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Summary: A death trap and the worst happens. Niko needs to find the strength to continue without Shane Gooseman, but how?
I still don't have the rights to the Galaxy Rangers but ...
It takes a long time to finish and before the end Niko will have Gooseman's blood on his hands.
Ariel brought the perfect dress for that day. To see in the mirror Niko is given that account that ceremony would mark a new chapter in his life. She was afraid of the person she would become after that, because then everything would be confirmed.
The old friend quietly knocked on the door and excused herself to enter.
- Come on Niko? They're all waiting for you.
She realized that he couldn't move, his body froze, incredible! It was impossible to take a step forward.
-Ariel, I can't do it.
- Honey - She touched Niko's cold hands tenderly - I will be with you every second, I promise to support you every step of the way. We will?
- Maybe I better not go.
_ You know you need to do this. All, just all the people who knew and loved you are there waiting. Everyone came for the ceremony.
She thought of friendly faces and found strength. Ariel took her hand firmly, took a deep breath and step by step went to the place where they were waiting for her. Arriving at the door, she saw all his dear friends, the emotion made his stomach twist. She noticed every breath on the way to where he was, the looks on her said so much about that moment ... Then she saw him, she can't bear it, Ariel tried to hold her, but Niko ran out into the halls crying so hard that her throat it started to hurt, Zach called out to her:
- NiKo come back, if you run away you will regret it forever, face it.
She didn't want to hear it, she ran so confused out of the building through the gardens that she didn't even notice the thorns of a huge rose tree tearing at her black dress, perfect for that black day.
"I couldn't see him like that," she thought. " I prefer to remember him alive."
A little while later she returned, Ariel convinced her by remembering that most of the people who had refused to say goodbye to their loved ones often repented forever. It hurt so much, describing the feeling of loss is one of the most complicated tasks. Shattered, she saw it when the cover of the freezing crypt where Shane's lifeless body was closed forever and made everything final.
She couldn't sleep at night because when she closed her eyes she saw Shane's blood on her hands again. And the tears of pain in the eyes of the man when he closed them the last time. She tried to save him from death with everything she had, even though she had a strong intuition screaming inside her that was not true, she was forced to say goodbye and And see the lifeless body of the man she loved so much.
It was revolting to refuse his requests to let him rest in peace. They did not even consider the possibility of burying him to let his memory be honored correctly. And they created strict prohibition protocols so that she could never visit him frozen body
- It's better this way Niko, you need to move on with your life, to see Shane's lifeless body again would be to suffer in vain. He won't be back this is definite. - said Zachary very unhappy.
Some strange and immense force inside her said that she couldn't accept this, that somehow she needed to hug him again and feel the warmth of his chest, feel his gigantic and so comforting embrace, his breath on neck and his voice so loved and loved, and to hear saying about the immensity of love between them and that she was the reason why he wanted so much to live. Even in the face of what her eyes and ears saw, she definitely couldn't accept that her reason for living had died.
- Goose is not dead Ariel. He can't really be dead , I feel something, I can't explain ...
- If he were alive, no one better than you could feel him - Ariel said - it's time to return with me to Xanadu to recover while on sick leave.
She refused, of course, she couldn't get away from him for a second and Beta Mountain was as close as she could be to what was left of him. But lost the argument war.
-It is not good for you to cling to his image Niko , you are alive and you need to continue to live. You are so young, you will soon find new love.
- DON'T BE RIDICULOUS ! - (she was gross to the extreme, but Ariel was prepared to deal with the suffering of her student) love does not come out, I will love him as long as I live and live to love him, you know !!!
- Dear girl, I understand your pain and so I will take care of you. Let me help you get through this.
Niko eventually relented and spent two months in Xanadu , but not all treatments and meditations in the world managed to fill the void that Shane left. As soon as possible she returned to the land, to her work, besides, it would be the best way to endure the pain, of course she didn’t do fieldwork anytime soon, the raw memories of Goose’s protective presence at the his side could be as devastating as the reality of his absence.
Everyone around her struggled to help continue living and she just wanted Goose to be alive, she even thought it would be enough for him to live, even if she couldn't touch him if she could only hear his voice again.
" - I am so grateful to have had your love Niko , for the opportunity to love you so and so much ..."
It seemed crazy to believe that Goose had flirted with death so many times in unbelievable ways in direct confrontations in facing his enemies, face to face without fear, and ended up murdered into a trap coldly planned by your enemies.
HALF YEAR BEFORE
A very exhausted S5 team finally put or feet again in the BETA mountain landing bay. The last mission was terrible and almost finished with them, all they wanted was a week of rest already promised by the commander. Everyone had lovely plans to take the break, but the most anxious were Niko and Goose. Both had a malicious and unreadable smile on their face, and only they knew the reason.
They loved each other since they met. At first it was subtle, but over the years, each day they noticed that there was nothing else to do but give in to love. Their bodies burned inside when they were close and even more when they were distant, the realistic dreams in which they could love each other were always followed by mornings in fear of assuming this truth because of the impositions and restrictions that the profession imposed: Ethics, morals, discipline, legal implications ( mainly for Goose).
But during that mission, while they were waiting for him alone in an isolated hut in some woods somewhere, they had declared themselves to each other without reservation, when in a moment of connection, hidden, both had the urge to kiss, with fervor , hunger, despair and urgency. They were very close to giving themselves entirely to each other right there, but aware of the madness it would be to consummate their love in a hurry in the middle of fulfilling their obligations, they had to part with almost breathlessness and trembling with excitement, but, they agreed that so they arrived at the house would be allowed to belong entirely to each other, even in secret.
The deal was that Niko would go straight to Gooseman's rooms , without detours. They were seething with excitement and it was hard to hide the happiness on their faces, so Doc was already looking out of the corner of his eye. If Zach had noticed, he didn't show it.
But fate had other plans.
Zach's pulse beeped. It was Commander Walsh requesting the four of them immediately in his office looking quite irritated.
-Commander! ! - everyone greeted with solemnity as soon as they entered the control room.
- Sir, we thought we would have immediate rest , if I may say, that mission was a burden for the great ones - said Zach in a really tired voice.
But the commander's mood seemed terrible.
- I need the report of that mission on my desk in two hours!
- But sir ... - Doc tried to argue - I don't know if I can think straight before a good rest .
- I said two hours, and Zach , please Give emphasis on performance ranger Gooseman with details. Dismissed, except you goose.
Everyone looked at each other, wondering at the situation. Shane lifted his shoulders and looked at Niko without saying anything. The pain of the breach of expectation in their plans was clear in his eyes, but he only consented.
- Yes sir!
- Goose, things got complicated ...
The three left the room feeling confused. Walsh's advisor noticed the guards' expressions and stepped forward.
- Guys, forgive the commander's bad mood. Senator Wheiner was here this morning with three other members of the leadership council and they were two hours arguing heatedly.
"But why discount this on us, and on Goose?" - Asked Doc.
- That was about him.
Niko was visibly concerned - But what did he do?
- I did'nt know anything wrong he did, I would know if something serious had happened - Reflected the captain scratching his chin.
- It's more about something he didn't do, mister, behind the backstage secret - completed the advisor.
- Come on - Zach summoned - We have this report for now.
Niko looked for reassuring thoughts.
“ I'm going to take a shower and wait. Whatever it is, it will end well. ”
It was 11 pm and there was no sign of Shane . Niko walked from one side to another restless , had already called the Alma, knocked on the door of his quarters and nothing.
The one that would be the best night of her life was becoming pure anguish and a hunch was haunting her senses. At that moment a knock on the door. Sigh .
The Man in Black who entered the door was not the same man who had kissed her hours before with such anticipation, but someone who was broken. He lifted his face and his anguished look said it was not all right. He was carrying luggage in his hands, and from her size Niko knew the trip would be a long one.
- I came to say goodbye !
Niko winced at the revolt in his lover's voice.
- Just say see you soon.
" Maybe I won't be back," Gooseman thought. He could not reveal that he had received an ultimatum and that if he could not bring at least one of the renegade STs he did not need to return, so either he did that or he would die trying. Wheiner 's words relayed by the commander echoed in his head " incompetent", "Inept", "incapable."
- Do you have to leave now?
- I should be on the interceptor by now, but I ran away to say goodbye to you.
- It is not fair, you deserve to rest too, and we had plans ... plans so ... important.
- They have made other plans for me dear , and I can not refuse to follow them. The price would be my life.
"It's not fair." Niko's voice was choked and a tear threatened to fall on his face.
- Please don't cry - Goose dropped the suitcase and hugged Niko very fondly. She felt an explosion of heat envelop her and that man's heart was racing with hers. He kissed her softly on the lips and she felt limp as if she were going to fall apart. When their lips parted he held her face in his hands and their eyes met
- I must go, perhaps it is better that way my angel, that we have not crossed certain limits.
- Don't say that, you know I need you more than I need oxygen. I feel that if I can no longer touch him, I will consume myself on fire. Having you in me is all I want most in life. I can't even think of anything else. - Niko had all the feelings suppressed in his voice.
The man's breathing and pulse accelerated more and they kissed intensely, sticking their bodies in a wild embrace. Niko kissed Goose behind the ear and whispered something that made him shiver. He picked her up and placed her on the bed. With one knee on the mattress he positioned himself on she just looking at her face, traced her lips with his index finger and went down towards the waist, but was interrupted by a beep. He had to answer.
- It's the commander - “ Very angry. "
- Ranger Gooseman , do I need to warn you again about the urgency of your mission? You are expected immediately at launch!
- Forgive me Niko .
She remained lying down , as she was unable to get up, panting, she just looked at the being she loved so much and let the tears flow. He turned his back, picked up the suitcase and left.
Shane never liked long goodbyes. 
- The leadership council instigated by Senator Wheiner has given an ultimatum. Either Goose fulfills his obligation to bring the other renegade ST or he will be arrested for insubordination. And if he doesn't come back soon will be considered renegade too - Walsh vented with Zachary - They closed the siege against him this time.
- The situation seems hopeless to the boy. Why can't we help you, sir?
- The reasons are varied. The risk of sending you against the ST is very great, you have to be employed in other missions, that obligation belongs to the ranger Gooseman , it is necessary to maintain secrecy in this operation, among other things.
- But is there no way to help you? In secret, sir.
- I'm helping by gathering information. I will wait until he finds one of the renegades, depending on the situation, I will send one of you to help him, although your presence may be off-putting. Understand that a hunt like this will require Goose all his brutality and focus. I'm not sure if interference will help or the other way around. With your presence it will be just more concern for him on the battlefield.
- Sir, I'd say you're underestimating us, Commander. - Zach looked a little offended.
- Zachary , those men are brutal in a way that you do not know, believe me, they 's got no mercy to their enemies. You would be considered targets and they act with a savagery that you are not used to.
- Still, sir, I don't think it's fair.
_ Let's wait, Goose must report every three days, any news and you will be notified . Captain , should I remind you of the confidentiality of this information?
- No sir.
- Captain, what we will do with Niko , she is out of her mind. - Doc grunted - You see how anxious she is.
- Where is she now?
- I asked her to get something for me in the canteen to see if I distract her with something. And to tell you the truth I'm also worried about him, 32 days have passed without news. It is not the same without that big guy.
- Calm Doc , he reports directly to the commander, if something was wrong we would already know.
- Still, what kind of solo mission is this that takes so long?
Zachary was really concerned about Gooseman , his deadline was squeezed and he couldn't reveal anything to Niko and Doc , but there was a good chance he would never come back. Surely their colleague was in great distress.
Niko arrived with an anguished countenance.
_ Here, eat this - She dropped a coffee and muffins on Doc's table with atypical impatience and sat down without properly greeting her captain.
_ Ranger, you seem to be off your axis in the last few days.
- Sorry, Captain, I'm having a bad day.
- Worried about Goose?
- I can not deny. He could at least send news to reassure us.
- You know him, he is immersed in his work and he cannot lose focus. - Zach said and thought "Even more in this case where there is so much at stake, better Niko not know the details, it would only worry you even more". - I suggest you try to do the same. We are concerned too, but the job has to be done.
