Kyra and Yul stood on the bridge mesmerized as Neraj wore its evening colors. The planet appeared more beautiful than ever, if that was possible. Seemed like just yesterday that Rog stood besides her gazing upon the majestic orb that now held their fates captive beneath a cloak of purple and blue.

“Yul, how long has it been since our last contact with Rog?” asked Kyra. She knew to the second how long but hoped Yul would find words of comfort in her response.

“It’s been six hours.” said Yul. “Seems like twelve though,” her voice trailing off in unspoken frustration. Rog had been just twenty minutes away. Just twenty minutes. The thought echoed, – just twenty minutes.

Pursing her lips, Kyra placed her index finger on the groove of her upper lip. Forming an L shape her thumb acted to prop up her chin as if the heaviness of her thoughts demanded additional support. She couldn’t communicate with Rog, couldn’t do a thing to help and had no idea when or if they would return.

“I’m going check on Kieran. Call me the moment we hear something from Rog will you.”

“You’ll be the first to know Kyra,” responded Yul.

Walking down the long corridor to the isolation ward, Kyra couldn’t help but wonder if Papa had felt the same way on his walk to see Ji. She could have had ten thousand friends walking with her yet the sense of aloneness would not have been less. Each step was a prayer, a hope, a way to do something when it seemed she was helpless to do anything.

Kyra looked through the window. Kieran slept. He looked at peace but Kyra knew otherwise. His life, if Rog didn’t return soon, would be measured in hours, not days. Hours. Her eyes welled with tears of compassion. He looked so angelic just lying there. So handsome, so strong. The first tear escaped from her liquid blue eyes.

Kyra’s hands braced herself against the glass window as thoughts came as daggers in her back. Twenty minutes. Twenty minutes to life. How close was Rog to making that Tear? Five minutes? Two minutes? 30 seconds? Destiny measured in seconds. Could fate be so cruel? Tears flowed. Her cheeks grew red. The image before her blurred as if Kieran was fading away before her very eyes. Her hands instinctively formed into fists.

Kyra had feelings for Kieran she had never expressed. He was handsome, intelligent, measured yet playful. He had presence. And the Hynerian knew how to brew a fantabulous cup of snizzle. And his smile, oh my, his smile could melt the polar caps. Most of all, he seemed unflappable. He walked with peace and peace lived in him. She had often thought, this could be the one but had been too afraid to walk to that cliff. So she kept her distance.

And now, well, and now, the pain of regret. Her fists slammed against the window. Blood flowed in step with the tears. The pain of the cuts paled in comparison to the pain in her heart. Looking up, tears pooling in her eyes, she asked, begged, “Dear Janus don’t let this happen. Please don’t let this happen.”

Thoughts flowed. So much to do, so much to say. And now she was perhaps hours away from ever being able to utter the words she longed to say. Dearest Kieran, hold my hands. Hold them tight my love. Hold them like . . .

OH MY JANUS! Kyra gasped in disbelief.

The monitors were flat lining. Her bloodied hand slammed against the identification pad but the door didn’t budge. It was locked. Only Trev could open it.

“Trev,” yelled Kyra into her comm. No response. “Trev! Where the hell are you damnit? Kieran is dying,” the words had an edge of desperation that would have shocked even those closest to Kyra.

Trev was not responding. Kyra threw herself at the door. It didn’t budge. Picking herself up she mustered every ounce of strength and hurled herself against the door again. Nothing.

Lying crumbled on the floor, tears spilling forth, she pleaded, “Trev, please come in. Please.”


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