Crimsonstar/Homecoming: Part I

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It had taken twelve hours to load Marsius’ ship onto the flatbed truck and have it moved to the facilities to Portal Corps. It had sat in an abandoned warehouse in the crash zone just blocks from the Rikti ship that was still held by the force shields that had been placed around it years ago. Marius had sacrificed the force fields of his starship to disable the shields of the Rikti ship to make it vulnerable to their attacks. As a result the star drive that allowed it to bring him to Earth had been irreparably damaged, stranding him here on Earth. That had been five years ago and Marsius had long accepted the fact that his last days would be spent here. He was making friends in Paragon City, most notably the heroes of the Dawn Patrol, but he still found it hard to fit in at times. The thought that Tanna, his fiancé had no doubt given him up for dead was sadly, another fact he found himself accepting more every day.

He watched as the team of Portal scientists worked on aligning cabling to the ship’s computer system and drive ports. “I do not understand, five years ago you said you could not repair my ship’s stardrive to return me home.” Marsius said. Doctor Sheppard, the head of the project that had contacted him, set down a huge three ring binder that was almost bursting from the amount of material that was squeezed into it. She was a beautiful woman and carried herself with a level of confidence he didn’t find in many of the people here on Earth. He had spoken with her several times over the last few days of her plans for his ship, and each time she stood close to him, her hands sometimes reaching out to rest on his forearm or his shoulder. While he missed Tanna, he found that he thought of her less when in the company of Jessica Sheppard. She was the only woman, besides one other, that he found eased his mind and dared him to think of finding romance so far from home. Absentmindedly he brushed the half star pin on his costume as he entertained the notion that perhaps he also, should move on with his life.

“And honestly, Crimsonstar, we still can’t, only I think we can do the next best thing.” She said, and again she put her hand on his forearm.

“Marisus, Doctor Sheppard. I use Crimsonstar for my missions and when I’m on official business for the city, or the Dawn Patrol, as I was told that it was advisable for me to use a hero code name. You may call me Marsius.” He said. She smiled and moved a little closer so she could guide him toward the ship and the work her staff were doing.

“Marsius, your ship may not be able to get you back home, but it may let you at least see your home.” She picked up a huge device from a table that had a LED readout and she pointed it at his ship and turned it on. The LED screen lit up displaying a long jagged and pulsating orange line across it. “I’m sure I don’t have to tell you about energy signatures.” She said. Marsius nodded that he was familiar with the residual energy fluxes common with machines that yielded high output. “Marsius, it’s the same with warp signatures, or footprints as we call them. You may not be able to fly this ship home, but I’m confident that with our portals, and the information for your home planet’s location in the Andromeda galaxy,…well, we might just be able to establish a link between here and there.”

Marsius’ eyes went wide and he was truly stunned for the first time in months. “Doctor Sheppard, are you saying you can get me home using one of your portals?” he asked the excitement in his voice more than evident. She smiled shutting off the device and returned it to the table. “Jessica. If I’m going to call you by your name, it’s only fitting you call me by mine. I don’t want to go so far as to say we can get you home, but I’m sure we can at least get some kind of contact, maybe even visual.”

He turned and looked at her as she continued to watch her staff make adjustments and calculations on where to place this cable, how high to adjust a power input, how long to leave a connection open, and a myriad of other technical decisions. “I…I would be forever in your debt.” Doctor Sheppard looked back up to him. “Marsius, you saved my mother and father three years ago, trust me, I’m the one that owes you.”

His gauntlets beeped as his communication device inside them activated. “Marsius, I’m calling all Patrollers on duty, we have a level 1 alert of Nemesis activity in Founders Falls.” said Sgt Darling’s. Marsius turned to Doctor Sheppard. “I must go, when can I come back to see if you’re successful?” he asked her eagerly.