How could she explain to her captain the extent of the feeling that the man's absence was causing her, that she hardly slept at night, that she had a bad feeling and that she desperately wanted him every day. It was becoming unbearable. Worse was that it had already become clear to everyone that it was more than the concern of a colleague or friend. And the anger over the whole situation, because Goose had to go alone, and so many secrets.
- Niko will forgive me for what I'm going to say now, but his behavior is proof of why we shouldn't have a loving relationship between coworkers.
Nobody expected this, not even Zachary himself who said these words believed he would be able to say it, but he did. Niko blushed instantly. In the middle of the room she looked at Doc and then at her captain. The three froze.
- As if loving was a choice? - Niko finally exploded - As if love was something we decided to feel for someone? Heavens, I didn't want to love Goose, it was inevitable!
Realizing the embarrassment of the situation, the ranger ran out and didn't come back anytime soon.
Doc bowed his head in silence. Zach sighed. The best thing would be for Goose to be back soon./p>
Walsh was helping Goose as he could, mainly by collecting information that could help locate the renegade STs . Three reports of attacks that could have been caused by STs proved to be just wasted time.
But until then the best clue had taken him to a planet much smaller than most, with a single continent sparsely populated and covered with dense forest, with some small settler cities on planet Earth.
Captain Kidd had reported some kind of suspicious activity involving heavy arms trafficking, which would likely be used to fight the natives of the planet who threatened the colony. The armed reaction against the natives was repudiated by the league of planets that intended to resolve the matter with diplomacy, but the colonists had little patience, so they wanted to resolve it their way. And hiring a bloodthirsty Supertrooper to hunt and intimidate natives seemed like a good option. And Gravestone was the right guy.
Goose arrived in the main city of the colony, which already had 50 thousand inhabitants, good for a recent settlement. Following informants' instructions, it didn't take long to confirm that his old colleague was on the planet. Now there was an effective plan to arrest him.
He stayed at a hotel and decided that the next morning he would leave early, armed and prepared to fight. After dinner he sat on the balcony to watch the stars and think for a while. His best thought was his Niko's love . It was the best feeling ever. That moment when finally, after so much hesitation, they both surrendered and assumed their feelings at the exact same moment when he wished to touch her, with so much strength and realize that they were both exactly in tune. Perfect. They completed that burning connection and it had been little more than a kiss. She loved him too and that was a gift and there was more to come. Imagining that moment kept him alive, but at the same time he took a lot of it , because it deconcentrated him from the mission. He had to be cool and calculating to win, but he just wanted to get it over with and get back into her arms.
But the architect of destiny was working on the life of our favorite ST ...
A tap on the door.
- Let me in please!
A woman's voice ...
He knew right away who she was. Unbelievable.
The open door revealed Dark Star's beautiful face .
- Goose, help me, please !!!
- Do not understand? How did you get here? And why did you come to me?
- Let's go in first.
They sat, looking into each other's eyes.
- Goose I saw you today in the city. Since you let us go on our last date Stingray is getting more and more crazy, it has become unbearable. He doesn't listen to me and only gets involved with people who are no good. I'm so tired of running away and hiding. I came to ask you. Take me with you, I'm giving myself away.
This was a real turnaround.
- Does Stingray know you are here?
- I do not think so. I was thinking for a long time about calling you and giving myself up, so when I saw you I was sure. I ran after you, but you didn't see or hear me. So I followed you here and waited until nightfall. If Ray knows he kills us. He and Gravestone are partners in this business of intimidating the natives, it is better to avoid a direct confrontation against the two Goose, I tell you they are more and more crazy.
Shane's head spun for a second. All he wished for so many years was Dark Star in his arms, and now this ... After he finally found love in NIko's arms ... What a cruel joke of fate ...
And it all got even more complicated when Dark Star suddenly kissed him on the mouth in despair.
- Now I know about my mystake , I should have stayed with you, I was a fool. Please take me with you ...
Dark Star's kiss only served to make him even more sure of his feelings for Niko , that was a big relief for Shane . He was sure the minute his old passion touched his lips that the feeling he had for her in the past was buried right there - in the past - In his new life he found happiness he never dreamed of, his place in the world and the certainty of having found the person he wanted to spend the rest of his life with. It was all clear as water in his mind.
He pushed aside Dark Star with all the delicacy he managed to provide. He was in trouble like never before, how to spare his friend from suffering? “Well, the truth is always the best way out. Thought Goose. "But I need to better assess this unexpected territory and choose the best time to reveal to the Dark Star that it was too late for both of them, that life had taken its course, without leaving her distressed and confused to the point of escaping."
To complicate matters, she tried to invest again and hug Shane , he deviated as he could.
- Let's get you another room. Tomorrow I will go to the interceptor and send a message to Commander Walsh , as soon as he negotiates his surrender on favorable terms we will. I'm not going to take you to BETA without making sure you're far from frozen right?
- S hane we better go now. Stin Gray will miss me and if we meet we will be dead. We can expect the commander's response somewhere far away.
- Are you sure he can find us here?
- Did you forget that he also has a keen nose?
Shane considered and decided to accept this plan, quickly gathered up his things and the two went down the stairs to urgently close the account of the room .
The ship was stored in a rented shed with runway outside the city, purposely close to the hotel. The two rode on Triton galloped at a high speed there, Goose felt something strange like an omen.
They arrived and quickly collected Triton in its storage compartment. The two did not talk much during the whole process, they just did everything with agility and coolness of STs , but the human side Dark Star spoke louder and when everything was ready and only needed to board she decided to hug Goose and once again kiss him.
- Goose, in all these years I always thought of you, that day of the riot it would have been enough for you to have said that you loved me and I would have stayed with you, I just needed a confirmation of your love for me that never came. Tell me ... do you love me too?
Goose didn't have time to answer. Two deadly rays struck Dark Star's back and her body quickly softened, eyes closing as Stingray , who heard everything screamed behind her:
- Miserable how you can betray me! Runt your ... Today it ends!
Stingray fired and hit them both with all the power in their eyes.
Certain that he had killed them and crazy he ran away.
He did not hear Goose's agonized cry as he touched his badge and was healed.
Dark Star was unlucky and died right there. Goose sat with her in his arms. He stroked the silky hair and cried say goodbye.
- Sorry about that...
Supertrooper tears washed the floor of the Hangar.
THE NIGHT WITHOUT STARS
The scene shocked most of the people who saw, incluíndo the other three S5.
Shane carried the lifeless body of Dark Star in his arms from his ship to the office of his commander at the base of mountain BETA and laid it carefully on the table of Walsh who saw the scene paralyzed.
- Here's what you wanted. Pleased?! Shane's voice was a sharp razor. He smoothed his friend's hair one last time and left without saying anything else. Several people behind him called him, but he didn't even notice them. At that moment, he couldn't face anyone, anyone at all.
He entered his quarters and locked the door. Niko , Doc and Zach who had followed right away heard the sounds that indicated that nothing that was inside the room would remain whole.
- I just hope he doesn't get hurt, - said Doc with a dark face.
- At least not anymore. - Niko could feel the despair in the man he loved, he didn't quite understand, but he felt that he needed time alone to heal before facing anyone again. She hoped to find a way to reach him later.
Zach thought for a moment - Let's go to the commander, maybe they'll tell us something about it.
COMMANDER'S RESERVED ROOM
Two hours later, after giving due fate to Dark Star's body .
- I must not reveal anything, it is highly confidential - commanding commander.
- This is ridiculous! How can I help you like this? - Niko outraged.
- Wait for him to tell you what he thinks is appropriate.
- Sir, he never opens up to almost anything with anyone, he will cook inside himself if I know him well. - Zachary argumentative.
- Goose must decide that. He's an adult and must have his choices. - Authoritative Walsh (only on the facade, inside corroded by pain.)
- Now he must choose? !!! - Niko disgusted.
- In that case, yes. - Mustache wrapped around his finger. ( nervous restraint) - Go, I have a mission for you three tomorrow morning.
- You can only be crazy if you think we will do it! - Three rangers in unison with deadly hatred. - We're not going anywhere until you let us help Goose to reorganize - Nik the decided.
- I have my own mission - Goose entering with a cold face.
Four pairs of eyes staring at an impassive ST.
- Where do you think you're going, soldier? - Walsh confused?
- I'm gonna kill Stingray . And I won't be back without his head. I just came back to bring Dark Star and do an extra recharge, I'm leaving now - Goose hard.
- You are not in a position to go anywhere. You're not thinking straight. You need to reflect on your next actions - Commander imposing - ( Barely managing to hide his fear).
- If you think you can stop me think again!
- You are stuck until further notice! Zach , Doc, hold him! - Order.
- Don't do that! If they touch me they will regret it for the rest of their lives ... - Goose spat his revolt- I'm leaving now! - The look of the ST was a death threat.
A monumental stalemate. A man haunted by ghosts from an entire hard past and overcome by pain while going on a blind hunt . How to save him from himself?
- Shane , listen to me - Niko strengthened by an incredible feeling: pure and unconditional love - Could you wait until you calm down - sigh - For me?
He looked her in the eye and she mentally sent everything she felt for him, which was monumental warmth. Only the others in the room saw the light that Niko sent to Shane , he just felt the bitterness subside and his judgment gradually softened. She approached him and touched his arm cautiously.
- Let me help you please . - For what Niko's gifts existed, to save people and Goose needed to be saved now, or all would be lost. The conversation continued only in their minds - “Do you know what you will do to me if you leave now? How much pain do I feel when I don't know where you are? The size of the hole in my chest when I think of losing you? "
The fortress of hatred gave way inside him and there was a tiredness that almost knocked him over on the spot, but he managed to sit in a chair and rest his head in his hands.
The others in the room managed to release the air trapped in their lungs. Doc was covered in cold sweat ... Thinking about what it would be like to try to arrest a crazed Goose? How did Commander Walsh think they would do that? I'm glad they had Niko . Uff . Doc wiped the sweat off his forehead with the back of his hands and sat down too. Secret: He was wobbly.
- Goose, you will have the time you need to rest and recover from all this. Niko , you are in charge of helping him with this, it is his new mission until further notice . It is part of your job after all in this team. - Commander relieved . - The others leave tomorrow. Dismissed.
Doc and Zach left emotionally drained.
Niko offered Goose his hand to get up. She knew him so well, knew that he was probably embarrassed that he had given in and showed weakness in front of others, knew that he wanted to disappear from the world. Then the idea came up.
- Commander, allow us to camp right here in the mountains? The fresh air will do us good, and besides, the s quarters Shane are destroyed .
Now the sky was incredibly blue. A mild morning wind tangled NIko and Goose's hair and he was finding it very funny.
- You are very disheveled. - An unthinkable smile was on his face. Two days of camping out had done them both so well.
_ Do you think this is funny? I must be looking like a broom now with that wind .
- If it is a broom it is certainly the most charming of all. - He pulled her close to him and kissed her lips with such affection that she fell apart , her body had a tendency to soften when he kissed her, damn superpower he had over her.
- Love, we have to do something to eat, if you keep kissing me like that it makes me unable to do anything else. I can't even think straight.
They hadn't been together intimately yet, because in the first two days neither of them had the emotional conditions to do so. There were many things to be said and Goose was really confused. He was very quiet on the first day and they slept embraced just like two accomplices on the first night. Niko knew that the emotional wound that Dark Star's death had caused would take time to close for everything it meant to him for a long time.
She now knew everything because on the second night they spent awake talking hugging each other, when Shane finally told her everything. Everything that mattered about him and Dark Star. Niko's favorite part was when he revealed about the certainty of the woman he wanted for the rest of his days, whoever they may be. He knew that far from Niko only hava empty. She was his best gift.
And Niko knew that Shane was her best gift in her life too , that perfectly sculpted face, that light, soft hair, the broad shoulders, the perfect proportion of her body, her legs, her neck ... the Charm, her spirit of justice, his courage, his tough temper but only on the outside. The suffering in her past, his pleasure in challenging himself and overcoming his own limits and ... ..Those green eyes... In the middle of that thought, on the morning of the third day was in the morning , why wait any longer ...
Soft kisses, intense kisses, hands sliding and touching each part of their bodies , suffocation of pleasure . In the tent in the middle of nowhere, sweet words ...
