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Personal Log | FAdm Red & Xander Hark | BQCO & Privateer | "A penny for your thoughts?"

Posted on Mon Nov 6th, 2017 @ 7:39pm by Ambassador Alexander Hark

Mission: The Round Table
Location: Cold Station Theta

Taking in the view from one of the windows built into Blyx's quarters, Xander found himself considering the news that had been filtering in from monitoring stations at the border. The latest reports indicated that the Vindicator had entered the nebula and they were now late with reporting in. The mug of tea held in his right hand was bought to his lips and he allowed it to warm him throughout despite the worry that was rising within him. He'd sent Rochelle on dangerous missions before but that was without the knowledge that he now possessed.

"A penny for your thoughts?" Blyx's voice rose from one of the deeper chairs in her living room. It was posh, warm, covered in a leather that should have been illegal given how butter soft it was. Such luxury was rarely afforded after the civil war. These had come directly from her estate back on Earth. Without looking up from the PADD she perused, she could sense the man's concern wafting off of him like smoke after a visit to an old bar. It was heady and inappropriate for the surroundings he now found himself in. To those that knew him, Xander Hark was as easy to read as an old, well loved, book.

"I think that's likely an overestimation of the cost, given how well you know me and the situation," Xander replied with a slight chuckle as he turned and looked over towards the chair that had spoken, the smile crossed his face as he regarded her carefully and took another sip of his tea, "I'm worried, it's not like Rochelle to miss reporting in, which means something has happened."

The PADD in her hand flicked in his direction, surrendering itself to his perusal, "I'd like to say you have no reason to be worried, but we don't lie to one another." Blyx replied, bouncing the PADD a bit as if it were a lure being used to reel him in closer to the comforting confines of her chosen base. "They've been gone for a bit, but there's no hint of foul play or debris. It's Rochelle. She's smart and she's tough, and she'll return with one hell of a fish story, I'm sure."

The invitation was accepted and Xander roused himself from the perch he had taken up, retrieving the PADD from Blyx as he passed and deposited himself into one of the comfier seats, he scanned through the information for a few moments, scrolling down with his thumb to read all of the latest reports, "I know she will, I've ordered her on dangerous missions before, but now just feels... different."

"Because you know you're her father." The raven maned woman answered for him, dotting the proverbial I's and crossing the T's as she spoke with the barest of smiles, "The dynamic between you two has shifted. She's more than just Commodore Ivanova and you're more than just Admiral Hark. That's your daughter out there, first and foremost now. Same way that I'm brutally aware that she's my niece, may as well be my daughter at this point, and my son is on that ship." Blyx sighed, leaning deeper into the warm leather, "However, we as Admirals and parents, have faith that they will all return." Her head tilted as she watched him digging through the PADD, especially the way his brow furrowed in thought as he read through each and every piece of information compiled within, "Admiral Archer is here. His wife is on her way with Commodore Levine and a couple others. If I had to hazard a guess I'd say that they have something cooking because it doesn't feel like they're showing up to pay respects to the lost," The smile brightened ever so slightly, "They'd have called for us to head to Earth for that." Blessed logic was blessed.

"Things certainly do change." Xander replied as he placed his mug down on the table and offered the PADD back to Blyx with a raised brow, he was concerned with the large number of senior staff heading their way, it was something unheard of for so many Flag Officers to convene in one location away from the core worlds of the Federation, "Something is definitely happening for such a gathering."

"Archer I understand, because I'm still out of commission. The fairer Archer, Hawk, Levine... That begs for questioning." Blyx reached across the short distance between them, allowing her fingers to link with those of his free hand, "All of them are tied to the Vindicator, though, they all have children if you count Rochelle as one of Levine's brood, which I'm sure she does." The smile was smaller now, dimmer as she realized the scope of how deep the hurt would be if the Vindicator ever was truly lost with all souls aboard. "Hawk no doubt represents Sha'mer as well... Her daughter is aboard..." And then it hit her, and her chin dipped. The similarities of how the Sirenian went off the map and the situation at hand left her blood to cool in her veins. The Vindicator simply couldn't go the same way, "I think it means they know the ship is returning or they've found a way to find it, if they haven't already."

"Not to mention the new recruit sent to us from the Stenellian Ascendancy, I'm sure they're waiting for the Vindicator to emerge from the nebula with baited breath too, losing one of their own on her first mission would be... difficult ground politically." Xander replied as the smile faded and he considered the ramifications of the loss of the ship on the political structure of Beta Quadrant, the news he'd been hearing from the Empire was somewhat quiet. "Ch'Krang is playing things close to his chest at the moment too, beside the stalemate with the Romulans the Empire is not doing much of note."

