So I was thinking we should go on a date,” he tells me.

Chad and I are eating breakfast in bed.  It’s the afternoon though.  I’ve been spending all day with him.  It’s been nice actually.  We have nothing in common and that’s amazing.  Learning about him is like discovering some strange new planet and scanning it to see if it was inhabitable.  I wonder if whatever I’ve discovered with Chad is something that I could survive in.

You sound like a cornball.”

I have to admit it.

It’s corny where you’re from to go on a date?” he asks me.

I laugh, “Who am I?  Anne? You don’t have to woo me.  I don’t need dinner and roses.  We are two dudes.  Damn.  If we are going to have a relationship, please trust that I am very low maintenance.  It won’t take much to satisfy me.”

We were naked.  We’d just had sex for the fourth time that day.  I’m sweating still.  If we kept at this, I knew damn sure that I would put on some muscle weight.

I just used to want to take Selah on a date.  I was so scared that someone would see us and I’d be the guy who was dating one of his crew members.  Now I don’t care…”

I sit up.  We’d gone all day without mentioning Selah.  It felt comfortable when we didn’t. The thought of Selah just made things weird and uncomfortable.

You trying to live out your regrets with Selah through me?” I ask him.

Isn’t that what you are trying to do?”

I sigh.  It would have been nice at some point to lay in bed with Selah and have sex all day.  I probably could have accomplished that if it weren’t for Chad.  It’s just weird that now Chad was the person who I was in bed with.

If I’d ever put it on Selah he wouldn’t have been able to leave the bed for a couple of days,” I tell him.

Cocky.  Trust me, Selah was satisfied where he was,” Kane states.

All I’m saying is that if I did fuck him…”

But you didn’t so why the fuck does it matter?” Kane asks, “That was my man.  Get over it.”

Like how quick you got over it?” I ask him.

I mean it as a joke but the Captain doesn’t laugh.

It’s getting weird and a little awkward.  We are on the verge of joking with each other and going to blows fighting over this.  It’s a weird situation.  It’s exactly why I didn’t want to bring up Selah in the first place.  Selah held a special place to both of us.

The Captain gets up, “I’m going to shower.”

It’s clear I’ve pissed him off.

I’m sorry.”

You think I just fucking forgot about him.  You think I just want to fucking move on like this man, fuck you. I thought you understood me,” Captain Kane says.

I was being ignorant.  I realize that.  Ignorance isn’t what surprises me.  I was the guy who laughed when the Earth was destroyed.  What surprises me is how I feel bad almost immediately.  I walk up behind Captain Kane and put a hand on his shoulder.

Listen I’m sorry.  You’re right.  Let’s go on a date.  If we are going to do this shit we might as well do it the way that we both wanted to do it with Selah.  I don’t think you are moving on too fast.  Selah’s gone…and we are getting on the best we can.”

The Captain nods.

You’re right.  Man.  Sorry for tripping.  I just get sensitive,” he responds.

I nod, “I get it.  We both do.”

I’ll find out who sold him out,” Captain Kane states, “I’ll find out who released the Upsetter.  That will make me feel better.”

Captain Kane heads to the bathroom.  I look at the picture that he had printed out of Selah.  I think about the picture I saw on the camera from the night before.

I think I’m already starting to figure that out,” I whisper low enough that Kane can’t even hear me.

I think about the picture that had Jonathan missing.


It’s later that day.  We are about to jump into FTL soon. I see the Admiral’s crew going around doing maintenance on the shuttle and the Pioneer space station in general to make sure we are ready to jump into the next galaxy. It’s pretty common that they do this. It’s the middle of the day when I head out to where Anne is. It is our downtime so people are lounging around for the most part. It’s times like this that I can tell just how old people really are. Everyone just seems to let go. They seem to really just want to release. Anne is with the rest of the crew. They are sitting in a lounge area joking. They seem to be having fun. All of them are in there save Johnny who is standing off to the side staring out of this little window.

I made sure I had the Captain’s camera with me.   I pick up the camera and point it over at Johnny.  Right when I am about to take the picture I feel someone pull at me.

My hero’s back,” Cassie asks.

Cassie flings her arms around me, “Sit with me…”

She drags me to the other side of the room and doesn’t hesitate to sit on my lap. I look at the others. A few of them are laughing except Idris who is clearly a little jealous. I think he might have a crush on Cassie or something. The fact that Cassie is acting so touchy-feely is weird to me to say the least. For some reason what is even weirder is Captain Kane who is hanging with the crew too. He’s trying to be just another member of the crew but you could tell he’s being a little quiet and not letting loose like everyone else. He’s still trying to let them know that he’s their superior even though I’m sure that a few people including Cassie and Royce are older than he is.

