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JL | Empress Xue'Daio Nox, Cmdr Evan Merlin | "Across the Stars" pt 2/2

Posted on 241812.10 @ 17:47 by Xue'Daio Nox & Lieutenant Ra'lin Sha'mer
Edited on on 241812.10 @ 17:47

Mission: Lacuna

"I think they seriously believe that this is some sort of biological warfare." It sounded absurd, but that was the general consensus whether people wanted to word it in such a manner or not. It made her laugh and reach to itch and rub her brow as if trying to erase the ridiculousness. "It's actually the most creepy thought ever," she chuckled, dropping her hands back into her lap, "Eventually they'll realize that I'm not sick and I'm not going to die, I'm just going to have a child like women have been doing since time began." Xue shrugged as if to highlight how simple the complicated situation really was, "I think Ivanova understands that better than most. Or maybe I'm just looking for some common ground."

He snorted laughter at the image of biological warfare. His nimble mind latched onto an image of a flatscreen movie he'd seen years ago, during one of the infamous Starfleet Academy movie nights – big screens, popcorn and pizza and the occasional non-syntahol drink. Good times. The image was surprisingly accurate for this situation.

"There's this classic old Earth movie you ought to show them," he said. "It's called 'Alien' – mind you, this predates their First Contact by quite a few decades. In it, someone gets infected by an alien, which suddenly bursts out of his chest. I'm not sure if they are imagining something like that would happen to you, but you'd give them nightmares for a month."

"Out of his chest?" Xue asked, her brows suddenly creased with incredulous and morbid curiosity, "I think I very well might need to. Teach them a damn lesson, that's for sure." She huffed, subconsciously reaching to gently pat the blanket over her midsection, "Nothing on the sort is going to come to pass here and they better damn well get used to it." She nodded as if to cement the notion, refusing to fall short of believing anything different. The man may have been a mystery, but he wasn't a parasite and she certainly hadn't been 'infected' - they'd simply created new life together. A new, wondrous, perfect little life that wasn't going to come busting through her chest. "Anyone who thinks otherwise is xenophobic and rather uncultured." Another nod - sharp - was made for good measure. All that was missing was an indignant snort.

The man's grin said it all. "I could send you a copy, but if you want, I suggest you ask Commodore Ivanova if they have it on file. I'm sure they have, with a ship their size." His sea-coloured eyes sparkled. "I can imagine the look on her face when you ask her for it." Then the smile softened. "I've put in a request for R&R," he said. "It's the first one I've requested in three years, so hopefully it'll get approved. But it depends on how much they need me on the station for the upcoming time. Things are quiet at the moment, but…" he gave an eloquent shrug. Nothing as unpredictable as the situation around Cold Station Theta. It could stay quiet for another few months or suddenly become hectic tomorrow. "We'll see."

"Just for you. I'll ask her just for you." The Empress grinned. The idea of getting a rise out of the steely Commodore was far too good to resist. She knew the adage, the one where the cat was killed by his own curiosity, but some had said that the next line was 'but satisfaction brought him back' and that was where the prize remained. It gave her the chance to both have her cake and eat it too without too much retribution to be faced from any angle. Rochelle needed to lighten up, Xue needed to shake her keepers to their foundation by way of a rather unique prank gifted by way of the ancient Terrans. It was far too perfect to resist, really.

So was the thought of him having a chance to steal away.

"With luck they'll approve it and you can duck away for a moment." She nodded, trying ever so hard not to simply shout and dance for glee. It wouldn't help anyone, especially Breti who seemed convince that she was going to shatter into a billion itty bitty pieces sometime within the next few days, "Alternatively, with talks going on and our physicians being more nervous than they care to admit... I do have reason to head back into Federation space..." Her words hung, and a frown creased her delicate face, "Of course that would mean rumor and conjecture because this baby very obviously isn't going to show up as full Stenellis or half Romulan."

Again there was that sudden grin. Thoughts were popping into his head, sparked by her words, like tiny bubbles in some of those special wines. "There are multiple races with legends of virgin births…" Again the smile faded to a more tempered one – she had that effect on him, too. "Either way, we'll make sure we will meet soon. The universe cannot contrive to keep us apart." He felt that very strongly.

And for one moment he *truly* felt it, it seemed as if she was in the room with him, or he with her. Just out of touching range, but close enough to fully open that mysterious link which bound them both, different from the link which bound Xue to other – transmuted by his alien nature, or their mutual love, or both. He saw her, felt her, was with her on so many levels. Without having to watch the screen he knew she was glowing again.

