Go to Prologue
Liam and Patricia finished their stroll outside. They stood off to the side and watched their granddaughters in their class which was being held outside in the sunshine instead of the confines of the ship. The girls waved to them. They moved away from the class so they would not interrupt the lesson.
They were headed back to their quarters after enjoying their walk. They used the hanger entrance ramp and walked around the hanger. Half the ships were outside leaving the hanger a large, almost empty area. Their footsteps echoed off the metal floor. Marines who were not on escort duty or mapping the northern area were busy going over the ships inside. They nodded to the couple as they walked by.
"Shall we stop in and say hello to Kacey while we are here?" Patricia asked.
"Certainly Patsy darling. Tis a shame the girls can not be enjoying the beautiful weather. Both said they had to catch up on their reports and such."
Patricia rang the bell to Kacey's office. She got no response. She rang it again with the same results.
"Maybe she is in the Mess Hall." Liam suggested.
"It is late to be taking a lunch break." Patricia answered, "but who knows with our girls. They set their own schedules. Call her Liam."
Liam hit the private channel button on his communicator. "Kacey lass." He said into the communicator.
The communicator came to life. Music played loudly in the background. "Go ahead daddy" Kacey's voice came over the noise.
Liam looked at Patricia. "Daddy is it? Liam said to Patricia.
"Come on little sister make your damn shot." Kate's voice came over the noise.
"Keep your knickers on Kate. I am talking to dad.' Kacey said. Did you need something Dad?" Her words came out a bit slurred.
"This does not sound good Liam." Patricia stated.
"Aye lass, it does not." Her replied then spoke into his communicator. "Kacey where are you?
"Danny's place. I think. Hey Kate are we in Danny's?"
"What does it say above the damn bar?" Kate replied.
"Yup Danny's." Kacey said.
"You two stay right where you are." Liam ordered. "At least they are not fighting. Come on Patsy, we need to save our girls from themselves."
Liam took Patricia's hand as they hurried to the bar their girls were at.
Danny's place was one of the two bars on Andromeda. Danny's catered to the crew. The bar boasted a pool table, an old fashioned looking juke box which played whatever music the patrons chose. Danny ran a tight ship. He had a drink limit. He tolerated no fights and would not hesitate to banish patrons if they stepped out of line no matter what their rank.
The bar had just a few patrons at this hour. Kacey leaned over the pool table lining up her shot, when Patricia and Liam arrived.
"Will you make the damn shot, Kacey You have been lining it up for ten minutes already."
"Don't get your undies in a twist Kate. It has only been a few seconds. This shot has to be perfect."
Patricia watched from the doorway. She caught Danny's eye and he passed the word to the other patrons. All the other patrons left suddenly, remembering other places they needed to be. They knew Patricia and that look in her eyes would mean nothing good.
Patricia leaned against the table. Kate spied their mother and nudged Kacey.
"Cut the shit Kate, I almost had the shot lined up." She touched the cue stick to the cue ball to make the shot when she noticed the hands on the table. "Hey jackass don't lean on the table." She stated.
Patricia cleared her throat loudly. The noise finally got through the haze. Kacey looked up. "Oh shit. Mom I did not mean to call you a jackass."
Patricia only stared at her daughters. When she spoke her words sounded loud in the now quiet empty bar. "Both of you, come with me."
Kacey laid the cue stick she was holding on the table. Both followed Patricia out of the bar. "Liam would you meet the girls after their class is finished. Take them to our quarters. They do not need to see their mother in this condition. Also if you see Anya and Natalia, tell them to come to Kacey's quarters."
"Aye Patsy darling." He left them.
The walk to Kacey's quarters was very quiet. Neither Kate or Kacey wanted to make their mother madder than she was. Kacey entered the code and the door opened. Both stood back to let their mother enter first."
"Sit down" Patricia ordered. She waited until they did as they were told. "Just what do you two think you were doing? You are both well respected commanders on this ship. Yet here you are both drunk."
"I am not drunk mom." Kacey objected.
"Quiet Kirsten. How many drinks did you both have? Have you eaten anything since breakfast? Or did you just decided 'what the hell' lets drink lunch. What if your daughters had seen you like this Kate? I know this has been a very stressful time for you both and I am very thankful that you seem to have work through this latest crisis. But getting drunk in a place where the crew who serve under you both can see it, shows a supreme lack of good sense,"
"Mom it is all my fault." Kate stated. "Kacey did not want to go to the bar, but I talked her into it. I..."
