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Everyone at SHADO drinks

Posts: 2391
Location: Coventry, RI
Re: Silver Star
Reply #15 - Jul 28th, 2010 at 11:36pm
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Chapter 6:
Straker was reading the SID project updates when John Grey walked into his office.

“Oh, hello John. I was just going over these reports. It looks like we are right on schedule.”

“That’s what I came to talk to you about. I’m concerned about Craig Collins.”

“What about him, John?”

“I played a game of chess with him a few nights ago. Collins has never beaten me. The other night he beat me in six moves.”

“And you’re trying to tell me that just because he beat you at a game of chess, he’s a psychotic? Oh, come on John, what are you, a sore loser?”

“No, it’s not just that. It’s the way he’s been riding Foster.”

“He’s training Foster for a difficult mission, not for a game of ping pong. Foster has to shape up,” said Ed getting impatient.

“And Virginia Lake?”

“Virginia Lake is a girl who fell out of love,” he said dismissively.

“Look I know he’s a friend of yours, but all I’m saying is that what he went through in that jungle…” Straker flipped on the monitor across the room and pointed at it.

“Doctor Adams, full clearance, Doctor Jackson, full clearance, Doctor Buden, full clearance. Now all of these reports have been computerized. Full clearance.”

“Computers aren’t God.”

“Are you John?”

“I just have an instinct about him.”

“Look, just now, you implied that my friendship with Craig could warp my judgment. Just make sure your personal feelings don’t bend yours.”

Grey just nodded and walked out of the office. Straker didn’t let on but the comment about Virginia troubled him. Craig had told him that he had a falling out with her a few days ago but the way it was described didn’t sit right with him. He never knew Virginia Lake to be as vindictive as Craig had painted her, although Ed never figured her to be involved with someone like Foster. As smart as she is, she is still a woman, a puzzle no man will ever solve.

A week and a half later Paul was in the medical bay on Moonbase with his ribs strapped up. He had been effectively knocked out of the mission by Craig Collins’ foolishness. The door opened and Virginia walked in to see him.

“Does it hurt as bad as it looks,” she asked.

“Collins is a real clown, what an idiot.”

“They’re shipping you Earth side later on this afternoon Paul. It looks like you’re going to beat me home.”

“Yeah, but I won’t be doing much for a few days.”

“Well at least you’ll stay out of trouble for a while.”

Paul winced as he tried to shift position.

“Who is going to replace me on the mission?”

“It looks like the Commander is going to fly it after all. Paul I’m worried.”

“About what?”

“I told you, Craig was different and I told you what happened between us. I have a bad feeling about him. Last week the pressure goes on Colonel Grey’s quarters while he was here and now you almost get yourself killed in a free weight accident with him. Paul I talked with the environmental technicians that designed that regulator. They never fail like that.”

“So what are you saying?”

“I’m not saying anything; I just have a bad feeling about it.”

“Are you going to say anything to Ed?”

“I don’t think I have much choice at this point.”

“Good luck with that; he’ll want to know why you didn’t report it in the first place.”

“I’d rather face the consequences for that than have something happen to Ed that I could have prevented. I’d never forgive myself.

As they talked, Foster realized that Virginia was enamored with Ed Straker. How the hell do you compete with him?

Ginny sat in her quarters contemplating the call she was about to make. Craig and Paul were both on their way back to Earth and she felt more relaxed than she had in a while. I swear to God, I’m taking a sabbatical from men when this is all over!

Ginny keyed her intercom, “Carol would you raise the Commander and patch him through to my quarters please?”

“Yes ma’am.”

A few moments later Straker appeared on the vidlink.

“Colonel Lake, it’s late. You should be sleeping.”

“That makes two of us, sir.”

“Well what can I do for you?”

“Commander there is something you need to be told, but it’s very personal. I’d like your word as a gentleman that this will stay between us.”

“Alright, you have it, but why do I get the feeling this has to do with Craig? Did he beat you at chess as well?”

“No sir, what he did could be considered borderline sexual assault.”


“He held me against my will while kissing me, sir. I don’t know what would have happened had I not broken free of him.”

“Why didn’t you say anything before now?”

“Because if I had reported it within twenty four hours of the incident you would have had no choice but to court martial him, and that would have ended his career, and probably his life. Ed he’s a friend of yours and I loved him once and regardless of what he may think I still care about what happens to him. He probably went through hell in the jungle and I don’t want to see him hurt anymore.”

