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I'll be home for ChristmasApogee Space Station.
Overhead lights glittered off decorations, giving the stations interior a rainbow hue. Christmas carols played softly on the radio, and in the control rooms fire place, a blazing fire crackled merrily. Talwyn placed the last bauble on the tree, sighing with contentment. She loved Christmas, loved it's warmth, it's joy, the peaceful silence of-
"Watch what you're doin' ya durn old fool!"
"Me? I ain't the one leavin' stuff everywhere!"
This time, the sigh was of annoyance as she put the box of decorations down and stepped out into the corridor.
"What's going on here?"
On the floor, Cronk and Zephyr were jumbled in a heap, covered in Christmas lights. A step ladder had fallen over besides them. Zephyr looked up guiltily.
"Sorry, Miss Talwyn. We were just trying to put up the Christmas lights. And we would have if someone hadn't left the step ladder where people could trip over it!"
"Aw, shut up, ya old coot." Cronk grumbled.
EpilogueThree weeks later...
Brilliant stars shone on the black sea above Fastoon, cool night breezes flowing over the dunes, carrying the sweet, spicy smell of desert plants. The whole scene was warmly lit by the silver light of a full moon. It was beautiful, but the beauty was lost on the small figure sitting on an old wall.
Clank sighed. In the distance, he could see the glow from Fastoon city. The sounds of a city drifted over, ships engines, horns, laughter. And somewhere in that now vibrant city, his best friend, his soul brother, his family. Clank knew what he had to do was right. It was logical.
So why did it hurt so?
There was the crunch of sand underfoot behind him, and someone sat down next to him. Clank didn't look up.
"Hello, Ratchet. I thought you were with Jasmine."
"I just wanted to wander for a bit. I've been so busy lately I haven't had time to explore."
"How is Shona? Is she settling in alright?"
Ratchet smiled. Clank couldn't help but notice how happy his friend was, how he
Chapter 27: Return.Ratchet slowly slid into conciousness. As he rose up out of the black, sound began to filter through, distant, muffled voices growing clearer.
"At least he is looking better these days."
"Oh yes, the state he was in at the start, my word...He's lucky to be alive!"
"Why has he not woken up then?"
"Recovery is a slow process, Clank. His body is probably just gathering it's strength...Hello, some things happening..."
He slowly opened his eyes. For a moment, all he could see was a cracked white ceiling, before his vision was eclipsed by the face of...
"Clank?" His voice sounded strange, thin and distant in his ears. His chest ached with a steady, dull throbbing.
"Hello, Ratchet." Clank said, smiling. "We have been very worried about you. How are you feeling?"
"Kinda sore. Kinda tired. But OK, otherwise."
He struggled into a sitting position, wincing at the sting as he accidentally tugged at the IV line in his wrist.
"Where am I?"
"Fastoon hospital." This voice was one he didn't kn
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