She touched his forehead lightly, checking the bruise just over his left eye. “Oh my God, Marsius, that looks horrible!” she said. “Are you sure you want to do this now?” Marsius looked back at Jessica, her fingers felt incredibly soft and he found them to even be a comforting touch to his wounds. “You called and said that you were ready to try to contact Andromeda 3. Is this still the case, are you able to contact them?” he asked her. She lowered her hand, satisfied that regardless of how bad he may look at that moment, he was more than willing to put his pain aside if it meant contacting his home world. She turned to the computer and pulled up a video capture file for him. “Here, let me show you something. I managed to make a short contact and pulled up these images.” And she played the file for him. The computer screen filled with a shot of a beautiful red and yellow mountain range at sunset, the suns rays amplifying the colors of the rocks. “That’s the Anders Peak!” Marsius exclaimed. He leaned over closer, watching as the scene flowed across the mountain range, down a field of vibrant green grasses and dotted with flowers of yellow, red, and orange. The field gave way gradually to a gleaming city of light silver and gold, hover craft moved around in the air, slipping around and between tall skyscrapers. “That’s Arisa, the capital city!” his excitement built as he pointed to one particular building that shone more brightly than all the others in the city. It seemed to also be one of the busiest as much of the traffic of the air cars passed by, landed, or took off from a large platform in front of it. “And that is the main offices of the Star Brigade!” he turned, picked Jessica up off her feet, hugging her. “Doctor Sheppard, you’ve done it! You’ve let me see Andromeda 3.” She smiled at Marsius still holding her close to him, resting her hands on his shoulders. She looked down at him, his smile not fading as he simply looked back up to her. She lightly patted his shoulder. Marsius realized he was still hugging her and set her back down. ‘I’m sorry, Jessica, in my excitement I may have been a little too forward in showing you my appreciation.” She blushed a little and grabbed his hand. “It’s okay, Marsius.”

“When can you try again, to contact them?” he asked her.

“That was why I called you.” She pulled back up the video file and stopped it on the image of the Star Brigade building. “I had my team make some adjustments and refine the fields homing sensors.” She turned to him. “Marsius, if you tell me where, I think I can get us an image inside the building.” His jaw dropped for just a moment but he quickly regained his composure and pointed to an area at the top of the building. “Here, this will be Nova Strangham’s office. I should contact him first, of all people. When can we make the attempt?”

She turned and indicated to the technicians that were standing ready at the portal’s control system and they started to make their calculations. “We can be ready in fifteen minutes.” She grabbed his hand and led him to a small room behind the lab. It was a modest yet comfortable lounge area with a couch, table and chairs, and a small kitchenette. “Only I think we need to take care of something first.” She said and motioned for him to sit down on the couch. She went to a locker marked with her name and removed a purse, and slid a chair in front of him, rummaging through her purse as she down.

“I don’t understand, Jessica. What do we….” She pulled out a compact and opened it. “Hang on, just going to do something about covering up your bruises there.” She started to apply makeup to his face and smiled. “Can’t let them think we’re abusing you here, now can I?”


The images on the portal were much more impressive than the ones he had previously seen on the video playback on the computer. The Portal was a full fourteen feet tall and twelve feet in diameter, so seeing the outside of the Star Brigade building through it was almost the same as being there outside it. He stood on the very edge of the portal, watching in wonder as the image shifted and warped, moving up the side of the building; pass the glass structure into the hallways. He recognized the command hall, the area holding the offices of all the highest ranking members of the Star Brigade. The image flowed and warped again and then finally it settled in one location, the inner office of Nova Strangham. He set at his desk, consulting with three other officers of the Star Brigade. They seemed to be in a heated conversation when suddenly all of them jumped up, spinning around.

“Oh my, I hadn’t thought of this, or planned for it.” Jessica said, quickly turning and running to the controls. The technician there moved aside as she started to check the readouts. “Marisus, this is wonderful! I don’t know how, or why, but…” she looked up from the controls. “..They can see us as well.” Marsius continued to watch as Nova Strangham ushered out the three officers he was meeting with. He cautiously stepped up to what must have been a strange site on his end, and started to speak. Marsius saw his lips move, but heard nothing.

“He’s trying to speak to me, but I can’t hear anything.” Marsius said.

“We don’t have audio, just visual. Frankly I’m surprised they can even see the portal on their end.” She turned to one a group of technicians in the lab. “Get a dry erase board and markers in here, quickly!” she shouted. Marsius looked back briefly, held up his hand. “He won’t be able to read English. I had to learn it in bits and pieces myself before coming here. I have another way.” And he turned back to the portal. He started to make gestures with his hands, some small and close to his body, others in broad sweeping moves.

“It’s sign language.” Jessica whispered watching as Nova Strangham nodded and started to motion back to Marsius. “It’s a form of battle communication. We use it when situations separate us from verbal range, although, it’s been a while since I’ve had to use it.” Marsius said and he proceeded to forget everything around him as he relayed the last five years to his superior officer.