“Why tell me now Colonel?”

“Because you’re going up there on a dangerous mission with him, I’m not sure if he’s stable, and because I’ve lost too many people that I care about, I don’t want to lose you too.”

The words came out of her mouth before she realized what she had said. Damn, I didn’t want to tell him that, she thought to herself as she turned away, embarrassed by her admission.

“I didn’t know you cared,” he said softly.

“I’m sorry sir I shouldn’t have said that.”

“Don’t be too worried about it, this conversation is off the record, remember.”

Virginia smiled at him. Ed Straker was a gentleman in every aspect of the word.

“As far as Craig is concerned,” added Ed, “I can’t do anything official unless you file a complaint and I don’t think you intend on doing that.”

“Yes that’s true,” she paused. “Ed just be careful up their alright?”

“I will thank you.”

“Good night Commander.”

Ed sat back in his chair as he contemplated the conversation with Virginia Lake. Craig was one of his best friends and he would never have believed that he would be capable of such an act. But Virginia had never lied to him, and while he had only known her a fraction of the time that he knew Craig, he knew her well enough to know that she would never make a statement like that unless it were true. Between that and the conversation he had with Colonel Grey he had to take the threat seriously. But the mission was too important to postpone, Ed would have to take the risk as too much was at stake.

Virginia had unwittingly confirmed what he had suspected for a while. An underlying attraction existed between them. He knew that she would be shocked to learn his feelings about her. A relationship between them while not forbidden could cause serious problems in the command structure. That was assuming the computer relationship study indicated no other contradictions. And what of Paul Foster, where does he fit into the equation, he thought to himself. Still she had risked sharing her feelings with him and that sacrifice just may have saved his life. Thank you, Virginia.

The SST flew with Straker and Collins aboard flew over the Atlantic, bound for Cape Kennedy. The weather at the Cape was clear and it looked as if the late morning launch was going to take place as scheduled.

In the cabin Collins was quietly singing to himself while Ed was lost in thought. He had flown two missions with Craig before, one to commission the satellite and the first service mission, now four years ago. But today Ed felt the apprehension that a rookie would feel on his first space flight.

“This is going to be like old times eh, Ed?”

“Yeah, just like old times.”

“You okay Ed, you seem preoccupied.”

“I didn’t get much sleep last night.”

“Well don’t fall asleep during the launch.”

“On a Saturn Five? There isn’t much chance of that.”

Both men laughed and Collins went back to flipping through a magazine, leaving Ed free to pursue his thoughts. When the mission was over he was going to talk to Craig about the incident with Virginia. Craig’s version of the event was almost one hundred eighty degrees out from what she had told him. That meant that Craig had lied to him and that fact disturbed him more than anything else.

Paul Foster slowly walked into the control room at HQ. He was still in quite a bit of pain from the busted ribs. He was restricted to light duty for the next few weeks. Colonel Grey had not shown up for duty this evening and he was covering the shift. He wondered about that as Grey was never even late; a no call, no show was completely out of character. Security was out looking for him at the local hospitals and police stations. Hopefully they would find him soon.

His thoughts shifted to personal matters. He had picked up the symphony tickets to take Virginia out next week when she returned from Moonbase. He was sure that they were going to go their separate ways shortly as they had so little in common, but he still wondered what she would be like in bed. Foster was not used to having to wait for someone in that respect; never mind not getting there at all. She would be forever a mystery to him and that bothered his ego.

“Colonel Foster, I have Colonel Grey for you,” said Lt. Johnson.

Paul took the phone from her, “John, where the hell are you?”

“Never mind that Paul; listen to me carefully. Collins has been surgically altered, he almost killed me and he’s going to try to kill Ed. You’ve got to warn him. Jackson should have the test results on him by now.”

“Jackson has been missing since this afternoon.”

“Collins must have done something to him, look you have to warn Ed!”

“Alright, I’m sending you over to security; you can tell them where you are.”

Paul hung up the phone and flipped up the mic.

“Commander, Craig Collins is going to try to kill you!”

Straker was at the access hatch to SID when Paul’s transmission came through. He turned to see Collins coming at him; the expression on his face was a blank stare.

“So Grey was right…” he said to himself.

“Listen Craig, you can beat this thing”

Craig and Straker began to struggle with each other with Collins reaching for his air hose.

