Chapter One: Protectors of Gaia

Chapter One: Protectors of Gaia

A Chapter by Lou Evans

Chapter One: Protectors of Gaia

One Year Earlier

                The red lights had been swirling for at least a half hour by now but every time Jim Grady gazed out across the universe all he saw were stars that spelled the loneliness called the universe.  His heart pounded in his chest though.  He was afraid of what lurked out there in the deep.  A world unknown that he was meant to explore but there were days where he wondered why.  Too many people had lost their lives and this was only the beginning of their mission.  But he had to follow through. 

                His fingers clawed the arm rests of the large seat he had to sit in while he leaned forward in anticipation.  Nothing moved still.  Carefully, he rose to his feet looking off to his left ignoring some people that ran frantically around.  Everybody in their color coded uniforms although he struggled to tell the difference all the time considering the fact that he was color blind.  Everything seemed to fade into an undeniable mess.  But that was a well kept secret that had only been shared with one other living soul who probably would never understand the reasons why.  Jim Grady passed through the crowd of his other officers going straight to the one side of the bridge where Kai stood lost in thought.  Normally, he was at work but some reason he appeared to be absent minded.

                “Is there something wrong that I need to know about?” asked Jim Grady.  Kai only shook his head.  The entire time he was focused on the main window, which Jim Grady always preferred to call mega-windshield.  “Kai?  Gaia to Kai.  What’s wrong?”

                “Nothing that pertains to you,” replied Kai in nothing but a whisper. 

                Jim Grady followed his stare and gazed out the window at the star studded universe.  Nothing was still in sight.  Some reason, the red lights continued to swirl.  They were on red alert for something lurked the area nobody was sure of what or if it would even begin to strike.  He glanced back at Kai.  What an interesting character he had been from the start.  Everybody else on his spaceship hailed from Earth�"well Gaia�"while Kai came from a different planet.  Yet for the most part, he looked to be human and at times, it felt as if he acted as if he were completely human even though he had abilities and skills that surpassed anybody from Gaia.  If something were wrong, he would be the first to know about it and he would be the first to know what to do.  Although, at the moment this all seemed to be a lie while he stood there lost in thought as he stared out the window not flinching.

                Water seemed to slide down the window pane and Jim Grady couldn’t pull his eyes away.  It was as if they were a ship sinking below the waves of the sea.  Maybe a better description would be a submarine.  Fish swum before him.  Not once did Kai flinch while he stood there staring out the mega-windshield.  Jim Grady glanced at him.  It took him awhile to notice a few things that was different about him at the moment.  Kai always had the habit of wearing a hat because he was a little embarrassed by his slightly inhuman appearance.  His one ear flopped a little like a messed up elf’s ear but personally, Jim Grady thought of an adorable puppy dog.  Today, he wasn’t wearing a hat while his well groomed hair stuck out everywhere as if he had just rolled out of bed.  Kai rolling out of bed, that was a funny thought since he was pretty much an insomniac considering the fact that he was able to hear everybody’s thoughts.  Whenever he tried to sleep or showed the faintest hint of emotion, he lost all control of his abilities�"of his skills�"and it not only affected him but the rest of the ship, too.

                Jim Grady continued to stare at Kai before he carefully moved forward toward the mega-windshield.  He reached out touching it.  Everybody continued to run about  their almost everyday lives but he couldn’t help but stand there looking at the fish that floated past the thick piece of glass; well, it was actually some sort of plastic but still…he turned to walk back over to Kai only for him to stand there directly in front of him slightly trembling.

                “I need to request leave,” blurted Kai.  “I need to return to my home planet.”

                “We’re in the middle of an emergency.  Why are you requesting to leave now?”

                “Am I or am I not allowed to return to my home planet?”

                “When?” asked Jim Grady feeling awfully puzzled by this sudden break down.

                “I cannot explain.”

                “We’re too far away from your planet and we cannot leave our station at the moment.  You will have to wait a few days before you are able to leave.”

                “That’s too long…” whispered Kai while he shook his head.  He backed away from Jim Grady.  “Thank you, you were an excellent captain one of the best that I have ever seen but I need to return home for urgent matters.  Please do not take offense to my actions for they have nothing to do with you or anybody else on this starship…”  He whirled around on his heel and took off running toward the door only to be thrown off balance with the rest of the crew when something smashed across the hull of their ship.  Kai laid there stunned for a bit but Jim Grady was fast to move to his feet.

                When Jim Grady was about to shout some orders the image of the marine world seemed to fade.  He was silenced when he turned to look at the screen.  A captain or a leader�"just some freak�"sat on his spaceship while he watched them.  Still, there was no sign of an intruder.  The face grinned at them.  It had to be a man; he had long pointed ears that looked a bit like Kai other than the fact that his were a little deranged.  Something about the man made Jim Grady think of an elf or maybe even the devil himself.  Such a pale face with what looked like menacing black eyes that were probably only brown but it was a little impossible to think of such a thing while he glared at everybody on the bridge.  Behind Jim Grady, Kai was the last to stumble to his feet thanks to the help of one of the women.  He stared at the screen with his mouth hanging ajar.

