Kacey woke with the sensation of a warm cloth being passed over her arms and chest. She opened her eyes to see the blonde head of her lover as she concentrated on her task. No, no longer just my lover. Kacey thought. She said yes to my proposal. My fiancée. Kacey repeated the word in her head and like the way it felt.

"Talia?" She mumbled.

Natalia's head turned quickly when she heard her name being spoken. "Hi." She said as she bent to kiss the chapped lips. "How are you feeling?"

"Still so tired." She was aware of the warm cloth making lazy circles on her breast. "I think that breast is clean. Or are you trying to take advantage of me in my weakened condition?" Kacey asked.

"With you mother standing on the other side of the bed? Not in this lifetime sweetheart."

Kacey turned her head to see her mother standing next to the bed with a knowing smile on her face. Kacey felt herself blush.

"Oh God," she groaned. "I am going back to sleep. Wake me when..."

"No you don't young lady." Patricia stated. "Have some water, it might cool you down." Kacey sucked greedily at the straw Patricia offered her. "Easy you do not want it to come right back up. She slowed down after her initial thirst had been quenched. She enjoyed the sensations as Natalia continued to give her a sponge bath.

"How long have I been asleep?"

"Just a couple hours."

"Kate was here earlier."

"She will be back later. She could not postpone the video conference with the Admiral again."


"Good morning Admiral."

"Good morning Captain. We received the reports and videos on your run ins with the Megarans."

"I know the Agency was hoping to forge some sort of alliances with any people we make contact with. But in this case, the only thing they wanted was Colonel O'Malley. I refused to surrender any person on this ship. No matter who it was."

"From what the videos show, you were not left with a whole lot of choices. You were able to elude them once, but they insisted on a confrontation. You and your crew made the right choice."

"Thank you Admiral."

"Your reports and videos also show that Colonel O'Malley and her Marines did an excellent job. And to think you did not like the idea of having the Stingers on board."

"They have more that proved their worth, Admiral. I am happy they are here. That whole episode rested on the Colonel's shoulders. She was the one affected by the E.M fields the Megarans put up. She was the one who found the weak spots in that field. She and her officers worked for hours without stop to come up with a way to bring down the field. She also bluffed the Megarans into dissolving the field that was around our Engine Room and Hanger. That was after she managed to talk them into a two day cease fire so that we could put a plan into action before she went to them."

"Are you saying she was voluntarily going to give herself to them and that you were going to let her?"

"Absolutely not, Admiral. She had absolutely no intention of surrendering to them. It was just a plan to give us time to combat that field. I don't know if you are aware, Admiral, but Kacey recently became engaged."

"I was not aware of that. Who is the lucky person?"

"Natalia Esperanza, former queen of Marcus Prime. The wedding is scheduled for New Years Day."

"Can you beam it to us so that we can also attend the wedding?" General Millhouse entered the conference."

"Certainly General. It is planned for thirteen hundred hours. It is a formal affair so dress accordingly." Kate joked.

"All joking aside, Captain, how is Colonel O'Malley?"

"She was unconscious for over a week, but she woke yesterday for a short time and also this morning."

"Do the Doctors know what caused her to collapse?"

"They have theories, but nothing sure. I think Kacey knows, but I do not want to push her for more information until she is stronger."

"Understandable, Captain. I have put commendations for her in her file as well as Major Anderson, Captains Taggart and Williams."

"The Bridge crews have those same commendations in their files, as well as you and Commander O'Malley" The Admiral stated.

"There is also a recommendation I sent you in a mail. I believe the objects are in your Command Kit. Tell that sister of yours not to worry about submitting her report until she is stronger and out of Sick Bay."

"I will tell her, but knowing my sister, she will ask for her computer the first time she can stay awake for more that thirty minutes."

"Tell her the order come from me."

"Between you and mom, she just might take the time to recover."

"At least your mother is not after my hide this time."

"I don't know General, she can hold a grudge for a long time." Kate said with a smile.

"Captain you tell Colonel O'Malley that I order her to take the time needed to fully recover."

"I will pass on you order General."


To be continued...

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