thing are you thinking about now?" another male voice asked. A softer one, tinged with barely hidden concern.

"What?" Jet asked Wood as she glanced up and threw him a huge smile, "I'm never sad! Dwelling on sad things is futile! And I don't do stupid things like that!" she roared and punched at the air to emphasis her point. Wood leaned up against the wall and smiled back, but it was a sad smile.

"Heh, I said it before; you're a poor liar, but it's a personal matter so I understand." He paused and looked down at the floor, "But I hope one day you can trust me enough to open up and let out your feelings."

"Ah, um," Jet was speechless for a moment as something moved within her, "Don't take it personally," she automatically started saying, "I don't—" The words 'trust anyone' died on her lips as a memory came into her mind.

"Sky please! Please! Why don't you trust me enough to tell me about it? I know that its hurting you! I can see you dying a little bit every day! Please just trust me!"

A pause. Then a calloused and sardonic reply.

"Don't take it personally, I don't trust anyone."

"Not even me?"

This time there is no reply. Only the sound of a slamming door.

"I don't," Jet repeated as she saw the same expression on Wood's face that she knew she once had on hers. To give the reply she had been taught to give would only hurt the boy further, and she did not want that. He did seem trustworthy and like he really cared about her, "I don't think I'm ready to talk about it just yet." She said softly. She saw Wood glance up sharply and after a moment of staring broke into a huge smile.

"Well that's ok, I guess." He laughed.

"Why are you so happy?" Jet asked heatedly. Wood quickly stopped laughing and turned bright red.

"Um, nothing. No reason. I just remember something in my room. Bye." He said and quickly turned away and disappeared into his room. Leaving Jet even more confused. Men were far too puzzling for her. And everybody said women were difficult! Jet stomped onto the Bridge and saw Sky reading on one of the little couches. She shot a him the dirtiest glare she could manage until he looked up at her. In which she quickly turned away and slammed herself down into the opposite couch.

"Why are men so difficult?" she spat out. Sky raised an eyebrow and then went back to reading. Jet continued glaring until he finally sighed and put his reading tablet down.

"Why are men so difficult?" Sky repeated slowly, "And why would one such as yourself need the answer to that?"

"Don't be a smartass! It's just so frustrating! Why can't you men just tell us what you're feeling or what you really want to say? I mean, is it really that difficult to say something deep and heartfelt?"

"I could ask the same thing about women."

"But we're women! That's what we're supposed to do! Not you men!" Jet tried to explain to Sky with growing impatience, "You guys are supposed to yell out your feelings to the night air and whisper your most private and lust-filled thoughts to the ones you love the most, or something corny like that!"

"Where are you coming up with these ideas?" Sky asked, looking slightly bewildered, "Men are absolutely nothing like that! We're just as complicated as women—"

"—If not more so." Jet interjected savagely.

"Perhaps." Sky said smoothly, "But we're not what the media makes us seem. We're shy and our self-esteem is almost gone when we talk to a woman. And when we do something special for the person we love it's usually a small but meaningful thing to them. Like what I did—"

"Ah! Do I finally get to hear about the dark mystery woman from your secretive past?" Jet asked excitedly, completely forgetting herself. Sky suddenly paused and a shadow seemed to cross his face. Jet inwardly cursed herself for speaking like that, he had just been about to open up but she'd had to go and screw everything up.

"Uh," it was one of the few times Sky ever stuttered, "Never mind." He said quickly, "I just recalled that I left something potentially very dangerous on in my room. Bye." And with those long words he got up and left Jet sitting even more confused and frustrated beyond words.

That's it, I hate men. All men, I don't care who they are or how nice they are. I hate them all.

"Dawn, I can't stand men." Jet moaned as she curled up in a ball on the little couch and went into self-pity mode.

"Well that's good dear, neither can I." the computer cheerily replied from the speakers.

"Surly they aren't all that bad." A deep voice answered.

"Ah! Saxon!" Jet gasped as she sat up quickly and looked as the said computer marched in, "You're out of the Sickbay, how unexpected."