- How I want you Shane ...
- I'll be yours forever.
- You will always be in me love ...
Total delivery. No more words, just the communication of the connected bodies in a pulsating rhythm. two people as one, pleasure almost unbearable , tears of happiness, relief after much waiting, silence. Face buried in red hair smelling the neck and everything starts again. At the end lying down, holding each other, entwined, as dreamed, no ... better.
The months passed in rhythm of love, in Shane's rooms , more love in Niko's , in the ranger one. .. on a weekend getaway, on solo missions. Looks full of smiles, hands touching in secret, complicity, growls and malicious flashes in briefings when the times Doc noticed and laughed inside. Ah, love in the right doses healed Shane to the point of forgetting StinGray for a while. He even went on a search mission following some clues, but not with the blind hatred of before, he had to be careful , because NIko was waiting for him and he wanted to get back to her as soon as possible, always.
But the architect of destiny was not going to make it easy for both of them.
She had plans for that specific night ... And she needed a special outfit she had seen at a store in the city closest to BETA the other day. So Niko went there to buy it in the late afternoon. Shane was busy with his reports and they made an appointment to see each other at night.
Niko paid and left with her package , distracted in the direction of her private vehicle, but she did not reach it , hard hands caught her from behind and someone covered her mouth with a cloth filled with narcotic.
Shane did not find Niko in her rooms and she did not respond to his attempts at contact. Something in his stomach was twisting, strange, an omen. It was 8:00 at night. What...? A beep sounded on his wrist , Niko's code , but it wasn't her.
- Come to that address Runt, and don't say anything to anyone or you will find only the pieces of your bitch ...And don't try to warn anyone over the radio because I've been tracking all of your calls for a long time. This is going to be fun.p>
And now? Did he have to go alone? Why that had to happen ... I wasn't going to tell anyone, Stingray's threat was real, he knew he would kill her if he sniffed someone else ... Wrong decision, things that happen when we're desperate, and he went alone, things of the architect of destiny.
When he arrived in a large abandoned building on the outskirts of the city, twenty minutes from BETA , he entered as carefully as possible. The lighting was poor, he felt the atmosphere, sniffed the odor and confirmed the presence of Niko suspended on a wall and clothes somewhat torn . Her face was swollen, Shane guessed that they had attacked her, what he didn't see were the cracked ribs.
Niko had tried to escape as soon as she woke up earlier that afternoon, but two STs were too strong for her. Gravestone just didn't kill her because Stingray stopped him.
- Idiot, he has to smell her alive. Let's hang the bait in the right place. See if you don't screw up.
Now there was a deadly silence in the dimly lit room. Shane ran in the direction of Niko , but did not come closer because Gravestone out of the shadows and put a knife to her neck. The cold of the blade woke her, dizzy she lifted her head and saw Goose between shadows.
- Shane - she cried helplessly. Stuck in a wall with straight arms, without distinctive or any other weapon. Everything was ripped out of her.
- How long, good to see you Runt! Finally we are going to settle our accounts.
Gooseman thought about the desperation of the situation, but remained cool. Soon Stingray came out of the shadows laughing.
- Now I have you where I want Runt , it's time for the reckoning. You stole my wife and I stole yours. Why let her die for their cause is not their worm?
Goose had no words, just breathed profoundly wondering how he would react to kill them both, but as much as he thought he saw no way out, if he attacked Stingray, Gravestone would cut Niko's neck . She was hurt and could not help even with his powers psychic, was weak and sore and not could see so well with swollen eyes and dizziness. And there was no one else.
- Oh boy! I got you , you weak. - Cold and crazy Stingray - you can think all you want , but it's over. You have to choose between your life and hers.
_ Let her go, we will solve only between us in a fair fight. - Shane tried to keep the coldness in his voice.
- You lost! Do what I say, I'm looking forward to it! Coward !! throw their weapons now, all of them . And the distinctive also! Don't think I'm stupid kid !? I kill her first and you later.
Goose took out his pistols and threw them away. He had an idea. He had a small chance to try to save Niko.
He took out his badge and held it out to Stingray ./p>
- Come and get it.
- Throw it to me.
- No! You come here catch.
Stingray suspiciously approached the Goose's hand and when took the badge the ranger grabbed his hand and the hurled against a wall at the same time, in a split second , threw a knife he had in his boot hitting the arm Gravestone .< Unfortunately, Stingray managed to get the badge.
Everything Niko watched next came back in her nightmares for a long time.
When Gravestone was hit, he released the knife he held around her neck.. Goose rushed to Niko and cut the rope from the first arm with the Gravestone's knife he picked up from the floor. But it had to be very fast, two seconds, as the STs recover quickly.
It wasn't as fast as it needed to be. Stingray hit Gooseman with one of his rays before he could release Niko's other arm, Stunned, he was unable to defend himself when Gravestone thrust the knife deep into his guts three times, with much violence to destroy his internal organs, with all the hatred for the Runt who dared to hunt down his peers. The cry of pain rent the soul Niko .
Contorted with the pain and the impact , Shane leaned forward and dropped to his knees taking hands on the bloody wound , then Gravestone stuck the knife in Goose's back at the height of the kidneys and he fell with his face to the ground.
- Damn bounty hunter! - Satisfied Gravestone .
- Give me a little to me, Gravestone ! - Stringray approached and they both kicked the Runt so hard that Niko , unable to let go of the arm held in the top that was firmly tied, could hear the sound of ribs breaking and between a last groan suffocated by pain and blood.
And another sound ... sirens ... very close and running steps ... And voices - This way! They looked like many, and were soldiers of the local police force. They could hear, but not see, because they were in another hallway in the huge building.
_ Police - Gravestone scared. - come on, there are many.
- And the bitch, aren't we going to kill her?
_ Another day, won't we deprive she of watching the Runt bleed to death? Never, That's the best part.
Then they ran away laughing.
Then Niko screamed! She was low at first because of the pain in her broken ribs, but she faced it to scream as loudly as possible.
_ Here !! Help !!! Please...
In the twenty-five seconds it took for the police to arrive, Niko saw a river of blood forming under Shane . Stingray took the badges with him ...
Local police officer Barth Kunning released Niko quickly, twenty guards left after the bandits. A beggar who slept at the buildig felt sorry for the girl and had warned the local police.
- Let's rotate his body, he's drowning in his own blood ! - Barth said chilled by the scene - With all care not to increase the bleeding.
Two men did and Niko held his head in his lap.
- Help is coming, seven minutes sir.
- He doesn't have that time. - Said the policeman. - The victim is bleeding a lot. Vital organs were affected.
Barth took off his uniform jacket and handed it to Niko .
- Clean the man's face,To help he breathe . Are you alright?
- No ... - tears streaming down like waterfalls.
_ We have to stop the bleeding ...
- We have to get him to Beta - With pain in his throat from crying Niko managed to say.
- The hospital is much closer, girl. From here to BETA it's twenty minutes, maybe fifteen.
- It's his only chance..
" What chances?" Bart thought with regret "He was supposed to be dead, I never saw that before, this guy is abnormal", He didn't know that Goose had biodefenses , but without the badge, with the strength of the injuries the chances were minimal.
- Please - Niko pleaded - Lend your communicator. - She connected with her emergency code directly with Walsh .
- Shane is dying, prepare a load and a badge for him, we will be there in minutes.
For the remaining four minutes until help came, Niko looked at Shane in her lap, with the hair stained with blood He was struggling to try to breathe with his lungs pierced by his broken ribs and shivering with the cold. talking was impossible and then she found him in his thoughts.
“ I'm not going to go through this, Niko . Forgive me , I was a fool. it's over now.I was defeated " Tears of pain streamed down Shane's face.
" No, I will take you to BETA, We will help you."
“ Listen ” He felt his conscience was lost because there was no more blood to oxygenate his brain, “ - I am so happy to have had your love Niko , for the opportunity to love you so much ...”
Niko winced when his conscience was gone. He was unconscious , but still alive.
The arrival in BETA was as fast as possible. A chill cut Niko's spine . Something happened. She felt cold and took a deep breath with the sensation she experienced, it couldn't be . " Shane , don't go now"
Walsh was at the door with a loaded badge. Seeing Goose on the stretcher he shuddered, your son looking very pale.
When the Comander position the badge on the shirt darkened by his son's blood and touched him the familiar light appeared, but he did not recover. He tried again and waited. Nothing. With a desperate countenance, he looked at Qball beside him and confused, asked:
- Because it does not work?
QBall shook his head desolately as he examined the ranger's pulse on the stretcher.
- Why biodefenses can only be activated if he is alive my friend. It's late now. I'm sorry.
Walsh embraced Gooseman and cried begged.
- My son don't do this to me !!
Niko didn't see any of that. She had passed out when she shared with Shane , due to the psychic connection that established between them, the agony of her death .
Many hours later, Niko slowly woke up. Fresh flowers beside the bed., wind swinging the curtains open, the scent of someone well-known and loved and ... hospital. The memories fell with the weight of a cannonball on his head.
She tried to sit up , but the dizziness didn't let up.
- Shane ?
The face that appeared in front of him was Ariel's with a welcoming and relieved smile on her face.
- Hi dear, I'm glad you woke up.
- Where is he?
- He is resting now.
- Where is he? Say it was just a nightmare. Please!
At that time Zachary and Doc who had recently arrived from their last mission outside the galaxy entered the door. It was on the crying face of the crying Hartford that Niko got the answer to his question.
- Doc , where's Goose?
- He, he ... - Doc started to cry again and left the room. Ariel went after him in the hall.
- Hi ranger Niko . It's good to see you - Zach's voice was sad and sad - Goose is gone, unfortunately because of the severity of his injuries, his biodefenses only delayed his death. We are so sorry! Commander Walsh even got sick and had to leave on sick leave. Shane's body is already frozen but, we are waiting for you to retrieve to make a farewell ceremony. The doctor thought it best for you to get some sleep to improve your injuries, emotional distress could delay your recovery. It's been two days today.
- No ! - She cried - no ! No!
- Ariel came back and hugged his Niko , letting her lean her head against her chest that ended up drenched in tears.
- It hurts so much Ariel, I can't stand this pain, I need it, I need to hug it, please say it's a bad dream.
The captain left with teary eyes and went to meet Doc in the hall.
- Dude it hurts - said the hacker- I didn't think losing our friend would be so painful.
Zach patted his friend on the shoulder.
- Come on, we have to prepare a farewell for Goose. The commander is in no condition.
"The pain will pass my child, it will pass," Ariel said consolingly.
But the pain never passed. It just became bearable while time was time and it took 727 miserable days of Niko's life away.
This would be three sleepless nights with nightmares about Goose calling out to her from somewhere foggy. " Come on, I'm waiting for you ."
Niko was suspicious that this had something to do with the anniversary of his death which would be the next day that was stirring his emotions again. She jumped out of bed in a bad mood , didn't drink coffee and went straight to the bottom of the crowded elevator at the base. Two techniques entered chatting casually and Niko accidentally overheard their conversation.
- Huh, remember what day is tomorrow? Said a young, tall, slender brunette in a uniform from the takeoff control room.
- Day of receiving the salary. - replied the colleague in the same uniform.
- Also, tomorrow it is two years since Archer Gooseman was murdered. - Do you remember him ?
- How to forget! I think he was the best-designed man in the universe. What a waste.
- I had a huge crush on those green eyes, and broad shoulders, hmmm .
- Who didn't? But everyone knew that he only had eyes for the ranger Niko . sad thing, I heard that she can't forget about him !
- How to forget someone like him and who loved her, I didn't want to be in her place.
_ Oh my friend, but life has to Continue...
At that time the elevator stopped and Niko snorted past the two and moved quickly down the hall, she didn't want anyone to see her teary eyes.
Mainly because she heard every day that she should move on with my life and leave the memories behind, start my life over. Bullshit! She had no way of forgetting her love for Goose. Apparently the day would be long because it had started bad early.
AT THE S5 OFFICE
" Niko , just in time," said Doc. "Hey, don't forget to send your last report to Commander Walsh , he's on vacation today and wants to read this before he leaves."