“Craig, listen to me. Listen! We can help you.”

Ed words fell on deaf ears as Collins was focused on one task.

“They may have your mind Craig, but they can never get your soul! Craig, listen to me!”

In the control room Foster listened to the struggle powerless to intervene.

“Commander…Come in Commander Straker, are you receiving me?”

“Ed, come in, are you receiving me?”

On Moonbase Ginny was listening to the HQ communications loop and she was horrified by what she was hearing. Oh my God, Ed. She knew that he was going to have to kill Craig otherwise he would be killed himself.

“Ed…” she said out loud.

As the two of them struggled, Ed realized that it was going to be one or the other. He found the air line on Collins suit and disconnected it. At the same time he pushed Collins away. Straker watched as Collins tumbled in free space with the last bits of air leaving his suit.

“Are you receiving me?” came Paul’s voice through the helmet speaker.


“Are you alright?”


“What about Collins?”

“He’s out of it.”

“He could have killed you.”

“Yes, he could have killed me.”

Ed watched as the body of his friend floated away. Collins was much stronger than he was and should have easily been able to take him out. Some of his personality must have been left intact, at least enough to give him a fighting chance.

“Paul, get Colonel Lake on the line. I’m going to need her help to get this satellite running.”

Five hours later Ed had most of the systems up and running on SID. All of the damaged modules had been replaced and he was ready to bring up the AI systems. As soon as that was completed the rest of the checkout procedure could be done remotely from Moonbase. If all the systems checked out, he would leave for Earth in six hours. Ed would use that time for sleeping as he had been up for almost twenty hours.

“Colonel Lake, I’m ready to restart the artificial intelligence routine.”

“Alright Commander, the startup code is in hexadecimal, four quads. Are you ready?”

“Go ahead.”

“Quad one is Foxtrot, Charlie, zero, zero.”

“Got it, next?”

“Quad two is Alfa, two, three, Delta.”


“Quad three is Echo, Alfa, Delta, five.”

“And the last one?”

“Quad four is seven, one, four, Bravo, then execute.”

Straker punched in the last part of the code and the system began its restart procedure. Ed watched the display inside the satellite go through the permutations as the AI routines started. At some point SID would restart its voice processor and verbally read off the diagnostic procedures.

“Commander, you can exit and secure SID now.”

“Alright Colonel, I’m heading back to the ship.”

Straker gathered up the last of the dead modules and put them in the container for transport back to the SSC. The units were of no use and would be scrapped, but they couldn’t be left on board SID or out in space without becoming a hazard. He pushed the container out of SID in front of him and turned to seal the satellite access hatch. Once it was sealed he untied the line going to the container and toolbox. He attached it to his belt and jetted back over to the ship.

On Moonbase Ginny ran the satellite through the diagnostic routines. Normally this would be done onsite but Ed needed to get some sleep for the trip home. As long as there were no problems, with the firmware uploads, she would be able to complete the task without another EVA.

“Coffee, Ginny?”

“Oh thanks Nina. You’re an angel.”

“How are you holding up?”

“I want to cry again,” she paused. By now she had learned that the aliens had somehow gotten a hold of Craig and altered him. “Those murderous bastards, it’s just not fair.
I’m glad Ed made it.”

“I know and I’m so sorry about Craig.”

“At least he’s a peace now.”

“They found Jackson, drugged and stuffed in a closet at HQ,” said Nina.

“He’s lucky to be alive. Then again so is Ed.”

Nina walked over to Ginny.

“You were worried about him weren’t you?” she asked quietly.


“You know who I’m talking about.”

“Ed? Of course I was worried. Weren’t you?”

“Yes I was, but not for the same reason.”

“What do you mean by that?” asked Ginny.

“I saw the expression on your face when you thought he was in danger. Virginia, I’ve gotten to know you pretty well over the past year. You can’t hide it.”

“It’s a fantasy, and that’s all it will ever be.”

“I’ve got a dinner that says otherwise.”

“Another dinner? You’re going to get me fat.”

“Don’t count your chickens before they hatch girlfriend.”

“You’re on!”

“This is Space Intruder Detector, all systems operational.”

“That’s it Nina,” said Ginny as she transferred the tracking system back to SID. They both watched the radar screens expecting sightings to pop up but the screen was clear.

