Chapter 1 - The Prodigal Daughter

The chime of the door pulled Millie from her thoughts. She gave a quick glance to the bedroom door and didn’t hear anyone stir. Both Evelyn and La’lana had gone to sleep several hours ago, but Millie sat on the sofa, awake. She had moved to the couch the day before as well, not wanting to disturb Evelyn with her restlessness. She quickly pulled on her gloves and walked to the door.


Henry had given her some time and space, not wanting to hit her with a debriefing so quickly after her surprise return.  When the door opened he looked down at her. “Do you have a few minutes?”

Millie gave a glance back over her shoulder, giving another look and a listen towards the bedroom. She gave a nod, stepping aside to let him in. “Can I get you anything? Water? Tea?”


“Water’s fine.”  He entered, sitting lightly on the couch.  “I didn’t want to bother you last day or so.  I know you have a lot of catching up to do.”


Millie stepped to the replicator, calling up two glasses of water. “I appreciate it, Captain, though I’m…not sure how to talk to Evelyn about what happened…or whether it’s safe to.”


“That’s part of what I need to talk to you about.  It’s not everyday, even on this ship, that we have someone declared dead and they show up out of the blue. The medical report suggests you went through a little more than a transporter mixup.”


Millie handed the Captain the glass of water and seated herself on the other end of the sofa. “The medical report is…incomplete, sir.” She gave a quiet sigh, tucking both legs up under her. “I didn’t give Dr. Crow all of the medical information that I uncovered while I was absent.”


He sipped, taking that in.  “Why would you hold back information about what happened to you?”


“Because it potentially puts myself and my family in danger, which then puts the rest of you in danger.” Millie set down her glass on the table next to the sofa. “My medical file indicates that there is a portion of my paternal DNA is listed as ‘unknown.’ I need to ensure that information stays…as it is.”


He slowly set the glass down, but he took his time in his response. “That sounds like..something I need to know about, if there is a threat to my crew.”


Millie nodded slowly. “It’s a threat I have been keeping away from this ship for…” Millie swallowed hard, looking down at her hands. “I have been working for James Nadall for the last several years.”


It was a good thing he hadn’t been drinking the water.  He did however take in a very slow reverse whistle of a breath. “When you say working for, I need you to be specific. We both know he’s tried to infiltrate this ship for a long time.”


“I–” Millie hesitated, sensing the change in the Captain’s demeanor. “James planned to kill me on Earth several years ago as a way to get back at Patricia. Something happened in the course of that interaction that made him change his mind about wanting to kill me. Soon after, he asked to take me on as—as a consultant. I…” Her fingers pulled at the seam on one of her gloves. “I made a trade. He would leave Patricia alone in exchange for the ability to communicate with me. Never about Starfleet. I just—wanted to keep her safe. Let her be happy.”


“I’m going to assume she has no idea about this arrangement and it’s probably safer for everyone that she does not find out.”


Millie looked up, nodding emphatically. “I haven’t told anyone. I–I knew she would not handle it well, and that her knowing would put her and Chance and the rest of the crew in danger.” Millie paused, taking in a deep breath. “It…gets worse, Henry.”


“You’re the consultant for my…temperamental daughter in law’s ex boyfriend who is part of a large corpo-state military empire. How does it get worse?”


Millie let out a deep sigh. “I’m the heir apparent for that corpo-state military empire.”


“That’ll do it.” He stood, pacing a few steps before stopping to look at her. “I don’t even know who to suggest that we reference in Starfleet to this situation for guidance.”


“Nobody. We can’t tell anyone.” Millie seemed to steel her nerves a bit. “That one-quarter of my genetic profile that is unknown is Synapsian. Their regime has terminated the pregnancy of every other heir that James has produced. If someone with ties to them finds out that they missed one…”


“What was his reaction to this news?”


“Well, the news was delivered as he was using his Synapsian ability to…change my mind.” Millie flexed her right hand. “Given that he didn’t have me executed for punching him hard enough to fracture several bones in my hand, unexpectedly…calm.”


“I’m just surprised he let you go.”


“He…didn’t.” Millie looked up at the Captain. “He intended to keep me…indefinitely. It was my grandfather who intervened.”


Now Henry sat back down.  “Simitri Nadall, a bloodthirsty tyrant who has done unspeakable things, was nice to you?”


“He seems to have a soft spot for his granddaughter.  I…may have made quite a nuisance of myself while in their custody. He was made aware as to how unhappy I was at the current arrangement, and how I have no desire to involve myself or my family in their organization…” Millie gave another look towards the bedroom, her voice trailing off. “I was willing to give up my life to keep them safe, to keep all of you safe.”


“Okay so here’s what we’re gonna do. I am going to quietly brief Edra on this. Something could happen to me and she’d need to understand. It will go no further than her. We’ll keep your medical records vague as they have been and we’ll do our best to stay away from this topic, but I think you’d be best off if you were no longer consulting or contacting your estranged family.”


Millie nodded. “I’ve already made those arrangements with–with my grandfather. Knowledge of a change in the family tree would…complicate things for them as well.” Her gaze fell into her hands in her lap. “But I’m also concerned about my…my place on this ship, Henry.”


“If I had concerns about your ability to remain on this ship and do your duty after hearing all this, you’d be in the brig.  My mama used to say you can’t choose your family. What I will do is lean on my trust that I have put in you and ask you to tell me if you ever can’t do your duty. As long as you can be honest with me, I don’t see a problem.”


Millie nodded, extending her hands. “I’d…I’d like to start wearing gloves, if there’s no objections. It would appear that my ‘calming and reassuring touch’ is a result of my…my genetics and not my skills as a counselor.” As if self-conscious about her hands, she pulled them back into her lap again.


“It would appear that the transporter issue which held you in a reversed pattern which the buffer could not recognize gave you some kind of skin condition on your hands when it reassembled you.”  He gave her a very dry look.


Millie nodded. “Understood, sir.” She paused. “I do have a…rather big ask after all of this. I would like to have a conversation with the Mirror Universe Evelyn.”


He straightened his posture. “I don’t think that’s a good idea.  For one, she’s a liar, and for second she’s currently in a deep dark hole.”


“She said something in my last interview with her that…makes a lot more sense with the information I now have.” Millie’s voice seemed to waiver and she took a deep breath. “She made a reference to Patricia, and how she would respond if she ever found out who I got my little ‘touch trick’ from. It would seem that the version of me from her universe had more information about my parentage and…” She looked up at Henry. “She said Patricia would ‘start a war’.”


“Might be the first true thing she’s ever said.  I could see that.  But what else do you want to know from her?”


“How to stop her?” Millie averted her gaze again. “What I can do differently? I have a thousand questions running through my mind.”


“I think anyone who knows her has been somewhere between amazed and shocked at how she has changed since meeting Chance and Keiran coming aboard.  But deep down, she’s the most dangerous person I may have ever met and I say that with love. I may be able to arrange the talk you desire, but I can’t guarantee she’ll be willing to respond.”


“I may have to disagree.” Millie gave another glance back to the bedroom, where the two women she loved were still quiet. “I think Evelyn’s counterpart will love every moment of it.”