True, she had forgotten that . She also recalled that he would have to go to the commander immediately to request for the thousandth time, an authorization to visit Shane's body in the criocrypt, which has always been vehemently denied. But this time she was going to stomp her foot. Then she looked at her table and saw a bouquet of red flowers.
- What the hell are these Docs?
- Ah, so Sergeant Brooke sent it to you.
Niko remembered the guy who had insisted on asking her out since Doc had introduced them two months ago. She took the flowers and tossed in the trash.
- Niko ! No. ” Doc lamented.
- I don't want them and I don't want to talk to any man, you know Wallie !
- Hey , don't take your anger out on me, I just think you're very alone, going out with someone would do you good.
Again the tears wanted to sprout, but she caught herself, turned on her heels and walked toward the room Walsh . It seemed that everyone was always trying to "help" her forget her Goose : Ariel, Zachary , Zoz o , Waldo, all looking for someone to present to her to replace him. This irritated her and this irritation caused the always polite galaxy ranger officer , when she did not find her commander's attendant at her post, to enter her superior's office unannounced in time to hear a voice coming from his personal communicator. :
- " Come on, I'm waiting for you ."
- Tomorrow I'll be there with you . Joe out - Walsh replied before noticing Niko's presence .
When he raised his head and looked her in the eye, he realized that she had heard too much and tried to disguise it.
- Ranger, how absurd this is! Entering my office without being announced!
Walsh didn't know, but the architect of fate managed everything so that Niko could be there at that hour and hear the unmistakable voice for her.
- It was Shane's voice !
- Niko you are crazy!
- I know what I heard! Her voice sounded shaky.
- Niko , he died two years ago, don't say nonsense, do you know how much blood he lost ? how could he be alive ?
- I was there! And I still see his blood on my hands when I close my eyes. Do you really think I could confuse his voice? I hear it every day in my heart. What are you hiding? - Niko's heart accelerated to the point of exploding.
She felt a strange weakness and everything suddenly darkened.
The base's physician said with a hard expression.
- Nervous exhaustion from sleepless nights, poor diet and emotional lack of control, miss. I realize that you have been careless with your health lately huh. - The doctor warned the patient in a severe tone. - You will have three days at home and palliative sleep medications. If it doesn't, we'll have to do a deeper treatment, miss. Take the recipe here and come back in a week.
Niko left the doctor's office and turned the aisle and threw the prescription in the trash. "The doctor who can help me is another," he thought. And he went to knock on the door of his fellow hacker.
- What can I do to help a beautiful maiden this lovely Saturday morning? He joked.
- Break into the base commander's private communication system and get me the address of a call made yesterday morning.
- Obviously my lady is crazy!
- I will be crazy if I have to do this alone. Will you help me or not?
- And what is the purpose of that?
- I'm going on a hunt.
- What animal are we hunting here?
- Bird. A big bird.
- You will tell me the details or I will have to guess everything myself.
- It's confidential - Niko knew that if he told Doc what she thought he would find at that address,he was going to say it was crazy. Even she thought she could really be crazy.
- Can you just trust me and help me Doc ?
_ There is a lot at stake to come out blind. I help with the condition that you tell me the truth.
Niko got up and left - Thanks for nothing Wallie . I'll get my way. See you when I get back ... if I get back.
Doc ran over to her and touched her shoulder.
- Calm down, young lady, if you think I'm going to let you throw yourself into the fire alone , you 're wrong. But I hope I don't regret it. There is one more condition ...
- Which one?
"No more calling me Wallie , do you hear?"
- Okay Wallie - Nico is cute .
Niko couldn't tell anyone. It was her secret, but inside his heart something woke up. So long telling sí same as that needed to have Shane back and seeing so many factors and people apontand it to the improbability of it, in front of her as a wall, she still believed it was possible and now came a light.
And prepared for an unknown and hopeful journey, she set out to find him with her own hands.
- Niko , Niko , Niko , you need to tell me what's going on with you today. - Doc commented on the flight to the destination of the secret mission when the two had sent themselves - I mean, after two years of sadness there is a different glow in your eyes. You need to tell me about it.
" It is hope." She thought but said nothing, just smirked. Doc continued on his mission to uncover the truth:
- Niko , Niko , I think I deserve you to tell me what we are going to dig and that is so well buried. There were so many layers of encryption protecting this information that I almost ripped my diploma and became a baker. I only got the coordinates and nothing else.
- It should be enough.
- You now sounded like Goose ... Sorry .
- It's okay to talk about him, Doc.
- I know Niko , it's for me. Remembering it still hurts, you know?
- Don't talk to me, don't talk to me.
- It must be something big that the Commander is hiding huh - Said Doc .
“ If that's what I think, it's as big as the sun . “ Niko thought about it and said.
- I have no idea, but I hope to find what I'm looking for .
- And this planet couldn't be farther, almost nobody goes through these routes.
They arrived at last in one of the planet 's farthest from the league of planets. Most continents were unexplored, inhabited only by natives with little cognitive evolution, but with fauna and flora very similar to those on Earth. The records that the rangers found had m small colony 's founded s by Earth's pioneers who sought precisely isolate to live life as simple as possible. Most of the occupied territory was used for extensive cattle raising.
- Really an isolated paradise huh Niko .
The rangers hid the ship away two kilometers of the final coordinates only for safety and followed the rest with Mel and Voyager . The place was beautiful, a cattle ranch lost sight. Doc calculated that as far as the eye could see he counted around 5000 heads of first- class cattle .
- It must be here that the commander invests all his salary, huh Niko .
- Admitting that the cattle belong to him.
It was a summer afternoon and on the horizon and the winds of a storm that threatened to approach, messed up all of Niko's hair . " ... the most adorable of all " she remembered a morning lost in the past and a lump appeared in her throat.
They came to a wooden house all surrounded by balconies. Behind her was a large stable with the most beautiful shiny black - haired horses that Niko had ever seen. No sign of mechanical vehicles of any kind. Nobody in sight.
- What we do? Do we ring the bell then? - Doc joked with one foot on the stone floor of the porch.
- Not one more step. Invaders take bullet !! - A tall man armed with a huge gun came out of nowhere and fixed his eyes on Doc.
Niko who saw him arrive like lightning coming out of the house froze.
Nothing in the universe could have prepared her for that moment .
Tall, broad shoulders, with long braided blond hair and a three-day beard, dressed in rustic robes under a poncho, his muscular arms, knife in his boot ...
And Yes, yes, yes! The green eyes were there, too. And yes the voice was his. And his gaze found Niko with a curious expression.
Doc opened his mouth to the point of swallowing a bronto bear . In Niko's chest, his heart beat as if an entire troop of wild horses trotted over him, feeling a mixture of genuine hope and fear of being a dream.
_ Who are you and what do you want here ?
- My Gooseman ! Dude, is that really you?
_ Nico and Doc ? how did you get here?? - A commander Walsh emerged from inside the house in cowboy robes. He got scared by the news.
- Who is Gooseman ? - The tall man looked confused and very annoyed by the presence of strangers.
" Nobody important, let's go in," stuttered a shaky commander. - Son, don't you have to collect the horses? The storm is near. Come on, I'll settle the matter here.
- Dad, do you know who these people are? - He snarled.
- Yes, there is no danger. Yes, go. God knows you would die if one of your horses was injured in the storm, right ?
So he went. Niko wanted him to stay. But there was a commander to skin now.
- Let's talk inside - Walsh distressed.
Niko looked to Doc and he was still with his mouth open in shock . They entered the home, which was cozy, with little furniture, Sat on handmade wooden chairs and faced the commander with lightning in the eyes.
_ What does Walsh have to tell us ? Don't tell lies, cause I'll know - Niko threatening.
- Nothing, only that this is my son, who takes care of my cattle farm and that I'm here to spend time with him while I can.
- I told you not to lie to me - Niko's eyes started to turn violet.
- There is no lie in that. ( and there really wasn't)
- Answer! Is he Shane Gooseman ? I know it is.
Walsh released his breath. There was no point in lying to Niko , she had ways of knowing the truth. . . He was caught.
- Niko , when Goose arrived at BETA dead I just went crazy. You were unconscious and didn't see what happened next. Only QBall and the medical team knew about it. The doctor took him to the operating room and performed a resuscitation procedure. It was worth a try. He struggled and tried resuscitation several times with everything he had. By some stroke of luck ( or providence) he returned. When Goose's pulse came back we used the badge and it worked. He was fine again.
- But then what? - Niko was confused. - I don't understand?
- Something very unexpected happened. He had sequelae from the prolonged lack of oxygen.
Niko put his hand over his mouth - Oh no! But couldn't his biodefenses solve this?
- Apparently not. - Walsh had an emotion in his voice that Niko and Doc were not used to seeing in their commander, after all they did not even suspect that Gooseman was his son.
- His memory has been erased . The theory Qball is that s biodefesas were unable to revive the nerve cells that have died from lack of oxygen, then they built new ones. He said that we were lucky that he did not lose the memory of the functional parts, or he could have become unable to speak and walk. You know that the human brain remains a mystery even after centuries of study, we don't know exactly how the memory process works. A nightmare isn't it?
Doc and Niko shuddered at the idea .
- I don't even want to think about it. - Niko's hands were cold with the story.
- Worse than dying isn't it? Luckily, apparently, only part of the brain was affected.
- Could it be post-traumatic amnesia? - Speculative Niko - The situation he faced with those two monsters, they put him in a position where he felt unable to face, for someone with his pride this can be terrible.
- And the way they threatened Niko's life to hit him and they still managed to escape and he thought he would die and could no longer protect her. I imagine the anguish he felt. - Doc thought.
- These are all possible, but amnesia, mental confusion and the temporary physical uncontrolled were one fat the with which we had to deal with. He was in a very vulnerable position at the time .
- And why didn't you tell us about it, we could help him .
- Qball thinks it is impossible to restore these memories and without them how he could face the other STs again , the disadvantage would be immense. Even knowing the weakness of each of them, Goose failed to win. The leadership council never had any tolerance for it, because it would now. Do you think they would stop demanding results? And if we tried to return the memory to him in any way, the first thing he would do would be to chase them to death.
- Why forge his death? What that darkness was, it still doesn't make sense to me - Doc , said.
- It is difficult to explain without telling about a secret , a very personal secret. - Walsh felt it was time to let off steam after all - Goose is really my son.
The two rangers looked at each other. - Sorry?
- At the time it seemed like a trivial use to give up my DNA as a base to create a super soldier after all. I was young and I was very proud of my physical abilities and intelligence, well, it seems that Goose inherited this from me, right?
Doc smiled - That you can not deny it .
- As he grew up I knew what love for a son was, every day he proved the value of his self, more I was proud of him and me, when he stood out for his skills it was as if I stood out, the his victory were my victories. But that same pride in creating the perfect soldier prevented me from seeing the harm I was doing to my son. I was always strict with him, because it was my military background which I always thought was the center of my life.
- I do not believe that you had the courage to keep your own son in hell , created to be a weapon, without any affective bond. It looks so cold.
- Today I know that - A sigh from the old man indicated his late regret. -I was a cold person , cold and objective. It was Gooseman and his incredible resilience that slowly softened my heart. But my pride was greater than anything. I wanted to prove to the world the strength of my military leadership. My damned pride in my professional project was beyond any feeling of family.
- This is proven by the way you allowed Shane to have to accept ridiculous impositions of hunting other supertroopers and being treated like an object. Everything to keep your position.
- I regret more than once for using my DNA as a base to create Gooseman , while he was growing my heart was taken by a feeling that I didn't even know existed. I didn't expect to get attached so much. I have always been against sentimentality. Today I know I was a coward.
- Don't even tell me ! !! Niko spat.
When he became a Galaxy Ranger I thought that everything would be resolved, but Wolf Den's past would never fail to haunt us both. The proof of this was the savagery and hatred of the other STs against him that day. Niko they do not measure consequences and do not know what pity.
- I felt it on my skin. They don't even seem to have a soul.