                “Hello Kai,” said the face.  All eyes fell upon the poor guy while he stood there hardly able to remain standing.  Gradually, Kai stumbled forward as he approached the screen.  “You don’t remember me or any of us do you?”

                “To whom am I a-a-acquainted to?” asked Kai, he attempted to stand up straight.  “I am assuming that I do not remember for I do not recall ever seeing your face before.  Maybe you have me confused with somebody else.”

                “Not many people in the universe look like you,” replied the face.  “I am Kade…”  But he never had the chance to continue because everything on the bridge began to flicker.  All the equipment almost blacked out while Kai stood there staring at the screen.

                “Kai!” exclaimed Jim Grady.  He ran over to Kai no longer caring about the fish that floated around their spaceship.  He didn’t care that it was impossible to tell where they were and how they managed to arrive there.  He reached out to grab Kai by the shoulder but he moved out of the way.  Kai turned to face him, his eyes seemed to squint a little while he glared at Jim Grady.  Immediately, Jim Grady paused while he hung there.

                “Do not follow me.  This isn’t your war,” replied Kai before he took off at a fast pace.  Somebody tried to grab onto him before without touching him, Kai threw him into a wall.  He almost came to a complete stop before the doors.  He flicked his hand to the side and they both flew open for him.  Without missing a beat, he raced down a new hallway leaving Jim Grady standing behind in a slight shock.  None of this made sense to him.  What had become of his first officer?  He remained rooted to the ground while he stared at the open doors.

                “What is wrong with you?!” shouted somebody.  Caleb.  Of course it was Caleb.  The man who always claimed he was better fit for the job of being captain and if not captain, at least he should have been the first officer.  Caleb charged across the bridge grabbing onto Jim Grady while he stood there frozen in place.  “Stop him before he messes something up!”  Again, something slammed against the ship throwing them all to the ground.  Jim Grady rolled away from Caleb where he laid for all of two seconds before he leapt to his feet.  “What are you doing?  You’re the damn captain of this starship and you’re not doing anything to stop your first officer who’s gone insane.  And what’s up with those things that just contacted us?  Somehow your dumbass first officer pulled us into some intergalactic mysterious war.  All thanks to you we’re probably all going to die this time around.”

                Jim Grady just glanced at him, “Shut up!”  He raced after his first officer refusing to take orders from somebody of a lower rank.  Outside of the bridge all hell had broken loose.  His feet carried him down a hallway that was starting to flood with the water that gushed between cracks from the ocean around them.  An elevator came into view although people seemed to avoid it while they panicked about water.  It was something that they weren’t supposed to fear out there in space.  This wasn’t the Titanic.  Jim Grady slid across the floor crashing into the elevator where he stood up grabbing onto a lever.  He tore it toward the ground and it felt as if he tumbled toward oblivion falling through space.  Water cascaded over his head starting to flood the elevator yet he ignored such inconvenience.  Other than his own life, Kai was the most important in this universe.

                The elevator sloshed to a stop cutting through water.  He struggled to pull himself out through the door but once he did, he was on the move half swimming, half running through the water.  Up ahead, he could make out Kai while he had the same struggle.  He cut across the floor rounding a corner out of sight.  But Jim Grady continued after him knowing where he was going.  The Teleportation Room was down here and not only was it on this level but it was around that corner.  Soon, he fell into the room finding Kai at one of the computers.  His hand laid on one of the screens while his eyes were shut tight.  Once, he explained that the machines sung to him and he would sing back, that was how he commanded them to obey his word.

                “KAI!” screamed Jim Grady.  “What do you think you’re doing?”

                “Saving my planet,” replied Kai before his eyes snapped open.  He looked over at Jim Grady watching as he came further into the room.  Only the water moved between the two of them.  He seemed to linger there frozen in place.  “You can’t follow me.  I’m sorry.  I have to do this on my own.”

                “What’s going on here?” asked Jim Grady.

                “It’s complicated, you wouldn’t be able to understand what I’m about to tell you.”  He left the computer running over to a platform that had yet to be touched by the water.  Still, water crept toward the platform as more and more spilled into the ship.  “Sorry.”

                “I’m coming with you!” shouted Jim Grady.  He ran onto the platform.  “I can help you.”

                “You are the captain of this starship.  Without you, it will fail.  Metaphorically, you are the beating heart and once you’ve stopped all else will fail.  I’m sorry,” protested Kai.  He pushed him away from himself back into the water filled floor.  Jim Grady laid there unmoving while he stared up at Kai, who silently waited to be teleported from the sinking ship. 

                But before anything could happen there was another explosion, but this one rocketed in the room.  Jim Grady felt his hands clasp his ears while he laid there trying to ignore the ringing in his ears.  In the split second, he looked away from Kai he missed probably the most important event of his life.  He never heard Kai hit the ground.  He never heard him scream in pain.  By the time he looked up, he saw his first officer lying there gasping in pain.  Still the ringing sound consumed everything as he pulled himself back onto the platform not paying attention to the fact that they were now alone.