"Hate to break it to you, my dear, but the possibility of so called virgin birth has sailed and they know it." Of course they did, she thought, S'anra was living, breathing evidence of that - of course that was taking thing literally and not simply falling back on the figurative furtive nature of context. That was something she would need to work on and learn, eventually, that conjecture was just that... Conjecture. Eyed in that light, the situation - and his recommendation, however joking - was rather funny. "Either way, though... You're right," Gods above how she wanted to reach for him, to settle into his arms and rest for awhile, "the universe cannot contrive to keep us apart. I'll find a way once Ivanova departs... Though I don't doubt that will be a bit longer." Xue sighed softly, studying Evan's surprisingly serene face, "She's hiding. I can tell, I can feel it." She nodded, "If I had to wager a guess, it has something to do with Captain Neyes, maybe... Though why she'd come here to do that, I don't know."

"Maybe she has come to your planet in search of healing," he said softly. From what he'd heard of her planet, seen from images and the few holodeck simulations available, it wouldn't surprise him. It seemed to be a lovely place. Other than that, he shook his head. "I don't know her well enough." Other than the masked ball, he had met Rochelle maybe two times.

And he wanted to talk to her about many things, but not about her visitors. He missed her so badly his heart ached. Her, and the unknown life growing within her. Small, delicate, vulnerable… He could imagine, all too well, the stiflingly tender care of her attendants. If she were to live with him or the other way around, he'd have to forcibly remind himself not to have her wrapped in cotton all the time. He smiled, warmly, tenderly. For what he wanted to say, needed to say, he didn't need any words.

"I thought about that, but all that this place holds for her is memories of heartache no doubt. My mother saw to that." Xue's voice was barely above a whisper, allowing her thoughts to wander and candy pick along certain paths in hopes of formulating an answer worth giving. They'd be gone for awhile, searching for something that may not want to be found. An interesting possibility, but not the one that mattered most, "but enough of that..." Her words echoed his sentiments, casting away the doldrums for a moment in the sunshine.

"Perhaps it would be wiser for me to travel to you, regardless of implications, than you to travel to me. Were you to be found out..." Her head shook, "There's no recourse. The Ascendancy isn't friendly enough with the Federation to offer Apsha as a resort, not just yet. It'll happen, but it won't be overnight... No..." Xue was thinking again, this time unfolding her willowy legs and pushing the blanket to one side. It didn't take much effort at all for her to slip from her seat, silk robes sighing and earrings jingling as she did. An index finger rested against the point of her chin as she stood and folded an arm around herself, deep in thought.

It wasn't often that she paced, and her trajectory was small, slow, never leaving his line of sight, "If I go to you, to Cold Station Theta, it's a show of good faith that I choose to travel there while pregnant and far more vulnerable to attack." She nodded, splaying her fingers out away from her face as if to say that the idea was really all that simple, "I can bring my own physicians, of course that may be seen as an insu--- Lee... Oh yes... Lee, Evan! You have Lee!" The albino's movement halted, at least in so far as her traipsing back and forth, and instead she turned to face him with a giddy little bounce.

"Lee is brilliant," he said warmly. "And in more ways than one." He had been following her with his eyes, not unlike a cat following a tennis or soccer match. Drinking in every movement, every swirl of her robes and curl of her hair, every smile or frown on her face. Even if she could come, it wouldn't be for tomorrow or the next day. So he wanted to store these images of her, to take them out of the storage of his vivid mind and review them when he missed her too much. He reached out and touched the screen. "I'll hold you in my thoughts until we meet again," he whispered.

The smile, the Cheshire, excited one, faded away into one far softer and maybe a touch melancholy. Xue found herself in motion again, moving to press her diminutive alabaster palm to the screen where his rested - wishing beyond the stars that she could feel him when all she found in return was the coolness of technology. Didn't matter. The gesture hung with the same meaning and certainty and she knew he knew what it meant and how much it meant to her that he'd embark on such behavior, "It'll be soon, Evan..." She nodded softly, peering up at him with quiet eyes, "As soon as absolutely possible."

"I have no doubt." And indeed, he hadn't.

His mouth formed three more words, without a sound, before the channel closed and the symbol which had delighted him at first sight replaced the lovely image on the screen. He sighed and rose, though his fingers still lingered on the screen where her face and hand had been a moment ago.

Another moment, and then the screen folded back into the desk, and duty called once more. PADD seventeen was waiting.

---

Empress Xue'Daio Nox
Queen of Apsha
Ruler of Aleine
Stenellian Ascendancy

Commander Evan Merlin
Executive Officer
COLD STATION THETA, SB-1170

 

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