The Journey Home

Characters: Katia Santiago

Katia sat in the rear of the transport that was taking them back to Minbar. Everyone else on the shuttle seemed to be sleeping soundly, but somehow, she couldn’t do more then doze for an hour or so at a time. It had been a very difficult few days, both on Mars and Babylon 5, and she was glad it was over. The pain of this trip would be with her forever, and she hoped that one day soon she could at least remember the few minutes spent with her daughters and remember their faces instead of feeling her heart break with a dying ache she knew would never be healed.

So far, she had been able to hold herself together, and the time spent on Babylon 5 with Darquin had allowed her some momentary diversion from contemplating all that had happened. But, now she was basically alone with her thoughts … alone to feel the pain and hurt … but not alone enough to allow herself to grieve. Her whole life had crashed down around her in a matter of minutes, and now she was expected to just pick up and move on as if nothing had happened.

She still couldn’t explain the “visions” of the future she and Dunstan had both experienced. How could it all seem to be so true and then all fall apart on her? It was so hard to believe she would never get to see her children again. Nathan had them, and they believed their mother dead, and no way could she fight against that lifetime of lies. If the visions of their future were so wrong … were she and Dunstan truly meant to be together? She couldn’t even answer that one without worrying about the chance of losing him.

She stared outside of the shuttle, hyperspace swirling around them and an aching need to just let her emotions go filled her. Tears sprang up into her eyes and she couldn’t seem to breath.

“No,” she told herself firmly. She wasn’t going to allow herself to cry — not here, not now. Maybe one day soon, when she was alone, but not when her other crew members thought she had herself under control. She wouldn’t go back to the out-of-control personality she had been so few short months ago.

Life had changed so much in the past few months for her and she wasn’t going to allow herself to lose all she had gained. Slowly, she took three deep breaths and calmed her emotions, realizing she would have time soon enough for the pain.

(c) 1999 Tamara Friese. All rights reserved.


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