- So I decided to take advantage of what happened. When I believed he died I thought I would never have the chance to have my son by my side again. So much went through my head. Do you have any idea what remorse can do to a man's head? I blamed myself for everything. I went crazy. When he returned I decided that I had to do something to change all that. So at that moment it seemed right to take him away and take advantage of the lack of memory to give him a new life, far from it all. It seemed like the perfect opportunity to fix everything.
- Didn't you think at any moment of the suffering that his death would cause in all of us? Commander, I wished to die several times because I thought I could no longer stand the lack of him. - Niko's voice had a pain that didn't go unnoticed.
- I had no way of knowing how much you really loved him.
- Well know that I would have given my life for him if I could.
- You didn't even have an official relationship. As far as I knew you only had some kind of sexual attraction. I figured you could soon start your life with someone else. Is young and so beautiful.
Doc just listened.
- Actually, I wasn't thinking straight that day. I reacted impulsively and now it's done. For the past two years, Goose has lived on this farm and thinks he was born here. I told him that he had an accident in a cattle boom.
- And he believed? - Doc puzzled.
- What could he do? He had to believe, there was no alternative . If he doubted my word he certainly never showed it. Qball helped me to forge some photos and documents to make everything more convincing.
Niko then got up from his chair - That's why he wouldn't let me visit his body. He was not there.
- We actually made a replica of his body to deceive everyone. - Walsh said looking embarrassed.
_ What madness! Doc shouted.
- Sometimes it seems crazy to me too . - Walsh looked down at his hands sadly. - But that's how it happened . . Forgive me .
Niko , being a sensitive being knew, even though she was still young, how fragile a human being can be in her emotions and create a facade of strength and austerity, many people are willing to sacrifice their families to maintain their positions of power. And how emotions often make us blind, I just didn’t imagine it from its commander.
- On second thought, I now remember that you have been away many times in the past two years.
- Yes, since I had a second chance I decided to spend as much time as possible with my son. We are much closer now than we have ever been and I confess that they are the best moments of my life.
- All right, but now we need fix the things. Tell him everything and go home right ? - Said Doc excitedly.
- I wish it were that simple - Commander apprehensive. - I've had moments when I thought of going back, but it 's not so simple now. How can I explain everything, I committed a crime. Goose has been presumed dead and it will take a lawsuit for him to recover the few rights he had . I will be removed from my position and I cannot guarantee what his fate will be. And without memory everything will be more complicated.
- I'm pretty sure Ariel can help with that - Niko hopefully.
- But there is another important reason. Isn't the life he leads now better for him after all? He seems to be happy, he doesn't remember Wolf Den 's hatred , he likes to take care of the cattle and seems to like his breeding very much. Is the truth worth more than his happiness? I mean, after all Niko , do you want him back to YOU or do you want him to be okay?
Here's something to think about.
- You can do as you like, show the truth, go ahead. But don't forget , your decision will determine his future.
- Gooseman farmer? - Doc scratched his head.
At that moment Goose came in with an open smile, a white tank top, long hair ruffled by the wind. Behind him came a dog by the huge panting for the race, he caressed the head of the animal - Easy Alma.
- Father, the storm has arrived, your friends will have to spend the night. I've already save your horses, man, they are incredible, I wanted to know why they called me Goose. - He smiled again looking at Niko with a bright look that completely baffled her. A warmth of happiness ran through her body and she smiled as she hadn't done in two years.
A SWAN IN PARADISE
Alma saw Niko and ran to her, placing both paws on the shoulders of the beautiful visitor who almost knocked her over.
- Hey, you are a sweet !!
- Alma here ! - Goose ordered.
"Okay, well, I love dogs," Niko said , laughing at the tickle when the wild animal licked his face.
- Alma , come on girl, together. - She obeyed, sat next to the owner and looked at him with all her canine devotion. - Now go over there and watch the perimeter. - The animal obeyed and went to the balcony to stand guard.
- She is very smart. - Goose proud.
Goose's warm, firm voice with the mascot sent a warm shiver through Niko's body . My God, how she wanted to hug him and kiss him. He had never looked so beautiful, his shoulders exposed were tanned, his hair below his shoulder looked even lighter than before. Tight trousers and lightweight riding boots that went almost to the knee and the leather bow tied around his waist made him look like a vision. Niko flushed with embarrassment when she let out an audible sigh and the three men looked at her in amazement. Goose smirked and looked at Walsh .
- Aren't you going to introduce me for your visits?
- AH ... - The commander was taken aback because I had not thought of an excuse yet.
Niko was quicker, took two steps forward and reached out to greet the man.
- Nice to meet you, I'm ranger Niko and here my colleague Hartford.
Touching his hand proved insane. The energy that Shane emanated was as good as a spring morning with a breeze and the scent of flowers.
- Nice to meet you, I'm Swan .
Doc can't help but laugh.
- Seriously commander? How much creativity, you really like farm birds !!!
- Shut up Hartford !! The commander sputtered with rage.
- Commander? - Interrogative goose .
- Son, why don't you take the creak Niko into the kitchen and introduce her to Mrs. Fitzgerald while I have a private chat here with Wallie .
Doc felt the provocation.
The older man took the ranger Hartford by the shoulder very hard and dragged him into a private room.
That's when Niko realized he was still holding Goose's hand. She released quickly and blushed. He just smiled enigmatic.
Goose made a gentleman gesture, leaning over and pointing the direction of the kitchen to her.
She walked and felt that he was following her very closely.
In the large kitchen with a wood stove and a huge hand-carved wooden table was possibly the cutest old lady in the universe, short, half hunched and with a wrinkled face. Stirring in the pots and singing.
- Suith, I have someone to introduce you to.
The old woman turned and faced Niko with a serious face. She looked at the youg woman from top to bottom. Don't said nothing and went closer until he took her hand, looking straight into the eyes, she shot.
"If you hurt my Philip's heart, I'll personally kick you to hell, do you hear, young lady?"
- Suith ! - Goose protested - It's not what you're thinking.
- I have not taken care of you with all my affection since that crazy Joe brought you here all lost to let you fall into the hands of any ... !
- Nice to meet you Suith - Niko soft and gentle as always.
- Mrs. Fitzgerald for you.
And turning to "Philip " she opened a huge smile.
- Are you hungry my boy? I'm preparing your favorite food, would you like a bread with butter while you wait?
- I'm fine Suith, I can wait.
- I know, you're ashamed because of the girl. - looking at Niko - This one eats for two.
"You don't want to embarrass me in front of the girl?"
- If you brought her to your house then I bet you already lost your shame with her a long time ago. - Goose went very red.
Niko laughing inside - I'm a friend of his father.
- What ?? Did that old bastard Joe now go out with girls who may be old enough to be his daughter?
- Suith ! Just arrange two rooms for visits yes.
Wanting to get out of that embarrassment, Goose found an excuse.
- The storm has arrived, I will check the horses. - left quickly through the back door.
Outside, scary rays cut across the night sky and Niko worried.
- He should not go out in this weather, it's dangerous .
- Ah, - the old woman sighed - He is not afraid of anything. You are always taking risks. But he's the strongest man I've ever met, stubborn, impatient. But it is impossible not to love him.
- Ah, so he hasn't changed anything! - Niko sighed.
- Sorry? - Suith suspicious .
- What's his full name?
- Philip Swan . My husband Linz and I have taken care of him since Joe brought him from the hospital a year and ten months ago. The old man's vacation ended and he had to go back to his secret work, poor Philip, he was weak and lost in the world. Sad thing, the oxen ran over him .
- Oh really? - pretended niko - Tell me more.
- You think I'm going to be gossiping about my boss's life! Here, put the dishes on the table.
The ranger complied.
- If you want to know about his life, you should ask him yourself, but good luck, he doesn't talk much.
- Typical Goose !!
- What? You're a little crazy girl.
Niko just smiled hopefully. The Goose he loved was very much alive.
- Doc , by hell, if you screw up like that I swear ...
- What are you going to do, sir? I don't know if you noticed that it is in our hands now?
- You wouldn't dare to blackmail me Hartford.
- I don't know if I like the idea of helping to maintain this farce. Goose is my friend and I don't think it's fair to lie to him like that.I vote to tell the truth right away and let him decide what he wants to do. I'm tired of seeing he being manipulated by unscrupulous people.
- Doc , don't you understand what is at stake here?
- What I can see is that you think you own the guy. You know, I'm sick of it, you don't understand that Gooseman was like a brother to me! - At that time Doc's voice broke. - We went through a lot together, shoulder to shoulder - His eyes started to water and the ranger used the backs of his hands to keep the tears from flowing - He was the most arrogant , convinced , impatient , exhibitionist guy .. lonely .. reliable partner, the my best friend. ..look, you don't know what I suffered when I thought he was dead. I don't show sadness like most people, but I was broken inside as if part of me was gone forever.
Doc , always cheerful, always with a joke to take the weight of the worst situations, sat with his face in his hands and cried, wept with sadness for the past and joy for the present.
At that time Walsh swallowed a hard tear.
- Sorry, sorry, I did n't know ... that you were so connected.
- My people know what it's like to be owned by someone ...
This cut the commander's core.
- Just give us a break, I beg you, let Niko evaluate Gooseman , if she testifies that he is happy, that he lives much better here, why ruin everything? Think about it Doc , I made mistakes in the past, I can't make mistakes again. At the moment I am the only person in the world that Goose trusts. Breaking this trust can let him dese s perado. He will have no one to trust, if not even Ariel can restore his memory and consider me a traitor he can even go crazy. Let Niko try to win his trust again and then we'll see what to do.
- She was really smart to introduce herself. So you can establish trust. I think I'm going to BETA tomorrow. So I don't have to tell lies to Swan until you fix this shit.
- Ranger Walter Hartford! Control your language! I am your commander !
Doc could be a quiet man. But he was ethical and very, very smart.
- That could change. - the ice in that man's voice was something to fear.
The next morning, very early the interceptor left for BETA taking three crew members: two steel horses that talk too much and a man loyal to his friends. Someone who knew how to plan very well.
-------------------------------------------------- -------------------------------------------------- -----------------
The next morning only Walsh and Niko were at the breakfast table. The day dawned dazzling, the place was so beautiful with those immense green fields, woods in the distance that promised the freshness of the shade after a ride, the cool breeze, the silence splashed by the singing of birds, the whinny of the horses. The house is huge and has a high ceiling made from whole tree trunks. The smell of fresh coffee spread through the kitchen.
- I must say coman ... I mean, Joe that I didn't sleep as well in years " after I managed to fall asleep " - thought Niko . In fact, the first two hours she had spent imagining Goose invading her room and devouring her entire body, and another hour controlling herself not to go to his room to devour him.
- The air here is very pleasant all the time - Walsh in a good mood.
Niko took a thermos and was going to help himself to coffee when the old housekeeper warned.
- Don't mess with it, it's Philip's.
- Does he have special coffee? don't you think you spoil him too much ? - Niko was surprised.
- If you want to take it, go ahead. But it is worse than asphalt mud.
“ Typical goose ” this time Niko just thought - By the way, where is he?
- He left early with Linz to manage the cattle. But it must be coming soon. We are going to the city today and he is excited. We almost never left the farm. He's going to deliver a troop of horses he sold and I have business to do. - Walsh spoke between a pancake bite.
- Joe, you look like someone else, so much more ... human, sitting here in that cowboy outfit, relaxed eating a pancake, I swear I never saw you wearing a hat.
- Yes Niko , this is my favorite, Goose bought it for me when he sold his first troop of horses. When I'm here I feel like I'm in paradise. Me and my son, free in paradise - a shadow covered the man's eyes.
Niko felt a lump in his throat, and a strange smell was approaching, horrible.
Goose with the same clothing and poncho previous day , stinking cattle feces. He grabbed a piece of cake.
- Phil, Please, you can't come in through the other door? you stink! - Suith hit him with a cloth - go take a shower.
- Sorry, I'm really hungry. - He ran towards the bathroom.
- The times I swear this guy did not have a mother to teach you manners. - The old woman grumbled
Niko and the man in the hat looked at each other.
Half an hour later a new man appeared on the farmhouse's porch.
Beard well done, hair well tied, perfumed, a black leather hat with braided details with a large brim, black jacket open in front showing a plain dark blue shirt, heavy boots with spurs, just a holster with a pistol and - "perdition" - Niko thought when he saw ... the orange bandana tied around his neck.