"I don't have any company in there anymore so it gets boring after a while." The man said as he rigidly stood next to where Jet was sitting. An idea suddenly struck her.

"Hey, Sax, you used to be a man." She stated, "Why are men so complicated. You can probably tell me in a logical term devoid of emotion."

"I can," the computer confirmed, "Men simply have a hard time expressing their true feeling out of insecurity of losing face in front of a women."

"But I've seen tons of guys make horrible fools of themselves in front of multiple women before." Jet said as she cocked her head to the side.

"Yes, men only feel insecure around women they love but haven't expressed their feeling to them yet out of fear of rejection."

"Uh huh." Jet said flatly, vainly trying to comprehend what Saxon was telling her, "But I know Sky and Wood don't love me: Wood has Anaske and Sky loves no one, so why would they still be acting strange?"

"Simple; do Sky and Wood have something to hide?"

"Oh," Jet said, "Well I know Sky is and I already knew that it made him uncomfortable to talk about it so I don't know why I'm asking you about him. How about Wood then, another mystery I guess." Jet sighed and gave up on trying to figure that out. Saxon then also sighed, something he'd never done as a computer but something he'd often done as a human; Jet suspected that's where she'd pick up her sighing habit.

"I must confess to you," he started slowly, "Seeing as I'm just a computer now and it no longer matters what happens; but, do you still remember me?" To any person just randomly listening in it would sound like a very odd question; how could you not remember a person standing right in front of you? Jet knew though, did she still remember the person he had once been. Didn't make the question any less painful though.

"Why are you asking me that?" she asked hoarsely, her throat suddenly very dry. Saxon didn't move, didn't blink, and didn't show any sign that he'd heard her, but he still answered her.

"A part of my human mind longs to know, would be the best answer." He answered flatly, "The human mind still holds all of his memories and will sometimes wonder off into his favorite ones. Most I'd rather not mention." He added in unnecessarily and Jet smiled in spite of herself.

"Do I still think about him?" Jet asked and looked up into the computer's dark eyes, blank of all emotion, but she'd like to believe that she could see the man looking out behind those, "Yes." She slowly stood up and walked right in front of Saxon until they were barely an inch apart, "Do I still love him?" Jet whispered and before she knew what she was doing her lips met his. For a second Jet was in heaven again, before she realized that it was just a computer she kissing. She was about to pull away when Saxon did the last thing she would ever expect him to do. He pulled her closer. Their kiss became deeper and suddenly Jet wasn't kissing a computer anymore, she was kissing a man. A man that she loved terribly. It was almost too good to be true, and it was. The moment passed and Jet pulled away, again she was looking at a computer, who was staring blankly at her as if nothing had happened. Another piece of Jet's heart broke away.

"No." she finally said, feeling as if she herself were becoming a machine, "I don't love him anymore; I can't. He's dead."

With that Jet turned and walked away without looking back. For so long she'd hoped that she would just forget about her and Saxon. What he'd meant to her, and how he'd died. She should have never made that computer to look like him. This was what happened. You began to hope that the person was still alive, but it's impossible. The dead can't come back to life, and the man she'd just kissed wasn't Saxon. It was just a copy.

When will I learn?

Jet walked into her room and crashed on her bed. She felt more confused and frustrated than a person had a right to be. Why couldn't life be simple?

"Dawn?" Jet called out. No reply. Nothing. Just silence. Jet covered her eyes with one arm and sighed, "I hate silence."

"Jet?" a voice called out from someplace far away. Jet turned over and tried to bury herself deeper into her bed only to find herself falling off a chair and landing hard on the floor.

"Ouch!" Jet cried and she quickly sat up and rubbed the front of her head. She looked up at her computer, which was winking merrily at her. The most surprising fact about this was that her desk was completely clean, as was her entire room, "Wait a second." Jet said as she furrowed her brow. She'd already done this before.

"JET!" Dawn screeched in her ears and Jet sprang up in shock.

"What the hell Dawn! Stop scaring people to death! Geez!" Jet yelled out to the ceiling.

"Well, I've been calling your name for the past five minutes! What do you want me to do?" the woman said irritably.