“Go get some rest Ginny; I’ll let the Commander know we’re back up when he wakes up.”

“Alright I will. Thanks.”
« Last Edit: Sep 22nd, 2010 at 12:17am by Matt »  

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Everyone at SHADO drinks

Posts: 2391
Location: Coventry, RI
Re: Silver Star
Reply #16 - Jul 29th, 2010 at 2:47pm
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Chapter 7:
Ed Straker woke up about twenty minutes before he was due to initiate the EOI maneuver. Five hours of sleep wasn’t much but it would have to do.

“SSC 1 to Moonbase, how do you read?”

“Loud and clear SSC1, be advised you are go for EOI, SID is operational, sir.”

“That’s great news Nina, is Colonel Lake around?”

“She’s on sleep period, shall I wake her?”

“No please don’t, I’ll talk to her later. SSC1 out.”

“Have a safe flight Commander, Moonbase out.”

Straker switched over to the Mission Control frequency.

“Houston, SSC1. Confirm go for EOI.”

“SSC1, Houston, you are go for EOI in nine minutes and fifty four seconds, mark.”

“Synco Houston. SSC1 out.”

Ed thought about the events of the past two weeks as his ship headed home. Another close friend killed, another relationship destroyed, how much more hurt and pain could he stand. Collins was one of his closest friends and he had died twice. It tore Ed up inside and there was only one person in the world who would understand, as she had just gone through the same thing, he felt sorrow for her as well. And that too could be very complicated now that he knew she was attracted to him. Ed would have to be careful from now on not to let his feelings show as she would spot them in a heartbeat and he wasn’t ready to risk that. He couldn’t even risk calling her by name, as much as he wanted to.

Two weeks later Ginny and Paul were at the symphony together and as much as she was enjoying the music, she was just wishing the night would end. Paul was brooding and fidgeting all night long. He didn’t even have the good grace to pretend to enjoy himself. Ginny already knew that they wouldn’t last although she would have given it a little more time if Paul were more mature. Virginia was grateful when the show ended, but she was not looking forward to the upcoming conversation.

“Did you enjoy the concert Ginny?” he asked on the way to her apartment.

“Not as much as I should have.”

“I’m sorry; this just isn’t my cup of tea.”

“I don’t mean to seem ungrateful Paul; I do appreciate you taking me tonight. But you and I come from two different worlds. I’d probably feel the same way you did tonight if we had gone to a hard rock concert.”

“I get the feeling I’m not going to like where this ends up,” he said as he pulled into her driveway.

“We do need to talk Paul, but let’s wait until we get inside as I have a lot to say to you.”

They got out of the car and walked into the lobby taking the elevator to the third floor.

“Can I get you something to drink?” she asked when they were inside.

“Scotch on the rocks?”


Virginia grabbed a glass and filled it with ice while she placed a tea kettle on the stove. She poured the amber liquid into his glass and brought it to him.

“Nothing for you?”

“My tea water is boiling.”

Virginia sat down in the chair across from him and began, “Paul let’s be honest with each other, this isn’t what either one of us had in mind is it?”

“Not really, I would have thought by this point we would have a physical relationship. I’ve never been held off this long by anyone.”

Ginny raised an eyebrow at that.

“Maybe you should reevaluate the type of people you have been dating. Let me ask you something, would you want the woman you marry to have been with every Tom, Dick, and Harry in town?”

“I never thought about it, but, no I wouldn’t.”

“Why not?”

“It’s not proper…” He paused for a second “I think I see your point.”

The tea kettle in the kitchen began to whistle.

“Excuse me a second,” she said as she got up to fix her tea. She came back with her cup and set it down on the coffee table to steep.

“Paul it would have been very easy for me to allow myself to get physical with you. I was lonely and I was ready to explore that avenue with Craig. If I didn’t have any respect for myself or for you I would have; I think my loneliness is why I agreed to start seeing you. You see Paul my father died before I was born, so I never had a relationship with him, and because of that my relationships as an adult have been adversely affected. I ended up married to the first guy who showed interest in me and that ended up in a divorce.” She paused and took a sip of tea.

“I’m sorry about that Ginny.”

“Thanks, anyway I knew I had a problem and I spent a year in counseling to learn how to deal with it. I found out that a woman’s relationship with her father sets the tone for her relationships with men throughout her life. Because I never knew my father, I had no frame of reference to compare to. Fortunately my mom was able to fill in some of the blank spaces. Through her I, at least feel like I knew my father, and it’s been an ongoing process.”

