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Joie de Vivre

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The Jumper flew thru the Gate, cloaking before it had landed.

Not a moment to soon. The pursuing darts hot on their tail came thru just before the Gate shut down. Normally a dart was no match for a Jumper, the Ancient drones could make short work of them, but not today. A lucky or rather unlucky blast had damaged the jumpers weapons pod.

The darts buzzed overhead like angry wasps then headed out to the village, to begin their culling.

There was nothing the two men could do, without their weapons they were just as defenceless as the villagers. So they sat and waited.

All to soon the darts returned, dialled the Gate and left. Without any discussion the Jumper lifted and they flew to the village.

When they got there it was quiet, eeriely quiet. They walked on, the Scientist pulled out his Life Sign Detector. Two dots, his and the Soldier at his side. There was no one, not even any dead bodies, Thank God.

On a recent "Meet and Greet" there had been over two hundred people living here. The Wraith couldn't have taken them all. Could they.

They reached the outskirts of the village when the LSD stated to beep. Then the little screen filled with dots, the beeping rose to a frenetic drone.

People started to emerge from the ground, hidden trapdoors gave way and life surged out.
Men first, their dour faces implacable, their weapons crude sharp edged capable of slicing and dicing any fool who came to near.

Then Women their eyes worried, faces pinched tight with fear and anger.

And finally kids, quiet,scared kids who clung to mother's fathers any adult for reasurrance and comfort.

If they saw the two men watching they ignored them. Instead they called out to family friends lovers. Voices loud, a spontaneous acknowledgement. We are still here. We are still alive.

"Joie de Vivre" the Scientist said
"What??" The Soldier asked
"It means" the Scientist started to say, only to be cut off
"I know what it means"
"Do you, do you really know"

The two men the Scientist and the Soldier looked at each other, really looked as if seeing each other anew.
They had been friends for a long time, there had always been this frisson, an indefineable Something that lay between them

The first kiss had been akward and shy
The second sweet, near perfect.
The third, the third had been full of future promise, love and acceptance.

There was a lot to be said about Joie de Vivre