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THE SECRET OF THE MARROT V

By ... Steve Lucky

CHAPTER TEN

TIME : 4:00 P.M. (16:00)
PLACE : The Marrot V

They did it! They had gotten away from the Ruler, but Peter considered it only half a victory. All they did was survive. The Ruler wasn't any weaker than he was when he first came to the Marrot V. A few rooms were damaged, but the Ruler could repair them quite easily. There was nothing to stop him from trying again.

He shared his feelings with Drake who felt the same way. He too wanted to do something more than merely survive, but what could they do? They weren't equipped to battle the Ruler. They couldn't fight the Ruler's troops on foot. They couldn't even prevent the Ruler from trying again. Drake and Peter knew that survival was a victory and it was cause enough to celebrate. Through triumph and tragedy, life must go on.

"Trever and Wentar have returned from the Ship of Death," Marnia announced over the intercom.

All the officers from both the Marrot V and M.W.G.D. except fer Grendlin for obvious reasons, came to the docking bay to celebrate their return. However, what they saw was nothing to celebrate about.

Wentar crawled out of the ship dragging Trever with him. He called for Strillan and asked him to examine Trever immediately. Strillan took only a few seconds. He had learned all he needed to know.

"I'm sorry," he said gently.

Wentar started to cry for what seemed like the first time in his life.

"He saved my life," he explained.

It was hard to make out what he was saying, but the others could see a change in him. Marnia came up and gave him a hug. She had changed too. She used to miss out on everything by isolating herself from the others. Now, she was trying to open up to other people. She began to cry herself.

Peter, Hank, Linda, and Lisa stared at each other in disbelief. It was hard for them to believe that Trever was dead. He had been with them the entire time always helping out whenever he could. He even volunteered for the most dangerous mission and gave his life in order to save Wentar.

When Marnia was through hugging him, Peter came over to give Wentar some support. Peter suddenly remembered why survival was a victory. He remembered how he, along with Hank, Linda, and Lisa, survived on Mars. Before they had even heard of M.W.G.D., they stayed together through thick and thin and supported each other.

They received help from Shawn, Gary, and the mysterious X. Eventually, they were able to return to Earth. Peter remembered Gary in particular. Gary had betrayed thinking that Earth would be spared if he did so. When he realized that they were going to destroy Earth anyway, he stopped them almost single handedly.

Like Wentar did with Trever, Peter tried to drag Gary to safety, but it was too late. Gary died. They rest of them survived, barely, but they lived to tell about it. Peter, Hank, Linda, and Lisa joined M.W.G.D. an eventually destroyed the Ruler's first empire. Maybe Wentar would do the same with his second empire.

Wentar appriciated everyone's support and thanked them. He soon learned about Grendlin and went to pay her a visit.

TIME : July 23, 2014
PLACE : Marrot Stadium

Marrot Stadium was the only place large enough to hold all 6311 people or however many there were. It was normally used for sports events, but it was occasionally used for unusual situations. This was one of those unusual situations. They were going to celebrate their narrow escape from the Ruler and honor those who had been killed in the line of duty. Funeral services were held for the three passengers Tanbrook had killed, Mevlin, Vohanna, Cyrenna, and finally Trever.

Peter, Hank, Linda, and Lisa chose to stay an extra day. They had been an important part of what was going on and felt like they should be there. Once again, they were in their uniforms and ready to leave on a moments notice.

Even Grendlin showed up. She was in a wheel chair and would remain in one for six to eight weeks, but she could move freely about the ship and that was good news to all.

Strillan came over to where Peter, Hank, Linda, and Lisa were. They were surprised to see him, but he was a welcome guest.

"I never wanted you to come here," he began. "but you made me change my mind. I'm greatful to you for exposing the murderer and whatever else you did on the Ship of Death. I am sorry for all the trouble I caused you and I want you to return next time we need some help."

The others looked at Strillan. They knew the Marrot V would be attacked again, but they thought that Strillan was going to retire in a few months.

"I've decided to stay on the Marrot V for at least another year. There are going to be enough new people coming here, no need to add one more," he explained.

Drake was particularly greatful Strillan was staying. Some officers from Triax were going to arrive that night. All of them had experience in the field, but none of them had any experience with the Marrot V. It was Drake's duty to train them all so they could normally.

Peter, Hank, Linda, and Lisa thanked the crew of the Marrot V for their hospitality and started on their way. After all they'd been though, it would be good to see Shawn again. Little did they know Shawn had a surprise waiting for them when they returned.

"They'll be back," Wentar predicted.

"So will we," added Drake optimisticly.

TIME : July 25, 2014
PLACE : M.W.G.D. Headquarters

On the day that Peter, Hank, Linda, and Lisa returned, Shawn was in the middle on a diplomatic meeting on Altair 3.

It wasn't until he return that they got their surprise.

Shawn asked them what had happened and they took turns telling their story to Shawn. Shawn was pleased with the results. As the leader of M.W.G.D., Shawn was responsible for the actions of all members of M.W.G.D. and he was glad that he had some friends he could count on.

"Let me see your badges," Shawn commanded.

The others hesitated. It was an unusual request, but when they saw he was serious, they handed their badges to him wondering what he was up to. Shawn polished the badges and walked into his office. A few seconds later, he came back still polishing the badges. He handed one to Peter, one to Hank, one to Linda, and one to Lisa. They looked just like their old badges except the tip was a different color. The color of the tip indicated the persons rank.

Peter was the first to catch on to what Shawn had done. He opened his mouth to thank him but Shawn cut him off.

"Congratulations on your new promotions, Commanders," he declared.

That was the unofficial ceremony. The official ceremony started in about an hour. Peter, Hank, Linda, and Lisa were no longer full Lieutenant Commanders, they were full fledge Commanders. After two years, they finally got a promotion. Of course, it meant that they'd have to do more things for themselves. They'd have more missions without Shawn telling them what to do every step of the way, like their most recent mission. They'd have people working under them occasionally and they'd have more status when they traveled around the galaxy.

Hank, Linda, and Lisa prepared their acceptance speech for the ceremony. Peter knew what he was going to say. He was trapped between two worlds, the past and the future. Half of him was morning for Trever and the others and half of him was looking towards the future and who knows what the future will bring.

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