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Lieutenant JG Vanessa Driscoll: This is the end, part 3 (no tags


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((Rathos Prime, idyllic site by the lake))

::Tosz and Vanessa sat there and just watched the sky showing thousands upon thousands of little, sparkling lights… each of those representing the vastness and sheer magnitude of the universe.::

Driscoll: This star… over there…

::Her voice was now nothing more than a whisper almost drowned now by the light and gentle breeze that could be felt coming from the lake. Tosz followed the direction of her finger before her hand almost fell back. Vanessa’s strength had gone. It had vanished rapidly in these last few hours. Now she even seemed to have difficulties keeping her eyes open, but she was trying. Still fighting the deadly illness till the last minute.::

Driscoll: D’you see it?... The small one next to those three… They almost form a …perfect square.

Tosz: ::nodding as he now knew which star she was talking about:: Yes, I can see it.

Driscoll: That’s my home…. where my brother lives.

Tosz: ::looking at the small light:: Yes. This is just amazing. There are so many.

Driscoll: Indeed… and that’s why I always wanted to… travel to them. See what is out there.

::They both kept looking in silence for a moment.::

Driscoll: Do you… believe in a life… after death, Tosz?

::He kept his eyes on the stars, but felt the questioning look of Vanessa.::

Tosz: Our people believe in a life after death, yes.

Driscoll: What about you? Do … you believe in it?

::That was indeed a good quation. He had never been that religious, but this whole Armageddon that his pople and his world was facing had somehow changed something inside him. It would have been enough for many people to lose their faith, buit for Tosz it somehow caused the opposite to happen.::

Tosz: Yes, I do… This is such a vast and… wondrous universe. And I tend to believe that there must be something awaiting us.

::Tosz looked at Vanessa giving her a reassuring look. He didn’t just say it to comfort a person who was dying. Tosz really believed in what he was saying.::

Driscoll: I… hope that… you

::Another heave cough attack followed. When it was over there was again blood so Tosz wiped it off and gave her another dose of the painkiller. It still worked and he could see that Vanessa felt slightly better again. The pain she had to go through was unimaginable, but she was still brave. She was looking at Tosz and her eyes clearly reflected the thankfulness she felt for the man she hadn’t even known a few hours ago. Now he stayed with her as he had promised. He kept his promise and Vanessa didn’t have to be here alone, dying alone on a planet without her friends near.::

Driscoll: Thank … you…

Tosz: Don’t mention it. ::pause:: You know, you somehow remind me of my wife. She… she died a few weeks ago, but I didn’t have the chance to be with her when… when it happened.

::Tosz looked at the calm and serene lake lying before him::

Tosz: I was trying to get help, find a doctor who would come to us and help her, but no one would come. Some didn’t even care or open their doors for me. They were afraid of getting infected as well. Can you imagine this? Doctors!

::One could still hear the anger and deep sadness that had almost broken this man.::

Tosz: When I came home, she was already dead and because they had been afraid of getting infected as well, they had burned their body… I wasn’t even able to say goodbye to her ::beat:: Then my daughter became ill. And she was shot by the police force when I tried to reach that hpsital. Again I was not able to say good bye.

::Tosz looked at Vanessa who was still looking directly at him. ::

Tosz: When I saw you in the lab, I knew you were infected. And all that because you were here to help us. Our own doctors didn’t come, our own police shot us dead, but you – an outworlder – came here to our planet to try to help us. And then you had to pay the price.

::Tosz took a deep breath as he felt his anger coming up again – an anger which he didn’t want to feel now that he was here to stay with a young woman who was about to die.::

Tosz: It is the least I can do for you. The least I can do to honour you and what you tried to do to help us.

::Vanessa smiled at him, but she was not saying anything. She tried to keep her eyes open, but eventually failed. Tosz saw that she tried to reach him with her hand, but she was too weak, so he took her hand and held it. He looked at her and watched her chest as it slowly went up and down again… One more breath… and one more… He still watched her as she did her last breath. It was almost like falling asleep. But he still kept sitting there, holding her hand looking up towards the stars and to the one sparkling light she had shown to him earlier.

::As the sun slowly started to light up the scene, Tosz was standing there in silence. He was speaking an old traditional prayer to the Gods he had almost forgotten. Tosz had never been a religious man, but now it felt right to say at least one of those old prayers that his grandmother had taught him.

In front of him there was a pile of rocks he had gathered the whole night to cover the grave of Vanessa Driscoll. She wasn’t able to go home again – not even her remains. And Tosz was not able to leave her body lying here due to the wild animals. So he had buried her. This would be the place where she would rest and as long as he was here and alive, he would be coming here and visit her every now and then. As he had finished saying his prayers, he put a little flower on the pile of stones.

Then he grabbed the only thing that was still here – Vanessa’s communicator. He had used it to contact the authorities of Rathos Prime. They had been surprised to be hailed via a Strafleet signal and then being greeted by a Rathosian. Tosz had asked them to send a message to the Gemini and they had agreed. The message was simple and plain: --Your crewmate Vanessa Driscoll died this night – peacefully and quiet she just fell asleep. Tosz –

::Then Tosz put the communicator on the top stone and turned round to leave. He had kept his promise.::

END

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Lieutenant JG Vanessa Driscoll

Science officer

USS Gemini

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