_ If everyone is ready we can go - Goose warned. And then he saw Niko and froze for a second. She was stunning in jeans and a flannel shirt with delicate flowers, the neckline half open and a look that overshadowed the rest of the universe. What Shane didn't know was that the sparkle in her eyes was caused by the gratitude to see him alive again in front of her. Niko was in paradise and no one was going to get her out of there.
Before riding Goose's private biological horses. He made the introductions :
- This is Kidd , the oldest and tame, is from old Joe. - Goose winked at his father.
- Hey, who's old here. - outraged mustache.
- Here we have Valente, the most stubborn, I go with him.
- And this is Iron, my favorite and most reliable, is your lady. - Shane offered him to Niko his best horse, his favorite, because he was the most reliable ...
The most reliable horse was beautiful, an incredible black horse, huge and very calm. She climbed into the cell and hugged him, smoothing his mane - Hi boy, let's be friends, isn't it.
Then the caravan made up of four people including Linz left with a troop of twenty purebred black steeds for a three-day trip through the most beautiful countryside Niko has ever seen. When they passed the gate she realized that the day before she hadn't noticed the name of the farm, she looked at the sign and the name gave her the creeps ...
In large letters it was written: PARADISE.
FROM PARADISE TO HELL
The trip to the city where Goose had to deliver the horses was what Niko called some of the best days of his life.
The horses were formidable, the scenery stunning. And Shane was always in a great mood. He didn't speak much, but he had a calm face. They spent the first night at a friends farm where they had barbecue and music at night. When “Philip” asked a girl to dance, Niko boiled like a kettle. But she soon realized that he danced with all the girls without paying any special attention to any. The ranger refused the offer from several men and boys who invited her. Until finally he invited her.
- Will you dance with me, lady?
- Only if you call me Niko .
- Will you dance with me, lady Niko?
Then the sky opened.
Rolling in your man's arms again. The face on your chest. His body heat, his breath in her ear.
- You dance well , and you're beautiful too.
" Can we stay here forever ?" Niko seemed to be floating.
The second night they camped under the stars. Linz tells u stories of cowboys and the two eldest slept early . Niko and Goose sat around the fire.
- Your father told me about your amnesia. How is it not to have a past?
- You don't talk much.
- Aren't you curious to remember your life before the accident?
- If it's like old Joe told me, it wasn't much different now.
It seemed very funny Goose referring to the commander with old Joe with all that intimacy. He seemed to trust his father and the ranger could feel it, breaking that trust could be something that would break him too.
_ And your mother?
- She died when I was born. I only have a few pictures of her.
The red-haired woman looked away and saw the field covered with fireflies.
- Look , it looks like the floor is full of stars - Niko smiling.
- Yes. - Goose sighing.
-You never thought about traveling among the stars?
-Yes, many times, but I can't even talk about it near the old man, he doesn't even want me to get too far from the farm. Did you travel a lot?
- A lot - Niko said - " and with you too " - she thought.
- One day I will go. I don't intend to spend the rest of my life here in this field, there must be more to life than just ... let it go. - Where do you know my father from?
Lying was out of the question ...
- From work. Do you know your father's work?
- He told me he's a secret agent for an interplanetary agency and he ca n't talk about it. And that you are also here to investigate something confidential.
- And you didn't question that?
- Girl, in my opinion a person has the right to keep his secrets if he wants to.
Niko looked at Goose and saw the reflection of the fire flickering in his enigmatic green eyes.
- I will watch the horses, there are many wolves around here, good night girl.
The rest of the trip went without incident, just a pleasant journey in which , two people who had already given herself completely to each other needed to meet again. And they stayed close, even in silence with the energy of their bodies they talked. The attunement between them was clear, and for several moments their eyes met and an involuntary half smile appeared on their faces.
- Niko ! I have to leave, a serious incident has arisen! - Three days later old Joe announced - And you go with me. Now!
- I'm not going anywhere!
- You have your duties creak.
- My mission is right here!
- This is out of control, Doc first and now you. I am your superior and I am ordering!
- Nonsense! And what happened to Doc? ? You still haven't told me why he left so suddenly.
- He and I had a disagreement. It doesn't matter anymore, say goodbye to Swan and let's go.
- I WILL NEVER LEAVE SHANE IN THIS LIFE. YOU WILL HAVE TO KILL ME FOR THIS. UNDERSTOOD?
Niko's scream made the commander open his eyes wide.
- I WILL STAY ! - The woman's eyes started to turn violet.
- Do you know what can happen if you face me in that official way?
- What are you going to do, old Joe?? - The words spoken in an ironic tone were enough for the man to be silent and step back.
- So it will be like that from now on, creaking Niko ? Blackmail? I thought you were better than that.
- There are times when we need to come out of ourselves in order to survive you do not agree?
The defeated man looked at the ground and cannot disagree with what was said.
- Do not take any action that you will regret until I return. And report to me every three days, use Swan's encrypted code . You are officially on a Niko ranger reconnaissance mission .
The old man went into the house to give Goose further instructions and hurried away on horseback to the city where he had hidden his interstellar carrier.
- My father asked me to keep an eye on you, Mrs. NIko . - Serious Goose.
- I know how to take good care of myself, Mr. farmer . - Niko annoyed.
- Man, in your work is it normal to yell at colleagues?
- He's my senior officer. - ( truth is your best shield)
- Wow girl! What was that after all.
- Listen Goo ... Philip, can I ask you something? Or rather two?
- Go girl. - He sat down.
- First, I will tell you the whole truth about me when the time is right and I promise you can trust me. Ok?
- Yes ma'am. - He smiled. His heart already knew he could trust her, he didn't know why, and he didn't care.
- Second, would you prefer me to call you Phillip or Swan ?
- My friends call me Swan .
Niko laughed with the infamous pun .
- AND CAN YOU STOP CALLING ME LADY? My name is Niko ok.
- You said there would only be two orders.
- Good thing you are great with horses, because you would never make a living as a comedian.
He got up and stopped so close to Niko that she could feel his heart beating very hard in his chest and how hot his body was. He whispered in her ear.
- There are more things I know how to do well. You want to see?
The woman's body temperature rose immediately and a shiver appeared in her neck. She knew she had turned very red.
" I can't believe it, the old man just left us alone and he already wants to take advantage of the situation, it can't be ." - Niko thought a little worried. She was not prepared to cheat on Goose with himself.
Goose suddenly pulled Niko by the hand and ran with her to the stables.
- Come, get Iron, I want to show you something.
They rode for twenty minutes to a wood where there was a huge hut with a door three meters high . . Niko was uneasy about the situation. Goose noticed her suspicious eyes and her nervousness.
They entered the hut which had a shelf with many tools, pieces of something large covered with a cloth.
- What is it?
- Remember that you asked me to trust you? And I agreed.
- Yes but...
- I want to give you proof of that.
He pulled the cloth and Niko incredulously saw a semi-ready stellar interceptor . She covered her mouth with her hands. And he let out a sigh of relief.
_ That was it ...
- What did you think I wanted to do?
The woman gasped.
_ Hey Nico, look at me. What did you think I wanted to do? He put both hands on his waist and made a very funny face of indignation. - Don't think that just because I'm a rustic cowboy that I don't know how to treat a lady as she deserves. Oh by the way.
He walked away and took something out of his pocket and handed it to her.
- It's for you. My father gave it to me after I lost my memory .I think you will like it, blends well with your badge.
It was a small box and inside it was a gold chain with a very small star circled by a ring and with a small gemstone in the middle. Purple.
- Liked? The stone was my idea, I had it placed when we were in town, I know it doesn't shine as brightly as your eyes but it will form a beautiful set when you get angry.
Niko in tears, cried and crying a lot, held the gift against his chest .
_ Hey if I knew I was going to cry I wouldn't have done this, partner.
Niko sat down.
- Want to tell me what's going on Niko ?
Goose leaned in front of her on one knee and lifted her face to see her eyes.
- You know, I prefer you smiling, but if you need to cry go ahead. You know that trust is a two-way street.
Drying her tears Niko managed to speak.
- One person gave his life for me one day, and I would give my life for him too ... - She sobbed - but he was taken from me....
- Hey, and it looks like you still love this guy. - Goose understanding.
- Much! More than myself. And I will always love.
_ What a pity, then my chances are gone - He said playfully.
- And he hugged her tenderly - Easy Niko , let me put it for you, unless you didn't like it since it made you cry so much.
Then the two got up and he tied the cord around her neck. Then he removed the bandana from his neck and held it out to her. - he joked.
_ Sorry, I'm out of handkerchiefs , but that should serve to dry the tears. - She accepted. It smelled like him.
Then he pointed at the ship under construction with proud green eyes.
- Here's my favorite toy and my secret. I've been building it for eight months. But my father can't even suspect that. He doesn't even want to hear about motor vehicles. He wants me to stay here forever taking care of his cattle. Only a few important pieces are missing so as soon as I manage to sell more of my horses I will finish.
- Why don't you sell some cattle? You take care of them. You have a right.
- I sell my part, but you know these parts are expensive.
- I thought you loved this farm, you look so happy.
- It's a good place here to visit. There are days when I feel like a prisoner. I think I need more action in my life. And have more, I need to get out of here Niko , the stars call me. I felt something calling me since I woke up in that hospital. I don't know where to go, but I know that somewhere out there something is waiting for me. I can feel that.
" I'm here " She thought, but didn't have the courage to speak. His heart leapt in his chest at what he said. He had felt it when Niko called his name on all 727 nights of sadness. the two were separated by thousands of light years, but their souls could connect somehow. So she decided that that night she would tell him everything. Then she knew that even in different universes two souls can connect.
- Commander I'm just warning you that today the night I will tell the truth to Goose - Niko talked to Walsh that afternoon by the communicator.
- Do not do it. I beg.
- It's decided. I'm already absolutely sure.
- Just wait for me to arrive then . I'll be there as soon as possible, right?
- I do n't know if I should wait any longer.
- I ask you as a father, I need to say goodbye to my son if I can never see him again after the truth comes out. He may have hated me for it.
The argument touched Niko's feelings. .
- Just two more days.
Niko heard an unknown male voice calling outside.
- Hey Swan , are you there?
Niko went cautiously to the porch, put his hand on his blaster and faced the strange visitor. Seeing Niko, the strange, very strong and tall man took on an expression on his face that she didn't like at all.
- Swan is in the field. He come back soon. But Mrs. Suith is in the kitchen, do you want me to call her? - Niko said in a harsh tone.
- No. I'll wait for him here on the porch. I have business to do with him. ”The man assessed Nico's entire body with one eyebrow raised. - I never knew the white guy had a girlfriend. He has good taste.
Offended the ranger frowned. Sorry, but I ca n't keep you company while you wait.
She went in and went over to Suith.
- Suith , who's that out there?
The old woman spied on the man.
- This is the delegated. His name is Sourus, my dear.
- What does he want with Swan ?
- The usual one probably. He wants my Philip to help catch horse thieves or some other criminal.
- What are you telling me?
- You know , the boy has this habit of wanting to go after danger, and if there is something he hates in this life they are criminals, he has no patience with people outside the law. - The old woman sighed. - And besides, the deputy likes him for the job because he has these “special skills”.
- Skills? - Niko interrogative.
- Didn't your friend Joe tell you? The boy has something special, you know, besides strength he heals much faster than anyone, he has all his senses greatly improved and especially the guy is a born strategist. Oh, and the best aim in the galaxy I would say ...
Niko knew all that, he just didn't think anyone else there would know. She heard the sound of Goose coming and came over to hear the conversation between the two men.
- Swan my friend. You naughty, apparently you have news to tell me.
- What are you talking about. - Goose asked as he dismounted Iron. Alma was close to him and he stroked the mascot.
- A delicious redhead novelty.
Goose's growl was loud enough to even scare Alma.
- Shut up, bastard , if I talk about her in that tone again, I'll kick you from here to hell.
- Hey, hey, calm down, you saw her first. Speaking of hell, I need you for a hunt.
- I can't, I have a visitor.