“What does that have to do with us?”

“What was your family life like?”

“My parents divorced when I was six. I stayed with my mother at first. For the first few years she had a different man in the house every month. She ended up remarried when I was ten. That lasted about two years. When I was sixteen I moved in with my father, he had been remarried for six years and he’s still married to the same woman. I joined the service when I was eighteen.”

“Don’t you think those events had an effect on your life?”

“Are you saying I need a therapist?”

“I’m not saying anything, that’s a question only you can answer.”

“So what about us Ginny, where do we go from here?”

“You told me yourself that you’re not ready to settle down and I’ve told you my hopes and dreams. Has any of that changed?”

“I’m not ready for marriage or a family.”

“And I don’t want to be in a dead end relationship, and Paul I have a clock that’s ticking away. That’s something a man doesn’t have to be as concerned about.”

“So I guess it’s over.”

“Yeah, unless you can give me a reason it shouldn’t be?”

“The fact that I care for you doesn’t count?”

“It’s sweet of you to say that, and I care for you too, but it’s not enough. Even if you were willing make the changes about marriage and family, would you be happy living my lifestyle?”

“I don’t think I’d ever get used to the symphony.”

“Classical music is one of my loves in life; I listen to it a lot when I’m home. It relaxes me.”

“I see, I guess we are worlds apart.”

“Paul, you helped me get through a difficult time, and for that I’m grateful, I’ll always consider you a friend.”

He finished his drink and stood up.

“Well I should get going I know you have to be at HQ first thing tomorrow.”

Ginny stood and took his hand pulling him into a hug as she started to cry.

“I’m sorry Paul,” she said through her tears.

They held each other for a few minutes before Paul let her go.

“I’ll see you later,” he said.


When he had left Ginny got herself ready for bed. She cried herself to sleep that night.

The SHADO dress uniform was seldom seen or used except on certain occasions. This morning’s ceremony was one of those occasions.

Virginia hated being in the spotlight and she was still upset that Henderson had done this to her. She was just doing her duty as she saw it. Virginia was going to refuse the decoration until the Commander convinced her otherwise. Ed Straker could be pretty persuasive when he wanted to be, especially when he was wearing the Commander’s dress uniform. She had to fight to keep her self control as he looked so damn sexy in it. The uniforms were pure white with simple gold rank embellishments and they all had the SHADO logo. The ladies version had a calf length skirt instead of slacks.

Virginia liked the ladies dress uniform much better than the tight fitting cat suits they normally had to wear. The BDU’s as they were called left much more to the imagination.

The doors opened in the back and Commander Straker entered with General Henderson and Colonel Freeman. Everyone in the room stood and snapped to attention.
Behind the podium were three chairs and Freeman and Henderson took two of them as Ed stood at the podium.
Straker surveyed the room and began to speak.

“There are very few times that we are able to honor those of us who have shown great courage and gallantry to defend our planet and our way of life. Most of the time this award is given posthumously due to the extreme sacrifice being made by the person receiving the award. On that note I call for a moment of silence to honor those who have paid the ultimate price in defense of our planet.”

After a few moments Ed continued, “Today we honor a woman of great integrity, and courage, who selflessly risked her life to save the lives of her comrades in the heat of battle. Her selfless devotion to duty not only saved the lives of two of her comrades, but all of those on Moonbase. She is a lady that I am honored to call a friend. Colonel Virginia Lynn Lake, step forward please.”

Virginia Lake stepped beside the podium and faced the Commander.

“Attention to orders: Colonel Lake, for distinguished action in combat, it is my honor and privilege to award you with the SHADO Silver Star. Your actions under fire showed selfless courage and gallantry, and reflect highly on yourself and those serving with you. Your actions are keeping with the highest military traditions and the ideals that this organization is based on.”

Ed placed the medal over her head and shook her hand.

“Congratulations Colonel.”

“Thank you Commander.”

Virginia knew she would be expected to say something and she stood at the podium looking out at her comrades.

