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Alternate Scene from

 

Time of the Hawk

 

 

 

Time of the Hawk

  Part One

 

While I thought the episode was excellent, I found a couple of things that kind of bugged me.   One of those—what happened to Koori after she died—was well addressed by another fanfiction writer, Teresa—(see her story on my site)--who wrote an excellent alternate scene.   But during the fight, Buck falls, not from a huge height, but not a short one either.  Seemed kind of silly that he would be able to go another round after something like that… (good heavens, I got a concussion when I passed out and hit the kitchen floor last year)…  so my thoughts began to center on what would Hawk do if Buck had been hurt in that fall.  And then the story muses took over from there. 

 

 

…..After kicking Hawk away from him, Buck felt his feet slip and his body sliding toward the edge of the precipice.  Desperately, he tried to grab at anything that might stop his fall, but he couldn’t.  Pebbles and rocks slithered from under his fingers.   Unable to gain any purchase whatsoever, Buck fell from the cliff feet first.  It was the same sickening feeling that he imagined one had who had just fallen into an elevator shaft might feel.  The sensation was quickly replaced with intense pain as he hit an outcropping and he heard the snapping of bones.  He couldn’t tell if he was still falling, the sudden agony made him feel he was tumbling into an abyss.  How high had they been?  It had seemed eternity getting up there to Hawk.  It was a horrible eternity getting down.   Then his head made contact with something hard and he felt no more. 

Hawk felt the sharp pain in his knee and knew that Rogers’ last blow had connected in a way that would make him totally vulnerable to the human.  Anger warred with despair—anger that he could so easily be bested by a human and despair that he would be taken prisoner.  Twisting around as quickly as he could, determined to fight to the very finish, he saw no one.  The human was gone.  Puzzled, Hawk paused a brief second, but heard nothing.  Then he remembered how close they had been to the edge of the cliff.  Hawk crept closer to the edge, still vigilant, ignoring the pain of his throbbing knee.  Peering over, he saw the human stretched out below him, unconscious, maybe dead.  There was no movement.  He watched for another moment, then hobbled back toward the back of the rock, to an area where he could get down the side of the cliffs and check to see if his adversary was truly dead. 

Again, he felt the warring of emotions.  There was the elation of victory.  He had bested Rogers in the air and on the ground.  But it was tempered with the fact that he would really have preferred not to have to kill this human.  With that thought came the feeling of guilt and anger.  He had vowed to kill all humans for what they had done to his people.  It had been an oath to Make-Make.  A life oath.  Why should this human be any different, he berated himself.   Perhaps because this human was different in some way.  Then Hawk shook his head.  He had given Rogers a chance to leave alive.  A chance to live.  The stupid human had to know that he, Hawk, had the advantage here in these rocks and heights.  And for all his fighting skills, the captain had seemed clumsy and overly cautious in the rocks.  Hawk snorted.  It had all been a sham, a trick to get him off his guard.  Then why had he stayed with the human when all the other humans had ganged up to kill Rogers?  That angered him even more; this idea that he couldn’t even figure out his own feelings and emotions.  Or figure out one human.  Added to that was the irritation that he had let himself feel some small regard for this human.  This was the human who had kidnapped his Koori, who had been responsible for her death!  

He sucked in a sobbing breath.  No!  His ship’s talons tore into her vulnerable flesh; his weapon had turned itself against that which he loved more than life itself!  Hawk blinked to gain control of his emotions.  He was hard like these rocks.  He couldn’t think of Koori right now.  Maybe later, when he was alone, away from everyone.  And he dreaded that, too.

Carefully, Hawk climbed down the mountainside, favoring his leg as much as he could.  It was difficult.  The pain shot up and down from his injured knee every time he put weight on it. He was out of sight of the human.  That disturbed him as much as the turmoil of his feelings.  Koori!   Oh, Koori—you are gone, my love.  You are gone!   Hawk had to pause briefly to suck in another tremulous breath.  She was gone.  His mind replayed that horrible moment when her life force had fled from her body and he had been left alone.  He was alone.  He shook his head.  He had to take control of himself.  This was not the time.  Until he knew that the human was dead, he could not allow a lapse of vigilance.  

Then another thought occurred to him.  At least now he would be able to bury his beloved.  But then, after he had done that, only a future time would allow him to return to his mate to soar with her forever.  It would have been better for the human to have killed him.  He paused when hot tears of anguish threatened and rubbed his eyes fiercely to rid himself of useless and dangerous emotions.   Whatever Make-Make desired, that is what would happen.  Make-Make, why did you let this happen?  Why did you take my Koori away?  I was faithful and yet you took her!  She is gone.  I am alone.  My oath is ashes.    Again, he shook his head.  This line of thought was destructive, too.   He would make sure the human was dead and then return to the cave and get Koori from the Llamajuna. 

Slowly, too slowly for his taste, Hawk made his way down the cliff side.  The heat.  It was too hot and he almost panted from the intensity of the rays of the sun.  Sweat trickled down his neck and chest, but he ignored it.  He had to get to the human.  Finally, after a seeming eternity, Hawk made it to the base of the cliff.  The human lay, as he had been before, flat on his back, unmoving.  The only difference was the staining of blood on one leg. 

