A note from Romanse, the illustrator:

Greetings, Readers! It was my great pleasure to do the illustrations for Sacrifices. I hope that you will read this story and walk away not only having been wonderfully entertained, but deeply moved in your soul to action. This has been an incredible journey for me over the three years it took to bring this from only a deep personal longing to read such a story, to JET's finished, illustrated work.

Like most stories, there is a tale behind its creation, and it has been such an honor and thrill to have been in a collaboration of sorts with one of The Sentinel fandom's most beloved authors. The tale goes something like this:

I had a very specific idea for a Sentinel story, dealing with a very real and sensitive topic, and I knew I was not the person to write it. The story needed a writer with superior skills, maturity, and a profound love and understanding for The Sentinel characters. One name came to me, clear as day. In my mind, the renowned JET was the only writer for whom this story was intended. There was just one problem: I didn't know JET, and she certainly didn't know me. I thought about it. I knew more than likely I would have but one chance to advocate the case for this story and get her to agree. I gathered up my courage one day and wrote to her. When she agreed to write the story, little did I know that I was about to embark on a very long journey filled with enormous hope, excitement, a bit of despair, and a great deal of patience. It was worth it. Thank you JET!

Lastly, if there is one lesson I learned along the way and would like to pass along, it's this: Sometimes, not getting what you want, when you want it is the best thing that can ever happen to you. If JET had completed this story in 2003, there's no way that I could have produced accompanying illustrations that look anything like these. I hope that you will enjoy the story and the illustrations as much as JET and I have enjoyed producing them.

Romanse

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Author's Notes:

When I first began writing TS fiction I posted a yearly story in mid-March. It seems that Jim and I share an important date. The date of his helicopter crash also happens to be my birthday. ? I kept up the March story tradition for several years but was unable to continue it the last couple of years. This year, the timing was right.

This story occurs after the events in *A Matter of Perception* but otherwise, it is intended to stand alone. There is a canon character death. If smarm, angst, and h/c aren't your favorite things, you might want to pass on this one.

When Romanse contacted me about the idea for this story, I fully intended it to be completed long before now! However, real life had other plans. In the time that this story’s been in the process of creation, I've been diagnosed with diabetes and IBD, dealt with my mother's severe complications from Crohn’s disease and rheumatoid arthritis, taken early retirement from teaching, and started a new career in music. My writing has definitely paid the price for all this confusion!

However, *Sacrifices* was always in the back of my mind, and when life began to settle down a little in late 2005, I began work on it again. When Romanse agreed to provide the beautiful illustrations you see here, it definitely made the story complete. My thanks to her as well for betaing the story before it was posted. Any remaining mistakes are purely my own.

I know this story may be difficult for some readers. Other than the fact that it ties in with the events in Perception, I do consider it a stand-alone, and I believe that its message is important enough to put the guys through the trauma inflicted upon them here. I hope at least some readers will agree.

One last, very important note. Please bear in mind that I am neither a doctor nor nurse. I did a great deal of research for this story, but I have no doubt there are inaccuracies. I apologize for these. I hope that those readers who are experts in these areas will overlook any medical errors with forgiving compassion for the author who felt her way through this complicated field of medicine with very little prior knowledge. Thank you in advance!

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