“Three years ago, I came to SHADO from one of the companies that built the utronic equipment for the tracking system. I knew has soon as arrived here that I wanted to be part of this organization. When Commander Straker offered me a position it was a dream come true. It was an honor that I wasn’t worthy of and more than I would have ever hoped for. But I wish for the day when we no longer have to defend ourselves from an enemy that we do not understand, a day where we no longer worry about the lives of our children or loved ones. I pledge myself to work towards achieving that goal. Thank you.”

When Virginia sat back down, Paul leaned over to her and said, “Great speech.”

“Stop it,” she said quietly.

Ed stepped back to the podium and said, “A small reception will be held in the mess hall and there will be refreshments as well. Dismissed.”

Ed walked up to Virginia and said, “Well now that wasn’t so bad was it?”

“Next time I’ll talk the General into doing this to you, sir.”

“You’ve got two weeks furlough coming, any plans?”

“My new aircraft arrived the other day. Gay Ellis and I are going flying tomorrow.”

“Oh very nice. Well enjoy your time off because I’m going to be depending on you, quite a bit in the months to come.”

“Commander may I speak with you privately for a moment?”

“Certainly, let’s go to my office.”

Straker told Alec that they would be along in a few minutes and the two of them stopped in Ed’s office.

“What’s on your mind?” he asked when the doors had closed.

“Commander, because of certain decisions I have made over the past few months you may begin to hear things about me.”

“Yes, the only thing that travels faster than light is gossip,” he said.

“Regardless of what you might hear about me, I want you to know that I don’t sleep around.”

“Well Colonel, what happens in your personal life is really none of my business.”

“I believe it is sir. I’m going to be your executive officer and I can’t be effective if I think that my CO has doubts about my judgment personal or otherwise. While I don’t worry as much about what others might think, your opinion is very important to me.”

“I see. Well to put your mind at ease I had given you more credit than that.”

“Thank you sir.”

“Well, there is a reception waiting and the guest of honor should be there. Shall we go?”

“Of course.”

They walked out of the office and headed for the mess hall.

The next day, Gay and Ginny, were flying in the new Mooney Bravo that Ginny had purchased.

“So how are things going with the new Skydiver Gay?”
“It’s a lot of work Ginny, I was lucky that I was able to get some furlough time this week. How are you holding up?”

“I’m okay now, Paul and I parted amicably and I’m finally over Craig. That was a tough one to deal with.”

“I was surprised when I heard about you and Paul. More like shocked.”

“I know that will go down as my one big mistake in life, right next to Brad.”

The cockpit filled with laughter.

“So now you’re working with the Commander. That’s got to be a change.”

“Yeah, but I think I’m going to like it. He’s the best boss I’ve ever had.”

“Mark said to tell you hello.”

“Oh give him my regards, Nina says hi as well.”

“You know Ginny; we need to get Nina and Joan together with us for lunch sometime.”

“That would be fun, let me see if I can figure out the next time that our time off coincides.”

“That would be great.”

Virginia sat on her couch later that evening having her nightly cup of tea. Borodin played in the background while she contemplated the events of the past year.

Her assignment as Moonbase Commander had been completed successfully and she had made some good friends along the way. The posting had also twice almost cost her, her life. She found that thought very sobering and it gave her a new perspective on life.

Ginny had become close to both Gay and Nina, in fact they were her two closest friends. She considered herself to be very blessed.

Relationships, now there’s a subject, she thought to herself. She had allowed herself to fall for Craig Collins, and it might have worked had he not been killed on re-entry almost two and a half months ago. Ginny had decided that whatever had come back was not Craig Collins. And Paul, girl, what were you thinking? Virginia had known right away that it was a mistake but she neglected to put a stop to it. Fortunately she had the wherewithal to keep her head about things and not let it get to the next level. But now her reputation was tarnished, she would have to deal with that.

The bottom line was that there was only one man she had met that she would consider a relationship with, Ed Straker.

Nina was sure that there was an attraction from his side but Ginny never saw any indication of it, if anything he seemed more distant since she had unwittingly revealed her feelings to him. That was a big mistake! By trying to do damage control, by telling him that she didn’t sleep around, probably pushed him further away.

“Damn it, me and my big mouth!” she said out loud.

Still Nina was sure that something was there, and she was a good judge of character, not to mention that she had known Ed forever. Well it’s up to him now, she thought as she headed for the bedroom knowing it was going to be another sleepless night thinking about him.

“Dr. Jackson?”

“Colonel Foster. Please come in.”

Paul walked into the office of the SHADO psychiatrist and sat in the chair.

