by Sam Newell

'You can run fast but you can't hide from the past'
Natalie Imbruglia- Smoke

Awakening from my dream, I instinctively reach out for her. I am surprised to find the other half of our bed cold and unoccupied, I open my mouth to call out to her but then it hits me. She's gone and I've failed to bring her back.
After all these years of fighting and searching, you'd think that I would have got somewhere, achieved something. I haven't.
For a few years after her capture, I came home to see the kid's faces light up with hope and I then had to listen to Jessie crying herself to sleep or Zach pacing his room until the carpet wore out.
After that, they lost hope and moved on. Zach joined the rangers and is now on Goose's field team. Jessie went on to work for the Longshot research facility and got married a few years ago.

Yesterday they switched off the capsule that holds Eliza in stasis. She was deemed 'not economically feasible'. A twenty-five year long struggle gone, just like that.
But despite all that, she's now free and I suppose that's the next best thing to her being beside me. Now it's time for me to join her.


One Week later

The funeral was crowded, in his 69 years, Zachary Foxx had met a lot of people. The pews in the church were filled with the blue and white ranger dress uniforms and the traditional black mourning garb. The low buzz of chatter ceased as Jessie stood up and walked slowly down to stand by her father's coffin. She cleared her throat.
"I'd like to thank you all for coming, we're here today to mourn the passing of a great man. Zachary Foxx was well respected within the Galaxy Rangers and by any one who met him.
"For the past twenty years of his life, he was consumed by an obsession. The obsession to get his wife back. When the Queen of the crown took Eliza, my mother. My father vowed that he'd bring her back for the sakes of me, my brother and his own sanity. He didn't succeed. Just of a week ago, my mother 'died', he died a day later in the knowledge that his wife was free. They're together at last and so we shouldn't mourn his passing, he'll be happier now than he's been in a long time."
Jessie confidently walked down to her seat, once she had sat down she burst into tears.
The man sitting next to her tentatively put his arm over her shoulders in a vague attempt to comfort her, "I'm sorry Jessie," he said in a whisper, "it's a great loss to us all." Jessie looked up at him, "Thanks Shane." She replied in a small voice. Niko, who was sat on the other side, took a one of the younger woman's hands.
"And you were right, he has gone to a place where he's happier."

Jessie paid little attention to the funeral. She just sat and stared at the mahogany coffin. She came back to reality when Niko tapped her shoulder, Jessie looked up and found the church empty apart from Niko, Shane Gooseman and herself. She could see her older brother hovering near the door.
"I'll be fine." She reassured them all. She walked up to her brother and linked arms with him, together they walked out of the church.

Niko rested her head on her husband's shoulder whose arms snaked around her waist.
"It's getting to you, isn't it babe?" Niko smiled slightly at the old nickname for her.
"Just a little." Shane looked down at her, "Okay, it's getting to me a lot, Doc's funeral was only a few months ago and I suppose all this death is reminding me of our own mortality."
"I've still got a lot of go in me yet and you're so fit you'll live 'till beyond a hundred."
"Flatterer." She accused him. Hand in hand they left the church. Leaving behind yet another team mate and a bit of their past.

The End.