- Of course there is. - Malicious delegate. - Seriously, only you can stop this guy , a damn rapist has appeared in the city, he's already caught three girls, no innocent lady in the valley will be safe until we get the guy.
Thinking of Niko, he hesitated.
- You're the the law. Solve - it .
- Listen Swan , you have talent brother, it is a waste someone like you stuck on this farm. I KNOW YOU, YOU WERE MADE FOR ACTION. If none of this resolves, think that if we get the guy I guarantee all the money that is missing for the parts that are missing for you to finish your ship and even more for fuel. So you can go right after your “voice from the stars. "
- Where is?
-The guy is a monster your size, angry and looks like he has a type of scar on his face. You won't let me down. I have information that he is hiding in the woods on Yanky Hill , one day from here with the glider.
Desperate Niko - G .. Swan don't go!
She came out of where she was hiding and held Goose's arm tightly.
- I beg you don't go.
The deputy looked at her mockingly.
- The scared little girl does not know that it is very ugly to hear the conversation of others hidden .
- Shut up, filthy . - Niko spat.
- Hey , and She's nervous.
- I am a galaxy ranger officer and I am above you in the jurisdiction, so treat me with respect or I will have to officially warn you Mr. Souros .
- HUHU, where did you find this rare little? Tell me that I want an equal.
Goose snarled and pointed a finger at the deputy.
- Souros , we are friends, but I will not admit your disrespect on my farm.
- You meant on daddy's farm. - Provocative Souros .
- Go away. I'm not interested in the job.
_ Think about it Swan , or maybe that shit rocket will never end.
Niko felt the threat in the man's voice and the pain the words caused in Goose.
- If you change your mind look for me, you know where to find me. - the man boarded transport glider and left as rapidament and the force of the glider turbines dropped the sign with the name of the farm that fell to the ground in split into two pieces.
- You're not going, are you? - Niko begged.
Goose was very nervous. He paced and ran his hand through his hair . He was quiet.
- Listen, I'm going to call reinforcements over the radio, stay here. If the guy is what I'm thinking about, it's a case for the Galaxy rangers . I'll be back. I need to tell you something very important.
Niko ran to the radio and spoke directly to Zachary .
_ Zach . Help, we have an emergency. Come to those coordinates now. I think Kilbane could be here.
- Niko - Zach's face looked worried. The Doc told me today, we are on the way but will take a while, do not do anything rash heard.
- I copied, come on, I have a bad feeling.
She didn't know how much it was going to get worse.
The architect of destiny was enjoying himself.
She ran to the kitchen.
- Gooseman .
- Your goose is not here girl. - Suith grim. - he took a him weapon and left the haste with Iron.
- My God! Which way did he go, I need to reach him.
- He must have gone to get his ship.
- But it's not ready yet.
- Not to go to the stars, but he always uses it when doing these hidden jobs.
- I have to catch up.
Niko was so desperate that she stumbled on her soul in the courtyard and fell, she felt that she dislocated her wrist , but she got up and ran to the stable, only Kidd was there and bareback. She rode anyway and galloped like crazy towards the woods.
In time to see Goose taking off and disappearing quickly on the horizon.
- No, No, No ... Don't go, come back ... bloody hell !!!
He decided to do the job for his (damned) wounded pride, but mostly to get his interceptor finished soon. He was eager to seek the call of the stars. Although the call was gone since the lovely ranger Niko appeared.
- Who is the sadist who controls fate and who sent Kilbane to appear on this planet located at the end of the universe? - Niko grunted as Suith wrapped her wrist with a tight band.
- I do not know who is writing the story, but I trust that the end will be what has to be wanted.
As soon as the wrinkled old lady finished Niko jumped out of his chair.
- Where is the saddle of Kidd . I can not ride without this up this hill. You have to go with me to show me the way, let's go.
- You won't - Linz was adamant.
- Who's going to stop me? Niko said decidedly.
- It's no possible. It takes a day trip with a glider to get there.
- Then we have to get one.
- The nearest farm is a day's ride away. Give up if you try it will only hurt you. It will rain soon and I won't take you there.
- Linz, I want to help.
- Honey I'm not doubting your ability but we have no way to go there. Riding around like crazy around.
- Then go alone because I'm not going with you.
The old man left and left Niko heartbroken.
- He's right Niko , it would be a waste of time.
The ranger sat on the porch and watched the night slowly descend and bring a heavy rain.
It was two in the morning when Suith called Niko was still on the porch.
- Come to sleep, it is not the first time he has gone on these hunts. He will come back.
- I don't know if he can, if the guy is really Kilbane the chances are slim. He's beaten him before, but without memory it's more complicated. - Niko wondered how sad it would be if Goose knew the whole truth through his worst enemy when his friends were not honest with him.
- I'll lie down then. See you tomorrow.
Niko thought she couldn't sleep, but exhaustion made her fall asleep right there on the porch chair. It was still raining and the sound of water falling was a lullaby.
A hand touched her shoulder Niko the 5 : 00 in the morning.
It was the Souros. Niko jumped out of his chair with a start.
- Where's Shane ?
- Who's Shane baby.
- It's none of your business . Where is Swan ?
- Hey, why do you need that kid, you can have someone like me.
The man approached Niko who felt a shiver of pure hatred.
- I can show you what a real man is. - Souros took a lock of hair from Niko and sniffed.
At this time the Galaxy ranger Niko assumed an upright posture, hit the man's ribs with her elbow using her good arm. When he bent in pain she kicked his face about his flying three meters away. Then she lifted him by the collar and looking him in the eye, she said and in a commanding voice .
- I'll give you a prison sentence for harassing your filthy pig.
Then she threw him back down hard.
- Now you 're going to tell me where Swan is, or I'm going to have to pull your teeth out.
Applause behind her.
_ Wow, this is solving things with style. You have to teach me some blows one of these days.
Niko turned and saw Goose smiling leaning against the doorframe with his arms crossed. She ran up to him and hugged him with relief, he returned the hug and gave her a kiss on the head. Then she walked away and looked at his whole body and didn't find a single scratch.
Then she slapped him in the face.
He raised his hand to his face and said - Oh, Niko ! What did I do to you?
- That's because I left without telling me and not waiting when I said to wait. If I do this just once more in my life, you'll know my best fighting moves.
"Please call me to watch this," exclaimed Souros, rubbing his aching chin. And I want to be your best man. It is clear that they were made for each other.
- Get the fuck out of here. - Goose said playfully.
- Did you get the guy? - Niko questioned as soon as the deputy left.
- Yes, I was an idiot any , such a Kratus or something. I wish Souros had authorized me to kill him, a worm. But with the beating we gave him, I think he will never harass anyone again in his life.
Goose's satisfied smile left Niko warm inside - Did they ever tell you that you're unbearable?
- Not that I remember.
_ You like that don't you?
- Than? To chase criminals or to be beaten by beautiful women who know how to defend themselves?
Niko laughed out loud. Relieved that the bad guy not be Kilbane after all. (It would be too much of a coincidence in such a vast universe).
- If you want I can hit you again . More this time it will be for real. - She teased with a raised eyebrow.
- Um , do you want to try? - A brightness rose in the man's eyes.
Goose caught Niko by surprise and held her tightly in his arms.
- Careful, I sprained my wrist because of you today.
He loosened his grip a little and then Niko spun his body quickly out of the embrace and tripped him up, throwing him on the floor. When she tried to get closer, Alma came from behind andjumped on the back of the woman who fell on Shane. Alma began to lick the face of the two and they laughed.
- Alma, go watch the perimeter - Niko said
Alma promptly obeyed.
"Hey, she should only obey me!" Goose protested. "Traitor!"
-Do what, she likes me.
- It's impossible not to like you NiKo .
- call me lady now !!
- now should I call you lady??
- IS. I'm still very angry for you ....
Goose closed Niko's mouth with a kiss that started soft and hesitant and gradually intensified. Their bodies began to burn with desire, they kissed right there on the porch floor for three long minutes, until the man got up with the woman in his arms and took her to his bed. In her room, in the darkness, they continued to exchange caresses with the intensity of a hurricane. They were about to explode when they started tearing each other's clothes off . Goose kissed Niko's neck as he positioned her hips to fuse their bodies. Then in a voice hoarse with pleasure Niko whispered.
- Make me yours forever Shane...
Then she realized what she was doing and pushing Goose away from her said:
- We can not! - Then she got up and started to collect her clothes from the floor.
He was devastated on his knees on the bed.
_ So this is the name of the man you love?
- Yes. His name is Shane Gooseman . And I love you most of all, and I could never betray you, not even with you.
_ I'm sorry Niko , I shouldn't have caused this, you had already told me that you loved another man. Forgive me , I crossed the line with you. - His voice sounded embarrassed.
He quickly picked up his clothes from the floor and left.
- Wait, we have to talk.
But he did not listen and disappeared quickly.
Shaken and still shaking with all that, Niko decided to take a shower, and then immediately tell him the truth.
--------------------- ----------------------------- -
Niko found Suith in the kitchen preparing breakfast.
- Did you see where Swan went? I have a lot of urgency to talk to him.
Suith turned and Niko saw pain and anger in the old lady's eyes.
_ I knew on the day you arrived here that my Philip's heart was going to break. I want to keep my promise and kick you out of here.
- What happened ?
- He left here with a terrible face. He went to the woods cabin to work on his ship and he seems ready to leave as fast as he can.
- I'll go over there and talk to him.
At that moment she noticed a horse trot approaching the porch of the house. She went over there to see who it was. Old Joe arrived wearing casual clothes.
- I did it, I came as soon as possible . Haven't revealed the truth to Shane yet, say no, please ? He asked with an apprehension in his voice.
- I was going to do that right now .
- You promised you'd wait for me.
- Sorry commander, but it is necessary.
- You are absolutely sure. You know that if you tell him, even then, even if he knows who he really is, you won't be able to get his life back. And we don't even know if it will be possible to restore your memories.
- There is a possibility. If you surrender him to justice and tell him what you did . He did not commit any crime. He is a victim of this absurd story, from the beginning he can never choose the direction of his life. And I found out that he really wants to have independence and freedom, this is not about memories, this is who he is. Your child needs this . Shane feels like a prisoner here too. You brought it to the edge of the universe , three days away from anywhere and without even a fast-moving vehicle .
- It was to protect he.
_ I know, but I found out that Shane 's nature is the same. It's the same man I've always loved. I want to give him a chance to choose to stay here or try to fight to get his real life back. It is fair to let himself choose. And I will support you no matter what.
Walsh breathed, thought and agreed.
- Niko , I can't take away your reason. The time has come to face it.
Then decided to tell everything they both went to the cabin.
But they did not have the opportunity to enter it. When they were six meters away the building simply exploded.
They fell backward with the impact and dust.
The two got up quickly and ran towards the rubble.
_ No, this cannot be happening! - Niko shouted
- Is he really in there? - Walsh desperate.
- There's only one way to know. Nik the touched his triggered implantation and shuddered at the sight. She staggered.
- Yes, and he's injured, we have to get him out quickly.
Suith and Linz also came running when they heard the sound of the explosion and everyone started to clear the debris from the hut that was only half destroyed. Luckily the expulsion had not been so big, but the ship was badly damaged and would not fly anytime soon.
It was the commander who first located the son. He was unconscious, all covered with dust and with several scratches the body, but the worst injury was in a leg that was practically destroyed with crushed bones exposed and ruptured tendons.
_ Niko and Suith put the hand to the mouth at the sight frightening.
- My God - groaned the poor lady in dismay. - I've seen wounds like this before, he's going to lose that leg.
The mention of that left Niko very upset.
Goose woke up at that time and started coughing. Walsh supported him in his arms. He quickly regained consciousness. Seeing the green of his beloved's eyes, immense relief filled Niko's heart . But he was in a lot of pain.
_ Father. - He hugged his old man. - You came back, I missed you.
- All right, everything will be fine.
- We have to get him to a hospital fast. This wound can gangrene quickly. - Linz hooted.
- Three days on a horse will kill he. - Suith thrilled. - The leg is more likely to be amputated.
_ No !! - Niko moaned at the mental image of it.
Goose groaned - I can face it if I have to.
