Chapter 2 - Family Matters

Millie’s eyes fluttered open, and it took her a brief moment to reacclimate to where she was. She flexed her right hand, which no longer throbbed. Neither did her left elbow. Both had been repaired in the immaculate state-of-the-art medical facility aboard—well, whatever ship this was. The sedative she’d asked for must have worked well, because she’d slept solidly enough during the night to not have heard whomever had come into the room and left a breakfast tray on the table next to the bed. 


Millie rubbed her arms, the satin of the pajamas feeling soft under her hands. She briefly remembered Marcy helping her into the pajamas through the warmth of the sedative. She was pretty sure the churning in her stomach was nausea, not hunger, so she left the breakfast tray untouched. As she expected, her Starfleet uniform was missing–as was her combadge. But the closet and drawers were full to the brim–as if her stay was expected to be extensive. She quickly pulled off the pajamas, popping off one button in her desperation to rid herself of something that James had obviously selected.

She selected something simple, just a tunic and pants. Her boots were missing, like the rest of her uniform, so she selected a pair of flats from the more than dozen pairs of shoes, all in her size, lined up in the closet. She quickly rebraided her long hair, throwing it over one shoulder. Millie glanced in the mirror, steeling her emotions. No matter what, she would find a way off this ship and find a way home. 


A few minutes after she redressed, the door opened and James entered.  He lacked his usual charming demeanor, seemingly still shaken from the news the previous night.  His tone was unusually nervous. “So….how’d you sleep?”


Millie glanced up briefly from the book in her lap. She’d pulled one of the chairs halfway across the room and against the viewport–not that she could see anything out of it at the moment, but she felt better having her back to the wall. If she didn’t know any better, she might think Patricia had been a bad influence. “When are you returning me to my ship?”


“Before we get into all that it’s pretty obvious we have some things to discuss.  While you were sleeping I had them re-run the tests Marcy told us about.  I made them do it ten times, the results always came out the same.”  He walked over to the tray.  “You have to be starving.  This is made by some of our finest chefs.”


“I’m working on the premise that I’ll vomit up anything I try to eat at the moment.” Millie very obviously forced a smile. “I wouldn’t want to ruin the carpet any more than Pang’s bodily fluids already have.”


“Oh don’t worry about that, we’ll have your room completely redone.”  He sat on the couch, watching her.  “I feel like….shit I don’t know how I feel right now.  Given my behavior towards you, I guess creepy is a good start.”


Millie snorted out a laugh. “It’s a shame you didn’t realize how creepy your behavior was before now.” She returned her gaze to her book–not that she was really reading any of it anyways. “It might have saved both of us from being in this–predicament.”


“Well, I don’t have a time machine.  If I did, we’d probably repurpose it for military purposes.  So here we are. I hope that we can come to an understanding.”  


The door hissed behind him and Marcy entered, tablet in hand as always. “Oh good you’re up and talking civilly.”  Her eyes on her boss carefully went to Millie.


Millie glanced up when the door opened, but returned her attention to the book, turning a page. “Only because my knife was in Pang’s shoulder, last I remember. And someone went through the trouble of removing the rest of the flower vases from the room.”


“Those vases cost more than your ballet’s annual budget.”  James stood, pacing a bit.  “I’m really trying to make an effort here.”


Marcy looked between them.  “Perhaps we can all agree that this is awkward and unplanned and maybe even an opportunity to grow and approach this new relationship with openness.”

He looked at his assistant.  “Even I think that sounds full of shit.”


Millie snapped the book closed. “I, for one, would like to know how many of my siblings you had eliminated over the last two hundred years.” She looked past James to Marcy, obviously knowing who was more likely to have the answer to that question.


Marcy paused with an expression showing she was being careful. “I only have knowledge of the last twelve years. In that time I have had to manage fourteen unexpected pregnancies, none of which brought any harm to the women who were involved with your father.  The goal, to put it mildly, is to handle those occurrences before your grandmother becomes aware.”


Millie scoffed. “So, at least once a year?” Her gaze shot to James with a fire that he was unaccustomed to seeing in her. “For, what? At least a hundred years? When did you start with this little—parlor trick?” She waved her own hands. “If I start drinking that water, do I pick up that little skill set, too?”


“My ability started around the time I was twelve, sixty of your years.  By the time I was fifteen I was quite good at it.  And you already have some kind of latent version of it.  The water just really amplifies it.”


Millie threw the book at him. “I was seventeen, James! I didn’t realize what I was doing back then, but I certainly understand it now.” 


He caught the book, carefully setting it on the table. “No need getting all upset.  Now that you know I can help you really craft your skill.  You’ll be even better at your job–”


Millie was on her feet and crossing the room before either of them could react. “You will do no such thing,” she spat. “I’d rather cut off both my hands before I ever use that ability ever again–”


“What are you going to do, wear gloves all day long?”


Millie’s hand struck James across the face, completely unimpeded. “If I did, that wouldn’t feel quite so satisfying.”


Marcy jumped up assuming the worst but James just stood there, having accepted the slap. “I don’t think it’s quite dawned on you what all of this means.  You’re not a pregnancy to do away with. You are the heir, the only heir to my knowledge, to everything I will one day inherit.”


“I am not your heir. Nor will I ever be.” Millie spat the words through gritted teeth. “Because all you are is a liability–a threat to me and the people I care about. And if you haven’t figured out the lengths I will go to in order to keep what is mine safe–”


“Listen here, малышка. I am not a threat any longer. How could I be?  I won’t pretend my family is a group of angels but family is the highest importance to us.  My father drilled that into me. I want you to be happy.  As such I’ve already made arrangements for us to bring your…friend, girlfriend, whatever you want to call her, here to be with you.”


“You go anywhere near my future wife,” she hissed, “and I’ll destroy your entire empire.”


“You are feisty, that trait will serve you very well.”


“I get that from my mother, мудак.” Millie looked past him to Marcy. “Get your boss out of here before I kill him with my bare hands.”


James watched her for a moment.  “We’ll talk again later.” He turned and headed to the door as Marcy carefully stepped between them, even though there was nothing she could physically do to stop the fight.


“The next time he steps foot in this room, Marcy, he’s a dead man.” She spat onto the immaculate carpet. “He’d better bring the best he has, because I’ll try to kill them, too.”


“Okay, let’s take a breath.”  She looked to the closed door.  “I’ve never seen him so…repentant. I really do think he’s trying to make it up to you.”


“There’s nothing to make up.” Millie’s face was like steel. “He’s going to put me on a shuttle back to the nearest Starfleet installation, and he’s never going to contact me again.”


“I don’t think it’s that easy.”


“I don’t have a father. And I never will.” Millie gestured at the door. “And he apparently has no problem procreating himself another heir. But it won’t be me.”


Marcy walked past Millie to the viewport and activated the shade.  It withdrew upwards unveiling a bustling ringed planet, light purple in color.  “Welcome to Shadow Prime.”


Millie stared out the viewport for a moment, but her face never waivered. “As long as I am here, I will spend my every waking moment planning his destruction.” Her gaze turned to Marcy. “If you value his life at all, you will find a way to get me home…to my family.”


“I know that’s how you feel.  But right now I have to prepare him for the arrival.”


“I will burn every last bit of it to the ground.” Millie stepped to the viewport, folding her arms across her chest. 


Marcy walked to the door.  “His parents are coming.”  With that she walked out.