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*Click* *Click*





"Come on... teleport her already, you piece of shi...!"




"If we don't replace our teleporter beam and the invisibility shield soon... they will find us. Not to mention that this vessel is literally falling apart..."
"Target Dolphin found: Teleportation will take place in ten seconds. Ten, nine..."





"Finally!"
"... Eight, seven, six... WARNING! The beam is not properly charged. The teleporting process shall be aborted in five, four..."
"Oh no, you won't!"




"Let's just redirect the influx of energy from the cold chamber to the beam and..."
"Three, two, one..."
"Come on, stupid machine! Work!"











"Teleportation Process Successful. Target Dolphin has arrived to the Verdi."
"Fuck yeah! Nothing can stop the genius of the Oleaji!"









"Oh, we sure are lucky to have you in our crew, Mo. We wouldn't be able to keep this spaceship working if it weren't for your constant fixes and maintenance routines."





"Thank you, Sergeant Dolphin. And welcome back aboard the Verdi. According to the Triad Alliance Protocol, I shall inform you that there were no incidents nor malfunctions during your absence and that we..."




"Yeah, yeah... let's skip the formalities, Mo, the mission is over. Not that there ever was one in the first place."




- "Well... that is true."
- "Tell me, Mo. Am I in big trouble?"
- "Well..."
- "He's probably furious at me."





- "Yes, the Commander displayed signs of extreme discomfort and irritation when he was notified of your unexpected absence."





- *Sigh* "Oh fuck... there's probably one of his "speeches" coming up as soon as I cross that door.
- "Well, he expressed a significant desire to discuss this matter on your return, so you're probably correct."




- "All right. Please inform him about my return, Mo. And that I'll meet with him after I take off my defense gear, all right?"
- "Whatever you say... Jill."

__________________________________




Dolphin examined her reflection: Under the guise of her visor and her armor, she resembled the fierce Vlorgian assassin she transformed into every time she left the Verdi on a mission.









Without her gear, though, she was just Jill.

Jill Smith. The half Graslaxian that didn't look like one.




"*Sigh* There's no gain in postponing the unavoidable, Jill. Let's go..."

_______________________________









Just like Mo had reported, nothing had changed inside the Verdi during her absence.
Not that she expected that, of course.




They were all in their usual positions.
Guillermo "Mo" Valenzuela, the Oleaji Engineer.




Jayne Doe, the Metasi Navigator.




Hobbes Broke, another half Graslaxian Assassin.




Mars Curious, the crew's pilot.





And finally, the Verdi's Commander.





Rooted on his usual spot, silently surveying the crew's activities.





A mere shadow of the youthful and idealistic half alien she remembered.




- "I'm back, brother."




- "How dare you, Jill?! How could you be so... so thoughtless! Do you have any idea about the magnitude of the risk you just took?! The peril in which you've just placed all of us?"




- "Calm down, John! Let me explain..."




- "What's there to explain? You hacked the teleporter beam's password and went on a stupid, thoughtless and unauthorized "mission" to Belladonna Cove. Worst of all, you disclosed your identity to our enemies!"
- "Of course I didn't! I was wearing my gear and..."
- "They probably took a sample of your genetic data. I've just inspected the area and you left a mess! We- we are lucky we altered our DNA information through the SimPE facilities, otherwise the Vlorgians or worse, the Beakers, would have learned about our existence!"
- "B-but.."




- "Besides, just think for a moment, Jill! What if the Vlorgians had outnumbered you? They would have captured you! T-They would have tortured you or... done the awful things they did to Stella... and our daughter. Do you want to end up like them? L-like me?."




- "I admit what I did was impulsive and reckless, but anyone in my position would have done the same thing! I- I just couldn't let the Vlorgians slain another young girl right under my nose! Not to mention that the Broke kid was also there. "




- "And I had everything under control! I'm the best Assassin in the goddamn Triad Counsil, after all!"
- "Jill..."
- "But you don't have to worry anymore, John. I will obey your orders and remain on the Verdi until it's time to infiltrate the SBC Institute."




- "Yes, you will stay in the ship until I say so! But you're definitely not going to infiltrate the SBC Institute!"




- "What?!"
- "Your actions just proved me that you don't have the patience and skills to win their trust. You're so damn hot headed that you'll blow your cover before you get access to their restricted area!"




- "But I- I'm just what our plan required! For once my simlish looks would aid us! Not to mention that no one in this ship knows the intricate structure of the SBC Institute as well as us!"




