Are Not Always Red
awoke early the next morning, well before her alarm rang. As she pulled on her
green jumpsuit, her mind became muddled. She had experienced an intense
closeness with Iffley, and yet, somehow she felt uneasy about it. His
'Father-figure' explanation had been correct, but something inside her would
never let her share Iffley's love; she and Iffley would have to remain content
as friends. The thought pained her, but she realized that it was true.
turned down the hallway to confront Iffley. The computer acknowledged her
presence and told her that the room was unoccupied. Adena expressed her desire
to wait for him inside. It checked its memory banks for comfirmation, and
allowed Adena to enter.
crossed the hallway and entered the suite's aft section. In amazement, she
stared at the room. It remained exactly as she had left it that evening. The
dishes still lay on the table, the disk rested upon the reader. The rose, its
petals now closed, drooped sli9htly, the vase preventing its collapse. Ashes
still adorned the hearth, a few glowing embers remaining active throughout the
eyes shifted to the sofa, where they had sat last night. A small red envelope
with 'Adena' written on it lay on a pillow. She took it and examined its
contents: one solitary data tape. She transversed the room to the computer
housed in the roll-top desk.
She opened the desk and activated the terminal. She
inserted the tape and accessed the data:
our lives, I have known you and respected you. I have valued your judgement. I
have fought by your side; I have felt your wrath. I grieved with you in your
losses; I laughed with you in your happiness. We shared each other's thoughts
and consciousness. You have saved my life more times than I can tell. I owe
you a great deal.
I only repay you with unhappiness. In spite of my great love for you, I now
know that we can never be together. Your love for Blue is too strong; and that
is something that I never want to take away from you. He is yours, and you are
his; this fact will never change. I do not want to make the same mistake that
I made several years ago--a mistake that ended in tragedy. That is why I must
leave you. I will not ask you to choose between us, for I know the victor of
that scenario. Instead I beg forgiveness for the errors in judgement that I
I am away, Jonathon is to take charge of the Colonies. I know that he is not
interested in ruling anymore, but he will have to accept his role. The Fleet
is yours to command; use it wisely. The Sceptre is coming with me, I have a
feeling I'm going to be needing it. Protect and watch over Dion, she too is a
good friend. Meric's transfer is to be completed; Doctor Torque's as well. You
will need them more than I. Do not try to follow me, for you will never find
me. I need this time to be alone.
a careful watch for my return, for indeed, I will return. I must complete my
tasks and fulfill my promises before the emptiness in my heart can be
Adena, I present thee with a gift. In a box, sitting on the desk, is a small
token of my gratitude. Cherish it, Adena, for you have truly known
I will never renounce your love.
Suralio Frith Iffley
White King forfeits game.
last line flashed on the screen until Adena could no longer bear to look at
it. She turned the computer off. She picked up the box, holding Iffley's last
gift for her, and slowly opened it.
light reflected off the object, revealing its identity: the Ring of Ranet.
Laying beside the Ring was a delicate flower. Its petals pushing outward into
the light. Tears welling within her eyes, she carefully picked up the blue
Adena, the clock sounded the half-hour. Its tiny soldier, bedecked in a red
uniform, entered from a small doorway and marched to the center of the clock.
He then blew the trumpet, a simple sweet melody designated for the half-hour,
and saluted. Thus, having finished his task, he marched toward the opposite
doorway. He entered the clock and disappeared without a trace....
* * * * *
Scimitar sped off toward its destination. The sound of the engines
perfectly timed the the beat of Iffley's heart. Iffley scanned the new faces
on the bridge, a new surge of loneliness filled his heart. Years of running
away from his problems had not solved them. Deep in his heart, he always knew
that they would remain a constant threat to his happiness, and yet, running
away seemed the only way to avoid them.
now, as he tried to straighten out his past problems, new problems seemed to
keep arising. He hoped that Adena would understand his impromptu decision; if
not, well, he had never promised her a rose garden....
| ||© 1984, ||K. Blaire, L. Charles, D. Conrad, Enad the Great, J. Pierce, B. C. Randolf, and T. G. Taft|