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IC POST: Is it worth it?
 Sunday, 18-Feb-01 02:17:25

     129.74.160.121 writes:

     "God...Lord...don't let Alexa hate me fer this...watch over her and keep her safe. Let her know I always loved her..more
     th'n anythin' in this crazy messed up world."

     That would be me, Jadalyn Suzanne McClintock, tyrin' t' get pennance from God. Why? Well, I know th' end is near
     and...I've read too much Dante. If y'know it, ye'll catch my reference. Blackness fades in and out and such. Plus..I don't
     feel th' pain anymore, th' pain that a few minutes ago radiated all throughout my body. I haven't asked how bad it was..I
     don't need to.I can see it in his face.

     "Jada..darlin'..don't you start talking like that. You'll pull through, just hang in there ok. Once we get you back
     planetside..."

     That's Mission Specialist Robert Daniel Wilson and it's in his eyes that what he's sayin' really doesn't hold any truth
     behind it. That..th' damage done by th' explosion is more extensive than he's lettin' on. His words are sweet though..and
     they keep me somewhat calm and cause me t' smile.

     Explosion ya ask? Yes. Let me digress and tell y'th' events that led up to this moment.

     ---------------------------------------------

     NASA. Yes..I'm still on their payroll, well..not fer much longer anyhow. Flight Director and CAPCOM specialist are my
     duties now considering my history with th' space program during th' whole space exploration campaign. Many of th'
     stations that are set up, I've helped t' build. Anyhow...th' skirmish against Mars left some of them in need of serious
     repair, so, NASA put teams together t' send on a rotational basis t' get th' repairs done. Th' first crew t' go up would be
     a group of five consisting of Mission Specialists Robert "Handyman" Wilson, Diane "Mouse" Foster, and Randy "Kink"
     Gleason. Commanders fer th' mission would be Don "Shooter" Marks, and myself. Heh. Thought you'd get t' hear th'
     name they gave me..well..sorry.

     I know what yer thinkin'. I retired from th' core a few months ago. I shouldn't be on this list. Well...they wanted t'send th'
     best and th' brightest. Robert there was also retired, but..they called th' two of us out of it so we could get th' ISS back
     t'operational..it being th' most important out of the damaged stations t' get back online. Anyhow..t' make a long story
     short, th' damage t' th' station was more than what th' satellite projections had predicted. Which meant..more of a
     challenge for us. Not a worry, challenge was expected. What we found though...was not.

     It was fried..completely fried..well, from an electrician's stand point..which was my job. Besides pilotin' the bird, I was in
     charge of gettin' the wirin' and electronic systems back up. From initial glance..it wasn't goin' t'be possible..unless I could
     work a miracle. Kink radioed back down to Mission Control and Shooter gave th' visual feedback while Mouse there
     asked fer advice. Robert and I were on standby. Let the youngin's run th' show fer a bit. Besides our task was going t'be
     more involved and would require our utmost attention and focus.

     "Get the station operational as soon as possible, no matter what it takes." Those were th' orders, which in my opinion
     were strange. Bet they're reconsidering those orders now. Heh. Bastards.

     So..we proceeded as ordered and Robert, Kink and I suited up for th' first of many spacewalks. First was gettin' th'
     solar panelin' back together. That was th' simpler of th' tasks. Once that was done, we could work on th' wirin' from the
     inside. Anyhow. It took three spacewalks of around 6 hours each t' get th' panelin' set. Now came th' hard part and it
     was time for me t' show that I knew my stuff.

     It was day four of our mission. Today it was me, Robert and Diane out gettin' things done. I was doin' th' electrical work
     while th' other two were takin' care of th' interior panels and other things that needed t'be tended to.

     Things were going well, suprisin'ly. Almost seemed as if I was going t'pull off another miracle fer the Space program.
     Woo. Go me. Anyhow. I had just finished replacin' a main board and rewirin' th' parts that should restore power t'th'
     entire station when I heard it. A slight sizzle followed by a pop.

     What happened next is still a blur...

     I remember a bright flash, yells from our comm-links. I remember pullin' Diane and Robert out of that section and pushin'
     them int' a safer region of th' station or somewhere. Then...intense heat, followed by intense pain and then darkness.

     ------------------------------

     "Damnit Jada..you bloomin' idiot. Wake up! C'mon gal, hang on you hear me..hang on!" That was Robert. I heard his
     voice and wanted t' respond..but couldn't. When I had finally opened my eyes, I saw Robert..diggin' like a madman and
     all I wondered was why. Why was he diggin'? Followed by why did everythin' tingle? Where the hell was I? He was
     sayin' things I couldn't make out. Although..I know he called me a bloomin' idiot...more than once.