Cassie told us what you did, protecting her against that dickhead Captain Koopa,” Anne states.

I sigh, “It’s nothing. Just never been a fan of thieves.”

Cassie smiles, “It’s something. You had my back.”

That’s what a team does,” Captain Kane adds in, “We have each other’s back. I told you guys that we are family.”

Katashi gives me a hard stare. He walks over to where I’m sitting. He looks like he doubts me. The guy never liked me and I never liked him. Still he does something weird. He hands me a cold beer.

Nah I’m good man. It’s really not that serious.”

It’s one of the last ones in the universe until we figure out how to get a brewery going,” Katashi explains, “You better take it. I’m not going to ask twice.”

He hands me the beer. I look at it. I’ve been nothing but an asshole to Katashi ever since I found out he used to flirt with Selah. I just disliked him. Now that he was here handing me a beer I didn’t know how to react. It’s this common show of respect.

I smile.

Listen.  I’m just did what was right. No need for all of…this…”

I was uncomfortable.  I was uncomfortable because everyone was being so goddam nice all of a sudden.’

The Viper shuttle is a problem,” Royce tells everyone.

Koopa is kind of cute,” Cassie states, “His crew is a problem.”

You think Koopa is cute?” I ask Cassie.

Cassie smiles, “Not as cute as you, but I do have a thing for the bad boys.”

I roll my eyes. A few others roll their eyes as well. Cassie was trying way too hard.

Royce seems to want to set her straight immediately, “It’s nothing cute about it Cassie.  You were there.  You should be pissed off.”

Relax.   Lucky was all over it.”

That isn’t enough for Royce.  I swear the boy reminds me of some sort of boy scout or something.  It’s no wonder Captain Kane is his personal hero.  The boy just has a moral code that I could never understand.

They are causing some trouble. I think it’s about time we went to the Admiral.”

Fuck the Admiral,” I state.

He killed Selah. Fuck the Admiral. A few people’s mouth drops when I say it. Cassie slides off my lap as though all of a sudden not wanting to be too close to me. Everyone looks over at Captain Kane when I say that.  Captain Kane and Royce are tight.  They do their boy next door routine together often.  They work out together.  I’ve heard the boring ass conversations they have about duty and honor.  I could tell me saying what I said to Royce is crossing a line.

Did he just say fuck the Admiral?” I hear Idris whisper to Trucker.
Trucker nods, “Yeah.”

He clears his throat.  It’s so awkward.

If they thought I was going to go snitching to the Admiral, then they got me wrong. They all look at Kane though wondering if Kane was going to write me up. Kane was always about law and order. Me saying what I just said is clear that I’d be written up for insubordination.

That’s when Captain Kane gets up. He walks over to me. I swear at that point I’m going to get arrested. Captain Kane was the most stuck up Captain on the Pioneer. Instead of doing that though he slaps his beer against mine.

I’ll toast to that.”

The lounge area erupts with an uproar as the crew of the Heavenly hear Kane say that. I just stare at him. I drink with him but I can’t stop staring at him. He agreed? Since when did he agree with me that he didn’t like Admiral Lincoln?  Not only did he agree privately but he was admitting that in front of his entire crew.

The crew continues to laugh.

I think the Captain said it all.  Let’s toast to that,” Anne states.

Royce stares her down, “Anne…that’s your dad.”

Like Lucky said:  Fuck him,” Anne states, “I begged him not to kill Selah and he did it anyway.”
Royce crosses his arms.  I can tell he’s uncomfortable with this.  Luckily he’s in the minority here.  The rest of us don’t seem to give a fuck.

Trucker raises his glass, “Let’s toast to Selah.”

Who gave this kid alcohol?” Captain Kane says grabbing his drink out of his hand.

Laughter explodes in the room again.  I haven’t heard nearly this much laughter when I was with the Vipers.  It was the end of the world. Why was everyone so happy?  Why did everyone laugh so much?  In the next few minutes I watch Kakashi and Cassie struggling to convince Kane to let Trucker drink.  Anne and Royce are arguing probably about her comment to the Admiral.
People break off into little groups. I can’t help but to take my beer over to where Jonathan is. He’s staring out of the window.

He has the camera.

I walk over there and realize that he’s playing with it.
“Did you take that from me?” I ask him.

No answer.

