Year three in the Voyage of Andromeda. The adventure that started in Among the Stars, and Beyond the Farthest Planet continues in Far From Home.
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CHAPTER 8 A
Kate and Anya lay on their couch with their arms around each other. Both had their eyes closed as they listened to their daughters giggles. Anya ran her hands up and down Kate's back as they relaxed. Anya opened one eye and checked the time.
"Girls, bed time." She called out.
Both girls came out of their bedroom to kiss their mothers, before they headed back into their room.
"Anya I have been thinking about what you said earlier and I think you are right. By the time we get home we will both have over twenty years in the service. I think it is time to retire and be ordinary citizens. Our house is paid for. We could live very well off our pensions."
"Kate, do not make any decisions about our future today. We both need time to process what happened today."
"Have you changed your mind about being house wives when we get back to Earth."
"First of all, I did not say house wives. I said I wanted to be an ordinary resident." Anya explained. "I made that statement because we could have been killed today or turned into drug addicts and prostitutes."
"You know I would pay top dollar to sleep with you and have you for my sex toy." Kate joked.
"Really my Kate?" Anya asked.
"Certainly. I would use every credit I had to be your one and only client."
"You can be such a romantic at times, Kate."
Kate laughed. "What I am is very selfish. I do not want to share you. I want to be the only person you make love to."
"That can certainly be arranged." Anya stated as she tilted Kate's head up to capture her lips.
"You keep that up and I will have my way with you right here." Kate whispered.
"I have every intention of continuing to kiss you. but not here on the couch. I believe we should take this into our bedroom."
Kate left Anya's arms and stood up. She held her hands out to Anya. Arm in arm they stopped long enough to check on their children before going into their bedroom. They took care of their personal needs and lay together on the bed. Anya pulled Kate into her arms. Their lips met with passion. She undid the snap holding Kate's towel closed. Anya's lips left Kate's and began a slow journey down her throat to her breasts. She took one tip into her mouth and sucked on it. Her tongue flicking across the hardening nipple. Kate moaned at the sensation. Anya moved to the other breast before returning to Kate's lips. Her hand moved slowly down Kate's flat stomach to her center. Kate's legs moved to give her better access.
Kate's hand were busy rubbing Anya's breast into stiff peaks. Anya moved slightly and was rewarded with the feel of a warm mouth on her breast. "Kate what would you like tonight?" She asked.
"Together my darling. I would like us to make love together."
"Certainly my Kate." Anya straddled Kate's compact body. She bent to offer herself to Kate. She opened Kate's folds to expose her center and entered Kate. She felt Kate do the same. Anya passed her tongue rapidly over Kate's clit while she worked her fingers into the warm haven. Kate's actions mirrored her own. They were both close. Anya felt Kate's climax. Her own followed closely behind. As soon as she felt her legs could move, Anya lay down next to Kate. She gathered the smaller woman in her arms. With one hand she pulled the covers over them.
They fell asleep in each other's arms.
Morning came with a summons from the Magistrate to give their testimony against Tott scheduled for that afternoon. They met their transport outside the terminal. Once again the officers donned their dress uniforms for the meeting. Enforcer Adone met them to be their escort for the meeting.
Crowds gathered in the terminal and along the route to the legal building. Bigger crowds waited for them outside the building. The crew waved as they stepped out of the transport.
"Everyone is happy Tott is no longer in charge. He kept the citizens at poverty levels. At any time a family member could be taken to work in the factories or mines. They were promised good wages that would be paid directly to their families. The money was never paid. Women and girls were sent to the pleasure houses. For six years have been starved, abused and killed so that he and his friends could live in splendor. You have shown them that they could fight back and win."
"All we did was escape and defend ourselves, Jarel."
"That was all it took, Kate. You four women gave the people back their courage. The citizens of Micari and Terra owe you their lives."
"Who will take Tott's place?" Kacey asked.
"His whole cabinet is sitting in prison right now. According to our constitution, the next person in line, that is not in prison is the Chief Enforcer."
"Hopefully, he or she is an honest person who will work for the good of all the citizens instead of a select few." Kacey stated.