- We can call for help on the radio. - Linz hopeful. - But it still takes a day to arrive.
The situation seemed very complicated, but the commander seemed very calm. He knew a secret.
- Calm people, you don't have to despair. Son, the star I gave you, where is it?
Niko hurried and took the cord from his neck and held it out to them.
- Are you talking about this?
Walsh took the jewel and put it in Goose's hand.
- Tighten it tightly. - Niko , you must activate your implant also to increase the load.
She obeyed, touched her badge and held her lover's other hand. Then the old familiar light enveloped the body of the super soldier , restoring his body completely.
He was very amazed by it, as were his friends at the farm. He quickly got to his feet and dusted off his clothes.
Niko could not contain his happiness and hugged him passionately, he returned the hug with all the strength of his love for her. The commander smiled with relief and satisfaction at having presented his son with the jewel, which was actually a badge adapted to be used only in some extreme emergency.
- What happened? - Goose happy and confused.
It was time.
- My beloved son, it is time for me to tell you many things that you have a right to know. Let's go somewhere comfortable.
In the living room of the house, with a soul sitting on his feet, with the help of Niko and Walsh , Philip Swan was introduced to Shane Gooseman . So he understood a lot of things . And for his already known compassion, he forgave his father.
That night , after everything was properly clarified. Niko was sitting on the lap of her Shane Gooseman exchanging passionate caresses.
- Niko , I don't even know what to say about all this.
- Then don't say anything.
_ But I have to say, mainly thanks, you are everything to me, my soul mate. All this time I was here I felt a heart calls me to ing somewhere in the universe . Today I know it was you.
- I came to free you, my love. - Niko thrilled.
- You give meaning to my life, make me vibrate and feel alive. You are my gift. I knew the strength of his love, how he remained faithful to me, unable to betray me even with myself.
- I will never love someone as I love you. When I thought I had lost you forever, I wished to die too. But I could feel that somewhere you were also calling me. Nothing in this or any other universe can destroy that love. They can separate our bodies, but we will always meet again , because we are one soul .
Lulled by this delicious feeling, they began to rekindle the fire of desire with hot, wet kisses, to the point that they could no longer contain themselves, so they went to the bedroom and let themselves get to know each other intimately , each part of their bodies longed for that connection. . The painful memories of two years of bitter grief at nights absence of cold were consumed by a fire that involved the long - awaited moment. With affection, but with hunger and feverish desire, Goose finally invaded Niko's body, eliciting moans that increased his pleasure with each attack. She gasped as she arched with pleasure, arrested for indestructible claws, he thought he might die in ecstasy provoked by the press of bodies to connecting. the energy of the movements increased to the point where the two connected bodies received the final discharge of pleasure. With the conclusion, the moans were softening . Then everything was calm and they hugged. The man lay down on his wife and rested his face between his hair, feeling the delicious smell of full happiness. Niko enveloped him in a tender hug and whispered in his ear.
- I love you so much.
And they slept embraced. In peace.
But peace does not last forever. Life is a war that is lived from battle to battle.
Later, the next day, decisions had to be thought through. . Goose asked for time to decide if he wanted to try to resume his old life, he knew it depended on sacrificing his own father. Staying on the farm didn't seem like a good option for him. Nor would he live with a false identity if he decided to look for another job. Niko was a ranger and needed to get back to work, she didn't even think about getting away from him again. It was all very difficult to resolve.
And there was the mistery of the explosion, the analysis are made in the cabin indicated that the cause was a bomb. Who would have planted her there was a mystery that intrigued everyone and it was important to find the culprit , as he could attack again . They decided to call the police chief on the radio to help with the investigation.
- Well - he said as soon as he arrived and analyzed the place - Due to the size of the explosion, the criminal's intention was not to kill. I will collect some evidence and do the investigation.
Niko , however , had a better idea .
- That won't be necessary. Then she took some debris from the bomb in her hands and touched her badge. Her eyes went violet and she saw shocked, the culprit for the attack.
"Personal care, stay away," she said, walking back and drawing her gun, which she pointed at the deputy. - The culprit is right here. The police chief even placed the bomb, he wanted to destroy the ship so that Goose would not leave the planet and continue to help hunt down bandits for him.
- This woman is crazy. - The deputy snorted. - How can she know this?
- Niko has mental powers your thug . - Goose snarled going towards the guy to grab him, but he was quick and grabbed the poor Suith by the neck and pointing his gun at her.
- It's that witch's word against mine. - Spit the man.
- Know that her word to me is all that is enough. - Completed the commander. - you are arrested in the name of the law.
- Don't come near or I'll kill the crown.
- Please don't hurt her! - Linz cried.
The deputy dragged the hostage to his transport to escape with the gun pointed at her head . Suddenly Linz saw a chance and shouted.
- Alma! Attack.
The dog who had come up behind the enemy jumped on the man's face and bit off his ear. He released the hostage, but pulled the gun's trigger nonetheless on impulse. The old lady was not hit but another person stood in the way of the shot.
Hit in the chest by death ray gun the captain fell to his knees.
Goose saw the scene in slow motion.
Desperate he ran to his old man, knelt on the floor and held him in his arms.
- Please, Talk to me, Father - Tears fell from the face of ST .
In the arms of the person he loved most in this life the old Joe smiled through the pain.
- I think I never saw you cry my son.
- You will be fine, we will take care of you. Goose's voice was choked.
Niko came over and hugged Goose from behind.
- Listen son. I think the architect of destiny found the best way for our story after all. I'm leaving and I'm happy, because I know that I was able to create the best man I have ever known for the world.
- Dad I love you, I love you so much, stay with me , please . You did the best you could for me.
- You have your Niko and you can go home with her. For your friends who want you as a brother.
- No. - Goose totally devastated. - I need you. There are so many things that I still want to live by your side.
The old man closed his eyes for a second, but found the rest of his strength to open them and make his last wish for Niko .
- Take care of Shane for me. You know how he gets into trouble.
- Yes Commander - Between tears she smiled tenderly. - It was a pride to serve your command. Everyone at BETA recognizes their leadership. I wanted everyone there to have the opportunity to know your human side as I was privileged to know. And thanks for bringing Shane into this world and making him a man to love and be proud of.
Then he left a hole in his son's heart.
It was at that time that Goose finally understood his father. He had already forgiven , but now that he had his own dose of despair he experienced the contemplation of the pain that both Walsh and Niko felt before.
In the two years before Niko's recent arrival , Joseph Walsh was the total and unique version of love that Philip Swan knew. And I would never return.
It became definitive.
And supertrooper tears washed the floor again.
As if that pain were not enough, the sound of a creaking down the field brought more confusion to this story.
The deputy was handcuffed and locked in the ship's cell to stand trial on Earth for the murder of a senior officer. But he was not the only prisoner.
Zachary and Doc , terribly saddened and truly shaken by the death of their leader and friend, still needed to do their job.
- We received a complaint and we have an arrest warrant for Shane Gooseman , for misrepresentation, fraud and desertion. Goose, you're under arrest. Doc said in dismay.
- What is this? You can not arrest him, he is innocent. - Cursed Niko .
- But you will be stuck until you can prove it. It's the Niko law . - Said Zach seriously.
Then Shane , a prisoner, left behind the only world he could remember, the farm, his good friends Linz and Suith , his mascot , his horses and everything that had been his life with his father in his little paradise.
- Well my boy - Ariel said with all his serenity. - According to our evaluation, your doctor Qball got the diagnosis right. Your memories are gone forever.
Niko and Goose were in Xanadu , sitting very close together, holding hands in front of Ariel and trembling with the bad news.
- But only from the point of view of medicine. Our main telepaths have agreed to help you, but it will be a very painful and risky process. Are you really willing to do that?
The two exchanged a knowing look. - Yes.
- I'll explain how the process will be. The part of your brain that held your memories has died. There is no way to rescue them mechanically or with medication. What we will have to do is use the ability to see the past of our most advanced masters so that Shane can psychically watch everything he has lived before and fix those visions in his mind again.
- Does that mean having to suffer everything again?
- Yes, he will have to revisit all his past and experience all the pains and joys again in an accelerated way, and he will physically express all the effects of feelings that each memory has caused. So the risk is huge. We will have to provide extra energy for it to support this process. The biodefesas will help it much.
Niko was concerned. - This is very painful.
- I will bear it. I don't know what I will find in my past, but if I endure myself the first time, I certainly endure now. Especially with Niko at my side.
Ariel sighed - Niko must not be present. She must meditate and remain neutral so that her emotions do not interfere with the process, as you are very emotionally connected. It won't be good that no one but the masters witness what you're going to do, boy, she couldn't bear to hear your screams. It is only for high beings at a high level.
- Are you sure you really want to go through this? - Niko was anguished imagining the scene.
- Calm down dear, let's take good care of him.
- I'm afraid. - Niko trembling.
- I do not! I want my life back without missing even a piece when we started?
- If you are ready can be today the night. I will communicate the masters.
The process took three days. Niko meditated in his quarters and in pleasant places in Xanadu to stay away. But she was restless all the time. She needed to avoid the mental images of her beloved writhing in pain during the process. Luckily there were good times to remember too. Finally Ariel came to call her on the third morning.
- You can go see him , but don't be alarmed by his appearance. It's exhausted . The first two days were terrible. He's really a strong man, even the masters are going to need some rest after witnessing certain scenes of his training on that hellish base. Will be fine with rest and good nutrition.
Niko wished he had wings to get to the place where he was left to recover faster. It was a very cozy room with soothing lights and crystals that concentrate healing energies.
She went in carefully and froze when she saw her lover sleeping, so pale that her skin appeared to be made of white rose petals, dressed in a tunic made of a very light fabric. Niko stayed two minutes just watching him as his chest moved with his breath. It would be the first time that she would be reunited with the real Shane Gooseman after two long years.
She touched him and felt the weakness he emanated. But I was at peace.
She kissed his forehead and he woke up. He was back.
- Niko . It is so good to see you. - Even the voice was as low as a whisper.
- Don't get up. - She sat on the edge of the bed - How are you feeling?/p>p>
- I don't know how to explain, I think that, drained, I don't know if I can lift a feather.
- You will recover quickly . You just have to rest and eat well. I will take care of you .
- I won't have to eat your food? Now I remember the first time you wanted me to try a cake that you made.
- Shane! - She laughed - Do you remember everything?
- Sadly yes. I want to go home soon and get back to work.
- Don't be anxious. The bad guys will be happy to have to wait to be chased by you. - Doc warned about the result of the lawsuit against BWL is over and we won. You are officially free and can choose your own directions.
- You know Niko that I will always be a Galaxy Ranger.
- I still do not believe that Doc denounced the commander and all the rest of the damned responsible for Wolf Den , it was a lot of courage. They could have killed him if they found out.
- They will never find out, he knew how to cover himself. He loves you very much Shane , as a brother. This story of Goose not having the freedom to choose, not having equal civil rights at all, created to be a government property or in case he was stuck on that farm was choking him for a long time. And Zozo and Waldo made a document of mutual collaboration between the two planets to demand that you be free or otherwise the Earth would have to pay daily fines of a few million, after all slavery is a heinous crime. They also got a writ of mandamus that made sure you were n't frozen while you ran the process to clear you of criminal charges.
- And where did he find that lawyer pleaded?
- Doc said it's the best money can buy.
- the guy really has a chest. Faced everyone... It cost all the 10,000 head of cattle on the farm , but it was worth it.
Shane happily recalled the time when he could live with his father. But the weight of his absence hurt a lot.
- It was so nice to know that Walsh was my father, we lived as a father and son for a short time, but it was the best time of my life... Death saved him from the suffering of being judged, but I wanted him here - The ST felt dejected - The memory of how he always protected me is so precious to me.
Niko felt the pain of that broken man by the loss, but he knew that soon he would be well, and would forever take pride in being that man's son.
- I'll get something to eat. - she said to cheer up - Do you want?
- Please, I'm hungry.
As she left the room, creaked relieved to have her life back, she thought:
“ It was better that way, maybe , if Walsh hadn’t died, Goose would never have gone back to being the galaxy ranger he loved to be , since that depended on handing over his own father to the jackals , We will never know what his decision would have been.