“So Colonel what brings you in to see me?”

“I think I have some unresolved family issues.”

“I see. What is it that makes you think that way?”

“Well, I can’t seem to establish or maintain a meaningful relationship.”

“Ah, you refer to your recent breakup with Colonel Lake.”


“Colonel Foster I’ve seen the psychological profiles for both of you. The two of you are on opposite sides of the spectrum. The fact that this relationship didn’t work doesn’t mean that you have a problem.”

“It’s not only her, it’s any woman I’m with.”

“Well now, that’s a different story. I can try to help you Colonel, but it will take time for us to work through this. You’ve taken the first step in a long journey Colonel Foster.”

“Will this go on my record?”

“Only if it affects the performance of your duties, in which case I will have to notify Commander Straker. I don’t see that being the case.”

“When do we start?”

“We can start right now. So Colonel, tell me about your childhood.”

Silver Star:
My thoughts:

This is probably the most difficult writing project I have tackled to date. Writing within an existing episode can be difficult at best but it become much more problematic when you are trying to change the perception of things that were established in the series.

My storyline centers on the developing relationship between Virginia and Ed over the course of a couple of years. The biggest obstacle I had to overcome was the episode “The Man Who Came Back.” This episode showed Virginia in a very poor light, making her look just as promiscuous as Paul. It was a contradiction, as I don’t believe an intelligent woman, in her position would behave that way.

In the back story I did for Ginny, she had been awarded the Silver Star for her actions during her tour as Moonbase Commander. I had established that in “Soul Mates” and decided a while back to write a story about that incident. I also had to deal with what I called the “Foster Problem” and how that actually came about.

Even I have to admit that Ed would have never gotten involved with Virginia if she had been that promiscuous. Fortunately the episode left quite a few questions unanswered and I used that to my advantage.

In my story “Best Friends” Ginny meets Craig Collins for the first time. This is about eight months before “Silver Star.” At first Ginny is not interested but Craig begins to grow on her. When Craig is believed to have been lost in the re-entry accident, he and Ginny were at the cusp of exploring a deeper relationship. The reason I didn’t think it had gone further was the comment that Ginny makes later, “And we weren’t exactly Romeo and Juliet.” It also solved another problem as I wouldn’t have seen Ginny getting involved with someone else so soon had the relationship been intimate.

The only way I could see Virginia and Paul in a relationship was a rebound situation and even that wasn’t enough. When the mass attack nearly destroys the control sphere Paul (still in a spacesuit) pulls Ginny out of the dome just as the window blows thus saving her life. And she makes the classic mistake of falling for the guy who saved her.

This story is just as much about relationships as it is about Ginny’s heroism, much more so. Later in the story I dive deeply into her feeling thoughts and hopes for the future, in essence what makes her tick. The loss of her father and how she had to overcome the obstacles in her life to become the person she was. I do the same thing with Paul but to a lesser degree. Paul came across as an immature, hotheaded womanizer in the series until the very end where he seemed to be growing up a bit. I addressed that aspect of his personality and my reasons for it are revealed when he tells Ginny about some aspects of his childhood.

When Ginny learns that Craig and Ed are going on the mission together she has to reveal some personal thoughts to Ed. She unwittingly tells him that she is attracted to him. She still doesn’t know that the attraction is mutual, a fact I established in “Best Friends.”

I loved writing the medal scene with the dress uniforms and ceremony and having Ginny wanting to refuse the award agreeing only after Straker convinced her to take it. I wanted to show her being modest about the award and just thinking she was doing her duty. And her seeing Ed in his dress uniform thinking he was so damn sexy in it, was fun as well.

This story was a turning point for Paul as well as the epilogue finds him going to see Dr. Jackson about his deep buried issues. I see this as the first step in a long process towards him becoming the person and the leader I portray in the story “Expecting” which takes place almost three years later. In my storyline Paul makes strides in both personal and professional growth.

I was very tempted to write a shell around this episode and call it a bad dream for Ginny. But doing so would have been a cop out and I’m glad I pressed on. I almost scrapped the idea twice as it didn’t seem like it was going to pull together. Louise made a comment on the board at that point that kept me going, thanks Louise!

I hope everyone enjoyed the story and I have to say it was an educational experience in writing.

« Last Edit: Sep 22nd, 2010 at 12:17am by Matt »  

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