It was a lovely clear day. However, this was
not what struck Marcus Cole. What struck Marcus was that he was on
Arisia, and there was stuff here.
He'd relived this day over and over again in his head. The day his life as Marcus Cole ended, and the day his life as another faceless Ranger began.
He was sitting in his office. His office. That sounded so dull after all he'd done as a Ranger. But it was stable. Maybe he didn't miss that as much as he thought he would though. He looked at the calendar on the wall. 16 June. This was the day that the Shadows would attack and make Arisia as desolate as Z'Ha'Dum.
As desolate as Z'Ha'Dum? He'd never been to Z'Ha'Dum. Where had that comparison come from?
The office door opened. A brunette stepped around. "Hi," she smiled.
"DeAnna?" he asked.
"You sound surprised to see me," DeAnna said, "it's 3:00. Time for your break. Let's go for a walk." She came to him and took his hand. He stood and came around the desk. He put an arm around her waist and they went outside.
He'd spent his life on Arisia. Born and raised Arisian. He took over his father's mining company when his brother William declined. His brother didn't even live on Arisia anymore. He'd moved away, but he was back visiting for a couple days. He was a surveyor once. Now, he was a Ranger
But this was all so strange. How could he be here, now. He remembered becoming a Ranger, and going to Babylon 5, and meeting and falling in love with Susan Ivanova. It almost made him feel guilty, thinking of Susan while he was holding DeAnna. But he shouldn't. This wasn't real. It couldn't be. It was past and done. There was no way it could be changed.
In thinking all this through, he was neglecting to talk to the woman next to him. "You're quiet today," she said.
"Just thinking," he said dismissively.
"About what?" she asked gently.
He heard it. A scream overhead. He looked up. The Shadows. More screams heralded the coming of more Shadows. Then they started firing. A shot hit close to the pair and threw them both. DeAnna hit a tree with such force that the tree fell over on her. After the shock of the blow wore off him, he went to her. She was dead, he knew that before he got there.
Delenn told him that he felt guilty for being alive, when everyone else around him died on this day, his parents, his brother, DeAnna . . .
That was about to change.
He heard a high pitched chattering behind him. He look up and was staring a Shadow in the face. Slowly, he stood. The Shadow looked over him, as if to confirm something. Then it rose a pincher, and after a pause, it ran him through with it.
Marcus Cole gasped and woke up. He was in bed, in a bedroom, on what appeared to be Earthdome.
Continue on with the next exciting chapter!