     "C...ccc..can't.."

     "Hush..we'll get you out. Kink's already radioed back to Mission Control and they've prepped the landing site in
     California for us."

     "Di..dia..ne.."

     "She's fine. And so is the shuttle suprisingly, given the proximity of the blast."

     I blinked...then, it came back to me. What I had done. I had shoved Diane and Robert back int' th' cargo bay of th'
     shuttle. We hadn't docked it t' th' station..which was a good thing because..I managed t' give th' station a push usin' both
     my own manipulation of soundwaves as well as th' thrusters on my jet pack t'steer it away from th' shuttle. Unfortunately
     fer me..I didn't get out of th' way of th' blast. So..th' station exploded. I got hit by th' blast as well as various particles of
     debris. Panels, arms, tiles, anything..ya name it I was probably hit by it.

     Th' diggin'...wasn't diggin' per say..it was Robert gettin' me out of my suit. I heard bustlin'. Must be Diane..medical
     specialist on th' side..gatherin' supplies. Th' look on their faces said it all. Shooter was piloting th' ship and Kink was on
     th' other side of me, helpin' t' get me out of th' space suit. The tinglin'..well..that was me slowly losin' feelin' to my limbs.
     My spine..parts of it are crushed. As well as my legs and a few ribs. I know the internal bleeding is bad. And so..we're
     back to where I began, where I know death is almost inevitable. Unless a miracle occurs..which..is highly unlikely. God
     takes ya when he wants t'. No changin' that.

     "God...Lord...don't let Alexa hate me fer this...watch over her and keep her safe. Let her know I always loved her..more
     th'n anythin' in this crazy messed up world."

     "Jada..darlin'..don't you start talking like that. You'll pull through, just hang in there ok. Once we get you back
     planetside..."

     "I'll be dead.." I say with the hint of a smile. "D..do somethin' f..fer me...?"

     "Anything, Sunshine..anything..."

     "In..in a drawer...th-th-there..thr--three letters...pres...'Lexa..an' James." I paused as everythin' trembled within me and
     took a deep breath. "Deliver them...an' tell 'em..sorry.."

     And that moment, I closed my eyes, never to open them again.

     -------------------------------------------

     The shuttle landed in California, but not to the usual applause it usually receives. However, the atmosphere was solemn
     and tense as people were awaiting an outcome and others were looking for where to point a finger of blame.

     No one came out of the shuttle for hours and no one approached for they already knew. Medical teams monitor the
     health status, so..they knew. They just waited.

     "Damnit Jada..even in death..you wear a smile." Robert sighed and ran a hand through her hair long red hair which she
     would say was her favorite thing about her. "Godspeed Jada...may you rest well and in peace."

     The crew exited the ship, slowly with Robert carrying her body. There were flashes from various cameras and questions
     being yelled from the gathered reporters. But, the crew seemed to be oblivious to them. Members of the medical team
     rushed to take her from him, to make a vain attempt at a resuce. But they knew it was useless.

     The rest of the crew just watched, still in shock. They had lost a member today. One that couldn't be replaced. And for
     what? The advancement of technology? Makes one ask the question...was it worth it?

     Jadalyn McClintock
 
 

 Mourning
 Sunday, 18-Feb-01 14:55:55

     209.162.43.150 writes:

     News came in less than an hour after Jada was injured, I kept close tabs on everything, thinking...KNOWING she would
     survive.

     So when they landed, and they told me, I didnt believe them. Not out loud. But my heart said different.

     "I could have given her everything." I told CJ, he was devistated himself. I think I saw tears in his eyes, through my own of
     course. "If I had been less stupid, and more of a man." No, I dont blame myself. I let Jada get away from me. That was a
     long time ago.

     Then when she came back again, during the campaign, I was already involved with Kes, but damn, alot of those feelings
     were still there. I pushed them aside. Now, she wont be here...ever.

     I dont regret the relationship with Kes, I just wish there was two of me, or just one heart.

     Jordan Vexx

The Final Send Off
 Saturday, 24-Feb-01 02:33:46

     129.74.160.121 writes:

     Florida: The Cape

     I've only seen a live launch once and that was my mom's first. I never realized a launch was such an event. It was four
     days of dinners, press conferences, ceremonies, and dances. The launch took place on the fifth day. I still remember it.
     Sittin in the VIP section and waving my flag with pride, I counted down with the clock, gasped at the feeling of the
     rumbling as the engines ignited and just gaped as the shuttle took off into the heavens. It was an amazing sight. Something
     I'll never forget.

