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The Bonding

By Kaelar
Page 1 of 1

It was a few weeks after the two young people became part of the Liberator's crew before Avon trusted Tarrant enough to let the pilot take the night watch alone. Before leaving the flight deck, Avon rechecked all the instruments as Tarrant watched him impatiently. Finally, Avon was finished. As he left, he called over his shoulder, "Vila will be here to relieve you in four hours, if he doesn't oversleep."

Tarrant just nodded and watched as the computer expert vanished down the corridor. Finally, he had the flight deck to himself. He enjoyed the privacy for a few minutes, then ambled around the huge control center, once again marvelling at the alien beauty of it. He settled in the weapons-control seat and busied himself learning how to operate Liberator's armaments.

Since they were in a relatively quiet section of space, and hadn't had any run-ins with the Federation since his arrival, the watch passed uneventfully. Tarrant checked his chronometer and noted that there was less than an hour before his shift ended. He went to the pilot's station and noted their bearing; they were still right on course. He rested his hands on the console.

Suddenly, he felt a tingling sensation pass through him. Startled, he tried to pull back, but he couldn't move; his hands seemed glued to the panel. Fear-inspired adrenalin surged through his system, and he considered calling for help. But before he could, a sudden peace washed over him. He closed his eyes and relaxed.

He felt a presence in his mind, and he opened up to it. It was asking questions about his past; his plans for the future. He dutifully answered them, and was surprised at what happened next. Visions of Liberator flashed through his mind, with information about the ship accompanying each one. He delighted in it all. It was as if he and the ship were one.

Then it was over. Someone was shaking him. "Tarrant. Tarrant! Wake up! The pilot slowly opened his eyes. Vila was standing beside him. "You're lucky I came before Avon did," he sniffed. What would he think of finding you asleep on your first solo watch?"

"I wasn't asleep," Tarrant began to argue. "I was..." he trailed off, not knowing how to explain what happened to him.

Vila eyed him skeptically. "Well, don't let it happen again," he said imperiously, "or Avon will hear of it."

Tarrant was ignoring the thief. He stood slowly. "It's all yours," he said.

As the pilot turned to leave, Zen's voice suddenly boomed out in the silence, Welcome, Del Tarrant.

Tarrant turned and smiled at the computer. "Thank you, Zen," he replied softly, and was gone.

Vila stood in confused silence for a moment, then plopped ungracefully on the couch. "Pilots," he muttered, "Never could understand them." He pulled out his deck of cards and began practicing all the tricks he knew.


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