Extended Game (Epilogue)

Characters: Phoenix Crew

There were no words, only touch. The touch of medics applying treatment and lending strength to their wounded and dying. The brushing of fingertips on monitors, reaching out to the missing. Tears on weary faces.

Terry Hale had come down to the fighter bays on Deck 18, ignoring the biting aches from the bruises under her clothes, to watch Doctor Trassano’s people and their charges, crewmates injured during the evacuations from various parts of the ship and pilots wounded in battle. Trying to smile at her patient, Helle Brannon was helping a nurse carry a Minbari to a cot angled against the wall. Blood darkened their greyish-green sleeves.

Terry turned back to the monitor on the wall beside her, looking at the magnified picture of what remained of the planet hundreds of astronomical units behind them. It was nothing more than a dead rock now. Dust clouds, the remains of vaporized land and atmosphere, surrounded the wounded world. A black crater covered the entire northern hemisphere and over it, a conspicuously clear lane pointing straight up through several light-days of space. She found it difficult to feel proud of either accomplishment.

Kim appeared beside her, offering a wan smile as she put a comforting hand on her captain’s shoulder. Both their thoughts soon turned to the First Officer’s fate in Medlab One, wondering if Meg was a survivor or a casualty.

They turned as they heard Darquin’s grumblings as Roland DeVries helped him limp across the hangar. The left leg of his flight suit was torn near the ankle, speckled in blood. DeVries beside him wore a bulging scarlet bruise on his right temple. On Shan’s jaw, a wide dark one. T’rar carried an unconscious Minbari pilot behind the lot of them. Terry walked deeper into the pasture of wounded Rangers on the grey deckplates.

Everyone tried to intercept Doctor Trassano as she moved toward the battle-scarred pilots, they all met where the end of the meters-long patch of resting wounded. At first moving to help one another get past each other, they stopped and reached out to awkwardly, almost vainly, embrace one another. Some of them shed tears for the ones who were gone, for the pain they’d endured, some out of gratitude that they had managed to see each other alive, together, and free.

It felt like victory. But there were no words.

 This was where it started.
 This is where it ends.
 Twenty minutes ago, I finished writing the last episode we're going to 
 shoot this year.  Ten years of involvement, five years of production, 
 110 scripts total, 91 of them mine...all that led to that sentence.
 There are no words.
 --J. Michael Straczynski
 Message posted on GEnie

Copyright (C) 1998 Joe R. Medina. All rights reserved.


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