Oookay, I'm finding it a bit hard to believe that I've actually written this chapter. Just hope it's up to standard. Oh, and you are allowed to point out spelling mistakes/errors etc, as I found several going through ch5 again, I won't take offence or anything! :-)

Chapter 6

The day after, Alaina ran into Nathan. The conversation only consisted of Nathan's short sentence,

"L1 [AN: Level 1]. 3 o'clock. Be there." before he walked away, leaving a bewildered Alaina behind.

At 3 o'clock, without really knowing why, Alaina arrived at Deck 1. On entering, she stopped, seeing her friends, Nathan and Adrian there.

Her friends grinned when she entered, looking positively thrilled about something.


"You're leaving us." Jane answered. Emma and Jean's grins widened even more.

"Excuse me?"

"You're leaving us all alone with the backup's while you go and enjoy yourself with the Group." [AN: SF name for the main group of SF fighters]

"To put it plainly, Alaina, you've been promoted from backup to main, starting from now." Adrian explained.


"Shouldn't ask question's like that," Jane teased, "After all, you're now getting, what, twice as much cash as we are…"

"Alaina," Adrian cut into what would have been a long 'speech' by Jane on the advantages of being in the 'Group', "Normally this would be a little more formal but we figured that you really wouldn't want that."

Alaina blushed visibly as she unconsciously rubbed the back of her neck her a hand.

"I…I don't know what to say."

"Who said you had to say anything?" Jane replied, "Sir?"

Jane looked at Adrian, asking for silent permission to go. Adrian ignored Alaina's friends pleading looks and instead spoke to Alaina.

"There's not much point telling you much now with them here." He said, indicating the other four in the room, "Report to my office tomorrow at 0900 hours. Dismissed."

If Alaina intended to say anything, she failed, as the other three girls practically dragged her out of the room. Nathan rolled his eyes as he watched them leave.

"They're more excited about this than she is."

"Give her time. Let her get used to the idea. I don't think this is what she quite had in mind." Adrian replied.

"Officer material, you think?"

"I don't think, I know. Dismissed."

Night had fallen when Nathan caught up with Alaina. She was alone for once, her bare feet dangling in the cool water of the SF pool. Her trousers were rolled up to her knees and her chin rested in the palm of her left hand. Deep in thought, she failed to hear him approach.

Alaina gave a small, surprised gasp when she realised that she was no longer on her own.

"Sorry, I…you want to be alone?" Nathan apologised.

"No, I don't mind, providing you're not going to continuously yell to every passing person that I got a promotion."

Nathan gave a quiet snort of laughter.

"It's not funny."

"I know, I'm sorry."

"You had something to do with this, didn't you?" Alaina accused.


"Maybe?" She echoed. "Of course you did." She realised.


"No! Just leave me alone. Quit trying to re-arrange my life."

With that, Alaina pulled her legs out of the water and hugged them close to her chest. When Nathan tried to speak, she lowered her head into her lap, shielding her face from him. Nathan turned and walked way.

Once she was alone again, Alaina allowed the tears to flow freely down her cheeks.

Whether or not working for the main team was what Alaina wanted, her sense of loyalty was such that letting them down was the last thing on her mind. However, often the actual result is different from the original intention.

Just after leaving her room the morning after the previous night's incident, Alaina become conscious of someone who had been following her since she had left. Apprehension began building inside her as she realised that this time she was unarmed. She debated going back for a weapon but immediately realised that whoever it was would now be between her and the possible safety of her room.

Behind her, the footsteps quickened. A movement in front alerted her to the figure who had been leaning against the wall ahead of her, obviously waiting for someone to arrive.

Alaina recognised the person who was now blocking the corridor and could guess who was behind her. When the person spoke there was no praise in their voice, just anger, hatred and jealousy,

"Just what did you do to earn yourself this promotion? Nothing!"

A moment too late, Alaina saw the several more people who had walked up both behind her, and behind the speaker.

Outnumbered and confused, she waited for their first move.


*sigh*, I know – you get an update and I leave you on a cliffhanger. Too bad :-p