Marsius waved goodbye to Nova Strangham as the portal hummed and finally powered down. He turned and walked back to Jessica. She had sent the technicians in the lab home and it had been just her and Marsius there for the last hour.

“I’m sorry Marsius, it drains too much power to keep the portal up for long. We’re lucky we got it to stay up for as long as we did.” She pulled off her glasses, rubbing her eyes.

“Jessica, no, don’t be sorry. You’ve allowed me to not only see my home, but to communicate with them. I’ve waited five years for this.” She set her glasses down, placed her hands on the small of her back, bending as far back as she could to ease the tension that had built up in her muscles. “Well, it’ll take me a few days to get the system charged enough to contact them again, I’m afraid. I can contact you again when we’re ready. Maybe I can have the power generators boosted by then also, let you talk to them longer.” She picked up her glasses, put them back on and smiled. “I hope what time you did have helped?” she inquired.

Marsius smiled and took both of her hands. “Yes, Jessica, very much so, thank you. Nova Strangham knows I’m alive now. They held out hope for several months but he told me that finally they had to face what they believed to be the truth that I had died on my mission. I explained that I lost the ability to return, that my ship had been damaged. Now that I’m alive, Nova Strangham said he can make a solid argument for the Brigade to construct another of the starslider ships like the one that brought me here. My first ship was a prototype and after I was feared lost, they could not justify the expense of another since it appeared to have been a failure. Now he can provide proof that the ship wasn’t a failure and hopefully I can return home soon.”

“That’s wonderful!” and she leaned up and hugged him. “And what of your fiancé, Tanna? Did he say he would let her know you’re alive?” Marsius stepped back. “Tanna, has….he said she held out hope for my return the longest of everyone, but that she too had to accept I was gone. She moved on with her life, is newly engaged to another man, and now is an instructor for the academy on Andromeda 3.” Jessica put her hand to her mouth trying to cover her shock. “Marsius, I’m sorry.”

He turned and looked back at the portal. “No, no. I knew she would have to go on with her life, it has been five years after all.” He turned back to her. “To be honest, I am glad that she did so. I…” He stopped looking down at the floor. “I myself in the last few months told myself that I needed to move on, and quite honestly, I had stopped thinking of Tanna and home, and started to accept Earth as home.” He placed a strong hand on her shoulder. “Jessica, I am in your debt for this. Please, let me know when we can make another contact. I must go and inform my friends in the Dawn Patrol.” And he flew out of the lab.

Jessica watched him as he left and thought to herself, ‘He didn’t seem to be too upset for a man who had just been told his former fiancé was now engaged to another man.’ And she started to shut down the lab.

As he flew across the late night sky on his way back to his home, Marsius looked down onto the now silent streets. The Star Brigade knew he was alive, Nova Strangham assured him they’d work nonstop to get another starslider built, and Tanna was going to be married and living a wonderful life. He landed on the roof of his apartment and paused to enjoy the quiet of the late evening. Across town he could see a single light on in an apartment that he had visited on a previous occasion. He sighed and flew down into the open skylight, scratched the head of his kitten Oscar, and went to bed.


Arisa, capital city of Andromeda 3

Office of Nova Strangham, Star Brigade headquarters.

He signed off on the paperwork authorizing the construction of a new starslider ship. The construction would still take several months, but he now at least had a valid reason for commissioning a new vessel, Marsius was alive. There was a soft knock on his office door as his aide peered around the corner. “Nova Strangham, she’s here, sir.”

“Good, send her in.” he said standing up to receive her. He came around to the side of the desk as she entered. She wore a long shimmering blue dress, her light brown hair falling freely upon her shoulders and smiled warmly to him as she gave him a quick and long hug.

“Nova Strangham, it’s nice to see you again.” Tanna said. He held her at arms length holding her hands in his as he looked at her. “You look wonderful. I see that living on Andromeda 9 has suited you well. How long has it been?” he said motioning for her to have a seat.

“At least two years now.” and she sat beside him on the couch against his office wall. “I’m surprised to hear from you, I know that you have been rather busy now, what with the new contact we’ve had on the edge of the system.” she said. Nova Strangham nodded slowly. Several months ago the Star Brigade had discovered a fleet of ships from a neighboring galaxy had arrived on the outer edge of the system. Negotiations were going well and it was these procedures that had kept him from previously approving a new starslider. He poured a cup of Deen Tea which he knew was Tanna’s favorite, and offered it to her. “Oh thank you.” she said graciously.