     That was years ago...

     Today is also a day I'll never forget. Mom's final launch and send off. Appropriate that I be there for the first and then
     the last launch of her life. Again, I'm in the VIP section, however, I'm not waving a flag. I'm dressed, head to toe in black
     and staring out to the launch pad. People are here. I sent invites to everyone who mom talked about in her journal as
     well as their descendents. Up to them if they wanted to come and those that did..well..did. Those who didn't, well..each
     pays respects in their own way I guess.

     The countdown begins, and I close my eyes...

     10..
     ~Look 'Lexa..there's Orion. See th' three stars that make th' belt? That's how y'can pick him out. Follow and
     ye'll see his bow.~

     9..
     ~Look down, open yer eyes..I won't drop ya luv. See. Now we're seein' th' world from th' point of th' stars.
     Beautiful, isn't it? How th' light brings out th' hidden beauties...~

     8..
     ~Starlight, starbright..first star I see t'night..I wish I may, I wish I might, have th' wish I wish t'night...~

     7..
     ~Look! 'Lexa..did ya see it? A shootin' star. Quick, quick..make a wish. Ah, ah..keep it t'yerself so it'll come
     true.~

     6..
     ~Th' dipper 'Lexa..see it. That's the big one. It has a sister..a lil' dipper which is over there. Pretty eh?~

     5..
     ~Twinkle, twinkle little star, how I wonder what you are. Up above the earth so high, like a diamond in the sky.
     Twinkle, twinkle little star..how I wonder what you are...~

     4..
     ~Why do they twinkle, mom?...So y'can see them and know that yer bein' loved from afar. Angels darlin', angels
     are lookin' over ya.~

     3..
     ~My dad, yer grandpaps, once told me that..after death, th' soul gets carried up and gets fixed among th' stars.
     There..it twinkles brightly, shinin' light down on those it left behind..~

     2..
     ~See th' North Star, 'Lexa? It never moves or wavers. It remains constant, one of th' few things in this world
     that does..~

     1..
     ~Turn t'th' stars 'Lexa. Whenever ya feel lost, or need direction..look t'the stars and see past their everlastin'
     light t'find what it is yer lookin' fer. If ya look hard enough...it'll make itself clear. That's where I'll be 'Lexa..with
     th' stars..shinin' down a lovin' a protectin' light...~

     Opening my eyes, I cast them on the launch pad as the small unmanned space rover lifted itself from the ground
     and started its journey to the heavens, taking mom's essence with her. Wrapping my arms lightly around myself,
     I give a small smile as tears slowly make their trek down my cheeks.

     "Shine bright for us mom..shine bright.."
 

     ((OOC Note: Well..that's the "funeral" for Jadalyn...her final send off. Feel free to post character reactions and
     such or just general opinions. Thanks for reading...

     ~Jade~))
 

     Alexa McClintock

Re: The Final Send Off
 Saturday, 24-Feb-01 07:47:10

     172.131.214.64 writes:

     ~Don't you ever smile?~
     ~~What's there to smile about?~~
     ~Life.~

     She'd smiled after she'd said that. I'd been too wrapped up in my woes to understand her. To understand what she meant.

     I'm standing next to Alexa, dressed in a black suit and tie, my powers down, my hair black instead of the usual blonde
     now. She'd always tried to bring out 'me' in me. That and make me smile. She succeeded on both fronts, I can't ever
     thank her enough.

     ~You know how t'dance?~
     ~~No.~~
     ~Then I guess it's 'bout time t'learn huh?~

     She'd smiled there too, as she taught me to dance on the warehouse rooftop. She was a good teacher. A good friend.
     People always remembered her smile, I do too, but what I remember most...what I remember most is her kindness, and
     her friendship. I'd really needed that, and she gave it without thought of return.

     There was an extra part to the send off, an extra little bundle with the urn to be released. A dried purple flower. I gave it
     to her 30 years ago when I'd left New York as a kid, to find myself. I'd just laid it on her bed and walked away. She'd
     known what it meant, and cherished it until she died. It deserved to be with her now, and so it would be.

     Thge launch is over, people are still here though, lost in their own thoughts, their own remorses, their own affirmations of
     life. That's what she'd been, an affirmation of life. She'd proven that life could be happy, despite ones experiences, it was
     all in how you dealt with it.

     "Good bye Jada, may the stars keep you."

     Dylan Somerset
 
 

 A loss beyond measure
 Saturday, 24-Feb-01 13:40:29

     209.162.45.207 writes:

     We arrived only moments before they closed the launch pad for send off. CJ was having a hard day getting around,
     apparently wet weather didnt agree with him in Washington. But at the Cape? Its beautiful, just as Jada would have loved.
 