He just holds it tightly.  It’s clear he doesn’t want to let me get it.  Was he trying to hide it?  I wonder if what I saw was a mistake or was it something more.

What are you always looking at?” I ask him, “There’s nothing out there…”

Nothing at all.

Jonathan doesn’t answer me. He looks over at me. Then he looks back out of the window. It’s not like he’s looking around. He’s not trying to see the constellations or shit like that. Jonathan is fucking staring at something. It’s so fucking weird.

You hear me talking to you?” I ask him, “HELLO! JOHNNY! What the fuck are you always looking at outside?”

I was sick of this shit. I was sick of him acting like a fucking mute. He could talk. He chose not to ever speak but he could definitely speak.

Jonathan go look out the window in the observation deck,” someone says walking over, “Maybe take some pictures of the stars.”

It’s Captain Kane. He puts his hand on Jonathan’s shoulder. Jonathan seems to love this idea because he takes off almost immediately with the camera.  I’m annoyed by it.

You can’t keep saving him. The kid is a weirdo,” I state.

The captain laughs. He stands next to me taking Johnny’s place. He stands tall.

I know he’s weird, but he’s a member of the crew,” he states.

You talk about the humanity of your crew. What’s so human about him?” I ask Kane.

I mean it. Someone needs to hold Johnny to the fire one day about his weird ass fucking behavior. He can’t keep going around freaking people out staring into space like he’s waiting for his ride at the bus station. The shit was weird and he was getting away with it for way too long.

You’re nervous. You’re looking for the person who released the Upsetter.”

Why not him? Who’s to say he’s not the Upsetter?”

He’s not. Johnny’s been around before the Upsetter was released. I know he’s…different. I don’t think it was Johnny. I have no proof but I just have a feeling,” he states, “Johnny’s harmless.”

I take a deep breath.

Hope you’re right about that.”

You’ll get to know them. I’m glad you came down to hang out with us. Cassie is definitely glad as well. The girl has been talking about you for the past few hours.”

I look over at Cassie.

Sure enough she was staring at me. She was giving me the look that Trisha always gave me. She winks at me a little bit and adjusts her big boobs hoping that I notice. I stare away from her and look out of the window. I definitely had changed. The girl was a virgin. That was a dream for a boy. Not only that but she seemed so desperate to find love for whatever reason.

Not interested,” I state.

She’s a pretty girl.”

She was…

You know why I’m not interested.”

Us…”  he asks.

I give him a hard stare, “Is there an US already?”

He laughs, “Relax.  I’m just messing with you.  It’s Selah, isn’t it?”

Of course.”

He nods and takes a deep breath, “Same here. I can’t get him out of my mind. That’s why when you came onto me initially I was scared. I have this feeling like he’s still around.”

Like he’s still alive?” I ask.

Captain Kane nods, “No.  Maybe.  I don’t know.  I know it sounds stupid. I just can’t let go…”

Can I ask you something?”


Did you love him at first sight?”

Kane sighs, “Yeah. From the first moment I met him. We drowned ourselves in one another. We comforted one another when we needed it the most. I think that human feeling brought us so close so immediately. The need to comfort one another. You know? It felt like love. It was love those moments I had with him.”

I sigh.

And now look at us. We are in despair again.”

Selah was gone. He wasn’t coming back.

He nods, “We need comforting again…”

For a moment it feels like only Kane and I can understand the issues between us. Only we can realize the pain it feels like to have the Earth destroyed, find hope in a boy and then have that same hope snatched right away from us before it truly ignites into it’s potential.

Is all hope lost?” I ask Captain Kane.

It’s a weird question and because of my weird question I get a weird answer. Kane puts his hand on my shoulder.

We’re still alive. We have to keep on going. For Selah.”

At that moment Captain Kane reaches over. He puts his hand in my hand.

People will see,” I state.
“I don’t care.  Like you said before.  I’m living out all the things I regretted with Selah.  So I’m going to hold your hand because I want to.  I’m not going to care.”

I’m not sure if the others notice. We are too close for them to possibly see the slight hand movements. We stare out into space and for the first time I imagine that I’m seeing what Jonathan always sees when he looks out into space. The thing that I see when I stare out holding Captain Kane’s hand is Selah. He’s looking back at us and he’s smiling.


I hang with Kane for most of the day.  I lose myself in him.  I don’t know why it just feels natural for us to hang out.  When we do hang out we seem to forget everything.  We literally wrap ourselves up in one another and for those moments the world just seems to fade away.  It’s this emotion that I just can’t understand.  For that moment I understand what Kane meant when he agreed with me about the Admiral.  He lets down his guard.  I watch as his little communication device keeps going off but he completely ignores it.