“Tanna, we’ve had contact with Earth. Marsius is alive.” He said. She froze, almost dropping her tea.

“A—alive? How? I mean….”

“They have interdimensional portal technology. Marsius and one of their scientists were able to open a link here to Andromenda 3. They even managed to open one of the portals here in my office. I saw Marsius and conversed with him for several minutes.” He said. He watched Tanna for her reaction. She set her tea cup down, her eyes looking down to the floor, her hands trembling.

“How is he?” she asked weakly.

“He has managed very well. In the last five years he has adapted to living on Earth, even going so far as to join a group much like the Star Brigade.” He took her hand. “You would be proud of him, Tanna. He is well known in the city where he resides and is publicly known as a hero for his role in helping Earth fight off the Rikti invasion we sent him to warn them about. He has even taken on a partner there, formed a Binary Union with another of Earth’s heroes.”

Tanna looked up suddenly. “A Binary Union, really? I thought that only Star Brigade command could assign those.” Nova Strangham gave her a quick nod. “Usually we do, but officers do retain the right to request who they become paired to. He found a woman who he works extremely well with, and seeing as he believed the same as us, that he’d never see home again, he exercised his privilege to choose his own.”

“A woman? Then he’s found…..what I mean is…….” Her hands started to tremble but she caught herself and sat upright quickly. “Well of course he would. He didn’t think he’d ever come home, so it is only natural for him to have moved on in his new life.” She picked up her tea, took a quick sip. “I myself gave him up for dead two years ago….” And she couldn’t contain herself and dropped her cup, letting the tea spill onto the couch and started to cry. Frantically she started to dab at the tea on the couch. “I---I’m sorry…..I…” Nova Strangham pulled her up from the couch, moved her to a chair. “Tanna its okay, I’ll have it taken care of. It’s okay.” He said and called for his aide to come and have the couch cleaned.

“I feel like I’ve betrayed him, that I abandoned him.” She looked up at Nova Strangham. “I held out hope for so long, praying to Kairin that he’d come home, but I couldn’t keep doing it. Everyone else had accepted that he was gone, but I kept holding out hope. Then when Janus showed up to convey his condolences, I was tired of being alone. He was Marsius’ best friend and even he had accepted that he was gone.”

“I know, Tanna, I know.”

“Janus was there for me, when everyone else had long decided to just give up on me ever letting go, he was the one that let me just break down and let me move toward my own acceptance. He didn’t push me to let go of Marsius, he just kept checking on me, making sure that I had someone to talk to.” She dried her eyes looking back up to him. “Then I one day, looked at him, and I didn’t think of Marsius the way I did before. He was a wonderful memory, a part of my life that had meant more to me than anything, but Janus, he’d become the next part of my life. I fell in love with him, and I could tell that he had come to love me.” She grabbed Nova Strangham’s hand. “I know your feelings about Janus, that he disgraced himself when he was in the Star Brigade, but he’s a good man, and I don’t think I’d have made it without him. I love him.” She suddenly leapt from her chair. “Nova Strangham, what of Marsius, if he comes home and finds I’m engaged to another man, especially Janus, what will it do to him? I love him, but he’s my past now, and I just can’t leave Janus because I’ve learned that my former fiancé is alive.”

He shook his head. “He’ll be fine, Tanna. I told him that you had to move on with your life. It pained me to do so, but as you said, we all thought he was dead. He took it well, Tanna. He himself said that he had more than expected you would have forgotten him by now. I believe he was even relieved to hear so and trust me, he is truly happy for you.”

“Forgotten him, no, I’ll never forget him. He was my first true love.” She turned away from him to look out his office window at the busy streets below, the aircars moving quickly from one destination to the next in the skies over Arisa. “I’d like to talk to him if you make contact with Earth again. I want to tell him that he’ll always be special to me, even though I now love another. I only hope that he has found someone new as well. He deserves that much; he is the best man I’ve had the pleasure to know.”

“It may be some time. The portal they used takes considerable energy and they can only hold it open for a limited time. I’ve ordered a new starslider be built to go to Earth and bring him home, but it will still be several months away.” She came over and gave him a quick hug. “Thank you for letting me know he’s alive.” She said. Nova Strangham patted her shoulder and moved back to his desk.