"Did you sit on her and pour the drinks down her throat? No Kate, you each made your own decisions. You are responsible for your own behavior. What do you have to say for yourself, Kirsten?"
"I want you to tell Kate to stop putting those damn video locks on me. Locks you made her promise to do."
"No absolutely not." Patricia stated. "I can not be with you when you are off the ship doing your jobs, but I can still watch you."
Kacey lay her head on the back of the couch and closed her eyes. Big mistake as the room started spinning. Her eyes popped open, but the spinning did not stop. Her stomach did flips. She swallowed several times. Suddenly she was running for the bathroom as the contents of her stomach came up. For several minutes she retched until there was nothing left in the stomach to possibly come up. She was shaky and dizzy. Spots clouded her vision. She brushed her teeth to get rid of the sour taste. Kacey slapped cold water on her face. She leaned against the door frame, afraid to move as the room continued to spin. She felt drained and weak. After a few minutes she moved away from the door frame and walked unsteadily to the bed where she crashed.
Patricia and Kate sat and listened to the sounds of Kacey's retching. They heard her crash on the bed. Patricia went into the bedroom and removed her daughter's boots before she pulled a blanket over her. She returned to the living room, leaving the bedroom door cracked open.
"Do you know why your sister never has more that a couple drinks?"
"No mom." Kate said softly.
"She told me once that she never wanted to completely lose control. She did not want to do anything that would embarrass the family. She had seen to many of her fellow classmates lose control and lose their careers in the process. That is why she would always switch to club soda after a couple drinks. This was the first time she has ever lost that control."
"I know what we did was stupid."
"That it was Kate."
"The last few days have been a total roller coaster for us. We could not go five minutes without arguing. We were finally able to talk it out earlier and we celebrated being able to clear the air. Will it happen again? I mean us banging heads. Hell yes. But when we were out there I came to the realization that the little kid I used to let follow me around is a grown woman. More than that, she is an extremely competent commander. I would follow her into any situation and have confidence that she would be able to get everyone out safely. I stated that in my report on the rescue mission. She is still that little kid when it comes to family. She is still so afraid of disappointing you, me and Liam, that she will work extra hard to make sure that would never happen. Most times disregarding her own health and safety for others"
"We are proud of both you girls, Kate." Patricia said.
"We know that mom. Kacey can get a bit insecure at times. Do you remember when she killed Castor?"
"She submitted her resignation the next morning, which I refused to accept. But she came to my ready room in full dress uniform. She expected to be court martialed and wanted to surrender her saber and insignia to me. She did not want them ripped from her collar or have her saber broken in front of you. We needed this mom. Kacey and I needed to do this."
"Next time you feel the need to do something like this, do it in the privacy of yours or Kacey's quarters."
"We will mom." Kate said contritely.
The door opened. Anya and Natalia walked in. Both looked angry, but the sparks coming from Anya's eyes made Kate shrink back against the couch. "Time to face the music Kate." Patricia said.
"Is it true Kate?" Anya asked.
"If you are asking if I got Kacey drunk today, then yes I did."
"We were talking and finally cleared the baggage out of the way and decided to celebrate." We got carried away. I am sorry Anya."
"Tell me the girls did not see you like this?"
"Liam has the girls at our place, Anya. We will keep them over night." Patricia said.
"Thank you Patricia. All right, lets go Kate." Anya ordered and pulled Kate to her feet. Kate swayed. Only Anya's firm grip on her arm kept her from sitting back on the couch. With a firm hold on Kate's arm, Anya walked her out the door.
"Where is Kacey?" Natalia asked.
"Sleeping or passed out, I am not sure which. After she brought up everything including her toe nails she crashed on the bed. Don't be mad at her Natalia. I think this had to happen sooner or later."
"Why is that?"
"They have been butting heads just about weekly since the ship launched."
"Have they always been like that?"
"Only since they both became adults. They are both strong willed. But no matter how mad they get with each other, they are still sisters. They may not always like each other, but there never is a time when they do not love each other. They will defend and protect the other no matter what. When they were children, Kate used to let Kacey follow her around. Unless it was someplace that she knew Kacey would get into trouble for. When Kate left for the Academy, Kacey was so upset that she could not go with her. Kate almost did not go because her sister was so upset. It took a lot of convincing for her to leave."
"Is there anything I can do for Kacey tonight?"
"Yes. We need to wake her up and make sure she drinks plenty of water to rehydrate. If not she will be one sick puppy tomorrow.
To be continued...
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