"I can assure you Kacey, that is my every intention."
"You are the Chief Enforcer?" Anya asked.
"At your service. The shop keeper who called in the disturbance that first day is my cousin. He watched you stand up to the Limari and suggested we ask you for help."
"You took a huge chance that we were the good guys and that we would help you." Kate said.
"I will explain how we knew we could trust you after we finish with the Magistrate."
An aide opened the door to the transport. "The Magistrate will see you in his office."
"His office? Has something happened?" Jarel asked.
"The Magistrate will explain sir. If you will all follow me I will take you to the Magistrate's office."
The climbed the stairs into the legal building. The cool entrance was colorfully decorated. Large portraits hung on the walls. Workman were removing Tott's portrait as they entered.
"Will your portrait be hanging on the wall, Jarel?" Kacey asked.
"Unfortunately yes. I do not like having to sit still for hours while my image is painted. There is so much work to do to bring the city back to life. I do not have such time to waste."
They arrived at the Magistrates office. Jarel knocked on the door. It was opened by a uniformed aide.
"Go right in Sir. Magistrate Yellin is waiting for you."
They walked into the large office where the tall Magistrate waited. He had a lined face and white hair that just touched his collar. "Ahh Jarel, come in." He said with a deep voice.
They all entered the office. The door closed behind them. "Magistrate, may I present the officers of the United Worl Star Traveler Andromeda who were instrumental in bringing about Tott's downfall."
"Certainly Jarel." He responded.
"Captain Kate Jensen, Commander Liam O'Malley, Marine Colonel Kirsten O'Malley, Lt. Commander Rhea Torino, Lt. Commander Anya Jensen, Lt. Colonel Michael Anderson. Did I get your names and ranks correct?"
"You certainly did." Kate stated. They each shook the Magistrate's hand as they were introduced.
"Please be seated." Yellin said. "On behalf of the citizens of the city of Micari, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all personally for helping us to be rid of a parasite that has been sucking the life out of every person."
"Magistrate we are happy we could help." Kate stated. "Happy is not the correct word to use. We would rather find a peaceful solution to a problem. However when a member of our ship is at risk we will fight. If we can help others at the same time, so much the better."
Yellin smiled. "That is the way it should always be, Captain. Fighting should always be a last resort." He stated. "Now I must also apologize for several items. First for the problems you have encountered since your arrival." Kate started to speak, but the Magistrate held up his hands. Kate nodded her head for him to continue. "The second is for bringing you here unnecessarily. There will be no legal proceedings."
"I do not understand sir." Jarel stated.
"Tott and all his friends are dead. They were killed sometime during the night. They put many residents in prison and had many enemies there. Those enemies took care of the problem. The prison guardians are investigating of course. I do not expect they will ever discover who committed the crime. Those not sent directly to the factories or mines were sent to prison to keep their families in line. Women were sent directly to the pleasure houses where they were abused by the worse customers."
"That is what we believe he hand in mind for you." Jarel finished.
"Then I am definitely glad we could help." Kacey stated.
"We would all like to show our appreciation to you Captain and to the rest of your people. While you are visiting with us, you will be our guests. We hope or rather encourage you to make use of everything good this city has to offer. Anything you want will be paid for from our treasury."
"No Magistrate, I am afraid we can not accept such a generous offer." Kate stated.
"Nonsense Captain. The money in the treasury is from bribes and unfair taxes, not to mention all the monies stolen in the form of protection guarantees. Please do not turn down this offer. It is how we can repay the money stolen from the citizens fairly."
"As you wish, Magistrate. I will inform the residents of Andromeda of your offer and tell them not to take advantage of your generosity."
"I would also like to invite you to be the guests of honor at Jarel's oath taking to become our next premier."
"We accept your invitation sir." Kate stated. "When will the event take place?"
"In three days time. The oath taking will be at what I believe you call fifteen hundred hours You are also invited to the banquet immediately after as well as the formal ball."
"It would be our honor to attend. Jarel, excuse me, Premier Jarel has been a friend to us since we arrived." Jarel blushed, his skin darkening from the praise.