“Tanna, I will see to it that you are contacted the very second we get another contact with Earth. I’m afraid that I have to attend to another meeting, so I’ll have to end our time. Are you sure that you are okay?” he asked her. Tanna smiled. “I’m wonderful. Marsius is alive and he’s happy, which all that I ever wanted for him.” she bade him goodbye and left his office.


An undisclosed NSA office.

Marsius sat at a simple rectangular table in a rather uncomfortable folding metal chair. Across from his sat three NSA agents. Only one of them spoke to him, the other two simply observed him and his reactions.

“Do you know why you’re here?” asked Agent Reynolds who didn’t look at Marsius but instead read something on a laptop computer in front of him. Marsius assumed it was the file the NSA kept on him. Agent Reynolds was medium height, with dark blond hair and strong facial features. He had refused to shake Marsius’ hand when he first came in and Marsius had the sense that Reynolds didn’t particularly like him. The other two agents hadn’t even bothered to speak to him, let alone shake his hand.

“I do not. I was told after my assignment the other week that I wouldn’t be needed again for some time.” He said. Agent Reynolds this time did lift his eyes from his laptop just long enough to catch his gaze. “Things have a tendency to change.” He looked back at the laptop. “You’re here because we understand that you’ve been working with a scientist at Portal Corps and their multidimensional devices.”

“Yes, Dr. Jessica Sheppard.” answered Marsius. Reynolds again gave him a brief look. “We know who she is.” He said, as if to demonstrate that there was no need for him to inform them of who he was working with, they knew it all anyway. “You’re here because you’ve used their technology to establish a communication link to your home galaxy in Andromeda, more specifically with Andromeda 3, as you call it, and the main office of your Star Brigade.”

“I have.” He replied. He looked at Agent Reynolds and at the other two agents that still sat emotionless. “Is that a problem?”

“You tell me Marsius.” Reynolds asked.

“I’m afraid I don’t understand.”

“I’m sure I don’t need to remind you of your actions three months ago. Your addressing the UN Security Council, followed by your actions at Camp David…”

“I did not go to harm anyone; I wanted to speak with the President…..”

“So you say.” Agent Reynolds put a finger to the side of his forehead. “Now refresh my memory, what was your agenda, oh yes, you wanted to take control of the planet, starting with the United States…”

Marsius’ brow knit and he felt he was about to be interrogated all over again. “I wasn’t intending to take over the planet, but instead wanted to direct this nation and the rest of the world in unifying this planet. I feel,…felt, that too much time has been wasted here building up individual defenses and armament and not on the task of achieving peace.”

Agent Reynolds looked down at his laptop, his fingers working on the keyboard to pull up a file. “Right, which explains this statement made by you which reads, and please let me know if I have this correct….’Earth will never achieve the greatness that both it’s resource and its people are capable of as long as you insist on existing as separate nations. Only until the people of Earth unify as one race can you hope to ever reach the level of contentment and prosperity as we observe in my home galaxy. Someone must step up to take control of Earth and guide you to that goal.” He looked back up to Marsius “Sounds pretty much to me like you were ‘offering’ to be that someone.”

Marsius looked down at his hands folded in front him on the table. “I was, frustrated, at the time. I made a poor choice in words and judgement.”

“You think?” Reynolds snapped sarcastically.

“Look, Agent Reynolds, I don’t understand why we have to go over this again. I was absolved of my actions…..”

“Yes, thanks to the help of your friends in the Dawn Patrol, particularly Grace Courbier.”

“…and I was even granted special status within NSA itself to act….”

“Granted? No, no, you truly don’t get it, do you?” Agent Reynolds slipped the laptop to the side leaning across the table to get close to Marsius. “You weren’t granted special status within the NSA. You were assigned to us so we could monitor you.” Marsius looked back up at him, his eyes wide. “That’s right, you were placed in our care so we could keep an eye on you. Now this little experiment you ran with Dr. Sheppard at Portal Corps, what is its purpose?”

Marsius sighed. “It’s to simply try and establish contact with my homeworld, to let them know I’m alive and hopefully return me home.” Agent Reynolds leaned back. “I see. So we shouldn’t expect to have a wave of Star Brigade soldiers pouring through it any time to help you in your quest of ‘unifying’ Earth?” Now Marsius was truly surprised.

“No, of course not! Have I not proven by now that my intentions are only for the good of Earth? I came here to help fend off the Rikti attack! Even you cannot deny my role in that.” He yelled. Agent Reynolds was unfazed.