     I cant believe she's gone. She wasnt supposed to go first, she was young, and vibrant, and carried the sun wherever she
     went. See? There's the sun now, while in Washington, there's nothing but clouded dreary skies.

     I let her down, and I let him down too. My son, he loved her, and would have cared as a step-son for her. He hated the
     choices I made in life. Told me I kept letting go of the gold to reach for rust. I did that with my first marriage, which is
     sure.

     He chokes for a moment, looking at the ship, and I reach to put a hand on his shoulder. We all loved her, for different
     reasons. His were pure and untainted. She had been there for him during the worst moments of his life, and held him up.
     Its a small comfort, but one Ill gladly take, to know we both share this grief. Like we shared so much of our lives.

     As the ground shakes, I run a hand over my own face. ~God Jada, this cant be, let me turn this thing around and do it
     right.~ But I cant do that. The worst mistake of my life. God I loved her. Why couldnt I see how much until she was
     gone?

     An old song comes back to me, one I wish had kept its distance. ~Wish you were here, wish you could see this place,
     wish you were near, wish I could touch your face. The weathers nice, its paradise, its summertime all year. And there's
     some folks we know they say hello...I miss you so, wish you were here.~

     Maybe this time, I wont make that mistake again. Ill love Kes with all my heart. But Jada has her own place in my heart,
     that nobody can ever take.
     "G'bye darlin. You keep care of y'self, and keep laughin my love." I need space. I need a place to sit down for a while.
 

     ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
     He was patient with me getting up and around this morning, which was so much more than I ever expected from him
     today. I told him to go without me, privately hoping he would wait. And he did. My back slips too much for me to move
     easily. That and I keep feeling this knot in my stomach. I dont know what I expected. The loft room dad and I went to
     was fairly empty, security demanded to have as few people as possible around The President, he didnt give up a fight, he
     simply nodded. Looking defeated.

     But today was for Miss Jada, and it wouldnt have been right to make a fuss when its always fun for him to do that. Today
     he sees how much he loves her and I can see it in his eyes. I hate to see him hurt.

     I startle for a moment, Ive been doing that for a couple weeks, I suppose withdrawls still from the overdose. Miss
     Jada...gone. Lordy, but we didnt have a chance to say g'bye. Moving to the window to look down at her final vessel. The
     one who would make her a member of the heavens, and I cant take the hurt. Coughing to fight back the tears, and I feel
     his hand on my shoulder. I'd give anything to bring her home. So many people who loved her.

     ~Ill miss you Miss Jada, more than you'll ever know.~ I feel like an 18 year old boy again. ~I have so much to thank you
     for. In some ways, I owe you for giving my father to me. If you hadnt been here, I dont know he would have ever said
     something. And we may not have worked through the first fight. Y'always gave of y'self without expectin payment. Why
     we drifted apart? Ill never quite understand, but it was a mistake that can never be made up. Y'send your little girl t'us if
     she ever needs an'thin. I know y'there. And I know y'are b'cause of her. She's alot like you. But she's still young. And
     where would I have been without a shoulder? Keep smilin Miss Jada, make the heavens brighter than it has ever been.
     And if y'dont mind? Ev'y once in a while, look in on m'dad. Make sure he aint bein a jerk? He tends t'do that without
     someone like you to smack him back in his place...... I love you.~ *turning from the window, I see him leaving for some
     private space. Thats probably a good idea. But for me. Marty helps me find a seat, and sits near me until we go. He
     knows how horrible this is, and stays quiet. He's a good boy. He woulda loved her too.

     Jordan and CJ
 
 

 *Silence*
 Saturday, 24-Feb-01 21:37:42

     209.240.221.136 writes:

     *I'm here, cause..she deserved for me to be here. I cared very much for her..my absolute best friend. And lexa..I'm here
     for her, my "neice", a part of my family I will always be there for. Lastly, I am here for myself, I changed, finally..a black
     suit, and shirt and tie. It's the first thing I've worn since she died. I wasn't taking the news well, shut myself off, especially
     with everything else around. This..makes it more real.*

     I'll be there..soon..keep it warm for me...

     *My words a silent..way of saying..everything I would like to. I've never been good with words, and as the count down
     descends, I wish I could find some words that would have worked. The shuttle blasts off, and I sit quietly next to
     Alexa...my words finally come in few but meaningful ones.*

     Jadalyn..soar..good journey...I love you.

     *I lower my head, silent prayers and tears, staying now..for Alexa's benefit. Her company..though, is for my benefit.*

     James Maxton