- "I'm sorry, Jill. But my decision is final. You are not going to Sim Earth. It's a huge risk for you, for our crew... and for the Triad Alliance."





- "And how do you plan to infiltrate their facilities now, John? These recent Vlorgian murders indicate that they definitely have something planned, so we can't waste any more time! We spent months with this plan, after all!"
- "That's why I always had a backup plan in development, in case something like this happened."




- "Jayne will take your place."




- "What?! Are you fucking out of your mind, John?! Jayne is a Metasi! Her race has never been in contact with the Simlians! She has absolutely no idea how to relate with them and yet you want her to win the Beaker's trust?!"




- "Do not worry, Jill. I've been studying everything about the Simlish culture for a while, so I think I'll be able to become one of them for a while. Besides, thanks to your teachings both Mo and I speak simlish fluently."




- "That won't be enough, Jayne! You don't know the Beakers as well as John and I! They'll discover you're not from their planet as soon as you show up in front of them!"




- "You'll be killed before you can set a foot inside their facilities!"




- "This is why we will be following a completely different approach for this plan. Now, Jayne?




- "Yes, Commander!"












- "Jill, I'd like you to meet Jane Doe. She will be enrolled at the Belladonna Highschool to keep a close eye on the Vlorgian's potential victims. As you said earlier, our enemies' recent activities indicate that they are planning something and we must find out what's going on."




- "Well, that's just peachy John! But what about our main goal? How is she going to infiltrate the Institute and rescue the Element?"




- "As part of her mission, Jane shall win one of the scholarships offered by the SBC Institute to bright teenagers like her. She must be offered a place in their summer program, and this is how you're going to help her, Jill."




- "Commander, please excuse the interruption, but I have an incoming transmission from the Intergalactic Forces."




- "Oh Hell, no! Not that Grunt idiot again! Tell him I'm not available right now."
- "He says it's urgent and that he won't close the connection until he's spoken with you. And he sounds pretty upset..."




- "*Sigh* All right..."




- "We're running out of time, so we should set our plan in action immediately. Mo, prepare the teleport beam."
- "Yes, Commander!"
- "Jayne, I'm counting on you..."




- "I won't let you down, Commander Smith."
- "Good luck!"




- "And Jill..."
- "You know you can count on me, brother. I'll monitor Jayne's progress at all times."
- "I'm sorry you couldn't go to Sim Earth as you wanted... but I promise that if everything goes on as planned, we'll be back home very soon."
- Yes, I know. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to monitor Jayne's departure..."
- "Thank you, Jill."




"All right, Hobbes, I'm ready."
"Yes, Commander!"




- "Hey, Smith!"
- "Good day, Captain Grunt. I hop-"
- "I'm not in the mood to socialize, Smith! I need answers, and I need them now?! Why the Hell didn't you inform us that those Vlorgian bastards were behind the murders at Belladonna Cove?! My nephew was here just a few minutes ago and he told me that his sister and cousin were attacked tonight by those assholes and that someone from your crew saved them! And don't try to deny it, Smith! Because Chip's description matches perfectly with your sister's! What the fuck is going on?!"




- "Now, Captain. There's indeed an explanation for what's happened tonight, so if you could stop swearing and listen for a minute, you'll get your answers."

______________________________________




- "The beam is ready, Jayne."
- "Jill..."




- "Jill, I'm sorry. When the Commander asked me to prepare for this backup plan, I had no idea that this would happen. I never intended to take your place in the infiltration and..."




- "Don't apologize, Jayne. I was aware there would be a consequence for what I did tonight."




- "True, I didn't expect them to be so severe, but I don't regret my actions."




- "And for that, I'll be forever in your debt, Jill. And I know that Marsha, wherever she may be, is also grateful for saving her son again."




- "I know..."




- "Don't worry, guys. I'll keep a close eye on those kids too. I promise."




- "We're all counting on you, Jayne. Good luck."
- "Thank you, Hobbes."








- "She's gone..."
- "You look worried, Jill. What's wrong?"




- "I know you're still upset for what the Commander said but..."
- "It's not that."
- "Then what...?"




- "It's about your nephew, Hobbes."
- "What's wrong?"
- "There's something odd going on within him... I might have sent the final blow to the Vlorgian that attacked them, but it was definitely Tom the one who hurt it the most."
- "What?!"




- You need to contact your family as soon as possible. If my suspicions are correct, your nephew could be in great danger!"

























































































































































May 2009

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