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Curiosity Kills Part 14

Posted on Wed Sep 30th, 2020 @ 5:05am by Lieutenant Aemilia "Millie" Stepanova

Mission: To The Rescue

Millie held the bowl of stew in her hand, staring absently in the fire. Her thoughts were brought back to the present as she heard a rustling next to her. She looked up and found the concerned face of Knn.

You worry. He rustled and signed as he sat next to her.

Millie set down her bowl of stew. She shrugged and extended a middle finger.

Knn gave an amused huff. Unusual warrior.

Millie nodded at his signs. "I worry that she will hurt herself again."

What looked like a grin crossed the warrior's face. Tie her to the bed.

That made Millie laugh. "The only person who can do that and live is Chance." Millie's hands paused. "Her mate."

Knn's branches gave an amused rustle. She has a mate?

Millie grinned. "He is good for her." She signed back.

You have mate? Knn signed.

Millie stared off into the fire. Not mate, she signed in return.

Knn looked surprised. No mate?

Millie shook her head. "There is...was someone. Not a mate," she signed.

Knn was quiet, staring into the fire. You are--not from the Forest. At Millie's nod, Knn gave a sigh. From where?

Millie took a deep breath. She extended a hand, and pointed up to the stars.

Knn followed her gaze up to the night sky. I knew you did not know of sun-sickness. You would not survive here.

Millie nodded and sighed. How was she supposed to explain it in a way that her pre-warp friend would understand. "My people--we fly between the stars. My home is a star far away from here." She was hopeful that the words she signed would make sense.

Knn nodded. In your bad house.

Millie gave a soft chuckle. "It is a bad house. A broken house. The house was broken, and we fell." Her hands lowered to her lap, and she gave a sigh.

Your house is broken, so you cannot fly back.

Millie turned to look at her friend in the flickering light of the fire. For all the strength he displayed, he looked so tender. "Because our house is broken," she signed, "Trish's mate will not be able to find her. We are lost."

Knn huffed through his nostrils. You have a not-mate. He should come find you.

"She," Millie said as she signed.

Knn stared at her for a long while, seeming to think through this information. If your not-mate cannot find you, will you stay here?

Millie went quiet, staring into the fire. She wasn't sure how to answer his question.

Knn remained quiet as well, staring into the fire. If you stay here, he signed silently, the females select their mates. When you choose... His signs stopped as he reached to carefully brush an ash from the fire from her hair. I ask you to choose me.

Millie sat quietly for several moments, then shook her head. "No," she said, not signing the word.

"Yessh," he said in return, one of the few words he was able to vocalize.

Millie shook her head. "You don't understand--"

Knn's branches rustled. I understand. I understand that you are strong and brave, and that you are gentle and kind. I understand what I am asking of you. He gave a determined nod of his head. I can ask again.

Millie took a deep breath and slowly exhaled. Without a word, she reached out and placed a hand on his arm.

Not expecting the painful touch, Knn jerked his arm away. His eyes met hers, and suddenly he understood. Fire-skin.

Fire-skin, she signed in return. The name the locals had given her in sign, and in that moment, she was grateful for the unspoken language, knowing that the lump in her throat wouldn't allow her to verbalize how much it pained her to hurt him.

Knn looked at the soft-skinned woman, both heart-heavy and contemplative. I ask to be your not-mate.

Millie let out a soft laugh--a contrast to the tears building in her eyes. "Yes," she said as she signed. "My not-mate."

Lieutenant JG Aemilia "Millie" Stepanova
Chief Counselor, USS Mercutio


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