Hobbling over to Rogers, Hawk watched a moment, then pulled off one gauntlet to feel for a pulse.  He almost shuddered at the effort to touch a human, one of the killers of his people.   He had been in close proximity to this human for over two days, but even now, it was difficult to touch Rogers.  There was still life, but Hawk didn’t know how long that life would last.  Not only was there the bleeding wound, but there was indication of a head injury; slight amount of blood trickling from one ear.  The human would not last long. 

Hawk sat back and pondered.  He owed this human nothing, he argued with himself when he considered staying until Rogers died.  Slowly he got up and hobbled away.  He had to take care of Koori.  Picking his way carefully among the boulders strewn along the riverbed, Hawk found a long, sturdy stick that would help him walk back to the mystic’s cave.  As he went, though, he remembered how carefully Rogers had tended to Koori’s wound and he remembered the human’s words, “I care.”   Somehow, Hawk couldn’t help but believe that the terran meant it.

No!  I need to go tend Koori, give her the burial that she deserves.   Hawk almost growled his frustration as he stopped and looked back.  Koori is dead, a tiny voice seemed to whisper in his head.   The human is alive.   “Make-Make, what is one human?  What do you want of me?” he called aloud.  There was no answer, he expected none, but the feeling to return to where Rogers lay was stronger.   He sighed and turned back.  Not even one of your enemies deserves to die alone like that, the voice whispered again.   The sun was heading toward its zenith and it promised to be a hot day.  “But he is my enemy,” Hawk murmured.

As he hobbled back into the small clearing where the human lay, he saw that the blood stain on Rogers’ leg had spread, soaking most of one side of his lower left leg.  He limped over and gingerly knelt down beside the human and pondered.  He looked for a way to ease the cloth away from the terran’s leg, but he had not the means to cut away the material.  Taking off his gauntlet, Hawk gently touched the wounded leg and felt the sharp end of a bone against the cloth.   He wondered if Rogers still had his first aide kit on him and he searched the human.  While he didn’t find the kit, he did find a knife with a folding blade tucked deep inside one of the many pockets.   Carefully cutting away the pants leg material, Hawk exposed the wound and pondered.  He could not do anything about the broken leg except cover the wound and keep the leg as immobile as possible.  It took a while, but Hawk finally managed to bind the injury with the material cut from Rogers’ uniform.  It was crude, but it would serve to keep the wound from becoming dirty. 

Hobbling back to where he had found the staff, Hawk finally found two sturdy limbs and took them back to the clearing.  The sweat trickled down his back, making him hot and uncomfortable, but he persevered and finally sat back to check his handiwork.  It was not anything to be totally proud of, but it was the best he could do for the moment.  Hawk wondered if the human’s companions were looking for him.  As soon as he heard evidence of such, he would leave, his duty to this human finished.  He wondered just how much of what Rogers had done was duty and how much was what the captain had called caring.  Even now, it was inconceivable to think of this human, or any other for that matter, as caring. 

Rogers groaned softly, but made little movement.  That was as Hawk wished it.  The less interaction with this human, the better.   At times Rogers had irritated him with his chatter, but at other times….   Hawk remembered when he had been unable to carry Koori any longer.  The human had approached and with only a sentence said, simply gathered Koori gently into his arms and continued the walk to Neutralis.   No words had been necessary then.  Koori.  “Oh, Koori,” Hawk groaned.  “What will I do without you?” he murmured.  “How will I go on?”   Hawk felt the hot tears of his sorrow and anguish finally come to the surface and find release.  He sobbed quietly, seeing her face as she lay dying in the Llamajuna’s cave.  The soft touch of her skin beneath his hands growing cold, the loving look in her eyes as her soul found release, her last breath against his cheek.  Then he remembered her pleas before his last mission and how the tears threatened to spill just as his were doing now.  If only he had listened, they could have been striving to have a family, to rebuild their people.   Hot, bitter tears that would not stop slid down his cheeks.  No Koori.  He was alone.  Life was bitter ashes, empty dreams, useless existence. 

A light touch on his leg.  “I’m sorry, Hawk,” Rogers said. 

Hawk started.  He had forgotten the human in his misery.  Quickly, he swiped his hand across his face, trying to rid himself of his weakness.   Angry at himself for his display of emotion in front of his enemy, he snapped, “Sorry?  For what, human?  For allowing yourself to fall and be injured?”

Rogers closed his eyes and Hawk thought he had lapsed into unconsciousness when the terran didn’t say anything for several minutes.   “For . . . Koori,” the human said, his eyes still closed. 

Hawk said nothing for a minute. 

“But I would be lying . . . if I said I wasn’t . . . feeling sorry for myself,” Rogers added, with a slight smile that seemed forced. 

“How do you feel?” Hawk asked, not wanting to delve in emotions.

“Headache . . . hurts like hell.  Leg….”   Rogers tried to sit up to look at his injured leg, then sank back. 

