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Lost Universe: An end
Lost Universe:
An End?
By ACJ Leveille

Millie screamed with joy as she raced down the hillside to meet the SwordBreaker.  Kane, she thought, finally you're back!  The white ship settled gently onto the grass and Millie danced in place, clutching her hands to her heart.  She had waited so long for this day!  

The engines cut.  The airlock cycled open.  Millie searched for Kane's distinctive caped form.  

"Kane?"  She called out when no one appeared, "Where are you?"  

She walked onto the ship, heading for the bridge, where she had last seen her Captain.  She half expected him to jump out in front of her.

What if he's hurt?  What if he's dying?  Canal was gone - there was only Vorfeed left.  "Kane," she called again, starting to run.

The bridge was empty.  "Kane?"  A tear fell and Millie bit her lip.  "Come on, he's here somewhere," she told herself out loud.

"Captain," a voice greeted.  The ship.  Millie whirled expected to see Kane walking in behind her.  Nothing.  

"Place your hand on the plate and state your name, Captain," the voice came again.  A glowing blue light appeared.  Heart pounding, Millie stepped forward, putting her hand onto it.  

"Identity confirmed.  Welcome, Millennium Nocturne, Captain."  The voice sounded happy.  

"What happened to Kane?"  She asked, sliding into the pilot's seat.

"Kane has merged with the ship," the disembodied voice said.  "Kane is all around you.  Would you like to activate the hologram personality program, Captain?"  The ship asked.

Millie nodded.  "Y… yes."  

She watched the screens flicker, and waited for Vorfeed to appear.  The hologram flickered to life.  A man.  A blue-haired man, with the distinctive forehead markings of a Lost Ship computer interface.  His eyes were blue.  Except for the hair color, he could have been….

"Kane?"  She reached forward, and her hand slid through the hologram.  

"Careful," the hologram said, "This program isn't firmed up yet."  He looked to the computer output and smiled.  "There," he said, reaching forward and taking her hand.  "It's nice to see you Millie."  

"It's you," she whispered, "It's really you."

He nodded.  "Well, me and Vorfeed, together, like Alice and Vorfeed became Canal."  He turned, and she realized that this hologram had a cape.  She laughed, but the laugh turned into a sob.  

"Hey," his hand was on her shoulder as the crying began, and he murmured comfortingly as she gained swift control of herself.  "It's okay.  I'm here.  You can help me find a new name, even.  I can't be Kane Blueriver anymore, I guess."  

"Oh, Kane," she sighed, wiping the tears from her eyes.  "Why did you do it?"

His eyes turned sad.  "I had to use all my power to defeat Darkstar - I … I didn't have a choice.  I had to save the universe."  He smiled at her.  "Vorfeed and I … she's not like the other Lost Ships, I don't think.  I became a part of her.  She… adopted me into her programming."  

They sat in companionable silence for a time.  Finally, Millie wondered aloud.  "What do we do now?"  

Kane focused internally for a second and then came the whir of the engines.  "We can go anywhere you want, Captain!  Name the planet and we're on the way."

"It's that simple?"  She asked.

The engines powered down.  Kane looked uncertain.  "You can stay on this planet.  I can… go to sleep," he offered.  "I thought you would…"  He trailed off, blue eyes troubled.

"No," she said, holding up her hand.  "That's not what I want!

"What do you want," he asked, head cocked and eyes twinkling.

She glared at him, finding it hard to think of him as a hologram - as a computer - even with the blue hair.  "I just… this is difficult to get used to, you know?  You're a hologram, Kane!"  

"At least in here," he said.  "I missed you, Millie.  It's going to be nice having you doing the shooting.  I can still handle the psi-stuff, you know!"  He smiled, looking for all the world like he was still alive.  "I'll even teach you to use the psi-blade, if you want me to," he offered.

Millie sat up in the pilot's seat, frowning.  "I thought you said I couldn't use it!"

He smiled.  "Well, you used it all right; you just have to learn how to focus your power!  I can help you do that.  We can be a real team, Millie; all you have to do is say the word."  He looked at her slyly.  "Besides, you're the captain now.  I've registered you and everything."

"What was your name, as crew?"  She asked, curious.

"I've been thinking of Kayne.  K-A-Y-N-E."  He looked fondly at the interior of the ship.  "Do you think Canal would mind?"

"I'd worry more about Vorfeed minding," Millie said.  

"She doesn't mind," he said, voice certain.  "She's happy to be like this.  I told you… Vorfeed isn't like those other Lost Ships.  She's… different."  He trailed off, and silence echoed in the room - the only interruption the hum of the computers.  "So… do you want to stay on?  Be a trouble shooter?  Explore the universe?"

Millie smiled.  "As the Captain of a Lost Ship?  Are you crazy?  Of course!"  She leapt at him, hugging him.  When she pulled away she saw Kayne's huge smile.  

"In your seat then, Captain," he motioned, and she slid back into the seat, facing the forward screens.  A whirring came from all around her and the view screens came on, showing the grass and flowers of the planet beneath the ship.  "Liftoff in minus five…"

Millie listened to Kayne's voice, her hands on the armrests of the captain's seat.  She had missed him.  He droned through the liftoff program, and she thought of Canal.  She was going to miss her… but… she had a feeling that Canal was always going to be a part of Vorfeed, much like Kayne would be.

"And liftoff!"  Kayne exclaimed as the thrusters fired.  The SwordBreaker rose into the air.  The screens showed the atmospheric burn, then the starscape before them.  With a flash of light, they phased out, and were gone - on to their next adventure.  

The End

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