Tucking her knees beneath her, Blyx groaned and shook her head, "Lieutenant Dai'xun was supposed to stay here on Theta, you know." She began, her fingers stilling against the back of his hand, "She plead her to Rochelle and who the hell was I to deny the request for her to stay aboard the Vindicator? She's a capable officer. It would have been a slap to the face and now we're in the middle of a possible diplomatic drama that could set the quadrant on fire." The delectable twang of her voice hung heavy on that final word and she found her free hand coming to rub her lips and chin out of a mixture of stress and frustration that seemed to be professionally conjured up for the sole use of Starfleet Admiralty, "If Empress Xue'Daio is anything like her mother, we're absolutely screwed unless the Lieutenant comes back all smiles. We risk inflaming the Ascendancy, along with their ties to the Romulans and Cardassians and who the hell knows who else will come out of the wood work... IF Dai'xun is dead."

"Somehow I don't think the Empress is like her mother, from all reports, she's much... friendlier towards the Federation, especially since the events that transpired with that Romulan... Tr'Bak?" Xander replied with a tilt of his head as he regarded Blyx as she began slipping back into business mode, "She seemed eager to seek out positive relations, even going as far as to trust us with one of her own," he continued before pausing for a few moments, "Even though we may have put her in danger, I would hope the Empress understands that this is a risk we take with the lives of everyone in Starfleet, our own people and anyone else's who have chosen to serve, we've both been in the same position, we've both put our lives at risk for the service."

"Tr'Bak is a bad word in these parts, Xander. He's liable to hear you and randomly show up." She sighed, unfurling her legs and finding her feet with a brief stretch. Sitting wasn't an option anymore, as if the mention of the Romulan had acted like a cattle prod, half-startling her into discomfort and motion. The sweatshirt she'd stolen from him could have sufficed as a dress, she noted, feeling its hem grace the patch of legging clad thigh an inch or two above her knee. The sleeves were impossible, especially on the side where the garment demanded to hang limply of her shoulder, forcing her to roll them up to her elbows to get anything done other than snuggling, reading and sipping tea. Like her flame maned niece, Blyx didn't do sedentary particularly well. "Regardless. You're right. The Empress will have to realize that the oath her ambassador took is just that, an oath. We didn't hold a gun to her head and she was willing to do what it took to become a member of Starfleet," The dark cobalt of her eyes found his, dipping low with agreement and acknowledgment of the point he made, "Just like us. Giving more of ourselves than we knew we had... And we'd do it all over again if we had to." Or would they? Cocking her head she banished hair from her eyes and afforded herself a better look at him all at the same time.

"If I had the knowledge I had now, there are certainly things I would go back and do differently, but I have little in the way of regrets," Xander replied, watching the way his sweatshirt hung off her slender frame and the way she moved across the space in the room, "Well, maybe one, I might have spent more time on my personal life earlier in the day." it was a thought that had spent a lot of time on his mind since he'd found out that the young redhead in command of the Vindicator was his own flesh and blood. Having the protection of the Klingon Empire bought him a certain level of comfort when thrown against some issues, but there were some things that not even an army could protect against. "For what it's worth, I am sorry for pulling you out of retirement, I know this was the last thing you wanted to come back to but I needed someone I could trust."

Tying the bounty of her loose ebony curls up into a messy knot, Blyx couldn't help but ruminate over the words he offered. Speaking of the past, personal lives, romance, family. All of it. It was a sore subject for her as well and one she wished she could have squared away so much sooner than now. Aine and Colt were grown, Rochelle had finally taken her place among the stars. How much more could she accomplish? Him. She could learn to love freely and without expecting disappointment in return. "I'm not sorry that you did, Xander." She replied with a whisper of a smile, "It brought Rochelle to you and you to me... Or me to you. I haven't been able to decide which." The woman was soft as she spoke, languid in motion as she picked up a glass of water she'd left on her coffee table. It was a poor substitute for scotch, but she'd take its cool comfort.

She spoke the truth and deep down inside, Xander knew that everything had occurred to bring them together, she'd bought with her the knowledge of the flame haired child that he'd only ever known as a junior officer, "I'm not sure which way around it was either," he replied as he stood up from the chair and stepped up behind Blyx, the size difference between them was obvious as he wrapped his arms around her waist and held her close.

Leaning back against him, Blyx allowed her eyes to close and her body to relax into his embrace. "Doesn't really matter in the long run, does it?" She asked, folding her arms over his, mindful not to soak him with her drink in the process, "Point is that everything happened for a reason and I happen to like that reason."

"I happen to like that reason too," Xander replied as he began placing kisses on the soft curve of her neck, for the first time in a long while he found himself enjoying life for more than a fleeting moment, his retirement, as active as it was, was something that had come at the right time to save his sanity, his departure from Starfleet was beginning to grow on him.

Her head tilted off to the side, giving him easier, better, fuller access to the sensitive skin he seemed bent on claiming. Kiss by kiss the stress of the day melted away from her, absolved by the elixir of his lips. He was a bird, free on the wind and she still caged. But he gave her his wings, convincing her that all was well and that her incarceration, her job, wasn't so awful after all. His retirement had saved his sanity, but it was also working to restore hers. "I'd have begged you to bring me back sooner if I'd known this was going to be the outcome." Blyx smiled, "Much much sooner."

(To Be Continued...)

Fleet Admiral Blyx Omegi Red
Beta Quadrant Commander
Starfleet Command


Alexander 'Xander' Hark
Former CinC


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