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Empress Xue'Daio Nox & Cmdr. Evan Merlin | Ties That Bind

Posted on Mon Jun 29th, 2020 @ 2:29am by Xue'Daio Nox Tr'Verelan & Commander Evan Merlin

Mission: When The Circus Comes To Town

Two days ago things had started changing. At first it was but a niggle and pinch followed by the irritated kick of the child within her. Xue'Daio had ignored it, passing it off as nothing more than another reminder that her body was, quite literally, stretched to its limits.

Two hours later the niggle was back, this time manifesting itself as a tightening pain that rolled from the small of her back along her hips and then up the length of her burgeoning abdomen. It was mild, and an annoyance, but it left her with little doubt that the birth of her child was rapidly approaching. From the first tiny pangs to the last drawn out contraction, it could as long as a week... Changing it, however, wasn't her idea of a good time.

It would be two minutes, or less, until her ship docked. Waiting for her, and of this there was no doubt, would be at least one of the station's Command members and likely a whole throng of gawkers wanting to catch sight of the illusive Empress of the Stenellian Ascendancy. She'd do her damnedest to wave and nod as her retinue pushed forth on a journey to the same ambassadorial suite she'd conceived this life within. The very thought brought a whisper of a smile to her features - it was uncanny and strange how things wound up coming full circle.

"We are docking, your Majesty," She nodded gently to her aid, knowing full well what the words meant and what was expected of her, "Be prepared. We'll be moving as quickly as possible to get you to a quiet environment. Station Command has been informed of our intentions." Again, Xue nodded and silently peered through the window beside her. Outside, the station was illuminated in rich gold and copper, bathed by the light of the churning nebula behind them both, and near her lurked a familiar ship. It would seem it was near impossible to avoid the Vindicator or her Captain... But in an odd way, it was comforting to know that they were near.

The Empress sighed when her small ship shuddered, coupling with the station. It meant that the end of silence and peace had come, that life would transition once more, and the future awaited... Boldly. A thin gossamer veil of silver fell across her face, guarding her eyes and the vast majority of her expressions and features from those who would come to gaze upon her. "I am ready." She nodded, finally finding her feet and the beginning the agonizing walk truly began. Her belongings would either be transported or carried at once - but there was no time to wait to see it through. Dockings like this made the entire ship, its crew, and its most precious occupants vulnerable to attacks from all angles - something she absolutely refused to allow to happen. Not here. Not now.

She was here. The station commander watched the slender ship dock with an impassive face, but his hearts, his entire being, felt the pull of her. Of them. The Empress and the child she carried. His child – though that was something few people knew. So he had to behave towards her as he always did in public, friendly yet polite, and always professional. And all the while he yearned to just embrace her and carry her to safety, away from prying eyes.

With the ease of long practice, he locked those thoughts away and let the professional mask fall in place. Later there might be time for either the two or the three of them. Maybe. But for now-

The airlock door slid open and there she was. There were more people, her retinue, her own security guards, and on his side of the airlock there were also plenty of security personnel to keep the curious at bay. He filed away everything about her, the way she looked, the way she moved. Right now he smiled, his usual radiant-yet-professional smile. "Welcome on Cold Station Theta, your Majesty." It is good to have you here…

There was an uneasiness spreading throughout her guards. Part of it was the natural way in which they held themselves poised for a fight each and every time they performed their duties on foreign territory - it now appeared heightened. Fists tightened on ornamental staffs and heads ducked to allow eyes to focus better in the heavily filtered light of the station. Xue could feel their pensiveness, she could hear the way their teeth ground together each time one of them tensed and flexed their jaws. Stenellis men were an impressive sight to begin with, full grown Makta bulls stood out even further from the pack.

None of it impressed her.

Their posturing seemed to tire the young regent, but her expressions remained carefully hidden behind her veil as she traveled in the space they'd created for her to move within. The entire procession halted only to show deference and grace to the station's master; a man many of them regarded with added suspicion. A man their Queen regarded with the most dainty of nods, "It's always a pleasure." It's been too long., she replied. "I hope that you received adequate warning and time to prepare for our arrival?"

"Of course." He wasn't fazed by the reaction of the guards. He had seen it before, only this time it was ramped up a notch. They had to relinquish at least part of their control by stepping on board of a station that didn't belong to them, and their Empress was more vulnerable now than she had been before. "Everything is prepared and waiting for you. Please, come this way." Far too long… It wasn't precisely telepathy, this strange communication, more a way of being in tune with each other through the bond they shared.

