A New Space Iteration


    Haley Ortega as Lilan Dia

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    Haley Ortega as Lilan Dia

    Post  Admin on Mon Aug 29, 2011 11:25 am

    The ship, amazingly, was empty.

    They’d come and gone at intervals – she saw to it they did not run into one another. They’d stamped their marks, staked their claims on the Embry-Riddle; already it was not the ship it had been six months ago when she’d hauled it out of dry-dock. Now it stood quiet, and she seemed to sync herself with its anticipation. Both she and the ship waited with ‘bated breath.

    Her friends and colleagues thought she was insane, in the amiable and forgiving way only actors could be in such circumstances. A few were worried about the danger inherent in gallivanting across the galaxy in a jalopy. A few tabloids had already gone out on a limb to link her and Archer together. She’d thrown herself and the captain under that particular bus to ensure the others stayed out of the light. It wasn’t a problem; Broadway was considerably less important than Hollywood, and she’d not been a Hollywood name for a decade. As soon as they left Earth, few would remember or care about gossip.

    She’d come aboard many, many times these past months, overseeing the refitting and refurbishing down to the last detail. Admitting it to no-one, this project had drained her finances. There were emergency resources for her should the worst come to the worst, but all of her currently available income was drained. They would have to work, and work hard, to keep this ship afloat. But if anyone could do it, this crew could.

    Sitting down in the common area, she thought about the crew. Thought about how many shadows and shades they were bringing on-board with them. Pasts so full of pain and fear. Had she done the right thing? Had she made the right choices? Could she really offer them second chances, opportunities to reclaim hope and faith?

    “I wish you were here,” she said aloud, surprised at the way her voice sounded. “I miss you. So much. More than ever, I miss you. Please don’t see this as me trying to…forget. I’m not. I just need to know I can keep going.”

    She needed a second chance, too. And only this crew could give it to her. It would take time for her own pain to reveal itself to them, though. But she’d chosen the people who understood pain more than anyone else. They’d understand.
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    Re: Haley Ortega as Lilan Dia

    Post  Admin on Tue Nov 01, 2011 11:47 pm



    So the world goes ‘round and ‘round
    With all you ever knew
    They say the sky, high above
    Is Caribbean blue.


    On Marapala, she enjoyed a final weekend of luxury. She’d talked to a friend the night before, and he had admitted his fear of space – of being swallowed up in all that black. She had comforted him by telling him it wasn’t really black at all; it was just a blue so dark that it looked black. It was the same sky he saw from planetside that grew deeper and richer the further you went, until it was so saturated your eyes thought it was black.

    It wasn’t true, of course. It was not blue because it had no atmosphere where the light filtered out all the other colors. But she liked her explanation better. Someone else had explained it to her that way…someone…

    If every man says all he can
    If every man is true
    Do I believe the sky above
    Is Caribbean blue?


    And space was a living thing, a being, to her. She realized, as she lay in the hammock, watching the wind move the palms, that the same was true for the crew. Each of them, in one way or another, had humanized the vast reaches and made them a singular thing – Space. The Black. The Expanse.

    To Min, it was perhaps a demon. To Baxter, a steed. To Cain, a seafarer. To Yeardley, a voice. To the Bishop, a parishioner. It was a separate world than being on a planet. Other people are There; we are Here. And one couldn’t really touch the other.

    If all you told was turned to gold
    If all you dreamed was new
    Imagine sky high above
    In Caribbean blue…


    We are not going out into the Black. We are going out into the Blue, to saturate ourselves and let it become a part of us. And some of us will conquer it, some of us will tame it. Some will translate it, some will bed it. Some will forgive it, and some will ask its forgiveness. And I…I will find myself in it.
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    Re: Haley Ortega as Lilan Dia

    Post  Admin on Thu Nov 17, 2011 12:08 pm

    Feeling the past movin’ in
    Letting a new day begin
    Hold to the time that you know
    You don’t have to move on to let go

    Add to the mem’ries you keep
    Remember when you fall asleep
    Hold to the love that you know
    You don’t have to give up to let go

    Remember turning on the night
    And moving through the morning light
    Remember how it was with you
    Remember how you pulled me through

    I remember
    I remember
    I remember
    I remember….

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    Re: Haley Ortega as Lilan Dia

    Post  Admin on Fri Dec 30, 2011 2:07 pm

    Another Christmas, forever ago…

    “Mom, it’s the Captain.”

    Stella never called her Avery. None of the Junior Crew did. She was ‘The Captain’, even from years and years ago when she was marshalling them down to the beach in formation while they giggled and tried to stay in a straight line before her ‘at ease’ sent them shrieking with delight into a full run into the surf; mitigatating fights over who had ‘KP duty’; bouncing quarters off beds and pretending to be shocked when they didn’t bounce (much to the hilarity of the kids). Like their parents before them, they would have followed her into Hell itself.

    But then she left, and locked the door behind her so that none of them could follow at all.

    “They found her in her quarters on the V. Mom, she…I don’t understand…”

    Em did, though. She’d seen it coming.

    They’d gone to a luncheon honoring veterans at the World War II Museum in New Orleans. Emerald had watched Avery shaking hands, had watched the Admiral’s eyes move over the other vets, and had seen Avery’s epiphany. These old people were her peers, now. These folks in wheelchairs, leaning on walkers. Avery herself was still in decent shape – she had a little trouble with stairs, but that was all – but she was past seventy. And the people around her, the ones hobbling and bent, they’d been soldiers once. These were the men and women who’d fought in the Campaign, in the Crimson War. They’d been strong and quick and smart. And Emerald knew Avery was trying to see those young men and women inside the bodies on these old, feeble people…and failing.

    Avery would not be able to bear turning weak. Cotton had died two years ago. She had no other family.

    “We’re her family.” Nova had come to stand beside Emerald. Her powers had developed so much in the past few years. She couldn’t technically read minds, but her empathic ability was so honed that she could anticipate thoughts by reading emotions, more easily with people she knew well.

    Em nodded, but they both knew it was a lie. Avery Crane loved them, respected them, but she was, and always had been, a Captain first. They were her crew, her complement, her soldiers. Not her family. Em understood that it meant more and ran deeper for Avery to see them that way than to see them as friends or family. It was a higher honor.

    Harlan never forgave Avery for the suicide. He called her a coward, a weakling, a cheater. Emerald let him rail, let him seethe, because she knew there was an inconsolable pain under it. She had gone where he couldn’t follow. She had abandoned her post.

    For the first time, Harlan had seen her as something less than his ideal. It was devastating to him. His whole foundation cracked under it, and he was never the same.

    They jettisoned her Christmas Day, the funeral somber and quiet because of the manner of death. No one wanted to publicize it. Denton wrote a small piece for the Asssociated Press, and that was all. It was a sad, cold end to a brilliant life.

    It was the end of an era.

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