“I have your record right here, and yes, it does show you as having been quite an asset during the Rikti war, almost too much of an asset. It seems you knew exactly the function of the largest Rikti ship and how to disable it. Would that be because your Star Brigade has secretly made the location of Earth known to the Rikti, to soften us up so that your Brigade then could come in take over?”

“That’s preposterous!” Marsius yelled.

“Is it?” Reynolds closed his laptop. “My superiors are convinced of your honesty in the Rikti war Marsius, but they don’t speak for me. I for one don’t trust you. All we’ve ever seen of this fabled Star Brigade and your utopian world, is you. Okay let’s assume for the moment that you’re telling the truth.” He said and stopped to study Marsius’ reactions. “Here’s my concern Marsius. You already went ballistic on us once and tried to enforce your rule on the planet, and now I’m the sorry SOB that has to keep tabs on you until such time as I and my superiors are convinced you’re not going to do it again. With this new portal Dr. Sheppard has established to your homeworld, how long will it be until some other superpowered Andromedan with delusions of Godhood come swarming through it?”

“I told you I didn’t try to take over Earth.”

“History will show it differently.”

“And the portal doesn’t work that way. It’s a communication portal only, it can’t send people to Andromeda, or from there to here.”

“At least not yet.” Reynolds added. He leaned over again. “I’m sure however that it’s only a matter of time.” It was Marsius’ turn to look Reynolds in the eye with a cold stare. “The portal takes too much energy to do that. Besides it won’t matter. The Star Brigade will start work on a new ship like the one that brought me here. Soon it’ll be here to take me home and I’ll be gone from your planet.”

“Well then I guess we’ll both be eagerly awaiting that day then. I’ll have you off my planet, and you can get off this backwater world and home to your perfect little civilization.”

“If I decide to leave, yes.” Marsius said.

Agent Reynolds’ dropped his hands to the table. “What do you mean ‘if’ you decide to leave? Surely after five years on our poor dumb planet you wouldn’t want to stay here? What could possibly entice you to stay?” Reynolds asked. One of the two agents that had been quiet throughout all the interrogation, whispered. “Must be a woman.” Reynolds gave the agent a harsh look, turned back to see Marsius look back down at this hands, his face faintly flushed.

“Oh my God, it is.” He started to snicker. “The alien has gone and fallen for an Earth woman, is that it?” he sat back allowing himself and the other two agents to laugh for a few seconds. “So tell us, Marsius, you think this woman feels the same, or could even feel the same for you? You’re not a native Earthman, you know. To her you’re just another alien.” Marsius looked up at all three of them. “She’s not so different from I. Like me, she wishes to someday see this world as a cohesive whole, and not a collection of splintered beliefs, countries and governments. She’s more Human than any other person I’ve met here.”

One of the other agents spoke up, still lightly snickering. “Who do you think it is?” he asked. Agent Reynolds started pulling up a file on his laptop. “Oh I have a pretty good guess as to who he’s smitten with. This is her, isn’t it, Marsius?” and he spun the laptop around to show him the profile he had pulled up.


Portal Corps building, testing facility 8. 2:32 AM

Jessica checked the sensors on the portal and cross checked the settings on the main computer program. What she was going to attempt could very well overload the entire power grid for all of Portal Corps, but if it worked she it would be well worth the effort. She had rolled a level 10 survey drone to the portal and powered it up. Her assistant Robby was quickly scanning the video playback of their previous contacts.

“Okay Dr. Sheppard, I’ve located the mountain range we found on our first contact. When you activate the portal it should be the location we get.” He said. Jessica made one final check and came to the computer. ‘Okay good, thanks Robby. You should go now, there’s no need for both of us to get fired if it doesn’t work.” He hesitated and then said. “If it’s all the same to you, I’d rather stay. I’m just as curious as you to see if we can do it.” She smiled and activated the portal. The room lit up as it came to life and the mountain range that Marsius had identified as the Anders Peak filled the energy wave in the portal. She toggled up the remote control system for the drone, and commanded it forward. It entered the portal and the light became so intense they had to both shut their eyes and look away. There was a sudden and very audible crackle of energy and they both looked to see the drone was gone. Cautiously she approached the ramp that led into the portal. There in the portal on the Anders Peak mountain range, sat there drone, thirty million light years away. Robby ran up to her. “Well, did we do it? Did it make it?”

“Yes.” She turned to Robby. “Do you know what this means? We can send him home.”

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