They left the crowd of onlookers behind. Amongst them, he noticed the two new Stenellis who had settled on the station, they were in the process of opening a deli. He wondered briefly what they thought of the presence of their Empress here.

Around the corner, through the doors and directly into the turbolift which would take them directly to the medbay. Even here nothing had been left to chance, this turbolift was the smoothest one on the station right now. Still, he couldn't help but place his hand against the side of the lift and whisper: "Be nice to her!"

"Commander Valeese has been notified." You haven't changed, Both were more of a statement than a question. Of course the Vorta had been - there'd be no mistakes made, no blunders, no missing pieces of the strange puzzle they called modern life. Whether the Makta liked it or not, they were mere pawns on a Chess board so much more complicated than they could ever have fathomed. It wasn't to say that they were truly ignorant, all brawn and no brain, but rather that so few had ever contemplated the grand scheme of things while trying to exist as a tree among a rather vast forest. That was all down to instinct. In this world - in this situation - few impulses existed above basic instinct given how out of the norm it was. Xue'Daio was one of few that risen above fight or flight in this strange place - perhaps only because she'd been thrust from world to world, situation to situation, from the time she was very young. Either way, she could peacefully exist is a place where she couldn't necessarily control the environment. the Makta had seldom been exposed to such.

The silvery silk of her robes sighed as she gently folded her fingers in front of her in what once would have been a regal and stately pose as they waited for the lift to complete its mission. Given the girth the pregnancy had added to her lithe little frame, it almost seemed cartoonish and forced - something Xue wasn't entirely ignorant of. "After this is over, I expect to be taken to my suite and allowed to rest without much in the way of distraction." She nodded, passing a glance towards Merlin. A guard nearest her left rumbled in mild appreciation for the sentiment behind the idea of his regent being stationary and secure.

"Of course." The words were both a reply to the earlier remark concerning Valeese and an acknowledgement of her need to rest. And bond with her newborn. He smiled at the thought. "The suite is already prepared and waiting." And so is Valeese. I know she's taken every possible precaution, even to the point of training her assistant in case she herself cannot attend.

He drank in the sight of her, though he didn't stare – it wouldn't do to set the guards even more on edge than they already were. One single glance had been enough to sear her into his memory as she was now. An imprint he knew he could pull out at any time, to study at his leisure. To reply back that she hadn't changed would be a lie, but the changes suited her. You have only gotten more radiant. He didn't lie. Over the bond they shared he couldn't lie, even if he wanted to – and he rarely, if ever, did.

The lift stopped and the doors swooshed open. They were nearly there, and this was the point where they'd have to part. He couldn't follow her into the medical bay, let alone into the room set aside for the delivery. But his thoughts would be with her, no matter what happened. "We are here."

Lies do not become you, Evan. From beneath the relative privacy of her nearly gossamer veil, the Empress's rose-gold eyes took him in. There was no outward evidence of nerves, no sign of worry or deep concern - just the usually charisma that seemed to hang over the man like a spotlight. She could feel his energy though, the vibrations that left him and reached for her with outstretched fingers in hopes of finding a safe port in a rather unique storm - and she accepted, quietly allowing his emotions to stroke along her psyche for the better part of the trip to sickbay. If any of her men had any inkling or clue to the bond the pair shared, none of them let it on. They remained stoic, on guard, and tense. "Then there is nothing left to discuss for now." To some her words may have seemed curt and terse - the dismissal that only a royal could give without coming across as brutally obtuse. When the time is right, you will be called for. It's a pity circumstances couldn't be different.

With that, the little albino nodded once and she and her men left the quiet of the lift for the bright lights and melodrama that could only be defined as 'starfleet sickbay'.

What is, is. "I wish you a smooth delivery," he said as the Stenellian delegation left the turbolift. Only when the doors were closed again he released the sigh he'd been holding in. This was as far as he could go. And now there were only a few seconds in which he could compose himself before going back to Central Ops, and having to act normally, with not a care in the world other than those imposed by his command.

But all the while, his thoughts would be with her, and with the child she would soon deliver.


Commander Evan Merlin
Commanding Officer

Xue'Daio Nox Tr'Verelan
Empress of the Stenellian Ascendancy
Queen Regnant of Apsha
Queen of Aliene


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