"Good then. we will met again in three days." The Magistrate said. "I hope you will excuse me, I have a full schedule of cases to prepare for."
"We understand Magistrate." They stood, shook hands again. Jarel escorted them out of the office and into the transport.
CHAPTER 8 B
"So Jarel, how did you know that you could trust us?" Kacey asked.
"A seer came into the city and sought me out. She said that friends were coming to help rid us of Tott and the criminals who have kept the citizens under their boots."
"That does not explain how you knew we were the ones." Kate stated.
"She told me that the one will be a leader of many. She will stand tall, have hair the color of obsidian, and eyes the color of the sky. I believe the person she saw was Kacey."
"Oh great." Kacey muttered.
"When my cousin called me that first day, he said 'she is here'. That is why I responded to the call personally instead of sending other enforcers."
"Why didn't you mention that the first night, when you came onto Andromeda?"
"I was not certain at the time."
"This journey has certainly been good for my ego. I will get a big head."
"Since the start of our Journey, Kacey has been the object of several civilization's desires. First the Megarans want her to be their leader. Then on Verna, one of the princesses desired her enough to kidnap her. Now she is the savior of Micari." Kate told him.
"Do not worry Jarel, we her family are here to keep her feet on the ground." Anya stated and smiled at Kacey.
"My sister can be a handful at times and needs a firm guiding hands at times."
"Thanks Kate. You make me out like an out of control spoiled brat."
"Not spoiled, Kacey."
"Oh just an out of control brat." Kate looked at her and smiled. "I assure you Jarel that is not true." Kacey stated.
"Your words not mine." Kate joked.
Kacey felt her anger surface. She bit the inside of her cheek to keep from speaking out. She stiffened in her seat.
Anya noticed the posture change. "That will be enough, Kate." Anya warned.
Kate looked at Kacey's rigid posture. "I am sorry Kacey." She said.
Kacey stared out the window. "Yeah whatever you say, Captain." Kacey said in a clipped voice. From her tone and the use of her rank, Kate knew she had angered her some times volatile sister.
They arrived at the terminal. Kacey turned to look at Mike and Rhea who both nodded. She bolted from the transport before it fully stopped. Rhea and Mike stepped out of the transport before allowing Kate to leave. In Kacey's absence they would protect their Captain.
"Captain, I hope Kacey is not really angry with you?"
"We were do for another argument." Kate said. We have to have them periodically or the universe would explode. It was just a matter of time before it happened."
"I will pick you up in three days an hour before the festivities are scheduled to start."
"We will see you then Jarel."
They waved as the transport left. Anya gripped Kate's arm firmly. "I do not care what you have to do, Kate, but you had better practice your groveling."
"She knows I was only teasing her." Kate responded.
"I do not think that was true, Katie." Liam interrupted. "Not by the anger I was seeing on her face."
"Only anger would allow her to delegate her protection of you Kate." Anya stated. "She takes that very seriously."
Kacey let herself into her quarters. She read the note from Natalia stating they were in Green Haven with Patricia and the girls. Kacey removed her uniform and hung it in the closet. She put on her work out clothes, and placed several music discs into the machine. She donned the earphones Natalia had given her so that she could still listen to her music while she worked out and not wake the children. She adjusted the volume before she pulled on worn gloves and started to take her frustration and anger out on the punching bag. After twenty minutes of punching the bag she felt the familiar burn in her muscles. She removed the gloves and used the towel to wipe the perspiration from her face before she went to the treadmill. Kacey programmed the machine and started it. She stepped on the belt and within minutes was running.
With the headphones on and the music playing loudly in her ears, she did not hear her communicator beep several times. Neither did she hear the door chime.
Kate stood in the corridor. "Computer locate Colonel O'Malley."
"Colonel O'Malley is in her quarters."
"Locate Natalia O'Malley."
"Ensign O'Malley is in Green Haven."
Kate used her security code to open the door. She noticed Kacey on the treadmill. Upon seeing the headphones her anger lessened over having her hails ignored. Kate went to the music machine and shut it off. With the loss of the music, Kacey turned, shut off the treadmill and walked to face Kate.
To be continued...
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