                “Kai?  Kai?  Kai?!  KAI?!” he started to scream while he clung to him.  Somebody shot him.  Never before had he seen a gun or any weapon of the sort.  All he heard was about the devastation people once faced back on his home planet.  Back when it was known as Earth.  “KAI?!”  He pressed a hand against the wound, blood gushed out of it.  His blood was already splattered all over the room.  Jim Grady pulled Kai into his arms looking over his shoulder at the doorway to see that the face from the screen stood there with a smirk on his face.

                “Fascinating, that was a little too easy in my opinion,” he commented.

                Kai flinched underneath the with that Jim Grady put on him.  His hand moved against his struggling to pull away.  But Kai sat there stunned unsure who to pay attention too.  Finally, he looked down at Kai who was busy trying to push something into his hand.  Carefully, he grasped it before he stood up to face the intruder.  The creature approached him while holding onto a gun that still smoked from the last time it was fired.  He clicked a bullet into place before he pointed it at Jim Grady.

                “Believe me, you don’t want to get caught up into this mess,” said the man.

                “It’s Kade…right?” asked Jim Grady.


                “It was…it was nice knowing you,” said Jim Grady.  He threw himself to the ground shoving Kai out of the way.  Kade rolled his eyes; he stepped onto the platform right when a beam of light shot down.  Jim Grady laid there with his eyes closed while he gripped Kai afraid that if his grip loosened, his first officer would be gone forever.  When he looked up he felt his stomach churn as if a snake slithered through it.  All that laid on the ground was an arm that still gripped a gun.  No more Kade.  Jim Grady sat there.  He used his hand to wipe away a few tears ignoring the fact that blood would smear across his face.  It was too late to care about such issues.  The red lights of the ship all seemed to turn off, which allowed everybody to return to their normal positions.  Water no longer tried to drown him. 

                “We did it, Kai…” he said not sure as to why.  When he turned around though, Kai was no longer there.  Blood was smeared across the ground, it was the only sign he had ever been present.  All that was left was him and Kade’s arm.  Actually, that was untrue.  His fingers grasped something that was pressed against the palm of his hand.  Whatever it was, he knew he needed to keep it on him at all times, to keep everybody safe.  To remember Kai.  It would have been a little nice though if Kai bothered to explain him what actually was going on…



                “Grady?” shouted Chuck.  His eyes snapped open.  Jim Grady laid in a field of grass that seemed to stretch onward toward the sky.  Instead of a starry night to look at, he had his friend’s little sister hovering above his face.  She smiled at him.  Of course, little no longer really fit since she was sixteen at the moment.  “Uh hello Grady, I understand that you were once a bad a*s captain but that does not mean you can sleep out in the middle of nowhere without having to worry about being mugged.”

                “I highly doubt I’m going to get mugged in this field,” replied Jim Grady.

                “Anything can happen and you know that for a fact.”

                “But that’s only when we’re out in the middle of nowhere in this godforsaken galaxy,” muttered Jim Grady.  He sat up with a yawn before he glanced at the moon.  “It’s been three years.  Well almost three years.  Tomorrow is the anniversary of Kai’s death…and I still don’t know where he is.  A part of me thinks that he’s alive out there somewhere but that doesn’t even happen in the movies.  Well not a lot.  It doesn’t even happen when anything can happen out there in space.”

                “It happens in Star Trek,” commented Chuck.

                “Well this isn’t Star Trek and believe me.  I’ve thought of that.”  Jim Grady put out his hand and Chuck grabbed it helping him to stand up straight.  “We have places to go and places to be and people to meet…right?”


                “I hate not being a captain these days.  I have to deal with people on Earth all the time.”

                “Um excuse me?  Earth?  It’s now called Gaia,” laughed Chuck.

                “Whatever.  It was Earth when I was your age.”  He playfully pushed her to the side before he started to walk away from the spot he had been laying.  The grass was flattened and plastered across his imprint.  For a few seconds, she stood there unable to look away from the spot.  “Chuck?  You coming?”

                “Yeah,” she called back to him.  She looked over her shoulder at Jim Grady while he continued to walk away.  Death was a funny thing that she was unable to grasp although it seemed as if he couldn’t grasp it either.  Somebody gone.  Without a trace in the world.  In the universe except for those memories in people’s minds; yet when they were living everything they did left a mark.  She looked toward the stars forgetting, which tiny freckle was Kai’s home.

                “Chuck?” shouted Jim Grady.

                “I’m coming…” she yelled back at him.  If there was some sort of way, she could find Kai between now and tomorrow, she would do anything to bring him back.  After all, other than her brother, Jim Grady meant everything to her in the world.  For the past three years, he had been her father ever since he had a mental break down and was supposed to take one long break.  Although, like he knew and like she knew…it was really everybody asking him nicely to leave because he was no longer able to sufficiently act as a captain.


© 2010 Lou Evans

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Added on February 26, 2010
Last Updated on February 26, 2010


Lou Evans
Lou Evans

Vulcan, DC

I love Star Trek. I love screenwriting but for some reason, I really want to write a kid's story. Like those great old chapter books. I read sci-fi and Jane Austen. (I'm not huge on fantasy) .. more..

Preface Preface

A Chapter by Lou Evans