Tara stood at her parent's desk, staring at the coin lying on. She was concentrating on it, trying to move it with her thoughts. Unfortunately the coin was refusing to cooperate, remaining resolutely in place. After trying for half an hour Tara decided that she didn't have any telekenetic ability. Sighing she picked up the coin and put it away. She jumped as she heard a knock at the door.
Going to answer it she found it was David Barries, a member of the Psicorps who sometimes worked with her mother.
"I'm afraid my parents are both out," Tara said.
"Actually it was you I've come to see," David said, "Can I come in?"
Tara nodded, and led him in. As she did so she noticed how he seemed tense and upset about something. "Something's happened," Tara said, "something to mom."
Turning round David took a breath to gather his nerves, then said, "I'm sorry, there's been an accident."
As Tara woke up she could see the white star through the view port of the ship. The ship seemed to be heading towards it under automatic control. As Tara tried to work out how they'd gotten back there she said, "Willow, we're back at..." Tara stopped as she realised that Willow wasn't around. "Willow?" As the ship docked with the White star, Tara searched through it, but couldn't find any sign of Willow.
When the ship had docked Tara left it, finding Tessa waiting in the docking bay. "Tara are you okay? We detected damage to your engines."
"We were attacked by a Shadow vessel. I tried to stop it like before, but something went wrong, it was able to fight back." Tara thought back to the attack, trying to piece together what had happened. Her brow furrowed as she said, "I guess I passed out. When I woke up the ship was approaching the Whitestar."
"I guess Willow must have flown it back. Where is she?"
Tara shook her head, "That's the problem, Willow's not on board."
Willow opened her eyes to find herself in a darkened room, with the only illumination being a lamp above her head.
Willow closed her eyes again.
Opening her eyes Willow was disappointed to see that the scene hadn't changed.
A second light came on, illuminating an oldish man who approached Willow.
"Ah Ms Rosenberg," He said, his tone pleasant, "I'm glad to see that you're awake."
Willow stared at him, she knew she'd seen him somewhere. Then it came back to her. She had seen him when she had visited her father at work, "I know you. You work for Neotech."
"That's right, You know you've made things very difficult for us."
"Oh, I'm sorry to hear that."
The man nodded, "What happened to Mears? Is he dead?"
"Well no great loss."
"I know what you're up to. Using the Shadow attacks, you're trying to reduce the trust in the Alliance."
"Well Sheridan and Dellen have been telling everyone that the Shadows are gone, this shows what there word is worth."
"So how did you get your hands on all this Shadow tech?"
"During the last war, the Shadows started to spread their forces out, so they wouldn't be vulnerable to a single attack. It seems that there was some sort of accident, resulting in the Shadows on that asteroid being put into stasis. So when the Shadows left, they were left behind. When we revived them, they were confused, disoriented, unhappy at being cut off from their kin. They were quite amiable to carry out our plan."
"What do I have to do with all this?"
"They have some notion that you're important. It seemed a small matter to help them in this. You know it's all your father's fault."
"My father?" Willow started to feel ill at the thought that her father might somehow be behind this.
"If he hadn't been constantly boasting about how special you are, we would never have worked out you were the one they were looking for."
"So he doesn't know what's going on?"
"He's totally, blissfully ignorant."
"So the Shadows want me, but you don't know why."
"Like I said it's such a small thing, given all the help they've given us, and they're too weakened to do it themselves."
"You like that don't you. An ancient race, dependant on you for help. Must make you feel like such a big man."
The man looked confused a moment, "I don't see where this is leading."
Willow laughed, "Just how stupid are you? They're using you the same way they use everyone else, by giving you what you want."
The man glowered at her, "You have a choice. Either work with us or... Well I'm sure that you can guess what will happen."
"Go to hell," Willow responded, trying to sound determined.
The man smiled, "Ladies first." Spinning on his heels, he walked out of the room.
Tara was woken from her thoughts by the com system sounding.
"Tara," Tessa said, "We've reached the system where you were attacked."
"I'm coming to the bridge."
Tara had just made it to the door when a loud screaming sounded in her mind. After taking a moment to recover Tara started again, but stopped with a feeling that something was missing. Tara almost fell as she realised what it was. "Willow's gone."
Tara stood by her mothers bed, watching her mother breathing. "It looks like she's just sleeping."
"Yes, it does... but her brain waves."
Tara nodded. She had always had a stronger connection with her mother than with most people, which allowed them to talk inside each other's minds without much effort. Now all she could sense from her mother was a constant, repetetive pulsing sound. "Like a machine," Tara whispered.