You aren’t going to answer that?” I ask him.

I spent so long answering whenever the Admiral called.  Fuck the Admiral.  Like you said earlier.  I should have been a man.  I should have done what I wanted to do.”

I must be talking to the Upsetter.  You cannot be Chad Kane.”

Chad laughs.

No.  It’s me alright.  No alien in disguise.  I think you are bringing out a part of me that I buried.  It’s a part of me I wish was around when I was with Selah.   I’m realizing what’s important.  And I’m realizing where I want to be.”

Where is that?” I ask him.

Here with you,” he responds.

Chad throws the communicator across the room.  We lay together and we lose ourselves.  It’s romantic in a way.  In another way it just feels normal.  Two guys who were too tired of being stressed all the time that we needed a way to escape it all. We found that escape within one another.

It isn’t until night time that things start to get weird.  The red lights are going off.  It’s an emergency alarm.  Something is happening.

We are interrupted when we come out of the room to all these people. They are marching down the hallway.

What’s going on?” I ask him.

Kane puts on his shirt.  He looks concerned.  There are chants as we follow the crowd. The crowd gets lager and louder.  I see that we are approaching the center of those long oval walkways that lead to the center of the Pioneer.   These are where all the blocked doors are.
There are so many people.

They are chanting something.

Kakashi’s over there,” I point to Kane.

We see Kakashi and luckily he isn’t alone.  As we approach he is staring at us.  The rest of the Heavenly crew is with him as well. As we approach they seem confused.
“Where have you been?” Anne asked.
“We were in my room,” Kane says.

Kakashi raises his eyebrow, “Together?”

I am about to deny it but before I can, Kane jumps in and says, “Yeah.”

What the fuck was Kane doing?  I was so confused.

We were just working out,” I state.

We always work out together,” Royce tells the Captain, “Why didn’t I get an invite?”

The others are all looking at us.  They all think it’s weird that Kane and I show up at the same time.  They probably think it’s weird we both have undershirts on too.  We’d been in the room fucking like rabbits forever.

I change the subject, “What’s going on?”

Didn’t you hear?” Idris answers, “People are protesting.”

The Admirals men seem to be breaking up the crowd.”

Sure enough the Admirals men are coming through and breaking up the crowd.   It seems to be pissing people off but it’s working at least for now.  I can see the crowd slowly starting to make their way back.  The tension on the Pioneer was reaching a breaking point though.  The Admiral forcibly removing people wasn’t going to be a long term solution.  It was just a band aid.
“I don’t get it,” Captain Kane says.

People are pissed.  They feel like my father knows more about the Upsetter attack then he is letting on.  They want him to open up all the lock doors.”
“Does he?” I ask Anne.

It’s possible.  Even if he doesn’t have more information, people think that.  That’s all that matters,” Anne explains to me.
It would be the perfect time for me to ask Anne how to access the control center of the Pioneer.  She knew how to get pass these locked doors.  She knew the access codes.  I don’t ask her though.

What makes them think that?” Kane asks.
I knew the answer to that immediately.
Captain Koopa.
“Guys…I’ll be back,” I state.

I head down the hallway.  I head towards the usual Viper hang outs.  Sure enough the Vipers have nothing to do with the actual protests.  They are sitting around like it’s nothing.

What are you doing Koopa?” I ask him.

I’m doing what I planned,” he says, “It’s working well isn’t it?”

Well.   Captain Koopa thought starting an uprising on the Pioneer was a good thing.  The Pioneer was the last defense of mankind.  We were so fragile.  We needed to stick together right now.  Instead Koopa was just trying to tear us up.  That is becoming very clear now.  He isn’t even a part of the demonstration.  He put a battery in those people’s backs.  He spread rumors no doubt.  I am sure he had them out there protesting while he sat back pretending everything is good.

No.  No it’s not.”

Listen.  I’m doing my part.  You just have to worry about your part.  Get the access from Anne Lincoln on how to control the Pioneer.”

There’s a problem,” I state.

It’s bitch ass Leon that seems to want to get involved when he sees me say this.  He walks over and he has this big ass smile on his face.  It’s almost like he was waiting for this moment.
“Told you, Captain.  I told you he wasn’t going to get Anne to help him.  No one likes this guy,” Leon states.
He seems like he wants an award.
Trisha crosses her arms, “They still don’t trust you?”

That’s not the problem,” I tell Trisha.
“Then what is?” Captain Koopa asks me, “What’s the problem?”