“Lay still.  You have a head injury, as well as an open leg fracture,” Hawk said sternly.  “I have done the best I could for your leg, but there is nothing else I can do now.”  He paused.  “What did you do with the first aid kit you used on Koori?” 

Rogers continued to lie still, then he groaned and put one hand over his eyes.  Hawk looked up and saw that the sun still had at least five hours before it would not shine on them anymore.  He looked around but saw nothing that could shade the injured human. 

“I don’t remember, Hawk.”

The grass flies began buzzing around the clearing, drawn by the human’s wound.  Reluctantly, Hawk moved closer and occasionally waved the vile pests away. 

“Why . . . why are you here?” Buck asked.  He pulled his hand away enough to gaze at Hawk, trying to focus through blurred eyes.  Hawk had asked how he felt.  How could he describe it?  Strange, weird.  He stopped trying to worry about it and tried, instead, to focus on Hawk.  “You . . . beat me.”  Talking was hard, too.  What did Hawk say?  Head injury.  Damn!

“Believe me, I have wondered that myself,” Hawk said tersely.   Then he sighed.  “You tried to help with Koori.   Even though you are my enemy, I could not leave you here . . . alone.”

Buck smiled softly.  He knew what Hawk had been about to say.  “To die . . . alone?”

“Yes.” 

“Thanks.”  Nothing was said for a while longer and then Buck felt himself falling back to sleep.  That was the last thing he wanted to do.  “Tell . . . tell me about your people.”  He was irritated to find himself stuttering.   

“Why?”

“Never heard of your . . . people before . . . now.”

“Never?”

Buck started to shake his head and stopped when his stomach began giving him seditious messages.  He swallowed hard and simply said, “No.”  He paused.  “Only what . . . you said.  Dr. Goodfellow….”

“I am amazed at the shortsightedness of humans.  You cannot even remember those you used to share the planet with,” Hawk said derisively. 

“Don’t want to argue, Hawk,” Buck said, again feeling as though he was going to pass out.  “Just want to know….”  There was something jabbing his back, adding to his misery.  He shifted slightly.  Not much better, but all pain right now was relative.   His leg throbbed in time with the headache that felt as though it was going to split his skull. “More about . . . the guy who . . . uh, beat me.”

Hawk grunted.  “I told you my people tried to escape humans by living as simply and as remotely as possible in our valley.”

“Yes.”

“Our village was a combination of the caves and simply built huts,” Hawk began.  “We were happy, except for the fact that we were in the heights and could not fly.”  Hawk hung his head and sighed.  “I was the only one who kept some of the technology.”

“Why?”

Hawk looked hard at the human, but saw no subterfuge, only curiosity mingled with the pain.  He could only guess with the kind of injuries that Rogers had suffered, that there could be no deviousness.  His reactions would be honest.  Maybe Hawk could find out some things as well, if the human lived long enough.  And if Rogers didn’t, which he believed would be the case; then what he said to the terran would not go anywhere else anyway.  Somehow, Hawk felt the urge to talk and what the human had asked him to talk about was only what he wanted, too.  “I felt that there needed to be some link to our past.”  He paused.  Why had he been so insistent to keep the War Hawk?  Really….   “I also felt it was the only way I could touch the ancestors.”

“To fly.”

“Yes, Captain.”

“Name’s Buck.”

Hawk smiled wryly.  “An enemy has to earn the right to familiarity.”

“Touché, Hawk.”

Hawk wondered what the term the human used was, but didn’t see anything to show anger, so he continued.   “It was also the only link to the Soaring Place.”

“Soaring Place?”  Buck put his hand over his eyes again.  The sun was bright and only made his headache worse.  

“Yes,” Hawk replied.  He thought of the last visit with Koori and his heart tried to fill his throat again with painful emotion.  He clamped down, but still remembered.  “It was where Koori and I had been when our people were massacred.”  He bowed his head.  “If only we had stayed home, I could have repulsed the humans with my ship.”

Buck sighed and said softly, “The whole world . . . is filled with ifs, Hawk.”

Looking angrily at the human, he saw sadness in the man’s face.  Apparently, there were many ‘what ifs’ in the human’s life, too.   His anger mellowed.   “Perhaps.”   He shook his head to rid himself of that guilt, too. 

“Hawk….”  Buck began and then stopped when pain from his leg and head threatened to overwhelm him.  He took his hand away from his eyes and, despite the bright sun, gazed at the anguish-wracked birdman sitting next to him.  Guilt warred with pain and he took a shuddering breath. “Hawk, if I had only known what would have happened to Koori, I would never have taken her from your home.  I swear it.”  Buck was amazed that he had gotten all of that out.  He continued to study Hawk, willing him to understand that one little fact, if nothing else.  Koori had been so limp in his arms, so close to death even before they had reached Neutralis, and he had felt the agony of having taken her from her home, and having subjected her to the pain of her injuries.  And caused Hawk the loss of his beloved wife.  He briefly thought of Jennifer and felt the pain of that separation.  And they had not even been married yet. 

Hawk gazed at the human and saw nothing to indicate that Rogers meant anything less than what he had said.  He truly was sorry. 

 

 

Part Two
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