"Five minutes?" Jet asked quietly to herself, "Well, that's what you get for not answering when I called you!" she said more strongly.

"What are you talking about?" Dawn asked, sounding genuinely confused, "You came in here, typed on your computer, then feel asleep sitting there for the past three hours. When the hell did you call me?"

"What?" Jet gasped, then looked down quickly at the floor, "It was all a dream?" she whispered. But it had felt so real. All of it. Jet pinched herself as hard as she could on her arm until her skin started to turn purple. She rushed out of the room and ran into the Sickbay, Sax wouldn't lie to her, he couldn't, "Saxon!" Jet called out as the computer turned to face her, "What was the last thing I talked with you about?"

"The efficiency of this Sickbay if all the crew members were to be critically wounded." He answered promptly and Jet had to sit down quickly one of the beds. Saxon quickly moved over to where she was and looked up and down at her, as if scanning for possible injuries, "What's wrong?" he finally asked.

"I," Jet had to pause for a moment, "I had a dream, but it felt too real. Like it really did happen, but it didn't. It couldn't. You can't lie to me." She said shakily, "Like a "almost could happen" thing, or something." Saxon didn't say anything to that. Of course, Jet really didn't expect him to. Dreams and computers didn't mix well. Just talking to him, though, made Jet feel better. Of course she'd been dreaming. She wouldn't kiss Saxon, he's just a computer, "I mean," Jet laughed as she calmed down more, "In my dream you told me that you wanted to know if I still thought about you!"

"I did?"

"Well, in my dream." Jet said, still smiling at her foolish overreacting of a simple dream.

"What happened next?" the computer asked quietly.

"Well," Jet said and felt herself start blushing a little bit, "we kinda kissed for a second and I was really confused and said that while I did still think about you I couldn't love you because you were dead." She said in a rush, and then added to herself, "But for a moment, it really felt like I was kissing Saxon, not the computer. But that was all just a dream! Nothing real!"

"I suppose." Saxon said flatly and paused for a minute, "But it's strange; I really was wondering if you still thought of me."

"Huh?" Jet said as her mind totally blanked out for a second; trying to process what he was telling her.

"Jet!" Wood yelled from the doorway as he came charging in, Jet jumped in shock and tripped the boy as he dashed past her for revenge, "Oomph!" he cried as he landed on the floor with a thud, "What was that for?" he whined as he sat back up.

"Just making sure this wasn't a dream." Jet sighed and forced herself to think about something other than Saxon and her dream. Wood's bullet wound in the arm had healed up fine. He was now calling it a "war wound" and bragged to Oro and Jet constantly about it. Jet's eyes moved up to his face and fell upon his lips, making her think about Saxon's kiss, which then made her think about the kiss she and Wood had shared. He had been a pretty good kisser, now that Jet thought more about it. He had been firm but tender at the same time and—

And why am I thinking about this!?

"What!?" Jet yelled suddenly and Wood shrank back against the wall.

"Um, ah—err. D-dawn said that we were close to something." He squeaked. Jet instantly felt guilty for yelling at him. He hadn't done anything wrong except be a good kisser.

"Oh, ok." She said aloud and hopped off the bed, "Thanks for the talk Sax," she said briefly, "and Wood," she added turning to the boy, who gulped and looked nervous, "sorry I yelled at you."

"Oh." He sighed then turned bright red, "It's ok, and I overreacted." Jet ruffled his hair playfully and grinned. Talking to Wood always seemed to put her in a good mood nowadays, not including her dream. Perhaps she should talk to him more often. Jet then walked out the door and turned into the Bridge, where Sky was reading quietly on one of the little couches. Jet raised an eyebrow but continued walking until she got up to the cockpit.

"What's up Dawn?" Jet asked and Dawn's face appeared on the main screen.

"What do you think?" she sighed, "We've reached Scryed at last."

"Finally." Jet said and put her hands in her back pockets. In one she felt something rough and pulled out a little piece of crumpled up paper that had lines scrawled in Oro's handwriting across it. Jet blinked. But that had just been a dream. Right?