I don’t want to get the information.  I’m seeing you for what you are.  You’re a piece of shit,” I tell Captain Koopa.

Who the fuck you talking to?” Leon asks walking forward.
A few other Vipers do the same. Koopa gets up and stops them though.  Leon has this cocky little glare going on.  He has no idea that his Captain just probably saved his life.  I want to wax the floor with Leon so bad at this point.

You turning on us?” Captain Koopa asks.
“Sure am.  What you gonna do?  Jump me?” I ask.

I put on a cocky smile that exceeds the one that Leon had.  I would be glad to take an ass beating by the whole crew of the Viper if that meant I was standing up for what I believe in.

You choose the Heavenly over us?”

Sure do,” I tell them.

You think you fit in with them?”

I don’t.  But that’s OK, because they accept me anyway,” I explain, “So that’s my crew.  And I’m not helping you with shit.  So you can stop this petty drama you starting to stir up.  You won’t get access to the control room.”

Koopa gives me a hard stare, “I should have my team beat the senses into you.”

I’m ready to fight when you are.”

Please let me at him,” Leon begs.
He’s big and tough when he’s surrounded with a bunch of his crew members.  They are itching to fight me.  Koopa for some reason isn’t letting them.
“No.  We’re not going to fight you.  Go ahead.  Sleep on it.  You’ll realize sooner or later that you want to help me.  You want to get even with the Admiral for what he did for Selah.  You remember Selah right.  You haven’t forgotten about him yet.  Remember?  You want revenge.  Remember?  You’ll help us.  I know it.”

I walk away.

Don’t hold your breath Koopa.”

Koopa was right.  I’d never forget about Selah.  I remember Selah, but luckily Captain Kane was there with me.  I didn’t want revenge against Captain Kane.  I was ready to move on.
Chad and I were both ready to move on…together….


I wake up in the morning. I am in the mess hall. Everyone is waking up for breakfast. The entire night after my talk with Captain Koopa, I just thought about Selah. When I get into the mess hall I see Captain Koopa. He is with the Vipers.  He has a smile on his face.  He gives me a thumbs up. He seems so happy about something. He seems so secure. I’m not sure why.

He should be pissed about what I told him the night before.

Something weird is going on.

I think about going to sit with him and find out what it is but I end up sitting with the Heavenly crew. All the members are there.

You OK?” Anne asks.

I think about Selah. I think about what he would want. I think about how happy Captain Koopa is. What I’m doing isn’t going to bring Selah back. Me trying to help Koopa would only make one person happy: Koopa.

No I’m not,” I state.

I told you he was acting weird this morning,” Idris whispers.

I give him a weird look. That was an odd comment to say but I guess I have been acting weird for the past few seconds I’ve been sitting at the table. I look over at Captain Kane. He seems suspicious as well as he looks up at me.

There is something that I to need to say,” I explain.

Déjà vu,” Jonathan states.

It’s rare that Jonathan speaks and we all turn to him. He stares at me when he says it. It’s almost like Jonathan is trying to bring our attention to something. But why would he say Déjà vu?

What did you just say?” I ask.

He doesn’t repeat himself.

Déjà vu. You know what that means right?” Captain Kane asks.

Already seen…” I state.

That’s what Déjà vu meant in French. Already seen. What did they already see. What the fuck was Cassie talking about?

Why did he say that just now?” I ask.

Because he’s already seen you today. You already came over here. You already said that,” Cassie explains, “Are you OK?”

I already said what?” I ask.

You said there was something you wanted to talk about,” Cassie explains, “But you didn’t want to talk about it with all of us. You just wanted to talk about it with Anne.”

This morning?”

You need to stop drinking,” Royce says.

The crew laughs. I’m not laughing though. It’s not a joke.

I get up from the table, “Anne what did I have to say to you?”

Anne looks around.

You said to keep it a secret,” Anne states.


You had some questions.”

This wasn’t happening.

Did you answer my questions?”

Of course I did. I trust you.”

Just at that moment I turn back to where I see Captain Koopa. He smiles back at me. He whispers Thank You.

What’s going on?” Royce asks, “You’re scaring us. What did Anne tell you?”

She didn’t tell me anything. She couldn’t have,” I explained, “This is my first time in the mess hall. This is my first time talking to Anne or any of you. I don’t know who she told her information to, but it wasn’t me…”

The crew looks at each other. Everyone gets quiet.

I’m not sure who is more afraid! Them, realizing that they had just been infiltrated or me realizing that an Upsetter had just pretended to be me to help Captain Koopa!

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